ACRL 2019 Conference Scholarship Donor: John P. Culshaw

John Culshaw

ACRL is able to award scholarships to academic and research librarians and library staff to attend the ACRL 2019 Conference thanks to donors like John P. Culshaw. The association is strongly dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and the Scholarships Committee gives preference to applicants who are from diverse cultural/ethnic backgrounds, serve under-represented groups, and have not previously been awarded an ACRL scholarship. We invite you to invest in the future leaders of the profession as they seek to gain the experience, knowledge, and connections needed to advance learning and transform scholarship in the 21st century by contributing to the ACRL 2019 Conference Scholarship fund. To learn more about donating, please visit the ACRL 2019 website.

John CulshawJohn is the Jack B. King University Librarian at the University of Iowa, and has been a Friend of ACRL since 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Leader, enthusiastic, genuine.

2. Why do you support the Friends of ACRL? ACRL has been a central element throughout my career in terms of scholarship, professional development, and service.  I remember the financial challenges of participating in ACRL as an early career librarian but I also know how deeply I have benefitted from the relationships and opportunities afforded to me over the years.  Now I’m able to give back and I hope my support as a Friend of ACRL creates opportunities and makes things a little easier for the next generation of academic and research librarians.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you? I used to moonlight as a bartender.

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way? I was influenced by ACRL even before I was a member.  As an undergraduate, I had the good fortune to work as Hannelore Rader’s student assistant during her term as ACRL President.  She put me to work on a variety of ACRL-related tasks and I attended my first ALA conference during this time.  Hannelore’s strong mentorship and guidance provided a path for my own career as a librarian.  Our friendship showed me the personal benefits of being involved in a professional association like ACRL.  All of these experiences collectively served as an amazing introduction to the ACRL culture.  I can also relate that planning and preparing for conferences was a very different proposition in the pre-Internet days!

5. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? How can I pick one thing?!  Ultimately, ACRL’s most important work is supporting its members in all ways.  As I complete my service as Director-at-Large on the ACRL Board, it is crystal clear to me whether through conferences, publications, or communities of practice, the Association always puts the needs of members first.

7. How has attending the ACRL conference benefited you? The ACRL conference is an excellent venue to learn about current practices and innovative approaches in all types of libraries.  It is also a good place to become immersed professionally with like-minded individuals for a few days.  The conference is an excellent opportunity to interact with colleagues from all sizes and types of academic and research libraries