ACRL Member of the Week: Lorisia MacLeod

Lorisia MacLeod on February 27, 2018. ©2018 John Ulan

Lorisia MacLeod is an instruction librarian at NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Lorisia has been a member of ACRL for 4 years and is your ACRL member of the week for December 17, 2018.

Describe yourself in three words: Enthusiastic, ambitious, diplomatic.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I am one of those people who have multiple books on the go so no matter the genre or format I want, I have something I’m reading to suit so here’s what I have on the go right now: Dreadful Waters by Thomas King, Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve, Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing by and about Indigenous Peoples by Gregory Younging, The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson, Ricanstruction a comic produced by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, Champions a comic by Jim Zub, and Becoming Trauma Informed by Nancy Poole and Lorraine Greaves.

Describe ACRL in three words: Advocacy, evolving, vast.

What do you value about ACRL? As a new professional, I have to admit upfront that I appreciate the funding opportunities that ACRL has for new professionals because they have their awards and grants but then they also sponsor professionals in programs like ALA’s Emerging Leader program. Being a new professional is tough and not just financially- in my experience, sponsorships have really helped with my experience with imposter syndrome because it feels like you have a group of established professionals cheering you on. So any association that supports people like that gets a big thumbs up in my book! The other big thing I value about ACRL is the email digests I get of the discussion forums. I really enjoy seeing other professionals asking for advice, discussing important topics, and even the occasional healthy debate that crops up. It reminds me that librarianship is a field that holds life-long learning at its very core and it’s actually a good thing if as a professional I still feel I have more to learn.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Magic! Wisdom! Endless book recommendations! The occasional terrible library-related pun or meme! As an Instruction librarian, a fair bit of my time is spent going into classes to teach APA, MLA, or research sessions (I think creating APA citations sometimes feels like magic to some students so maybe that was less of a joke than I thought). I also have a lasting impact on the resources at my institution because I weed and do collection development. I also am lucky enough to have the opportunity to engage closely with our institution’s Indigenous Student Centre as well as faculty. Of course, there is a fair bit of day-to-day work too where I get to work alongside a group of awesome people. The neat thing is that I feel like we co-develop each other a fair bit, I bring my areas of expertise to the board and so do they and we all get to come out of it having learned something new.

In your own words: Librarianship doesn’t stop at the border, so why should I? That’s been the phrase I’ve been using to drive myself to get outside of my comfort zone and even my country to engage with my international colleagues. I have had fascinating discussions with librarians from all across America and I realized that regardless of where we are based there are probably a lot of things that we can teach and learn from each other. Plus, I like meeting all you cool librarians 🙂