Catherine Manci is a research and instruction librarian at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia. Catherine has been a member of ACRL for 2 years and is your ACRL member of the week for February 11, 2019.
Describe ACRL in three words: Network, community, resource.
What do you value about ACRL? ACRL can really stand in the gap for many librarians who don’t have immediate or physical access to a community of professionals. I value being part of an organization that can provide professional development at any level, from flying across the country to attend conferences to sitting at home in pajamas and participating in online discussions. It’s important that we have resources for our profession to move forward, and ACRL is a leader in this way.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I work with all subject areas for research instruction, and since SCAD is an art and design school the definition of research instruction is wide ranging. In one day I might lead an instruction session on global sourcing for fashion, teach a design class on how to find unique high resolution images for a collage project, then meet with a student for a research consultation about graphic design for healthcare spaces. In addition to working with professors to provide instructional services related to their curriculum or assignments, I also do quite a bit of outreach for the library in the form of pop up libraries, workshops, collaborative events with Student Success, and leading our library student advisory.
In your own words: Before I was an academic librarian, I was a high school English teacher and my curriculum included at least one research essay per year. And you know what? I never utilized research instruction! I didn’t know that I could or what it was in the first place. I think about that experience a lot in my current job, and it informs my interactions with professors and students. I try not to make any assumptions about any patron’s base knowledge, and it has also encouraged me to focus outreach efforts to faculty as much as students. While explaining what we do constantly can be taxing, it also is an amazing opportunity to open up a conversation about services, potential collaborations, and needs of the community
Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.