Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2019 ALA/ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2019 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate in slate order each weekday from February 27 – March 8. Complete details on candidates for ACRL offices are available on the election website. Make sure to vote for the candidates of your choice starting March 11.
Cinthya Ippoliti is the Director and University Librarian of the Auraria Library at the University of Colorado, Denver/Metropolitan State University of Denver/Community College of Denver in Denver, Colorado and a 2019 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Director-at-Large.
2. Describe ACRL in three words: Galvanizing, empowering, inspirational.
3. Why do you value about ACRL? I value the opportunities to collaborate with colleagues on a variety of projects and initiatives. ACRL allows for both formal and informal engagement, and I have really appreciated the proactive and forward-thinking approach ACRL has brought to its various offerings, reshaping its role as an advocate and visionary, not simply an entity. I have been fortunate to work with several ACRL liaisons and groups over the course of my career, and am continually struck by their passion for what they do.
4. What would you as candidate for the ACRL Board bring to this position? I would challenge membership and ACRL leadership to truly think differently about our efforts and work collaboratively to analyze what it is we are trying to achieve through the various programs and initiatives ACRL offers. Too often we end up building on the status quo without changing the inherent values and processes that comprise it, and I would like to re-imagine what ACRL does and how we can better support members in their endeavors and goals.
5. In your own words: I’ve been a librarian for almost 19 years and have seen tremendous changes in the field and in higher education. I feel that we are at a pivotal moment for both, where we can examine ourselves through various lenses and be able to engage in the type of work we value and that will make the experiences of our users that much more meaningful. Issues surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion are crucial in this regard, as is the ability for us to think beyond change management, and work towards a vision of the future we may not yet be able to articulate but that is just within grasp.
I was fortunate enough to attend the ACRL President’s program on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at this past Midwinter meeting, where the words of Dr. Terryl Ross truly inspired me-he urged all of us not to wait for someone else to do something, but that we must ourselves act. I therefore believe that inclusive leadership is an important framework that ACRL can exemplify, not simply discuss. I would like to see each member of the ACRL board commit to taking action by agreeing to a formal code of conduct where we are speaking up, creating networks not boundaries, asking good questions versus giving the right answer, and involving membership in the decisions that affect them. Moreover, I would like to see us build upon the good work that has already happened, but for which we can still do so much more. More specifically, I would like to develop a strategy to help institutions integrate the ACRL Diversity Standards into their strategic plans. I would also advocate to create a recruitment model for libraries that not only provides access to positions such as the Diversity Alliance residency program, but develops a plan for hiring professionals from underrepresented groups into full-time, permanent positions and establishes an inclusive and equity-driven hiring process. I would also like to create a diversity, equity, and inclusion action plan and benchmarks for determining success in this arena that bring ACRL’s current Plan for Excellence to life and focuses on what we are doing to address these issues, not simply what we are saying about them. Finally, I would like to create a free, inclusive leadership academy with a train the trainer model that allows the work to be disseminated amongst libraries of all types and sizes and does not rely on helping only those who can afford these professional development opportunities.
6. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I’m currently reading several articles related to transformational change and leadership which discuss how to effectuate a shift in mindset and culture not simply to the underlying structures in order to truly achieve that change.