Sara Belasco is a public services assistant at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. Sara has been a member of ACRL for 2 years and is your ACRL member of the week for November 18, 2019.
Describe yourself in three words: Patient, kind, hardworking.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I’m still trying to get through the pile of books I got at BookCon in June, and I’m currently reading The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton. My go-to podcasts to listen to while cooking are Unorthodox, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, and Dear Hank and John.
Describe ACRL in three words: Engaging, educational, community.
What prompted you as a student to join ACRL? I joined ACRL as a student because I wanted to participate in the RBMS Mentor Program. My mentor was so helpful in answering absolutely any questions I thought of, and also gave me the confidence to reach out to more people in the profession. I also wanted to make sure that I was staying up to date on conversations happening in academic libraries and special collections. Classes are great for learning theory and skills, but to know the real goings-on of a field you have to become involved in the community.
What are your career goals? How might ACRL help you achieve those goals? One day I hope to work in a special collections library at an academic institution, preferably with rare books doing instruction and outreach. ACRL can help me achieve my goals by allowing me to learn more about critical pedagogy and instruction, which was only briefly touched on in school. Thispast summer I attended the RBMS Annual Conference in Baltimore, thanks to the generosity of the scholarship committee, and I plan on attending more ACRL events in the future.
In your own words: In a previous internship I worked on a manuscript cataloging project, and while that fulfilled my individual rare materials nerdyness, I realized that I need to be able to see the impact my work has on people. I love working in public services because I can get to know the people who come to do research for weeks on end. While it can be hectic at times, it’s the best way for me to share my passion for rare books.