Meet the Candidates: Trevor A. Dawes

Editor’s Note: The ACRL Member of the Week feature is taking a brief hiatus so we can profile the 2012 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate a day from March 12 – 19 in the order they appear on the ballot. 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 19. Member of the Week will return on March 26.

Trevor A. DawesTrevor A. Dawes is Circulation Services Director at the Princeton University Library in Princeton, NJ. Trevor has been an ACRL member since 1991 and is a 2012 candidate for ACRL vice-president/ president-elect.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Hard-working, social, grounded.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your iPod)? I just finished reading George W. Bush’s Decision Points and am currently listening to Oleta Adams’ Circle of One.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative, committed, traditional.

4. Why did you join ACRL? I joined ACRL because it is THE association for academic libraries and librarians. The programs and opportunities offered through ACRL are unique and are designed to meet the needs of this particular group. ACRL also allows opportunity to network with fellow academic librarians. Even as ACRL grows in both its programs and offerings (e.g. now the expanded advocacy role) the focus remains on the core constituency.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? I enjoy being in a learning environment. I think one can learn in any environment, but there is certainly something stimulating about being in the intellectual center of an academic institution – the library.

6. In your own words: I think it is important for librarians to demonstrate, or rather continue to demonstrate, their value to the academic enterprise. I have been involved recently in some discussions about the removal of the word “Library” from the doctoral degree granted from my alma mater. I find it distressing that, for a school that was founded as the Library School (though the name has now changed to include Communications and Information) it now believes it necessary to remove that very important word from the degree.

What does this say about the value placed on the library and on librarians by this institution? Have we done enough to show how relevant we are? Are we, in fact, relevant? If we believe we substantively contribute to the teaching and research missions of our institutions, then we need to be more vigilant in showing just what our contributions are. I therefore challenge each person reading this message to think of ways in which our contributions can be demonstrated and how we can communicate this value to our administrators on campus.