Member of the Week: Yasmeen Shorish

Yasmeen ShorishYasmeen Shorish is Science Librarian at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Yasmeen has been an ACRL member since 2010 and is your ACRL member of the week for December 3, 2012.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Outspoken, Driven, Geeky.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m reading a couple right now: Classic Feynman by Richard Feynman and The House of Wisdom : How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance by Jim Al-Khalili. My iPhone is perpetually on shuffle because I love the randomness of Clutch, Abba, Mos Def, Mozart, and Ahmed Zahir all playing in the span of 30 minutes.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Massive, Disciplinarily-Diverse, Evolving.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL provides a great forum for academic librarians to share ideas, disseminate research findings, and grow as a profession. Interest groups and divisions help disseminate information in substantive ways and, in my experience, are supportive of dialogue and growth. There are so many opportunities for engagement.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? It’s my hope that through outreach to various campus partners, it’s become easier to engage with data literacy and data management. I’m interested in preserving the intellectual output of the university in its myriad forms, so scholarly communication and alternative metrics are other issues that I try to bring to the table. Most of all, however, I hope I contribute an enthusiasm for discovery and creating new knowledge — which I view as the foundation of academic librarianship. 

6. In your own words: I’m relatively new to librarianship. In fact, five years ago I did not even know that “science librarians” existed. As I was finishing my second bachelor’s in biology, I was struck with “what now?” I knew that I enjoyed teaching, but I was interested in many facets of science and couldn’t see myself zeroing in on a specialty for a Ph.D. It was my advisor who gave me a flier for ALA (we were in Chicago, so not that random) and really supported me going into science librarianship.

Librarianship embodies my passion: connecting people with information and watching them create new information with it. Working with biology, chemistry, and physics is just icing on the cake because, in turn, I love continuing to learn in those areas while exploring how evolving concepts like open data are changing in those fields.

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 for more information.