ACRL Circle of Friends: Patricia Wand

Patricia WandThe ACRL Circle of Friends acknowledges the sustained generosity of those who have been Friends of ACRL for five or more years. The Friends of ACRL was created to provide a means for the association to take bold steps above and beyond its traditional member programs and services. Rapidly changing demographic, economic, and technological trends are presenting academic libraries and librarians with new challenges and competition that demand immediate solutions. The Friends of ACRL have responded to these new challenges and provided additional support that will enhance and ensure the relevance of our profession. To join or learn more about the Friends of ACRL, please visit the ACRL website.

This month we profile ACRL Circle of Friends member Patricia Wand. Patricia is a consultant based in Bethesda, Maryland and has been a Friend of ACRL since 1998.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  I like people.

2. Why do you support the Friends of ACRL? I support Friends of ACRL because I believe in the power of communities whose members share a commitment to self-improvement.  In ACRL, our commitment to the information profession and life-long learning form the foundation of advancing learning, teaching and scholarship.   Hence, I support the ACRL community with my time, knowledge and money.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you?  I grew up with seven siblings on an Oregon farm in the Columbia River Gorge.

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way? A powerful mentor for me was JoAnn Segal, former executive director of ACRL.  JoAnn taught me about the external and internal characteristics of associations; how they differ from university, civic and commercial organizations and about the unique roles of staff and volunteers. In the late 1980s, I absorbed many valuable lessons watching JoAnn astutely manage in all directions as she brought us through the birth pangs of the first Operating Agreement with ALA.

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the near future (or the long term)? I hope we continue building a toolkit to help us become stronger advocates for the importance of information in developing life-long learners, promoting creativity and innovation, generating new knowledge, and building democratic practices. To achieve these seemingly intangible goals we need tangible resources which include strong academic libraries, archives and information centers. Thus we must be proactive spokespeople with the skills and data to convince the decision makers of the need for financial support.

6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? The most important work that ACRL does is the venue it provides in bringing together committed professionals to improve learning, teaching, and research in higher education.