Member of the Week: Clem Guthro

Clem GuthroClem Guthro is Director of Libraries at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Clem has been an ACRL member since 2000 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 5, 2013.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Innovative, changeophile, technophile.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m a huge audiobook fan and listen to at least three books a week. Currently listening to Darwin on Trial, and just finished The Migrant by Nicholas Stanton.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Networking, advocacy, trend-spotting.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL’s national and international leadership in promoting the value of academic and research libraries. I appreciate the fact that ACRL is helping us thinking strategically about the future. The ACRL leadership and staff, the ACRL Conference, and ACRL members all contribute to the work that we do. I feel I have access to a vast network of experts across the country that I can easily call on for advice or feedback.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As the Director of Libraries I aim at bringing the “big picture” of the role of the library to faculty, students, and administrators as well as to the librarians and support staff. I also think and plan strategically around where we need to be going; what are the new trends in collections, services, faculty scholarship, and student learning that we need to support. My perspective tends to be global so I watch global library, information, and scholarship trends for new ideas that can be applied to our local setting.  I also work on building local and regional and national collaboration to support the library’s ability to support the college’s mission.

6. In your own words: Being an academic librarian is one of the most interesting and challenging jobs in today’s world. Every day presents new challenges and new opportunities. Academic librarians are connected to a global world of cutting edge research as well as the world’s history and culture. We work with faculty who are immersed in their research and teaching, and students from around the world as they are learning and developing their own spheres of study and interest  Our interests are both local and global, scholarly, and social. The digital environment and rapidly changing technology allow libraries to rethink their collections and services in new ways. Being an academic/research librarian is a perfect venue for continuous learning and engagement with ideas, technology, and people.

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.