Circle of Friends: Julia M. Gelfand

The 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.

Julia A. GelfandJulia M. Gelfand is Applied Sciences and Engineering Librarian at the University of California-Irvine. Julia serves on the ACRL Board of Directors as Director at Large and has been a Friend of ACRL since 2000.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Committed, adventurous, intense.

2. Why do you support the Friends of ACRL? Because ACRL has supported me in my career and it is time to return the favor and pave the way for future generations. ACRL helped all along the way: ACRL provided answers to questions I could not ask or find answers to at work; provided leadership opportunities; ways to share information; learn from experiences of other libraries and librarians; opened the door to international opportunities, provided a circle of special colleagues and friends.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you?  I am a news junkie and survive on a heavy fix of 24×7 talk radio and don’t read much fiction.

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way? There are several library directors who adopted me through my career and nurtured me in ways that provided extra confidence and assurance that I was going down the right path with ideas and interests I wanted to pursue.  Specifically, Carla Stoffle took the time to encourage me to become active in ACRL section life, committee work, conference and program planning, and publishing and for those efforts I have been most grateful.

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the near future (or the long term)? Be able to influence and partner with many disciplinary and publishing societies about the important and increasing role of open access.

6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? ACRL is inclusive, stays relevant and ahead of the curve, emphasizing issues of the day without being trend obsessive and able to quickly flip when things pass or lose vitality.