Member of the Week: Pia M. Hunter

Pia M. HunterPia M. Hunter is head of Reserve/Media and Microforms at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Pia has been an ACRL member since 2012 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 18, 2013.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Inquisitive. Rigorous. Persuasive.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your mobile device)? As a poet, I am always working through a collection of verses, and currently I am enjoying Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera.  My research interests are fair use for instruction and open access in academic libraries, and I am especially interested in fair use advocacy and the use of intellectual property law to preserve cultural histories.  I am also reading Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi and The Copyright Thing Doesn’t Work Here: Adinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana by Boatema Boateng.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Collaborative. Innovative. Engaged.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Librarians seek to cultivate knowledge and innovate systems.  As such, we are constantly learning and sharing with other librarians, the people we serve, and anyone who will listen. ACRL serves as a forum where we shape ideas and nurture them into reality.  Through the organization, we are enhancing how people access and use information, and we are designing the future of knowledge.  Most importantly, I appreciate the people I’ve met through ACRL.  When I connect with other professionals, I feel welcomed and valued, and I get an answer for every question I ask.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to the profession?  The UIC Library has given me the opportunity to explore my interests and develop new skills, and I share what I learn with the campus through innovating library services and ensuring that users can access library materials.  Staff in the Reserve/Media Unit help instructors organize and make content available for students, but I am most proud to note that our team is highly regarded on campus. Each person brings a unique and necessary skill set, and their flexibility and dedication has helped us transform reserve and media services and become a valued resource to the campus.

6. In your own words: I could go into detail about the day to day, but the purest answer is that academic librarianship allows me to reach out and support students and faculty in ways I could not envision when I was choosing a career.  I enjoy helping people, I am a bit of a gadget junkie, I love new technology, and I have been able to incorporate all of that into my daily activities.  Everything I do in the library serves a larger mission, and I feel as though I am making a genuine contribution and helping people realize their academic and personal goals.  And although I didn’t realize this early on, that is the aspect of the profession that I enjoy most.

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.