Heidi Steiner Burkhardt is Head of Digital and Distance Education Services at the Norwich University Kreitzberg Library in Northfield, Vermont. Andy Burkhardt is Assistant Director – Digital Strategy at the Champlain College Miller Information Commons in Burlington, Vermont. Heidi has been ACRL member since 2009 and Andy since 2008. They are your ACRL Members of the Week for February 10, 2014.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Heidi: Conscientious, dedicated, genuine. Andy: Curiosity, humor, dinosaurs.
2. What are you reading right now?
Heidi: I am working my way through Letting Go of Words and nerding out pretty hard on that. Otherwise I stick mostly to fiction and am not ashamed of escaping in fluff (currently The Engagements).
Andy: I read mostly non-fiction for fun. I’m currently reading Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath. Their writing is really good at giving examples and drawing on research in an easily readable way. I’ve also started Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Heidi: Best conferences ever. Andy: Professional opportunities abound.
4. What do you value about ACRL?
Heidi: The easy answer is that ACRL helps me keep up with trends and issues and provides valuable publications and standards for use in my work. Bigger than that, being an active ACRL member has helped me identify my professional passions and enabled connecting with amazing colleagues across the country.
Andy: I’ve been able to publish in C&RL News and present at the national conferences. I’ve developed connections with librarians across the country and world. I’ve attended Immersion and learned a lot about teaching and myself. And I’ve been able to serve in the regional ACRL chapter. ACRL has provided numerous opportunities for me to grow as a professional and to give back.
5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus?
Heidi: My goal is to bring an unabashedly user-focused mentality to campus. I am 100% dedicated to our students having a positive experience and that attitude is something that needs to permeate. In my role, I oversee all digital services and am working to build a culture of constantly considering usability and promoting thoughtful innovation in my library. I focused on serving fully online students for over four years and that experience is very valuable in how I see library services as a whole. So I hope as an academic librarian I am helping shape a positive experience with the library, technology, research and the University for our students.
Andy: I try to bring an element of fun to the library and the work that we do on campus, whether it’s coming up with creative programming or integrating humor into the classroom. I also regularly find creative ways of using technology to meet our needs in teaching and outreach. We are regularly trying something new or undertaking some pilot project. It’s also important to me to build connections. I am involved with groups across campus about issues that interest me such as diversity and inclusion or the community garden. Through my involvement I’m able to identify partners and build greater awareness of the library, it’s resources, and it’s services.
6. In your own words:
Heidi: I feel fortunate to have found a profession (and luckily a first professional job) that allows me to explore and try so many different things. Academic librarianship is full of opportunities and ideas and change, which can be intimidating, but also empowering. When I look back on the five years since I finished my MLIS, thinking about my work and the people I have been so fortunate to meet (including Andy), nothing really compares to what academic librarianship has afforded me.
Andy: I’ve always been a really curious individual. I have a lot of interests (technology, biking, philosophy, gardening, psychology, etc.) and am constantly looking for new ideas from a variety of disciplines. Being an academic librarian has allowed me to develop a career around my passions of personal growth and technology and has provided me the opportunity to share it with others. Higher education is awesome and I enjoy being around other people who love learning. It’s also kinda amazing that being a librarian led me to Heidi (we met through her colleague with whom I attended grad school). Life has a way of taking some unexpected yet surprisingly perfect turns.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.