Meet the Candidates: John Culshaw

Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2014 ALA/ ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2014 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate each weekday from March 11 — 18. Complete details on candidates for ACRL offices are available on the election website. Make sure to vote for the candidates of your choice starting March 19.

JohnCulshawJohn Culshaw is University Librarian at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. John is a 2014 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Director-at-Large.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Engaging, optimistic, thoughtful.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your mobile device)?  For pleasure, I’m reading December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World by Craig Shirley and Armistead Maupin’s The Days of Anna Madrigal.  And, for work, I’m reading Jeffrey Pfeffer’s Power: Why Some People Have It — and Others Don’t.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Essential, community, exceptional.

4. Why do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL’s inclusiveness and breadth of possibilities.  Whether you are a single librarian at a community college library or one of dozens of librarians at a large research university, there is a place for you in ACRL no matter your specific interest.  As an organization, ACRL embraces standards, promotes research and scholarship, provides professional development opportunities, and sustains communities of colleagues for all of its members.  Through its committees, sections, chapters, discussion groups, interest groups, and biennial conference, ACRL provides scores of opportunities for every member to be involved, develop leadership skills, and build networks of colleagues all in support of improving access to information and learning, teaching, and research in higher education.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I provide leadership in information services on my campus and ensure that we are providing the best possible library spaces, collections, and services to students and faculty.  I also set a vision for the future for these areas as well as for new and pressing concerns such as the changing scholarly communication environment and data management and preservation.

6. In your own words: Like many others, I developed an interest in librarianship after working in the library as an undergraduate.  My mentors were so important in providing support and helping me to build focus over the course of my career which, of course, has included long-time participation in ACRL!  Now, as University Librarian, I increasingly play the role of mentor.  I embrace the importance of that role and it is gratifying to help others as they aspire to fantastic careers in academic librarianship and service within ACRL.