Member of the Week: Daniel Ransom

Daniel RansomDaniel Ransom is Librarian for Research and Electronic Resources at the Holy Names University Paul J. Cushing Library in Oakland, California. Daniel has been an ACRL member since 2011, is a 2014 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for April 28, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Tall, verbose, outgoing.

2. What are you currently reading? Recently I picked up The Silk Road: A New History by Yale professor Valerie Hansen. I’m interested in library history, and there’s a chapter on the Dunhuang Caves in Western China, which contained thousands of scrolls and one of the world’s oldest printed books, the Diamond Sutra. Most of the contents dated back over a millennia. I’ve also been skimming through Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish by Lewis Pulsipher, since I’m interested in ways to gamify library instruction and thought I might discover a few ideas. My last fiction was Michael Chabon’s Yiddish Policeman’s Union, which I really liked.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Helpful, collaborative, insightful.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL delivers for me. I have learned so much from its conferences and publications, and most importantly I’ve made great connections with other librarians. ACRL members are interested in sharing the best ideas and in providing each other inspiration, so that that we can implement new approaches at our own institutions. I’m still a relative newcomer to librarianship, but I’ve been welcomed with open arms and my own thoughts and opinions are valued.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I work for a small college, so I get to wear many hats. I spend a lot of time with students, either in front of classes or working one-on-one at our research help desk. I also get to help manage our collection, both in the online resources we license and print book purchasing within my liaison areas. I also perform a lot of outreach with faculty, and that’s a great aspect of my job: I learn so much about our students and their needs from even informal discussions with our professors, and I can use that knowledge to improve our instructional strategies.

6. In your own words:  Being a reference and instruction librarian (plus Jack of many other trades) is the best of all worlds for me. I love helping students and I value whatever contribution I can make to their success. Sometimes the library is loud, and sometimes it’s quiet, but the best moments are when there’s a little hum in the air; students are coming in and out, work is getting done, questions are being asked, everyone is busy, but everyone is focused.

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.