Circle of Friends: Irene M. H. Herold

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.

Irene M. H. HeroldIrene M. H. Herold is the University Librarian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii. She currently serves on the ACRL Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large (2011-2015) and has been a Friend of ACRL since 2009.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Joyful, creative, contributing.

2. Why do you support the ACRL 75th Anniversary scholarship campaign? I am always inspired by the engaging work of ACRL.  Further, I interpreted minutes from a recent report that stated, “Show what you stand for — connect with a cause,” as a call to action.  There is no better cause or action than supporting my own profession and helping librarians with their professional development.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you?  My father, who passed away last year, served on numerous boards — from community college to hospital to community service organizations — and gave generously to his alma mater and in support of children’s charities.  My service, and the opportunity to contribute in a fiduciary way, feels like continuing the thread of community engagement modeled by my father.  When I give or serve, I reflect the responsibility my father saw in contributing to the community and feel close to him.

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way? There have been so many, from Larry Hardesty, Mignon Adams, and Tom Kirk who contributed interviews on association leadership development to my dissertation, to learning about William Moffett.  For my response, I travel back to the first ACRL Section officer who placed me on a committee, Lynne M. Rudasill.  When I contacted her and asked about serving on a committee, we both noted that I no longer was a government documents librarian, although still interested in the topics that the Law and Political Science Section (LPSS) covered.  Lynne agreed to place me on the LPSS program planning committee, but told me to continue to seek out committee work with other sections too.  Due to this, when Robin Wagner was the College Libraries Section (CLS) Vice Chair, I did not hesitate to contact her and talk about service with CLS, too.  Without Lynne’s encouragement and coaching I might have missed this opportunity to connect more broadly within the academic library community.

I have been so fortunate to have been active with two sections, serving on committees, and now through my ACRL Board Director-at-Large position as liaison to three sections (Distance Learning, Literatures in English, and Women and Gender Studies) plus an ACRL division-level committee, Research and Scholarly Environment.  Lynne’s encouragement was a turning point in a new-to-association-work librarian’s connection with ACRL.

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the next 75 years? To paraphrase Pogo, “I have met ACRL and ACRL is us!”  We will continue our landmark work in advocacy, information fluencies, national conferences and pertinent programming, e-learning, leadership and leadership development, mentoring and training programs, workshops and pre-conferences, career and job services, and building the knowledge base through publishing.  I also expect ACRL to continue to be taking the pulse of academic and research librarianship and responding to the changing needs of the profession in a nimble and active way.

6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? ACRL listens to, and acts upon, information from not only its membership, but also higher education, in delivery of high quality and relevant member support.