Member of the Week: Brianna Marshall

Brianna MarshallBrianna Marshall is Digital Curation Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin. Brianna has been an ACRL member since 2012  and is your ACRL member of the week for June 16, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Positive, analytical, pragmatic.

2. What are you currently reading?  I am re-reading Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. The third and final book in the series, MaddAddam, came out in the last few months and I can’t wait to read it. Now that I’m done scouring the web for job ads my availability has really opened up, so I am eagerly welcoming reading for pleasure back into my life!

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Community, connections, collaboration.

4. What do you value about ACRL? My first real introduction to ACRL was attending the 2013 conference with the generous help of an ACRL scholarship. I’m a big picture thinker, so I was really inspired by the opportunity to compare what was happening at different institutions, especially in terms of digital scholarship and data curation. ACRL 2013 confirmed that I want to work in an academic library a thousand times over. Although I had attended several other conferences in the past, I felt a strong connection to the community there. Now I’m looking into ways to become more involved with ACRL moving forward.

5. What do you as a librarian/ technologist contribute to your campus? While pursuing my MLS and MIS at Indiana University (IU), I was lucky to be able to work in various roles within the IU Libraries: Science Data Curation Assistant in the Scholarly Communication Department, Digital Library Research Assistant for Digital Collections Services, and Project Assistant for the Avalon Media System. In an average week I got to work one-on-one with colleagues, researchers, and students; write about digital projects; and tinker with different technologies until they worked (or until they broke – which is just another step toward figuring out how to make them work, really). I did my part to further the progress of the many amazing digital projects happening there.

I just started this month as the Digital Curation Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). I can’t pinpoint specifics about my impact yet, seeing as I’m only a few weeks into the job, but I will say that I’m most excited when I can convince people that the library is relevant to them. People make assumptions about what the library is and does; we need to be proactive in communicating and marketing our spaces and services to the academic community. If we don’t take an active role in shaping people’s ideas about the library, it will fail to be a connector central to campus life. Although there are many technical aspects of my job, I am a believer in getting enthusiastic faces out in front of faculty, staff, and students, so this is something I hope to prioritize in my position. Institutional repositories and data services add incredible value but without relationships that lead to use and support, you aren’t going to get very far.

6. In your own words:  As an undergraduate I was drawn to my campus library because it was equally a place for guidance, inspiration, collaboration, or solitude — it all depended on my needs at the time. Now as I look at things from a librarian/technologist perspective, I still find myself considering library spaces and services. How can we ensure that the library is a place where people want to be? Even if a user never steps foot in the library, how can we develop services that are useful? How can we leverage technology to enrich users’ lives? These are huge issues that bring more questions than answers but it’s a worthy challenge for the profession.

I’ll be honest: There are days when I am overwhelmed by how much I don’t know. However, I’ve been really encouraged by how helpful my mentors and the broader library community have been. Whether I’m looking for advice or support, colleagues have been very accessible, with many of the connections coming via Twitter or as a byproduct of conference meetups. The morale boost I get from having an amazing network helped me bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm back to my work at IU and I suspect the same will be true for UW.

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.