Member of the Week: Beth Stahr

Beth StahrBeth Stahr is Head of Reference at the Southeastern Louisiana University Sims Memorial Library in Hammond, Louisiana. Beth has been an ACRL member since 1998  and is your ACRL member of the week for June 30, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, analytical, focused.

2. What are you currently reading?  My reading list is somewhat scattered, but predictable by those who know me well. I’m reading Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America by François Weil. As a former professional genealogist who is still certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, I am intrigued by this arms-length view of Americans’ interest in family history. As a resident of southeastern Louisiana, I am always interested in scholarship relating to local lore, so I’m also reading A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau by Carolyn Morrow Long. And, at the suggestion of my director, for pure enjoyment, I just finished Help for the Haunted by John Searles on my Kindle.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Innovative, collaborative, enlightening.

4. What do you value about ACRL?  I appreciate ACRL’s push toward excellence in everything it attempts, from the ACRL conferences, to the publications, to online courses. The concept of quality permeates every offering.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Faculty librarians on our campus provide traditional services like information literacy instruction, reference assistance, and subject area expertise, but also contribute to the institutional fabric by service on Faculty Senate and on important university committees. I am honored to currently serve on the University Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Institutional Review Board, positions which allow me to share the library’s unique perspective. I also serve as the treasurer of the university’s chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, interacting with students, faculty, retired faculty and alumni. I’m convinced that these campus connections accentuate what we do in the library, and help remind teaching faculty of our impact on our campus.

6. In your own words:  The possibilities are unending–the variety of work, the constant change, the outreach and service and working with faculty across campus is so personally enriching. There is never a moment of workplace boredom, and academic librarians can find their personal identity in so many different ways.

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.