Heather Lea Moulaison is Assistant Professor in the iSchool at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Heather has been an ACRL member since 2002 and is your ACRL member of the week for December 1, 2014.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Adventuresome, Personable, Driven.
2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently about halfway through The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick. I had wondered for a long time about the origins of alphabetic order and was surprised when this was the book to provide some initial answers. Indulging in audiobooks is one of my guilty pleasures; for non-work reading, I usually tend toward nonfiction, but have been listening recently to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit in French (Le Hobbit), read by an actor with an incredible gift for making the words come alive, Dominique Pinon.
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Empowering, Accessible, Enlightening.
4. What do you value about ACRL? The people. There is something so wonderful about librarians overall, but the members of ACRL are, in my experience, supportive, encouraging, and friendly. They are also some of the most intelligent people I have ever met. I owe a lot to ACRL librarians who have helped me navigate not only ALA, but also the profession in general.
5. What do you as an LIS educator contribute to your campus? Being an LIS educator in a university that values interdisciplinary allows me to engage with a variety of partners from across campus. For example, thanks to a research project in partnership with the library’s Head of Digital Initiatives, Felicity Dykas, we have been able to mentor and support an LIS Masters student learning to carry out research. Though my connections with the publishing branch of the campus bookstore, I am able to work with area self-publishers and to introduce library students to some of the technology supporting self-publishing. Finally, as an instructor for one of the core courses in our campus’s newly developed Digital Humanities certificate program, I will be supporting future work of our campus’s humanities students.
6. In your own words: Teaching in an ALA-accredited LIS program is incredibly rewarding. In some ways, it is the best of all possible worlds. I remain strongly tied to the profession through my collaborations with librarians on-campus and beyond. For example, with academic library partners, I have been developing a research agenda focusing on the role of authorship, have been engaged in thinking about and supporting digital humanities, and have incorporated a service learning component in both my Cataloging class and my Metadata class. As a professor, of course, I also get to work with library school students – some of the most dedicated, ambitious, curious, and enthusiastic people around. Their optimism is infectious, and not unlike most librarians, I can honestly say that I love what I do.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.