Meet Our Members
(Last names D-F)
Merrie A. Davidson
University of Florida
ACRL member since 2003
1. Describe yourself in three words: enthusiastic, wacky, caring
2. Describe ACRL in three words: creative, productive, helpful
3. Why did you join ACRL? Wanted to learn as much as I possibly can from people who have learned as much as they possibly could.
4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? You get to learn and teach without grading. There is no end to what you can contribute or create.
5. In your own words: Embrace the stereotype! It's only negative because the world is sexist and ageist.
Trevor A. Dawes
Princeton University Library
ACRL member since 1991
1. Describe yourself in three words:Hard-working, social, grounded
2. Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative, committed, traditional
3. Why did you join ACRL? I joined ACRL because it is THE association for academic libraries and librarians. The programs and opportunities offered through ACRL are unique and are designed to meet the needs of this particular group. ACRL also allows opportunity to network with fellow academic librarians. Even as ACRL grows in both its programs and offerings (e.g. now the expanded advocacy role) the focus remains on the core constituency.
4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? I enjoy being in a learning environment. I think one can learn in any environment, but there is certainly something stimulating about being in the intellectual center of an academic institution - the library.
5. In your own words: I think it is important for librarians to demonstrate, or rather continue to demonstrate, their value to the academic enterprise. I have been involved recently in some discussions about the removal of the word "Library" from the doctoral degree granted from my alma mater. I find it distressing that, for a school that was founded as the Library School (though the name has now changed to include Communications and Information) it now believes it necessary to remove that very important word from the degree. What does this say about the value placed on the library and on librarians by this institution? Have we done enough to show how relevant we are? Are we, in fact, relevant? If we believe we substantively contribute to the teaching and research missions of our institutions, then we need to be more vigilant in showing just what our contributions are. I therefore challenge each person reading this message to think of ways in which our contributions can be demonstrated and how we can communicate this value to our administrators on campus.
Aaron W. Dobbs
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
ACRL member since 2000
1. Describe yourself in three words:Strategic, Multi-talented, Activist
2. Describe ACRL in three words: Informative, Aware, Collaboration
3. Why did you join ACRL? At first I joined because I felt I should. I maintain my membership because I find the publications (and now the blog) thought provoking and because the people involved in ACRL are committed, intelligent, and involved in areas of professional and personal interest.
4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? Academic libraries exist to connect researchers to all data and information, especially from the more obscure (yet authoritative) sources. Sure, anyone can search the intrawebs and find stuff; but, who else will provide specific, on-topic search results with a low false-drop count in a reasonable amount of time for no direct charge to the user? The best part of academic librarianship is finding the impossible-for-the-student-to-find answer and the student's softly breathed "whoa" upon receipt.
5. In your own words: Libraries and academia are in a roiling state of flux these days. Both institutions have been fighting to remain as, or even more, relevant as we perceive we were fifty or more years ago. At this moment, the governmental policy arena is where the fight is taking place. As an ACRL Legislative Advocate, I keep up to date on these policy "discussions" and serve as a voice for libraries, especially those in academia. I speak with legislators and legislative aides, highlighting the benefits and services we provide to our students and society as a whole. More of us need to be activists, explaining why our services need funding, why every dollar of library funding returns more than a dollar's worth of benefits to our institutions.
Brooklyn College Library of the City University of New York
Brooklyn, New York
ACRL member since 2004
1. Describe yourself in three words:Unexpected, connected, frank
2. Describe ACRL in three words: Necessary, thoughtful, thought-provoking
3. Why did you join ACRL? I joined ACRL as much to show my support for the organization as to gain support from the organization. As an academic librarian I have to see it as my association and the one to join. No choice. On the other hand, after taking some time to get involved and looking down the many paths of ACRL, it becomes more and more clear to me that ACRL is not just the academic library association to join because it is just the one there is, but ACRL is clearly an organization of deep-thinking, committed people who understand the issues that are unique to academic libraries.
4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? It's great having a job that allows me to help people find out what they need to know. The particular environment I am in has also been very supportive of looking at new ways to do our work. This is what keeps me thinking about new approaches to connecting people and information and keeps me interested in continuing to be a librarian.
5. In your own words: Librarians and libraries need to be open to new ways of doing business. Academic environments challenge us to think beyond the status quo and are often the birthplace of major shifts in public thinking. Academic libraries and librarians can be leaders in shaping public thinking on how information is accessed and shared.
Teresa (Terri) Fishel
DeWitt Wallace Library
St. Paul, MN 55105
ACRL member since 1985
1. Describe yourself in three words:optimist, persistent, motivator
2. Describe ACRL in three words: educators, advocates, essential
3. Why did you join ACRL? I joined ACRL in order to network with others in my profession. Through various ACRL related activities I have developed several close friendships with other librarians who have continued to help me learn and explore as new technologies were introduced. We learn so much by sharing our experiences with each other and helping each other stay abreast of new developments in our rapidly changing environment. In addition, programs offered by ACRL have not only contributed to my own professional development, they have also helped me with mentoring younger professionals who are becoming leaders in my library.
4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? I most value having an opportunity to do a job that I enjoy. Although as a Director, I don't get to do it as often as I used to, one of the pleasures of this job is working with undergraduate students and having an opportunity to make a difference in their lives. I still really enjoy a library instruction session with first year students who get interested in the availability of information beyond using Google. I also enjoy being able to work with a student to problem solve a difficult research question. Whether working with students who are employees in the library, or working with them on research assignments, I've been fortunate to get to know some remarkable young people including a number of students who have gone on to become library professionals. Seeing a number of them blossom in their own careers has been particularly rewarding.
5. In your own words: I began working in libraries in 1975. Academic libraries have changed so much in the past three decades, but these changes have created new opportunities and allowed me to develop in ways that I never envisioned when I began this profession. I also have been fortunate to be able to work with some exceptional colleagues who have learned to not only embrace the relentless pace of change, but who now actively participate in planning and preparing a shared vision for our future. This ability to approach change in a positive manner developed over time, but developed partially as a result of broad staff participation in a variety of ACRL sponsored programs and national conferences. ACRL has been an excellent partner in providing us with opportunities that have helped us prepare and plan strategically for our future.
Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library
Gustavus Adolphus College
St. Peter, Minnesota
ACRL member for 16 years
1. Describe yourself in three words:A curious dabbler
2. Describe ACRL in three words: A valuable community
3. Why did you join ACRL? As the division of ALA that most closely aligns with my professional path, it made sense to sign up. I want to keep up with developments - and membership gets me a discount at the national conference!
4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? I like the way our work supports learning. It's an enviably clear focus for our efforts, and it really matters, whether the learning is being done by a research team discovering something new or whether it's a first year student discovering something old and valuable. Everything we do - from choosing materials for the collection to designing space for individual exploration to Web design - can be seen through that lens of learning.
5. In your own words: We live in fascinating times. Just as the printing press was an agent of change, so is the Internet, and it's changing everything from the way we publish and share information to the ways we create, invent, and communicate. This shift makes our work interesting - and it raises a host of ethical and political issues that we are uniquely positioned to address with integrity. We can play a significant role in making the tools for making meaning available to all. But we need to find ways to map our timeless values to our every-day decisions.
Vice Provost for University Libraries
University of Connecticut
ACRL member since 1985
1. Describe yourself in three words:Listening, Learning, Laughing
2. Describe ACRL in three words: Topical, Timely, Targeted
3. Why did you join ACRL? College and Research Libraries is my work and ACRL keeps me up-to-date.
4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? At the end of the day, we can feel good about our work.
5. In your own words: Academic librarianship has afforded me opportunities I never imagined. ACRL and other professional organizations have helped me grow professionally as a lifelong learner.
Hatcher Graduate Library
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Member since 2006
1. Describe yourself in three words:Empowering. Appropriate. Teacher.
2. Describe ACRL in three words: Forum. Sharing. Learning.
3. Why did you join ACRL? I liked the focus it provided over ALA's broad coverage of all types of libraries. The publications ACRL puts out (C&RL News, C&RL) contain timely and interesting articles. It provides opportunities for networking with other academic librarians and opportunities for professional growth.
4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? Perhaps it's just my institution (the University of Michigan), but it provides me with colleagues and a support structure for experimentation in reference services, the opportunity to diversify the work that I do (my daily schedule is not routine).
5. In your own words: Academic librarianship involves instruction; from one-shot fifty-minute course-integrated instruction sessions to semester-long credit-bearing classes to online distance learning, the librarian is often placed in the role of teacher. Librarians are rarely prepared to handle classrooms or develop instructional materials and curriculum. It is my firm belief that the librarian has an increasing need for professional development opportunities in educational strategies and theory. So much has been done in discovering how people learn by cognitive psychologists, educational experts, and educational practitioners—we need to learn from these people to improve the way we carry out our instructional missions in the library.