Meet Our Members

(Last names G-I)

Paul Gherman
Susan Gibbons
Todd Gilman
Dan Gjelten
Lori Goetsch
Michael Gorman
LaVerne Gray
Randy Burke Hensley
Damon D. Hickey
Gerald Holmes


    paul gherman

Paul Gherman
University Librarian
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee
ACRL member since 1985

1. Describe yourself in three words: conceptual, networker, listener

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Critical, connections, learning

3. Why did you join ACRL? It was the right thing to do.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? We are part of the community that creates new knowledge and new ideas for the advancement of society.

5. In your own words: I have been fortunate in my career to often be in the right place, at the right time, working with the right people, and having an exciting new idea to be brought into being. The emergence of the Internet and the advances in technology have combined to bring about unprecedented cooperation among libraries. Our professional associations give us the venue to bring us together and create the catalyst for change. We must embrace change and make it our ally to assure libraries of tomorrow will be as relevant as they are today.

    susan gibbons

Susan Gibbons
Associate Dean, Public Services & Collection Development
River Campus Libraries
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
ACRL members since 1995

1. Describe yourself in three words: inquisitive, stubborn, unconventional

2. Describe ACRL in three words: networking, timely, targeted

3. Why did you join ACRL? I have found the ALA to be too broad and too large for my needs. The ACRL provides me with an outlet through which to network and collaborate with colleagues dealing with the same academic library issues as I. When trying to navigate my way through the Annual and Midwinter ALA conferences, I know that I can use the ACRL presentation sponsorship as a guidepost for the sessions that will likely be useful and meaningful to me.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? Academic librarianship has become an area of constant flux. Digital technologies are radically altering the way that students create, engage, and assimilate knowledge, and it is the job of academic libraries to accompany and assist students on this journey. I can't think of a more exciting, dynamic field.

5. In your own words: The boundaries of academic librarianship are become much more porous. The library is no longer a physical building on campus, but a key part of a nebulous cluster of services and programs that provide the foundation for teaching, learning and research on campus. Also in this cluster are writing centers, academic technology services, tutoring programs and student life services, among others. If we are able to effectively break down the organizational barriers, students will soon be able to seek assistance and help and all of the appropriate resources that the university/college has will be brought to bear seamlessly.

    todd gilman

Todd Gilman
Librarian for Literature in English
Sterling Memorial Library
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
ACRL member since 2000

1. Describe yourself in three words: Questioning. Buoyant. Thorough.

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Supportive. Proactive. Collaborative.

3. Why did you join ACRL? I joined because I knew it to be a first-rate professional association for academic librarians, one that would help me advance in my career — and it has.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? It's a wonderful privilege to be able to participate in the building of a great library as I do at Yale, to provide timely and responsive service to students and faculty, and to participate in an essential and meaningful way in the educational mission of a university.

5. In your own words: My involvement with ACRL through LES and, more recently, WESS, has helped me mature as an academic librarian. I hope my role as advocate for the profession of academic librarianship through recruitment and publication has helped give a little back to ALA and ACRL.

    dan gjelten

Dan Gjelten
Director of Libraries
University of St. Thomas
Saint Paul, MN
ACRL member since 1991

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, competitive, friendly

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Smart, active, challenging

3. Why did you join ACRL? I joined because I valued the opportunities it creates for professional growth and networking. I also appreciate the publications, which were entirely in print when I joined, but now include the blog and podcasts. In addition, I consider the national conference one of the best available to the academic library community.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? Being a central part of the educational mission of a college or university is very exciting. Helping to produce graduates who are effective users of information in a technology rich world is a powerful mission for the academic library. Further, the campus library is increasingly important as community space - the "third place" on campus - not the dorm room, not the class room, but a wonderful combination of academic and social space which should be fundamentally about enhancing teaching and learning. The libraries' responsibility to develop content to support teaching and research continues to be very important, even as that content should now be primarily electronic. Finally, it is energizing to be collaborating with new partners on campus - our colleagues in IT, web and media services and technical support as we all make sense of and experiment with new technologies.

5. In your own words: Some have called the academic library the canary in the coal mine of higher education. We were, in many ways, first to adopt information technologies in our daily work, from the early days of online searching and through the many iterations of electronic information resources. We were often the first on campus to use the world wide web as an information resource and the first to design web pages for our organizations. We have been among the first on campus to observe and respond to the new patterns of information seeking by a new generation of students. To the extent that academic libraries can adapt our organizational structures, our physical structures, and our roles and relationships in ways that enable us to continue to provide content and services that support the academic mission, we may very well model the future of higher education itself. There is a bright future for the academic library, but getting to it will require creativity, courage and energy by all who work in our field. The library must be more than a symbol and more than a museum. It can be vital and essential, it can be the intellectual and technological crossroads of information resources, teaching and learning. It is my continuing goal to help guide the library gracefully into that bright future.

    lori goetsch

Lori Goetsch
Kansas State University Libraries
Manhattan, Kansas
ACRL member since 1985

1. Describe yourself in three words: fun-loving, self-motivated, intuitive

2. Describe ACRL in three words: leadership, education, advocacy

3. Why did you join ACRL? I joined ACRL about 20+ years ago for the professional development opportunities it offered; specifically, I had gotten engaged with the Women's Studies Discussion Group in its early days, and I wanted to find ways to get involved and serve that group as it shaped its future. I've stayed a member for much the same reason. There are always new ways to get involved and stay active in the association because it strives to be responsive to member needs.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? I value the opportunity to engage with students and their education, both inside the classroom and out. I love to see the different ways they interact with our staff and services, and the challenges they present us with as we strive to remain relevant in their intellectual and cultural lives on campus.

5. In your own words: I have made great lifelong friends and have had some great times as an ACRL member. The ACRL conference every other year is one of my favorite personal and professional activities—it's one of the few conferences where I can actually attend programs, and the programming is outstanding!! I've also been mentored by a number of wonderful, creative, and caring leaders in the association. They have given me opportunities and help me build my skills and confidence. Their example has been encouraging and motivating to me as I have advanced in my own career.

    michael gorman

Michael Gorman
Dean of Library Services
Henry Madden Library
California State University, Fresno
Fresno, California
ACRL member since 1988

1. Describe yourself in three words: Librarian. Reader. Grandfather.

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Inclusive. Educational. Involved.

3. Why did you join ACRL? It is the division of ALA for academic librarians.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? Our role in collecting, giving access to, preserving, and passing on the human record

5. In your own words: I have always been a proponent of professional associations and believe that it is part of the duties of a librarian to support the associations relevant to his or her work, initially by being a member and later by being professionally involved ion all the ways she or he can.

    laverne gray

LaVerne Gray
Assistant Reference Librarian
Richard J. Daley Library
University of Illinois at Chicago
ACRL member since 2006

1. Describe yourself in three words: Encouraging, thoughtful, go-getter

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative, collaborative, welcoming

3. Why did you join ACRL? I joined ACRL to engage with a community of professionals with similar interests and goals.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? Academic librarianship provides the opportunity to participate in the development of student learning and to supplement the research activities within higher education.

5. In your own words: I find academic librarianship a dynamic and collaborative environment. Though all areas in academic libraries are interdependent, I am particularly drawn to Information Literacy. I believe a focus on service to student/faculty learning and research is at the center of what I do. I never doubt that I made the right choice in becoming an academic librarian

    randy hensley

Randy Burke Hensley
Student Learning Programs & Services
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii
ACRL member since 1985

1. Describe yourself in three words: Enthusiastic, student-centered,

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Community, collaboration, expertise

3. Why did you join ACRL?
My reason for joining ACRL has stayed my reason for continuing to be a member of ACRL: opportunity. The opportunity to work on projects that build my professional skill set. The opportunity to stay not only informed about but involved in emerging professional trends. And the opportunity to meet and work with my professional heroes and make new heroes that inspire, teach, and provoke me into thinking in new and deeper ways.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship?
The possibility that personal effort can facilitate positive changes in the lives of students.

5. In your own words: I was attracted to librarianship because of the potential to live my life in a state of constant learning. What I received was that and the ability to play a role in the teaching and learning enterprise for students.

    damon hickey

Damon D. Hickey
Director of Libraries
College of Wooster
Wooster, Ohio
ACRL member since 1990

1. Describe yourself in three words: teacher, companion, guide

2. Describe ACRL in three words: friends, colleagues, ideas

3. Why did you join ACRL? Because I'm an academic librarian!

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? The chance to help others learn and grow while also learning and growing myself.

5. In your own words: Academic library administration has been my professional home for more than 30 years. For most of my career, I've been fortunate to have worked in liberal-arts college libraries, where I've had the chance to interact with students and to get to know faculty colleagues across many disciplines. Although I've been a library administrator, I've also had faculty status and always thought of myself as a teacher, even when I wasn't in the classroom. The three words I chose to describe myself—teacher, companion, and guide—work for me equally well as a college library administrator, a college librarian, a classroom teacher, or an academic adviser.

For me, ACRL has always been spelled CLS—The College Libraries Section. CLS is where I've found friends, colleagues, and ideas that have enriched me both professionally and personally. Academic librarianship, especially in a small college library, is a great career for anyone who loves students, ideas, teaching, guiding, colleagueship, scholarship, and watching and helping young people to grow and mature and step out on their own. And ACRL (especially CLS) is THE organization for academic librarians!

    gerald holmes

Gerald Holmes
Reference and Instructional Services
University Libraries
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC
Joined ACRL in 1992

1. Describe yourself in three words: imaginative, pragmatic, and principled

2. Describe ACRL in three words: enriching, participatory, and challenging

3. Why did you join ACRL? Early in my career, when I was interested in learning about academic librarianship, I was advised to attend AFAS and other ACRL programs at ALA. I decided then to join ACRL and have been active in ALA for over 20 years. One highlight for me was serving on the Local Arrangements Committee for the ACRL National Conference in Charlotte. Looking back, joining ACRL was one of the best decisions I have made. I have enjoyed my career working in academic libraries.

4. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? I value working with colleagues who consistently strive to improve library services and resources. It has been an inspiration for me to witness librarians working as a team to achieve common goals. I have seen students and faculty benefit from the creativity and persistence that many academic librarians demonstrate through their work. I value and enjoy the opportunity to maintain and improve library services to academic communities.

5. In your own words: Academic Librarians work in an environment that requires them to learn. Maintaining a viable collection can be challenging. I embrace our important role on campus as we serve as information providers and as teachers. I also welcome our significant opportunity to recruit and inspire a new generation of information professionals. What an opportunity we have!