I am ACRL Member of the Week

Meet ACRL Member: Emily Zerrenner


Emily Zerrenner, MS/LIS, she/her
Research and Instructional Services Librarian
Salisbury University
Salisbury, MD

Describe yourself in three words

Kind, ambitious, responsible.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)?

Right now I am reading "They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us" by Hanif Abdurraqib, and "Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation" by Kristin Kobes Du Mez. The next on the list is "After Sappho" by Selby Wynn Schwartz!

Describe ACRL in three words

Connected, supportive, curious.

What do you value about ACRL?

As a first-year librarian, I really value the community that ACRL provides. I have a lot to learn as someone who isn't even a year out of graduate school yet, and ACRL provides so many opportunities to do so from some wonderful folks in the field. Attending the ACRL 2023 conference this year was a great glimpse into what I hope for in my own future - presenting my own research and ideas, connecting with old and new colleagues alike, and discovering a new city.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus?

I am a Research and Instructional Services Librarian, and some of my liaison areas include Exercise Science, Physical Education, Mathematics, Public Health, Environmental Studies, and Health Science, to name a few. This involves the usual one-shot instruction sessions, but I am thrilled to be working with professors who want to involve the library more deeply in their students' learning outcomes. I meet with students for research consultations too. The other part of my job that I love is that I'm the Research Help Desk Coordinator; this means I make the desk's schedule, and I am the supervisor for about 4-5 student workers in a given semester who help cover the desk when librarians aren't around.

In your own words

When I was in high school, I actually got "librarian" on one of those career quizzes you take in freshman year or so. It's also listed on my astrology birth chart as a potential job, weirdly! I know back then I immediately thought: "oh, no, I won't do that, it requires a master's degree." As I progressed through my undergrad degree though, I kept coming back to librarianship as a potential career - both as a library student worker, but also as a writing consultant where I discovered a love of working directly with students. Getting to do that now on a regular basis, both with students in my classes and my student workers, is a joy. Reference is also something I really value as a librarian; the puzzle of figuring out 1) what a patron's asking and 2) where to find the answer is a very satisfying process. Looking back, it makes sense why I gravitated towards this line of work; I just didn't know this was an career option initially. I am grateful to the librarians at Grand Valley State University for introducing me to this job path.