Jeff Hiroshi Gima

Jeff Hiroshi Gima headshot
Describe yourself in three words

Intercultural, questioning, connecting.

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

I’ve been studying ballet again after a 30-year “pause,” and my sister (who unlike me has real talent in ballet) sent me Nikolai Serebrennikov’s "Pas de Deux: A Textbook on Partnering" (https://upf.com/book.asp?id=9780813017686). It’s dry and technical, but I love how it’s leading me to think about partnerships even beyond ballet. Serebrennikov gets the dancer thinking about how the point of balance for partners is not about two independent points of balance. It’s a shared and dynamic point: you prepare for it based on where you’re both heading and what you’ll need from each other, it evolves over time, and you must constantly tend and actively search for it. I’m also listening to some great podcasts, including "Throughline" (https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510333/throughline) and "Your Undivided Attention" (https://humanetech.com/podcast/).

Describe ACRL in three words:

Community, compass, evolving.

What do you value about ACRL?

ACRL plays a needed role as a space and structure for building a shared vision for librarianship, and as a source of inspiration and tools for communicating and collaborating with stakeholders outside of librarianship, notably with faculty partners.

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

Most of my work involves directing a consortium that supports connections between libraries, technology and learning at international liberal arts institutions, but I also teach information literacy. Part of what I contribute to both my own campus and the consortium is a sensibility about how librarians take part in a mission of teaching and learning that’s shared in a fundamental way, through active partnership, with technologists and faculty.

In your own words

It’s always resonated with me the way Lorcan Dempsey describes libraries’ shift from “outside-in” roles, where they gather broadly distributed external resources to bring them within local reach, toward “inside-out” roles, where they help make unique resources of their own community accessible to everyone. Beyond the obvious sense, though, where libraries are increasingly helping their communities to create and manage their own intellectual content, “inside-out” librarianship can also be an opportunity for underrepresented voices and cultures across the globe. It’s an invitation for libraries to partner with local scholars, history and culture in ways that don’t necessarily fit into models that spring from other cultural contexts. Digital humanities in Lebanon or Egypt may need to mean something different than in the U.S., for example, and libraries should embrace that as partners in creating locally anchored digital scholarship. We’re in a time that calls for listening and authentic partnership -- on all levels, and certainly in librarianship.

Credentials:MSLIS

Title:Director, AMICAL Consortium

Workplace:The American University of Paris

Location:Paris, France