Kelli Anne Gecawich

Kelli Anne Gecawich headshot
Describe yourself in three words

Creative, resourceful, dynamic.

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

Currently listening to "Someday, Someday Maybe" by Lauren Graham. She narrates all her audiobooks and I love listening to Lorelai Gilmore tell me a story! And, if we're being completely truthful, I just started graduate school again in evaluation, assessment, research and learning so my reading list currently also consists of a learning theory and an educational research textbook.

Describe ACRL in three words:

Helping librarians grow.

What do you value about ACRL?

The continued opportunity to connect with others in my field, keep up to date on trends for academic libraries, and just being able to feel like I'm a part of a group of people who just get it. It's connected me to great trainings and resources, as well as other awesome library people, and just having the opportunity to learn from so many people in different places in the field is invaluable to me. That’s what I think is the thing that I value the most about the ACRL: the mentorship & the community. As someone who only recently received my MLIS (I graduated in May 2022) and is really starting to plan out the next steps of my career, I am grateful that I have been involved with the organization early so that I can get connected to other academic librarians and learn from them as much as I can, who will help me through all stages of my career. And librarians are such welcoming individuals that it makes starting out in this field easy!

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

Much of my job involves overseeing the checkout equipment that we loan to our students on our campus, making sure that it's all up to date and in working order. And staffing our Circulation desk certainly gets me a lot of face time with our students, and helping them with their needs, technology or otherwise. (One thing that I love about working in Circulation is when I'm able to connect a student with a book or resource that they really needed or answer a tricky/niche question that might take a little bit of research to answer [further demonstrating that librarians are truly magic!]) Probably my favorite contribution to my campus is called #ProjectWhiteboard, an initiative inspired by other ethnographic studies in academic libraries, such as the one at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Richmond, the University of Tennessee-Martin, or the University of Central Arkansas, where we have repurposed some of the mobile whiteboards on our Armstrong and Statesboro campuses to ask library visitors weekly questions that range from light-hearted to more serious. I get a lot of positive feedback on the boards, and notice some students making sure to stop and read or write on the board when they first enter the library. It’s a cool way to build a community on campus in a way that I didn’t quite expect!

In your own words

Libraries have been a part of my life since I was a small child. Books were always available when I was growing up, and my first job was at my small hometown public library. If you ask me where I feel most at home, it's in a library, surrounded by shelves of books, inhaling that wonderful book smell and just appreciating all of the knowledge and creativity contained on those pages. But still, even when I was going to college, I wasn't immediately thinking of librarian as a career path. But through my time in and after my undergraduate degree, librarianship was always calling me back. I spent several years working in a vastly different field, but always planning to work for a university one day. When I walked into Lane Library on the first day of my job at Georgia Southern, I knew that I'd found my career field. And spending the last few years learning and becoming more involved, I fell in love with this community, who are always willing to help each other out and teach each other. Whenever I'm asked what I love about librarianship, one of the first things I bring up is how helpful and supportive we are of each other, always ready to answer a question in a listserv or help an MLIS student with an assignment. I am constantly amazed at how much we all give of ourselves to help set the next generation up for success. Librarians are more than the stereotypes, and I am so lucky to be in this career!

Credentials:MLIS [she/they]

Title:Media & Circulation Associate

Workplace:Georgia Southern University

Location:Savannah, GA