RUSA - STARGazing: Meet Miriam Wnuk



RUSA - STARGazing: Meet Miriam Wnuk

1. What is your institutional affiliation?

Heard Libraries, Vanderbilt University

2. What’s your OCLC / Docline symbol?


3. What would be the title of your autobiography?

Just Around the Riverbend – in honor of the number of times I could have taken the easy, obvious way in life, but instead opted to take the rougher option. (I am aware that the movie this is from has not aged well, but this song still speaks to me.)

4. How did you get involved in resource sharing (or access services, etc.)?

My first library position was as a “Jill of all trades” assistant in a health sciences library and one of my primary duties was pulling and scanning for ILL. I loved that what I did directly impacted the research and needs of scientist and doctors around North America.

5. What are you passionate about? How does that passion inform your work?

I’m passionate about sharing as many resources as possible and in as many ways as possible. My goal some day is to make resource sharing as low cost and as accessible to the greater community. This means increasing the number of reciprocal borrowing programs to modernizing Copyright guidelines/laws (CONTU alternative).

6. What do you feel are the benefits of your STARS membership, and why would you encourage others to get involved?

I’m currently not a STARS member, however I have made an effort to use the guidelines and suggestions created by STARS over the years to create better Resource Sharing departments across the country. I’ve learned over the years that even if you are unable to afford to join ALA, and therefore RUSA, you can still benefit from the tools they have to offer such as those offered at the Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative website.

7. What do you wish you’d known when you started out in resource sharing (access services, etc.)?

I wish I had known how big and diverse resource sharing could be. My first Director told me that “a librarian couldn’t do ILL” and took me off it when I received my MLIS. Every day that I worked outside of resource sharing made my soul shrink a little and when I returned to it, I was so happy. I think everyone should know that students to seasoned librarians can do resource sharing and access services positions if it makes them happy. You do not have to be a Reference and Instruction Librarian or Adult/Children Services Librarian. Which makes me think, there should be a class in graduate school about “other” librarian positions; such as resource sharing and other technical services.

8. How has your STARS membership helped you do your job?


9. What are you reading?

Print – Go Tell the Bees that I’m Gone by Diana Gabaldon

Audio – Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson, next audiobook: Akata Woman by Nnedi Okarafor

10. Share your favorite fun fact about yourself

I have a piece of art in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It’s one of the squares made children located on the Museum’s lower level and when I visited in 2007, I actually found it!