Meet the ACRL Presidents: Thomas Kirk

Thomas KirkOver the course of ACRL’s 75th anniversary celebration, we’ll highlight the association’s history by profiling our past presidents. Thomas Kirk served as ACRL President from 1993-1994, received the 2004 ACRL Academic/ Research Librarian of the Year Award, and mentored numerous of college library directors though the College Library Director Mentor Program.

1. Three words to describe your ACRL presidency: Change, collaboration, advocacy.

2. What is your most enduring memory of your presidential year? The collaboration of the units of ACRL in presenting a cooperatively developed program for Annual Conference.

3. What are you most proud of accomplishing during your presidential year and why? I am most proud of the development of a greater sense of cooperation among the member leaders of ACRL. Through a series of meetings and actions the member leaders of the sections and committees of ACRL came, in my judgment, to have a greater sense of their role in ACRL and of the need to work together. I think that success was due to a less confrontational and more consultative approach to problem solving and through greater communication to keep people informed.

4. Any advice for future ACRL presidents? I think I would reflect from my presidency: change and attention to organizational climate.It is not new, perhaps only the pace has increased. A president must always be aware of change and how to adapt to it. Second, the president needs to understand the organizational climate of ACRL and use or modify the climate to help ACRL meet its goals.