75th Anniversary Scholarship Donors: Julie and Scott Garrison

As part of the celebration of ACRL’s 75th Anniversary, we’ve launched a fundraising campaign to fund 75 scholarships for ACRL 2015. Over the course of the campaign, we’ll profile the ACRL 75th Anniversary scholarship donors and learn why they chose to support to the campaign.Scott and Julie Garrison

Julie Garrison is the associate dean of research and instructional services at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She currently serves as a Director-at-Large on the ACRL Board of Directors (2012-16)Scott Garrison is dean of the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

1. Describe yourself in three words:

– Scott: Risk-taker, imaginative, strategic

– Julie: Forward-thinking, collaborative, inquisitive

2. Why do you support the 75th ACRL Anniversary scholarship campaign

– Scott: Connections we’ve made and conversations we’ve had through our ACRL involvement have profoundly impacted our careers and thinking. We feel it is important to support others who might not get the opportunity to be energized and network with other professionals at ACRL without the funds these scholarships provide.

– Julie: ACRL plays a major leadership role in helping academic libraries and librarians position themselves for the future on a variety of fronts, from standards to best practices and individual professional development opportunities. We benefit, as do our libraries and institutions, from all of that and more, through our participation in ACRL.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you?

– Scott: I was a founding member of two librarian rock bands.

– Julie:  I’m married to a guy who was a founding member of two librarian rock bands!

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way. 

There are many individuals who have influenced us throughout our careers, both before and after we became ACRL members. We’ve been very lucky to know so many thoughtful, intelligent, and visionary colleagues who have contributed to our own professional growth and thinking.

The University Librarian at Duke University is someone who influenced both of us early in our careers. He has since moved on and is now the Archivist of the United States. In addition to advice he gave us, it was the way he conducted himself as a professional that was inspiring. He had a seriousness in his approach to libraries and the profession, without taking himself too seriously. And though we were both new to the profession working in a medical library outside of the university libraries system, he always made time to talk with us. He was a thoughtful listener and offered sage advice.

Two things he’s said that we found especially valuable early in our careers:

– Interviewing for a position in a library is as much about you interviewing a place, as it is the place interviewing you.

– Libraries, like other entities, have a set of core services and edge services. Over time, what begins “on the edge” can become part of the core, and sometimes displaces what had been at the core (which might mean what used to be core later becomes “legacy”).

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the next 75 years?

We hope that ACRL will continue influencing academic libraries and librarians to position themselves for success, in ways that are tightly connected with how higher education, the library profession, the information landscape, and the world around all of that, continue changing.

 6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does?

Bringing professionals together to share ideas, energy, and practice and develop collective strategies to improve how academic libraries serve their constituencies is some of the most important work that ACRL does.