Meet The ACRL Presidents: Steven J. Bell

Steven J. BellOver the course of ACRL’s 75th anniversary celebration, we’ll highlight the association’s history by profiling our past presidents. Steven J. Bell is Associate University Librarian at Temple University and served as ACRL President from 2012-2013.

1. Three words to describe your ACRL presidency:  Connection. Progress. Travel.

2. What is your most enduring memory of your presidential year? Making visits to our Chapters where I did presentations and met with our members. During my three-year term I visited 13 chapters (including my own where I arranged to have the spring Chapter meeting at my own institution and delivered the keynote). I deeply valued the opportunity to serve as our association’s representative when visiting Chapters. It was rewarding to learn about the great work our Chapter leaders do on behalf of ACRL members – and to bring their concerns and kudos back to the Board.

3. What are you most proud of accomplishing during your presidential year and why? I had the opportunity to focus our 2013 Strategic Planning Orientation Session on a review and renewal of the ACRL brand. I was not sure how Board members would respond, but I was tremendously gratified by their engagement in our day-long branding review. Thanks to the great work of my Board colleagues and the ACRL staff, I am proud of the new brand and associated elements that were developed. We are the higher education association for librarians – and yes – we really do advance learning and reform scholarship!

4. Any advice for future ACRL presidents? You will have your challenges and tense situations. It will be stressful. But over the course of three years you will learn an incredible amount and have opportunities to do great things to benefit the members. It is all part of taking on this enormous responsibility. My advice would be to be in the moment and be mindfully engaged with all the different aspects of your presidency. Take it one day at a time and enjoy each one as much as you can.