75th Anniversary Scholarship Donor: William Miller

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.miller_300px

William Miller served as ACRL President from 1996-97 and has been a Friend of ACRL since 1998.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Former ACRL President

2. Why do you support the 75th ACRL Anniversary scholarship campaign?  I know the value of ACRL’s biennial conferences for newer librarians, and I know how hard it can be to obtain travel funding.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you?  I love “The Walking Dead” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way.  Dr. Richard Chapin, Director of Libraries at Michigan State University, taught me what it means to be a library director. He also taught me that what works in one culture won’t necessarily work in all others.

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the next 75 years?  I hope that it evolves with the times and remains an important force in academic librarianship. I would like to see a renewed role in establishing standards and benchmarks. Other professions benefit from accreditation by their associations; perhaps academic libraries could be accredited by ACRL if they meet certain standards, which might be a fulcrum to enhance institutional support. I would also hope that in 75 years, when in-person meetings have become a thing of the past, that ACRL will have created new mechanisms to strengthen professional growth and interaction online.

6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? I became active in ACRL because I saw a need for library instruction in the late ’60s when that movement was getting started, and I found support and professional contacts within ACRL.  It’s hard to single out any one thing that ACRL does as being clearly more important than any other, but if I had to pick one, I would choose the opportunity to meet people and grow professionally, learning from one’s peers and from leaders in the profession.