ACRL Member of the Week: Abigail Mann

Abigail Mann is Digital Scholarship Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL. Abigail has been a member of ACRL for 3 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for June 10, 2024.

Describe yourself in three words: Determined, innovative, funny.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just got back from Barcelona, so I’m reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I also decided to re-read every book in Faye Kellerman’s Decker/Lazarus mystery series, so I have a few of those on my Libby app. Listening wise, lots of cooking and gardening podcasts: I use them to fall asleep, so I need soothing topics!

Describe ACRL in three words: Diverse, dedicated, diligent.

What do you value about ACRL? I love the ability to hear from so many colleagues in different institutions, positions, and career stages. Especially because our own library is small (but mighty!), I really appreciate the opportunity to hear diverse viewpoints and experiences.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? One of the things I’ve discovered I love about being at a small institution is how integrated librarians are into academic and campus life. In one (very busy) day, I may teach a one shot with our freshman writing class, meet with seniors one on one about their capstone projects, brainstorm with a faculty member about integrating a website project into their class, attend an assessment committee meeting, and work with a group of faculty members on a campus-wide grant proposal. In addition to serving as the liaison for the humanities and fine arts on campus, I work to increase digital scholarship opportunities for both faculty and students: I help faculty conceptualize how and why they want to integrate digital scholarship in to their teaching or research, have built a summer Digital Humanities fellowship that allows students to learn about the basics of DH and build a project of their own and, starting next Spring, will teach an annual for credit DH class.

In your own words: I spent over a decade as an English professor before moving into librarianship, and I couldn’t be happier with my career shift. I often say that librarianship lets me do the best parts of my old job–I help students who are excited about a research path they have discovered find more sources and refine their questions and work with colleagues across campus who are smart, interesting, and dedicated. And I don’t have to grade! What more could I ask for?


Editor’s Note: Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch!