Alex Mitchell is a first year experience librarian at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Alex has been a member of ACRL for 3 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for May 18, 2020.
Describe yourself in three words: Creative, empathetic, Ravenclaw.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I’m currently rotating between three books: Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire, Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich, and rereading First Rider’s Call by Kristen Britain. I used to be a one book at a time reader, but not anymore!
Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative, informative, community.
What do you value about ACRL? I value the conversation and information that ACRL provides. When I moved to an instruction position, I found all of the resources incredibly helpful. As I tried to navigate my new position and the needs of all of the students and different majors I worked with, I learned a lot from going through the ACRL Sandbox, webinars, and conversation on various listservs. I love having the opportunity to hear everyone’s thoughts and ideas.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I am a First Year Experience Librarian, so most of the students I regularly interact with are in their first year or early in their college experience. I do a lot of teaching, sometimes connected to a specific assignment and sometimes to get our new students familiar with the libraries. My goal is to get students acquainted with the resources the library offers and to encourage them to think critically about how they find and use information. We also do outreach to engage with the incoming first year students and their families. College doesn’t need to be harder just because students aren’t aware of the resources and services that are available to them.
In your own words: As an undergrad, I avoided the library and had no idea that librarians could help me with the research papers I struggled so much with. Because of this, I hope to give our students the information they need so they can ask questions early on. Despite not spending much time in the library in college, I eventually realized that I could combine my love of libraries and working with students if I worked in an academic library. Everything I do usually circles back around to teaching in one way or another. Teaching students and watching things click for them is just really satisfying and rewarding.
Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.