ACRL Member of the Week: Alex R. Hodges

Alex R. Hodges is the HGSE librarian & director of the Gutman Library at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Alex, the current chair of the Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee, has been a member of ACRL for 7 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for October 19, 2020.

Describe yourself in three words: Loyal, curious, teacher.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m reading We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Bettina Love. Dr. Love and her publisher Beacon Press have been incredible supporters of an HGSE course I’m helping to design. I also teach children’s literature, so I’ve also been reading many picture books and Should We Burn Babar? by Herbert R. Kohl.

Describe ACRL in three words: Connected, supportive, essential.

What do you value about ACRL? I value the relationships that I’ve built with mentors, mentees, fellow committee members, and ACRL staff colleagues. I couldn’t have become the chair of the Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee (SLILC) without learning the ropes from excellent past-chairs Nicole Brown and Liz Galoozis. I also think the ACRL expertise that we all bring back to our individual institutions makes us stronger academics, teachers, researchers, and practitioners.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Although I contribute to the leadership of the Harvard Library system, I work most closely with my HGSE colleagues to ensure that our research, teaching, and learning expertise is integrated into the curriculum and into the life of HGSE. We make these contributions through library instruction, scholarly communication and digital scholarship support, research consultations, collection development, exhibitions, book talk events, and alumni outreach. I enjoy seeing the facets of my community working together for the benefit of our students and researchers.

In your own words: In 2005, I attended my first ACRL conference and became involved in the ACRL Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS). Judy Walker, Penny Beile, Lisa Romero, Benita Strnad, et al., were important mentors. I pay forward that mentoring so that others have inclusive opportunities for professional growth in ACRL. In the last three years, I have worked with Maureen Sullivan and Joe Zolner on the ACRL Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (LIAL), which is part of the HGSE professional education programs. This work has helped me learn from and build new friendships with fellow library leaders. Post-pandemic, apply and come to LIAL, y’all!

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 for more information.