ACRL Member of the Week: Allan Scherlen

Allan Scherlen

Allan Scherlen is a social services librarian at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Allan has been a member of ACRL for ten years and is your ACRL member of the week for September 17, 2018.

Allan ScherlenDescribe yourself in three words: Caring, humorous, scholarly.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I like listening to stand-up comedians and music of all kinds. I tend to mostly read non-fiction with some poetry thrown in. Currently reading on my Kindle: In Defense of Troublemakers: the Power of Dissent in Life and Business by Charlan Nemeth and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I’m also currently perusing a library book I checked out entitled: A Heiner Müller Reader: Plays, Poetry, Prose. I just finished reading a biography of the eccentric genius pianist, Glenn Gould.

Describe ACRL in three words: Advocacy, support, guidance.

What do you value about ACRL? I value the wide and varied support ACRL provides the profession of academic librarianship for essential aspects of our work such as: shared guidelines of professional practice, materials and guidance to advocate for important issues such as open access, awards that encourage and recognize achievement of our members, and conferences that are substantial in content.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As Collection Management Librarian for the Social Sciences, I am dedicated to connecting to the academic needs of our faculty and students across campus, through daily interactions, class instruction, research consultations, committee participation, and workshops. I advocate for a library collection of excellence in full support of the curricular and research of the university that corresponds well to the excellence of all our library services. I feel I contribute to the university valuing our library faculty as significant members of our university community and important contributors to the advancement of scholarship in general.

In your own words: We have an important job as academic librarians. We are at the center of the university providing resources, guidance and support for the curricula and research of the faculty and students. We are vital to the very success of the core mission of our university. Our libraries provide much more than that as well, of course, such as a safe and invited place to study, technologies to enhance and deliver project creations, and venues for diverse cultural life. But, after all the talk of new roles and visions for academic librarians, we can always take pride in our perennial and important role as guides and guardians of the advancement of knowledge. We also have a great time doing it.

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.