ACRL Member of the Week: Amanda Nichols Hess

Amanda Nichols Hess is Coordinator of Instruction and Research Help at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. Amanda has been a member of ACRL for 12 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for October 16, 2023.

Describe yourself in three words: Proactive, dependable, flexible.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? The Fraud by Zadie Smith, The Breakway by Jennifer Weiner, and Tom Lake by Ann Patchett.

Describe ACRL in three words: Relevant, collaborative, supported.

What do you value about ACRL? I have found tremendous value in the connecting opportunities that ACRL offers — the formal conferences are unparalleled, the virtual learning opportunities, and the many committees that guide and direct the organization. I appreciate the opportunity to connect with my colleagues from different parts of the country (and sometimes the world) who work at different kinds of institutions than I do, and ACRL helps to make that happen. ACRL is also amazing in the staff resources it offers to committees and collaborators — I have had the pleasure to work with several staff members (shout-outs to David Free, Kara Malenfant, and Erin Nevius in particular!) and it is amazing to have the professional-level staff support that ACRL provides.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Along with my librarian colleagues, I’m an essential partner in student success. I find that we tend to have broader views of learning at our institution than our colleagues in other academic departments, because we see — and have to work with — students across a wider range of academic experiences. Having this bigger-picture perspective provides us with starting points to make meaningful connections in support of students’ learning and engagement.

In your own words: When I first started out as a librarian, a mentor told me that no one day would ever be the same. Almost fifteen years later, that adage has been so true! I love the dynamic nature of my work as an academic librarian, especially in the ever-changing kinds of interactions that I have with students across their educational experiences. It keeps my professional life interesting, ensures my knowledge is up-to-date, and brings me tremendous gratification on a regular basis.

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!