ACRL Member of the Week: Annie Zeidman-Karpinski

Annie Zeidman-Karpinski is the Kenneth M. and Kenda H. Singer Science Librarian at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Annie has been a member of ACRL for 17 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for February 1, 2021.

Describe yourself in three words: Optimistic, exuberant, innovative.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am listening to the amazing N.K. Jemisin’s first book in the Broken Earth series. I borrowed it from our public library, and had to wait a while to get a copy. But, very worth it to learn about this world and meet these characters. As a family, we are reading the YA book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You, the remix of the Ibram X. Kendi book with Jason Alexander. We have been taking it slowly, reading a chapter out loud in the evening, asking questions and trying to digest the significance of the history and lessons being imported. At the end of the day, I enjoy inhaling easy historical and contemporary romance. Some new releases on my TBR shelf, including the latest by Eloisa James and Alexa Martin, as well as retellings of beloved Jane Austin novels like Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal.

Describe ACRL in three words: Support, community, training.

What do you value about ACRL? The chance to find an intellectual home among peers who have so much to give and share. I have missed the chance to meet with old friends and new in person at conferences. However, I have really enjoyed learning what we can do to connect and grow online without ever leaving my bubble. I have attended so many excellent presentations and found so much to explore.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As a science librarian, I work with several departments to help with research, finding articles for grants, tracking down obscure or difficult to find material and training undergraduates and graduate students to find relevant information and keep track of what is available. I have a passion for assessment in instruction, although I am still hoping we get less nervous about goal setting and having our colleagues act as coaches to help us meet them. I miss the days when I worked at a reference desk and got to answer questions as they came in, but I do enjoy trying to bring the reference desk to the classroom. Teaching is an endlessly interesting puzzle, and while I try things that work and some that don’t, each class is an adventure and a chance to be more effective. Over the years, I have learned to respect that I am part of a larger system, and I have been known to create problems when I try to bend to get needed material to our patrons, no matter our official policy.

In your own words: I have a passion for being a librarian and I love working at a university. Meeting folks who are starting research, have been doing research for some time and everything in between is endlessly fascinating. I worked in a variety of fields before going into librarianship and so many things that I have studied and found interesting over the years have proven valuable as I try to help someone get the information they need. An especially important part of what we offer as librarians is to help close the opportunity gap for our students. I am one of the few librarians working with the amazing educators in the National Institute on Scientific Teaching a community changing how we teach in undergraduate STEM classes. I have found that the training embraced by this community aligns well with the best practices for instruction in information literacy and I have enjoyed the challenge of trying to bridge those communities and have them inform each other.

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.