ACRL Member of the Week: Audrey Gunn

Audrey Gunn is a research & instruction librarian for natural sciences & mathematics at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Audrey has been a member of ACRL for 5 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for November 14, 2022.

Describe yourself in three words: Curious, thoughtful, hopeful.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading Bad Blood by Colm Tóibín and Boys and Oil by Taylor Brorby.

Describe ACRL in three words: Many wonderful people.

What do you value about ACRL? I’m grateful for the opportunities ACRL has given me to collaborate with colleagues. Since July 2021, I’ve been serving on the ACRL STS EDI Committee. Our co-chairs have been fantastic leaders as we pursue projects to make the profession more equitable, diverse, and inclusive. I also want to give a shout-out to the STS book club; it’s been a great, low-stakes way to get to know other STEM librarians!

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Most of my time on campus is spent either teaching or preparing to teach. One of my favorite aspects of my job is that I get to work with students in a variety of STEM disciplines; one day, I might be discussing source evaluation strategies with a senior seminar in Environmental Studies, and the next, I might be helping prospective Kinesiology majors discover the wonders of MeSH terms. Another way I contribute is by serving on the libraries’ UX team; St. Olaf shares a catalog with our colleagues at Carleton College, and our libraries work together to ensure that the catalog is usable and accessible.

In your own words: When I was a sophomore in undergrad, I heard Minnijean Brown-Trickey give a speech about her experiences as a member of the Little Rock Nine. There was one phrase she used over and over, a phrase which I’ve never forgotten: “embrace complexity.” “Embrace complexity” has become one of my guiding principles in my work as a librarian, and it’s a principle that I hope to pass on to the students I teach. To me, embracing complexity means resisting the urge to accept simplistic narratives, seeking out new perspectives, practicing both/and ways of thinking. In other words, information literacy at its best is all about embracing complexity.

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!