ACRL Member of the Week: Brian Vetruba

Brian Vetruba

Brian Vetruba is the European studies and digital scholarship librarian at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Brian has been a member of ACRL for 22 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for October 26, 2020.

Brian Vetruba

Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, collaborative, good sense of humor.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently reading An African American and Latinix History of the United States by Paul Ortiz, the Nordic mystery thriller Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson, and På vei, a Norwegian-language textbook for a course I’m taking. I regularly listen to The Daily from the New York Times, Curious Minnesota from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the NPR Politics Podcast, as well as a number of podcasts from Minnesota Public Radio.

Describe ACRL in three words: Community, learning, multi-modal.

What do you value about ACRL? The sections, interest groups, and discussion groups one can join. These groups make it easy to find others with similar jobs and interests as well as provide opportunities to learn from each other. When I first attended meetings of the Western European Studies Section (now European Studies Section) in 1999, I knew I found my professional “home.” I also appreciate the broad range of webinars, programs, blogs, College & Research Libraries, C&RL News, CHOICE all of which help us grow professionally.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I’m the “go-to person” for the faculty and students in my liaison departments and centers for questions about research and library services. From my perspective, no question is too small to ask. More specifically, I provide research consultations and instruction as well as answer reference for German, Russian, and Scandinavian literature; European and Eurasian Studies; and Linguistics. I also develop collections for these areas. I’m also part of a small team of librarians who support digital scholarship. As part of a librarian exchange between the University of Chicago and University of Minnesota, I also serve as the subject librarian for Germanic Literature and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Chicago.

In your own words: Being an academic librarian is not just a job–it’s a calling to help people find information and resources they’re looking for. I fell into librarianship after graduate school in the humanities and a career in retail bookstores. I found I really got a high from helping people, researching topics, finding resources, and continually learning. And I still do. The communal aspect of the profession is one of the things I value the most. Whether we’re sharing bibliographic records, subject guide content, or instruction ideas, we’re all in this together. Academic librarianship has allowed me to grow intellectually and challenge myself. I feel fortunate for all my professional friends who have assisted me over the years. It’s great to have been called to this profession.

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.