ACRL Member of the Week: Char Booth

Char BoothChar Booth is Reference and Instruction Librarian/ Communication Bibliographer at Ohio University Libraries. Char has been an ACRL member since 2006, was a 2007 ALA Emerging Leader, and is your ACRL Member of the Week.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Ready, steady, go.

2. What are you listening to on your iPod? I’ve listened to (a)múm and (b)Marty Robbins so far today, which means that (a)I was seeking a bit of musical noise-cancellation in the office, and (b) it’s finally warming up outside and I’m missing Texas as a result.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Focused, collegial, necessary.

4. Why did you join ACRL? I joined this organization in order to participate in a professional development network that was specifically focused on academic librarianship. I have found that ACRL conferences, publications, and initiatives are of consistently high quality and are applicable to my daily practice as a university librarian.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? So many things that it’s difficult to summarize. Engagement, creativity, and service are central to what we do, and I believe librarians are typically intellectual and progressive individuals. The benefits of the profession are enormous – on a daily basis I am able to see tangible results of my efforts to educate and inform, while my ultimate goal is to enable access and evaluation of information. In other words, it is difficult for me to imagine doing anything more productive with my time.

6. In your own words: That this is a contentious period for academic and research libraries can be seen as an opportunity rather than a barrier – now more than ever we have the opportunity to positively affect the tools and processes used to arrange, provide, and preserve knowledge as they evolve. It is critically important that we advocate for ourselves and our institutions while collaborating with other fields to improve information access and scholarly communication. Being put in the position to justify our value gives us the opportunity to redefine librarianship to our constituents. In so doing we can help them understand what the profession is truly about, which in my opinion has been a trade secret for too long.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Contact David Free at dfree{at}ala{dot}org for more information.