ACRL Member of the Week: Chelsea Heinbach

Chelsea Heinbach is a teaching and learning librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Chelsea has been a member of ACRL for 5 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for June 21, 2021.

Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, curious, empathetic.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Right now I am really enjoying Interior Chinatown, which I have found to be so unique, poignant, and funny that I am obsessed with reading it despite my poor pandemic brain, which has been struggling with reading this past year. I am also really enjoying listening to The Last Bohemians and can’t let a “what are you listening to” question go by without mentioning Call Your Girlfriend, which is the podcast that got me hooked on podcasts and still one of my absolute favorites.

Describe ACRL in three words: Community, opportunity, guidance.

What do you value about ACRL?

I value the community ACRL has given me and the connections I have made there. For example, it was a casual coffee at ACRL 2017 in Baltimore that started LibParlor, a platform for research advice and connections that I manage  alongside Nimisha Bhat, Hailley Fargo, and Charissa Powell. We started with a shared frustration with the lack of research support we were receiving and now we have a community of so many brilliant and generous folks who write posts, host webinars, share opportunities, and more. All of this grew in part because of the opportunities for connection available at ACRL and other conferences that bring us together. Who knows if it would exist if we hadn’t all met at

Additionally, as the current chair of the ACRL IS Rockman award committee and as a member on the committee since 2017, I have met so many incredible colleagues, connected with the amazing scholars and librarians whose work we have had the honor of recognizing, and advocated for a more equitable nomination process. The community and opportunities for advocacy are things I really value about ACRL and that I hope continue.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I create learning experiences for students new to the university focused on information literacy skills that are useful in and out of the classroom. I also partner with faculty to make their research assignments more engaging, relevant, and transparent. I genuinely think research is one of the most fun and important things we do in a university, and I develop opportunities for students to see themselves as an active and crucial part of that culture.

In your own words: I hope that as a field we can develop library cultures that support students in contributing more fully to our classrooms, spaces, and workplaces. Talk to students, learn about the complexity, diversity, and depth of their lives. Information literacy is social – everything about our work requires the perspectives, input, and experiences of others. Embrace that, and bring students into the conversation.

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.