ACRL Member of the Week: Emily Zerrenner

Emily Zerrenner is a research and instructional services librarian at Salisbury University in Maryland. Emily has been a member of ACRL for 1 year and is your ACRL Member of the Week for May 22, 2023.

Describe yourself in three words: Kind, ambitious, responsible.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Right now I am reading They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib, and Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez. The next on the list is After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz!

Describe ACRL in three words: Connected, supportive, curious.

What do you value about ACRL? As a first-year librarian, I really value the community that ACRL provides. I have a lot to learn as someone who isn’t even a year out of graduate school yet, and ACRL provides so many opportunities to do so from some wonderful folks in the field. Attending the ACRL 2023 conference this year was a great glimpse into what I hope for in my own future – presenting my own research and ideas, connecting with old and new colleagues alike, and discovering a new city.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I am a Research and Instructional Services Librarian, and some of my liaison areas include Exercise Science, Physical Education, Mathematics, Public Health, Environmental Studies, and Health Science, to name a few. This involves the usual one-shot instruction sessions, but I am thrilled to be working with professors who want to involve the library more deeply in their students’ learning outcomes. I meet with students for research consultations too. The other part of my job that I love is that I’m the Research Help Desk Coordinator; this means I make the desk’s schedule, and I am the supervisor for about 4-5 student workers in a given semester who help cover the desk when librarians aren’t around.

In your own words: When I was in high school, I actually got “librarian” on one of those career quizzes you take in freshman year or so. It’s also listed on my astrology birth chart as a potential job, weirdly! I know back then I immediately thought: “oh, no, I won’t do that, it requires a master’s degree.” As I progressed through my undergrad degree though, I kept coming back to librarianship as a potential career – both as a library student worker, but also as a writing consultant where I discovered a love of working directly with students. Getting to do that now on a regular basis, both with students in my classes and my student workers, is a joy. Reference is also something I really value as a librarian; the puzzle of figuring out 1) what a patron’s asking and 2) where to find the answer is a very satisfying process. Looking back, it makes sense why I gravitated towards this line of work; I just didn’t know this was an career option initially. I am grateful to the librarians at Grand Valley State University for introducing me to this job path.

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