ACRL Member of the Week: Glenda Insua

Glenda is a reference and instruction librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Glenda has been a member of ACRL for 12 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for September 6, 2021

Describe yourself in three words: Empathetic, conscientious, (cautiously) optimistic.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m reading a young adult fantasy novel, Lobizona by Romina Garber, which was a book club pick for a Spanish class I took this summer. In it she uses Argentinian folklore to explore issues of immigration, identity, gender, and belonging. It’s a fun read (including werewolves and witches) but also touches on important issues; I wish something like this had existed when I was growing up. I also just started reading Thanks for Waiting: The Joy (& Weirdness) of Being a Late Bloomer, by Doree Shafrir. As a late bloomer myself, I can definitely relate.

Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative, educational, supportive.

What do you value about ACRL? ACRL provides many opportunities, but what I value most are the connections I’ve made with academic librarians at other institutions. There are some amazing people in our field! I’ve learned so much from them and am constantly inspired. This past year I was particularly impressed with the work that LES did to develop an anti-racist action plan. The task force met tirelessly for months and put so much thought and effort into it. I can’t take any credit, but I’m looking forward to implementing it as LES Chair and working towards a more inclusive organization.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As a reference and liaison librarian, I help both students and faculty find and access the information they need for their research. That work comes in many forms: purchasing resources for faculty members, introducing information literacy to a first-year writing class, doing online chat reference, etc. I particularly enjoy working with our undergraduate students, most of whom are first-generation college students. Many are working multiple jobs, helping with family, and going to school, yet somehow they manage to stay engaged. They’re truly incredible, and I’m happy that I can contribute to their success in even a small way.

In your own words: Being an academic librarian isn’t glamorous, and the profession has its problems (its overwhelming whiteness being one) but it’s allowed me to interact with really interesting, smart people. The students I work with are my driving motivator, and despite the bleakness of the past seventeen months, they’ve shown me that there’s hope for the future. I’m also fortunate to have talented colleagues who push me to be a better librarian.

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!