ACRL Member of the Week: Jennifer K. Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer K. Nelson is a reference librarian at The Robbins Collection, University of California Berkeley School of Law . Jennifer has been a member of ACRL for 14 years and is your ACRL member of the week for June 17, 2019.

Jennifer Nelson

Describe yourself in three words: Enthusiastic, engaged, supportive.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I have NPR on pretty much constantly when I’m not at work (I’m a contributing member to my local public radio affiliate KQED). My favorite shows are This American Life and Fresh Air. I also love Pod Save America, Pod Save the People, and Pod Save the World from Crooked Media.

Describe ACRL in three words: Networking, advocacy, education.

What do you value about ACRL? I value conferences most of all as they provide the opportunity for life-long learning about our diverse field, while at the same time giving us the opportunity to meet face to face with colleagues, many of whom become good friends as well as professional connections. As this year’s winner of the ACRL European Studies Section De Gruyter European Librarianship Study Grant, I am grateful for ACRL’s commitment to research into both current and historical issues relating to the acquisition, organization, and use of European library resources.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Librarians are true partners with faculty and staff in supporting the educational, community, and service mission of the university. We make available and accessible the most up-to-date information on the most current platforms, and we also preserve, organize, and make accessible historical materials and artifacts. As the reference librarian for a special collections library, I assist scholars from around the world as they conduct historical legal research on topics ranging from ancient Rome to current legal issues in civil law countries.

In your own words: Having recently completed a doctoral degree in Latin and Roman Studies, with an emphasis on early modern Italy, I feel incredibly lucky to be in a profession that allows me to combine my scholarly interests in Latin, Rome, and rare books. It is amazing to me that I get to spend every day with books that are hundreds of years old and that still have so many things to teach us. I am also grateful for ACRL for providing librarians a framework for continued learning and professional development in the form of conferences, workshops, and grants.

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.