ACRL Member of the Week: Julia Maxwell

Julia Maxwell is a social sciences librarian at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick. Julia has been a member of ACRL for 4 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for May 30, 2023.

Describe yourself in three words: Genuine, resilient, reliable.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m reading The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu, and How to Read Now: Essays by Elaine Castillo. Both are excellent so far. I recently finished Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. My reading tastes are all over the place!

Describe ACRL in three words: Opportunity, connection, education.

What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has allowed me to explore several communities of practice early in my career. From those communities, I’ve been able to build strong networks and connections that have helped me grow as a librarian and academic. ACRL has also afforded me so many opportunities to present my scholarship and librarianship; from writing book chapters in ACRL monographs to presenting posters and papers at ACRL conferences. I credit so much of my early-career growth to my ACRL experiences!

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I support the Rutgers – New Brunswick School of Social Work and The Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. In my liaison roles, I teach classes, hold consultations, create learning objects, and develop our social science collections, all in order for students, faculty, and staff to succeed in their scholarship. I serve on groups and initiatives like the Rutgers Open and Affordable Textbook Initiative. I have recently started supporting faculty and student evidence synthesis projects, which has been a very rewarding process! I also complete my own research around library skills, confidence, and learning.

In your own words: I became an academic librarian because I believe that our role in the scholarly community is one that can help learners grow in academic confidence via information access and use. I love being a librarian because I love the process of shifting the power, helping learners develop critical mindsets, and facilitating the “aha” moments for library learners! My passion is a direct result of the wonderful and impactful colleagues, mentors, friends, teachers, and thinkers from which I’ve learned. In the midst of many considerations of work-life balance, a pandemic, and the sometimes-difficulty of an academic career path, I feel immensely grateful to be positioned to fuel change, growth, and equity as a 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!