ACRL Member of the Week: Katie Henningsen

Katie Henningsen is the head of research services at Duke University in Durham, NC. Katie has been a member of ACRL for 15 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for October 24, 2022.

Describe yourself in three words: Problem-solver, collaborative, passionate.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished reading “Excessive Workload in Special Collections Public Services Librarianship: Challenges, Feelings, and Impact” by Kellee E. Warren and Jung Mi Scoulas and “Fostering Change” by Brianna Marshall, Dani Brecher Cook, and Cinthya Ippoliti. Both were really well done! My personal reading is mostly fiction, A LOT of fiction. I’m willing to pick up just about anything Chloe Gong or Sarah J. Maas will write. I recently finished Chloe Gong’s These Violent Delights duology and had to sit and stare at the wall for a few hours afterwards.

Describe ACRL in three words: Colleagues, community, professional growth.

What do you value about ACRL? The majority of my time is spent with the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL. I have served on a variety of committees, including Scholarships, Membership & Professional Development, Budget & Development, and numerous conference planning groups. I deeply value the role RBMS has played in my professional development; connecting me with colleagues across the country, broadening my understanding of professional practices, and providing the opportunity to gain leadership skills. The RBMS annual conference is a valuable opportunity to step away from day-to-day work and spend time learning from colleagues and focusing on current developments in the field. I always return to my own work feeling reinvigorated and ready to test new ideas. I’ve been lucky enough to develop wonderful working relationships and some dear friends through RBMS.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I connect students and faculty with primary sources to support teaching, research, and learning. Developing connections between the collections, curriculum, and students is one of the best parts of my work. In recent years, I focused on the development of our Anti-Racist Roadmap, improved our public-facing services, built relationships across campus, and launched Archival Expeditions. As a public services leader I advocate for the work my team does to support original research, undergraduate instruction and engagement, faculty relationships, and graduate student mentoring. I work with a talented group of people who do many exciting and innovative things to support teaching and research; it is very rewarding to support them as individuals as well as champion the public service work they do.

In your own words: In the past couple of years, I have been thinking more about balance; for myself, my team, and what that might look like in the profession. During the pandemic my team was able to make significant changes to our service model that we were previously unable to find capacity or time for. As we return to a more traditional academic year and find ourselves restarting work that was paused during the pandemic, I am thinking through how to balance our traditional responsibilities with more recent activities—all while prioritizing accessible and anti-racist library services for our students, faculty, visitors, and ourselves.

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!