ACRL Member of the Week: Kimberly Shotick

Kimberly Shotick is the Student Success Librarian at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. Kimberly has been a member of ACRL for 9 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for July 10, 2023.

Describe yourself in three words: Collaborative, creative, doer.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg

Describe ACRL in three words: Networked, resourceful, evolving.

What do you value about ACRL? I value the people that I’ve met through ACRL. It is an excellent organization for networking, service opportunities, and professional development. If there isn’t a discussion or interest group that meets your professional needs, you can start one! The constant evolution of the discussion and interest groups keeps the community relevant.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As the Student Success Librarian and Coordinator for our Learning Commons, I am not only connecting students with the library spaces, services, and resources, but with those of our partners (tutoring, technology support, and more). I participate in the provision of services that support student success, such as reference and instruction, but I also lead projects aimed at making the library a more welcoming space for all, assess library impact on student success, develop collaborative relationships with campus support units, and explore new directions for how the library can support the whole student. This can take many forms, from designing information literacy learning modules for all first-year composition students, to creating a food pantry for students in the library, to conducting user experience testing with neurodivergent students to improve our library website. In your own words: Life as an academic librarian for me is about listening, learning, and evolving. The challenges that students face are numerous and varied, and while I had my own challenges as an undergraduate that informs my approach to the work I do, my experiences were limited, and I certainly did not go through the pandemic as a student. I love to learn about how other libraries are addressing the challenges students face, but I also think it is vital to be listening to and learning from our students as much as possible. I also want to be realistic about what we, as a library, or even an institution of higher learning, have control over. We can’t, for instance, fix all the food insecurity problems in our community through our snack pantry. But we can contribute to greater forces of change, to radical ways of pushing back against the “this is how we’ve always done it” that contributes to the exclusion of diverse identities within our libraries.

In your own words: Life as an academic librarian for me is about listening, learning, and evolving. The challenges that students face are numerous and varied, and while I had my own challenges as an undergraduate that informs my approach to the work I do, my experiences were limited, and I certainly did not go through the pandemic as a student. I love to learn about how other libraries are addressing the challenges students face, but I also think it is vital to be listening to and learning from our students as much as possible. I also want to be realistic about what we, as a library, or even an institution of higher learning, have control over. We can’t, for instance, fix all the food insecurity problems in our community through our snack pantry. But we can contribute to greater forces of change, to radical ways of pushing back against the “this is how we’ve always done it” that contributes to the exclusion of diverse identities within our libraries.