Kristy Nowak is a first year experience & student success librarian at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Kristy has been a member of ACRL for y years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for May 31, 2022.
Describe yourself in three words: Creative, conscientious, dedicated.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Right now, I’m reading Transformative Library and Information Work: Profiles in Social Justice by Stephen Bales and Tina Budzise-Weaver. Outside of work, I’m reading A Treatise on Stars by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge.
Describe ACRL in three words: Community, development, leadership.
What do you value about ACRL? I’m grateful to ACRL for providing me the opportunity to become more involved in the profession, learn more about best practices, and take on new leadership roles. As an ACRL member, I’ve been able to meet librarians and learn about inclusive practice from all over the country. I’ve also had the opportunity to lead committees that help determine the direction of the profession.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As a first-year instruction librarian, I help students develop core information literacy skills that support their success in their academic careers and beyond. I’ve been involved in a wide range of student success initiatives, including in-depth instruction for first-generation students transitioning to college. I believe these student success initiatives make a significant difference in supporting students, including underrepresented students, find their paths in college. Currently, I’m also working on a campus-wide project to provide free laptops to students with financial need, and this initiative has the potential to address information access gaps on campus.
In your own words: I think librarians are well-positioned to make significant contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice on academic campuses, but we have to focus more seriously on the issues within our own profession. In the years I’ve spent working in libraries, I’ve become aware of the scope of the issues we face—including systematic oppression of marginalized identities, exclusionary hiring practices, burnout, and a host of other challenges. In order to move forward, we need to collaborate not only with each other, but also with scholars in other disciplines to find ways to grow our professional practice and make our community more inclusive.
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!