ACRL Member of the Week: Laura Gariepy

Laura Gariepy is the associate dean for research and learning at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Laura has been a member of ACRL for 15 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for November 28, 2022.

Describe yourself in three words: Energetic, relational, passionate.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (vampires seem appropriate for October!)

Describe ACRL in three words: My library people. 🙂

What do you value about ACRL? The relationships with colleagues all over the country that I have been able to build and maintain over the past ~15 years through ACRL are absolutely invaluable. The highly relevant programming that ACRL offers is essential for my professional development, but equally importantly, it has served as the anchor for making connections with other librarians with whom I can exchange information and ideas outside of conferences.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I see my role as advancing student success and faculty research through the libraries’ unique services, collections, spaces, and expertise. This ranges from redesigning spaces to provide innovative learning and study spaces to developing multimodal services and programs and everything in between. At the associate dean level over the past four years, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to leverage connections across campus to participate in general education initiatives as well as student wellness focused programming, which has been very fulfilling. I’m passionate about ensuring the library is a critical player in campus-wide initiatives. At the end of the day, I went into academic librarianship because I love our students, and that’s what brings me the most joy every day.

In your own words: When I decided somewhat on a whim to go to library school, I never could have imagined what an incredibly fulfilling career I would find. ACRL has been such a critical part of that, and I am so grateful! I’ve been so pleased to have opportunities to give back to my professional community through ACRL service opportunities over the years.

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!