Lauren Tubbs is an Access and User Experience Librarian at Athens State University in Athens, AL. Lauren has been a member of the ACRL for 4 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for December 4, 2023.
Describe yourself in three words: Empathetic, restorative, futuristic.
Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative, collaborative, dedicated.
What do you value about ACRL? I joined ACRL as well as ALA as a library student at the University of Alabama in 2020. Since joining ACRL, I have met numerous academic librarians and library professionals eager to help me succeed. Therefore, I value the colleagues that I have met through ACRL because they have been extremely beneficial in helping me grow as an academic librarian. Having this network of professionals is such a luxury for academic librarians just starting their careers. I felt like I have gained a strong support group with ACRL to help me navigate the library profession.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As the Access and User Experience Librarian, I prioritize users access to requested materials that supports the university’s curriculum for the offered programs established at Athens State. I also work to provide a positive user experience for all patrons, including community users, that use our materials and services at Kares Library so that they feel as if they have an inclusive space to use in the community. I hire, train, and supervise student library assistants in soft skills such as customer service, interpersonal relations, communication, and project management so that they may take these skills with them as they pursue their career goals. I provide reference consultations for students needing assistance in completing assignments at the Information Desk and develop and maintain course and subject library guides for teaching faculty. I look to begin assessing some newly established public service programs such as our laptop lending program to check for usability and overall user satisfaction with the program to check for areas of improvement.
In your own words: Since becoming an academic librarian, I have been able to find my tribe. Finding belonging at one’s place of work is a hard dream for few to achieve. I feel extremely blessed to have found a vocation where I can serve my community with likeminded individuals who wish to better future generations and see them achieve their career goals. Academic librarianship is a respectable and honorable position to hold on any university campus. The profession deserves respect because it requires rigorous, astute, and faithful work in order to execute the profession properly. Academic librarianship is not for the faint-of-heart, but provides lifelong learning for individuals who value the pursuit of knowledge and the role that plays in society.
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