Matthew Noe is the lead collection & knowledge management librarian at
Countway Library, Harvard Medical School. Matthew, a 2020 Emerging Leader, has been a member of ACRL for 1 year and is your ACRL Member of the Week for April 20, 2020.
Describe yourself in three words: Empathetic, contemplative, critical.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I’m always reading several books at once. Right now I’m focusing on Liz Plank’s For the Love of Men, the illustrated Books of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin, and a collection of Wendell Berry essays. I’ve also been rereading a number of comics in the graphic medicine field in preparation for teaching a course in the coming semester.
Describe ACRL in three words: Educational, collaborative, advocacy.
What do you value about ACRL? The opportunities for continuing education, particularly learning new ways of thinking from other members, is the most valuable aspect for me at an individual level. That said, on a collective scale, the importance of ACRL is as an organization for legislative advocacy.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As a collection development focused librarian, there are the practical ways I contribute – such as bibliographic work, providing training on library systems, and collaborating with the community – but the contribution goes beyond that. In the highly competitive, stressful environment of medical education, the library – and the librarians – can (should) offer a reprieve from the judgement of “not knowing” and an empathetic helping hand.
In your own words: My specialization into graphic medicine means I’ve had a chance to grow this area from the ground up but it isn’t always easy – both medicine and librarianship can be conservative and risk-averse. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find myself in supportive environments and nothing excites me more than the opportunities to read and discuss stories with students and faculty. Well, except for maybe the times I get to draw comics with them! Inviting new ways of thinking, ways of being, and sharing them with our communities – that’s what librarianship is for me.
Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.