ACRL Member of the Week: Pam Lach

Pam Lach is a digital humanities librarian at the San Diego State University in California. Pam has been a member of ACRL for 7 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for September 27, 2021.

Describe yourself in three words: Collaborative, equitable, ally.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently finishing up How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang, which is incredibly beautiful and moving. I’m looking forward to reading The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay next.

Describe ACRL in three words: Resources, training, connections.

What do you value about ACRL? I enjoy the interactions and relationships I’ve been able to create with other digital humanities and digital scholarship library folks through ACRL. I’m the only DH librarian at my institution and across the 23 campuses of the California State University, so engaging with the Digital Scholarship Section (DSS) has been really enriching for me. I’ve learned so much from other DSS members, and made some really incredible friends.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I direct our library’s Digital Humanities Center and co-direct the interdisciplinary campus Digital Humanities Initiative. This involves helping faculty, staff and students thoughtfully and critically infuse — or reject — digital technology into their teaching, learning, and research. I am a partner and connector for our faculty, working to advance ethical, anti-racist, and non-oppressive digital pedagogy and scholarship. I am also a University Senator and currently chair our Senate’s Academic Policy & Planning Committee, which is a great way to see how the library fits into campus and help my colleagues see the value of our library here at SDSU.

In your own words: I work hard to help faculty, staff, and students have transformational experiences related to the equitable and critical use of technology. Whether it’s exposing them to the problematics of algorithms, AI, and surveillance technology, or helping them see ways they can expand access through the thoughtful use of the digital, it’s incredibly rewarding to see when the proverbial light bulb goes off for them. I enjoy helping students feel empowered when it comes to the digital, and affirming their rejections of tech when it makes sense to them. It’s one way I can contribute to our profession’s work to advance a range of meta-literacies.

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!