ACRL Member of the Week: Sam Mandani

Sam Mandani is an online instruction librarian at New York University. Sam has been a member of ACRL for 2 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for March 14, 2022.

Describe yourself in three words: Collaborative, reflective, easy-going.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently reading this Japanese light novel, I’m In Love With the Villainess by Inori along with many other webcomics through the Webtoon app. I’m also in the middle of re-listening through Maggie Rogers’ 2019 album, Heard It In a Past Life.

Describe ACRL in three words: Community, educational, professional.

What do you value about ACRL? I appreciate how much of a centralized hub ACRL is for new information and access to the LIS field. There is a lot of stuff to get through that can be overwhelming, but ACRL has helped me to contextualize my place in the field as an early career librarian to see what my colleagues and other professionals are doing and/or what’s happening in other institutions. It’s also cool to see conversations in the discussions about what people are needing help with, trying out, etc.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I think of myself as a kind of conduit between the students and faculty and populations we serve and the information and resources we compile and develop for them to use. I teach information literacy sessions to many first and second year courses to help cultivate fundamental research skills, as well as empower them to see and approach the libraries as a partner in their work beyond one class. Additionally, my specific role takes a look at how to build and establish more impactful presence of the libraries in the various online learning environments that students and faculty are in.

In your own words: Though I’m an early career academic librarian, I am so far enjoying the work that I’m doing. I can extend my work in a lot of different ways that satisfy my professional interests: I can focus on instruction and making connections with students and faculty alike with information literacy sessions; I can focus on contributing to an inclusive and equitable culture at my institution; I can pursue my research interests (e.g. UX, digital accessibility, and online learning environments) as part of the overall work that I’m doing.

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!