ACRL Member of the Week: Sara Benson

Sara Benson is a copyright librarian & assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Sara has been a member of ACRL for 4 years and is your ACRL member of the week for January 12, 2020.

Sara recently brought together subject experts in the intersection of copyright and information literacy as an editor of the ACRL publication, Copyright Conversations: Rights Literacy in a Digital World, which provides a guide to understanding, teaching, and applying copyright law for library users and your own research and policies.

Describe yourself in three words: Ambitious, caring, vivacious.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I’m reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, and it is hilarious.

Describe ACRL in three words: Connecting, network, colleagues.

What do you value about ACRL? I really value the opportunity to collaborate with others during webinars and in person conferences. I co-chair the Copyright Discussion Group and we always have fascinating discussions about current copyright issues facing libraries during the ALA meetings. Come join us!

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I help librarians, faculty, staff, students and library patrons with copyright issues they face daily such as fair use, author’s rights, teaching with copyrighted materials and more. The questions are rarely, if ever, the same and it is a fascinating job because I learn something new almost every single day.

In your own words: I truly value my work as a librarian because I get to help people at their point of need. I also enjoy my research where I get to collaborate with like-minded scholars, such as in my recent ACRL book titled Copyright Conversations: Rights Literacy in a Digital World where I was fortunate enough to edit the work of so many talented copyright librarians.

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 for more information.