ACRL Member of the Week: Sharon Ladenson

Sharon Ladenson is Gender and Communication Studies Librarian at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Sharon Ladenson has been a member of ACRL for over 22 years and is your member of the week for January 29, 2024.

Describe yourself in three words: Reflective, caring, outdoorsy.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin. I’ve been curious about her writing, especially since her mother (Letty Cottin Pogrebin) is a legendary activist from the second-wave feminist movement. Abigail’s writing is engaging and she’s a compelling storyteller of her own experiences and well as those of others.

Describe ACRL in three words: Collegial, rewarding, educational.

What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has provided significant opportunities to develop and nurture meaningful connections with colleagues throughout my career. The professional relationships I’ve developed through ACRL have led to fruitful and rewarding collaborative work, including domestic and international conference presentations and book chapter publications. ACRL has also provided valuable opportunities to cultivate leadership skills, such as serving as co-convener of the ACRL Contemplative Pedagogy Interest Group. Furthermore, actively participating in the ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section over the years has provided great opportunities to serve in various leadership positions, including as section chair in 2020-2021.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As a liaison librarian, I appreciate working with and learning from students and department faculty across campus. Collaborating with faculty to co-facilitate learning communities (small groups of cross-disciplinary colleagues who meet regularly to discuss topics of interest specific to teaching and learning) has been especially rewarding. Cultivating inclusive teaching partnerships, including working with faculty to incorporate concepts such as intersectionality into information literacy instruction, has also been very satisfying. As a member of an organizational development team within the MSU Libraries, I also enjoy planning educational opportunities for library colleagues, including peer-learning and mentoring initiatives.

In your own words: The opportunities for continuous learning and growth are abundant in librarianship. I’m currently participating in the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship, a stimulating program designed to create a supportive community of confident librarian researchers. My research network has increased substantially within just a few months of participating in the program. This has been a great opportunity to meet and work with colleagues who share invaluable support and provide thoughtful and substantive feedback on my research about how and why academic librarians identify as inclusive teachers. Pursuing professional development, including through ACRL, has provided fulfilling opportunities to expand my skills and contribute to the profession in meaningful ways.

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!