Stefanie Bluemle is a research and instruction librarian at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Stefanie has been a member of ACRL for 13 years and is your ACRL member of the week for July 15, 2019.
Describe yourself in three words: Introspective, motivated, analytical.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? Lots and lots of journal articles, for one thing. In addition to that, the best books I’ve read so far this year have been The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone (the first third takes place on a mysterious estate in the Chicago suburbs, where I grew up), Becoming by Michelle Obama, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, which I read for the first time since high school. I love how Ellison rewrites so much of “classic” American literature.
Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative, informative, helpful.
What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has given me opportunities to learn from other librarians at events ranging from conferences to Immersion to webinars. Being a member helps me stay up to date on developments within the profession. I also value the opportunity my library had a few years ago to participate in the first cohort of Assessment in Action, which allowed us to make strides in the direct assessment of student learning in special collections.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I am my library’s instruction coordinator and liaison to the humanities division (departments of history, philosophy, and religion). IL is fully integrated into Augustana’s required First Year Inquiry sequence, and liaisons work with their departments to build IL into departmental curricula, so I do quite a bit of teaching in course-integrated sessions. I am grateful to work at a small college where classroom faculty respect the librarians and view us as true colleagues, and I’ve been fortunate to participate widely on campus. Highlights from the last couple of years include working with the college’s student-led Honor Council–I advise the council and guide accused students through the process–and being one of eight faculty to collaboratively develop and propose a new curriculum for First Year Inquiry, which will be implemented in the 2019-20 school year.
In your own words: If I had to choose a motto it would be: Everything is political. Academic librarians don’t always have direct access to power on their campuses; instead, we often work in the interstices. This might seem to be a bad thing, but, in my experience, it can actually create unusual opportunities to exercise influence. At my institution, where IL is a campus-wide student learning outcome but there is no credit-bearing IL class, librarians work within the curriculum and outside of it, within disciplines and outside of them, both at the same time. Our situation gives us a unique and valuable perspective on campus life, academic culture, and the student experience.
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.