Sheila Garcia is a resident librarian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sheila has been a member of ACRL for 3 years and is your ACRL member of the week for March 25, 2019.
Describe yourself in three words: Ravenpuff, creative, inquisitive.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I’ve recently started reading Sites of Translation: What Multilinguals Can Teach Us about Digital Writing and Rhetoric by Laura Gonzales. I am also listening to Predator’s Gold by Philip Reeve.
Describe ACRL in three words: Opportunity, community, resource.
What do you value about ACRL? The network and opportunities afforded to me through ACRL have been invaluable. I often credit my ACRL mentor as one of the main influencers in my current career path, and she has been a steady supportive force throughout my first few years as an academic librarian. Additionally, as a member of the Residency Interest Group, I have had the opportunity to serve on a committee with individuals who are deeply committed to supporting residents, residency coordinators, and improving the residency experience as a whole. The ability to learn from each other, whether through formal avenues such as webinars or through informal chats, have helped build a strong sense of community and camaraderie.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? My residency is based around the theme of community outreach and engagement. Throughout my first year, my outreach initiatives focused on forging relationships with campus partners with the aim of bringing the library into the greater campus community and encourage these users to make the space their own. To this end, I have helped organize several events, the highest attendance for which was an event this past October titled “My Latinx Is…” This was an open mic night held at the library where members of the Latinx community were invited to express how they defined their Latinidad. During the community conversation that followed, a faculty member at the university said that it was great to see the Latinx community come out to support each other and amazing that this event was happening within the graduate library, a place that can seem unwelcoming at times. His comment summed up the type of impact I strive to make everyday.
In your own words: I can best describe working as an academic librarian as a challenging, constantly changing, opportunity. There is much that I can contribute to and learn from academic librarianship and it has provided the ideal environment to continue to grow and learn. While I’m not able to read as much as I would like (ha!), I am able to make an impact on our local community in small ways that are best illustrated when students approach me with questions about their research or simply wave hi to me when we run into each other on campus. I look forward to my continued growth as an academic librarian and to the continued growth of librarianship at large.
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.