Megan Hodge is the assistant head for teaching and learning at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Megan has been a member of ACRL for 13 years and is your ACRL member of the week for October 21, 2019.
Megan recently brought together subject experts in on academic libraries’
unique employment statuses, reporting structures, and positions for the ACRL book, The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit: Finding Success on the Job Hunt and in Your First Job.
Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, curious, empathetic.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I’m always in the middle of half a dozen books so there’s something on hand to suit whatever mood I’m in. Currently, it’s Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability, George Gamow’s Mr Tompkins in Paperback, Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm, and Don Marquis’ Archy and Mehitabel.
Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative, helpful, forward-thinking.
What do you value about ACRL? I’ve learned so much from fellow members, especially in the Instruction Section which has been my ACRL home for close to a decade. From the commissioning of landmark reports such as The Value of Academic Libraries to its biannual environmental scans, ACRL also provides a unique platform for advocacy and information-gathering for academic library workers. And as an author and editor, I appreciate that ACRL walks the walk in supporting Creative Commons licenses for its publications–all the way down to the chapter level!
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Among other things, I’m the library liaison to VCU’s National Scholarship Office, where I support students and alumni applying for competitive grants such as the Critical Language Scholarship and Fulbright. Instruction and research librarians, especially those like me who primarily work with first- and second-year undergraduates, often don’t see the fruits of our labors–we may teach a class or consult with a student, but often don’t know what, if any, their long-term changes in behavior or disposition are. It’s a privilege to brainstorm with applicants about the research ideas they’re most excited about and to see these often first-gen students and alumni be recognized and funded to achieve those dreams.
In your own words: I’ve always felt lucky to work in higher ed, which at its most fundamental level is about helping people achieve their dreams and become informed and engaged citizens. Working with undergraduates in particular–who throw themselves 200% into what they believe in, who are figuring out who they are as people, who even when juggling a full course load and multiple jobs still find time to care so much about the world–inspires me every day.
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.