Damiana Fortenberry is a library associate at the Gwinnett County Public Library in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Damiana, a 2020 ALA Emerging Leader, has been a member of ACRL for 3 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for March 23, 2020.
Describe yourself in three words: Kind, enthusiastic, detail-oriented.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I usually love reading romance, and in that genre J.R. Ward is my favorite author. However, it’s become a personal tradition of mine to read something in the horror or thriller genre every holiday season. This years book is Mountain of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft.
Describe ACRL in three words: Supportive, inclusive, helpful.
What do you value about ACRL? I’ve been connected with so many resources that have helped me become a better librarian through ACRL. My mentor and I met through this organization and it’s been such a wonderful experience being able to have that professional guidance and support. Every aspect of the ACRL that I’ve encountered thus far has been about helping new and experienced academic librarians alike. I’m very grateful that the ACRL exists and am especially grateful to the many people who contribute to it.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I’m actually a public librarian! Although I’ve only been in academic libraries as a student and an interning librarian, I’ve performed plenty of services to patrons that are the same whether you’re in a public or academic library. I often help patrons in one-on-one sessions do in-depth research on topics they’re interested in knowing more about, and guide them to more resources pertaining to that subject. I research and conduct programs that help the public learn about a variety of topics. The ones I’ve been most passionate about have been those pertaining to health literacy for all ages. And, of course, I help patrons with readers advisory when it’s needed.
In your own words: The desire to help people is first and foremost in my mind when I think about what I do, and I think that would be true whether I was in an academic or a public library. Being a librarian has taught me that I enjoy helping people reach their full potential and guiding them to resources that may make their life better.
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.