Sara DeSantis is a reference & research librarian at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg. Sara has been a member of ACRL for 2 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for November 9, 2020.
Describe yourself in three words: Ambitious, empathetic, loving.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Listening to The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancee by Annika Martin – I am a huge audiobook listener and an avid reader of romances! I’m physically reading Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. If I’m not listening to a romance, then I’m reading a self-help book. I have also been listing to the podcasts Snapshots with Blaine and Binge Bros.
Describe ACRL in three words: Supportive, innovative, inclusive.
What do you value about ACRL? I value the connections I have made through ACRL. I am able to meet other academic librarians who face similar institutional challenges and work through those things together as well as learn from other librarians who have been in the profession longer than I have been.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I am a reference and research librarian primarily. I am on the reference desk answering in person, phone, and chat questions. I also do one-on-one appointments with students for more complex research questions. I also do library instruction for University 101 classes, English 101 and 102 classes, as well as Chemistry classes. I am the chemistry liaison and next year will be adding business to that. I am the specialist for the library’s social media, marketing, and outreach. I also teach a 1 credit Personal Financial Literacy course to students on my campus. Part of this course is to establish a Personal Finance Counselor for our students. I have begun this by working towards an Accredited Personal Finance certification through AFCPE. I am working on developing and teaching 2 more 1-credit courses on the topic of financial literacy. I have been going to senior seminar courses to discuss my services and answer any questions that students have. I also am part of the referrals system for academic advisors so I can be notified if students are struggling financially or need to talk to someone about finances. Some other areas I am involved in is I teach a Civil Treatment course to all faculty and staff to promote workplace civility. I am on Faculty Senate, the Open Education Resources committee, and the Library Diversity Committee.
In your own words: The life as an academic librarian is filled with different things each day. I can work collaboratively with my co-workers, students, and faculty/staff on important things on campus, be creative through social media and teaching, have time for scholarship and service by being active with ACRL, SCLA, and other campus communities. No day is ever the same. The interactions and relationships I’ve made with my community as an academic librarian remind me that this job is more than being a librarian. I am a voice in the community and help people 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.