ACRL Member of the Week: Emily Rimland

Emily Rimland is an information literacy librarian and learning technologies coordinator at the Pennsylvania State University. Emily has been a member of ACRL for 15 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for January 25, 2021.

Describe yourself in three words: Diplomatic, resilient, rock-n-roll.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz (A Lisbeth Salander novel). Listening is almost always non-fiction for me. Right now it’s a long form podcast called Unfinished: Deep South which is story of a wealthy African American farmer named Isadore Banks who was lynched in 1954.

Describe ACRL in three words: Evolving, dependable, professional.

What do you value about ACRL?

I have valued the service and leadership opportunities and to meet and work with many wonderful colleagues as a result. I’ve worked on a number of different groups from ACRL conference planning committees, to Instruction Section committees, to a co-divisional ACRL/AASL committee. Because my work often involves new or emerging technologies, there are not always service opportunities directly connected to that work. However, within ACRL I was able to start an interest group for digital badges and micro-credentials and value the space within the organization to be able to create something entirely new like that in order to have a place for discussion and networking.

I also value ACRL’s venues as a way to disseminate scholarship–for me it started with the “Cyber Zed Shed” at ACRL Baltimore years ago and I consider the ACRL conference to be my favorite one (although SXSW Interactive is in the running for that top spot too). I want to be sure to give a shout out to the ACRL Information Literacy Framework and its creators (plus its precursor, the Standards) as it is something I use all the time and is central to my work. As a profession, we must increase our efforts related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, which we’ve begun, but have a lot more to do. I look forward to continuing to be part of a profession that values these efforts and strives for equity and am actively working on these efforts myself.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? At Penn State, we have many librarians with specializations. As an information literacy librarian, I’m a generalist in many ways but as the learning technologies coordinator I help provide leadership around learning technologies–so basically the best of both worlds! I enjoy using technology to explore how to not only disrupt, but more importantly, improve traditional forms of teaching and learning and this is my focus of contribution at my campus. Lucky for me that means working a large variety of colleagues both inside and outside the library on a number of novel and traditional projects, as well as working with students to help them gain information literacy skills.

In your own words: Within my role, I often feel that I have a foot in two different worlds of librarianship–the traditional and the emerging, the general and the specialized. For someone who had a hard time choosing a career path due to many interests, this dichotomy keeps my work fresh and exciting. Additionally, as my superhero trading card implies, I feel that librarians are research superheroes here to help people with their information emergencies in a single bound!



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 mpetrowski@ala.org for more information.