ACRL Member of the Week: Sean C. Bird

Sean C. Bird

Sean C. Bird is the associate dean of university libraries and the center for student success at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. Sean has been a member of ACRL for 6 years and is your ACRL Member of the Week for March 29, 2021.

Describe yourself in three words: Human happiness agent.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators by Kenneth D. Crews.

Describe ACRL in three words: Academic library advocates.

What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is my first stop for professional development and as a resource to answer the questions I have about the theory and practice of serving the patrons I encounter.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I want students, faculty and staff at Washburn University to think of me as their librarian in the same way they think of the oral care specialist they make appointments with as their dentist and the general practitioner they see annually as their doctor. “Thank you for getting back to me, Sean. What I really want to know is ….”

In your own words: Being an academic librarian is a lifestyle. I am never not librarianing. An Information Literacy instructor, as well I am an Information Literacy practitioner, constantly manipulating the information I consume, identifying meanings in my immediate environment and pushing forward and back, seeking broader terms, narrower terms, and see alsos, determining authorship and distilling credibility. In a classroom, at the reference desk, or by video conference, I am doing and talking at the same time, describing and explaining what I am clicking or reading or turning in real time and, ideally, building those processes in the minds of the students, the patrons, across physical desks or on the other side of digital desks. At the end of the day, I am gratified because I think I am making a difference.


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.