Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2019 ALA/ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2019 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate in slate order each weekday from February 27 – March 8. Complete details on candidates for ACRL offices are available on the election website. Make sure to vote for the candidates of your choice starting March 11.
Anne Marie Casey is the Director of the Hunt Library at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida and a 2019 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Vice-President/President-Elect.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Hopeful, friendly, inclusive.
2. Describe ACRL in three words: Education, networking, advocacy.
3. Why do you value about ACRL? More than anything else, I value the educational opportunities ACRL offers members. As I have encountered changes in stakeholder expectations of academic libraries and advanced in my own career, ACRL has been the first place I have gone to develop my knowledge base. The variety of educational offerings, including conference programs, webinars, publications, networking and volunteer opportunities, have helped me to grow as a librarian, to learn how to advocate for and demonstrate the value of my library, and to develop my leadership skills.
4. What would you as candidate for the ACRL Board bring to this position? As candidate for ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect, I would bring a long history of volunteer and leadership roles in ACRL and other professional library associations as well as a wide range of experience in academic libraries from community colleges to doctoral-granting institutions, both as a librarian and a leader. I would also bring a willingness to explore the most critical issues facing our profession today along with a proven ability to facilitate collaboration and the development of processes and guidelines that would strengthen our association and the libraries and personnel it supports.
5. In your own words: Some of my earliest memories are of asking questions and wanting to share what I learned. I have a passion for connecting people to the information they need. Since, access to reliable information is one of the most important priorities of our time, I am proud to work in the profession that enables access to and education about the sources of information most appropriate to a library’s community. I am also happy with my career choice of academic librarianship. Continually learning and adapting to the needs and expectations of an ever-changing group of students has contributed to an interesting work life and one of constant growth.
As I reflect on my various experiences at different academic libraries, I can track professional growth from each one. And, while I developed into the person I am today with every experience, the most profound time of personal growth occurred while working in an academic library with a staff composed of people from different countries, ethnicities, races, beliefs, orientations, and abilities. I learned so much about cultures other than the one in which I was raised and, as a result, believe I developed into a more effective librarian. As we have begun to expose the ugly details of unequal and, at times, cruel treatment of members of our profession from underrepresented groups, I believe we need to take this opportunity to learn. If we have difficulty recruiting and retaining librarians, who reflect our country today, we need to ask why and what we can do to remedy this situation, and be prepared to accept and digest hard truths. If, when I retire, I can look back and say that I played a role in helping academic libraries to become more like the one I described above, my pride and happiness at choosing this career would increase greatly.
6. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I just finished reading two books that I was working on simultaneously: The Library Book by Susan Orlean and Emergence by C.J. Cherryh. The former is a detailed account of the Los Angeles Public Library focusing on a devastating fire at the central library in 1986. It is riveting in its description of the fire, the criminal investigation that followed, and the history of public libraries in LA. I particularly enjoyed the depiction of librarians in a way that rings true to me as a librarian. The latter is the 19th volume in the Foreigner series by Cherryh. The author captures human nature and interpersonal relationships against the backdrop of human versus non-human communication in a science fiction universe. The concepts of different species getting along through mindful communication is a lesson for today’s world in which we seem to be in dire need of good communication.