Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2020 ALA/ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2020 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate in slate order each weekday from February 28 – March 6. 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 9.
Jessica Brangiel is an electronic resources management librarian at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania and a 2020 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Director-at-Large.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Enthusiastic, curious, committed.
2. Describe ACRL in three words: Welcoming, community, collaboration.
3. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has helped me to become a better librarian. Through my participation in ACRL committees, interest groups and task forces I have gained valuable experience and knowledge that has enhanced the work I do day to day. ACRL provides librarians in all types of positions and at all stages of their career the opportunity to gain a valuable network of colleagues who are helpful, engaging and interested in advancing the profession. Yet, I am aware that not all librarians nor ACRL members have felt welcomed by either the profession or the association. ACRL member of the week, Patrice Green from the University of Georgia, accurately described ACRL as underutilized. This is something that I would like to work to change if elected to the ACRL Board. There is a place for everyone and all voices are valuable and have something important to contribute. I am honored to stand for election as a Director-at-Large for the ACRL Board and look forward to the opportunity to welcome, include and learn from new and long time members.
4. What would you as candidate for the ACRL Board like to see ACRL accomplish in the area of EDI? ACRL has done a lot of great work already in the areas of EDI as reflected in the ACRL Plan for Excellence. However, there is still much work to be done and there are members and professionals who continue to feel unwelcome in the profession and the association. I would like to see ACRL extend out the goals and ideas articulated in the ACRL Plan for Excellence to the Chapter level. There are many vibrant and engaging ACRL Chapters that with assistance and guidance from ACRL National could be doing more in the work of EDI at the local grassroots level. For some professionals the barrier to participation in the association continues to be high but engagement at the Chapter level could be a more manageable entry point. I am fortunate to be an active member of a highly engaging ACRL Chapter that is actively working on new ways to recruit and involve new members including a waived membership fee for new librarians, LIS students and those with financial need. If elected as a Director-at-Large to the ACRL Board I will advocate to support further the work of the Chapters and seek out new areas for collaboration and engagement.
5. In your own words: Academic librarians are highly engaged with their campus communities and are no longer associated just with the place that is the library. We are embedded in classrooms both face to face and online, are found in digital scholarship labs, collaborate with writing centers and departments of institutional research and are working with student disability services to support the accessibility needs of all students while working to encourage a culture of universal design for learning. Academic librarians rise to the challenge of growth and expansion within their campus communities while continuing to do more with less. The phrase “never a dull moment” rings true. I am truly grateful to work in an environment where I learn something new everyday.
6. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I am currently reading Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, Say nothing : a true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe and I’ve been captivated by the Catch & Kill podcast with Ronan Farrow.