Meet the Candidates: Mary Beth Lock

Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2023 ALA/ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2023 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate in slate order each weekday from March 3-10. 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 13.

Mary Beth Lock is the associate dean at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC and a 2023 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Director-at-Large.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, inclusive, diligent.

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Resources, helpful, leadership.

3. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL as an organization is a great place for academic librarians to find their community. Programming is always on point and relevant because the people who are developing it are living it! Professional development is available to help librarians grow and polish skills, librarians can find new ideas for programming and outreach, and administrators who are challenged in some way can find support and answers. In this community of experts, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. 

4. What would you as candidate for the ACRL Board like to see ACRL accomplish in the area of EDI? ACRL should continue to provide assistance for academic libraries to identify best practices for supporting an inclusive workplace, ensuring inclusive content (including relevant local content) is provided to the library’s patrons, and striving to create places online and in real life that is welcoming for all. The historic practices of the white-centered library profession will take effort to address and rectify. Constant attention will need to be paid to prevent perpetuating past exclusionary practices.

5. In your own words: Academic librarians have a common desire to make a difference in whatever sphere they happen to find themselves in. Even if we can’t make it better for everyone, we can at least help those in front of us…across the Public Services Desk…in the chat room…email…zoom…whatever the method of contact. We desire to make other people struggle less. We have the keys to help. We desire to make the world a little better than we found it. I think that common focus is what makes me so proud to be a part of this profession.

6. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile devices)? Reading: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Listening to: Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way by Rasmus Hougaard and Jaqueline Carter. Favorite Podcasts: Freakonomics M.D and Science vs.