Meet the Candidates: Wayne Bivens-Tatum

Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2024 ALA/ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2024 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate in slate order each weekday from March 1-8. 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.

Wayne Bivens-Tatum is a librarian for philosophy, religion, & anthropology at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ and a 2024 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Director-at-Large.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, helpful, rational (according to an informal poll of colleagues).

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Opportunities to contribute.

3. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is a good way to connect with colleagues outside my own institution and to do some work supporting the profession. All in all, the profession’s been good to me, and ACRL is mostly a way to give something back.

4. What would you as candidate for the ACRL Board like to see ACRL accomplish in the area of EDI? Encourage and support ideas and initiatives from the members. To combat systematic problems we need systematic solutions, which means looking for ideas from everyone and supporting the best and most feasible of those.

5. In your own words (an open-ended statement or reflection about life as an academic/research librarian): Life as an academic librarian is pretty easy for me these days. In my 25th year as a librarian, I’ve got the best collection of colleagues I’ve ever had, an institution generally supportive of the library’s work, and students and faculty whose research I enjoy supporting. And I’m fully aware of just how fortunate this situation is.

6. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I read a lot, often 2-3 books per week. Usually, I have four books going at once: a non-fiction and often scholarly book, a fiction book, a non-page-turner bedtime book, and a “phone” book (i.e., An e-book I read mostly on my phone during idle moments when I can get some reading in). Right now, in order, those are: Dale Wright’s Living Skillfully: Buddhist Philosophy of Life from the Vimalakirti Sutra [another Wright delight]; Major Ingredients: the Selected Short Stories of Eric Frank Russell [often humorous and anarchistic SF writer]; Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization V1: Our Oriental Heritage [astonishingly open-minded for its period]; and Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: the Teaching of Zen Master Seung Sahn [keeping a don’t-know mind on this one].