Member of the Week: Derrick Jefferson

Derrick JeffersonDerrick Jefferson is Communication Librarian at American University in Washington, DC. Derrick has been an ACRL member since 2012, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for March 23, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Open, humorous, committed.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I go back every few years to Michael Ondaatje’s pre-English Patient works: Coming Through Slaughter and The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. I find his unique mashup of poetry, prose, myth, and storytelling to be utterly fascinating.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Connected, purposeful, engaged.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I feel like ACRL has provided a warm and embracing home for me. As a library school student, I dipped my toes in many pools trying to learn as much as I could about the profession, and as an academic librarian interested in how to be a better instructor, how to do better assessment, it has really affected how I go about conducting and refining my work in the library. ACRL really laid the groundwork for me through their publications, meeting other members, etc. The newsletter is great for highlighting the work of my fellow librarians and keeping me informed on current dealings and topics.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? People are our livelihood. I go out of my way, and out of the library to engage our campus community. Our demographics have changed, I work with many working professionals, graduate students, veterans, online/distance students and an increasingly diverse student population here at American University. Libraries have changed from what many of these students are used to. I hope to keep our patrons informed on what it is libraries and librarians can do for them and their research, study, and and collection needs.

6. In your own words: I wake up every morning with a smile on my face and am often one of the first people in the office. I love what I do, and being able to share my skill set to help others level up on their research is a pretty significant gift. With that, I’m still learning! Having a network of colleagues who can share their experiences and knowledge is huge in helping me help others.

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 for more information.