Member of the Week: Jamillah R. Gabriel

Jamillah GabrielJamillah R. Gabriel is Black Cultural Center Librarian and Metadata Specialist at Purdue University Libraries in West Lafayette, Indiana. Jamillah has been an ACRL member since 2011 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 2, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Ambitious, contemplative, persevering.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device? Currently, I’m reading Forty Acres: A Thriller by Dwayne Alexander Smith, and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy DeGruy.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Informative, supportive, inclusive.

4. What do you value about ACRL? One of the things I value most are the various sections that ACRL offers its members. Over the years, I have been a member of a few, and really appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the organization at-large in specific areas that are meaningful to me. Currently, I serve on the Publications and Research committee of the African American Studies section and looking forward to getting more involved this year.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As Librarian of the Black Cultural Center (BCC), I steward a special collection of over 7,000 items pertaining to African American culture and other people of the African Diaspora, and I act as archivist for the department where I manage the institutional and historical records of the BCC. In my capacity as Metadata Specialist with the University Libraries, I oversee the digitization of thousands of items from the BCC’s archives including photographs, flyers, programs, and other ephemera spanning over 40 years. One of my primary goals is to bring increased awareness of the BCC collections and make them more accessible to the student body and campus community as a whole. But as a budding cultural heritage professional, my overarching goal is the preservation of and increased access to collections in libraries, archives, and museums that represent people of color.

6. In your own words: Having worked in many types of libraries from public to academic (and in between), and in various capacities from page to librarian, my passion for the work has never waivered. I’m fortunate to have had so many different library experiences, all of which have helped shape me into the library professional that I am today, and I look forward to having many more. Along the way, I hope that I’m able to make a positive impact on both the profession, as well as the many patrons that I have served and will continue to serve.

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.