Member of the Week: Karen Chobot

Karen ChobotKaren Chobot is Director of the Mildred Johnson Library at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND. Karen has been an ACRL member since 1994 and is your ACRL Member of the Week.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Reading, learning, sharing.

2. What are you currently reading? Michael Dirda’s Book by Book, Lian Hearn’s The Harsh Cry of the Heron, The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Professional, networking, education.

4. Why did you join ACRL? When I first moved to North Dakota, I didn’t know anyone and left behind a wonderful group of librarians in Nebraska whose support I greatly missed. I thought that the best place to find like-minded librarians would be in ACRL, so one of the first meetings I went to was the local chapter meeting. Over the years, this has been my biggest contact with other academic librarians, with great programs and learning opportunities. The one national conference I have been able to attend was in Minneapolis, which was probably the best conference I have ever attended, useful, fun, great networking.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? Being able to share books and knowledge with students and others who also value what comes beyond information. Although I love working on research at my own desk, it is the learners of all kinds who make the day exciting and interesting. And in a community college, you get to meet such a variety you never know what the day will bring. Nothing 9-5 about this job!

6. In your own words: It is said that the parts of life are learning first, gaining perspective second, and developing wisdom third. Coming to librarianship later in life, I hope I am past the first two and am working on the last. Developing is the operative word — and being in this place at this time is helping me to use my perspective on learning. I like to learn alone, and I like to learn with the students and staff who come looking for things I have never thought of. Then I get to share that with others who are also searching. Will I ever get to wisdom? I don’t know, but I do know I won’t get there without everyone else.


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Contact David Free at dfree{at}ala{dot}org for more information.