Member of the Week: Laksamee Putnam

Laksamee PutnamLaksamee Putnam is Science Librarian at Towson University’s Albert S. Cook Library in Towson, Maryland. Laksamee has been an ACRL member since 2010 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 11, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Optimistic, Balanced, Dreamer.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Reading: Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. Listening to: Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Dedicated, Forward Thinking, Academic.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the structure and the opportunity that ACRL provide. By structure I mean, the umbrella of services and guidance ACRL provides both broadly for academic libraries (such as the recent conversations stimulated by the creation of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education) and for various specialties (such as the Science and Technology Section relevant to my science librarianship). By opportunity I mean the ease with which those interested can find leadership roles within committees and of course the amazing networking that occurs during any ACRL conference.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? One significant role of an academic librarian is to act as a bridge, helping bring students to broader perspectives, collaborating with faculty to improve their research and overall creating a rich information network for campus. Most of my time has been spent contributing to the impressive foundation laid down by librarians before me, strengthening those bridges. My passion however has always been the instruction aspect of academic librarianship.

I truly enjoy working with students and strive to constantly improve my pedagogy. I am lucky to work with a research and instruction department that shares this passion and gives voice to the importance embedded librarianship has at our campus. We never know when students will have that “aha” moment about this weird “thing” we call the research process but as ephemeral as it may sound, I think what I contribute as a librarian is making that moment of information discovery as significant as possible.

6. In your own words: Librarian is a job title that I am sure we are all familiar explaining. I plan to keep explaining it. But nothing beats those moments when you unexpectedly run into another librarian, and you both get way too excited, and without explanation can agree, “Isn’t it the greatest!”

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.