Member of the Week: Lisa N. Johnston

Lisa N. JohnstonLisa N. Johnston is Associate Director of Libraries at Sweet Briar College’s Mary Helen Cochran Library in Sweet Briar, VA. Lisa has been an ACRL member since 1989, and is your ACRL member of the week.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, energetic, eclectic.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your iPod)? Currently I serve on ALA’s GLBT Round Table Stonewall book awards committee so I am reading piles of new books with GLBT themes, and The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. I listen to a variety of music, recent iPod favorites are Nicola Conte Presents Viagem 2, which is a collection of Brazilian music from the 1960’s and my U2 360 Tour playlist.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative academic network.

4. Why did you join ACRL? As an academic librarian in public services I want to share ideas about working in innovative ways with students and academic departments. Our library has benefited from contacts I have made through ACRL. The advice and ideas we share are invaluable.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? There are teaching and learning opportunities every day. I appreciate being able to collaborate with faculty and students on their research. It is a privilege to be a part of an academic community that has given me friends and great colleagues all over the world.

6. In your own words: Some people think I speak the language of the non sequitur. I explain that is what my career has done to the way my mind works. Statements may not follow to them (“normal people”), but as reference librarians we see the connections.  It is energizing and endlessly interesting working with intellectually engaged people, particularly during this time of great technological change. I cannot imagine doing anything else.

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.


  1. Congratulations, Lisa. A well-deserved honor to a fabulous and tireless helper to students and faculty (even retired!!!) alike.

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