Member of the Week: Nancy Kranich

Nancy KranichNancy Kranich is special projects librarian at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Nancy has been an ACRL member since 1986 and is the recipient of the 2015 American Library Association Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. She is your ACRL member of the week for August 10, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, tireless, and connector.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? Richard Harwood’s “Putting Community into Collective Impact,” (Collective Impact Forum and the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, 2015) and David Mathews’ The Ecology of Democracy: Finding Ways to Have a Stronger Hand in Shaping Our Future (Dayton, OH: Kettering Foundation, 2014)Note: The Kettering Foundation is giving free copies of this book to libraries using it for book discussions and professors using it in class. A web site at offers questions for libraries to lead conversations on this topic.   

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Networking, advancement, and empowerment.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is a community of practice that engages members and shares their journeys.  It is the place we come together to shape our collective future and build the capacity to move forward in a tumultuous but exciting time of change.  It is our home away in our international professional village.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As special projects librarian at Rutgers University, I bring my training as a “public innovator” through the Harwood Institute to help colleagues engage more deeply with the Rutgers community. Together, we map strategies for our libraries to turn outward as they strengthen campus relationships and transform the way the RU Libraries engage with the campus community. These efforts highlight the value of engaging in conversations that build public knowledge and community, in order to position the library within the broader discourse of the academy. What is apparent from these conversations is that the libraries have the power to bring people together in the community. Through our efforts, we are increasingly recognized as facilitators of conversations and catalysts for positive change on campus, as well as trusted partners in the educational enterprise.

6. In your own words: Librarianship is about limitless possibilities. As academic and research librarians, we bring the potential to shape a better and more inclusive future for students and scholars.  Today is the perfect moment for us to carve out new territory, build community, lead change, and deepen engagement across our universities. When we turn outward and act intentionally, we reposition our libraries from repositories to strategic university assets. In doing so, we tap into the potential of leading our campuses during a chaotic time.  Throughout a career committed to academic libraries and to education in LIS programs, I have rejoiced as we empower a diverse array of young people to engage, connect, learn, and grow.  Today’s academic libraries–no longer a destination but a transformational journey—contribute one of the fundamental elements that enable higher education to create a future for our institutions and society.

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.