Member of the Week: Rafia Mirza

Rafia MirzaRafia Mirza is Reference and Instruction Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington in Arlington, Texas. Rafia has been an ACRL member since 2009  and is your ACRL member of the week.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Friendly, Enthusiastic, Cheerful.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your iPod)? On my iPod: Chak De! and Rab Na Bana Jodi (Bollywood Movies), Wicked  (the musical) and music by V.V. Brown, M.I.A., Janelle Monae. Reading: Stumptown by Greg Rucka, Absolute Planetary by Warren Ellis,  and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making  by Catherynne M. Valente. Also, The Generation X Librarian! (I co-wrote a chapter in this book,  it is my 1st academic publication, I continue to be VERY EXCITED  ABOUT IT.)

3. Describe ACRL in three words:
Academic, Professional, Dynamic.

4. Why did you join ACRL? I joined ACRL because I wanted to take  advantage of the opportunities that membership in ACRL affords, such  as networking and the national conference.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? I like  helping people find the information they are looking for, even if they  are not quite sure what resources they need yet, they just know what their questions  are. I like instruction, but I also love interacting with people on  one on one.

6. In your own words: I love being a librarian because  you can be a generalist forever. (I think there is a high correlation  between librarians and people who love Trivial Pursuit or pub trivia). You are required to constantly learn new things and you are required  to share that information. There is so much information out there, the  challenge is helping patrons find the most relevant, useful  information, so you need to be familiar with how to find, access and interpret: archives, newspapers, books, polls and popular opinion, government resources and to navigate those you need to be familiar with: electronic resources, databases, social media, online search  engines, copyright restrictions, orphan works . . .

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.

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