Member of the Week: Sara Shutkin

Sara ShutkinSara Shutkin is Archivist/Records Manager/Reference Librarian at the Alverno College Library in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sara has been an ACRL member since 1985 and is your ACRL member of the week for October 20, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Creative, Inquisitive, Team-player.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Now that my child is almost grown, I have the time once again to juggle many reading projects at once which I love to do. I am just finishing re-reading Dune after recently reading a number of the prequels-it’s even better the second time through. I just began reading Hollow Earth (a children’s fantasy novel written by an Alverno faculty member). In the commuter bag I sometimes carry with me to work is a copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. And finally from my professional to-do list, I am making my way through The Lone Arranger: Succeeding in a Small Repository.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Responsive, Innovative, Supportive.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Since I do not get to conferences very often due to budgetary and time constraints, I value ACRL’s web site and publications. It is from those that I interact with colleagues and can keep up with cutting edge developments. I also value ACRL for the continuing education it provides; I am an Information Literacy Immersion Program alumna and a participant in the first year cohort of ACRL’s Assessment in Action (AiA) project as leader of Alverno’s librarian-led team.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Since ours is a small institution, librarians, like the rest of the staff and faculty here, often wear multiple hats and I am no exception. My job title is “archivist/records manager/reference librarian.’ I love the variety that is my work. I provide traditional services such as library research assistance, and information literacy instruction; I serve as library liaison to some academic departments, and do library collection evaluation and enhancement. I also provide college historical information, do records management consultations for departments college-wide and serve on college committees and advisory groups. Nothing makes me feel better than when a student thanks me for my assistance after she successfully completes an assignment.

6. In your own words: I have worked at Alverno College for 27 years and have been a library professional for more than 30. I love being part of a profession that includes some of the last of the world’s great generalists. I am encouraged to keep learning and I learn from everything I do. All the strands of knowledge that I gather can and are used somehow in my work. Helping others get to the information they need is my highest priority both in the library and in the archives.

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.