Member of the Week: Susan L. Jennings

Susan L. JenningsSusan L. Jennings is Dean of Library Services at the Chattanooga State Community College Augusta R. Kolwyck Library and Information Commons in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Susan has been an ACRL member since 2007 and is your ACRL member of the week for March 3, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Energetic, passionate, collaborative.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished reading The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Professional, collaborative, resources.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is a valuable organization.  I value the wonderful mix of educational programs it provides; the leadership and professional development opportunities available to me; and the connection to a vast network of highly talented and generous colleagues from which to learn and develop as a leader.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As Dean of Library Services, my job is to be a “library evangelist” — in other words, spreading the word on what we, the library and its staff, can do for faculty, staff and students.  My colleagues and I are actively involved on committees (campus, statewide, and national) and use those opportunities to develop partnerships with the academic community.

6. In your own words: The best decision I ever made was to pursue my library degree and become a professional librarian.  When I accepted my first job as a night and weekend staff supervisor at Belk Library, Appalachian State University, my plan was to work there two years, finish my master’s degree in history and move on in pursuit of my “real” profession: teaching history in community college.  Eleven years later, I was STILL working in that library and my “job” of the moment became my vocation of a lifetime.  I fell in love with librarianship and was determined to complete my MSIS.  Nine years later, I STILL love my job and love being a librarian.  Even now that I am an administrator, I still love being a librarian first and thrilled when I can make a difference in a student’s life.

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.