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Member of the Month

September 2021 Member of the Month

Submitted by Membership Committee member Kodi Saylor

Meet Robin Brown, our September 2021 CJCLS Member of the Month

Robin (she / her / hers) is the Head of Public Services at Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City, New York. 

As the head of public services, Robin manages reference, instruction, the library’s appointment service, and takes the lead in assessment. She says, “Teaching is the best part of my day.”  

A member of CJCLS for six years, Robin values the section for networking and developing relationships with colleagues who supported her when she went up for promotion. CJCLS has also created the opportunity for Robin to advocate for community college librarians.She is the current chair of the section. She has also been program planning chair, membership chair and the liaison to the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee.

When asked about her favorite part of serving a community college, Robin says, “Our students.  We get everybody!” and that she is very grateful to work for  Borough of Manhattan Community College, which is a very large and diverse community college part of the CUNY system. BMCC is currently looking for a Student Success Librarian. Please reach out to Robin if you are interested.  

When not working, Robin spends her time reading and writing, saying “Disabilities Studies Research is at the centerpiece of my practice.” Check out Seeking to Understand: A Journey into Disability Studies and Libraries which Robin co-authored with Scott Sheidlower. Lately, Robin has been reading 

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet and spending her time with her tabby cat, Fuzball (sic). 

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Member of the Month

August 2021 Member of the Month

Submitted by Kodi Saylor, Auraria Library

Every month, we are highlighting a member of CJCLS!

Meet Laura Dimmit Smyth, our August 2021 CJCLS Member of the Month

Laura (she, her, hers) is a librarian at University of Washington Bothell & Cascadia College Campus Library, in Bothell, Washington. 

As the Fine Arts and Cultural Studies Liaison, a large part of Laura’s work is teaching/reference and collections for those disciplines. However, due to the nature of her library’s instructional program she also works a great deal with composition and first-year experience classes which she loves. Because Laura’s library serves two campuses, one a community college and the other a four-year college, her library provides the collections and other resources of a larger institution while preserving the smaller size and community feel of her campus.

A member of CJCLS for five years, Laura joined the section in the hopes of connecting with other librarians who serve community colleges. 

When asked about her favorite part of serving a community college, Laura says that, “it has been my experience that community college educators are on the leading edge of important issues like open educational resources and digital accessibility, so working with Cascadia faculty really pushes me to continue developing as a professional.” 

For Fun

When Laura is not working, she is cooking or baking which she finds very relaxing, saying, “ I love the challenge of new recipes”. Kayaking/hiking in beautiful (or even the not so beautiful weather) Seattle weather with her husband is another of Laura’s hobbies.Laura’s been watching soccer taking delight at the great number of international tournaments happening this summer.Last but not least, she describes her tuxedo cat, Jane, as her best pal, who loves attending Zoom meetings when Laura works from home.  

(photo by Laura Dimmit Smyth of Jane, the cat.)

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Member of the Month

July 2021 Member of the Month

Better late than never. Our July Member of the Month is Jamie Witman (she/ her) the   Online Learning and OER Librarian at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).  Here’s what she had to say about her job: ”In this role I work to create and maintain the library’s online instructional presence with a variety of digital learning objects. My other main responsibility is to create educational opportunities for discipline faculty to learn about open educational resources (OER) and guide them through the process of transitioning to OER.”

Her favorite thing about being a community college librarian: “Getting to work with students from all different backgrounds and interests is one of the best parts of being a community college librarian. I love to connect with the students and learn a little bit about each of them when we work together.”

She’s been a member of CJCLS since 2017 and has this to say about her involvement. “Membership in CJCLS has given me the opportunity to meet and work with librarians all over the country. I have really enjoyed the time I’ve spent volunteering on committees. It has been a great way to stay involved in emerging practices and work with other passionate librarians.

She’s not always working, so what else does she do? “Pre-covid, I played ultimate frisbee for a competitive team in Maryland. It is such a fun and active sport and I’ve been playing for over a decade. But right now, I really enjoy going on hikes with my husband and son and when I have the time, playing guitar.” Any other guitar playing,  ultimate-frisbee loving librarians out there? Now there’s an idea for an interest group.  She’s got pets (who will likely miss hanging out with her when normal life resumes “Two dogs, Evelyn (border collie/retriever mix) and Sally (pit bull mix). They are the best! And are my son’s best friends.

Like most of us she’s found some time to read and watch more Netflix than usual. Here are her favorites from the recent past: “I just started Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia. I really enjoyed The Murmur of Bees so I’m looking forward to this next one. Best thing I’ve watched is Lupin on Netflix. It’s a French show dubbed in English and has all the mystery and intrigue you could want.”

If you want to reach out to Jamie to discuss common interests, she has allowed us to share her email: jwitman@ccbcmd.edu.

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Member of the Month

June 2021 Member of the Month

Each month we’re introducing you to a CJCLS member in this space.

Meet Yumi Shin, our June 2021 CJCLS Member of the Month!

Yumi (she, her, hers) is a librarian at Lamar State College – Port Arthur, Texas.

She describes her work: “My title is coordinator of reference and access services. My primary responsibilities are instruction and reference services for students, faculty, and staff. In addition to that, I handle various areas, such as acquisition, cataloging, and circulation, in conjunction with the library dean. I am also involved in research studying the impact of library instruction and library leadership. While pursuing my doctorate, I learned knowledge regarding leadership in higher education, and I like to continue working on the topic.”

She’s been a CJCLS member for 6 years and describes the benefits of membership: “I truly value the opportunities to share various topics with other community college librarians throughout the country. As a small college librarian, these opportunities are beneficial to me in increasing my knowledge and expanding connections to other professionals. It also helps me stay up-to-date during ongoing changing times. You may remember that Dr. Shin received the 2021 EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award from ACRL.

Her favorite thing about being a community college librarian: “The most favorite thing about being a community college librarian is to share stories and ideas together. Then, I can implement the ideas in my library and improve the library services.”

For fun:

When she’s not serving her library community, she spends time with her 5 year old golden retriever, Pluto, and she enjoys golf. “It is a pleasure to play golf with my family, husband, and two teens”

She recommends the movie Oxygen which she describes as “the story of surviving inside a cryogenic unit with little oxygen. Finding out herself is giving a shocking truth that I cannot imagine.”  If she could have any super power, she’d like to see the future.

In her own words:

“Since 2019, I have received four awards. The most recent one was the 2021 EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award from ACRL. This national award recognizes significant achievement in community college leadership and selects only one qualified candidate per year. It is such an honor to be chosen as a small college librarian. Other remarkable awards were the outstanding service in the library instruction award and Vivian Greenfield award grant from Texas Library Association. I purchased game products and kindles to promote high school students enrolled for the dual credit programs with that grant. About the publications, two articles were published last year. The library instruction topic was published at the Texas library journal, and the library leadership development topic was published at the library leadership and management journal. Since then, I have two other articles confirmed to be published this year. One will be in the Portal Libraries, the academy from Johns Hopkins press, and another in the Texas Library Journal. The topics are online library teaching and leadership development. Regarding my research, the previous research conducted with one English faculty at my school was selected for the presentation and publication for TLA conference 2020. My current research is focused on library online teaching, and this research is now presented at the TLA conference this week. The title is change and impact of library instruction classes during covid-19. I researched the impact of video tutorials and synchronous library instruction classes via surveys and pre-/post-test. It is found that online library instruction significantly helped students understand how to navigate library resources, and pre-and post-test showed the average scores were improved from 24 % to 71% after taking synchronous library classes. As can be seen, my primary research topic is library instruction.”

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Yumi Shin. If you would like to nominate a colleague or yourself to be a Member of the Month, please complete the nomination form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd4qNb3Lpdmmyr-VMDWvXZVOP78fjAr8lZbHdWQSYBNHLspjQ/viewform?usp=sf_link