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Member of the Month

Gregg Geary - September 2021

Gregg is the Dean of the Library at Biola University in La Mirada, CA (4,830 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 2014.

Describe yourself using a book title: A Man for All Seasons (a play and film rather than a book but a literary product nonetheless)

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? As someone who is fascinated by just about everything I find librarianship to be a great career to discover and learn about God's creation and our role in it. I can't think of a better profession for a generalist with a lot of curiosity. I can't decide if I would call myself a Renaissance man or just a guy with ADD.

What are you currently reading? The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by Carl R. Trueman and Live Not By Lies by Rod Dreher

Describe ACL in three words: Collegial, Supportive, Blessing

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus?  As a library dean I seek to develop a great team of information professionals dedicated to building collections and services that will support research, learning, and inquiry of all kinds that brings real value to all our patrons.

My professional career began...in 1984 (no reference to Orwell's novel intended) when I needed a job while I was writing my master's thesis in music at Baylor University. What I thought would be a summer job working in the music library turned into a lifetime career. I eventually attended library school at the University of North Texas while working as a paraprofessional in the music library at Baylor. I loved working at Baylor but after eight years there as a paraprofessional, I accepted a professional position as music librarian at the University of Hawaii, Manoa where I worked for 21 years. I moved into more administrative roles as head of a department (Sinclair Library) and then interim University Librarian. I was very blessed when the Lord opened the door for me to return to Christian higher education at Biola University in 2014.

What do you value about ACL? The collegial support of ACL members has been a tremendous help to me professionally. I learn so much from the email exchanges on the wide array of topics that fellow members discuss on the listserv. I try to pay back a bit by contributing whenever I can. But more than that, when I shared the loss of my brother-in-law who was also a librarian, due to the coronavirus in February of 2020, I received an outpouring of love and support from colleagues that I could not have imagined. It was a great blessing to me and my sister as well. I will be forever grateful to my ACL colleagues for that.

How were you introduced to ACL? I learned about ACL from an internet search several years before I actually joined. I originally thought it might only be for people employed in Christian colleges and universities which it clearly is not. I wish I had joined it earlier when I was working for a state institution. As soon as I took the job as Dean of the Library at Biola I joined ACL.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? I have made a presentation at an ACL conference along with a great colleague. That collaboration was a great joy and built a lasting friendship. In 2019 I created a poster session about a two-week library training workshop I gave in Nigeria. I also try to provide useful comments on the ACL listserv and support fellow librarians at Biola in attending the ACL conferences whenever possible.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? I enjoy learning about rare books and management. Management requires dealing with people, the infinite variable, and while sometimes frustrating, is never dull.

ACL turns the spotlight on members to highlight how they are making a difference and how they have benefited from ACL membership. This is an opportunity for ACL members to share their stories with colleagues, inspire future librarians, and strengthen awareness of the profession and association. To nominate another member or yourself, please fill out the Member of the Month nomination form.