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Member of the Month

Justin Lillard - March 2020

Justin is a Reference Librarian at Harding University (4,435 FTE) in Searcy, AR. He has been a member of ACL since 2018.

Twitter Handle: @JustinMLillard

Describe yourself using a book title: An Inconvenient Truth 

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The best thing about being a librarian is the joy and satisfaction of helping others see how academic growth can contribute to spiritual growth.

What are you currently reading? A biography of Roger Williams by Edwin Gaustad, Introduction to Aristotle by Richard McKeon, the first year of the comic book, Warlock and the Infinity Watch, and the Bible(currently in Judges).

Describe ACL in three words: Professional, Welcoming, Spiritually-Serious

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I make an effort to apply my expertise and talents to the benefit of people in my liaison departments apart from my strict job responsibilities (e.g., speaking in chapel, facilitating guided reading groups, etc.)

I began my career as a librarian... I began my career due to the mentorship and encouragement of my supervisors at Abilene Christian University. I was a graduate assistant in the Center for Restoration Studies, where Dr. Carisse Berryhill and Dr. Mark Tucker first encouraged me to consider librarianship as a profession.

What do you value about ACL? I value the friendships I'm beginning to form. I'd like to especially plug the value of the Annual Conference to anyone who's "on the fence" about whether to attend or not. Last year was my first time to attend the whole shebang. My wife, Stephanie, was able to join me and we had an absolutely WONDERFUL time! I told her later, "This experience reminds me of the type of joy I had as an undergraduate on large group retreats." It's something I hadn't really felt in almost twenty years!

How were you introduced to ACL? As I recall, I first learned of ACL through an internet search.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? I've attended the Conference, recruited a few new members, and co-presented a workshop at last year's Conference (with the wonderful Ms. Andrea Abernathy).

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? My specific interests include assessment and strategic planning and the role of librarians as educators.

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.