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Member of the Month - August 2020

Julie Sweeney - August 2020

Julie is an Instructional Services Librarian at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA (3,677 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2017.

Twitter Handle: @julieesweeney

Describe yourself using a book title: This Is Me (Chrissy Metz). After many years of working in libraries, earning my MLIS in 2018, and completing my first academic year as a faculty librarian, I feel that I've found my place and truly embraced a career in librarianship. I can finally say I am a Librarian!

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? My favorite thing in librarianship is the times when I get to see a patron experience an "Aha!" moment and know that not only have they found what was needed for the present, but also learned how to more effectively find information in the future.

What are you currently reading? I am currently reading How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, re-reading Anathem by Neal Stephenson, and working my way through two commentaries on the Gospel of John for the Bible Study I teach.

Describe ACL in three words: Connection. Service. Opportunity.

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As part of the Instructional Services team, I partner with the University's Composition Program to deliver workshops on research skills and information literacy to every section of required writing classes. I also work with faculty in my liaison areas to provide subject-specific research instruction to their classes. As a new faculty member, I do not yet have a campus committee assignment, but I've found a few opportunities to volunteer in small ways in events and programs around campus.

I began my career as a librarian... As a student worker in my high school library and then my university library. I was delighted to return to my alma mater when a paraprofessional position opened up a couple of years after I graduated. Working in the library gave me the opportunity to see the many pieces of service that come together to serve our patrons. This insight allowed me to shape my MLIS studies effectively and achieve my goal of becoming an Instructional Services Librarian.

What do you value about ACL? ACL is a welcoming community in which I can be of service to the profession and connect with and be encouraged by other information professionals. 

How were you introduced to ACL? My first experience with ACL was as a student worker helping facilitate the 2000 ACL Annual Conference. Do you remember the origami Hawaiian shirt decorations? I folded SO MANY of those!! All of the librarians I have worked with over the years have been ACL members. I was excited when I began my MLIS program and finally got to join the Association as a library student!

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? I am a volunteer indexer for the Christian Periodicals Index, I have written book reviews for The Christian Librarian, and I am the convener for the Emerging Library Professionals Interest Group.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? My main focus is on information literacy.

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.