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Member of the Month - March 2021

Rory Patterson - March 2021

Rory is the Associate Dean, Planning, Administration, and Operations at the Jerry Falwell Library of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA (75,335 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 1999.

Twitter Handle: @rory_patt

Describe yourself using a book title: The Grace Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll. This book introduced me to the reality of lived grace. I try to live daily in the awareness of God's grace, both giving and receiving grace, and to journal what grace I received each day.

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? To me, the best thing about being a librarian is meeting others' needs. I get to meet informational needs in reference and instruction events. As a team, we meet many types of resource needs. I work with departments to meet job needs in hiring. As Christian librarians, we meet spiritual needs via praying and peer discipling.

What are you currently reading? The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr, Teach from the Heart: Pedagogy as Spiritual Practice by Jenell Paris, and Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen.

Describe ACL in three words: Meaty, encouraging, and practical.

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus?  At Liberty, librarians are faculty, so I have been involved in multiple university committees. These provide opportunities to see needs around campus that my library can meet, to build relationships with non-library faculty, and to promote the library. One example was serving on the Information Literacy sub-committee of the University Core Competencies Committee. Another is currently chairing the Faculty Athletics Committee.

I began my career as a librarian...in Russia. I had been a graduate assistant in the King Library at Miami University, where I earned my MA. After that degree, God led my wife and I to Russia, where we taught Christian morals and ethics in a Russian school and technical college. Since I had worked in a library, I was given the English language teaching materials and was tasked with organizing them and creating a circulation system. When my wife and I return from Russia, God gave me the passion to earn my MLIS and stay in librarianship.

What do you value about ACL? I value the challenges. ACL members, services, and publications challenge me to be a better librarian, a better Christ-follower, a better leader, a better person, and so much more. I have made many friends in ACL who challenge me, many years after I first met them.

How were you introduced to ACL? I joined ACL while in library school, based on an internet search. I became active in ACL based on the encouragement of long-time member, Jan Bosma.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? I been blessed to serve on the ACL Website committee (now concluded), the Liberal Arts Section board, and the ACL Board. I have also been able to share what God is teaching me as a poster presenter, panel presenter, and paper presenter at various ACL annual conferences and in The Christian Librarian.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? I enjoy applying ethical decision making to librarianship, especially its application in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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.