Alison Johnson is the Assistant Library Director at Indiana Wesleyan University (FTE: 14,730) in Marion, Indiana. Alison has been a member of ACL since 2009.
Describe yourself using a book title: Great Expectations
What’s the best thing about being a librarian? Variety! Librarians wear so many different hats. On any given day I can go from being a teacher to a manager to a marketer to a computer programmer to a statistician. There’s always a new challenge on the horizon.
What are you currently reading? Don’t Make Me Think Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
Describe ACL in three words: Support, Encouragement, Wisdom
How do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I ensure library services are running smoothly and efficiently so that students and faculty have access to the resources they need. I work one-on-one with students to assist with their research projects and also with faculty to provide research instruction to their classes.
I began my career as a librarian… working as a clerk in the children’s department at a public library after graduating mid-school year with a degree in education. After spending a semester student teaching in the classroom, it was thrilling to be able to just focus on connecting children with the books they love and to watch them learn and grow. I readily accepted responsibility for interlibrary loan when the opportunity arose. From that experience, I learned how fulfilling it is to connect people with the resources they need, but also how much I enjoyed tweaking and streamlining processes to make them more efficient and effective.
How were you introduced to ACL? I was introduced to ACL through colleagues at my library. Most of the librarians at my institution are active in ACL. Prior to becoming a member, my colleagues would forward me discussions from the ACL listserv that related to my work. I quickly learned that ACL is a body of wise, caring, and helpful professionals.
What do you value about ACL? What I value most about ACL is the relationships. At the beginning of my library career, I not only received professional advice from ACL members, but also wisdom, encouragement, and prayer. I don’t know how many professional organizations can list those as member benefits! Now, after several years as a member, I still value the interactions and relationships with ACL colleagues through committee work, at conferences, and over email. Another thing I value about ACL is relevancy. Christian colleges and universities face similar circumstances and challenges. I know I can turn to ACL members for wisdom and experience that are relevant to the needs and position of my institution.