Member of the Month

Ben Brick – 10/2017

Ben is the Collection Processing Manager at Omaha Public Library in Omaha, NE. He has been a member of ACL for ten years. You can follow Ben on Twitter @benbrick.

Describe yourself using a book title: I think I would use, Title To Be Determined. For one, I am not very good at describing myself well. Also, I am not home yet and God is not finished with me yet (or better yet, I still have some sanctification to go in my walk).

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? I enjoy being able to connect people with resources and ideas. As a cataloger, it is especially thrilling to know I am involved in establishing that accessibility for others on new (and old) materials.

What are you currently reading? Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library by Wayne A. Wiegand.

Describe ACL in three words: Professional / Development / Ministry

How have you, as an academic librarian, contributed to your campus? When I was an academic librarian, I tried to educate students and faculty on the value of the library to their educational pursuits. I encouraged our graduate programs to participate in ACL’s Research Award. I also taught an undergraduate elective course on library history. I know of a few of my former student workers who did go on to additional work in libraries. One recent graduate is now pursuing graduate work in library science. Another former student worker is now combining her degree in Psychology with her experience in the library to pursue a career in prison libraries in Colorado.

I began my career as a librarian . . .as a part-time library page at the public library. I intended it to be only a job while I was in school. I had no plans to make a career of it. However, I was voted most likely to become a librarian in high school. I studied a variety of other things in college while still working in the library. I still saw it as temporary. But as graduation loomed and future career paths were presented, I found that I enjoyed working in the library and had years of part-time experience to back it up. So, I finally gave in and accepted the path that I was already on. The Friends group of the public library I was at had a scholarship program that essentially paid my way through library school. And the rest is history…

What do you value about ACL? I value the people. It is the members who make the Association of Christian Librarians what it is. Their service and dedication to supporting one another through prayer, mentoring, professional presentations at conference, and information shared through email give tremendous value to this association. I do not want to neglect the home office staff either. Their contribution is no less important to my experience with ACL. I thank God for the friends and colleagues that I have gotten to know in this organization. Even though I am currently not in an academic library setting, ACL is still worth my being an active member. To be able to share my life with other professionals who are also brothers and sisters in Christ is particularly sweet.

How were you introduced to ACL? I learned of ACL when I became the library director at Grace University.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? Presently, I am the Volunteer Coordinator for ACL. I was on the Executive Team for the Bible College Section for a time as well.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? Cataloging; library history; archives