Mary is the Director of Library and Information Services at Westmont College (FTE: 1200) in Santa Barbara, California. She has been a member of ACL for 8 years.
Twitter Handle: @rockingoalie
Describe yourself using a book title: Wait, What?: and Life’s Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan. Just for the title. I can’t say I’ve read the book, but it feels right when I think about my life. As wonderful as my life has been I have to admit asking this question A LOT.
What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The variety of the tasks and people with whom you get to work and interact. I also have to say I really like the ambiance of a library: a quiet (generally) place filled with books and information where people don’t look at you like you’re crazy if you just want to sit quietly to read or contemplate.
What are you currently reading? The Burning Page (book 3 of the Invisible Library Series) by Genevieve Cogman, Lab Girl by Hope Jaron (for work), and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (audiobook).
Describe ACL in three words: Encouragement / Fellowship/ Christ-centered
How have you, as an academic librarian, contributed to your campus? Mostly through committees. Throughout my years I’ve been part of the College’s Program Review Committee, Safety Committee, Academic Resources Committee, Area Response Team, Strategic Planning Committee, and Academic Retention Team. Being on various committees helps me to know what is going on throughout campus and where specific pressure points may be for the College and the students. As a librarian, I bring a unique perspective to these committees.
I began my career as a librarian. . . in Technical Services. I was in charge of serials and assisted with copy cataloging. Part of my time was also spent at the Reference Desk and assisting the part-time Archivist. My professional career has been unique in that I have worked in every department in the library: Reference, Circulation, Special Collections, Inter-Library Loan, Technical Services, and Electronic Resources. In essence, my career has gone from library student worker (in high school and college) to Director of a College Library.
What do you value about ACL? Above all the people. Their encouragement. Their genuine interest in me and my job. Having others who enjoy the same geeky things I do and being able to share that along with my faith. There has been no other group of librarians where I have felt the same joy, camaraderie, and professionalism as with ACL.
How were you introduced to ACL? Robin Lang, a co-worker at the time, introduced me to ACL and invited me to go to my first ACL Conference at Cedarville University in 2011. Thanks Robin, I’m deeply indebted to you getting me started with ACL.
How are you or have you been involved in ACL? Unfortunately, I haven’t been as involved as I would like to be, but I have not missed a conference since I became a member and I have presented at three of those conferences.
Do you have any specific interests in the library world? Since I’ve moved into more administration I have enjoyed learning more about strategic planning and leadership.
As for interests in the library world, I would have to say I’ve always enjoyed cataloging. There is something soothing about the order accompanying the creation of a MARC record in AACR2 (long before RDA) and the joy in knowing you have potentially saved another cataloger a great deal of work and made this resource accessible.
My other interest is in book repair and disaster preparedness. Book repair is just plain fun and while disaster preparedness isn’t always an enjoyable topic, it’s one that I have spent a great deal of time on. It’s the preparation that you hope you never need to use. But when you, or someone you know, does experience some sort of disaster (big or small) it’s great to be able to stay level headed and step in and help.