Member of the Month

Adam Solomon – 05/2020

Adam is the Visiting University Librarian at Thomas G. Carpenter Library of the University of North Florida (14,382 FTE) in Jacksonville, FL. He is a new 2020 ACL member and currently a Graduate student at Valdosta State University.

Describe yourself using a book title: A Journal, which is the title on the cover of many blank journals. I feel like my story is still being written.

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? Student success is so important to me. I try to find new ways of helping students and providing additional ideas and options that might be available to them. Even before gaining faculty status, students were already calling me professor.

What are you currently reading? I’m reading Active Learning and Engagement Strategies by Paula Rutherford. This book is like a toolbox of activities that can be used in the classroom.

Describe ACL in three words: Love. Service. Community.

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? In my current role, I work in University Archives, and I enjoy being able to share the history with others. I believe teamwork is important, so I try to help by going above and beyond. In previous roles, I always thought it was important for the library to be active in the larger part of the university culture. Any opportunity to become involved in that culture allows a conversation to develop about what the library is currently doing and a nice reminder of the value that the library has in the university as a whole.

My professional career began… As I look back on my career so far, I now know that the line between paraprofessional and professional was blurred. Understanding the reality of budgets, some paraprofessionals are doing a lot that was once done by librarians. I am thankful for those that have helped me to continue on this journey so that I would further my study in this field.

What do you value about ACL? I value the spirit of this community. I have been a part of many different library mailing lists over the years. From the very first month, I could tell that something was different here. From a member responding to e-mails while in the hospital to another member making a video on how to properly cover a book, all I can say is that I was impressed. The support is amazing!

How were you introduced to ACL? I had visited the ACL website several times before actually joining. I think the first introduction was a general search to see if such type an organization existed for Christians, and a second introduction was a mention in one of my textbooks relating to specialty library associations. That mention is what made me think deeper about ACL being a unique library association and spending more time reviewing the site overall.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? The ACL Discussion List, again has people from all aspects of librarianship, from directors to new professionals to international library professionals. I have tried to be involved by replying to questions and e-mails on the list. Being able to reach out to others for a solution is valuable, and I have tried to share when I can in that regard.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? Reference is my passion. When a request is difficult to answer, the search then becomes like a quest for me. I always have a feeling that the answer is available somewhere and through the exploration of resources, I learn new ways of answering future requests as well.