Member of the Month

Renee Carey – 06/2020

Renee is a Solo Librarian/Accreditation Liaison at Faith Bible College in Norfolk, VA (8 FTE; where most students are nontraditional and take only a few courses at one time). She has been an ACL member since 2014.

Describe yourself using a book title: A Breath of Hope – I choose to be a cup-half-full person!

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? As a solo librarian, picking just one “best thing” about being a librarian is tough! Although working with the students makes my heart soar, I would honestly have to say that it’s the sense of accomplishment that being a librarian provides. Helping students, faculty, and staff solve problems…Seeing all our resources neatly in place…Following processes and challenging myself to improve how things are done. Above all, being able to do my job for God’s glory and for the benefit of our college gives me deep satisfaction.

What are you currently reading? Professionally, I am reading Ask for Fish by Ron Haas (I also work with donor retention). Personally, the Under Northern Skies book series by Lauraine Snelling. Christian/historical fiction helps me unwind!

Describe ACL in three words: Engaging. Encouraging. Real.

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As a solo librarian, I keep our collection current and relevant (acquisition, processing, evaluating, purging, researching best resources physically and electronically). I also communicate with faculty regarding curricular needs, assist students with questions (curricular, research, and sometimes just a sounding board), keep all necessary library records for the college and accreditation, produce the material for our FBC library website page, etc.

I began my career as a librarian… God began my librarian career long before I knew it would be my career! My one independent study in our high school library creating catalog cards in triplicate with bright purple carbon paper (sigh!) began my librarian journey. In college, I worked in our college library as a work-study student. After homeschooling our 3 children for 16 years, my husband and I began taking classes at Faith Bible College in order to do something together. Little did I know that, through me volunteering 2 days a week in the FBC office, they would see my love for books and hire me as their Librarian! As my daughter was a high school senior at the time, I was wondering what I was going to do when I grew up! FBC paid for my education at Florida State, where I earned my MSI in May 2019. God guided this journey and to Him I give the glory!

What do you value about ACL? I was hired at FBC before I earned my MSI and while my library was still 300 boxes of books! I attended my first ACL Conference technically before I was hired at FBC. From Jill Botticelli patiently answering my millions of questions at that first conference and her continued mentoring, through the camaraderie of the SLIG group, and the continuing professional knowledge and insight gained through the Discussion List, I can honestly say I have learned more from ACL than from getting my degree!

How were you introduced to ACL? Our administration heard of ACL at an ABHE conference.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? Outside of contributing here and there in the Discussion List, most of my involvement has been with our fellow solo librarians. For the last couple of years, I have been a part of a smaller solo group (with Jim M., Deborah M., Jon J., and Laura L.) who have met throughout the year to keep up with each other and to talk about ways to help other solos. I have assisted in presentation materials for the last couple of conferences although I was not able to attend them myself. As a result of last year’s presentation, I was privileged to be one of the co-authors of an article we had published in the most recent The Christian Librarian journal.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? Missionary biographies