Member of the Month

Paul Drake – 07/2020

Paul is Library Director and Instuctor at Pacific Islands University in Mangilao, Guam (42 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 2014.

Describe yourself using a book title: Paul: A Biography or The Seven Last Words of the Church

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The best thing about being a librarian is the opportunity to mix the techie/administrative part of me (I love Excel spreadsheets) and the ministry and interaction with students, faculty, staff, and community members.

What are you currently reading? I am currently reading In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, Jacob’s Way by Gilbert Morris, and Talk Thru the Bible by Wilkinson and Boa (for my summer course).

Describe ACL in three words: Collegial. Communicative. Practical.

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I serve as an officer in the Academic Senate, active participant in curricula program reviews, family group leader, occasional Uber service, coordinator of aluminum recycling efforts, academic probation mentor, regular SDI emails on academic, curricula and Micronesian sources and news, and evaluator of the new student application.

I began my career as a librarian… In a place I never expected to be: a public library. After finishing seminary I entered the graduate MLS program at the University of Alberta with expectation that I’d return to the seminary (and Bible college) in Saskatchewan to be the second librarian. There were no funds so I returned to my home in Massachusetts. I prayed for a librarian job, any job, so I applied widely. When I was about to give up and get other work after six months, a friend of a friend told me of a posting for a public library job in Rhode Island that was only in the local newspaper. I had no real interest but applied because this person had made an unallowable long-distance call from his work. So my first job was reference/government documents librarian at the Warwick (RI) Public Library on October 1, 1978. I avoided the public library courses in library school. No to the kiddie lit courses. I was going to be an academic librarian, but God had other plans for me.

I have moved around a bit in my career. Eight libraries in four states and one U.S. territory. I’ve gone back and forth a few times between academic and public libraries. I have been involved in local and state library associations wherever I’ve been, meeting wonderful people and being of service. I have for the past five years been treasurer of the Guam Library Association. Each position and in each library I have seen my responsibilities as ministry. I get involved with a student organizations, from being a judge for student disciplinary process at two universities, to a judge for the spring gala king & queen and court at a Louisiana University. I’ve even been introduced to Bollywood movies from an Indian student group. These are usually fun, especially when asked “You are a librarian. Why do you want to get involved with us?” Thank you for letting me ramble and appreciate the profession that God has given me for 42 years.

What do you value about ACL? I value the fellowship and the ability to connect with colleagues on, not only a professional but also a personal and spiritual level.

How were you introduced to ACL? My guess is seeing a reference to ACL in an ALA publication.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? I’ve been involved in submitting book reviews for the TCL journal and contributing to the Discussion List.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? I am interested in librarianship in Micronesia. I have been Proceedings Editor of the regional library, museums, and archives association (PIALA) annual conference since 2009. I am also slowly working on gathering items from the five earlier conferences that no proceedings were created.