Member of the Month

Joshua Michael – 09/2020

Joshua is the Dean of Library Services at Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH (4,500 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 2005.

Describe yourself using a book title: Long Ago and Far Away

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? I enjoy having so many varied opportunities to use my skills and to find ways to help others.

What are you currently reading? The Parables of Grace by Robert Capon; The Color of Christ by Edward Blum; Grant by Ron Chernow; Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson; The Bombing War by Max Hastings

Describe ACL in three words: Friendly. Knowledgable. Colleagues.

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I have contributed as the library administrator, by trying to position the library (through its policies and operations) in a place that supports the information and research needs of students and faculty. This involves listening and communicating both up and down to make sure we are aligning ourselves with where the university (and its constituent components) is and is going, as well as seeking to shape that trajectory.

I began my career as a librarian… Almost 20 years ago working as a student assistant while I was in seminary. I don’t think I had any idea at the time that it would eventually lead to a career. But in retrospect, it was a good fit for my interests and background. I have had the benefit of serving under and then following 2 long-term library directors and ACL members, David McClain and Lynn Brock. They both modeled humble service and demonstrated a clear commitment to Biblical values and vocational excellence that set a high bar for an aspiring library leader. Throughout my career, I have benefited from the wisdom, skills, and enthusiasm of colleagues, and I am thankful that libraries provide such a fertile field for a broad range of giftedness among those who work in them.

What do you value about ACL? I value ACL’s focus on the needs of its members. And I value the capable and committed individuals who go out of their way to contribute to the organization’s success.

How were you introduced to ACL? I heard about it from the library director when I worked as a student assistant.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? I am looking forward to participating in the mentorship program this year and working with a team on hosting the 2021 ACL Conference.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? The role of library data in decision-making.