Member of the Month

Jeanette Parker – 12/2020

Jeanette is the Reference and Instruction Librarian at Newman University in Wichita, KS (1800 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2000.

Describe yourself using a book title: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I have read this book so many times throughout my life, and it has influenced me in new and different ways with every reading. In one pivotal scene the mother tells her artistic daughters the value of shaping and forming her character as carefully as she created her works of art. I am a creation under constant shaping and forming by God with a long way to go!

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The opportunities to work with and teach students. I love teaching students about information literacy, but value most the time I spend working with students individually and the conversations that happen.

What are you currently reading? E-learning by Design by William Horton (as part of my own coursework); Whose Story is This? by Rebecca Solnit; Undone: Breaking My Soul to Save My Body by Megan Wohler (a former student worker!); Information Literacy for Today’s Diverse Learners by Alex Berrio Matamoros; The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon; and The Price of Dreams by Toni Shiloh.

Describe ACL in three words: Community, supportive, and engaging.

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I value the opportunity and challenge of sharing with faculty, students, and staff the importance of the library and the work we do in teaching information literacy. We’ve developed and teach a credited course that has increased in enrollment every semester and has become a required course for five different majors! It has been gratifying and encouraging to see the fruit that all of our efforts have borne and to know that there are so many more adventures and opportunities to contribute to our students’ success.

I began my career as a librarian… As a student worker at Barclay College’s Worden Memorial Library in Haviland, Kansas, and I haven’t looked back since! I have held multiple positions: assistant, director, circulation, cataloger, interlibrary loan, serials, and my current and favorite position as a reference and instruction librarian. They have all contributed to my development as a person and a professional.

What do you value about ACL? I value the people. It is my favorite professional organization, and it has enriched my life and practice tremendously. The ability to interact with others who incorporate their faith into their work is so important to me.

How were you introduced to ACL? I was introduced by a former supervisor when she transitioned to a new position and I took over as library director. She suggested it as a good group to be involved in.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? I briefly indexed for the Christian Periodical Index, served on the leadership team for the Liberal Arts Section, I have attended the annual conference eleven times (2004, 2012-2020) and was the host librarian for the 2020 Conference.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? I’m currently working on my Ph.D. in Library and Information Management. That has driven most of my interests because of the research I have been doing. I’m very interested in improving academic success for Hispanic students since we have a large Hispanic population in Wichita and at Newman. Most recently, I have been focused on how instruction librarians learn about how to teach information literacy through professional development at conferences.