Member of the Month

Julie Russell – 08/2022

Julie is a Library Assistant at Boise Bible College in Boise, ID (85 FTE). Julie has been an ACL member since 2020.

Describe yourself using a book title: Smart but Scattered

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The best things change with any given day. I suppose that in itself is at the top of my list.

What are you currently reading? I will begin teaching undergraduate Research & Writing this Fall so I have been spending a lot of time in the 7th edition of William Badke’s Research Strategies and the Turabian manual.

Describe ACL in three words: My professional lifeline.

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? In the library, we have the opportunity to be a point of contact for students in the midst of a vulnerable and invaluable time in their learning process. Outside of the classroom, students are learning independently, apart from the direct guidance of their professors. Librarians facilitate that process and have a lot to offer students and faculty to help make the entire academic experience as fruitful and effective as it can be.

I began my career as a librarian… long before I saw it coming. I earned my BBL and MA in Bible Languages and then took nine years to be home to raise my kids. The Library Assistant position at Boise Bible College became available at the exact time I had planned to go back to work. I love this school and the job was a perfect fit. After two years it turned into an opportunity to earn my MLIS and take on a larger role–in August I will begin teaching adjunct and will step into the head librarian/faculty role in January. My husband and I often laugh about how unexpectedly well all of these pieces came together to offer me this fulfilling and unforeseen career. I lack the creativity to have ever thought to ask for it to unfold as it has.

What do you value about ACL? I value it more the longer I am a member. I began my MLIS studies in the Fall of 2019 when I was a Library Assistant (as I currently am for one more semester). That was my first time studying at a secular university and I found that several tenets of the secular profession conflicted with my Christ-centered worldview. ACL gives me a community of believers within the same professional environments and with aligned mission and vision. The ACL listservs and relationships have been invaluable to me. Like I told my husband, “I have found my people.”

How were you introduced to ACL? All head librarians at our institution are given ACL memberships, so I learned about it from my boss.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? Up to this point, I have been a part of numerous focus groups and have participated in the last 3 conferences (to my extreme delight and edification). I am set to graduate with my MLIS in December and in May 2023 I will wrap up my first year of teaching; after that, I should have the bandwidth to start indexing for the CPI and consider what else I can contribute to more of what ACL offers.

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? Working in a smaller library requires me to be a jack of all trades, but I do particularly enjoy playing around in databases. I find that very rewarding.