Member of the Month

Kari Siders – 12/2022

Kari is the Director of Library Public Services at Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH (4571 FTE). Kari has been an ACL member for 4 years. 

Describe yourself using a book title: Compassionate Leadership

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The variety in every day! Walking in you never know what you’ll encounter on a given day from the questions from patrons to odd issues you never thought you’d have to sort out. It’s amazing to learn something new every day.

What are you currently reading? Undistracted by Bob Goff

Describe ACL in three words: Encouraging, Faithful, Helpful

How do you (or How have you), as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As the director of all the public-facing services our library offers, I believe my work to guide my department well has far-reaching effects on campus. By supporting our employees to assist students, faculty, and staff well the impact of my work is further reaching than anything I could do alone. 

I began my career as a librarian…with my work as an undergrad in the technical services department at Wilmington College. During that time our cataloger continually told me I would be a great librarian and that it was my destiny. After shrugging the idea off I landed a library management position 2 years after undergrad graduation. That position allowed me to pursue my MLIS and build my career in library management. In the end, I believe my work during my undergrad years was preparing me for my “destiny”, but really I know it was just the work of God’s purpose for my life playing out in the right season. I can’t wait to see where God’s purpose takes me in the future, since I firmly believe that he can grow us in the present and future, where we are now and where we may be in the future.

What do you value about ACL? ACL is a great organization for open discussions about all things library. It’s a place where all of us can come together with a common ground of rooting ourselves in faith and discuss not just the good in our profession, but the places in which we steer away from current library practice. The discussions that have come out of ACL are some of the most beneficial I have ever experienced after becoming a librarian.

How were you introduced to ACL? My co-workers were all members and suggested I become a member.

How are you or have you been involved in ACL? My involvement in ACL began in the deep end as Cedarville hosted the 2021 Annual Conference. This virtual conference allowed me the opportunity to jump in with both feet assisting with many of the technical aspects. In 2022 this involvement continued as I volunteered to guide the virtual side of the hybrid conference. Presently, I’m working with my colleagues to prepare to host the 2023 conference. I am also the convener of the Management and Supervision Interest Group, which is brand new for 2022!

Do you have any specific interests in the library world? Leadership, Supervision, Management. As much as librarianship is about serving our patrons, the library workers are our most valued and prized possession. Supporting, encouraging, and guiding them well strengthens the individual library and the broader library world.