Who’s Wearing Armor in the Library? – 01/2021

“ Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13 KJV)

Libraries are usually such peaceful places; it is hard to imagine that a “war” may be going on inside them. Yet internal battles are being fought all the time in the hearts of students, staff, and faculty. Paul encourages us in Ephesians to put on the whole armor of God so we can stand when trouble comes. It does not say to put on this piece or that piece, or whichever pieces we feel like, but rather the whole armor. If we wear the helmet of salvation but forget the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God), we won’t be able to stand. If we put on the belt of truth but forget about the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness, we won’t be able to stand. If we put on the shoes of the gospel of peace but forget about the shield of faith, we won’t be able to stand. We have to take up the whole armor and be ready for action!

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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.

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God’s Love and Faithfulness – 12/2020

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, and His mercies never come to an end.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

I am writing from Lesotho, Southern Africa to testify how the love and the faithfulness of God has sustained me during this global pandemic. I grew up in Pitseng, in the rural area of Lesotho, and was raised by my mother after my father abandoned us. It was not easy, but the love of God and His faithfulness kept us. I know that God is love; His love is unmeasurable and incomparable; His promises are faithful; He will never leave us nor forsake us.

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Artis Lovelady, III – 11/2020

Artis is the Director of Library Services at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, TX (343 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 1996.

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The Holy Spirit, Our Librarian – 11/2020

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27 NIV)

It’s obvious in the posture. There’s a unique brand of sheepish hesitation that might as well announce audibly, “I’m here for the Poetry assignment.” The assignment requires students to collect the following: the title and author of a librarian’s favorite poem, information on finding poetry in the library’s print collection, and a selfie with a librarian. Most students have never asked a librarian for anything like a favorite poem or a selfie. Most of them are a bit tentative as they approach the Research Help Desk (they often come in pairs or small groups – safety in numbers!). They aren’t entirely sure where to start. Occasionally, as they pause in indecision, I’ll just break the ice by asking, “Assignment for Poetry?” The relief is visible. They don’t have to explain the assignment to me. They no longer worry that I will think they are weirdos for requesting selfies with someone they’ve just met. They know I already know what they need.

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Karen Clarke – 10/2020

Karen is the Library and Student Success Director at Pacific Rim Christian University in Honolulu, HI (150 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2017.

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Don’t Buy a Clock at the Dollar Store – 10/2020

“My times are in your hand.” (Psalm 31:15 ESV)

Imagine my frustration with my Dollar Store bargain. In spite of the clock on my computer, the time of day on my cellphone, and my wristwatch, I wanted to note the time—and it was exactly the same time it was when I last checked. Yes, I changed the batteries yesterday! Something about the big hand on the 11 evidently is messing this clock up. It makes it almost to the top, and then it’s just too hard to move on. Every once in a while it gets stuck.

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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.

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What If – 10/2020

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” (Psalm 121:1 KJV)

I spent most of the spring and summer months working from home except a few “in office” days. I normally spend several summer weeks in other places. With those events cancelled or moved online, I began to get “cabin fever.” As a single person, I saw mostly myself, my three cats, and the view from my home. With a vacation out of the question, a day trip where safe social distances could be maintained offered a solution. Last week I fueled my car and drove to Asheville, about 90 minutes away. I stopped at a fast food chicken restaurant for a “picnic lunch” and headed north on the Blue Ridge Parkway. As I stopped at the first overlook, I marveled at the breathtaking scene before me. As I pondered events necessitating my need to get away, I realized God brought me to this place to remind me to lift my eyes to Him. The previous week, library colleagues and faculty members questioned what we would do if students returned to campus with the present virus spread level, I told them we “trust in God.” However, God knew I needed a fresh reminder in my own life of this simple truth. The panorama before me was soothing to both my eyes and to my spirit.

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Julie Sweeney – 08/2020

Julie is an Instructional Services Librarian at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA (3,677 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2017.

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