Jennifer Brady – 10/2021

Jennifer is the Director at the Springfield Campus Library at Southwest Baptist University in Springfield, MO (2,805 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2018.

Describe yourself using a book title: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy I know that sounds weird, but at different times, I am one, or all four of these. I am always asking questions, seeking God’s wisdom, unsure of myself, yet striving to always be kind and to be a friend to all those I meet.

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? In some way, I believe I always wanted to be a librarian. I would help in the library in elementary school, shelving books. I created a library in the local homeless shelter for my Gold Award project in Girl Scouts that remained in operation until the shelter closed 25 years later. It wasn’t until I began my career as a public librarian, and later a health science librarian though that I truly realized how people gravitate to libraries when they are hurting or need a safe space. As a teacher, I believed the best thing was seeing the “ah-ha” moments in a student’s educational journey. As a teaching librarian, I still love those breakthroughs and cherish each one but even more, my cup is filled when a student tells me they come to the library because it is comforting, relaxing, or a welcoming place for them. I love hearing that we have succeeded in creating a space within the library where all of our students feel welcomed, valued, and wanted.

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Learning from God’s Foolishness – 10/2021

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?…For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth…It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:20, 25-26; 30-31 NIV)

It’s back-to-school time, one of my favorite seasons of the year. I enjoy this special time of the year when we celebrate learning and the potential for growth in knowledge. As a Christian instruction librarian, however, the season comes with its pitfalls. Self-assured and self-reliant, I flit between classrooms flaunting the ease of using online resources, seamlessly showcasing research skills to students and faculty. Inevitably, thank you notes full of profuse praise follow my visit, which I store in an “atta girl” folder in my email. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but, in a shallow attempt to earn their trust, I sure act like I do when I want to impress faculty and students with my capabilities.

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Gregg Geary – 09/2021

Gregg is the Dean of the Library at Biola University in La Mirada, CA (4,830 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 2014.

Describe yourself using a book title: A Man for All Seasons (a play and film rather than a book but a literary product nonetheless)

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? As someone who is fascinated by just about everything I find librarianship to be a great career to discover and learn about God’s creation and our role in it. I can’t think of a better profession for a generalist with a lot of curiosity. I can’t decide if I would call myself a Renaissance man or just a guy with ADD.

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Be Encouraged – 09/2021

“Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.” (Acts 27:33-36 NIV)

In this life, it is a given that we shall encounter problems, calamities, troubles, and pandemics. We have been told that, “… In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). I get comfort from this word every time I look at the news, every time I learn of the passing on of a loved one, and every time I am on the verge of giving up due to the pressures of workplace issues and family predicaments. Losing several relatives within a space of a year led me to reflect a bit, and reading this verse gave me courage to spare a minute or two to help students in similar positions of pressure and loss.

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Jodi Brown – 08/2021

Jodi is the Elementary Librarian/Media Center Coordinator at Dayton Christian Schools in Miamisburg, OH (800 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2016.

Describe yourself using a book title: Curious George Goes to the Library

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? Being able to share my love of reading with my students by introducing them to the wonderful world books have to offer. I love seeing that light bulb go off when they discover how wonderful books are.

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Seferino Esparza – 07/2021

Seferino is the Acquisition-Reference Librarian and an Instructor at College of Biblical Studies – Houston in Houston, TX (355 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 2016.

Describe yourself using a book title: Knowing God by J.I. Packer. In all that I do, I want to know Christ.

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? There are two things that I enjoy about being a librarian: serving others and knowledge. It’s not a secret that at the heart of librarianship is serving others by assisting them with the information (or knowledge) they are seeking. On the one hand, we model Christ’s command to love others (service) and on the other hand, we provide hope (information). Information (or knowledge) can bring hope to a person who needs it.

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Alyssa Sultanik – 06/2021

Alyssa is the Director of Library Services at West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, CA (763 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2018.

Twitter Handle: @mrssultanik

Describe yourself using a book title: Getting Things Done

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? I love being able to help people and to see them succeed in their academic endeavors.

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His Grace is Sufficient – 06/2021

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)

The pandemic has been extraordinary to us in many aspects. In my tiny little world, it has been by far the busiest professionally, given all the work pivoting to online information literacy teaching and reference support. Living by myself, I sometimes struggle with the feeling of isolation, while having to deal with a new chronic pain condition. Life has not been very easy. I remember praying to the Lord for the strength and wisdom I needed to go through each day.

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Gary Fitsimmons – 05/2021

Gary is the Director of Library Services and Professor of Information Literacy at Bryan College in Dayton, TN (1,089 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 2015.

Describe yourself using a book title: Paradoxology: Why Christianity Was Never Meant to Be Simple by Krish Kandiah. I haven’t read the book, but it sounds like my life message!

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The best thing about being a librarian is being able to help students when they don’t even know they need help.

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Just Bury Your Head in the Sand – 05/2021

“From Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32 NIV)

Do you ever feel that way? I admit to you that sometimes I don’t have the mental energy to take in what is happening around us.

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