Decide to Lead – 03/2021

“And God blesseth them, and God saith to them, `Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over every living thing that is creeping upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 YLT)

In the beginning God blesses His creation. The blessing provides important guidance of how to work. The part of the blessing that stands out to me is the call to subdue the earth. As I reflect on this, my understanding of managing the earth includes the work of libraries and information centers.

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Denise Nelson – 02/2021

Denise is the Library Director at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA (3,647 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2003.

Twitter Handle: @NiseNelson

Describe yourself using a book title: A Lineage of Grace

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? Particularly at small or medium-sized institutions, librarians are uniquely situated to engage with students and faculty from across the disciplines–every student is “our” student. I love having that window into the work underway in so many areas of my university, and I’m grateful for the variety of ways I can provide support and direction to students and colleagues alike. It’s a privilege to help demystify the world of information and research, and I especially enjoy seeing students’ confidence grow as they become increasingly self-sufficient users of information.

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Librarians are Living Bookmarks -02/2021

“You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men…” (2 Corinthians 3:2 NASU)

A student goes to the library to say goodbye; they are graduating – they just wanted to say thank you for helping them pass their courses. This scene is repeated annually in libraries of all types, all over. They go on to success; look at their degree on the wall or promotion and flash back to the time in school when the librarian helped with their failing course so they could pass and graduate. They put a mental bookmark in the important chapter in their life of, pass or fail, or make it or break it, give up or go on, and that bookmarker is you, the librarian who helped them at that crossroads of their life to success. They are now at a point in their success because of you, the librarian hidden behind the circulation or reference desk who smiled and said, “How can I help you today?”

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Alan Cappella – 01/2021

Alan is the Library Director at Word of Life Bible Institute in Pottersville, NY (360 FTE). He has been an ACL member since 1997.

Describe yourself using a book title: The Book of Psalms

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The best thing is helping students with research and writing then watching their faces light up!

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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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