Candidate Statements for 2024 IACRL Elections

The IACRL Nominating Committee has announced the 2024 candidates for election to the IACRL Board. The polls will open electronically April 1 and close April 30. Please note: You must be a personal member of ILA in order to vote. Please be sure your membership is current no later than March 31.

Candidate for Vice President/President-Elect

Joshua Newport (he/him)

Bringing a wide variety of skills and experience to a library context from Theatre Arts to Computer Programming experience in the United States Air Force to Retail Sales I have interacted with a wide variety of individuals from different cultural, national, religious and economic backgrounds in a variety of settings and is skilled at working with people to discover what it is they want and need and helping them find or get those things whether cold weather and camping gear, well designed software tailored to their needs, or entertaining and teaching with the spoken word.

I am a secular bigender person, born and raised in central Illinois. I'm from Champaign-Urbana originally and got a BA from Illinois Wesleyan before becoming a computer programmer in the Air Force for six years, half of which was in Germany. I then spent several years working in retail while I worked to get into library school.

After getting my MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I was Technology Librarian at a small, religiously-affiliated, liberal arts school in North Carolina with liaison responsibilities for the School of Sciences, School of Nursing, and the School of Allied Health and Sports Sciences before returning to Illinois and joining Milner Library at Illinois State University. I am currently Math and Science Librarian at Milner Library with liaison responsibilities to Chemistry, Geology Geography and the Environment, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Kinesiology and Recreation, and Mathematics.

My interests include science communication, scientific skepticism, critical thinking, computers and information technology, and equity diversity and inclusion. I also have interests in popular and geek culture and the intersection of libraries and librarianship with popular and geek culture including the use of games and gaming with in the academic arena as entertainments, the subject of research, and tools of teaching.

Candidates for Secretary/Treasurer

Krista Bowers Sharpe (she/her)

Amazingly, next year will mark 30 years since my beginning as an academic librarian in Illinois, first at Monmouth College and now at Western Illinois University. Over the years I have reaped the many benefits of cooperation amongst colleagues around the state: knowledge gained at IACRL conferences; consortial purchases brokered by ILCSO, now CARLI; training received through my regional Alliance Library System, now RAILS; and of course, our wonderful I-Share catalog and ILDS that facilitate the sharing of resources. Conversations with librarians from other states underscore how lucky I’ve been to work as an academic librarian in Illinois.

However, two occurrences have recently given me a whole new appreciation. Firstly, after being employed for many years in a non-tenure track position, I began the tenure process in 2015. I had served on numerous committees over the years, but only at the library and campus level. Seeking tenure caused me to broaden my scope to the state, and I volunteered for both an IACRL and a CARLI committee. While on those committees, the COVID pandemic struck. What an amazing way to get to know my Illinois colleagues! Zoom meetings were enjoyable with these groups (and their pets) and I felt a real camaraderie and support for my work.

I’m running as a candidate for IACRL Secretary because I want to pay it forward. COVID is only one of many challenges that libraries have faced during the past 30 years. From retrospective conversion all the way to AI, from dumb terminals to responsive website design, from good financial circumstances through budget cuts (and stalemates) and shrinking student bodies, we have all experienced the rollercoaster that is higher education. We will see yet more. IACRL has helped us out and, as secretary, I could play a part in nurturing the cooperation that is a hallmark of Illinois academic librarianship. 

Ted Schwitzner (he/him)

I am honored to run for the position of Secretary of the Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries Forum (IACRL). Part of my professional philosophy is connecting people to each other and to the resources they need to grow personally or professionally. Service to IACRL fits with this framework, as in its mission to promote the interests of those working at Illinois academic libraries, IACRL makes all academic library workers visible and contributes to our sense of community.

My service experience with IACRL includes stints with the IACRL Awards Committee and the IACRL Bylaws Revision Task Force. I have also served on the Illinois Library Association (ILA) Executive Board, including in the role of ILA Treasurer. Additional past service commitments included LIBRAS, OCLC Members Council, and several committees in the Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILCSO), including the ILCSO Users Advisory Group.

Currently, I am Senior Library Services Coordinator at the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), where I interact frequently with library staff of all professional levels. Questions may run the gamut from training and documentation needs to specifications for reports and new workflows. Previously, I held positions at Illinois State University as the Head of Library and Information Technology Services, as well as the Head of Bibliographic Services; and prior to that, at North Central College as Technical Services Coordinator. These positions have been valuable in reminding me that expertise, good service, and new ideas may originate from anyone working in a library, and that we have an obligation to find ways to respect those contributions.

Kim Tipton (she/her)

I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for IACRL Secretary. I began working in libraries in 2007, first at my local public library for 12 years, then at McHenry County College where I serve as the Reference and Instruction Librarian. In that role, I teach more a thousand students each semester how to develop their information and media literacy skills in courses across many disciplines. I also co-teach a for-credit course on Research and Information Ethics.

I enjoy seeking opportunities within the profession where I can meet and learn from others. I especially enjoy attending conferences and participating on committees! I’m a regular attendee of ILA’s annual conference, where I’ve also presented numerous times. I’m a past member of the ILA Reporter Advisory Committee and I’m currently finishing up my 3-year term on the IACRL Communications Committee (2023-2024 Chair). Most recently, I joined the NILRC Website and Communications Committee. I consider myself a lifelong learner and have participated in many professional development opportunities. I earned my Master Online Teacher certificate from University of Illinois-Springfield’s ION Professional eLearning Program. In 2023, I completed the CARLI Counts program (cohort 4), which is a year-long leadership program designed to help academic librarians show the value of their library within the greater campus community. Currently, I’m midway through completing my certification on Effective Teaching Practices from The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).

I feel so fortunate to have been supported by so many wonderful colleagues in these endeavors! I believe learning from and supporting each other in this field is key to our individual and collective success. If elected to serve as IACRL Secretary, I look forward to supporting others in the Illinois academic library community.

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