Candidate Statements for IACRL Elections

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

March 3, 2020

The IACRL Nominating Committee has announced the 2020 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.

Candidates for Vice President/President-Elect

Emily Gilbert, Rasmussen College

I am the Librarian for the School of Health Sciences for Rasmussen College. I sometimes work at  Rasmussen campus in Rockford, but primarily out of my home office in Hoffman Estates, and I support students and faculty at all of Rasmussen’s 23 campuses across the Midwest and Florida. It’s a different work environment than most academic librarians are used to, but I really enjoy it! 

2020 is my tenth year as an academic librarian. Before coming to Rasmussen in 2015, I worked for Career Education Corporation as a librarian for almost five years. I have a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Drexel University, and a Bachelor of Arts in French from Carthage College. I am a member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Illinois Library Association, and Health Sciences Librarians of Illinois. 

I have been involved with IACRL since early 2018, serving on the Communications Committee as the Managing Editor for the biannual newsletter. I am also highly engaged with the Small/For-Profit Academic Libraries networking group, which was formed through RAILS last year, and in 2019 I ran for library trustee in Schaumburg. I lost my election by about 250 votes, but I learned a lot and I plan to run again in 2021. 

I have really loved the time I’ve spent with IACRL, and I am honored to be nominated to run for Vice President/President Elect. If elected, I plan to work with the rest of the Executive Board to strengthen ties between academic libraries in Illinois and continue to offer opportunities for professional growth. IACRL has certainly been instrumental in my growth, so it would be a privilege to be able to give some of that back to the community.

Dr. Pamela Thomas, Illinois Heartland Library System

Promoting library services and what libraries can do is increasingly important, and I would be honored to serve as the Vice-President/President-Elect of the Illinois Association of Academic and Research Libraries (IACRL).

Over the past 20+ years, I have worked in public, special, and academic libraries. I have worked for the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) since 2015. First, as a metadata cataloger, and since October 2018 as the Bibliographic Project Coordinator. I supervise the Cataloging and Maintenance Center (CMC) staff, who catalog local authors, history, genealogy, and special collections. We also perform database cleanup. These services are free to any library in Illinois. Having been a cataloger for the majority of my librarian career, I enjoy creating quality bibliographic records so that items a patron is searching for can be easily found. Training is another passion of mine. Each year, the CMC offers sixor more Online with the CMC presentations, which feature cataloging-related topics. I have presented on weeding, added titles, 34x and 538 MARC fields, and subject analysis. I also currently teach Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging courses on the IHLS Moodle site. Previously, I taught online library graduate-level classes as well as cataloging courses in a library technical assistant (LTA) program. For the past 18 months, my colleagues and I have been intentionally promoting our services at Illinois conferences and consortial in-services days: Resource Sharing Alliance (RSA Day), PrairieCat Users’ Group (PUG Day), Reaching Forward South (RFS), Health Science Librarians of Illinois conference, and the Illinois Library Association (ILA) annual conference.Vice-President/President-Elect of the Illinois Association of Academic and Research Libraries (IACRL).

Serving on committees has allowed me to share thoughts and opinions on library services with other library staff. No matter what type of library I have worked in, there have always been commonalities, whether it’s staff motivated to serve their community, helping patrons conduct research, or librarians providing training and access to technology. Removing barriers, such as loss of staff or lack of funding, allows librarians to focus on their main purpose: helping people find what they are looking for. Previously, I served on the CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois), I-Share Cataloging and Authority Control Team (ICAT) committee (2004-11), the Library and Technical Assistant (LTA), Education Committee for the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL)/Community and Junior College Libraries Section (CJCLS) as chair (2010-12) and as a member (2006-09, 2013-15). I was a member of the American Libraries Association’s (ALA) Education Committee (2010-12), served on the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Review Committee for ALA (2010-15), and the Assessment of Student Learning Committee (2012-14) at Illinois Central College (ICC). There I was the Technical Services Manager, LTA Program Coordinator, and LTA adjunct instructor. Through networking, sharing ideas, and working together, great things can be accomplished!

Candidates for Secretary/Treasurer

Qiana Johnson, Northwestern University

I am excited and honored to be nominated to run for IACRL Secretary/Treasurer. I began my career as a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Schaffner Library, a branch of the Northwestern University Libraries. I was the liaison to the part-time undergraduate and graduate programs and developed instruction programs for nontraditional students as well as offering outreach to students and faculty. I later transitioned to the role of Distance Learning Librarian, offering reference and instruction services in an online environment. I also acted as a resource for colleagues who were asked to offer online services to the department for which they were liaisons. Currently, I am the Collection and Organizational Data Analysis Librarian at the Northwestern University Libraries and the subject specialist for Global Health and Public Policy. My recent research interests include collection assessment methods at large research libraries and strategic planning for collections as well as privacy advocacy for library patrons.

Professionally, I have been active in the American Library Association beginning with being named a 2007 Emerging Leader and later being elected as section chair of the Reference Services Section in the Reference and User Services Association division. Here in Illinois, I serve on the Illinois Library Association’s Advocacy Committee. I am a member of the American Library Association's Policy Corps, a group of advocates for libraries and librarians as well as the Library Freedom Project, a coalition of library privacy advocates. I appreciate the variety of types of academic libraries represented in the forum and I would welcome the opportunity to serve Illinois academic librarians and IACRL through the IACRL board.

Amanda Musacchio, College of DuPage

I am excited about the opportunity to run for Secretary of IACRL. I am a huge advocate for resource sharing in Illinois academic libraries. Many people connect resource sharing with sharing collections, and while that is an accurate correlation, resource sharing includes so much more. Resource sharing to me, at its heart, is collaborating and knowledge sharing. Throughout my career, in my professional and volunteer positions, I've made it my mission to deepen resource sharing networks throughout academic libraries in Illinois.

Currently, I am the Program Chair and Instructor for the Library and Information Technology Program at the College of DuPage. I have worked in libraries in Illinois since 1990 – prior to my position at the College of DuPage, I worked as the Resource Sharing Specialist at RAILS, as Access Services Librarian at Adler University, and as Library Services Coordinator at National-Louis University. I have presented at the OCLC Conference, the ILA Annual Conference, Reaching Forward, AISLE, and the Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference. I have also served on the CARLI Resource Sharing Committee as a chairperson, the ALA RUSA STARS committee as a chairperson, and the Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference planning committee.

Cynthia A. Romanowski, Governors State University

I am honored to have been asked to run for the Secretary/Treasurer position. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I began my library career as an intern at the Grand Rapids Public Library, working in the Archives Department. I enjoyed working in a library so much that I decided to get a part-time job in Technical Services at the Newberry Library when I graduated college.  It was here that my love of all things Technical Services was sparked. Since then, I have spent most of my career working in the Technical Services Department at academic libraries, performing duties from ordering and cataloging to processing. Currently, I am the Technical Services Faculty Librarian at Governors State University where I oversee and approve payments of all library materials and monitor the library budget. I also oversee and coordinate all cataloging and processing activities within the department.  

Throughout my career, I have sought different ways to serve the library profession in a leadership position. I participated in ALA Leadership Institute in 2017, which helped improve my leadership skills. I served as chair for CARLI’s Technical Services Committee and as co-chair for the ALCTS CaMMS Copy Cataloging Interest Group. I am currently the chair of the ALCTS Standards Committee and Convener for the ACRL Technical Services Interest group. At Governors State University (GSU), I serve as Secretary to our University Curriculum Committee (UCC) and have held this post since Fall of 2016. With this post, I serve as the UCC liaison to GSU’s General Education Council. 

I feel that with smaller budgets and staff, libraries are being asked to do more with less, regardless of library type. IACRL is key in helping Illinois libraries combat these challenges by providing continuing education workshops to share ideas. I welcome the opportunity to serve as the Secretary/Treasurer for IACRL to further their successful collaboration with Illinois libraries and to continue their current successes.

Kim Tipton, McHenry County College Library

I am honored to be nominated for the position of IACRL Secretary. Working in libraries has been a second career for me. After leaving my career in technical writing, I spent ten years as a Library Technical Assistant at Crystal Lake Public Library before I obtained my MLIS and became an Adult Services Librarian. After taking a part-time Reference and Instruction Librarian position at McHenry County College Library, I realized that being an academic librarian was the right career path for me. I left the public library, which allowed me to take on more responsibility at the College. At the MCC Library, I provide information literacy instruction to Composition I and II classes, as well as our First Year Experience classes. I enjoy forming partnerships with other campus organizations and engaging our students in unexpected ways.

As a paraprofessional, I was encouraged by library leaders to further my education. After I obtained my MLIS, their continued support gave me the confidence to pursue leadership opportunities of my own, especially within professional library associations like ILA and now IACRL. I have presented sessions at the ILA Annual Conference in 2018 and 2019, and presented a virtual poster session at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference. My presentation at the 2019 ILA Annual Conference was especially meaningful to me. In a panel session called This Is Not What I Thought I’d Be Doing: How 4 Librarians Made a New Path for Themselves and You Can Too , I wanted to show other librarians how they could pursue new career paths within librarianship like I did by building community and sharing resources. In 2019, I sought an ILA committee position and was asked to serve on the ILA Reporter Advisory Committee, a role enhanced by my experience in both public and academic libraries. The support I’ve received from leaders in the library community has given me the confidence to pursue new and more challenging roles. If elected to serve as IACRL Secretary, I look forward to continued learning about academic libraries on a larger scale, as well as offering my support to others in the academic library community throughout Illinois.

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