Meet the new IACRL Vice President/President Elect: Dan Matthews

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

September 23, 2021

Interviewed by Jill Harper, Heartland Community College

Dan Matthews, incoming IACRL Vice President/President Elect

Dan Matthews, incoming IACRL Vice President/President Elect

Dan Matthews, Cataloging and Digital Services Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College has some interesting thoughts about innovations and how the current health situation has affected those at MVCC. We got the chance to talk to Dan and see what he thinks about the current state of libraries and what innovations he plans on implementing.

What would you like to accomplish in your elected position?

One of my personal journeys is Open Educational Resources. I’d like to see us strengthen our involvement with OER as an organization and find ways to collaborate across the state and support initiatives at our institutions.

What initiatives or opportunities would you like to promote?

Yes! We have our Journal Club starting up again in a couple weeks:

September 29, 2021, Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Dreaming Revolutionary Futures: Critical Race’s Centrality to Ending White Supremacy


Our Spark Event:

Open Pathways - Exploring the Intersections of Diversity Equity and Inclusion and Open Educational Resources

Thursday, December 9, from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Call for Proposals

Registration forthcoming.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing libraries today?

In this moment, I think people are tired. Libraries are typically a place where people are asked to “make it work”, and the pandemic was no exception to that, and in many way exacerbated it. I think broadly people are grappling with how much is being asked of them in new or different ways. While we recognize that the work we do is important, how do we push for environments where we’re able to take care of ourselves and our colleagues? I’m thinking a lot about Fobazi Ettarh’s work on vocational awe.

How has MVCC adapted to the current health situation?  

We were very lucky to be offered remote work options on campus. We were able to reduce the number of bodies in the staff spaces, and provide people the room they needed to safely distance. Luckier still to have a group of colleagues that were ready and willing to shift the library to remote work so that we could still provide many of our services to students and continue to collaborate on projects remotely. We were are a library that really thrived on breakroom meetings, so it was important find ways that we could still be in touch via remote collaboration tools. Our instruction practices had in immense shift, which sparked a lot of new ways we were conceptualizing our research guides other resources we needed to provide students in an instruction situation. Shout out to Tish Hayes for leading the way through our pandemic instruction transitions.

What have you been doing to unwind and relax?

I live near Lake Michigan, so when I can, I get to the lakefront. Whether it’s with a book and an inflatable hammock or some sunscreen and an inflatable paddle board, out near the water is the fastest way for me to unwind.

What are you reading for fun these days?  

Two recent reads that left an impact: Fiction – The Death of Vivek Oji and Non-fiction – Assata: An Autobiography

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