Make a difference: Connect, contribute, collaborate: Volunteer for division and section committees and editorial boards


Are you looking for ways to expand your professional network and contribute to ACRL? Committee volunteers help shape ACRL by advancing its strategic plan and influencing the direction of academic and research librarianship. Serving on a committee or editorial board is a great way to become involved and make an impact on the profession.

If you’d like to become more engaged, ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect Cheryl Middleton invites you to volunteer to serve on a 2017–18 division or section committee.

This invitation for volunteers for ACRL’s committees and sections is issued with enthusiasm and acknowledgement of the diversity of the skills and experiences of our members. The work that ACRL is engaged in is vital to the audiences we support and the librarians and libraries that make up our organization. You are invited to share your expertise and experiences with ACRL. Join us and be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves. Volunteer to work with ACRL, and share in making a difference by supporting lifelong learners and informed members of our society.—Cheryl Middleton, ACRL vice-president/president-elect

The rewards of volunteering

Volunteering offers many benefits and opportunities. You can:

  • connect with others in the profession who are passionate and committed to academic librarianship,
  • learn from those who share similar professional concerns and interests,
  • network with information professionals in higher education,
  • become part of a community of academic and research librarians,
  • gain insights into the profession,
  • enhance your leadership skills through group facilitation and project management,
  • discover new ways to work,
  • expand your awareness and understanding of the value of academic libraries in higher education,
  • influence and advance the work of the association and the profession, and
  • promote excellence within the profession.

The appointment process

Appointments are made at the division and section level, and through the editorial board process (see editorial board section below). Section vice-chairs are responsible for committee appointments for the year they will serve as chair. The ACRL vice-president is responsible for committee appointments at the division level for the year he or she serves as president. The ACRL Appointments Committee assists the vice-president in an advisory capacity. Division-level committees are created to conduct the work of the Board, and each committee crafts an annual work plan in consultation with their Board and staff liaisons to accomplish the charged activities and responsibilities.

Current committee members whose terms conclude at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference should submit a new volunteer form if they wish to be considered for reappointment. The online volunteer form closes February 15, and most committee appointment offers will be sent in April and May 2017.

Onsite attendance at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and the ALA Annual Conference is not a requirement of committee service. However, members of all ACRL committees, task forces, and similar bodies are expected to fully participate in the work of the group, whether it be working virtually or face-to-face.

Factors influencing appointment

Although the appointment process may reflect the priorities of the vice-president/president-elect and section vice-chairs, several factors are always considered:

  • Evidence of interest and expertise. Have prospective volunteers attended the meetings, visited and/or posted to the committee’s ALA Connect community, and introduced themselves to the chair? Do they have knowledge or previous experience that relates to the work of the committee? Have they indicated their interest on the volunteer form?
  • Demographics and composition of committee. A balance is sought with respect to type of library (community college, college, or university), geographic representation, ethnic diversity, and gender. Those who have not had the opportunity to serve on an ACRL committee are encouraged to volunteer.
  • Recommendation of the current committee chair. Current committee chairs are asked to suggest prospective members.
  • Willingness to participate in the work of the committee. While attendance at the ALA Annual Conference is not required to serve on a committee, volunteers should be prepared to engage in the committee work year-round.

The final appointments are the prerogative of the ACRL president-elect and the section vice-chairs.

How to apply

  1. Identify the committees that interest you. ACRL committees and their charges are listed on the ACRL website (www.acrl.org, select “Directory of Leadership” from the menu bar). Check out the committee’s space in ALA Connect, where documents, discourses, and the work of the committees are posted. Attend face-to-face (or virtual) committee meetings at the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference to decide if their activities interest you. Talk with committee members. Express your interest to the committee chair. Ask about current projects, and explain how you might contribute to the work of the committee.
  2. Submit a volunteer form. Volunteer forms should be submitted by February 15, 2017. You will be asked to login using your ALA member ID and the password you created. Be sure that you are a current ALA/ACRL member before attempting to login.To volunteer for a division-level committee, visit www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm for more detailed instructions.To volunteer for a section committee, complete the online volunteer form at www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm.
  3. Volunteer again and check out other opportunities. If you are not appointed, volunteer again next year. In addition, continue to explore ACRL’s many opportunities to network and connect at www.ala.org/acrl/getinvolved. Review the many discussion and interest groups. Each group selects a new leader in the spring, outside of the volunteer process described above. If you’d like to start a new discussion or interest group, contact Chase Ollis at E-mail: .

ACRL division-level committee appointments

ACRL committees (and their charges) can be found on the ACRL website (www.acrl.org, select “Directory of Leadership” from the menu bar).

Appointments to ACRL standing committees are made in the spring for terms beginning immediately after the ALA Annual Conference. The Appointments Committee sends appointment recommendations to the ACRL president-elect. The president-elect makes the final appointments for the committees.

Questions about division-level appointments may be directed to the chair of the Appointments Committee, Erin L. Ellis, assistant dean, research and learning division, University of Kansas, E-mail: .

If you have any questions about using the volunteer form, please contact ACRL Program Officer Allison Payne for division committees at E-mail: or (312) 280–2519 or ACRL Program Officer Megan Griffin for section committees at E-mail: or (312) 280–2514.

ACRL section appointments

ACRL sections help members customize their ACRL experience through newsletters, electronic discussion lists, specialized programming, preconferences, recognition, and various initiatives. To learn more, visit www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/sections.

Section vice-chairs appoint members to section committees. Most appointments are made in the spring for terms beginning immediately after the ALA Annual Conference.

If you wish to be considered for a section committee appointment, complete the ACRL volunteer form at www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm by February 15, 2017. For more information about section appointments, please contact section vice-chairs:

  1. Anthropology and Sociology Section. Anne Marie Larrivee, Binghamton University, email: E-mail: .
  2. Arts Section. Jennifer Anne Cox, The Art Institute of Portland, email: E-mail: .
  3. College Libraries Section. Michelle L. Twait, Gustavus Adolphus College, email: E-mail: .
  4. Community and Junior College Libraries Section. Jacquelyn A. Bryant, Community College of Philadelphia, email: E-mail: .
  5. Distance Learning Section. Cheryl L. Blevens, Indiana State University, email: E-mail: .
  6. Education and Behavioral Sciences Section. Joyce Garczynski, Towson University, email: E-mail: .
  7. Instruction Section. Merinda Kaye Hensley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, email: E-mail: .
  8. Literatures in English Section. Harriett E. Green, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, email: E-mail: .
  9. Politics, Policy and International Relations Section. Sarah Hogan, Yale University, email: E-mail: .
  10. Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. Athena Nicole Jackson, Penn State University, email: E-mail: .
  11. Science and Technology Section. Kara M. Whatley, New York University, email: E-mail: .
  12. Slavic and East European Section. Lana Soglasnova, University of Toronto, email: E-mail: .
  13. University Libraries Section. Alexandra P. Rivera, University of Michigan, email: E-mail: .
  14. Western European Studies Section. Kristen Grace Totleben, University of Rochester, email: E-mail: .
  15. Women and Gender Studies Section. Laura Bonella, Kansas State University, email: E-mail: .

Editorial boards

ACRL has eight editorial/advisory boards for its publications: Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board; Choice Editorial Board; College & Research Libraries Editorial Board; College & Research Libraries News Editorial Board; New Publications Advisory Board; Publications in Librarianship Editorial Board; RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage Editorial Board; and Resources for College Libraries Editorial Board.

Appointments to editorial boards are made after the ALA Midwinter Meeting for terms that begin immediately after the ALA Annual Conference. The editors recommend the names of individuals to fill vacancies. The Publications Coordinating Committee approves the recommendation and the ACRL vice-president/president-elect makes the appointment.

If you would like to be considered for appointment to an editorial board, contact the editor of the editorial board early in the fall or indicate your interest on the ACRL online volunteer form.

  1. Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board chair: Ted Mulvey, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, phone: (920) 424-7329, email: E-mail: .
  2. CHOICE editor: Mark Cummings, Choice; phone: (800) 347-6933 x29, email: E-mail: .
  3. College & Research Libraries editor: Wendi Arant Kaspar, Texas A&M, phone: (979) 862-6310, email: E-mail: .
  4. College & Research Libraries News editor: David Free, ACRL, phone: (312) 280-2517, email: E-mail: .
  5. New Publications Advisory Board staff liaison: Erin Nevius, ACRL, phone: (312) 280-2529, email: E-mail: .
  6. Publications in Librarianship staff liaison: Erin Nevius, ACRL, phone: (312) 280-2529, email: E-mail: .
  7. RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage editor: Jennifer Karr Sheehan, The Grolier Club; phone: (212) 838-6690, email: E-mail: .
  8. Resources for College Libraries chair: Neal Baker, Earlham College Lilly Library, phone: (765) 983-1355, email: E-mail: .
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