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, I invite you to volunteer to serve on a 2014–15 division or section committee.

One of my favorite library school professors advised me that becoming professionally active would be rewarding, energizing, and essential to my own growth—all of which proved to be true. I chose ACRL as my professional home and I have been rewarded with stellar colleagues, opportunities to hone my leadership skills, and the deep satisfaction of knowing my contributions have made an impact.

Volunteers make ACRL a vibrant organization. Please accept this invitation to help advance the strategic goals of our association by investing your time, knowledge, and creativity.— Karen Williams, 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). 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 2014 ALA Annual Conference should submit a new volunteer form if they wish to be considered for reappointment. The online volunteer form closes February 15, 2014, and most committee appointment offers will be sent in April and May 2014.

On-site 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 and/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 Web site (http://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 ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA 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, 2014. 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/acrl/membership/volunteer/volunteer for more detailed instructions.To volunteer for a section committee, complete the online volunteer form at http://www.ala.org/acrl/membership/volunteer/volunteer.
  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 Web site (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, Beth McNeil, Purdue University Libraries, E-mail:

If you have any questions about using the volunteer form, please contact ACRL Program Officer Lindsay Bosch 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 has 17 specialized sections which 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/acrl/membership/volunteer/volunteer by February 15, 2014. For more information about section appointments, please contact section vice-chairs:

African American Studies Librarians Section. Malaika Grant, University of Minnesota; phone: (612) 624-4187; e-mail: E-mail: .

Anthropology and Sociology Section. Erin F. Gratz, University of La Verne; phone: (909) 448-4782; e-mail: E-mail: .

Arts Section. Ngoc-Yen Tran, University of Oregon; phone: (541) 346-8782; e-mail: E-mail: .

Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section. Jingfeng Xia, Indiana University-Indianapolis; phone: (317) 278-2378; e-mail: E-mail: .

College Libraries Section. Erin T. Smith, Westminster College; phone: (724) 946-7327; e-mail: E-mail: .

Community and Junior College Libraries Section. Theresa C. Stanley, Pima Community College Downtown Campus; phone: (520) 206-7267; e-mail: E-mail: .

Distance Learning Section. Alice Daugherty, Louisiana State University; phone: (225) 578-7652; e-mail: E-mail: .

Education and Behavioral Sciences Section: Dana Scott Peterman, University of California-Irvine; phone: (949) 824-0607; e-mail: E-mail: .

Instruction Section. Mark Szarko, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; phone: (617) 258-8022; e-mail: E-mail: .

Law and Political Science Section. Jeremy Darrington, Princeton University; phone: (609) 258-3209; e-mail: E-mail: .

Literatures in English Section. Laura Lynne Taddeo, University-Buffalo; phone: (716) 645-7970; e-mail: E-mail: .

Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. R. Arvid Nelsen, University of Minnesota -Charles Babbage Institute; phone: (612) 625-4867; e-mail: E-mail: .

Science and Technology Section. Marianne Stowell Bracke, Purdue University; phone: (765) 496-9620; e-mail: E-mail: .

Slavic and East European Section. Kirill S. Tolpygo, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; phone: (203) 432-8424; e-mail: E-mail: .

University Libraries Section. Marilyn Myers, University of Houston; phone: (713) 743-9803; e-mail: E-mail: .

Western European Studies Section. Sarah Sussman, Stanford University; phone: (650) 723-9481; e-mail: E-mail: .

Women and Gender Studies Section. Diane M. Fulkerson, University of South Florida-Lakeland; phone: (863) 667-7868; 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.

Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board chair: Charles C. Stewart, City College of New York Libraries; e-mail: E-mail: .

Choice editor: Mark Cummings, Choice; phone: (800) 347-6933 x119; e-mail: E-mail: .

College & Research Libraries editor: Scott Walter, University Librarian, DePaul University; phone: (773) 325.8023; e-mail: E-mail: .

College & Research Libraries News editor: David Free, ACRL; phone: (312) 280-2517; e-mail: E-mail: .

New Publications Advisory Board staff liaison: Kathryn Deiss, ACRL; phone: (312) 280-2529; e-mail: E-mail: .

Publications in Librarianship interim editor: Craig Gibson, George Mason University; phone: (703) 993-3716; e-mail: E-mail: .

RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage editor: Beth Whittaker, University of Kansas; phone: (785) 864-4275; e-mail: E-mail: .

Resources for College Libraries chair: E. Chisato Uyeki, Mt. San Antonio College; phone: (909) 274-4257; e-mail: E-mail: .

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