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Science and Technology Section (STS): Elections

sts chair

STS Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Officer Candidate: Rachel Hamelers

Teaching and Learning Librarian and Science Subject Specialist

Trexler Library, Muhlenberg College

she/her/hers. 

Tell us more about yourself and how you became a librarian

  • For many years I worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Columbia Medical Center running outpatient clinics and eventually clinical trials in lymphoma. I enjoyed those jobs, but the daily intense stress of working between patients with refractory disease and big pharmaceutical companies made me realize I needed a job that I loved and could do for a lifetime. After extensive research (this should have clued me in to my future path right then) I picked going to graduate school for library science. It was a great choice; I loved library school! Several months after graduation I landed a job as a science librarian at a small liberal arts college and found STS. My journey to librarian was complete. 

How long have you been involved in STS and what attracted you to the section

  • Attending my first ALA, in my first year after graduating from library school, in my first librarian job, I went to numerous sessions and events. I enjoyed so many of these sessions, but I really felt like I found a home in STS. Through STS I have learned so much about science librarianship. STS has allowed me to make contacts and be part of a listserv that offers me the chance to ask questions - almost like I have science librarian colleagues around all the time. As the only science librarian at my institution, this has been vital to my work. Through STS I have been provided opportunities that have allowed me to attend conferences like AAAS and APHA (for free!) and connected to colleagues that have become my co-presenters, co-editors, and friends. I was at an ACRL conference with an archivist colleague several years ago (yes, I consort with archivists), and we kept seeing STS folks in the halls. My colleague wished for such vibrant connections among her peers. I am grateful to STS for doing the work to help connect science librarians, and I am running for Vice-Chair in hopes of giving back to this ACRL section that has given me so much, and helped make me the librarian I am.

How have you demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion?  

  • I continue to learn and incorporate ways to change my librarian practice to be actively anti-racist. At my institution, my colleagues and I have worked to infuse EDI into all of our work, including having monthly library-wide discussions to understand how white supremacy defines our culture and how our work can become more anti-racist. Additionally, my teaching on science communication continues to emphasis social justice. In terms of STS work, when I served as a Member-at-Large for STS, I worked on a special project with Sara Gonzalez and Bonnie Fong to research how STS could integrate EDI into our section. We made recommendations to STS Council, including having an EDI committee. This was followed by more research and massive work by other committee members, which has resulted in increased visibility of EDI work in our section, for which I am very grateful. 
 

What ideas do you have for making STS a safe space that is as welcoming as possible to members and guests?

  • I want to continue to help grow and nurture STS and extend the opportunities that STS can provide to a diverse group of both new and seasoned science librarians, continuing to provide a place for questions, mentorship, growth, and belonging, both virtually and in-person. I would like us to continue to strengthen the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work of STS as well as work to find new ways to publicize the work of our membership and connect to our peers. I think finding points of connection among science librarians as well as advocating for our needs would be my top goals. 
 

What goals for the section would you have if elected to this position? How do you envision committees and members helping the section achieve those goals?

  • I want to continue to provide connection opportunities for science librarians, both online and in-person. I would also like us to share and publicize the scholarly work we have done, so that we can make connections based on scholarship as well as personal connections. Committee members do the bulk of work in STS; I would seek to support them and make connections among them. I know that I have typed "connections" numerous times throughout these answers; that is my ultimate goal for STS - connection and community. 

STS Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Officer Candidate: Renaine Julian

Director of STEM Libraries

Florida State University Libraries

Pronouns: he/him

 

 

Tell us more about yourself and how you became a librarian

  • I’m a first generation college student that grew up in central Florida. I was drawn to academic librarianship while working as a student assistant at FSU’s main library while working on a masters degree in Urban Planning. I was amazed at the different types of services and programs libraries had to offer and quickly found my subject librarian to get help with my research and coursework. While considering career options as I approached graduation, I chatted with librarians where I worked and eventually convinced myself to go back to graduate school as soon as I graduated in order to pursue my MLIS. As a student worker who worked the third shift, I was often the only “librarian” in the library and often helped students find resources for their papers and other assignments. The gratification that this work gave me, combined with my love for finding and analyzing research data, inspired me to want to become a data librarian.

How long have you been involved in STS and what attracted you to the section

  • A couple of years after joining FSU Libraries as a data research librarian, I was given an opportunity to move to our STEM Libraries team to be a data librarian on their team. After spending time working in the research data management space, I found myself working mostly with scientists helping them with data management plans and things like that so the move to STEM seemed natural. STS has been a professional organization I’ve been a member of since 2017, I believe. I was attracted to STS because I was eager to find a professional home where I could learn from other science librarians. 

How have you demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion?  

Recent projects and initiatives: 

  • In 2020, the STEM team launched an initiative to amplify the voice of underrepresented groups in STEM called Diverse Voices (http://diversevoices.create.fsu.edu/). The program includes a speaker series featuring folks from our community. It also includes a blog that features stories and interviews from FSU alumni from underrepresented communities. 
  •  I am a member of the Research Data Access and Preservation association and am also a member of its marketing community. I am currently working with another committee member to create an engagement strategy designed at recruiting faculty and student members to this relatively new professional association. This involves outreach to HBCU academic administrators as well as registered student organizations. 

What ideas do you have for making STS a safe space that is as welcoming as possible to members and guests?

  • I would want to work to ensure that STS remains a safe space that welcomes open dialogue. STS’s core value of Diversity Equity and Inclusion states that we actively engage in IDEA practices and works to promote and model them by recruiting a diverse membership, engaging in IDEA programming, and striving to create an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and accessible to all its members. I would hope to support these efforts by working with STS members to create programming and professional development opportunities related to DEI. Additionally, I would like to position ACRL and STS in a way that makes them appealing to underrepresented folks in our field who are not yet members. 

What goals for the section would you have if elected to this position? How do you envision committees and members helping the section achieve those goals?

  • My primary goal would be to leverage my year as chair elect to learn as much as I can about the underpinnings of STS. I want to know what works well and what doesn’t which will require having conversations at the board level but also engaging members to seek out their needs and desires. I’d also like to learn more about each committee and what their goals are. 
  •  One goal will be to work with the DEI committee to explore their needs to provide additional resources and training as needed. Again, I would have to learn more about how STS works to enable such support. 
  • I want to find ways to help advance STS’ strategic goal of supporting sustainable models of open science, open data, open journal access, and open educational resources that bring greater accessibility and equitability to the practice of science research, communication, and education. In this effort, I hope to draw on my own experiences working to advance open science as a standard of practice at my own institution.