Trevor A. Dawes, associate university librarian, was recently installed as president of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), an international organization serving academic libraries and information professionals.
Comprised of roughly 12,000 members, ACRL is the largest division of the American Library Association (ALA). Dawes’ term as president began earlier this month, with an inauguration ceremony at the annual ALA conference in Chicago, and will continue through July 2014.
Dawes served as ACRL’s vice-president and president-elect during the past year and has long been an active member of the organization, which provides professional development opportunities, key standards and publications, and advocacy on a variety of research- and information-related issues.
"As the higher education association for librarians, ACRL provides the tools and resources that advance learning and transform scholarship on our campuses," Dawes says. "The experience of helping to lead such a successful organization will naturally have an impact on the work I do here at Washington University in St. Louis."
ACRL has outlined three key goals as it seeks to help today’s academic libraries advance learning and scholarship. These include demonstrating the value of academic libraries in higher education, enhancing and transforming student learning and literacy, and leading the shift of the research environment toward a more open system of scholarship.
Dawes sees his role as extending beyond library-specific topics. One area he expects to tackle this year is financial literacy.
"Many of us, and I think particularly our students, are not able to effectively manage our finances," Dawes says. "I believe librarians, with access to a wealth of resources, can be active partners with campus colleagues to provide timely and valuable information to our communities on how to pay for college, invest wisely, save for major purchases, plan for retirement, and so forth. Some libraries, both public and academic, have already implemented financial literacy programs, and I think that ACRL can help promote awareness and expansion of those efforts."