Getting to know:
Erin Ackerman, PhD, MLIS
Social Sciences Librarian
The College of New Jersey Library
- I grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. I might have ended up studying political science anyway, but growing up in New Hampshire with politically active parents certainly helped me in that direction. I met lots of presidential candidates growing up and even ended up in a photo in a 1987 issue of Newsweek as I marched in a local parade alongside Al Gore.
- My first job ever was... I had a lot of different jobs in junior high and high school. I worked for several years as a baker’s assistant. I couldn’t even look at donuts for years after many weekends of prepping donuts for the Saturday/Sunday rush. I never acquired the same aversion to cake, though, and still enjoy cake decorating.
- How long have you been a Librarian? Almost two years. I taught political science for several years before becoming a librarian.
- What drew you to Librarianship or your particular area of specialization in Libraries? I got hooked while working as a graduate student assistant in a tiered reference model at Johns Hopkins University’s Eisenhower Library. I learned so much about research and how libraries work. My job now as Social Sciences Librarian at TCNJ is ideal because I get to combine my excitement about libraries with my background in political science, sociology, and other social sciences.
- What has been your most rewarding experience as a professional so far? Helping students and faculty find and access the data they need for original research through subscription resources like ICPSR and online resources from government agencies and NGOs.
- What are your favorite ways to stay on top of Library trends? ACRL listservs and professional development workshops.
- What are you most excited about or interested in currently (either at your institution or in the Library profession in general)? I’m most excited about issues in collection management. I serve on our library’s Collection Development Committee and am also working on a research project with Lisa DeLuca (Social Sciences Librarian, Seton Hall University) about political science collections management.
- What do you find most valuable about your NJLA CUS / ACRL-NJ membership? Networking with academic librarians throughout New Jersey. It’s great to learn about what other libraries are doing and look for ways to collaborate.
- One of the things I have in my refrigerator all the time is… seltzer. It’s how I overcame the Diet Coke problem I developed in grad school.
- The best part of my day is when I read books with my toddler. Currently Dooby Dooby Moo and Goodnight Baseball are in heavy rotation.
- List your top five “Desert Island Books” (the five books you’d have to have if you were stranded on a desert island)? Bossypants by Tina Fey; Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.