For those who do not know me (and perhaps for those who think they do) let me introduce myself. Hi, I’m Steve Silver, and I’m your new ACRL-OR president. I’ve been on the job since September 1, settling in, getting myself organized, and leading our first board meeting of the year. Your past president, Stephanie Debner, has been fantastically helpful in this transition time. Send her a nice thank you for her dedication to this great organization.
So who is this short, bespectacled guy from the tiny Christian university you’ve elected to lead you? I’m an Emporia grad (SLIM cohort #5, 2006). Northwest Christian University (NCU), my alma mater, is the only library I’ve worked in, and I’ve been here over 20 years. For the past 11 as library director. I started out in Technical Services, and occasionally (but not often) miss the days of dealing with clear-cut, black and white rules and codes (which, let’s face it, are not always so clear-cut or black and white anyway). My professional interests lie with intellectual freedom issues (I’m a member of OLA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee) and the history of the Bible as a book (NCU has an amazing rare Bible collection). I’m currently teaching a semester course on the latter, which is great fun.
But so much for the boring stuff. Let’s get personal. Married 31 years. Our only daughter is getting married October 14 (yes, we like the guy). I’m a semi-passionate Oregon Ducks football fan. I watch NASCAR. I have a masters in Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon (Helmuth Riling’s conducting Master Classes were amazing!). I was a church musician before becoming a librarian. I am a progressive, one might say “seeking” Christian, which is a long way from my conservative Christian upbringing (but my parents still love me anyway). I’ve been to England and Canada (briefly), but otherwise have not traveled internationally. Favorite local vacation spot: Yachats, Adobe Inn. Favorite overall vacation spot: Kauai, Hawai’i. Not a huge beer fan (I’ve tried, I really have), but I like a good hard cider or margarita. For-fun reading is mostly, though not exclusively, fantasy (Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb). I’m currently reading “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, and “The Christian College and the meaning of Academic Freedom: Truth seeking in community” by William C. Ringenberg. Yes, I usually have a “fun” book and a “serious” book going at the same time.
I am involved with ACRL-OR because this association has been a tremendous support to me in my work as an academic librarian, and I believe it is and can be a tremendous support to each of you in your work as well. I also believe that in our current times that support is needed perhaps more than ever. My leadership style defaults to collaboration and input seeking. As a library director I’ve learned to make the quick, hard decision when needed, but my preference is always to discuss and make group decisions when possible. As a director, I also know that those working the “front lines” often have better ideas than I do, and my job is to help those ideas be successful.
So let me hear from you. Those of you coming to the ACRL-WA/OR joint conference at Pack Forest, there will be a members meeting, and I hope to see you there and to hear your thoughts. And you can always contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for the trust you’ve shown in my be electing me to be your president. Working together, I know we can make this another great year for ACRL-OR and academic librarians across our state.