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Between the Lines: September Member Spotlight

Between the Lines: Member Spotlight, TLA Membership, TLA News

Shweta Shroff
Library Director
North American University, Houston


What inspired you to become a librarian?
I was a “librarian” even before I knew what being a librarian meant. While proudly circulating books from my own home library to my friends in the community at the age of twelve, I hardly had any idea of what librarians do or what librarianship is. Born in a family of university professors, every corner of my home was full of books and one among those corners was specially reserved for children’s books – my books! My mom, who happens to be a language professor, demonstrated to me how to classify books in groups and we followed a very simple alphabetical grouping where letters A to Z represented different themes/subjects. Multi-volumed books were bound together having a label on their spines. Little did I know at that time how much this positive interaction with books would shape my career in future in the field of librarianship!

What is an innovative practice at your library/organization (current or former) that you’d like to share with others?
Internship in Information Services is something I would like to highlight. I was in charge of this type of internship in one of my former organizations. The aim of this program was to equip fresh LIS graduates in a six-month-long, paid hands-on training for various activities related to library management. The program included familiarizing interns with diverse information sources, handling reference queries, using a Library Management System for various library functions, such as circulation, technical services, serials control, generating reports, etc., and also visits to other libraries and information centers for exposure to different systems and library processes.

If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?  
I used to read mostly fiction as a young reader, but over a period of time, I have turned into a non-fiction reader and nowadays I select my books more by their themes/genres/subjects than their authors. Hence, it is hard to tell which three authors I would choose to have dinner with. However, if I could have the liberty of having dinner with three individuals of my choice, not just authors, I would like to invite three great personalities to my dinner table who have constantly inspired me with their unparalleled contributions for the betterment of society. They have motivated me to be a change agent and streamline my efforts to make a difference in whatever I do. They are Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States; Martin Luther King, Jr., the leader of the civil rights movement; and Narendra Modi, current Prime Minister of India.

What are you reading right now?
Currently I am reading a non-fiction book Leading global diversity, equity, and inclusion: a guide for systemic change in multinational organizations by Rohini Anand.

What is your most memorable Texas Library Association Experience?
My experience at the first-ever TLA 2020 virtual conference is unforgettable. I was amazed at how skillfully it was executed despite all the uncertainties and challenges. I will also remember forever that I had the honor of receiving the TLA Summer School Scholarship in 2018 which helped me pay my tuition that summer.

Anything else you would like to share?
I am the recipient of a very prestigious national-level award in India, Young LIS Professional, conferred by the Indian Library Association. I received the award in 2001 when my professional career was in its infancy. I also have three best paper presentation awards to my name.

“I am a TLA member because…”
I am a TLA member because it offers tremendous opportunities for development and keeps me connected with other libraries and library professionals in Texas and beyond. Interacting with TLA members not only adds immense value to my professional life but also constantly motivates me to give back to society.