Nov 20

Upcoming ACRL ULS Online Discussions and Roundtables

ACRL ULS is offering some exciting virtual activities for its members in the next few weeks: an online discussion on “Digital Creation Centers in Academic Libraries” and a series of online roundtables on “Outreach to Non-traditional Students.” Below are the details for each of these events:

Digital Creation Centers in Academic Libraries

ACRL/ULS, through its Online Discussion Group, is pleased to host the following online discussion: “Digital Creation Centers in Academic Libraries.”

The discussion will be held on Wednesday, December 2, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm EST.

Makerspaces for digital media and data visualization centers are becoming more common within academic library spaces, and may involve collaboration with other academic departments. In this discussion, you’ll get to hear from three panelists who will tell you about their own library centers and who can respond to your questions and comments on this fascinating topic.

The panelists are:

Whether you already have a library space at your institution for digital visualization and creation, or you are in the idea or planning stages for such a center, you are going to enjoy this discussion. Please join us! To register for this event, go to:

If you have ideas for future topics, please share those with the members of the ACRL/ULS Online Discussion Group: Apryl Price (, Jessica McClean (, and Drew Smith (

Academic Outreach Online Roundtable Discussions

The ULS Academic Outreach Committee offers a series of Online Roundtable Discussions on topics related to Academic Outreach endeavors.

The next week of discussions begins November 30. Each discussion will last 1 hour and be limited to 9 participants and 1 facilitator (like a face-to-face roundtable discussion).

All discussions will be hosted on Google Hangouts on Air. The sessions will be recorded and posted to the ACRL ULS Academic Outreach Committee YouTube Channel. Past discussions are posted there now.

December’s Topic: Outreach to Non-traditional Students

December’s discussion will focus on outreach to non-traditional students, which encompasses many different groups – some of which are distance learners and adult learners. We will consider the benefits and lessons learned of programs offered inside and outside of the library. Join us for lively discussion and new ideas for outreach programming for non-traditional students.

To encourage active discussion by all, space is limited to nine attendees per discussion session. Sign up for one of the following dates and times:

To register, select a date/time above and click the “register” link. You will need a valid Gmail account to participate.

Discussions are limited in numbers to encourage active discussion from all participants, varying in expertise. Participants must have a microphone in order to participate. Those interested in observing the discussion are encouraged to watch the live broadcast or review the recordings on our YouTube Channel.

Instructions for accessing the discussion in Google Hangouts on Air will be sent to participants by email.

Questions?  Please email

Nov 10

ACRL ULS Social @ ALA Midwinter 2016

Salvatore's Seaport District exterior

Going to ALA Midwinter in Boston? Interested in university libraries or in just casually meeting some fellow librarians? The ACRL University Libraries Section (ACRL ULS) is once again hosting a social to help you unwind after a busy Saturday of programs. Details are below:

When: Saturday, January 9, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: Salvatore’s Restaurant (Seaport District location @ 225 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210) – just a short distance (less than .5 mile!) from
the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

Enjoy free appetizers and a cash bar, while also networking with fellow ULS and other conference attendees. See also the Facebook event page. Hope to see you there!

Event organized by the ACRL ULS Membership Committee.

Oct 07

Nominate a librarian for the new ULS Professional Development Award!

ULS Professional Development Award graphic

Do you know someone who has contributed to librarians’ growth and professional development? The University Libraries Section of ACRL has a brand new ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award designed to recognize such a person. They’ll get $1,000 and be celebrated at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando.

It’s easy peasy. By December 4, 2015:

  1. Think of a person who’s awesome.
  2. Fill out the form (note: link opens .pdf file) and put together an application.
  3. Send it to Rebecca Blakiston at If you have questions along the way, get in touch.

Aug 21

Task Force on Best Practices for ULS Leaders Report

A task force was put together to create documentation and templates for committee chairs and discussion group leaders in ULS in order to both assist and support incoming chairs and Discussion Group conveners with best practices for running their committees effectively, as well as to educate new members on the committee as to what is expected of them.

This group has released a report documenting these guidelines: Task Force on Best Practices for ULS Leaders Report

Jun 19

Shrinking Collections to Create User Spaces


Join the ACRL ULS Current Topics Discussion Group at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco for a conversation on “Shrinking collections to create user spaces: Strategies for communication and collaboration“: Print collections at many institutions are being reduced — moved off site, digitized, or deaccessioned — to create study rooms, presentation spaces, learning commons, and other teaching and learning spaces. What strategies are librarians using to build common understanding and acceptance of such changes across their institutions?

Saturday, June 27, 2015 — 2:30pm to 4:00pm
Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Union Square Room

(photo source)

Jun 17

ACRL President’s Program: Leading through Transition

Leading through Transition: Changing roles facing university and library leaders

The ACRL President’s program focuses on an intentional approach to facing challenges in the current educational landscape. How can the library help new leaders transition to these new roles and evolving demands? What part can the library play in bringing focus for university leadership? How can library leaders support new leaders within its own organization? We’ll examine these questions and more, in a facilitated discussion sponsored by the ULS Campus Administration and Leadership Discussion Group.

Saturday, June 27, 2015, 1:30-3:30 pm
Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Yosemite A

May 27

ULS On-the-Fly Mentoring at ALA Annual 2015

getsjob V2

ULS will be providing its “On-the-Fly” Mentoring service at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Whether you want to talk with a mentor or provide mentorship, we’d love for you to participate. The service will be hosted by the Placement Center in the Moscone Convention Center during these times:

Saturday, 6/27, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Sunday, 6/28, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

“On-the-Fly” Mentoring allows a mentee to talk with a mentor for a 20-minute session on a scheduled or drop-in basis. Please keep these times in mind as you plan your conference schedule!

Click to sign up as a MENTOR or MENTEENote: While there may be capacity for drop-in sessions, mentees are encouraged to sign up for an appointment by Monday, June 22.

Organized by the ACRL ULS Membership Committee.

May 27

ACRL ULS Social @ ALA Annual 2015

Jillians small

Going to ALA Annual in San Francisco? Interested in university libraries or in just casually meeting some fellow librarians? The ACRL University Libraries Section (ACRL ULS) is once again hosting a social to help you unwind after a busy Saturday of programs. Details are below:

When: Saturday, June 27, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: Jillian’s (175 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103) – just a short distance from the Moscone Center

Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar, while also networking with fellow ULS and other conference attendees. To add it to your schedule and for more information, see the Conference Scheduler event page and Facebook event page. Hope to see you there!

Event organized by the ACRL ULS Membership Committee.

May 19

San Francisco ALA on a Budget: Tips from ULS Member Katherine Ahnberg

norcal airportsI grew up in the Bay Area and lived in San Francisco proper for two years before leaving the west coast for library school. Four months into my first full time position, I can’t wait to represent my “hometown” at ALA! Yes San Francisco is extremely expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great deals.

Take it from a local, here’s a few ways to do SF ALA on the cheap:

1. Fly into Oakland

You wouldn’t try to fly into Manhattan without checking LGA, right? Oakland is slowly becoming the Queens/Brooklyn of the Bay. My last minute flight across the country from Florida home to the Bay Area was $414 because I skipped out on SFO.

2. Get a $3 Clipper Card

Clipper cards are re-loadable cards that make hopping MUNI or BART a breeze. You can order in advance, or buy one at a corner Walgreens or other grocery store. It saves you from having to have exact change or hold on to tiny paper transfers; just make sure you tap out on your way off the bus.

3. Take the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)


BART is fast, safe, and reliable. You can get from downtown Berkeley to Powell St. station (the closest stop to the Moscone Center) in 25 minutes, and it’s an even shorter trip from nearby cities like Daly City. The only downside is to BART is that it stops running at 12:30 AM.

4. Stay with Air BnB

If you haven’t made the leap to Air BnB yet, it’s high time you checked it out. I’ve used this service for two different conferences now, and have never been disappointed. Whether you rent out a private space with a group or just take up a room in someone’s house, Air BnB is inexpensive and centrally located, plus you get the added perks of contributing to the local economy while having a nice place to stay. My ACRL stay included a cedar lined outdoor sauna. No extra cost.


5. Cheap(er) Eats Around Moscone

$-$$ Mel’s Drive-In– Forget Denny’s, Mel’s is the consummate SF diner experience. Plus you get to experience a little bit of cinematic history.

$$ The Grove– Open till 11 o’clock, everyone pays separately and their cardamom ice cream is dreamy. For those of you coming from out of town, the sticker shock will be lower than chain restaurants, and you get to feel like a smug San Franciscan by eating local (and delicious!).

$$ Thirsty Bear– Get ready for Spanish tapas and big crowds at this local craft brewery.

Check out Katherine Ahnberg’s blog for more tips and colleague comments


Katherine Ahnberg is an Academic Services Librarian at USF Tampa Library

May 04

ALA Annual Conference Program: Look into the Crystal Ball

Arakawa_Kazuyoshi_-_Dragon_Supporting_a_Crystal_Ball_-_Walters_571188Don’t miss the ULS Program, Look into the Crystal Ball: Future Directions for Higher Education and Academic Libraries, at ALA Annual!
Date/Time: Saturday, June 27, 1-2:30PM
Place: Moscone Convention Center 3003 (W)

How should we approach the future? Speakers from Ithaka S+R and Stanford’s Graduate School of Education will identify broad transformations within and future directions for higher education. Academic librarians will then discuss how these transformations affect the organization and structure of university libraries, liaison roles, collections, and instruction and outreach. The program will conclude by engaging the audience in a discussion of how changes in higher education are playing out at their own institutions.

Mitchell L. Stevens
Associate Professor of Education and Sociology
Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Chris Bourg
Director of Libraries

Deanna Marcum
Managing Director
Ithaka S+R

Janice Jaguszewski
Director and Associate University Librarian, Health Sciences
University of Minnesota Libraries

Image credit: Walters Art Museum [Public domain, CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

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