Jan 17 2017

LLAMA Mentoring Program Now Accepting Applications

mentoring partners

The LLAMA Mentoring Committee is recruiting for both mentors and mentees for our July 2017-June 2018 year. The LLAMA Mentoring Program, http://www.ala.org/llama/llama-mentoring-program, pairs librarians who are currently in leadership positions with librarians who are interested in becoming leaders.

For mentors, it is a chance to pass on your experience and knowledge by working one-on-one with an enthusiastic colleague who is ready to learn and benefit from your experience.

For mentees, it is a great opportunity to learn from an accomplished leader how to:

  • Explore your leadership potential;
  • Demonstrate leadership in your current position;
  • Acquire the skills, attitudes, and relationships that you will need to move into leadership roles.

Participants must be ALA and LLAMA members at the start of the program, and must either attend the Mentor/Mentee orientation at ALA Annual or be able to participate in a virtual orientation at a time to be determined.

The deadline to apply to become a mentor or a mentee is February 10, 2017.

To apply to become a mentor, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F7Y67WS

To apply to become a mentee, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F7C52QM

For more information about the LLAMA Mentoring program, contact Mentoring Committee co-chairs  Melissa Ellen Bruecks at mbruecks@mcpl.info; or  Julene Jones at Julene.Jones@uky.edu.

Thank you!

Catherine Soehner
Sharon Epps
Richard Guajardo
LLAMA Mentoring Committee members

Jan 12 2017

Public Service Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group for ALA MidWinter 2017

digital scholarship framework

Workflow of Scholarship Framework presented by Scott McDonald and Ellyssa Stern at the PSU TLT Symposium session on “Digital Scholarship: How Digital Tools are Reshaping Academic Work” Posted on Flickr by Alan Levine CC-Attribution

Join us is Atlanta at the ALA Midwinter Conference for adDiscussion of issues of common interest to the senior public service administrators of large research libraries, and a forum for the exchange of information on new developments, techniques and problems in administering public services. We’ll kick start our conversation at Midwinter with a discussion of the following three topics:

  • Digital Scholarship Support
    How are you approaching digital scholarship support in your library? Where is this support provided? What services are offered and by whom? Do you have a digital scholarship centre? If so, how is it governed?
  • Liaison Roles, Responsibilities & Relationships
    How are the roles of your subject and/or functional liaisons at your library evolving? How do we track and assess the work that they are doing? How are you measuring the success of your liaison program overall and the relationships that are being built through it? What tools, if any, are you using to do this?
  • Open Education Resources/Open Textbooks
    What is your library doing to help students defray the increasingly high costs of their education? How are you engaging open education initiatives on your campus and beyond? What kind of partnerships with campus partners have you developed to support students and open education?

When: Sunday, January 22nd, 4:00-5:30 pm
Where: Westin, Chastain F

Add this event to your calendar: https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=232207

For more information contact Trish Rosseel trish.rosseel@ualberta.ca

This event is sponsored by the Public Service Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group


Jan 11 2017

Evidence Based Practices Discussion Group for ALA Midwinter 2017

discussion group

Join the ACRL ULS Evidence-Based Practices Discussion Group for an exciting session at the 2017 Midwinter Conference in Atlanta!  We’ll have two presentations with discussion and questions to follow.

  • Best Practices for Student Advisory Boards.
    Presented by Ameet Doshi, Director of Service Experience and Program Design, The Georgia Institute of Technology.
    Ameet will discuss strategies for identifying “lead users” at your campus, and provide examples of fun and productive board activities. We will also share best practices for sustaining engagement and attendance for your advisory boards over the long term.
  • Current Trends in Altmetrics.
    Presented by Ashley Lowery, Digital Scholarship Librarian, East Tennessee State University.
    Lowery will provide an overview of altmetrics with a focus on the most recent developments within the field. Topics will include types of altmetrics, tools used to track altmetrics, and applications of altmetrics.

When:  Sunday, January 22, 2017, 8:30 – 10:00 am
Where:  Westin Peachtree, Augusta Ballroom C/D-7th Floor

Please join us and share your ideas!

This event is sponsored by the Evidence Based Practices Discussion Group

For more information please contact Chad Pearson (c_pearson412@library.tamu.edu) or Jan Kemp (jan.kemp@utsa.edu)


Jan 11 2017

Atlanta bound for ALA Midwinter? Attend the ULS MidWinter Social

social gatheringMeet up with old friends and make new ones at the ACRL University Libraries Section (ULS) Midwinter Social on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

It’s a party on the patio of the Hudson Grille Downtown with free appetizers and a cash bar! Join us for great conversations and the opportunity to connect with new colleagues.

Start by adding us to your calendar – https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=232210

See you in Atlanta!

Event organized by the ULS Membership Committee.

Jan 09 2017

ULS Slate of Candidates Announced

vote scrabble tiles

The ULS Executive Committee is pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the upcoming ALA election.


  • Nicole Sump-Crethar, Associate Professor, Head of Digital Resources and Discovery Services, Oklahoma State University;
  • Kerry Creelman, Coordinator of Undergraduate Instruction and Outreach, University of Houston.


  • Michelle Demeter, Distance and Outreach Coordinator, Florida State University;
  • Emily Frigo, First Year Initiatives Coordinator, Grand Valley State University.


  • Ryan Litsey, Associate Librarian, Texas Tech University Libraries;
  • Nancy E. Garmer, Acting Assistant Dean of User Experience and Learning, Florida Institute of Technology,
  • Bruce Henson, Associate Dean, Research and Learning Services, Georgia Institute of Technology Library.

For the full ACRL candidate list, please visit the the January issue of C&RL News (http://crln.acrl.org/content/78/1/36.full)

The ALA election cycle will run from March 13, 2017 to April 5, 2017.

Dec 15 2016

World War I and America: public programming initiative

WWI and America logo

Commemorating the 100-year anniversary of America’s entry into the First World War, WWI and America is a two-year public programming initiative of Library of America, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the NEH, and other partners.

WWI and America provides stipends of $1200-$1800 for public programming exploring WWI and its relevance today. The program brings veterans and the general public together to explore WWI through images and letters of soldiers who experienced the war firsthand.

Applications are open to all public, academic, and community college libraries, museums and historical societies, and nonprofit community organizations. A subset of sites will also be selected to host a traveling panel exhibition.

Applications are due on January 13, 2017. For more information and application instructions, please visit WWIAmerica.org.

Nov 28 2016

Interview with ULS Chair Rebecca Blakiston

Rebecca Blakiston is the 2016-2017 Chair of the University Libraries Section. Currently she works at the University of Arizona Libraries as a Team Lead for Web Design & User Experience. In this interview Rebecca talks about her involvement with ULS and what she hopes to accomplish as Chair.


Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be an academic librarian?

As an indecisive sociology major in college not sure of my future, I took an aptitute test my sophomore year to find out what type of profession might suit me best. The results pointed me to a career in librarianship! Not immediately sold on the idea, but intrigued by the possibilities, I soon got a job shelving books at the campus library. By my senior year, I’d worked the coordinated shelving students, worked the circulation desk, and collaborated with a number of librarians. I had a taste of the inner workings of the academic library and fell in love with it. I enjoyed helping other students while learning something new every day. Next thing you know, I’m applying for graduate school and working full-time in access services. After graduating, I was able to get my first librarian job in undergraduate services.

How long have you been involved in ULS and what attracted you to the section?

My colleague, Leslie Sult, was an informal mentor to me when I started working as an instruction and outreach librarian. She had been involved in ULS committees, particularly the Membership Committee, and encouraged me to volunteer within the section. She had great things to say about the people and networking opportunities. I was fortunate to be appointed to the brand new Technology in University Libraries Committee in 2010. I wasn’t disappointed, and found it was one of the most engaged committees I’d worked on – we organized online learning opportunities, shared content through social media, and landed a regular “Tech Bits” column for C&RL News. I was then elected as a Member-at-Large from 2013-2015. It’s been a great experience all around. I’ve found that people who work in university libraries share many of the same passions for teaching, learning, and the research mission of a university. It’s great to be around likeminded professionals to share challenges, successes, and lessons learned.

What do you think are one or two major issues academic librarians face today and how can ULS help address these?

Just one or two? It’s hard to know where to start. The landscape of higher education is changing and we struggle with funding, retention of students, balancing our teaching and research missions, and our very identity. The research lifecycle for faculty is changing: funding requirements, data management, digital publishing models, etc. Student expectations and challenges are changing as we hear about massive student debt, the high cost of textbooks, and concerns over the value of a university education. Not to mention trends towards more online education, an increasing global and non-traditional student population, and shifts in technology we can’t yet imagine. Not to mention the recent 2016 presidential election and upcoming shifts in priorities at the federal level. It’s a crazy time to live in.

As far as how ULS can help address these: ULS is 4,000 members strong – the largest section in ACRL. As a strong community of members, we can help drive some of these conversations and share creative solutions. We have an active email list, a strong presence on social media, and we put together speakers and other programming. Our program proposal for ALA 2017 was recently accepted and will bring together experts to talk through how to best navigate the evolving scholarly communication landscape. This is a collaboration with EBSS and ReSEC, and is a major issue for our profession. I encourage everyone to attend!

How did you come to serve in this ULS leadership role — chair of the section?

When serving as member-at-large, I became pretty familiar with the workings of the section. I was thrilled and honored when the Nominating Committee reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in running for Vice Chair. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

What advice do you have for members who are interested in taking on a leadership role within the section?

Start somewhere and get involved. Be open-minded and flexible. Build relationships with other members, and reach out to committee chairs and discussion group conveners if you’re interested in their work. As you participate in different committees, learn what type of work you enjoy most, whether it’s conference programming, seeking award nominations, facilitating discussions, or sharing content via social media channels. There are lots of opportunities and ways to get involved.

What goals do you have for the section during your term? How do you envision committees and members helping the section achieve those goals?

One of the new exciting things this year is our brand new Professional Development Committee. The goal of this committee is to provide members with opportunities outside of ALA conferences to learn, grow, and connect with one another. Jason Martin, Past Chair, is chairing this new committee and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. I was innagural chair for a professional development committee for our state library association and it was incredibly valuable. I have no doubts this new committee is going to do great things, and other ULS committees and discussion groups are already contributing ideas, whether it’s topics of broad interest or potential speakers for programs.

Also, as a user experience librarian, I care deeply about how members (and potential members) access our valuable content on the web. So one of my big goals is to improve the content, architecture, and design surrounding our web presence. This includes our blog, social media, manual, best practices, and soon our LibGuides. I want current members to have easy access to content they need to get involved, do their committee work, and engage with the ULS community. I also want potential members to be able to easily see what ULS does and how they can get involved. If I can accomplish that this year, I’ll be super happy.

Where do you see ULS going in the future? How does it need to change and evolve to stay relevant to academic librarians?

To stay relevant, we need to be flexible, agile, and proactive. Just because we’ve done something a certain way for ten years, doesn’t mean we should keep doing it for the next ten years. Let’s rethink how we do things, continue to question our assumptions, and evolve as a section. A good example was creating the new Professional Development Committee this past year – we realized that there was a strong desire to provide online opportunities, and we needed a group of people dedicated to seeing it happen. So when we see those gaps or a needs, we should address them. We need to be responsive to members and make sure we’re providing value through content, community, and professional development. And with the energy and dedication I’ve seen from our members, I’m confident we will continue to do just that.

What last words would you like to convey to ULS members?

Thank you for reading. I hope you get involved in our community if you aren’t already!

Nov 12 2016

How Does Your Library Contribute to Learning & Research?

academic library

As the debate around the high cost of a college education continues, Julie Todaro and Irene M.H. Herold (via Inside Higher Ed) provide an excellent essay on how academic libraries and librarians make meaningful contributions to learning and research.

In summary, they highlight that libraries often meet student and faculty needs by providing access to high-end technology (software and hardware) that would otherwise be out of reach, create spaces to fit unique study and research needs, and often provide a safe zone for students. Librarians are collaborators seeking to help students improve their critical thinking skills and learn how navigate the complex information environment we live in. We are advocates for open educational resources which reduce student expenses. Using our professional training and experience, we provides access to a vast array of resources that otherwise would not be available to students or faculty.

In the Comments section, we’d love to hear how your library contributes to the learning and research needs of students and faculty.

Smartphones Can’t Replace Libraries
By Julie Todaro and Irene M.H. Herold
November 10, 2016
Inside Higher Ed

Oct 25 2016

Outstanding Professional Development Award – Call for Nominations


This award recognizes librarians, archivists, or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential. The effect of these contributions may be the result of continuous or distinguished service to the profession, but may also be the result of extraordinarily active, innovative, or collaborative work that deserves national recognition.

Electronic Nominations are now being accepted! Please view the announcement flyer for nomination criteria.

The award consists of a certificate and $1,000 sponsored by Library Juice Academy.


Oct 13 2016

Announcement: NMRT Candidates for 2017 Elections

The NMRT Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the following candidates for election. Before the elections next April, NMRT members will have the chance to get to know the candidates via our Candidate Forum.

The forum will take place on the NMRT blog, Notes, in late February. Each candidate will be discussing their qualifications and motivations for running, as well as answering questions posed from the NMRT membership.

Have questions about the nomination and election process? Contact Sarah Wade (nominating committee chair) at NMRTNominations@gmail.com.

Nicole LaMoreaux
Nicole Spoor
Amy Steinbauer

Leadership Development Director
Leigh Milligan
Kim Copenhaver
Kate Tkacik
Alyse McKeal
Veronica Milliner
Madison Sullivan
Holly Kouns

Christina Rodrigues
Leah Sherman
Melanie Kowalski
Camille Mathieu

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