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2014 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award

August 21st, 2014 by David Free in ALA

ilml-logo-270-2014Nominations are open through September 12, 2014,  for the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The award encourages library users – professors, administrators, students – to submit nominations about how their librarian makes a difference on campus or in the community.

Up to 10 librarians will be selected. Each librarian will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the awards ceremony and reception in New York City, hosted by The New York Times.

Nominate your favorite College, Community College, or University librarian today!

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Keeping Up With… Net Neutrality

August 21st, 2014 by David Free in Keeping Up With

The latest edition of Keeping Up With…, ACRL’s online current awareness publication featuring concise briefs on trends in academic librarianship and higher education, is now available.  This month’s issue features a discussion of Net Neutrality by John Jackson.

Keeping Up With… is available on the ACRL website and each issue will be send via email to ACRL members. Non-members  can visit our email subscription page to sign up to receive Keeping Up With… and a variety of other ACRL awareness publications including the ACRL Update newsletter and table of contents alerts for C&RL and C&RL News.

ACRL is currently accepting topic suggestions for future editions of Keeping Up With… . Visit the Keeping Up With… website for more information or contact David Free at with questions or to submit topics.

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75th Anniversary Scholarship Donor: Steven J. Bell

August 20th, 2014 by Mary Jane Petrowski in 75th Anniversary, 75th Anniversary Scholarship Donors

Steven BellAs part of the celebration of ACRL’s 75th Anniversary, we’ve launched a fundraising campaign to fund 75 scholarships for ACRL 2015. Over the course of the campaign, we’ll profile the ACRL 75th Anniversary scholarship donors and learn why they chose to support to the campaign.

Steven J. Bell is the associate university librarian for research and instruction at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He served as the 2012-13 ACRL President and is currently serving as the ACRL 75th Anniversary scholarship fundraising campaign chair.

1. Describe yourself in three words: I was the ACRL Member of the Week on May 25, 2008. Back then my three words were “Blended. Passionate. Learner.”  I think those three still work pretty well for me. I’d change it up slightly to reflect what I’m doing more of these days: Learner. Speaker. Writer.

2. Why do you support the 75th ACRL Anniversary scholarship campaign? I had the pleasure to attend the scholarship breakfast at ACRL 2013. Meeting scholarship winners was both rewarding and eye-opening. It was the scholarship that made it possible for these students to attend. It was clear that receiving a scholarship makes a huge difference to these academic librarians. Those I spoke with indicated that it would enable them to engage with ACRL – and in the future they hoped to give back to ACRL. If we can use this campaign to double the number of scholarship awards for ACRL 2015 it will be a win for our members and our association.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you? This is the first time in my career that I am actively involved in a fundraising campaign.

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way. Quite a few folks but Larry Hardesty has always had a big influence on me. I regard him as the total package. Great ideas. Great research. Gets things done. Makes a difference. Enduring contributions. Always humble. Sticky messages. Always willing to listen. Kind to others. No drama. I think where he influenced me most is in understanding that academic librarianship is about more than libraries; it is about higher education. He was one of the best ACRL presidents and I can only hope that when my time as president is over I’ll have done even half a good a job at it as Larry did.

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the next 75 years? Being recognized as THE higher education association for librarians – by both academic librarians and all of our colleagues in the higher education enterprise.

6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? It’s something I refer to as “initiative-centric development.” Where I see ACRL doing the most good and bringing consistent value to its members is developing initiatives for application at the local level. What ACRL does for its members is create high-level initiatives they can then adapt to their institutions. The effort required to develop these initiatives is beyond the resources of individual members. But as a collective force, guided by ACRL, we can accomplish something powerful that benefits all academic librarians. That’s the essence of a member association. Our initiative-centricity is directly connected to the Plan for Excellence. Take student learning.  ACRL’s Immersion Institutes give academic librarians who attend the power to be better educators as they use the tools and techniques learned at Immersion to implement local information literacy initiatives.

In the scholarly communications domain ACRL sponsors the Scholarly Communication Roadshow that enables academic librarians across the country to build the skills needed to engage their community members in reforming scholarly communications. Perhaps our most ambitious initiative-centric project to date is the Value of Academic Libraries. With the new Assessment in Action program taking off an entirely new way of empowering members to demonstrate the library’s value on the local level is being made possible. I am looking forward to the launch of ACRL’s next initiative. I’m not sure what it is yet but I know it will be great.

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Putting the User First

August 19th, 2014 by Kathryn Deiss in Publications

Putting the User FirstACRL announces the publication of Putting the User First: 30 Strategies for Transforming Library Services by Courtney Greene McDonald.

User experience is everywhere. From a library’s website to the signage by the elevators, everything contributes to the overall experience of library patrons. Just one simple idea can transform libraries: put the user first. But just because an idea is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. How can libraries best identify, implement and evaluate user-driven changes in order to improve physical and virtual services?

The good news is that even small changes can make big headway. Putting the User First provides 30 hands-on strategies, activities and practical suggestions to enable the transformation of libraries and library services, along with individual approaches and practices, to a more responsive, effective and user-centered model. These practical strategies are coded for cost, technology, physical space, personal practice and organizational culture to easily identify areas of impact. MacDonald’s work is essential reading for all librarians interested in improving overall user experience.

Putting the User First is available for purchase in print through the ALA Online Store and; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

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Member of the Week: Shali Zhang

August 18th, 2014 by Mary Jane Petrowski in Member of the Week

Shali ZhangShali Zhang is Dean of Libraries at the University of Montana Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library in Missoula, Montana. Shali has been an ACRL member since 2001 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 18, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Thoughtful, approachable, and flexible

2. What are you currently reading?  I am re-reading Montana 1948 by Larry Watson, a master piece. The novel received the Milkweed National Fiction Prize.  One thing that I feel very fortunate about is the fact that I live in Missoula, Montana. It is an area being surrounded by mountains and endless forests. The weather in the winter is much milder and more comfortable, in comparison with that in the northeast part of Montana in Watson’s novel where it was brutally cold in the winter and the temperature could be below 40 degrees.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Visionary, professionalism, and advocacy

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has produced and published most valuable professional literature, guidelines, and other documents. These publications, online or in other formats, have helped guide my practical work.  I was on the Editorial Board of College and Research Libraries for two terms, six years in total.  During that period, I had opportunities to read, review, and recommend manuscripts from academic librarians to be published.  It was most rewarding experience and it also inspired me to get my Ph. D. degree so that I could become a better consumer for ACRL’s research products. ACRL has done an outstanding job in encouraging and inspiring academic librarians’ interests in conducting research projects and sharing their research findings through publications.  In many ways, these research findings have served as foundation on which we developed policies, programs, and best practices to serve library users.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As the library dean, I am able to help strategically plan library services, programs, and initiatives aligning with the university’s vision, mission, core values, and strategic directions. For instance, the University of Montana’s strategic Plan, UM 2020: Building a University for the Global Century, focuses on student success, education for global century, discovery and research, learning environment, and planning-assessment.  When we developed the library’s strategic plan, we made sure that the library plan reflects that of the university so that the library is an active player and an important participant in helping realize the university’s goals. The library faculty members have made concerted efforts in reaching out and partnering with campus units in serving our diverse student populations, including traditional and non-traditional students, Native American students, student veterans, students with learning and physical disabilities, international students, and online students. The library’s efforts have also been recognized by the campus community.

6. In your own words:  Taking a leadership position in the library profession often requires courage to get out one’s comfortable zones for new challenges. In late 2012, I took a new position as Dean of Libraries at the University of Montana. The position has offered me opportunities to practice what I learned through the ACRL Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians in which I participated previously. The Institute helped me think strategically and develop skills to be an effective administrator in facing challenges of the complex environment of higher education.  Librarians at academic libraries have played important roles in learning, teaching, research, community engagements on their campuses. ACRL has been valuable resources to help us on these exciting endeavors.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.

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Why ACRL uses Creative Commons licenses and opposes STM association model licenses

August 15th, 2014 by Kara Malenfant in Scholarly Communication

small_bannerThe Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) recently joined a letter opposing a set of model licenses released by the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM). The signatories of the letter call on the STM association to withdraw the model licenses and recommend to its member publishers that they work within the Creative Commons framework instead of offering their own customized open access licenses. These licenses increase confusion and decrease interoperability as they are not compatible with any of the globally used Creative Commons licenses – the de facto global standard for open content licensing, adopted by a broad-based community.

As part of our commitment to transforming scholarship, all articles in ACRL’s scholarly research journal College & Research Libraries are published under a Creative Commons (CC) BY-NC license. The association feels that publishing under a CC license promotes openness and allows for research to be used in a variety of ways both in the library and information science field and beyond. Our members, strong advocates for innovation in scholarly communication, understand the importance of Creative Commons licensing and appreciate the ability to publish their research with CC licenses through their association. ACRL has published approximately 125 peer reviewed scholarly articles under the CC BY-NC license since 2012. Our commitment to innovation through transparent licensing extends to our news magazine, book, research report, and white paper publishing program as well, where we allow article, chapter and report authors to indicate the use of a CC license as part of their publication agreement with ACRL.

Creative Commons licenses are designed to be easy to read, easy to use, they effectively complement copyright, and they enjoy broad support across a wide range of scholarly and creative communities. The STM association’s proposed open access model licenses are unnecessary and overly complex. They introduce restrictions to control uses that should either be considered fair uses or are outside of the exclusive rights of copyright holders: e.g., non-expressive use in data mining and terms that would control how works are interpreted.  They would place additional burdens on authors to police down-stream uses and enforce third-party copyrights. Vague requirements like “maintain the integrity of the Work/Article” are difficult to interpret and likely to have a chilling effect on users. These licenses will not effectively advance scholarship and they introduce confusion at a time when we most need terms that can be easily interpreted and understood. For all these reasons, ACRL believes Creative Commons licenses better serve the needs of scholarly publishers and authors and the STM association model licenses are unnecessary.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

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ACRL 2015 paper, panel, preconference, and workshop notifications issued

August 15th, 2014 by Margot Conahan in ACRL 2015, Conferences, Uncategorized

Notifications for ACRL 2015 contributed paper, panel session, preconference, and workshop proposals were issued on Friday, August 15.  Thanks to all who submitted a proposal for the Portland conference!  Please check your spam filter if you don’t see your notification in your e-mail inbox; contact Margot Conahan at with questions.

Complete details about ACRL 2015, including registration materials, are online.

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Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education Progressing; Third Draft for Comment Expected November 1

August 15th, 2014 by Kara Malenfant in Information Literacy, Standards and Guidelines

small_bannerMembers of ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force are hard at work analyzing all the feedback to the June 17 revised draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, adopted by ACRL in 2000, has become an essential document related to the emergence of information literacy as a recognized learning outcome at many institutions of higher education. These, like all ACRL standards, are reviewed cyclically and a task force charged with creating the Framework has been working since March 2013. They are carefully reviewing responses provided to the revised draft Framework this summer through the questionnaire, in person and online forums, social media outlets, and personal communications to Task Force members.

The responses from the community have provided sufficient ideas that the task force will spend additional time revising the document. They expect the revisions to be substantive enough to warrant an additional period of review by ACRL members and the community before sending to the ACRL Board of Directors for a vote. Therefore the task force will extend their timeline, as the Board offered during its June 28 meeting. (See the August 13 information memo from the task force co-chairs to the Board.)

At this point, the task force tentatively plans to release a third draft for comment on November 1, 2014. They would submit a final Framework and recommendations to the ACRL Board of Directors by early January 2015 for a vote at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

As they continue to carefully consider all feedback they have received, task force members will continue to address recurring questions/concerns via the Frequently Asked Question section of their website. Expect new content to be added there in the weeks ahead.

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Fall 2014 ACRL-CHOICE Webinar Program Announced

August 14th, 2014 by Margot Conahan in Choice, Events

The ACRL-CHOICE webinar program connecting academic and research librarians with a host of content and service providers, publisher and other experts who serve their market is back with an exciting new roster of topics and speakers. Since the program launched in 2013, thousands of participants have attended the 60-minute, live interactive webinars that provide a vibrant forum for discussion among sponsors and an unmatched academic library audience of ACRL members and CHOICE users and fans. Experts, authors and publishing representatives have presented sessions on topics pertinent to today’s academic libraries that have recently included eBooks in academic libraries, expert databases, the importance of STEM and strategies for finding reliable international statistics and publications.

Upcoming ACRL-CHOICE webinars will cover a wide gamut of new topics important to academic libraries. Registration information for each event is available by clicking on the event title.

Late fall will also see webinars sponsored by Elsevier, Mango Learning, McGraw-Hill and others. The program offers an exceptional way for libraries to learn about new ideas, developments and products, and to actively participate in discussions with companies that serve their market. It also allows sponsors to receive unfiltered feedback from the academic library community.

For information on becoming an ACRL-CHOICE webinar sponsor, please contact Pam Marino at To visit the archive of recent webinars, please visit us on the CHOICE website.

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Mentors Needed for Spectrum Scholars

August 12th, 2014 by David Connolly in Diversity, Leadership

Are you interested in directly contributing to the development of the next generation of academic librarians and ensuring a diverse workforce? Then consider mentoring an ALA Spectrum Scholar through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program! The program links participating library school students and new librarians who are of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander descent, with established academic librarians who provide mentoring and professional guidance.

What’s Involved?
As a mentor, you will serve as a role model and provide career guidance, as well as help mentees find opportunities for involvement and leadership in the profession. You must be an academic librarian, have multiple years of professional experience (a minimum of ten years preferred), and be an active member of ACRL. The mentor program requires a commitment of at least one year and up to maximum of three years.

You will receive Web-based training from ACRL to assist you in building a successful mentoring relationship. Mentor responsibilities include:

  • Contacting the Spectrum Scholar on a regular basis (monthly is ideal).
  • Spending time with the Spectrum Scholar at library conferences when you are both are in attendance.
  • Completing two brief assessment surveys during the first year of your mentorship.

How Do You Apply?
If you are interested in becoming a mentor for a Spectrum Scholar through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor program, just complete the application.

What Happens Next?
The ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee matches new pairs of mentors and Spectrum Scholars throughout the year, with most of the matches made in the spring. If we are unable to match you with a Scholar immediately, your application will be kept on file and you’ll be contacted periodically to confirm your ongoing interest in participating.

Please apply today to be an ACRL Spectrum Scholar Mentor. The profession benefits when you share your experience!

If you have questions about the ACRL Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program, please contact Committee Chair Harriett Green at or ACRL staff member David Connolly at

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