ACRL 2015 Preconferences Announced

Registration is now available for preconferences to be held prior to the ACRL 2015 Conference, “Creating Sustainable Community,” in Portland, Ore.  ACRL is offering six preconferences on Wednesday, March 25, 2015; separate registration is required.

Full-day Preconferences: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

Developing Research Questions, Methods, and Habits of Mind: A Workshop for Innovative and Sustainable Research: Both experienced and new librarian researchers will gain new perspectives on their research as they practice developing and refining research questions, explore options for choosing research methods and discuss ways to develop the habits of mind of creative, productive researchers.

Getting Down to Brass Tacks: Practical Approaches for Developing Data Management Services: Through a sequence of modules, attendees will leave this session with knowledge of the diverse data management landscape, strategies to engage their campus communities and a plan for starting or enhancing data management services.

Half-day Preconferences : Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (9:00 a.m. – noon)

Creating a Culture of Assessment: Norming Rubrics to Nurture IL Instructional Practice: Facilitators will lead participants through norming a sample IL rubric, rating student work, and critiquing sample rubrics. Examine the rubric creation process through the lens of our shared norming experience in order to provide essential hands-on practice for continued implementation.

If You Build It, They Will Come… and Succeed: Developing a Co-Curricular Workshop Series to Add Value to the Student Employee Experience: This preconference will provide participants with the framework and tools necessary to develop and implement a workshop program designed to supplement student employees’ learning experiences at their own institutions in order to contribute to student academic success.

New Leadership for New Times: Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competency as Required Skills: This interactive preconference focuses on assisting leaders, managers, prospective leaders in becoming more proactive with diversity, culturally competency and the art of inclusion within their work environment and leadership situations.

Tutorials Toolkit: Creating Sustainable Library Instruction: Through a variety of interactive activities, attendees will develop the concepts, framework, and skills needed to create a cohesive and sustainable suite of online video tutorials. Attendees will leave the workshop with a toolkit to craft their own collection of information literacy tutorials.

Complete details on ACRL 2015 preconferences, including learning outcomes and registration materials, are available on the conference website.

For more information about ACRL 2015, contact Margot Conahan at

What Would You Put in the ACRL 75th Anniversary Time Capsule?

Time capsule and recreated contents on display at Shadek-Fackenthal Library, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA

It’s 2040. ACRL members are gathered to open the ACRL 75th anniversary  time capsule. You are watching a live feed of the event on your iPhone 16. The first item is pulled from the time capsule.  It is a . . .

What would you put in the time capsule? The 1989 Oxford English Dictionary defines a time capsule as “a container used to store for posterity a selection of objects thought to be representative of life at a particular time.”

This is your invitation to suggest items to be placed in the ACRL 75th anniversary time capsule. The best items to put into a time capsule are things that will remind you of a specific time. Items can also recall a particular event. The business of predicting the future is a tricky one. But it’s almost as difficult to imagine what life was like in the past. Anything that captures the spirit of the present is a candidate. What is unique about ACRL? We need a mix of items from the sublime to the trivial related to ACRL.

To have your item considered for inclusion, send a description of the item, a photo and dimensions to the ACRL 75th Anniversary Celebration Task Force Chair Pamela Snelson at If accepted you will need to provide the item to the ACRL Office no later than March 1, 2015.  It goes without saying that your item will not be returned.

The ACRL 75th anniversary time capsule and contents will be exhibited at ACRL 2015 and a dedication ceremony will take place at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. ACRL will register the time capsule with the International Time Capsule Society, based at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Member of the Week: Robert Kelly

Robert KellyRobert Kelly is Coordinator of Library Services at the Hutchinson Community College John F. Kennedy Library in Hutchinson, Kansas. Robert has been an ACRL member since 2003 and is your ACRL member of the week for September 29, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Collaborative, good-humored steward

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)?  I always have multiple things going. A sample from what I’m currently reading: The Mysterious West, edited by Tony Hillerman; The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler; Mastering Omaha/8 Poker by Mark Tenner and Lou Krieger; and That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Not Just Universities.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I have appreciated the recent energy the organization has committed to be more inclusive of two-year community and technical colleges in national initiatives (such as advocating for financial literacy and the role of the library in campus’ overall provision of programming, services, and resources), conference programming, and standards creation/revision. The bi-annual conferences are essential to attend to gain and share knowledge and to enjoy the great concentration of vendors that market to the higher education sector. The organization is a core source of standards and best practices. The ACRL Choice magazine is a core collection development tool and it too is working to position itself to be more relevant to the two-year environment. The organization is one where librarians have opportunities to be involved in something that matters.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As Coordinator of Library Services (aka Library Director) I am responsible for library oversight in a position that combines administrative leadership with front-line activities. I lead our instruction program, participate in reference services, actively liaison with faculty, serve on campus committees, and generally be the face of the college library on campus. I also advocate for the library, the college, and Kansas two-year colleges in general by being actively involved in local, state, and regional organizations. In turn I keep my administration informed of potential opportunities and threats.

6. In your own words:  Five lessons learned in every position I’ve held:

  • From day one get to know the people that really matter on campus: secretaries/admin assistants; ITS staff (including the director); and maintenance staff. They are the ones who really run the campus and have the power to ruin or make your day.
  • From day one get to know who the faculty and staff library heros are. Oil those squeaky wheels because they will help you viral market to draw more faculty and students in.
  • Look for opportunities to matter. You want people to know who you are and to trust you. In turn, those people will always have the library in the back of their mind and will be reluctant to attack it if for no other reason than because they know you.
  • Don’t be afraid to jump ship before being pushed. Opportunities may drop in your lap and you’d best be prepared to seize them when they do. Often you only get one chance. That especially is relevant to getting involved in campus initiatives and committees as well as when considering a change of employment. A corollary: It is always easier to pursue an opportunity when you don’t have to.
  • To make real change you must get involved in leading and do so actively. Armchair complainers and saber rattlers rarely yield any success because they don’t have any influence or control.

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.

New Updated Version of ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit Released

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released a new version of its popular Scholarly Communication Toolkit with updated content. The Toolkit, developed and maintained by the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee, continues to provide content and context on a broad range of scholarly communication topics, including expanded information on data management. It provides links to examples of specific tools, including handouts, presentations, and videos for libraries to use on their own campuses, and for library school students seeking to incorporate these issues into their course work. The Toolkit is also widely used by libraries in conjunction with Open Access Week, an annual global event promoting open models of scholarly communication, that will occur from October 20-24, 2014. The ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit is freely available online.

Next Steps for Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy

Editor’s Note: In this post, Joyce L. Ogburn, Chair of ACRL’s Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy Task Force, provides an update on Task Force activities.

In 2013, ACRL issued two major publications that integrate two strong ACRL programs – information literacy and scholarly communication. The first publication to be issued was a white paper that articulated salient issues and potential connections between these two areas. [1] Close on its heels, ACRL published an open access book with contributed chapters that explored many different crossovers and intersections. [2]

In 2014, the ACRL Board appointed a task force to continue the efforts. Specifically, the task force was charged with “monitoring and responding to reactions to the white paper and use of the white paper, as well as proposing and delivering sustainable professional development opportunities building on the ideas and recommendations in the white paper.” We began our work at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, and this column summarizes our work to date.

  • Three members of the task force, along with ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen Davis, gave a project briefing at the April 2014 CNI meeting. The discussion elicited new arenas for librarians to explore: e-portfolios; accessibility issues; undergraduate research; digital citizenship; digital identity and security of personal information; student services; and campus IT.  We encourage you to consider how these suggestions might play out on your campus. [3]
  • Three members of the task force published an article in the September 2014 issue of C&RL News addressing the work of the task force and how their libraries are applying emerging concepts. Take a look at what each is doing. [4]
  • The task force is contributing to ACRL’s new initiative on data management by addressing the concept of data literacy. A section on data literacy, with text drawn from the white paper, was added as a resources link in the Scholarly Communication Toolkit data management tab. [5]
  • We will be offering webinars with such topics as including scholarly communication with information literacy in job descriptions and expectations for librarians. Be watching for announcements.
  • A panel session at the ACRL 2015 Conference in Portland, Oregon, will engage attendees in dialogue to inform the final report, which is due to the board before the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Please come join the conversation.

There are more activities in the planning stages. We want to hear from members who are using the white paper, perhaps as a guide to incorporating new topics into information literacy instruction, embedding information in research guides, developing targeted workshops for new services such as open access publishing or managing intellectual property rights, or working in new ways with partners on campus. We encourage you to add your ideas and activities in the comments section of this posting.

Task Force Members: Jeff Belliston, Barbara DeFelice, Mel Desart, Terri Fishel, Julia Gelfand, Merinda Kaye Hensley, Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Joyce Ogburn, Kevin Smith, Jean Zanoni, Kara Malenfant (ACRL Staff Liaison)

Resources Cited:

1. ACRL (2013). Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment. Chicago: ACRL.

2. Stephanie Davis-Kahl and Merinda Kaye Hensley, eds. (2013). Common Ground at the Nexus of Information Literacy and Scholarly Communication. ChicagoACRL.

3. Mary Ellen Davis, Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Merinda Kaye Hensley, and Joyce L. Ogburn (2014). “Enriching How We Teach and Learn:  The Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy.” Project Briefing, CNI April 1, 2014.

4. Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Teresa A. Fishel, and Merinda Kaye Hensley (2014). “Weaving the Threads of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy into Academic Librarian Roles.” C&RL News, September: 441- 444.

5. Data Literacy Essay (2014). ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit.

- Joyce L. Ogburn, Chair, Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy Task Force

1 2 3 302