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Keeping Up With… Digital Writing in the College Classroom

April 17th, 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 Digital Writing in the College Classroom by Andrea Baer.

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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Upcoming ACRL Webcast – Out of the Library and Into the Community: Academic Libraries and Community Engagement

April 16th, 2014 by Margot Conahan in eLearning

Join ACRL for the e-Learning webcast, “Out of the Library and Into the Community: Academic Libraries and Community Engagement,” on Wednesday, April 23 (1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Central).

Conversations about democracy, information access, and information distribution within communities continue to gain momentum in both academia and society as a whole. Academic librarians and LIS faculty can work with social justice issues in many ways. During this interactive webcast, learn how the speakers shape and bring to the forefront these issues via their teaching, scholarship, and work in local communities. Areas addressed include: community informatics, information literacy-focused service learning, and community outreach.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how academic librarians influence our profession via their social justice-related work.
  • Develop an increased awareness of leadership and other roles for librarians in diverse communities.
  • Take away concrete ideas for high impact, collaborative social projects within the realm of library and information science.

Presenter(s): Maureen Barry, First Year Experience Librarian, Wright State University; Martin Wolske, Senior Research Scientist, University of Illinois; Lizz Zitron, Instruction and Reference Librarian, Pacific Lutheran University

Registration materials and details on the webcast are available on the ACRL e-Learning website, and group registration and other discounts are available.  Contact or call (312) 280-2522 with questions.

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Circle of Friends: Helen H. Spalding

April 16th, 2014 by Mary Jane Petrowski in Circle of Friends

The ACRL Circle of Friends acknowledges the sustained generosity of those who have been Friends of ACRL for five or more years. The Friends of ACRL was created to provide a means for the association to take bold steps above and beyond its traditional member programs and services. Rapidly changing demographic, economic, and technological trends are presenting academic libraries and librarians with new challenges and competition that demand immediate solutions. The Friends of ACRL have responded to these new challenges and provided additional support that will enhance and ensure the relevance of our profession. To join or learn more about the Friends of ACRL, please visit the ACRL website.

Helen SpaldingHelen H. Spalding served as ACRL President 2002-2003, and is a charter member of the Friends of ACRL (founded in 1998).

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Grateful, Active, Committed.

2. Why do you support the Friends of ACRL? ACRL is exceptionally administered with integrity, accountability, and transparency.  The variety of programs and services ACRL provides members is amazing, given the budget within which it operates and its dependence on volunteer leadership.  Student and members’ ability to attend conferences, and ACRL’s revenue streams are not adequate to fulfill all needs.  The ACRL Friends funds are necessary to provide scholarships for conference attendance and awards encouraging and recognizing innovation, to strengthen ACRL’s advocacy on behalf of our library users, and to fund strategic initiatives.  If each of us contributes what we can, the Friends has the ability to continue to make a crucial difference in individual academic librarians’ professional development and in our ability to make a positive difference for those we serve.  Donors can be confident their funds are handled responsibly and effectively.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you?  As a retiree, I love being active as a volunteer and in singing, readers theater, a drama group, a book group, and as Chair of the local public library board.

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way? So many mentors and colleagues have influenced me, many without knowing the impact they made.  Each gave a different perspective on leadership and/or service, and each saw and encouraged potential in me that I did not see in myself.  Charles Churchwell, Kaye Gapen, Hugh Atkinson, Carla Stoffle, JoAnn Segal, Liz Salzer, Mary Ellen Davis, Sue Martin, Sarah Pritchard, Camila Alire, Betsy Wilson, Theresa Byrd, Ray English, John Popko, Louise Sherby, Elizabeth Henry, Brenda Dingley, Marilyn Carbonell, and Adriene Lim are only some of those who inspired me to grow and encourage others to make the most of their potential. (Forgive me for not naming so many others who made a critical difference to me and to so many others!)

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the near future (or the long term)? I hope ACRL continues to remain sustainable as an effective member association, and is the go-to voice for academic librarianship in the higher education, scholarly communication, and legislative arenas.  Too often, the strength of the whole is not valued on behalf of the many different concerns of the association.

6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? ACRL provides a place of professional engagement that greatly enhances what librarians can gain through education and experience. Incredibly bright, creative, sharing colleagues generate ideas, inspiration, advocacy, networking, and programs that are richer for the collaboration.  Together, we bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, enriching the impact we have on librarianship, teaching, learning, and scholarship more than what we could accomplish separately for our libraries and higher education. The cost of dues and conference attendance always has been worth what I have gained personally and professionally through participation.  I can continue to say thank you through the ACRL Friends.

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Appeals court decision undermines free speech, misinterprets copyright law

April 15th, 2014 by Kara Malenfant in Advocacy

From the ALA Washington Office:

Last week, ALA (together with ACRL and ARL) joined an amicus brief calling for reconsideration of a 9th circuit court decision in Garcia v. Google, case where actress Cindy Sue Garcia sued Google for not removing a YouTube video in which she appears. Garcia appears for five seconds in “Innocence of Muslims,” the radical anti-Islamic video that fueled the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi. The video was uploaded on YouTube, exposing Garcia to threats and hate mail. Garcia did not know that her five second performance would be used in a controversial video.

Garcia turned to the copyright law for redress, arguing that her five second performance was protected by copyright, and therefore, as a rights holder she could ask that the video be removed from YouTube. While we empathize with Garcia’s situation, the copyright law does not protect performances in film—instead these performances are works-for-hire. This ruling, if taken to its extreme, would hold that anyone who worked on a film—from the editor to the gaffer—could claim rights, creating a copyright permissions nightmare.

On appeal, the judge agreed that the copyright argument was weak, but nonetheless ruled for Garcia. The video currently is not available for public review. This decision needs to be reheard en banc—the copyright ruling is mistaken, and perhaps more importantly, the copyright law cannot be used to restrain speech. While the facts of this case are not at all appealing, we agree that rules of law need to be upheld. Fundamental values of librarianship—including intellectual freedom, fair use, and preservation of the cultural record—are in serious conflict with the existing court ruling.

Read more on the case.

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Reminder: April 22 Deadline to Apply to Become Presenter for ACRL Scholarly Communication workshop

April 15th, 2014 by Kara Malenfant in Scholarly Communication

SC workshop blockACRL is accepting applications from prospective new presenters for the workshop “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement.” The day-long workshop, now in its sixth year, is led by two expert presenters at locations across the country. The workshop content is updated each year to meet the evolving needs of the community. In 2014, the sections will focus on access, intellectual property, engagement, and emerging opportunities for scholarship. In addition to the in-person workshop, the presenter team is seeking to develop virtual programming, which may be via brief recorded videos that would be housed in the ACRL scholarly communication toolkit and/or through a live webcast series as part of ACRL’s e-Learning program.

We seek to expand our pool of presenters by recruiting and mentoring at least two new people in 2014, and applications are due by 5 p.m. Central on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.


  • A designated role in scholarly communications within your library.
  • Teaching experience.
  • Experience with instructional design or workshop design and meeting facilitation.
  • Collaborative planning skills.
  • Must be available to attend up to two road shows to be offered in summer 2014 to shadow current presenters, then co-present an average of two workshops per year.
  • Available to participate in curriculum updates and workshop planning during monthly one hour conference calls.

Strongly preferred:

  • Participation in an ACRL Scholarly Communication workshop (either at ACRL Conference 2009 in Seattle, ALA Midwinter Meeting 2012 in Dallas, or as a road show in spring/summer 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, or 2014).
  • Available to attend a presenter curriculum design retreat, to be held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV, on Friday, June 27, 2-5p.m.

The workshop content is dynamic and evolving, and the new presenter(s) will participate in shaping the curriculum as a collegial partner with the current presenters. Serving as a new presenter involves participating in monthly planning calls, in-person design meetings (held in conjunction with ALA Midwinter and Annual Conference), participating in all segments of the workshop event, and some development of materials, exercises and presentations. The new presenter will ideally participate in two workshops during summer 2014 and present a minimum of two workshops per year thereafter. The new presenter will gain experience by shadowing experienced presenters and team-teaching a section or assignment before taking a leading role. The ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee will consider applicants who can only attend one program in 2014 and begin teaching in 2015. ACRL will reimburse the new presenter for travel costs for up to two road shows in 2014 (flights, hotel, ground transportation, and per diem for meals). ACRL provides a modest honorarium to experienced presenters.

To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A statement addressing the following questions (two pages max for all):
    • Why do you want to become a presenter for ACRL’s Scholarly Communication workshop?
    • What publications have you authored or presentations have you given (within the library or outside) related to scholarly communications topics?
    • What contributions could you make to the presenter team that align with the qualifications?
    • Are there relevant experiences of which you would like us to be aware?
    • Are there videos that demonstrate your talents as a teacher?
  2. Your resume.
  3. The names and contact information for 2 references who have direct knowledge of your teaching experience.
  4. The single PDF application must submitted via email by 5 p.m. Central on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, to Scott Mandernack, member of the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee, at

The ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee has formed a small review team, separate from the current presenters, to consider applications. The process includes checking references and a telephone (or Skype) interview. The group will select new presenters for 2014 and notify all applicants by Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

If you have questions of any kind, don’t hesitate to contact Scott Mandernack at or (414) 288-7954.

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Comment on IL Framework by April 21; Participate in April 17 Online Forum

April 14th, 2014 by Kara Malenfant in Information Literacy, Standards and Guidelines

small_bannerACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force invites you to share your perspective on the initial draft of the association’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education during the online open forum to be held Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8am Pacific/9am Mountain/10am Central/11am Eastern. Sign up online to attend at least one hour in advance as login details will be emailed prior to the forum.

Watch the recording or download the presentation PDF from the April 4 online forum on the task force website. Additionally, we encourage you to provide feedback on both parts of the initial draft via an online form. The deadline for comments has been extended to 5pm Central on Monday, April 21, 2014.

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Member of the Week: Kate Leuschke Blinn

April 14th, 2014 by Mary Jane Petrowski in Member of the Week

Kate Leuschke BlinnKate Leuschke Blinn is Academic Outreach Librarian at the Earlham College Lilly Library in Richmond, Indiana. Kate has been an ACRL member since 2013 and is your ACRL member of the week for April 14, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Happiest when helpful.

2. What are you currently reading? Best American Non-Required Reading of 2013 (Dave Eggers, ed.): I always get it as soon as it comes out, but then try to savor it and make it last as long as possible.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Smart innovative colleagues.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I loved the opportunity to have a librarian mentor as I was finishing my MLIS. The Delaware Valley Chapter matched me with a great and supportive mentor.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? My main goal is to be open to and supportive of new ideas, especially when faculty or students are trying something for the first time. I’m a librarian/cheerleader!

6. In your own words: My first year of working as a librarian at a liberal arts college similar to the one I attended was full of nostalgic moments. This second year has been full of professional challenges I’ve given to myself: more active-learning instruction, more outreach events, more social media. I’m glad my “sophomore year” has made me feel more like a grown-up librarian! :)

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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Fair Use Promoted at House of Representatives Copyright Hearing

April 9th, 2014 by Kara Malenfant in Advocacy

Library Copyright Alliance Logo On Wednesday, April 2, James G. Neal, Columbia University librarian and vice president for Information Services, served as the voice of libraries to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet when it held a hearing on preserving and reusing copyrighted work. The hearing, “Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works,” explored a variety of copyright issues, including orphan works, mass digitization and specific provisions of the Copyright Act that concern preservation by libraries and archives.

In his testimony, Neal used examples of some of the preservation efforts currently underway in the Columbia University Library in the City of New York to illustrate how fair use is essential to helping libraries confront preservation challenges specific to the digital age. Neal argued that without fair use , libraries would not be able to digitize information stored in antiquated formats or salvage content from obsolete formats.

“Digital resources are not immortal,” said Neal. “In fact, they are in formats that are more likely to cease to exist, and must be transferred to new digital formats repeatedly as technology evolves. Libraries charged with this work require robust applications of flexible exceptions such as fair use so that copyright technicalities do not interfere with their preservation mission,” said Neal.

Importantly, Neal stated that the existing statutory framework, which combines the specific library exceptions in Section 108 with the flexible fair use right works well for libraries and does not require amendment.

His statement was endorsed by the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), which includes ACRL, ALA, and the Association of Research Libraries. LCA also submitted a statement to the subcommittee on March 12, 2014.

After the hearing, Neal submitted supplemental testimony to respond to questions which arose during the hearing and amplify statements included in his initial written testimony. This supplemental testimony was also endorsed by LCA.

In other recent copyright news, LCA submitted comments to the Copyright Office on the study of making available right on April 4, 2014. In these comments, LCA explains its concerns about the impact of the adoption of a making available right on the statute of limitations in copyright cases.

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Sheehan Appointed RBM Editor

April 9th, 2014 by David Free in RBM

ACRL has named Jennifer K. Sheehan as the next editor of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage (RBM). Sheehan is currently a member of the RBM editorial board and brings in-depth knowledge of the world of rare books and manuscripts to the bi-annual publication. She will serve as editor-designate starting immediately with her term as editor beginning in July 2014.

“The search committee feels that Jennifer brings not only the experience and skills necessary to be RBM editor, but also the enthusiasm and commitment to expand readership and subscriptions,” said ACRL Publications Coordinating Committee Chair Melinda Dermody of Syracuse University. “With her strong work and publication history, along with her commitment to the journal and RBMS, she is an excellent choice for the RBM editorship.

Exhibitions Manager at The Grolier Club, Sheehan has served the ACRL Rare Book and Manuscript Section (RBMS) as a member of the Publications and Communications Committee, Membership and Professional Development Committee and Scholarships Committee. She has also served as a peer reviewer for Collaborative Librarianship and the Journal of Library Innovation. Sheehan has published on special collections and preservation management topics in a variety of journals including RBM and has contributed several book chapters on related issues.

Prior to joining The Grolier Club in 2013, Sheehan served as curator of rare books at the University of North Texas, where she also teaches as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Library and Information Sciences.

Sheehan earned her MLS from Texas Woman’s University and PhD in Information Science from the University of North Texas. She also holds an MA in Museum Studies from Baylor University and a BA in English and History from Trinity University.

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Reminder – ACRL 2015 Proposal Submissions Due May 9

April 8th, 2014 by Margot Conahan in ACRL 2015, Conferences

ACRL 2015 LogoACRL invites proposal submissions for the ACRL 2015 conference to be held March 25-28, 2015 in Portland, Oregon.  Contributed paper, panel session, preconference, and workshop proposals are due May 9, 2014.  Poster session, roundtable discussion, TechConnect, and Virtual Conference webcast proposals are due Nov. 3, 2014.  Submit proposals via the online form available on the conference website.

The conference committee has created a set of conference tags to stimulate thinking and empower submitters to position proposals within the conference theme “Creating Sustainable Community.”  The tags will serve to create a unique conference ecosystem and guide attendees to themes of interest and inspiration. Tag and session format descriptions are available on the ACRL 2015 website.

Please review the ACRL 2015 Program Proposal Instructions before beginning your submission; we also invite you to view the ACRL 2015 Proposal Tips webcast.   Visit the ALA Connect Community if you are looking for like-minded people with whom to collaborate/propose a session.

Complete details about ACRL 2015, including the full Call for Participation, are on the conference website. Questions about the Call for Participation or ACRL 2015 should be directed to Margot Conahan by email at or phone (312) 280-2522; or Tory Ondrla by email at or phone (312) 280-2515.

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