National Library Groups Oppose Bill to Make Register of Copyrights a Presidential Appointee

Library Copyright Alliance LogoOn March 23, 1017, the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee introduced legislation entitled the “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017.” The bill would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. Under current law (17 USC 701), the Librarian of Congress selects the Register.

The Library Copyright Alliance, a group of national library organizations collectively representing more than 120,000 libraries in the United States and serving an estimated 200 million patrons annually, released the following statement in response:

The “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act” is mystifying. Why Congress would voluntarily cede its own confirmed Librarian’s authority to select and oversee a key Congressional advisor on copyright matters to the Executive Branch is hard to imagine.

It’s also difficult to understand how the public or Congress itself would benefit from politicization of the Register of Copyrights’ position by making it subject to presidential appointment and Senate confirmation, as this legislation proposes. Such politicization of the position necessarily would result in a Register more actively engaged in policy development than in competent management and modernization.

Politicizing the process of appointing the next Register would severely delay his or her installation. That would be poor business practice and would slow implementation of much needed technological reform. The pressing needs of the Copyright Office, which are well documented, require that a new and qualified Register be appointed as soon as possible. The many constituencies in the public and private sectors that depend on the Copyright Office simply cannot afford what could easily be a year’s delay before a new Register can take the helm were this bill to become law.

Lastly, the proposed 10-year term would lead to less accountability to Congress and the public. That contradicts the stated intent of the bill made plain in its title.

LCA thus opposes the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act and urges all members of Congress to do the same.

The Library Copyright Alliance consists of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries.

Gina Kessler Lee Wins Where Can Choice Reviews Take You? Contest

Gina Kessler LeeGina Kessler Lee, information literacy librarian at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, California, has been chosen as winner of the Where Can Choice Reviews Take You? contest.

Launched in December 2016, the Where Can Choice Reviews Take You? contest solicited ideas on how the Choice Reviews database might be used in instruction and research, particularly in hands-on ways that librarians might present it as a useful tool to faculty and students undertaking research. In early March, a panel of judges at Choice met and reviewed the submissions, considering the merits of each based on the benefit to students and/or faculty research, overall importance of the proposed initiative, and practicality. One winning submission was chosen.

Gina Kessler Lee’s winning submission, “Select, Annotate, and Critique: An English Honors Thesis Project Using Choice Reviews,” presented an assignment that would enable students to use Choice Reviews to identify the most authoritative books on their chosen topic; create a LibGuide summarizing, comparing, and contrasting the books and articles they found; and—based on their findings—to critique the library’s collection of books on their topic and submit a recommendation to the librarian of titles to purchase.

“We were impressed with how Gina’s idea involved the student, librarian, and faculty advisor, and using Choice Reviews as an interactive tool, which is very much in line with how we encourage the database to be used,” said Mark Cummings, editor and publisher of Choice. “Using CR to find the best sources on a given topic, learning how to organize those sources into a LibGuide in the style of a Choice Bibliographic Essay, and ultimately making collection development recommendations to the librarian are valuable growth opportunities for students – and great ways to utilize Choice Reviews.”

The premier source for reviews of academic books, digital media, and Internet resources in higher education, Choice Reviews is a publication of ACRL, a division of the American Library Association. The database published its 200,000th review earlier this month.

ACRL 2017 Roadshow Showcase: Test Drive a Licensed Workshop!

Licensed Workshop Showcase logoLooking to strengthen your library’s professional skills? ACRL offers a variety of licensed workshops that can be brought upon request to your campus, chapter, or consortia. Led by expert presenters, these full-day immersive workshops are designed to engage participants and help academic librarians strengthen competencies in multiple areas of concentration.

To see if one of ACRL’s workshops is the right fit for your institution, come try a mini-sample of some of these workshops on Friday, March 24, 2017, 4:15-5:15pm, BCC rooms 343-350. For questions, please contact Chase Ollis at or 312-280-2521.

Assessing Your Toolkit: Is the Research Data Management Roadshow For You

Research data management has emerged as a need among academic researchers, and liaisons are building skills in response. The RDM Workshop will assist liaisons to identify their existing skills and mindsets that transfer to research data management services and then create a learning plan for the RDM-specific knowledge needed to serve their subject disciplines. Join three of the presenters for this workshop to assess your data management training skills, learn about the full workshop content, and gain more information about this continuing education opportunity that can be brought to your organization upon request.

Speakers: Christina Chan-Park, Baylor University; Abigail Goben, University of Illinois Chicago; Laura Palumbo, Rutgers University

Intersections Open House: What are the Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy, and What Can They Do for You?

Scholarly communication and information literacy are dynamic and intersecting strands in librarianship. They not only reinforce each other, they also further the larger aims of students, faculty, librarians, and entire institutions. We will guide participants in uncovering core concepts of the intersections and reflecting on how the intersections can strengthen various library initiatives. We’ll provide examples of how the intersections bolster the messages of librarians in various roles. We will also describe how the Intersections workshop can move your professional goals from idea to reality. Finally, we’ll have an open discussion about how the intersections can help you and your institution.

Speakers: Maryam Fakouri, Columbia College Chicago; Emma Molls, University of Minnesota; Michelle Reed, University of Texas at Arlington; John Watts, University of Nevada-Las Vegas

The Action Research Roadshow Overview: Assessing and Communicating Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

Higher education institutions are facing intensified attention to assessment and accountability issues. Academic libraries are increasingly connecting with colleagues and campus stakeholders to design and implement assessment that documents their contributions to institutional priorities. Learn about this day-long workshop on strategic and sustainable assessment in which participants identify institutional priorities and campus partners, design an assessment project grounded in action research, and prepare a plan for communicating the project results. This workshop can be brought on-demand to your organization and is based on the highly successful ACRL Assessment in Action program curriculum.

Speakers: Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Sara Lowe, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Eric Resnis, Miami University; Brandy Whitlock, Anne Arundel Community College

A Standards Roadshow Overview for “Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education into Action

Libraries in higher education are increasingly required to demonstrate their value and document their contributions to overall institutional effectiveness. The Standards for Libraries in Higher Education is a framework for library planning and assessment that can be used for a variety of circumstances including annual planning, program review, and accreditation self-study. Through presentation, discussion, and group activities, participants learn how to use the Standards to communicate your library’s impact. This workshop can be brought on-demand to your organization.

Speakers: Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Rhonda Huisman, Marian University; Lisa Stillwell, Franklin & Marshall College

Volunteer for Guidelines for Media Resources for Academic Libraries in Higher Education Task Force by March 31

The ACRL Board of Directors approved, via virtual vote during March 3–13, 2017, the ACRL Media Resources for Academic Libraries in Higher Education Task. ACRL President Irene M.H. Herold invites you to volunteer to serve on this newly created task force. Please see the following charge and timeline:

Charge: The task force is established to, following the procedures for the review of Standards found in the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures Chapter 14: (1) review the GMRAL (2012), (2) review challenges and opportunities brought by media resources and technologies in higher education, (3) recommend community college, college and university libraries the guidelines that represent the best practice to i) develop media collections, services and programs relevant to the library user communities and ii) weave the libraries’ media resources and technologies into the fabric of faculty and students’ teaching, learning and research experience, (4) recommend needed changes to existing guidelines, (5) produce a draft document incorporating these changes, (6) seek comments and input from stakeholder communities and the general ACRL membership, and (7) incorporate, as appropriate, those recommendations into the final draft.


Dates interim reports are due:

  • An interim report is due to the ACRL Board of Directors by the 2017 ALA Annual Conference if possible, and the 2017 Fall executive Committee meeting at the latest.

Date final report is due:

  • The final document should be submitted for ACRL Board approval within six months of the draft being circulated for comment, and no later than fall 2018. The draft guidelines should be made available for review and comment by membership no later than one year after the appointment of the task force.

The deadline to volunteer for the ACRL Guidelines for Media Resources for Academic Libraries in Higher Education Task Force is March 31! If you wish to be considered for appointment, complete the web form on the ACRL website (ALA website log-in required).

Note: Due to the timeline of this task force, the process is separate from the annual division-level and section appointments. Information on those appointments will be posted in December.

ACRL Election 2017 – A Message from the ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect Candidates

The ALA and ACRL elections are now open, and as candidates for ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect, we write together to encourage you to vote. ACRL is the leading organization focused on college and research libraries. We believe in the association and are thankful for all that it has given to us throughout our careers. We have enjoyed the opportunities it has provided us to work with and learn from the members of ACRL and know that these experiences have made us better librarians.

We believe in the importance of service, and see our role of Vice-President/President-Elect as serving you, the members. The conversations we have had with you at ALA Midwinter, the online forum, and informally have been invaluable. We look forward to seeing many of you at the ACRL 2017 Conference in Baltimore and continuing conversations about your hopes and desires for the future of ACRL.

Thank you for voting and for your service to our association. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you in the coming years.


José Aguiñaga
Archives Coordinator, Glendale Community College
2017 ACRL President-Elect Candidate

Lauren Pressley
Director, University of Washington Tacoma Library
Associate Dean, University of Washington Libraries
2017 ACRL President-Elect Candidate

Voting Information
The ALA/ACRL election opened March 13, with members receiving an email announcement between March 13-15 containing voting instructions. Didn’t receive the email? Please contact ALA Member and Customer Service at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5, or

The 2017 ALA/ACRL election will close April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time. We encourage you to cast your ballot today!  Please visit the ACRL website for more election information.

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