Organizational Member Spotlight – Swarthmore College

Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmore College Libraries in Swarthmore, PA joined ACRL in 1986 and has been an organizational member of ACRL for 32 years. We are proud to feature Swarthmore College Libraries.

1. Describe your library in 3 words: People, forum, ideas.

2. Describe ACRL in three words: Inspirational, professional, community.

4. What does your library (as an organizational member) value about ACRL? We value the opportunity for professional growth and the continued exchange of ideas with our fellow academics. Connecting with colleagues through ACRL allows us to move beyond our daily context and be reminded of the broader challenges and successes in academia/academic libraries. We also value the opportunities that our engagement with ACRL provides to shape the future of the profession.

5. What value does your library contribute to your campus? The Libraries are the center of community—the nexus of the academic and all the other aspects of the student experience—balancing our ambitious students’ seriousness of purpose with their need to recharge and decompress. The Libraries foster critical inquiry, scholarly discovery and engagement, innovation and creativity. We help our students to understand their role in the broader scholarly conversation through formal and informal learning opportunities.  For those students who seek to develop deeper research and information technology skills, we offer opportunities such as our seminar based library internship, our Lib/Lab Fellows in digital scholarship and our summer SPEED program in which students work with faculty, library, and IT staff to develop classroom ready applications ranging from visualizations of early English novels to a Navaho verb generator.

The Libraries are a leader in advancing the conversation on and progress towards a more just and inclusive campus whether through working with the Dean’s office to support first gen students, provisioning of texts and textbooks, addressing the need for accessible course materials, or working with students to develop a guide to allyship. The Libraries, like the College, have a strong history of involvement in social justice. Our Friends Historical Library and Peace Collection house important documents on topics such as Native American rights, abolitionism and nuclear disarmament.

We recognize the necessity of nurturing the whole student and creating space for fun, through activities such as crafty study breaks, the “Daily Grind” with late night coffee and snacks, leisure-focused collections such as our popular fiction, magazines, and comic books, and pop-up activities during finals such as giant Jenga. We aim to connect with our community on a personal level, to enable students to feel that this is their home. We are not about the grand reading room, we are about the living room.

6. In your own words: We decided to use our students’ own words to describe the Library:

“The Library is more than just a series of buildings at Swarthmore. Throughout my years here, I have come to know the Library as a network of academics and resources that offer support, even if you didn’t know you needed support in the first place. Discovering a new source in the Tripod network, as I’ve done for papers spanning from topics like the impact of local sheriff elections in the US to theorizations of literary history beyond postmodernism, is one of my favorite ways to use the Library. But, because it is Swarthmore, the Library is much more than an academic place. I’ll visit the Library to say hi and support a friend working late into the night, or use it as a meeting space to meet with those I mentor as a SAM (Student Academic Mentor.) Throughout my undergraduate career, Swarthmore’s libraries have been the places where I have learned to ask for help and shed my fear of saying the words “I don’t know.” Bobby Zipp, class ‘18.

“Like many others, the Library is home to me. What makes it different from every other library that I’ve ever known is that we’re encouraged to treat it like home too, with board games and Netflix and free coffee it’s a place for work, play and everything in between.

I love that the Library really is for everyone. With no monetary late fees and free printing and access to resources like iPads and headphones and even trashy reality television shows, it takes an important step towards leveling the playing field for students.

The Libraries are a microcosm of Swarthmore. They display the collaborative culture and feeling of community along with a dedication to the task at hand, whether that be problem sets or job applications or binge watching TV in the family room.” Spriha Dhanuka  ‘17

Editor’s Note: Is your library an ACRL organizational member? Would you like to be featured in our Organizational Member Spotlight feature? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.

ACRL Supports Brennan Center Statement on Immigrants and Social Media

The ACRL Board of Directors commends ALA on its support of immigrants and social media by the organization’s signing of a statement issued by the NYU Brennan Center for Justice concerning the State Department’s proposed policies, published for comment in Public Notice 10065.

ACRL strongly supports and endorses the argument against the State Department’s proposed changes to the current immigration application process documented in the NYU Brennan Center statement:

“This policy would make permanent the collection of additional information from immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other visa ineligibilities, including national security-related ineligibilities.

As with the emergency collection that was put in place in May, the additional requirements impose significant burdens on visa applicants; are apt to chill speech and reveal private information about travelers that is irrelevant to their suitability for entry to the United States; and expose information about their families, friends and business associates in the U.S. Further, the context in which these policies are being developed raises concerns that the populations targeted for additional scrutiny will be identified by their shared religion, nationality, or ideology. Lastly, the data collection will facilitate the bulk mining and analysis of information about travelers and U.S. citizens, amplifying the concerns above, all in exchange for speculative national security benefits, especially in light of the vanishingly small number of foreign-born persons who commit terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.”

Now You’re a Manager: Quick and Practical Strategies for New Mid-Level Managers in Academic Libraries

Now You're a Manager coverACRL announces the publication of Now You’re a Manager: Quick and Practical Strategies for New Mid-Level Managers in Academic Libraries by M. Leslie Madden, Laura Carscaddon, Denita Hampton, and Brenna Helmstutler. With ten chapters covering everything from building teams to creating a respectful workplace to managing university politics, Now You’re a Manager provides lists, exercises, and techniques for assembling and managing an effective, happy team.

Many of us were never taught how to be managers before we began managing. Maybe you sought the position and interviewed for it, or maybe you were appointed to fill a need. Perhaps your long-term goal is upper-level library management, or maybe you’re happy where you are and aren’t sure how you’d like your career to progress.  Whatever the case, this guide will provide you with quick, easy-to-implement tips and strategies for tackling the most common issues encountered by mid-level managers in an academic library:

  • Managing and Building Departments and Teams
  • Managing Diverse Departments
  • Creating a Respectful Workplace and Dealing with Problem Employees
  • Professional Development and Training
  • Mentoring and Coaching
  • Conducting Effective Meetings
  • Managing Between Library Administration and Your Employees
  • Managing Library and University Politics and Bureaucracy
  • Managing Change
  • Managing as a Team

Now You’re a Manager is designed to meet the specific needs of new mid-level managers in academic libraries, and can be used for individual growth or group discussion, and by librarians and paraprofessionals who manage teams and departments.

Now You’re a Manager: Quick and Practical Strategies for New Mid-Level Managers in Academic Libraries is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

2018 ACRL Scholarly Communication RoadShow Applications

Scholarly Communication workshopAcademic and research librarians increasingly recognize scholarly communication as a core competency of the profession. Whether helping researchers meet their funder’s mandates for public access and data sharing, guiding responsible copyright practice, or supporting new types of scholarship and instruction, librarians are leading change across campus and around the world. ACRL empowers our community in accelerating the transformation of the scholarly communication system with its popular workshop “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement.” To emphasize scholarly communication’s critical importance to the profession, ACRL is once again underwriting the cost to bring this workshop to five locations in 2018.

With newly updated content, this day-long workshop, led by two expert presenters, offers a series of targeted modules that reflect the most exciting and pressing issues in the field today. Participants will engage in a structured interactive program that focuses on themes of access, emerging opportunities, intellectual property, and engagement. Selected hosts will be asked to choose topics that are of greatest interest to their communities so that the expert presenters can offer a deep dive into the following specific areas:

  • Copyright in Making and Sharing Scholarship
  • Institutional Repositories
  • Library-Based Publishing
  • Measuring Research Impact
  • Meeting Funder Mandates
  • Open Education
  • Outreach and Programming
  • Research Data Management

This program is offered using a cost-sharing model where ACRL covers the bulk of the expense for delivering the workshop, leaving a cost of only $2,000 for successful host institutions. The application to host is now available. Apply by Friday, November 17, 2017, at 5pm Central. See the workshop webpage for full details and FAQs about applying to host the subsidized version of the workshop.

In addition to the competitive subsidized version, the Scholarly Communication workshop is part of ACRL’s slate of day-long RoadShows that can be brought year-round at full cost to your campus, chapter, or consortia. Please contact ACRL Program Officer Chase Ollis at with questions or to discuss dates and locations, pricing, and for complete workshop details.

ACRL Presents Webcast – The New Academic Library Impact Report (11/09)

Academic Library ImpactJoin us for the free ACRL Presents webcast, “The New Academic Library Impact Report,” on Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central time (9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Pacific | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Mountain | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Convert additional time zones online.)

Learn about ACRL’s new report, Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research, now available for download or purchase. Developed for ACRL by OCLC Research, this valuable resource investigates how libraries can increase student learning and success and effectively communicate their value to higher education stakeholders.

Join ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries committee chair, the project director, and team members to hear about the context for this action-oriented research agenda and plans for future directions including new programs for travel scholarships and research mini-grants. This forum will allow community members to ask questions and give reactions to the report.

Presenters: Alan Carbery, associate library director at Champlain College and chair of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries committee; Lynn Silipigni Connaway, project director and senior research scientist at OCLC Research; and ACRL staff members Kara Malenfant and Sara Goek.

How to register: Submit your FREE registration online by noon Central time on Wednesday, November 8. Login details will be sent via email the afternoon of November 8. The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.

Questions should be directed to

1 2 3 447