Category Archives: About ACRL

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 pamela.snelson@fandm.edu. 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.

Apply Now For ACRL 2015 Scholarships

acrl2015ACRL is offering approximately 175 scholarships worth more than $110,000 for the ACRL 2015 Conference, “Creating Sustainable Community,” to be held March 25 – 28, 2015, in Portland, Oregon.

ACRL typically funds about 100 conference scholarships and this year initiated a new Kick Start the Future campaign in honor of the association’s 75th anniversary that seeks to raise the $50,000 needed to fund the 75 additional scholarships. While donations to the campaign are rolling in, the association currently needs an additional $14,000 to meet its goal. Information on donating to the campaign is available on the ACRL 75th Anniversary website.

The deadline to apply for all ACRL 2015 scholarships is Friday, November 7, 2014, and there are six scholarship categories:

  • Early-career Librarian Scholarships - provide opportunities for librarians with less than six years of post-MLS experience to update their skills and knowledge.
  • Mid-career Librarian Scholarships (new for ACRL 2015) - provide opportunities for librarians with more than six and less than fifteen years of post-MLS experience to update their skills and knowledge.
  • Library Support Staff Scholarships - provide opportunities for library support staff to attend the premier event for academic and research libraries.
  • Library School Student Scholarships - provide opportunities for library school students to learn more about current issues and developments in academic and research libraries.
  • Spectrum Scholar Travel Grants - provide opportunities for Spectrum Scholars to attend the ACRL conference for professional development and networking with colleagues or mentors through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program.
  • Virtual Conference Scholarships - provide unique opportunities for collaboration, learning and networking online.

To apply, visit the scholarships section of the ACRL 2015 website.  For more information about ACRL 2015, contact Tory Ondrla at tondrla@ala.org or (312) 280-2515.

It’s Good to Give Back…To the Kick Start the Future Campaign

One of the things that make me most proud to be a member of ACRL is that we care about our own and we try to help them succeed professionally. One of the ways our association does that is by providing scholarships to academic librarians so they can attend our biennial ACRL Conference. In 2013, ACRL provided 75 scholarships for deserving individuals. The challenge is that there were over 250 applications for the scholarships, so too many of our colleagues could not receive the assistance that can make the difference between attending or staying home. We can do better – and we will.

In conjunction with ACRL’s 75th Anniversary, our association leadership has announced the Kick Start the Future Campaign. According to the official fundraising website for the 75th Anniversary celebration, ACRL seeks to raise $50,000 by December 31, 2014, to provide 75 additional scholarships for these members to attend the conference to be held March 25-28, 2015, in Portland, Oregon. Members have already raised more than $33,000 during the advance phase of the campaign. This is great progress but we still have a long way to go to reach the goal over the next few months. The good news is that our ACRL division-level committees and Communities of Practice groups have made commitments and begun to raise funds for named scholarships.

As chair of the Kick Start the Future Campaign, I am encouraging every ACRL member to take this opportunity to give back to the association and profession by making a personal contribution – or joining with others for a group donation – that will enable a deserving colleague, whether it is an early career academic librarian, support staff or library school students, to experience ACRL 2015. To further encourage and inspire you to make this commitment I wanted to bring your attention to two donors worthy of recognition for achieving a distinguished “first” as a contributor to the campaign.

Stephanie Davis-Kahl, the Scholarly Communications Librarian and Associate Professor at the Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University was the first ACRL member to submit a donation during the public phase of the campaign and is also contributing to the College & Research Libraries Editorial Board named scholarship. Flora Shrode, the Government Documents Librarian and Subject Librarian for Sciences at the Merrill-Casier Library at Utah State University, was the first ACRL member to submit a donation as part of a section (STS) named scholarship contribution. I’d like to share some insights from Stephanie and Flora on why they were eager to make a pledge.

Why did you decide to contribute to the campaign?

Davis-Kahl, Stephanie 2009-02Stephanie: Last year was a banner year for me professionally, and when you have those good moments in your career, you definitely stop and think about the people who supported you at the beginning of your career and throughout. Colleagues at my previous positions at the University of Southern California and the University of California – Irvine, played a huge role in encouraging me to attend ACRL and, more importantly, showed me through their own involvement that ACRL was a wise investment. As I became more engaged with ACRL committees and task forces, ACRL members helped me find role models and connected me to a larger community of colleagues, peers and friends. So when the campaign started, I couldn’t not give back. ACRL has been my professional home, and my hope is that new librarians will find their professional home in ACRL as well.

Flora Aug 2013Flora: I gave money to the ACRL Kick Start the Future Campaign because involvement with the ACRL Science & Technology Section (STS) and attendance at ACRL conferences have been among my most rewarding professional activities over the years.  The ACRL conference’s size and themes are both more manageable and relevant to my work as an academic librarian than the larger ALA meetings, although I attend those too in order to fulfill committee membership and chairperson duties (which have mostly been with ACRL STS).  This is my 25th year in the profession, and I’m celebrating that by donating to scholarship and other career development funds.

What are your aspirations for the members who get these scholarships to the 2015 conference?

Stephanie: Learn and participate! Attend sessions outside of your usual work to broaden your horizons and get a new perspective, go to the reception to meet new colleagues, and ask questions – especially ask questions!

Flora: I hope that scholarship recipients find ACRL to be a valuable organization to belong to and that the conferences enable them to learn from other librarians’ ideas, research, and programs. Some of the most meaningful personal relationships within librarianship that I’ve formed over the years have resulted from chance meetings, conversations, and follow-up contacts after ACRL events. I wish for scholarship recipients to have similarly positive experiences.

What would you say to other members to encourage them to contribute to the campaign?

Stephanie: There’s power in participation – contributing to this campaign in the short-term helps one person attend, but long-term, we will all gain from sharing our expertise and knowledge with one another. Whether we each give a little or a lot, it’s helping our new librarians become our colleagues and leaders.

Flora: If many of us give a little money, we can develop a fund that will go a long way to assist people who may not have the financial means to pay their own way to conferences like ACRL and/or whose employers’ budgets cannot support many professional development opportunities. I would ask STS members to consider the benefits they have enjoyed from participating in the section, and I’d remind them that a way to give back is to donate to the scholarship fund so that others may benefit as well.

Thank you Stephanie and Flora for sharing your stories and inspiring others. I hope it will encourage them to join in and support the campaign. For more information on how to do that, see ACRL’s Kick Start the Future FAQ.

- Steven J. Bell is ACRL 75th Anniversary Campaign Chair

75th Anniversary Scholarship Donor: Steven J. Bell

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.

Help Identify the 75 Reasons Why ACRL Membership is Valued

PrintIn honor of the 75th Anniversary of ACRL, our Membership Committee is compiling a list of the top 75 reasons why members value ACRL. Once complete, the list will be shared at the 75th Anniversary website. Initially, the Committee analyzed the collective responses to this question submitted by academic librarians who are selected as the ACRL Member of the Week. Now the Membership Committee would like to open up submissions to all ACRL members to contribute their reasons for valuing the association. What’s your reason? The ACRL conference? Opportunities for engagement with colleagues? Taking advantage of continuing education? Helped you get tenure? Submit up to five reasons through the online survey by August 31, 2014.

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