Category Archives: Conferences

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

ACRL Program Proposals for 2015 ALA Annual Conference Due September 1

As a reminder, ACRL program proposals for the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco are due September 1, 2014.  The ACRL Professional Development Committee will review proposal and select 2015 Annual Conference programs, with notifications issued in October 2014.  ACRL invites its committees, sections, interest groups and individual members to consider submitting program proposals.

More details about the Annual Conference program process are on the ACRL website. Contact ACRL Program Officer Megan Griffin at mgriffin@ala.org or ACRL Manager of Professional Development Margot Conahan at mconahan@ala.org with questions concerning the program proposal process.

ACRL 2015 paper, panel, preconference, and workshop notifications issued

Notifications for ACRL 2015 contributed paper, panel session, preconference, and workshop proposals were issued on Friday, August 15.  Thanks to all who submitted a proposal for the Portland conference!  Please check your spam filter if you don’t see your notification in your e-mail inbox; contact Margot Conahan at mconahan@ala.org with questions.

Complete details about ACRL 2015, including registration materials, are online.

ACRL 2015 Keynote Speakers Announced

ACRL announces its celebrated lineup of keynote speakers for the ACRL 2015 Conference, “Creating Sustainable Community,” to be held March 25 – 28, 2015, in Portland, Ore. Be challenged and entertained by these three distinguished speakers, who also double as comic writers, journalists, radio hosts, producers and political activists.

willowOpening Keynote Session, March 25, 2015 — G. Willow Wilson, comics writer, prose author, essayist and journalist

G. Willow Wilson is a gifted author whose writing explores, across multiple genres, the most pressing issues of our time. An American convert to Islam, Wilson lives today in both Egypt and the United States. Her articles, graphic novels and books reflect her extraordinary cross-cultural experiences with remarkable originality and courage.

Earlier this year, Marvel Comics released “Ms. Marvel,” the first-ever American comic book series to feature a Muslim superhero. Wilson is the creator and writer of this groundbreaking series which features Kamala Khan, a young female superhero unlike anything the comic book world has ever known. The first issue of “Ms. Marvel” has been met with much enthusiasm and gone back to reprint six times. A video of Wilson talking about “Ms. Marvel,” is available on YouTube.

Wilson began her writing career at the age of 17 as a freelance music critic for Boston’s Weekly Dig magazine. Since then, she’s written the Eisner Award-nominated comic book series “Air and Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice” and the graphic novel “Cairo.” In her early twenties, Wilson moved to Egypt where she spent several years working as a journalist. Her  memoir about life in Egypt during the waning years of the Mubarak regime, “The Butterfly Mosque,” was named a Seattle Times Best Book of 2010. Wilson’s first novel, “Alif the Unseen,” won the prestigious World Fantasy Prize in 2014 and was a New York Times Notable Book and a contender for the Orange Prize (now the Women’s Prize for Fiction).

abumradMiddle Keynote Session, March 26, 2015 — Jad Abumrad, radio host and producer

Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab, a public radio program broadcast on 437 stations across the nation and downloaded more than 4 million times a month as a podcast. Abumrad did most of his growing up in Tennessee, before studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. Following graduation, Abumrad wrote music for films, and reported and produced documentaries for a variety of local and national public radio programs. In 2002, Abumrad began tinkering with an idea for a new kind of radio program, an open-ended radio “laboratory.” Radiolab has since evolved into one of public radio’s most popular programs. Abumrad hosts the program with Robert Krulwich and also serves as its lead producer, composer and managing editor.

Abumrad employs his dual backgrounds as composer and journalist to create what’s been called a new aesthetic in broadcast journalism. He orchestrates dialogue, music, interviews and sound effects into compelling documentaries that draw listeners into investigations of otherwise intimidating topics, such as the nature of numbers, the evolution of altruism or the legal foundation for the war on terror.

In 2011, Radiolab was awarded the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and Abumrad was honored as a MacArthur Fellow (also known as the Genius Grant). Alongside his radio work, Abumrad continues to work as a composer and remixer.

lessigClosing Keynote Session, March 28, 2015 — Lawrence Lessig, academic and political activist

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and founder of Rootstrikers, a network of activists leading the fight against government corruption. He has authored numerous books, including “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress–and a Plan to Stop It,” “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace,” “Free Culture” and “Remix.”

Lessig serves on the boards of Creative Commons, AXA Research Fund and iCommons.org, and on the advisory boards of the Sunlight Foundation, the Better Future Project and Democracy Café. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award and Fastcase 50 Award. Lesing was also named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries.

Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge University and a JD from Yale University. As professor at Stanford Law School, Lessig founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. A video of Lessig talking about laws that choke creativity can be found on the TED website.

Additional details about the ACRL 2015 Conference are available on the conference website. Registration and housing are currently available.

For more information about ACRL 2015, contact Tory Ondrla at tondrla@ala.org or 312-280-2515.

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