Category Archives: Higher Education

ALA, ACRL, ARL, COSLA file network neutrality amicus

From the ALA Washington Office District Dispatch blog:

On September 21, 2015, four national library organizations argued in support of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) strong, enforceable rules to protect and preserve the open internet with an amici filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

With other network neutrality allies also filing legal briefs, the American Library Association (ALA), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) focused their filing on four key points to support the FCC and rebut petitioners in the case of United States Telecom Association, et al., v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America:

  1. Libraries need strong open internet rules to fulfill our missions and serve our patrons;
  2. Libraries would be seriously disadvantaged without rules banning paid prioritization;
  3. The FCC’s General Conduct Rule is an important tool to ensure the internet remains open against future harms that cannot yet be defined; and
  4. The participation of library and higher education groups in the FCC rulemaking process demonstrates sufficient notice of the proposed open internet rules.

Oral arguments are scheduled for December 4, 2015.

ALA looks forward to continued collaboration with national library organizations in our policy advocacy, consistent with the strategy and theme of the Policy Revolution! initiative. For this brief, we appreciate the leadership of Krista Cox of ARL in preparing the submission and coordinating with other network neutrality advocates. Stay posted for developments in network neutrality and other policy issues via the District Dispatch.

New Date: Sept 24 ACRL Online Discussion “National Credentialing and Academic Libraries”

The free ACRL online discussion forum “National Credentialing and Academic Libraries” will now be held from 2 – 3 p.m. Central (noon – 1 p.m. Pacific | 1 – 2 p.m. Mountain | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Central | 3 – 4 p.m. Eastern) on Thursday, September 24. ACRL and over 80 other organizations recently joined the Lumina Foundation in co-sponsoring a national dialogue on credentialing which calls for ways to transform our nation’s highly diverse and fragmented credentialing system into one that is student-centered and learning-based. Join this ACRL online discussion forum to share your best thinking around what changes are needed and the potential role academic librarians and/or ACRL could play in transforming credentialing in the United States. Submit your free registration online by 2:00 p.m. Central on Wednesday, September 23. The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event. Complete details are available in a past ACRL Insider post.

Earlier today, ACRL responded to selected questions on the Connecting Credentials website. See also Connecting Credentials: a Beta Credentials Framework for more on these concepts. Are you new to these issues? Stay tuned for more later this week when the next issue of ACRL’s current awareness publication Keeping up With… focuses on national credentialing and academic libraries.

ACRL Online Discussion Forum “National Credentialing and Academic Libraries”

Join us for the free ACRL online discussion forum “National Credentialing and Academic Libraries” on Thursday, September 24, from 2 – 3 p.m. Central (noon – 1 p.m. Pacific | 1 – 2 p.m. Mountain | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Central | 3 – 4 p.m. Eastern).  Please note that you can convert additional time zones online at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converterT.html.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and nearly 80 other organizations recently joined the Lumina Foundation in co-sponsoring a national dialogue on credentialing which calls for ways to transform our nation’s highly diverse and fragmented credentialing system into one that is student-centered and learning-based. Change is needed for several reasons: to ensure educational quality; increase access; better align the work of industry, education and certification/licensure agencies; multiply the benefits of increased attainment; reduce social inequity; and foster individual progress that results in market-valued credentials.

Join this ACRL online discussion forum on September 24 to share your best thinking around what changes are needed and the potential role academic librarians and/or ACRL could play in transforming credentialing in the United States. This discussion is right for you if you already know the basics of digital badges, understand the rationale for a credentialing framework and are beginning to form an opinion about how academic librarians may be uniquely positioned to contribute to this conversation. Your input will help inform ACRL’s contribution to the national conversation.

A group of ACRL member leaders from the Value of Academic Libraries committee and the Digital Badges interest group will kick off the online forum then open the floor for discussion. To help guide your thinking, you may wish to consider these questions:

  1. Should and could information literacy be packaged into a “stackable”, quantifiable credential (such as a digital badge or a certificate) that graduates would use as marketable “currency” in the job world?
  2. How would such a credential be scaffolded throughout the college experience in such a way that various institutions would be able to participate?
  3. Would ACRL become the credentialing body for such a credential or how would an information literacy credential be channeled through in a recognized way that would give it value?
  4. How would you foresee credentialing being developed at your institution?
  5. What role should ACRL play in this national credentialing initiative?

Are you new to these issues? Stay tuned for more later this month when the next issue of ACRL’s current awareness publication Keeping up With… focuses on national credentialing and academic libraries. It will come out prior to this online discussion and may help you prepare to contribute your best thinking.

How to register

Submit your free registration online by 2:00 p.m. Central, Wednesday  September 23, 2015.  The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.

Questions should be directed to kmalenfant@ala.org.

Increase Your Commitment to Students; Seek a FIPSE Grant

The United States Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education recently announced a new Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) competition First in the World (FITW). The program will provide multi-year grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes, make college more affordable for students and families, and develop an evidence base of effective practices. The grant announcement explains that innovations can take many forms, such as those that improve teaching and learning by redesigning courses and student supports or by leveraging technological developments.

The FITW competition aims to increase postsecondary access, affordability and completion for underrepresented, underprepared or low-income students at institutions across the country. Applications are due June 30, and FIPSE is holding pre-application webinars May 28 and June 4 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. EDT. See the First in the World website and the official Federal Register Notice for more details.

While ACRL is not eligible to apply, academic librarians could work with their own institutions and consortia to seek FITW funding. With $75 million dollars available, this could be a powerful mechanism for you to implement innovative strategies and effective practices which improve student outcomes. Use FITW as a catalyst to transform student learning, pedagogy, and instructional practices through creative and innovative collaborations on your campus. Leverage this as an opportunity to demonstrate alignment with and impact on institutional outcomes.

Think of ACRL when you develop your proposal. We can serve as a contractor to support your project in the following ways:

You may think of other ways ACRL could support you through our existing programs and services. Or perhaps you would benefit from having ACRL involved in a new way, as a full partner to offer more substantial support. To pursue any of these options as you develop your FITW proposals, be in touch with Kara Malenfant, ACRL’s senior strategist for special initiatives at kmalenfant@ala.org or 800-545-2433 ext 2510.

ACRL Comments on AAUP report Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

On Friday, January 10, ACRL submitted comments to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) on its updated draft report Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications.

ACRL suggested that the draft report can be strengthened in two important areas: by addressing author options to retain their rights under copyright when publishing and the importance of fair use in the full exercise of academic freedom. In the comments, ACRL encouraged AAUP to expand its statements on freedom of research and publication to more fully address these important copyright issues for the academic community and their faculty members.

Finally, ACRL applauded AAUP for bringing attention to the issue of user privacy and confidentiality for use of library materials, particularly digital content licensed from vendors.

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