Member of the Week: Sarah Espinosa

Sarah EspinosaSarah Espinosa is Residency Librarian at the Towson University Libraries in Towson, Maryland. Sarah has been an ACRL member since 2013, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for February 23, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Life-long learner.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I use my mobile device for creative writing, collaborating, personal organization, and networking. I read physical books and articles, and I’m currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative professional strength.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL provides me with the vocabulary and context for professional advocacy. Using articles from ACRL publications and professional standards, I find myself better able to communicate why academic librarianship matters. I also value the opportunity to listen to, collaborate with, and learn from peers and mentors within the ACRL and especially the ACRL Maryland community.

5. What do you contribute to your campus? My role as a Residency Librarian allows me to take risks and devote attention to unique initiatives. In my two-year term, I have been able to engage new audiences, experiment with new tools, and pursue projects that support the University mission in lasting ways. One of these projects includes outreach to student organizations about contributing to history through donations to the Archives; another supports the initiative to map University curriculum to information literacy instruction.

6. In your own words: I appreciate the academic library environment because the research and teaching mission inspires innovation. Every librarian has the success of the student and research community as their goal, and as a result, they are constantly trying new things and improving existing services. The academic community thrives on collaboration and experimentation, and I love that energy.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.

Reminder: Register for ScholCommCamp Unconference at ACRL 2015

It’s not too late to join the first-ever unconference sponsored by the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication (ISC) to be held Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., in Portland, Oregon. This collaborative and informal experience is right for you if you have good knowledge of scholarly communication topics and passion for library-led outreach on campus.

During this community-driven experience, you will come together with your fellow participants to share skills, learn what has worked at other campuses, and build plans for your library’s scholarly communication program throughout the day. You and your colleagues will set the day’s agenda on the spot during the first session of this spontaneous and timely event. ScholCommCamp will be an exceptionally productive day in which you define problems, create solutions, and develop plans so that you can improve your library’s scholarly communication program.

Skilled facilitators will help you make the most of this fun, lively day, and the newest addition is Carmen Mitchell, institutional repository librarian at Cal State San Marcos. She joins Amy Buckland, institutional repository manager at the University of Chicago, and Char Booth, director of research, teaching, and learning services at the Claremont Colleges Library. Learn more about them and the event itself on the ScholCommCamp webpage.

Register online now! The cost is $30 (lunch included) as the event is being underwritten by the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication. Participation is limited to 100 people—first come, first served. You do not need to register for the ACRL 2015 conference to register for ScholCommCamp.


The Institute on Scholarly Communication (ISC) is jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) to promote the development of library-led outreach on scholarly communication issues. Hundreds of institute alumni form a community that provides peer support and professional sharing of information relating to campus outreach. The ISC’s first signature event was an in-person immersive learning experience that prepared participants as local experts within their libraries and provided a structure for developing a program plan for scholarly communication outreach that is customized for each participant’s institution. The institute has supported additional professional development activities and also provides a set of shared resources. The ISC is on the web at

New ACRL Occasional Report Examines Building with Purpose

Building with PurposeACRL is pleased to announce the first in a two-part set of Occasional Reports on academic library construction and renovation. Authored by Christopher Stewart, Building with Purpose: A Quantitative Overview of U.S. Academic Library Construction 2000-2014 presents a rich set of data on, and analysis of, new library construction over the past fourteen years. A forthcoming second report will cover academic library renovations in the same period.

While some argue that the academic library building has been unfairly characterized as a legacy structure, inflexible in its primary role as a space for physical materials, others point to the ongoing transformation of the library space as a center for collaboration, multi-modal learning, discovery, and social and cultural life. As the conversation about the evolving role of the library space widens, a broad, quantitative overview and analysis of new library construction and/or renovation activity across U.S. higher education is useful in helping us understand pace and scope of investments in new library space across different types of institutions.

The analysis presented in Stewart’s report examines new library construction through a framework of institutional characteristics, which provides an opportunity to identify patterns in terms of where libraries are investing in new space. This information also provides evidence of shifting institutional intentions and aspirations for the library building.

Stewart is also the author of the 2010 ACRL publication The Academic Library Building in the Digital Age: A Study of Construction, Planning, and Design of New Academic Library Space.

Building with Purpose is freely available on the ACRL website.

ACRL 2015 Virtual Conference registration open

acrl2015Registration is now open for the ACRL 2015 Virtual Conference, offered March 25-27, 2015 during the ACRL 2015 conference in Portland. The Virtual Conference provides an affordable opportunity to participate in conference activities online. For librarians with reduced support for professional development or travel, the Virtual Conference is a great way to leverage a small investment into large learning opportunities.

Like its face-to-face counterpart, the ACRL 2015 Virtual Conference will run on a real-time schedule. The online conference features twelve live Webcasts, as well as asynchronous activities, allowing for convenient scheduling and flexibility. The Virtual Conference archive is available for one year and will include more than 150 slidecasts (PowerPoint slides or other presentations synced with audio of the speaker) from every contributed paper, TechConnect presentation, invited paper and panel sessions presented at the face-to-face conference, as well as select keynote presentations.

Registration materials are now available in the Virtual Conference section of the ACRL 2015 website. Individual and group registration rates are available. Register your institution as a group and participate in professional development with your colleagues all year long!

Registration remains open for the face-to-face conference in Portland. Submit your ACRL 2015 registration materials by the February 27 advance registration deadline in order to save $50 or more on your conference registration fees.

For more information about ACRL 2015, contact Margot Conahan at or (312) 280-2522.

Reminder: March 4 Assessment in Action Application Deadline

Assessment in Action LogoACRL is seeking applications from all types of higher education institutions for 125 teams to participate in the third year of “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA),” made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and described on the ACRL website. Librarians will each lead a campus team in developing and implementing an action learning project which examines the impact of the library on student success and contributes to assessment activities on campus. They will be supported in this work by a professional development program with sequenced learning events and activities at key junctures. The AiA program, part of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, employs a blended learning environment and a peer-to-peer network over the course of the 14-month long program, which runs from April 2015-June 2016.

Learn more about the AiA program from the recording / presentation slides of an online open forum held February 10 for prospective applicants. It provided background on AiA and details on how to apply for the third year plus featured two AiA librarian team leaders who talked about their experiences participating in the first year.

Read more about how to apply for AiA, and apply online by 5 p.m. Central, Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

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