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Fair Use Promoted at House of Representatives Copyright Hearing

April 9th, 2014 by Kara Malenfant in Advocacy

Library Copyright Alliance Logo On Wednesday, April 2, James G. Neal, Columbia University librarian and vice president for Information Services, served as the voice of libraries to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet when it held a hearing on preserving and reusing copyrighted work. The hearing, “Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works,” explored a variety of copyright issues, including orphan works, mass digitization and specific provisions of the Copyright Act that concern preservation by libraries and archives.

In his testimony, Neal used examples of some of the preservation efforts currently underway in the Columbia University Library in the City of New York to illustrate how fair use is essential to helping libraries confront preservation challenges specific to the digital age. Neal argued that without fair use , libraries would not be able to digitize information stored in antiquated formats or salvage content from obsolete formats.

“Digital resources are not immortal,” said Neal. “In fact, they are in formats that are more likely to cease to exist, and must be transferred to new digital formats repeatedly as technology evolves. Libraries charged with this work require robust applications of flexible exceptions such as fair use so that copyright technicalities do not interfere with their preservation mission,” said Neal.

Importantly, Neal stated that the existing statutory framework, which combines the specific library exceptions in Section 108 with the flexible fair use right works well for libraries and does not require amendment.

His statement was endorsed by the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), which includes ACRL, ALA, and the Association of Research Libraries. LCA also submitted a statement to the subcommittee on March 12, 2014.

After the hearing, Neal submitted supplemental testimony to respond to questions which arose during the hearing and amplify statements included in his initial written testimony. This supplemental testimony was also endorsed by LCA.

In other recent copyright news, LCA submitted comments to the Copyright Office on the study of making available right on April 4, 2014. In these comments, LCA explains its concerns about the impact of the adoption of a making available right on the statute of limitations in copyright cases.

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Sheehan Appointed RBM Editor

April 9th, 2014 by David Free in RBM

ACRL has named Jennifer K. Sheehan as the next editor of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage (RBM). Sheehan is currently a member of the RBM editorial board and brings in-depth knowledge of the world of rare books and manuscripts to the bi-annual publication. She will serve as editor-designate starting immediately with her term as editor beginning in July 2014.

“The search committee feels that Jennifer brings not only the experience and skills necessary to be RBM editor, but also the enthusiasm and commitment to expand readership and subscriptions,” said ACRL Publications Coordinating Committee Chair Melinda Dermody of Syracuse University. “With her strong work and publication history, along with her commitment to the journal and RBMS, she is an excellent choice for the RBM editorship.

Exhibitions Manager at The Grolier Club, Sheehan has served the ACRL Rare Book and Manuscript Section (RBMS) as a member of the Publications and Communications Committee, Membership and Professional Development Committee and Scholarships Committee. She has also served as a peer reviewer for Collaborative Librarianship and the Journal of Library Innovation. Sheehan has published on special collections and preservation management topics in a variety of journals including RBM and has contributed several book chapters on related issues.

Prior to joining The Grolier Club in 2013, Sheehan served as curator of rare books at the University of North Texas, where she also teaches as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Library and Information Sciences.

Sheehan earned her MLS from Texas Woman’s University and PhD in Information Science from the University of North Texas. She also holds an MA in Museum Studies from Baylor University and a BA in English and History from Trinity University.

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Reminder – ACRL 2015 Proposal Submissions Due May 9

April 8th, 2014 by Margot Conahan in ACRL 2015, Conferences

ACRL 2015 LogoACRL invites proposal submissions for the ACRL 2015 conference to be held March 25-28, 2015 in Portland, Oregon.  Contributed paper, panel session, preconference, and workshop proposals are due May 9, 2014.  Poster session, roundtable discussion, TechConnect, and Virtual Conference webcast proposals are due Nov. 3, 2014.  Submit proposals via the online form available on the conference website.

The conference committee has created a set of conference tags to stimulate thinking and empower submitters to position proposals within the conference theme “Creating Sustainable Community.”  The tags will serve to create a unique conference ecosystem and guide attendees to themes of interest and inspiration. Tag and session format descriptions are available on the ACRL 2015 website.

Please review the ACRL 2015 Program Proposal Instructions before beginning your submission; we also invite you to view the ACRL 2015 Proposal Tips webcast.   Visit the ALA Connect Community if you are looking for like-minded people with whom to collaborate/propose a session.

Complete details about ACRL 2015, including the full Call for Participation, are on the conference website. Questions about the Call for Participation or ACRL 2015 should be directed to Margot Conahan by email at or phone (312) 280-2522; or Tory Ondrla by email at or phone (312) 280-2515.

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Member of the Week: Suzanne Bernsten

April 7th, 2014 by Mary Jane Petrowski in Member of the Week

Suzanne BernstenSuzanne Bernsten is Web Services Librarian at the Lansing Community College Library in Lansing, Michigan. Suzanne has been an ACRL member since 2010 and is your ACRL member of the week for April 7, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, persistent, supportive.

2. What are you currently reading? Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes and Letting Go of the Words by Ginny Redish.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Forward-thinking, collaborative.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has given me the opportunity to continue learning beyond graduate school and to connect and share ideas with my peers.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? The other day a student came to the Reference Desk and asked why he was being asked to pay for articles he found. I went to his computer to take a look and saw he had typed into Google – I need a 7 page article about psychology. I was able to get him started on his research and he could not believe what the Library had to offer. I work with a team of librarians at Lansing Community College to help students learn to be critical thinkers and to make them aware of all of the resources available to them. We do this with library instruction, working with students at the reference desk, and by collaborating with faculty

6. In your own words: I love being a librarian at a community college. I have the opportunity to learn new things every day. I help people of all ages and backgrounds work toward achieving their goals whether they want to become a nurse’s aide, continue on to a four-year college, or complete continuing education credits. I remember my realization as an undergraduate that I wouldn’t remember the many discrete facts I was learning, but if I knew how to find and evaluate information I would be prepared for the future. As an academic librarian, I hope to help students understand this as well.

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.

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ACRL Releases Second Part of Draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

April 4th, 2014 by Kara Malenfant in Information Literacy, Standards and Guidelines

small_bannerACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force has released the second part of their initial draft of the association’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

The Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, adopted by ACRL in 2000, have become an essential document related to the emergence of information literacy as a recognized learning outcome at many institutions of higher education. These, like all ACRL standards, are reviewed cyclically. In June 2012, the ACRL Board of Directors approved a unanimous recommendation that they be a significantly revised. A task force charged with creating the Framework has been working since March 2013.

The second part of the initial draft of the new Framework includes two additional threshold concepts. In response to some of the feedback the Task Force has received on the first part of the initial draft, released February 20, they have tried something new with one threshold concept. In the section on Possible Assignments/Assessments, you will find indicators of level and type of instruction, and connections with other threshold concepts or topics of instruction. The task force encourages your feedback on this trial as it will help them with the revised draft, expected in early June.

We encourage you to provide feedback on both parts of the initial draft by 5pm Central on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, via an online form. Additionally, you can share your perspective on the initial draft during one of these upcoming online open forums:

  • Friday, April 4, 2014, 11am Pacific/12pm Mountain/1pm Central/2pm Eastern
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8am Pacific/9am Mountain/10am Central/11am Eastern

Register online to attend one of these free events at least one hour in advance as login details will be emailed prior to the forum. Links to the recorded forums will be posted afterwards on the task force website. Each session is limited to 500 attendees.

Contact ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives Kara Malenfant with questions.

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ACRL-CHOICE Spring/Summer 2014 Webinar Program

April 3rd, 2014 by David Free in Choice, Events

The ACRL-CHOICE webinar program connecting academic and research librarians with a host of content and service providers, publishers and other experts who serve their market is back with an exciting new roster of topics and speakers discussing issues pertinent to today’s academic library landscape.

Launched one year ago, the program was kicked off with an exploration of the library of the future, featuring the University of Washington Information School’s Joe Janes, author of the Rowman & Littlefield title Library 2020.  This first webinar for ACRL-CHOICE proved as stimulating as its topic, with over 500 participants attending the program.  Following it were popular sessions on topics including navigating the digital landscape, open access, research trends and eBooks in academic libraries, with sponsors including EBSCO, ProQuest, SAGE, Springer and Elsevier.  Content providers as well as librarians and other library professionals are enjoying the unique forum the ACRL-CHOICE webinars provide to discuss subjects meaningful in today’s academic library world.

Upcoming ACRL-CHOICE webinars will cover a wide gamut of new topics important to academic libraries. Click on a webinar title for more information and to register:

ACRL-CHOICE webinars are a unique opportunity for discussion among vendors, publishers, authors, and an unmatched academic library audience of ACRL members and CHOICE users and fans.  Structured as 60- minute, live, interactive webinars, the program offers an unprecedented way for libraries to learn about new ideas, developments, and products, and to actively participate in discussions with companies that serve their market.  It also allows sponsors to receive unfiltered feedback from the academic library community.

For further information on becoming an ACRL-CHOICE webinar sponsor, please contact Pam Marino at

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C&RL News – April 2014

April 2nd, 2014 by Ann-Christe Galloway in C&RL News

april14 cover

The April 2014 issue of C&RL News is now freely available online. In 2013, ALA launched a partnership with the Harwood Institute to help libraries “turn outward” and engage their communities through conversation to better align with community expectations. Nancy Kranich, Megan Lotts, and Gene Springs describe the Rutgers University Library’s experiences with the Harwood approach in their article “The promise of academic libraries.”

Meeting community needs and expectations can be done in a variety of ways. Heather McCullough of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte shares her library’s efforts at “Developing digital scholarship services on a shoestring” to address their campus’ need for additional services in this area.

This month’s issue also features articles on two approaches to meeting community needs by providing chat reference services. Jodi Shepherd and Irene Korber of California State University-Chico detail their implementation of a LibAnswers knowledge bank in their article “How do I search for a book?”

Librarians at John Carroll University looked to the business community for inspiration to provide “Proactive chat reference” by implementing a trigger-initiated customer service system on their library website.

In this month’s ACRL Tech Connect article, Jewelry Yep and Jason Shulman detail a method of assessing social media and examine the concept of nodes and links in “Analyzing the library’s Twitter network.”

In preparation for ACRL’s 75th anniversary, our sister publication College & Research Libraries is asking for your input in identifiying seven seminal articles from that publication’s history for a special issue to be published next year. Visit this issue’s C&RL Spotlight department for more information.

Make sure to check out the other features and departments this month, including a Scholarly Communication column examining the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment by Marta Bladek, Internet Resources on “Street art and graffiti” by Michael DeNotto, a The Way I See It essay detailing “Lessons learned at the general education table” by Emily A. B. Swanson, and the final round of profiles of 2014 ACRL award winners.

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2014 ACRL Award Winners, Part 2

April 1st, 2014 by Chase Ollis in Awards

Congratulations to the following recipients of 2014 ACRL awards. Complete information on the ACRL awards program is available on the association website.

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Member of the Week: Lian Ruan

March 31st, 2014 by Mary Jane Petrowski in Member of the Week

Lian RuanLian Ruan is Director of the Illinois Fire Service Institute Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois. Lian has been an ACRL member since 2000 and is your ACRL member of the week for March 31, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, determined, goal-oriented.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m reading Reflecting on the Future of Academic and Public Libraries , edited by Peter Hernon and Joseph R. Matthews (2013), and listening to Start with Why by Simon Sinek (2011).

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Excellence, professionalism, community.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL for the vision and high standards it sets and the networking opportunities it provides for academic/research librarians.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As Director/Head Librarian at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, I work closely with my library team, which consists of a reference/user training librarian, archivist and metadata librarian, graduate assistants, and graduate students to provide library programs and information services to Illinois firefighters and first responders, researchers, and the general public. Our contributions help further the University’s mission in research, teaching, and public engagement.

6. In your own words: It’s critically important for me to be open-minded and keep abreast of current developments not only in the field of library and information science, but also in the associated fields of technology, business, management, and communications. It is equally important for me to sharpen my skills in leadership and teamwork to maximize the shared-vision and success that ultimately benefit the end users and communities we strive to serve.

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.

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Keeping Up With… MOOCs

March 28th, 2014 by David Free in Keeping Up With

The latest edition of Keeping Up With…, ACRL’s online current awareness publication featuring concise briefs on trends in academic librarianship and higher education, is now available.  This month’s issue features a discussion of MOOCs by Carmen Kazakoff-Lane.

Keeping Up With… is available on the ACRL website and each issue will be send via email to ACRL members. Non-members  can visit our email subscription page to sign up to receive Keeping Up With… and a variety of other ACRL awareness publications including the ACRL Update newsletter and table of contents alerts for C&RL and C&RL News.

ACRL is currently accepting topic suggestions for future editions of Keeping Up With… . Visit the Keeping Up With… website for more information or contact David Free at with questions or to submit topics.

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