Member of the Week: Peace Ossom Williamson

Peace Ossom WilliamsonPeace Ossom Williamson is Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries in Arlington, Texas. Peace has been an ACRL member since 2014, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for December 8, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Silly, Sentimental, and Ambitious.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I rarely read fiction, so my titles can be a bit uninteresting to most, but the most recent fiction work I read was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because I love everything she writes. Americanah was no exception. The nonfiction books I’ve finished recently are mainly how-to books, but I also read Innovator’s DNA by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Evolving, Advocating, and Educating.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is valuable to me because it provides a chance to connect with medical librarians working in academic institutions. It also creates various avenues for ideas to collide, and these can come from individuals with various backgrounds, positions, and experiences. My involvement in these opportunities has strengthened my ability to innovate as well as my knowledge of best practices.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I work as an informationist, an advocate, an educator, a facilitator, a connector, and a colleague with the students, faculty, and staff on campus. I am liaison to the Biology and Kinesiology Departments and liaison to the College of Nursing, which is the largest not-for-profit nursing college in the country with over 8,000 students. In addition to assisting with research and technology needs through consultations and instruction sessions, I work with the Scholarly Communication librarians to educate the aforementioned groups on copyright and open access issues. Furthermore, I work to connect people across disciplines and to connect academics and their work with the greater community, through the facilitation of special programs and events. My time as an academic librarian at UT Arlington is and will continue to be ever-changing and greatly rewarding!

6. In your own words: Academic librarianship is not for the timid or the tired as it involves a spirit of continuous learning and growing. It is an exciting profession for those who love to grow and develop skills and abilities in technologies that may not have existed a week ago. It also involves forethought into the trends of information needs and an institution’s particular needs, as the library is the cross-roads or meeting point where connections are made and innovation is born.

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.


Register for ScholCommCamp Unconference at ACRL 2015

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. Join us for this fun, lively day!

ScholCommCamp is being underwritten by the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication and being offered in conjunction with the ACRL 2015 Conference in Portland, Oregon. Registration for the ACRL 2015 conference is not required to register for ScholCommCamp.

Our lead “wrangler” for ScholCommCamp is Amy Buckland, institutional repository manager at the University of Chicago. She will help participants develop ground rules, build the agenda, and provoke participation. Amy will be joined by Char Booth, director of research, teaching, & learning services at the Claremont Colleges Library, to help participants get the most from the day. We will add additional facilitator name(s) to the ScholCommCamp webpage as they are confirmed.

You are not required to register for the ACRL 2015 conference to register for ScholCommCamp.

When you register for ScholCommCamp, be prepared to tell us about yourself and why you are interested in participating, in 75 words or less. What do you hope to contribute and learn? This information will be shared publicly with all participants.

Register online for $30 (lunch included). Participation is limited to 100 people—first come, first served.


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

Immersion Program Applications Due Dec. 5

Friday, December 5, 2014 is the deadline to apply to the ACRL Immersion Program (Teacher and Program tracks).  The ACRL Immersion Program provides instruction librarians the opportunity to work intensively for several days on all aspects of information literacy. Whether your institution is just beginning to think about implementing an information literacy component or whether you have a program well under way, the Immersion Program will provide you with the intellectual tools and practical techniques to build or enhance your institution’s instruction program.

Immersion ’15 (Teacher and Program tracks) will be held at Seattle University in Seattle, August 2-7, 2015.  Acceptance to Immersion ’15 is competitive to ensure an environment that fosters group interaction and active participation.  Applications are due December 5, 2014.

Teacher Track focuses on individual development for those who are interested in refreshing, enhancing, or extending their individual instruction skills. Curriculum includes classroom techniques, learning theory, leadership, and assessment framed in the context of information literacy. Program Track focuses on developing, integrating, and managing institutional and programmatic information literacy programs.  Change dynamics, systems thinking, institutional outcomes assessment, scalability, and the integration of teaching, learning, and technology will be brought to bear on analyzing the various programmatic challenges presented in case studies developed prior to the program.

Complete details and application materials are available online.  Questions about ACRL Immersion ’15 programs should be directed to Margot Conahan at

New ACRL IS Tips and Trends

The ACRL Instruction Section Instructional Technologies Committee has published their latest Tips and Trends covering “Online Presentation Creation Tools,” written by Brad Sietz and Caroline Sinkinson. Tips and Trends introduce and discuss new, emerging, or even familiar technologies which can be applied to the library instruction setting. Learn more about how to use online presentation creation tools to present content, encourage active and engaged classroom learning, and create online learning artifacts.

Integrating the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) into IPEDS: Staff Types and Staffing Levels for Academic Libraries

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has integrated the Academic Libraries (AL) component, formerly known as the biennial Academic Libraries Survey (ALS), into its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15 collection. All degree-granting, Title IV postsecondary institutions in the U.S. and other jurisdictions are required to report library information annually beginning in December 2014 when the IPEDS Spring data collection opens.

There are major changes concerning library staffing in IPEDS.  Unlike the ALS, the AL component does not request information about library staff types and staffing levels; only expenditures for total salaries and wages are reported for all libraries. Additionally, the expenditures for fringe benefits are reported on the AL component if paid by the library.

When changes to the ALS were proposed in 2011, the Technical Review Panel discussing the survey suggested that:

  • The collection of academic staff and staffing data be relocated to the Human Resources (HR) component of IPEDS.
  • Instead of collecting staffing levels as fill-time equivalents (FTE), IPEDS should collect a headcount of part-time and full-time library staff, thereby maintaining consistency with how personnel data are collected throughout IPEDS.  The HR component also collects staffing information based on  race and ethnicity as well as by gender.
  • Collecting this data in the HR component would ensure consistent reporting and avoid duplication of data. Institutional personnel offices already track this information, so institutional keyholders will not need to rely on the library department to gather data.

[See Report and Suggestions from IPEDS Technical Review Panel #35, Reintegrating the Academic Libraries Survey into IPEDS. Available at].

IPEDS collects full-time and part-time headcounts for three library staff-related classifications from the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). These classifications include: Librarians (25-4021); Library Technicians (25-4031); and Archivists, Curators, and Museum Technicians (25-4010).  The definitions from the 2010 SOC are provided below.

  • 25-4021 Librarians:  Administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, educational institutions, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers’ advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information. Illustrative examples: Law Librarian, School Librarian, Music Librarian.
  • 25-4031 Library Technicians:  Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Compile records; sort and shelve books or other media; remove or repair damaged books or other media; register patrons; and check materials in and out of the circulation process. Replace materials in shelving area (stacks) or files. Includes bookmobile drivers who assist with providing services in mobile libraries. Illustrative examples: Library Circulation Technician, Library Acquisitions Technician.
  • 25-4010 Archivists, Curators, and Museum Technicians: This broad occupation includes the following three detailed occupations — 25-4011 Archivists, 25-4012 Curators and 25-4013 Museum Technicians and Conservators.

[U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010 SOC Definitions, February 2010 (Updated January 2013) and available at]

These personnel classifications are differ from those used in the 2012 ALS and ACRL/ARL annual surveys.

IPEDS has determined that all three library-related classifications are “non-instructional” personnel although library staff may hold “faculty status.” Part B1 of the HR component data collection instrument asks for the number of “Full-time Non-instruction Staff” arranged in rows by gender and ethnicity vertically on the left side of the form with the three aforementioned classifications situated horizontally as columns at the top. Part B2 of the survey form is used to collect data about faculty and non-faculty status for those in these three classifications. Faculty status includes those personnel tenured or on a tenure track. Staff with faculty status but not on a tenure track are counted on three vertical columns labeled as multiyear, continuing, or at-will contract; annual contract; and less-than-annual contract.  There is also a vertical data collection column for personnel in these three classifications without faculty status.  Similar HR component forms are used for part-time non-instructional staff (Parts D and E). An example of the Human Resources component survey form for degree-granting institutions and related administrative offices that have 15 or more full-time staff and a tenure system is accessible at

The results of these changes concerning staff types and staffing levels data collection and reporting are:

  • The AL component only asks about library expenditures for total salary and wages and fringe benefits.
  • Information collected about staff types and staffing levels have been relocated to the HR component of IPEDS and will be reported by the institution’s human resources/personnel office.
  • Headcounts are applied in IPEDS which means that staffing information about full-time equivalents are not collected or calculated. This will impact libraries using reported FTE levels for internal trend analysis, and for external benchmarking and best practices concerning academic library staff and staffing.
  • Education levels attained are unspecified in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ definitions of the three classification; as a result, education is not a defining characteristic for 25-4021 Librarians and 25-4031 Library Technicians.
  • The categorization of library staff into one of the three BLS classifications is an institutional decision most often made by HR personnel or, in some cases, the institutional keyholder.  Therefore, academic library leadership may not be involved in the categorization of its personnel when the institution completes and submits the IPEDS HR component.

To ensure institutional accuracy for the upcoming IPEDS Spring collection which includes both the AL and HR components, it is strongly recommended that library leaders learn more about the institutional processes supporting survey information collection and reporting by talking or meeting with the institutional keyholder. This discovery effort should include asking about the institution’s alignment of library staff types and staffing levels with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ SOC classifications discussed above.

– Robert Dugan, Chair, ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board

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