News from the Field

David Free


SDSU digitizes civil rights collection

When Detroit, Newark, Cleveland, and Los Angeles erupted in flames during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, San Diego successfully fought the injustices of discrimination in housing and employment through non-violence, dialogue, and most importantly, extraordinary leadership. San Diego State University (SDSU) has digitized the papers of one of those extraordinary leaders—Harold K. Brown, director of the San Diego Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) during the 1960s.


Harold Brown leading a CORE demonstration for equal employment opportunities at a Bank of America protest in downtown San Diego, August 1964. Harold K. Brown Papers, Department of Special Collections, San Diego State University

The digital collection provides online access to correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, photographs, slides, audio, and an extensive array of newspaper clippings. A unique feature of the digital collection is access to the material within the online finding-aid for the collection. The virtual reading room experience preserves the intellectual context of documents within a folder of material, and the ability to see a document’s physical placement in relation to other documents assists a researcher in interpreting and determining the meaning of an item.

The Harold K. Brown Papers, 1956–2000, are available through SDSU’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives at http://scua2.sdsu.edu/archon/index.php?p=collections/findingaid&id=280&q=.

ACRL Presidential candidates online forum archive

Trevor A. Dawes and Debbie Malone, the 2012 candidates for ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect, discussed their platforms and vision for ACRL during an online forum March 8. Dawes is circulation services director at the Princeton University Library, and Malone is library director at DeSales University. An audio archive will be available on the ACRL Insider blog a few days after the forum. Make an informed decision and vote in the ALA/ACRL elections beginning March 19.

ASERL signs Berlin Declaration on Open Access

At its recent membership meeting in Atlanta, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) endorsed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Of the approximately 360 signatories, ASERL became the 25th U.S. academic organization—and the 14th library consortium—to officially endorse the Berlin Declaration.

“ASERL members have long supported open access to scholarly information and data; signing on to the Berlin Declaration was an easy decision for us,” commented ASERL Board President Sarah Michalak, associate provost and university librarian at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The Berlin Declaration was first authored in 2003 and has attracted more than 350 signatories from around the world. Its creators seek the deposit of scholarly works and supporting materials in a sustainable, online repository that enables “open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.” Supporters of the Berlin Declaration met recently in Bethesda, Maryland, for the ninth international conference to discuss ways to advance these principles and seek additional supporters. Visit http://bit.ly/nyYx9d for the full text of the Berlin Declaration and the complete list of signatories.

Northeastern University Libraries unveils new Web site

The Northeastern University Libraries recently launched a redesigned library Web site at library.northeastern.edu. The new site reflects an institutional commitment to improving access to online library services and resources across campus and to remote locations. After extensive usability testing, focus groups, and competitive assessment, the rebuilt site makes navigation easier and takes into account the primary functions users need when visiting the library online.

Built on Drupal, the leading open source content management technology, the new Web site is flexible, configurable, and allows for digital innovation and sustainable growth going forward. The new homepage welcomes visitors with a prominent search system, an interactive menu, and engaging content that displays exhibits, polls, featured resources, and blog feeds in real-time. Visitors to the Web site will be able to choose from a customized site menu at the top of the homepage, which bases displayed content on their user status. There are also quick links to frequently used site features, like study room booking and 24/7 chat with a research assistance librarian.

Washington University Libraries join HathiTrust

On January 1, 2012, Washington University Libraries in St. Louis became a member of HathiTrust, joining more than 60 other major academic and research libraries from across the United States and beyond, in an ambitious effort to preserve and share the record of human knowledge.

“We at Washington University in St. Louis are pleased and proud to join the HathiTrust, an effort in which leading research libraries are greatly expanding virtual collections that are available to all members,” said Washington University Dean of University Libraries Shirley Baker. “With this membership, our community instantly gains access to a greatly enriched online collection of early imprints across all disciplines, and that benefits scholars in countless subject areas.”

HathiTrust was launched in 2008 by a 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, along with the University of California system. It has grown to more than 60 partners, including Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Duke, and Johns Hopkins. Learn more about HathiTrust at www.hathitrust.org.

ARL releases Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, a statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use developed by and for librarians who support academic inquiry and higher education. The code was developed in partnership with the Center for Social Media and the Washington College of Law at American University. In dozens of interviews with veteran research and academic librarians, researchers learned how copyright law comes into play as interviewees performed core library functions. Then, in a series of small group discussions held with library policymakers around the country, the research team developed a consensus approach to applying fair use. The code identifies the relevance of fair use in eight recurrent situations for librarians.

The development of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. To download the code, and view supplementary educational resources, including videos, slideshows, and FAQs, visit the ARL Web site at www.arl.org/fairuse.

ProQuest and Christian Science Monitor extend agreement

From its inception in 1908, The Christian Science Monitor has delivered comprehensive and meaningful coverage of global issues in a uniquely independent voice. With the longstanding agreement between the venerable news organization and ProQuest extended through 2013, researchers of all types can continue to access publication archives in products such as ProQuest Historical Newspapers and Newsstand and in microfilm.

“The Christian Science Monitor is pleased to make available its rich content to libraries and researchers world-wide through Pro-Quest,” said Norm Williams, The Christian Science Monitor general manager for content sales, global markets.

To learn more, visit www.proquest.com.

EBSCO releases final American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection series

The fifth and final series from the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection has been released by EBSCO. AAS Historical Periodical Collection: Series 5 includes more than 2,500 titles dating from 1866 to 1877. Broad subject areas covered in the collection reach into every facet of American life, including science, literature, medicine, agriculture, fashion, family life, politics, and religion.

More information on EBSCO’s digital historical archives may be found on the digital archives Web page at www.ebscohost.com/archives.

ACRL Board approves committee restructuring

During the recent ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, the ACRL Board of Directors considered and approved a new division-level committee structure that will align committee work with the new Plan for Excellence. The division committee structure will function more strategically by eliminating duplication, merging committees with similar functions, and broadening responsibilities of existing committees. Division committee structure details, including charges and transition plans for discontinued or merged committees, can be found online at www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/Doc_8.1_Approved_Committee_Structure.pdf.

As far back as 2004, the ACRL Board has discussed the challenges created by the volume of division level committees and sought to more closely align ACRL’s committee structure with strategic goals. At the spring 2011 Executive Committee meeting, the ACRL Division-Level Committee Principles (www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/strategicplan/Committee_Principles) were adopted. These principles were shared with member leaders at the ACRL Leadership Council meeting during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference. The committee restructuring process was also informed by spring 2011 focus group findings.

A comprehensive committee restructuring proposal was finalized at the Fall 2011 Executive Committee meeting, based on conversations with the full ACRL Board at the September 2011 Strategic Planning and Orientation Session. The full proposal, as well as an FAQ (www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/strategicplan/CommitteeFAQ), was submitted to the ACRL membership in November 2011.

A survey was conducted to solicit feedback by ACRL members. ACRL 2011–12 President Joyce Ogburn also wrote to each committee chair, Board liaisons directly contacted their committees, and other announcements were sent to the membership. The ACRL Board considered the feedback and revised the committee restructuring proposal in early January. During the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting, additional discussions informed the ACRL Board resulting in a final proposal drawn heavily from member engagement. The ACRL Board adopted the new division committee structure effective July 2012.

Based on member feedback, the Board acknowledges the presence of a larger issue that challenges it to address all the core values expressed in the Plan for Excellence. These values include higher education, intellectual freedom, professional ethics, and librarian status. The Board’s solution is to establish a Task Force on the Structure for Core Organizational Values, yet to be populated with members, to determine how the Board shall best engage members with these core value issues, as well as recommend to the Board strategies for conducting its work related to the support of professional core values.

Options for the task force to consider might include retaining or disbanding one or both of the committees, merging the two committees, or developing a new committee that addresses all of the professional values important to all academic and research librarians. An interim report from the task force is due at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Best practices recommend that organizations periodically examine structures to ensure they are in alignment with plans and are maximizing limited resources toward priorities. In addition to division committees, the ACRL Board is looking at other organizational entities and will continue to focus on the Plan for Excellence for guidance to advance our professional goals.

The ACRL Board acknowledges that it is always difficult to change structures and wishes to thank all of its members who volunteered their time and energy to serve on ACRL committees. Thank you for your feedback during the division committee discussions and your continued service advancing our association.—ACRL Board of Directors

Transforming Information Literacy Programs: Intersecting Frontiers of Self, Library Culture, and Campus Community

ACRL announces the publication of Transforming Information Literacy Programs: Intersecting Frontiers of Self, Library Culture, and Campus Community, edited by Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson and Courtney Bruch. Transforming Information Literacy Programs is number 64 in the ACRL Publications in Librarianship (PIL) series.

Comprised of four sections, Outlining Current Boundaries, Frontiers of Self, Fortifying Institutional Partnerships and Charting Next Steps, Transforming Information Literacy Programs offers fresh perspectives on the present and future of information literacy instruction from diverse points of view. The work brings together information on a broad array of issues and themes that academic instruction librarians must navigate in today’s higher education environment.


Armed with the new understanding of the complex frontiers of self, library culture, and community presented in Transforming Information Literacy Programs, instruction librarians can engage in deeper campus conversations about the issues they face as well as begin vital and exciting new initiatives to shape the future of their programs. The work is essential reading for all practicing information literacy librarians and program coordinators, as well as library school students.

Transforming Information Literacy Programs is available for purchase in print, as an e-book, and as a print/e-book bundle through the ALA Online Store; in print and for Kindle through Amazon.com; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

Copyright 2012© American Library Association

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