ACRL in Anaheim: ACRL programs at the ALA Annual Conference


The future of the book

The ACRL/Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) joint Presidents’ Program featured Duane Bray, a partner at IDEO who directs the firm’s digital business and leads its global talent strategy. Hosted by ACRL President Joyce Ogburn and ALCTS President Betsy Simpson, a near capacity crowd enthusiastically received Bray’s talk on the future of the book.


2011–12 ACRL President Joyce L. Ogburn at the ACRL/ALCTS Presidents’ Program.

Bray first discussed his recent design exploration of digital reading, seeking to identify new opportunities for readers, publishers, and authors to discover, consume, and connect in different formats. This has focused on how digital and analog books currently are being read, shared, and collected, as well as future trends, business models, and consumer behavior within related fields. He noted that as more people consume pages in pixels, we can’t help but wonder why we continue to discover and consume the written word through the old analog, page-turning model. He posed the question: What happens when the reading experience catches up with new technologies?

Bray used the concept of narrative as the major thread of his presentation. He first began with location-based narrative, illustrated with geo-location tools, and suggested the use of location-based filters to enhance reading. He then moved to social narrative and suggested that mediated interaction could lead to a kind of collective intelligence. He noted that librarians can play significant roles in creating this collective intelligence through discovery and curation of new content.

Bray moved on to personal narrative and coauthored narrative that can move authorship into a new shared mode that has the potential to evolve in interesting ways enabled by technology. He concluded by discussing human-centered forecasting by focusing on new kinds of behavior, empathetic contextual immersion, finding inspiration from other fields, building narratives around new ideas, and protoyping or making ideas tangible.

Bray’s provocative and intense presentation elicited numerous questions and many listeners left energized.

Richard W. Clement

Utah State University, E-mail:

Preparing college-ready 21st century citizens with integrated information/media literacy programs in education

Conditions for successful articulation of information literacy programs were discussed at this ACRL/American Association of School Librarians (AASL)-cosponsored session presented to an overflowing audience.

Lynn Lampert (California State University-Northridge) spoke about collaboration efforts across the university and in conjunction with the university’s feeder high school. John McGinnis (Long Beach Unified School District Board member) presented the administrative side of information literacy. Lydia Davis-Smith offered two angles: as a site-based teacher librarian at Lutheran School in Orange, California, and as a member of Lifelong Information Literacy (LILi), which is a Southern California consortium of multitype librarians. The panelists spoke about several issues related to information literacy and its articulation throughout education.


ACRL/AASL information literacy session participants (l to r): Lydia Elizabeth Smith-Davis, Lynn Lampert, Lesley Farmer (moderator), and John McGinnis.

Incorporating information literacy into education requires librarians to initiate and implement curriculum development, instructional design, collaboration, and policies. Information literacy is sometimes considered a general education or graduation requirement, and in other cases it may be an elective option or capstone. Likewise, instruction varies from one-shot orientation or subject-specific explanation of a library tool (such as database aggregators) to stand-alone courses or embedded units. Instruction varies from face-to-face sessions in a course to reference desk assistance, from online just-in-time help to Web tutorials.

In terms of articulation between K–12 and higher education, librarians tend to work on a one-to-one basis with their counterparts. Some successful initiatives included summer workshops, orientation programs for high school students, in-services for high school principals, and library marketing sessions. ACRL and AASL are collaborating to provide professional development and an online toolkit of resources.

The panelists agreed that information literacy instruction requires that librarians know subject curriculum, know how to design and deliver instruction, and how to collaborate with peers and teaching faculty. Administrative support and leadership is also needed for systematic information literacy incorporation.

As librarians consider information literacy efforts, they should make sure that those efforts are sustainable through adequate resources, time, and staff.

Lesley Farmer

California State University-Long Beach, E-mail:

Reference resurrected: Models for the 21st-century college library

Barbara Whitney Petruzzelli moderated the ACRL/College Libraries Section (CLS)-sponsored panel comprised of Hu Womack, David Consiglio, and Scott Vine in a discussion about “Reference Resurrected: Models for the 21st-Century College Library.” Panelists presented ongoing efforts to meet the reference needs required by current academic library users.

Womack enthusiastically discussed models of embedded librarianship and provided examples of how librarians were physically embedding at Wake Forest University. Examples included: LENS (Learn, Experience, Navigate, and Solve), a summer outreach program for high school students; “Social Stratification in the Deep South,” a three-week sociology course that includes travel; in-class participation for on-campus seminars; and co-location for office hours in residence halls.

Consiglio spoke about Bryn Mawr College’s merged information technology and library structure and its use of the MISO (Measuring Information Service Outcomes) Survey, a “Web-based quantitative survey designed to measure how faculty, students, and staff view library and computing services in higher education.” Results from the survey prompted changes in who is delivering reference services. With holistic service as a goal, Consiglio suggested that an embedded librarian and an embedded instructional technologist reside in one person in order to meet students where they are.

Vine (Franklin & Marshall College) addressed the fact that while reference desks still exist, the number of transactions at that venue are declining. Increases in reference transactions are seen through services such as e-mail, chat, specific outreach efforts, and research appointments. Vine strongly emphasized the need for marketing services to students since everything else is marketed to students. Another idea includes making scheduled “house calls” in which two librarians leave the library and try to visit every building on campus. Although librarians were early on asked, “Who let you out of the library?” the service is now well received.

Kelly Brown

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, E-mail:

Campus copyright initiatives

The ACRL Copyright Committee sponsored “Campus Copyright Initiatives: Roles and Opportunities for Libraries,” which was moderated by Tim Gritten (Indiana State University). Chris LeBeau and Cindy Thompson presented the team approach used at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) to handle the plethora of copyright issues faced by librarians and faculty alike.

Copyright leadership is lacking on the UMKC campus, which must rely on an overly burdened university system legal office across the state. UMKC librarians assumed leadership in the void and encouraged librarians in similar situations to do the same. Members of the team include the director of public services, the head of music/media, the virtual librarian, the director of scholarly communications, the director of the UMKC Law Library, the coordinator of the virtual library, and a staff librarian who teaches copyright at the University of Missouri School of Information Science. While the team does not treat issues regarding faculty intellectual property, it positions itself to address the proper “use” of copyrighted materials in the educational setting. The team also described its structure of faculty advocates.

Dwayne Buttler (University of Louisville) echoed the concerns that LeBeau and Thompson reported. He frequently sees a vacuum of copyright expertise on campuses. Consequently, librarians—even those who are not lawyers—have an opportunity to assert their leadership on the various components of copyright within an ambiguous environment. Faculty are increasingly looking to librarians for advice. Your local institution will have unique limitations depending upon the beliefs and policies of library and campus administration, but you are still able to find a role within those confines. Create a policy that serves that the needs of scholarly communication in good faith, educate your campus about the policy, and reinforce the policy with your procedures.

Tim Gritten

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, E-mail:

Embedded librarian best practices

ACRL’s Distance Learning Section (DLS) panel of experts discussed different ways that embedded librarianship has evolved at their academic locations. Deborah Nolan (Towson University) moderated the panel and provided historical context for trends in embedded librarianship. Kathleen Pickens-French and Krista McDonald (both of the Hamilton Campus at Miami University) presented their rule of threes concerning content, videos, information-seeking behavior, and more. They encouraged the audience to be sustainable and scalable when it comes to library pages. Consistency across pages and “just because you can doesn’t mean you should (add the technology/idea)” were emphasized.

Kathleen Anne Langan (Western Michigan University) gave a Prezi presentation on her pilot program that taught university instructors how to use e-learning technology and information literacy concepts. Langan enrolled professors in an online class using D2L to introduce them to best practices in information literacy, a literacy toolkit, pre- and post-tests, among other tricks. She argued, borrowing from the book Information Ecologies (1999), that librarians are the keystone species to the information cycle’s flow among students, faculty, and librarians.

Paul Betty (Regis University) advocated librarians’ goals should include creating lifelong learners, not just assisting with the task at hand. He said this is possible when we collaborate in course development and redesign and make strong relationships with faculty members. Regis University has seen a 300 percent increase in library instruction over the past ten years because of their targeted approach to instruction. Using timesaving tips, appealing to different learning styles, and working as a member of a team, Betty argued that you, too, can become successfully and personally embedded.

The committee also created a bibliography of embedded librarianship articles at http://mypage.iu.edu/~mcclell/DLSBib2012.doc.

Rachel E. Cannady

Mississippi State University, E-mail:

Streaming video in academic libraries and higher educationAn era of transformation

The joint Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS)/ALA Video Round Table (VRT) program “Ubiquitous video: Can libraries offer it? (or can libraries adapt?)” featured a panel on the use of streaming video in higher education, which included a faculty member, a media librarian, and a content developer.

Cyndy Scheibe (Ithaca College) spoke to the pedagogical need for video and why the mode of access is so critical. Scheibe remarked on the recent research in brain science showing the importance in varying modes of learning, including video. Video can also be very empowering for students with disabilities who have difficulty interpreting text, but who can interpret film. Scheibe explained her use of video in her classroom—students don’t “just kick back and watch a movie,” but the are engaged in her use of short clips, sometimes shown repeatedly, to answer questions and have a conversation about what they are watching.

Claire Stewart (Northwestern University Library) provided some practical tips for librarians to consider when acquiring licensed digital media. For example, an outright purchase or perpetual license is preferred over a lease-style arrangement. It is also important to note that sometimes an aggregator just cannot secure the rights for a video. Some additional value-added features to look for include the ability to view transcripts, make and save clips, and embed in course management systems.

Stephen Rhind-Tutt (Alexander Street Press) gave a glimpse of the changing consumer market—high-definition, high-quality educational streaming video is on the way, and the case can no longer be made that video is simply for entertainment.

EBSS and VRT thank Alexander Street Press for their generosity and participating in this program.

Debbie Feisst

University of Alberta, E-mail:

NIH public access policy and the library

Sponsored by the Science and Technology Section (STS) and cosponsored by the Health Science Interest Group (HSIG), this program was moderated by Shannon Johnson (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne). The session addressed the history of the policy and the variety of roles librarians can take to support the NIH Public Access Policy at their own institutions. The panel of speakers took questions from an audience of about 100 attendees.

Neil Thakur (National Institutes of Health) gave his presentation virtually. He provided an overview of the policy and its relationship to the law PL111-8 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009), spelled out the components of MyNCBI, MyBibliograpy, the PubMed Central submission methods, copyright, and citing with PMCID numbers, as well as offered suggestions on the ways institutions can ensure compliance.

Scott Lapinsky (Countway Library, Harvard University Medical School) gave an overview of the guidance Countway Library offers its scholars. He outlined the objectives, challenges, allies and partners, tools developed to facilitate deposit and support researchers, and statistics, which show more than 11,000 Harvard faculty are publishing about 100 NIH-funded research articles per week. Preliminary observations indicate that properly submitted manuscripts to PubMed Central can improve an H factor. He encouraged more and continued outreach to ensure authors understand copyright management, manuscript submission, and obtaining the PMCID.

Heather Joseph (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition [SPARC]) spoke on the last four years of NIH Public Access, addressing the four strategies (open access journals, open access repositories, author rights/open license education, and open access policies).

She referred to the current factsheet (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/public_access_policy_implications_2012.pdf), as well as results from the PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research) project. PEER looks at the impact that systematic archiving of research in open access repositories might have on the publishing industry. SPARC is surveying other agencies interest in moving to open access and data sharing.

Joseph did point out that Congress has a current bill H.R. 3699, which proposes to overturn the NIH Public Access Policy, nevertheless, in spite of anti-open access legislation, this has been a banner year for open access support.

Marcia Henry

California State University-Northridge, E-mail:

Grown ups just want to have fun!

Tangrams and wizard duels provided just some of the excitement at “Grown Ups Just Want to Have Fun! Library Play Programming for College Students of All Ages.” Scott Nicholson (Syracuse University School of Information Studies) kicked off the program with an overview of gaming, including a breakdown of formats and archetypes, and its value in making interdisciplinary connections on campus.

Noting that a game is “not just a box on a table,” he emphasized that it is fundamentally about creating a world that facilitates memorable experiences. Other practical tips and recommendations offered included establishing goals and then selecting the play activities that support them, incorporating debriefings, and considering gaming models used at nonlibrary organizations to discover other innovative ways of engaging with users.

Fantasia Thorne (Syracuse University) next detailed her work organizing team-based library competitions for college and local area students. Combining activities such as scavenger hunts and challenges inspired by NBC’s Minute to Win It, these events have taught students fun facts about their library, while building sustained partnerships with groups throughout campus.

Collaboration was also a theme in Mary Broussard’s (Lycoming College) discussion on Lycoming’s Harry Potter Nights. She provided creative ideas about hosting themed events on a limited budget, from showcasing the artistic and culinary talents of library staff to recruiting in-costume professors as volunteers. Pauline Shostack (Onondaga Community College) then described History Mystery, a multimedia trivia game celebrating her institution’s 50th anniversary. In addition to increasing awareness of the college’s history and key library resources, it was also inventively designed so that online students and alumni could participate.

Throughout the program, the audience was continually engaged through open idea exchanges and, to much enthusiasm, amusing demonstrations of the presenters’ examples. Detailed slides and handouts are available at http://ala12.scheduler.ala.org/node/160.

Tarida Anantachai

Syracuse University, E-mail:

Diving in and learning to swim as new distance education librarian

Four librarians who all fell into positions serving distance learners presented the panel “Diving In and Learning to Swim as a New Distance Education Librarian.” The panelists, representing a variety of institutions and roles, began by each describing the climate of online/distance education at their institution and their place in supporting it. This introduction clearly demonstrated the wide scope of scenarios currently present in higher education.

The panel gave essential information for those new to or interested in serving distance populations. Each panelist presented three tips in a total of four categories. Rachel Cannady (Mississippi State University) opened by describing how she created a relay team at her institution through building relationships, listening, and advocating for distance populations. Britt Fagerheim (Utah State University) followed with encouragement to be brave and dive in by taking risks, improvising, and collaborating. Heidi Steiner (Norwich University) emphasized the importance of plunging into the deep to ensure distance populations are part of overall library goals and plans through planning, marketing, and collecting. Beth Filar-Williams (University of North Carolina-Greensboro) closed out the panel with tips on how to swim with the current by using technology for instruction, outreach, and keeping up; dropping myriad technologies, tactics, and names along the way.

During transitions, the audience was queried about its key takeaways using Poll Everywhere. Audience members revealed they are challenged by advocating, full of ideas for being brave, and most apt to market existing services. They also took away key points such as “raise consciousness.” The Q&A included discussions of embedded librarian scalability, first steps in starting a new position, and how to support distance populations with a small staff.

Panel slides and supplementary information are available at http://guides.library.ms-state.edu/divingin.

Heidi Steiner

Norwich University, E-mail:

Learning styles: Fiction, nonfiction, or mystery?

Moderator Anne-Marie Deitering (Oregon State University Libraries) opened the Instruction Section’s (IS) program by asking attendees, “How many use learning styles in your teaching?” A majority raised their hands. The panelists then investigated learning styles, its critiques, and its relevance to information literacy instruction.

In her overview of learning styles, Char Booth (Claremont Colleges Library) used an onion analogy to describe the different layers of the instructional approach.1 She remarked that, like an onion, some who “cut in” to learning styles “cry,” some are “stoked,” and others “reduce or caramelize” it to fit their teaching practice. Peppering her overview with critiques, Booth persevered through tears while dicing learning styles—and perhaps extracted some tasty ingredients to caramelize her future teaching practice.

Lori Mestre (Undergraduate Library, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) offered further critiques, examining the reliability/validity of learning styles measurements and whether students truly learn better in their preferred learning styles. However, Mestre seemed fairly “stoked” about learning styles theory—mentioning that she incorporates it into her teaching practice based on evidence supporting its utility.2 Jean Runyon (Anne Arundel Community College) was similarly stoked about the applicability of learning styles to online instruction, calling Mestre’s research “amazing”—or, as the Brits would say, she thought Mestre really “knew her onions” regarding learning styles.

After further discussion in response to questions from moderator Deitering and attendees, the ultimate consensus was this: Engaging students in active learning using multiple modalities, designing instruction guided by content-tailored outcomes, and continuously reflecting on our teaching is the best recipe for student learning—no matter how you slice it.

Amanda Swygart-Hobaugh

Georgia State University, E-mail:

Fair use, intellectual property, and new media

ACRL’s Literatures in English Section (LES), Arts Section (Arts), Scholarly Communication Committee, and Copyright Committee sponsored a panel featuring Jack Lerner (University of Southern California), Kevin Smith (Duke University), and Dean Cheley (Donaldson & Callif). The panelists discussed the current legal cases affecting fair use rights in libraries, including Cambridge University Press v. Becker (Georgia State University Case), Authors Guild v. Google (Google Book Search Case), Authors Guild v. Hathi Trust, and AIME v. UCLA.

Lerner spoke about orphan works and the need to free them from their current legal limbo. Smith, discussing the Georgia State case, stated that it is only a district court case, which is not binding on all libraries, and is not a definitive resolution to the issue of fair use in libraries. Cheley, citing practices used in film making, gave some practical advice to librarians about making fair use decisions. He said librarians should ask themselves three questions: 1) Are you using material to illustrate a specific point? 2) Are you using only enough material to make that point? 3) Is it clear to the audience the point you are making?

According to the panel, fair use is an important tool for research and education in the digital age. Though there are still questions, there are also concrete steps librarians and others can take in asserting fair use rights. One resource that all the panelists cited as a helpful guide is the ARL Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (www.arl.org/pp/ppcopyright/codefairuse/index.shtml).

Shawn Martin

University of Pennsylvania, E-mail:

Publishing without fear

First, the bad news: Writing is hard. But wait. The good news is: We’re all in it together. An expert panel of authors and editors came together to equip aspiring and experienced writers to better tackle the challenges of authorship. “Riding the Publishing Rollercoaster: Practical Strategies from Research to Writing,” a program sponsored by ACRL’s Publications Coordinating Committee, overflowed with essential tips and insights for academic librarians. Kathryn Deiss (ACRL), Katherine O’Clair (California Polytechnic State University), Wendi Arant Kaspar (Texas A&M University), R. David Lankes (Syracuse University), and Char Booth (Claremont Colleges Library) reminisced, informed, and entertained a standing-room-only crowd.

Due to the diversity of the panelists’ experiences, their presentations covered notably different ground. Starting off the session, Deiss offered the book editor and publisher’s perspective, while O’Clair followed by discussing her experiences editing a book. Kaspar, editor of two prestigious journals, talked articles, while Lankes described the range of publishing options available to authors. Booth, characterizing herself as “burned-out writer,” shared more than a dozen points of advice about good writing and maintaining a writing/life balance.

Three messages, repeated by multiple panelists, surfaced as valuable takeaways for attendees: 1) when submitting work for publication, expect to get edits and be asked for revision. As Kaspar underlined, “edits equal love,” and mean that the editor sees promise in your writing; 2) editors are human beings, and it’s important to maintain open communication throughout the publication process, from initial proposal through final edits, to make sure you both get what you want and need; and 3) in choosing a topic to write about, it’s critical to choose something you care about that contributes to the field—and, above all, to write with creativity and passion.

Kim Leeder

College of Western Idaho, E-mail:

Data curation collaborations

The Research Program Committee’s panel session “Data Curation as a Form of Collaborative Research” cosponsored by the Science and Technology Section (STS), featured four panelists, three of whom were librarians, the fourth a sociologist.

Each panelist reported on their institution’s data curation projects, highlighting tools developed to support infrastructure, resources available to support data curation projects, collaborations with faculty, challenges they are facing, and anticipated needs for the future.

A common challenge with data curation is to get faculty on board. Sociologist Sophia Acord (University of Florida) stated that administration should provide incentives to faculty for their involvement with digital projects, particularly by recognizing this work as scholarship.

Other panelists offered strategies for collaborating with faculty and gaining administrative support for their institutions. For example, D. Scott Brandt (Purdue University) described a Data Curation Profiles Toolkit created at Purdue to help librarians open conversations with faculty. The toolkit is available for use.

For administrative buy-in, Harriett Green (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) mentioned the Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0 (http://hastac.org/node/2182) as an excellent source to share with campus administration. Finally, Patricia Hswe (Pennsylvania State University), suggested that libraries develop a service model that incorporates data curation with other areas, such as library instruction.

The program drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 160 attendees. Many of the participants mentioned that the speakers were “first-rate” and “great.” Copies of the speakers’ presentations are available at http://ala12.scheduler.ala.org/node/159.

Sheril Hook

University of Toronto, E-mail:

Winning on two fronts

The Residency Interest Group (RIG) sponsored this panel, which discussed residencies from the perspective of residents and administrators. Sara Arnold-Garza (Towson University) moderated.

Hannah Lee (University of Delaware) described her residency experience as a way to get her foot in the door and create a portfolio of work, while providing the library with staffing flexibility and opportunities for collaboration.

Mark A. Puente (Association of Research Libraries) reflected upon his experience as a resident, which followed a cohort model. This model built community and increased engagement among residents. He appreciated the early career exposure to a variety of library functions, which developed his organizational understanding of libraries and allowed him to identify his own strengths, as well as the opportunity for formal and informal mentoring.

Gerald Holmes (University of North Carolina-Greensboro) illustrated residencies as a way to nourish diversity in academic libraries. This nourishment creates a diversity-friendly environment not only for the resident, but also for current and prospective employees, increasing recruitment and retention of librarians from diverse backgrounds, according to Holmes.

Deborah A. Nolan (Towson University) highlighted residencies as a way to create a new vision for libraries, positively effecting institutional climate, spotlighting commitment to diversity, and increasing library visibility on campus.

A lively Q & A followed in which audience members probed for additional information, such as how to establish a residency and how to navigate cultural concerns. Along with excitement at the prospect of such positions, there were also laments regarding the high-degree of competition involved. For more information on residencies, visit RIG at acrl.ala.org/residency/.

Amanda Youngbar

Towson University, E-mail:

Current status of academic librarians

The Committee on the Status of Academic Librarians’ program featured four librarians who shared their perspectives on how librarians can remain relevant and adapt to change during transitional times.

Ann Watson (Scarborough Library at Shepherd University) discussed her experience restructuring library positions during her first year as dean. Using the method outlined in the book Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, Watson discussed how she evaluated and redesigned position descriptions through the following four frames: structural, human resources, political, and symbolic.

Using methods from her book, Productivity for Librarians, Samantha Hines (College Library at University of Montana) shared time management tips that can be employed to increase efficiency and workload balance. In addition, she provided strategies for combatting workload creep by learning how to say “no” when approached by administration or colleagues to take on additional tasks.

Robert Farrell (Lehman College-CUNY) drew on the “predator” model of entrepreneurship introduced in the book From Predators to Icons. Libraries can thrive during challenging economic times by adopting an entrepreneurial approach that seeks profit-able opportunities funded by parties other than the library. He advocated that librarians adopt a view of the entrepreneur as one who preys on unexploited, low-cost/high-profit opportunities to leverage “other people’s money” to build capital for later innovation.

Suzy Szasz Palmer (Greenwood Library at Longwood University) wrapped up the program with a discussion on maintaining professional development opportunities during challenging economic times so that libraries continue to become “learning organizations.” Administrators can support their staff by providing time and money towards professional development, bringing opportunities to the library and collaborating with neighboring institutions. The benefits of continued professional development include increased retention rates, improvements to customer service, and succession planning.

Connie Strittmatter

Montana State University, E-mail:

The librarian has left the building

Faced with an imminent critical mass of librarians retiring, university libraries must identify and develop potential leaders from within the organization. To address how this can be accomplished, ACRL’s University Library Section (ULS) sponsored a panel discussion comprised of succession planning experts, which was moderated by ULS Annual Program Committee Chair Yvonne Mery (University of Arizona).

Kyomi Deards (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) began the program emphasizing that succession planning should be “broader-based” and also germane to the institution. In lieu of traditional mentoring, she recommended that veteran librarians sponsor their colleagues in pursuing leadership and scholarship opportunities.

Christina Gomez (University of California-Davis) described the University of Notre Dame succession planning case study. The impending retirement of Theodore Hesburgh compelled the administrators to groom several candidates for the position resulting in the selection of one president and several vice-presidents. She concluded leadership’s commitment is integral to effective succession planning.

Joan Giesecke (University of Nebraska-Lincoln [UNL] Libraries) provided an account of succession planning at UNL in which candidates embark on a program of “organizational learning.” They are encouraged to serve on a variety of teams and participate in leadership workshops. This develops leaders internally while simultaneously contributing to “the national talent pool.”

Katherine Simpson (American University) opined a talent management program could be a potential model for libraries. Talent management, encompassing the fulfillment of strategic goals and determining resource allocation, offers a more holistic approach incorporating many elements of succession planning.

Jerome Offord Jr.’s (Lincoln University) ARL succession planning survey results of 49 respondents disclosed the lack of formal succession planning. The barriers to succession planning include institutional politics, federal law and ethics, administration, and staff.

Rachel A. Erb

Colorado State University, E-mail:

Documenting sexual dissidence and diversity in France, Italy, and Spain

Documenting and preserving minority cultures is an ongoing challenge for libraries and archives, as most of this cultural production continues to exist beyond the mainstream. Such is the case for sexual minorities in progressive societies including France, Italy, and Spain. The program sponsored by the Western European Studies Section (WESS) provided a learning opportunity not only to assess voids in our collections but also offer novel strategies for addressing such gaps.

The first speaker, James Michael Fortney (University of Illinois-Chicago) talked about gay Italian prose fiction and cinema. Pier Paolo Pasolini is the first writer that will be mentioned when talking about Italian gay literature. However, what is gay literature if not Pasolini? Fortney answered this question by giving an overview of gay Italian prose fiction.

Gerard Koskovich (independent scholar and antiquarian book dealer) talked about LGBT movements in France. He pointed out that France has a long history of cultural production by and about what we call now the LGBT movement. But no one has yet developed specialized research collections focusing on French LGBT studies. Koskovich gave samples of materials librarians might consider adding to their collections, an overview of efforts to create special collections, and pointed to some useful little-known online reference resources for French LGBT bibliography.

The final speaker was Mili Hernandez (publisher and owner of Madrid’s LGBT bookstore Berkana), who talked about her journey as LGBT publisher and book dealer. In 1995 she founded EGALES, the first publishing house in Spain and Latin America devoted solely to LGBT themes. Hernandez has been at the forefront of the LGBT movement in Spain for the past two decades and has been called the country’s “Harvey Milk” for her social activism.

Web pages and more information about the program are available at http://wess-web.info/index.php/Documenting_Sexual_Dissidence_and_Diversity_in_France,_Italy_and_Spain.

Marcus Richter

Alma College, E-mail:

Insert catchy label here or the end of Gen Y, digital natives, and the millenial student myth

The Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) panel explored the work of three individuals who dispel the myths between technology, opportunity, and social class. Moderated by Pamela Mann (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), the panelists included Yago S. Cura (Los Angeles Library Foundation), Roberto C. Degadillo (University of California-Davis), and Virginia Eubanks (cofounder of Our Knowledge, Our Power and Popular Technology Workshops and author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age [MIT Press, 2011]).

Cura opened the discussion with a brief overview of the training program he provides to predominantly Spanish-speaking parents on accessing free resources from the L.A. Public Library. Since October 2010, Cura has given 71 presentations reaching more than 4,500 people in the Los Angeles area. Cura emphasized that “education is an industry,” adding that parents must be responsible for their child’s educational trajectory and not leave it to overburdened teachers and under-resourced school districts.

Degadillo touched on his outreach efforts to Woodland Community College (WCC). Due to budget constraints resulting in an understaffed library at WCC, Degadillo helped to provide remedial research skill courses. He remarked that more collaborations between neighboring institutions need to occur, particularly in the face of budget cuts.

Eubanks, speaking from her extensive work in community technology centers in low-income areas, noted that “communities that are poor are not necessarily technology poor”; bridging the digital divide is about creating space to use technology, not teaching skills.

The session concluded with an open discussion of how a high-tech equity agenda can operate in libraries today. The panel agreed that social standing does not have a reflection on the technology divide; as information professionals we must help people connect for the right reasons.

Katie Crook

New York Public Library, crook. E-mail:

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