News from the Field

David Free


2017 ACRL Environmental Scan released

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee releases an environmental scan of higher education, including developments with the potential for continuing impact on academic libraries. The 2017 environmental scan provides a broad review of the current higher education landscape, with special focus on the state of academic and research libraries. The document builds on earlier ACRL reports, including the Top Trends in Academic Libraries. The 2017 environmental scan is freely available on the ACRL website at http://bit.ly/2mKLv6u (PDF).

University of Kentucky Libraries sign GPO Preservation Steward agreement

The University of Kentucky Libraries signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) to become the second Preservation Steward library in GPO’s Federal Information Preservation Network. Under this agreement, the libraries pledge to permanently preserve print collections of Works Progress/Work Projects Administration (WPA) and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The WPA collection contains more than 3,000 documents from the Great Depression relief program designed to provide work for Americans. The ARC documents show the Commission’s efforts for economic development for Appalachia since the 1960s.

To help federal depository libraries meet the needs of efficient government document stewardship in the digital era, GPO has established preservation stewards to support continued public access to historic U.S. government documents. GPO welcomes all federal depository libraries that wish to participate as preservation stewards. The Norlin Library of the University of Colorado-Boulder became the first preservation steward in October 2016.

Monthly Innovation in Libraries grants from Library Pipeline

Library advocacy organization Library Pipeline’s Innovation Committee has partnered with the Awesome Foundation to pilot an Innovation in Libraries chapter that will be the organizing hub for an exciting, new grassroots grant opportunity. Each month through October 2017, innovative library-related projects can apply for a $1,000 grant. These grants are funded by librarians, for librarians—a community of 20 trustees will give or direct $50 per month each towards projects they deem worthy of support. Award recipients will be asked to report back publicly on what worked, what didn’t, and what they learned, as well as to make the results of their efforts openly available to others to reuse in communities across the world. For more information and to apply, visit the Awesome Foundation website at www.awesomefoundation.org/en/chapters/libraries .

OCLC introduces Tipasa interlibrary loan management system

OCLC recently introduced Tipasa, a cloud-based interlibrary loan management system that automates routine borrowing and lending functions for individual libraries. The new Tipasa system is built on the OCLC WorldShare technology platform and takes advantage of the world’s largest resource sharing network. Tipasa reimagines features and functionality of the Windows-based IL-Liad service, and moves them to the cloud. Because updates and enhancements happen automatically in a cloud-based system, Tipasa requires only limited IT resources. The simple interface is easy to use, making it easy to train staff, volunteers, and student assistants. Libraries have the option to create unmediated processes to move requests to lending libraries and then to the user—anywhere, anytime, on any device—without requiring manual approval. Library users can receive customized email and text notifications, and they can access content as soon as it becomes available. More information is available at www.oclc.org/en/tipasa.html.

Gale releases final installments of Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library

Gale, a Cengage company, recently announced the availability of the final modules in the series Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library. Now available are Sciences, History, and Geography, which features historical monographs covering medicine, sciences, geography, and more; as well as Literature, Grammar, Language, Catalogues and Periodicals, which features fiction, poetry, grammatical and linguistic works, catalogs, and periodicals. With Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library, scholars can search full-text material in Arabic, English, and other languages, and discover through metadata and scanned images content in Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Syriac, and 17 other languages. With this resource comes a number of technological innovations pioneered by Gale to ensure scholars in Arabic-speaking countries and beyond can research the extensive range of texts, including interfaces in Arabic and European languages, right-to-left-read navigation of Arabic texts, an embedded Arabic keyboard, and newly developed optical character recognition software. For more information on Gale’s Arabic digitization program visit www.gale.com/eapb.

ProQuest integrates text, video search

One comprehensive search now delivers results from both the ProQuest platform and Alexander Street’s Academic Video Online, connecting researchers to documentaries, training videos, journal articles, news, dissertations, primary sources, ebooks, and more in one place. Searching text and video in one place enables users of all kinds to find the breadth of reliable content they need faster, shifting their time from the hunt for information to analysis and learning. The ProQuest platform is the foundation for hundreds of ProQuest’s most popular resources for researchers and faculty, with an extraordinary range of content types. Interoperability with Alexander Street’s Academic Video Online will enable users to discover all the library’s ProQuest platform content along with more than 50,000 video titles spanning essential subject areas, including anthropology, business, counseling, film, health, history, music, and others.

Revised Guidelines: Competencies for Special Collections Professionals

The ACRL Board of Directors approved a revision of the association’s Guidelines: Competencies for Special Collections Professionals in March 2017. Developed by the ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Task Force to Review Competencies for Special Collections Professionals, the revision updates the competencies first developed in 2008. The competencies are available on the ACRL website at www.ala.org/acrl/standards/comp4specollect.

Guidelines for the Screening and Appointment of Academic Librarians draft

ACRL is seeking comments on a draft of new Guidelines for the Screening and Appointment of Academic Librarians before completing final revisions and submitting the standards for approval. Please review the draft guidelines on the ACRL website at www.ala.org/acrl/standards, and submit your comments online at https://ufl.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0IgD007nuZtdK8l.

ACRL publishes Students Lead the Library, The First-Year Experience Cookbook

ACRL announces the publication of Students Lead the Library: The Importance of Student Contributions to the Academic Library, edited by Sara Arnold-Garza and Carissa Tomlinson, and The First-Year Experience Cookbook, edited by Raymond Pun and Meggan Houlihan.


Students Lead the Library features case studies of programs and initiatives that seek student input, assistance, and leadership in the library. Academic librarians are driven by the belief that student scholars are at the heart of the library. Collections, programs, and services become meaningful when students use and learn from them. Websites and other digital services, buildings, marketing and communication strategies, and content are designed to meet their needs. The library exists, at least in large part, for the students—and student employment, leadership, and input into the library can increase engagement and outreach and improve both the library and the students it employs.

In six parts—“Students as Employees,” “Students as Curators,” “Students as Ambassadors,” the “Library as Client, “Student Groups as Library Leaders,” and “Students as Library Designers”—Students Lead the Library gives practical perspectives and best practices for implementing these kinds of initiatives in ways that can be easily adopted to fit many different needs and circumstances. Through the library, students can develop leadership skills, cultivate high levels of engagement, and offer peer learning opportunities. Through the students, libraries can create participatory design processes, enhancement and transformation of the library’s core functions, and expressed library value for stakeholders.

The newest addition to the ACRL Cookbook series, The First-Year Experience Cookbook compiles lessons and techniques for academic librarians to adapt, repurpose, and implement in their libraries. First-year students face many challenges in adjusting to university life, including making the most of the university library. Librarians are constantly addressing student misconceptions about libraries and locating information, and have been working hard to reach first-year students and create high-impact practices in student retention.


The First-Year Experience Cookbook provides librarians with a series of innovative approaches to teaching and assessing information literacy skills during a student’s first year. It features four chapters—“Library Orientation,” “Library Instruction,” “Programs,” and “Assessment”—and more than 60 practical, easy-to-implement recipes.

Students Lead the Library: The Importance of Student Contributions to the Academic Library and The First-Year Experience Cookbook are available for purchase through the ALA Online Store, Amazon.com, and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

Global Perspectives on Information Literacy: Fostering a Dialogue for International Understanding

ACRL’s Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee (SLILC) announces the publication of a new white paper, Global Perspectives on Information Literacy: Fostering a Dialogue for International Understanding. The paper includes chapters written by information literacy experts from around the world, including Africa, Canada, Europe, Oceania, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and seeks to share individual international perspectives that demonstrate how information literacy is viewed, taught, and conceptualized internationally.


The white paper is divided into 13 chapters covering several topics from each author’s regional and/or cultural perspective:

  • Research trends: What kind of IL-related research is being done in your country or region that has impacted your approach to teaching?
  • Models of information literacy: What standards/frameworks/models/learning theory/ pedagogy or specific paradigms do you most often use for inspiration in your teaching?
  • Theory and practice=praxis: Describe the connection between information literacy and student learning from your position or perspective. Alternatively, what is your teaching philosophy?
  • Role of librarians: What is the role of librarians in the higher education landscape of your country or region? How were/are you trained to become a teaching librarian?
  • Future visioning: Think about the future of information literacy for your region and share your vision for what you think that might look like in the next five-to-ten years.

A final reflection explores themes presented by the authors, including an overarching shift to an increasing conceptual approach to information literacy; a growing enthusiasm for the teaching role of librarians; a responsibility to prepare our students to live and work in intercultural settings; a growing focus on the intersection of critical pedagogy and information literacy; and the challenges presented by translating information literacy work into multiple languages.

For more information about the white paper and to watch the archived webinar with foreword author, Emma Coonan, please visit the SLILC homepage at http://acrl.libguides.com/slilc/home.

Tech Bits . .

Brought to you by the ACRL ULS Technology in University Libraries Committee

Looking for ways to transform a library instruction session into a game show? Check out Kahoot, a game-based audience response platform. Visit https://create.kahoot.it to create your free account and play a few trending games (aka “kahoots”). Got a taste for it? Depending on your learning objective, be it to review, poll, or encourage peer group discussions, you may create a quiz, jumble, survey, discussion, or even a blind kahoot to introduce a new information literacy concept with the help of images or videos. To play your game, students visit https://kahoot.it on their laptops, tablets, or phones, enter your game pin, and select answers using the four colorful buttons on their screens. Most importantly, your students will have fun learning individually and in teams.

—Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol

Millersville University

. . . Kahoot

https://kahoot.it

Copyright 2017© American Library Association

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