News from the Field

David Free

Undergraduate research award named for DePaul librarian

To commemorate the 40-year career at De-Paul University of recently retired Head of Special Collections and Archives Kathryn DeGraff, the university Department of History announced that an award will be given each year at the department’s Student History Conference: the Kathryn DeGraff Award for the Best History Department Undergraduate Methods Course Paper.

In announcing the creation of the award at a reception held in DeGraff’s honor in September 2012, James Krokar, associate chair of the Department of History, noted the sustained collaboration between the library and the Department of History, especially as represented by DeGraff’s work with faculty members to integrate special collections materials into undergraduate education. “Whether in advanced classes, focal point seminars, or . . . in our history methods courses, these students, thanks to her, have had the ability to work like professional historians with the primary sources that underlay all historical knowledge,” he stated.

Information on the DePaul University Library’s Department of Special Collections and Archives is available at Information on the De-Paul University Student History Conference is available at

DePaul University Associate Professor of History James Krokar and retired Head of Special Collections and Archives Kathryn DeGraff. Photo credit: Jeff Carrion, DePaul University.

Apply for Immersion ’13 Teacher and Program Tracks

ACRL is currently accepting applications for the Information Literacy Immersion ’13 Program Teacher and Program tracks to be held July 28–August 2, 2013, at Seattle University. Immersion ’13 provides four-and-a-half days of intensive information literacy training and education for academic librarians. Immersion allows participants to embark on a path of teacher development and pedagogical inquiry in a community of practice for academic librarians devoted to collaborative learning, individual renewal, and instructional effectiveness.

Acceptance to Immersion ’13 is competitive to ensure an environment that fosters group interaction and active participation. Complete program and track details, along with application materials, are available online at The application deadline is December 7, 2012, and notifications will be issued in February 2013.

David Foster Wallace research materials

Materials related to David Foster Wallace's posthumous 2011 novel The Pale King are now open for research at the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas-Austin. The materials were acquired as part of the Wallace (1962–2008) archive in 2010 but were retained by publisher Little, Brown and Co. until after the book’s publication.

The Pale King materials fill six boxes and include handwritten and typescript drafts, outlines, characters lists, research materials, and a set of notebooks containing reading notes, names, snippets of dialogue, definitions, quotations, and clippings. In conjunction with the publication of The Pale King, the Ransom Center partnered with Little, Brown and Co. to offer an online preview of materials from the archive in April 2011. The preview and more information on the archive is available at

California Digital Library launches DataUp

In October 2012, the University of California’s Digital Library (CDL) and its partners launched DataUp, a free data management tool. Researchers struggling to meet new data management requirements from funders, journals, and their own institutions now can use the DataUp Web application and a Microsoft Excel add-in to document and archive their tabular data. CDL partnered with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft Research Connections, and DataONE to create the free tool, which creates a direct link between researchers and data repositories. The DataUp application allows users to upload tabular data in either Excel format or comma-separated value format. More information on the project is available at

PaLA launches open access scholarly journal

The College and Research Division of the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) launched a scholarly, open access journal in October 2012. Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice (PaLRaP), will be peer reviewed by members of the Pennsylvania library community and will be freely available online. The journal, published in March and October, will share information about the research and practices taking place in Pennsylvania’s academic libraries. PaLRaP will include research, practice, commentary, and news articles from all areas of librarianship, with a special focus on activities in Pennsylvania’s academic libraries. For more information, visit

EBSCO launches Education Source database

EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has released a new resource dedicated to the study of education. Education Source is a bibliographic and full-text database developed from a merger of high-quality databases from EBSCO and H. W. Wilson. Designed to meet the needs of education students, professionals, and policy makers, Education Source includes full text for more than 1,700 journals, 550 books and monographs, education-related conference papers, citations for more than 4 million articles, including book reviews and more than 100,000 controlled and cross-referenced names of educational tests.

Coverage in Education Source spans all levels of education from early childhood to higher education and also includes educational specialties, such as multilingual education, health education, and testing. Subject matter includes Adult Education, Continuing Education, Distance Learning, Government Funding, Multicultural/Ethic Education, Social Issues, Student Counseling, and Vocational Education, as well as many others. More information is available at

Guidelines for University Library Services to Undergraduate Students draft revision

The ACRL Undergraduate Librarians Discussion Group is now soliciting comments on a draft revision of the Guidelines for University Library Services to Undergraduate Students. The draft revision would supersede the guidelines developed and published in June 2005.

Review the draft at, and send comments to Discussion Group Convener Pam MacKintosh at E-mail: by Friday, December 14, 2012.

New leadership for College Library Directors’ Mentor Program

For the past 20 years, the College Library Directors’ Mentor Program has provided new college library directors with support during their critical first year by matching them with an experienced mentor, inviting them to participate in a three-day seminar with their peers, and giving them an online opportunity through a closed electronic list to ask for advice throughout their careers.

The program developed out of the ad hoc Leadership Committee of the ACRL College Libraries Section (CLS) created by Jackie McCoy (then chair of CLS and later ACRL president) in 1988. McCoy charged the committee with improving leadership among small colleges. Two grants from the Council on Library and Information Resources helped support the program through its first four years, beginning in 1992.

Throughout the life of the program, Larry Hardesty served as the program director, performed mentor matches and managed finances, and Mignon Adams led the seminar component of the program. Tom Kirk joined the program leadership about ten years ago, following the departure of Evan Farber. With the help of an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to aid in the transition to new leadership, Hardesty, Kirk, and Adams conducted a national search and selected Irene Herold of Keene State University as the new program director.

Each year the program selects approximately 15 first-year college library directors from primarily undergraduate colleges with enrollments of fewer than 3,500 students. These directors are matched with mentors who provide advice and support during the year.

For more than 20 years, 295 first-year college library directors were matched with one of 151 mentors, with 379 different individuals participating as first-year directors or as mentors. The first-year directors represent 242 small colleges from 43 states and Canada. New directors and mentors together embody a substantial majority of the target institutions.

During their first year, the new directors attend a three-day seminar prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Here, they discuss problems, share ideas, and learn that they are not alone.

Along with the mentor matches and the yearly seminar, ALA hosts an electronic list, open only to those who have participated as first-year directors or mentors, with currently 223 subscribers. The Web site for the program ( is hosted by ACRL and is managed by the CLS Webmaster.

Although strongly supported by ACRL and CLS, the program has operated as a separate entity, successively overseen fiducially by Eckerd College and then Austin College. In 2004, the program incorporated in the State of Nebraska as a stand-alone nonprofit corporation [501(c)3] with Hardesty, Kirk, and Adams as its board of directors.

A select group of college library directors have been invited to become members of a newly constituted board, responsible for the oversight of the program and the nonprofit corporation that administers it. The board includes Debbie Malone, chair; Celia Rabinowitz, secretary; Janet Fore, treasurer; Bob Fleming; Bob Kieft; Frank Quinn; and Faye Watkins. The leadership team includes seminar faculty members Jill Gremmels, Susan Barnes Whyte, and Melissa Jadlos. Barbara Burd will oversee mentors.

The retiring program leaders and the institutions at which they formerly served as library directors are: Mignon Adams, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia; Larry Hardesty, Eckerd College and Austin College; and Tom Kirk, Berea College and Earlham College.

Individuals interested in participating in the program should contact Irene Herold, Library Director, Keene State College, 229 Main St., Keene, NH 03435-3201; 603-358-2736; E-mail: .—Larry Hardesty, Tom Kirk, and Mignon Adams

Explore a post-literate future with Beyond Literacy

ACRL and the Ontario Library Association (OLA) announce the online publication of Beyond Literacy by Michael Ridley of the University of Guleph. Beyond Literacy is an interactive serialized online thought experiment exploring the demise of literacy and the rise of other capabilities, capacities, or tools that will effectively and advantageously displace reading and writing.

While the prospect of the end of literacy is disturbing for many, it will not be a decline into a new Dark Age but rather the beginning of an era of advanced human capability and connection. The post-literate world is to be welcomed not feared. Of course, getting there could be a bit disruptive. In Beyond Literacy, Ridley examines the nature of literacy and its shortcomings, explores the possibilities for a post-literate capacity, and imagines the transition to this very different future.

Issued as a digital open access publication, Beyond Literacy is designed to foster dialogue and debate, either as part of the book’s Web presence or in other Internet venues. The work is being created in conjunction with a graduate course at the University of Toronto iSchool. The course, INF2301H – Special Topics in Information: Beyond Literacy, will place students in the roles of learner, researcher, curator, and contributor in a network-based scholarly dialogue as they create additional content for Beyond Literacy and engage in dialogue about the concepts with each other and the broader community of readers.

The work is freely available for reading, comment, and discussion at

Tech Bits . . .

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

Receive feedback on the structure of your Web site with WebSort—a digital card sorting tool. Instead of sorting your content using index cards, as you would in a traditional card sort, participants organize your content by dragging and dropping bits of content into categories (either categories you create or user-defined ones). Find out what your users think about your Web site content and how it should be organized. Even though it lacks the anecdotal information that can be gathered during an in-person card sort, it is quicker and reaches a much broader audience. WebSort is easy-to-use and free for one study of up to ten participants. It also includes a variety of data visualization options so you can analyze your results in different ways.

—Rebecca Blakiston,

University of Arizona Libraries

. . . WebSort

Copyright 2012© American Library Association

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