News from the Field

David Free

ACRL 2015 awards record-breaking 179 scholarships

ACRL has awarded a record-breaking 179 scholarships for the ACRL 2015 conference. Scholarships were awarded in six categories, including early- and mid-career librarians, support staff and Spectrum Scholar travel grants, amounting to a total of $112,995. Funding for 75 of these scholarships (more than $56,000 in value) was raised through the ACRL 75th Anniversary Kick Start the Future Scholarship Campaign.

“I am thrilled with number of the scholarships given for the conference and for the breadth of recipients,” noted ACRL 2015 Conference Chair Lori Goetsch of Kansas State University. “Scholarship numbers in the early-career group greatly exceeded previous conferences, and I am very pleased that we were able to add the mid-career category for Portland. The ACRL 75th anniversary campaign for scholarships played a significant role in increasing the number of scholarships given, so thanks to all who contributed to that effort.”

The association expresses its sincere appreciation to the individuals and groups who participated in the 75th anniversary campaign. Their support enables ACRL to build the skills and capacities of the next generation to serve the academic and research library profession and create a sustainable community. A full list of scholarship recipients is available on the ACRL 2015 website at

Digital Dante

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ (CUL/IS) Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS), in collaboration with the Department of Italian and CUL/IS’ Humanities and History Division, recently launched a new version of the Digital Dante website. The site is a publicly accessible digital research resource on Dante’s works with a special focus on the Divine Comedy and its translations.

The relaunched and enhanced website seeks to provide a venue for collaboration with scholars at other institutions and for new research and perspectives from the next generation of Dante scholars. Along with a new design showcasing images from Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the website features a number of new digital projects

The new Digital Dante retains and expands upon many of the essential features of the original site: translations of Dante’s works with easily navigable primary and comparison texts, lecture audio and annotations, and criticism and context. Digital Dante is available at

Synthesis of Assessment in Action team projects

ACRL has released a new report “Academic Library Contributions to Student Success: Documented Practices from the Field,” which synthesizes results from more than 70 higher education institutions from across North America that recently completed team-based assessment projects. These projects, from the first year of Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA), resulted in promising and effective approaches to demonstrating the library’s value to students’ academic success. By demonstrating the variety of ways that libraries contribute to student learning and success, academic librarians are establishing connections between such academic success outcomes as student retention, persistence, GPA, engagement, graduation, career preparedness, and different aspects of the library (e.g., instruction, reference, space and facilities, and collections).

The full report, an executive summary, and a database of team project descriptions are available through the AiA website at

Orbis Cascade Alliance, Ex Libris launch shared resource management and discovery system

The Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of 37 North American academic institutions, and Ex Libris Group recently announced completion of a two-year effort to migrate alliance members to a shared, next-generation library management and discovery solution. Alliance member libraries have migrated from 37 locally hosted systems comprised of four discovery and three ILS platforms to shared use of the cloud-based Alma unified resource management solution and Primo discovery solution.

“This is truly a collaborative project that could not have happened without the support of everyone across the alliance. We now share a system and there are so many possibilities for service, training, workflow and product knowledge and development,” stated Jane Carlin, chair of the alliance and library director at the University of Puget Sound.

Working in partnership, the alliance and Ex Libris each played critical roles in managing the complex migration of four cohorts comprised of 6–11 libraries, each cohort migrating over a six-month period. Beyond migration, the alliance and Ex Libris worked in partnership to create a new resource sharing solution and to develop consortial functionality that will allow alliance member libraries to build on their 20-year history of shared work.

ProQuest, UM, Oxford team to provide 25,000 early books as open access text

The full text of more than 25,000 titles from the ProQuest resource Early English Books Online (EEBO) are now openly available on the websites of the University of Michigan Library and the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford. The new open access titles are the result of work of the Text Creation Partnership (TCP), a long-standing effort to transcribe early modern print books, creating standardized, accurate XML/SGML encoded electronic text editions. Through funding from ProQuest, Jisc, and a collective of libraries, these text files are jointly owned by more than 150 libraries worldwide, creating a significant database of foundational scholarship.

From the first book published in English in 1473 through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and on through works produced in 1699, EEBO’s collection contains more than 130,000 books that have been digitized, with fully searchable images of each page. The images, along with enhanced meta data added, fulfill even the most exhaustive research requirements of graduate scholars in subject areas as diverse as English literature, history, philosophy, linguistics, theology, music, fine arts, education, mathematics, and science.

OCLC Research, ALISE name recipients of 2015 Library and Information Science Research Grants

OCLC Research and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) have awarded research grants to Matthew Griffis of the University of Southern Mississippi, Jin Ha Lee of the University of Washington, and Eric Meyers of the University of British Columbia. OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grants support research that advances librarianship and information science, promotes independent research to help librarians integrate new technologies into areas of traditional competence, and contributes to a better understanding of the library environment.

Full-time academic faculty (or the equivalent) in schools of library and information science worldwide are eligible to apply for grants of up to $15,000. Proposals are evaluated by a panel selected by OCLC and ALISE. Supported projects are expected to be conducted within approximately one year from the date of the award and, as a condition of the grant, researchers must furnish a final project report at the end of the grant period. More information about the OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grant Program can be found at A list of previous grant recipients is at

EasyBib integrates with EBSCO resources

EBSCO information Services and EasyBib have made it possible to directly export citations from EBSCO resources to EasyBib. The integration creates an effortless way for students and researchers to ethically use their resources. EasyBib is an information literacy platform that provides citation, note taking, and research tools. EBSCO provides research content through hundreds of databases and historical archives, as well as the ability to explore the library’s collection through a single search box via EBSCO Discovery Service.

With the EBSCO integration with EasyBib, library users simply have to select the article they want to cite from one of the hundreds of EBSCO databases, historical archives, or EBSCO Discovery Service and click on the EasyBib option in the export process. The user’s EasyBib account will open and allow the citation to be imported.

Springfield College’s creative staffing keeps library open

Springfield College’s Babson Library resorted to some creative staffing during recent Massachusetts blizzards and storms. Use of student staff on-site and professional assistance from home kept staff safe when roads were treacherous.

New methods also provided patrons with high-quality assistance. When staff realized that winter weather was bearing down, they developed a new strategy for opening the library with “snow students,” highly regarded student workers who would monitor the building and communicate with the assistant director at home.

The Babson Library during a recent snow storm.

Student workers who lived on campus were able to staff the building. Commuter students used WhenToWork software to request substitutes, and other student workers assisted their peers by filling the desk holes quickly. At home, reference librarians monitored virtual reference (chat, text, and email reference) from home all day. Staff took turns so that no one was unduly burdened, and participation was voluntary. Librarians will receive compensatory time.

Springfield College has nine regional campuses outside of Massachusetts. To students in Tampa or Charleston, a Massachusetts storm does not have much effect. This method of using technology to communicate and provide research assistance, as well as making judicious use of residential students, was a success for Babson Library this winter.

New ACRL publication explores The Living Library

ACRL announces the publication of The Living Library: An Intellectual Ecosystem by Patricia Steele, David Cronrath, Sandra Parsons Vicchio, and Nancy Fried Foster.

The Living Library describes the evolution of one possible future for academic libraries—as laboratories for cross-disciplinary investigation. At the University of Maryland, a collaborative effort among the Libraries, the School of Architecture and the Department of Anthropology led to the participation of students, faculty, and staff in an initiative to design a full renovation of the main library building with the guidance of professionals in anthropology and architecture.

As part of the process, Anthropology students and library faculty and staff investigated how the broader university community undertakes its work in the library. Architecture students in graduate design studio analyzed the findings along with the building and then created a series of designs to support faculty, student, and staff work practices. All of the work was reviewed by a leadership committee from a variety of disciplines.

The authors—the library director, the dean of architecture, a practicing architect, and an applied anthropologist—describe the project, explain the methods and review the outcomes, sharing their particular experiences of the living library. The Living Library is essential reading for academic librarians interested in innovative building redesign and space usage.

The Living Library 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; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

Tech Bits…

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

Are sticky notes threatening to take over your desk? If so, you might consider Trello, an electronic alternative for organizing projects, ideas, and committee work. With a free account, you can create boards for each of your projects. Within the board, you can create and organize “cards” into columns, enabling them to be rearranged and tracked via email notifications. You can share your boards, attach photos and files, assign tasks, and give editing rights to anyone with a Trello account. Library instruction plans and courses, web development, and systems troubleshooting are just a few areas where Trello might be useful for both individual and collaborative projects. In addition to the web, you can download the Trello app for iOS and Android devices.

— Britt Fagerheim

Utah State University


Copyright 2015© American Library Association

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