News from the Field

David Free

FSU reading marathon highlights Banned Books Week

Book lovers came together for Florida State University’s (FSU) fifth annual reading marathon, where students and faculty celebrate their love of literature by reading one book continuously in a 24-hour period, as part of this year’s Banned Book Week celebration. The 2015 event featured reading from The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. Past novels featured at the event include Melville’s Moby Dick, Dickens’ Bleak House, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, along with Love in the Time of Cholera and A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

FSU student reading from The Fellowship of the Ring during the Banned Books Week reading marathon.

The event began with a short tribute of Florida State Professor of English Fred Standley, who rallied for the reading of banned books. Associate Director for Athletics Greg Beaumont delivered remarks to honor Standley, who spent 50 years teaching at FSU, and died last December.

Each student or faculty member volunteer then spent 15 minutes reading from Tolkien’s work. FSU students studying in Valencia, London, and Florence also participated in the event through Skype.

CIC, Artstor, Mellon Foundation partner in support of digital collections in the liberal arts

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and Artstor, with support from the Mellon Foundation, have launched an ambitious three-year project to support the growth of digital collections in the liberal arts. The Consortium on Digital Resources for Teaching and Research goals are to improve teaching and learning, enhance faculty and student/faculty research, and streamline administrative capabilities through a uniform and cost-effective system. Forty-two liberal arts colleges will use the Artstor Shared Shelf platform to showcase unique hidden collections.

“This project provides the opportunity for small colleges to contribute to their hidden treasures to the greater academic community supported by the technical expertise of the Artstor staff,” noted the project’s senior advisor, Susan Barnes Whyte of Linfield College.

The project brings together a diverse collection of resources, including videos that document the Buddhist experience in this country, Lincoln memorabilia, as well as oral histories of immigrant populations. For more information on this project consult the CIC website at

Texas Tech launches enhanced version of Occam’s Reader

Texas Tech University Libraries is launching the latest version of Occam’s Reader, the first library-developed system to allow the interlibrary loan of ebooks between academic libraries. The system is designed to provide secure temporary access to an electronic book. The new version is being used by libraries throughout the country this fall and is open via subscription to other libraries that would like to participate. The system, which first launched in 2014, contains a number of enhanced features. For additional information, visit

Framework for Information Literacy Spotlight on Scholarship

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education Advisory Board launched a “Framework Spotlight on Scholarship” column last month on the Framework website. Curated by Framework Advisory Board member Donna Witek, this weekly post series will highlight scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The first column features Rebecca Z. Kuglitsch’s article on “Teaching for Transfer.”

The new feature will appear on the Framework site on a weekly basis. The Framework website is available at

Participants in NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program announced

The fellows and mentors selected for the 2015–2016 class of the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) have been announced. The program has matched fellows and mentors in a one year leadership development program annually since 2002.

The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program prepares emerging leaders for director positions in academic health sciences libraries, through a combination of in-person and virtual learning experiences and a formal mentor pairing with an academic health sciences library director. Information about the program, including a list of participants, is available at

University presses plan new digital discovery and delivery platform

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) has received a planning grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the exploration of a university press platform for discovery and delivery of longform scholarship. With the working name UPScope, the discovery and delivery platform would be based on the model of AcademyScope (, the innovative content visualization and discovery interface developed by the National Academies Press (NAP). Using the unique “Related Engine” search algorithm, AcademyScope surfaces the deep web of connections between NAP publications, breaking down disciplinary silos, and creating new paths linking scholarship.

With the assistance of this six-month, $166,000 planning grant, AAUP will explore the applicability of the NAP technology to longform scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, and develop a business model for a transformative delivery platform for AAUP member-published content. By creating a single location where university press books may be discovered, browsed, sampled, read, and purchased or accessed in a range of formats, the envisioned UPScope platform will offer an attractive and unique resource for scholars.

By deploying the Related Engine algorithm to significantly enhance existing search functions, the platform will offer readers and researchers deeper and broader perspectives on the connections between scholarly works.

2015 EBSCO Charleston Conference Scholarship winner announced

Mara Blake of the University of Michigan has won the 2015 EBSCO Charleston Conference Scholarship from EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO). Blake is spatial and numeric data and German studies librarian at the university and will use the scholarship to attend the 35th Annual Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

Scholarship applicants were asked to write a short essay describing what their library will be like in five years. Blake outlined three key areas in what she called a “constantly changing landscapes for libraries,” including increased collaboration within libraries and between libraries and external partners, the need for libraries to provide services for tech-heavy research, and more direct involvement by libraries in the research process. She also forecasts that “libraries will pursue more partnerships with external entities such as publishers to make content more accessible to users.”

ProQuest collaborates to improve dissertation access

ProQuest is teaming with a variety of other information providers to improve ease of access to dissertations and theses by making them discoverable in context with other relevant content. The company’s ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global (PQDT Global)database of graduate works is being indexed in such research tools as Ei Compendex, The Philosopher’s Index, and others, adding major new avenues of discovery.

Users of these resources will benefit from a more comprehensive literature search from their existing discovery workflow, while dissertation authors benefit by having their work exposed to more researchers.

PQDT Global encompasses more than one quarter billion pages, creating a unique, continually growing trove of emerging research and landmark works from the world’s great universities, including all Ivy League and Russell Group institutions. Researchers rely on this database as both a source of enlightening information and as a pivotal component in making their own scholarly production available to the world’s intellectual communities.

OpenAthens launches new feature for mobile library access

OpenAthens—a leading provider of single sign-on services for libraries and publishers—has announced the launch of a new feature. OpenAthens’ Redirector provides one-step access to subscription and other paid-for content by seamlessly requesting credentials when patrons are off-network and directly serving the content when they are in IP range. The proxy-like syntax eases the burden of link management for librarians and provides a seamless experience for users, who are increasingly demanding off-site and mobile access. Redirector provides one link for resource access, on and off the network, and one format for all compatible resources. In addition, Redirector interfaces with the OpenAthens knowledge-base, which stores and maintains all required URL formats.

Draft Guidelines on the Selection and Transfer of Materials from General Collections to Special Collections

The ACRL/RBMS Task Force to Review Guidelines on the Selection and Transfer of Materials from General Collections to Special Collections is seeking feedback on its proposed revisions to the guidelines. Individuals interested in offering comments and suggestions are encouraged to do so at through November 30, 2015. The task force will consider the comments and suggestions and share a final draft of the guidelines by way of a public hearing at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2016.

Nominations sought for ACRL Board of Directors

Higher education is experiencing unprecedented change, providing academic libraries with tremendous opportunities to define new roles related to learning, teaching, and research. ACRL is dedicated to enhancing the ability of library and information professionals to dream big and shape our new future.

Be a part of shaping that future. The ACRL Leadership Recruitment and Nominations Committee (LRNC) encourages members to nominate themselves or others to run for the position of ACRL vice-president/president-elect and director-at-large in the 2017 elections. The deadline for nominations is February 15, 2016.

Once nominated, individuals will need to submit a two-page curriculum vita or resume (if self-nominating, you may include these materials with your nomination). The LRNC will request statements of interest from selected individuals prior to developing a slate of candidates.

To nominate an individual or to self-nominate, send the nominee’s name and institution to LRNC Chair Erika Linke of Carnegie Mellon University at E-mail: . More information about the ACRL Board of Directors is available at

Immersion ’16 applications

ACRL invites applications for the 2016 Information Literacy Immersion Program. The ACRL Immersion Program provides instruction librarians the opportunity to work intensively for several days on all aspects of information literacy.

Whether your institution is just beginning to think about implementing an information literacy component or whether you have a program well under way, the Immersion Program will provide you with the intellectual tools and practical techniques to build or enhance your institution’s instruction program.

Immersion ’16 (Teacher and Program tracks) will be held July 24–29, 2016, at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. Teacher Track focuses on individual development for those who are interested in refreshing, enhancing, or extending their individual instruction skills. Curriculum includes classroom techniques, learning theory, leadership, and assessment framed in the context of information literacy.

Program Track focuses on developing, integrating, and managing institutional and programmatic information literacy programs. Change dynamics, systems thinking, institutional outcomes assessment, scalability, and the integration of teaching, learning, and technology will be brought to bear on analyzing the various programmatic challenges presented in case studies developed prior to the program.

Applications are due December 4, 2015. Complete details and application materials are available on the ACRL website at

Tech Bits . . .

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

Are you thinking of bringing a bit of maker flair to your workshops? Perhaps you’re a little curious about circuitry and Arduinos but aren’t sure where to start? Maybe you just want to twinkle up a t-shirt. The LilyPad line of controllers are just the ticket. Using conductive thread, LED sequins, a controller, and a battery you can light up students’ interest in microcontrollers, not to mention shifting perceptions of what electronics means. LilyPad covers all levels: from pre-programmed controllers to those you can change with some basic Arduino knowledge. Sparkfun sells kits with everything you need for a ten-person workshop for around $200. Individual pieces range from $2 to $25. If you can thread a needle, you can get a LilyPad to twinkle.

—Emily Thompson

University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

. . . LilyPad

Copyright 2015© American Library Association

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