News from the Field

David Free

UB reopens Silverman Library after two-year, $7 million renovation

The University at Buffalo’s (UB) Oscar A. Silverman Library, recently completed a $7.2 million renovation to transform the 45,000-square-foot space into a vibrant, state-of-the-art, intellectual hub for the campus. The redesigned library was unveiled during a grand reopening celebration this August on the third floor of Capen Hall on the UB North Campus. The redesign is a part of the Heart of the Campus project, a UB 2020 initiative to enhance the student experience by converting Capen Hall into the center of the academic spine, complete with student, learning, library, and dining services. The third floor of Silverman Library now features high-tech classrooms and group study spaces with 80-inch monitors, video recording studios with editing suites, a gender-neutral bathroom, a lactation room for new mothers, and a café.

The UB Silverman Library Grand Reading Room. Photo by Doug Levere.

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 2018 elections. The deadline for nominations is February 15, 2017. To nominate an individual or to self-nominate, please submit the nomination form at

DePaul joins HathiTrust

DePaul University has become one of the newest members of HathiTrust, a worldwide partnership of more than 100 libraries and research institutions working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.

“The DePaul University Library has made significant investments over the past few years in digital content, information technology, and staff expertise, to allow us to better serve the needs of an array of digital scholarship programs,” said University Librarian Scott Walter, “and we are excited to be able to provide access to the digital content, tools, and training available as part of this landmark, collaborative effort.”

As a HathiTrust member, DePaul University will be able to provide its students, faculty, and staff with access to more than 5 million volumes in the public domain, as well as to the computational tools needed to conduct text mining and other forms of research in the digital humanities.

Open Library Foundation established

The Open Library Foundation has been established to promote open source projects for libraries and to foster and support contribution, distribution, and sustainability of the benefits of these projects. The foundation provides the infrastructure for librarians, developers, designers, service providers, and vendors to collaborate with innovative open source technologies and develop transformative solutions for libraries.

The foundation was inspired by the creation of the FOLIO project, which is now building a diverse community of libraries, vendors, and software developers. The goal of FOLIO is to create an open source Library Services Platform that can power innovative approaches to current practice, and encourage new and expanded library services that more fully support scholarly inquiry and knowledge production. The Open Library Foundation will make sure the code created from open source projects remains available and act as a “safe haven” for the projects’ output—separated from the needs and goals of any contributor, user, or affiliated party. More information is available at

OCLC, Internet Archive work to ensure future sustainability of PURLs

OCLC and Internet Archive recently announced the results of a yearlong cooperative effort to ensure the future sustainability of The organizations have worked together to build a new sustainable service hosted by Internet Archive that will manage persistent URLs and subdomain redirections for,,, and

Since its introduction by OCLC in 1995, has become a key part of the web, providing a source of Persistent URLs (PURLs) that redirect users to the correct hosting location for documents, data, and websites as they change over time. All previous PURL definitions have been transferred to Internet Archive and can continue to be maintained by their owners through a new web-based interface located at Continued sustainability, a new modern administration interface, and the removal or redirection of invalid URLs to a historical snapshot are significant improvements that both organizations welcome in this new service.

Springer Nature merges Major Reference Works portfolios of Palgrave Macmillan, Springer

Springer Nature has merged the major reference programs from Palgrave Macmillan and Springer to form a complementary, comprehensive Major Reference Works (MRW) program. The expanded MRW portfolio includes trade and academic references from all areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, humanities, business, and economics. It gives access to a collection of content, published in more than 500 individual reference works. More than 500,000 articles are already published and available in multiple publication formats (PDF and HTML) and are readable on all electronic devices.

Curriculum designer/presenters announced for new ACRL assessment learning opportunities

The ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Sara Lowe, Melanie Sellar, and Brandy Whitlock as curriculum designer/presenters for new learning opportunities on assessing library impact, building on the work of the ACRL program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA).

They join the team of continuing facilitators from the AiA program, Karen Brown, Eric Resnis, Debra Gilchrist, and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, as partners in shaping the curriculum and delivering the new learning opportunities. Lowe is educational development librarian at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis; Sellar is lecturer at San José State University’s School of Information and senior instructional designer at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education; and Whitlock is professor and instruction librarian at Anne Arundel Community College.

ACRL Diversity Alliance launches

ACRL is pleased to announce the launch of the ACRL Diversity Alliance. Approved by the ACRL Board of Directors at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, the ACRL Diversity Alliance program unites academic libraries who share a commitment to increase the hiring pipeline of qualified, talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

By thinking bigger and broader, across all academic libraries, the alliance will introduce and welcome to the job market underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with work experiences that advance academic/research libraries. The commitment of each library leader to create one or more resident positions will increase the numbers of opportunities for professionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to gain the knowledge, skills, and competencies to thrive in an academic context.

“Diversity is a core organizational value in ACRL’s Plan for Excellence,” said ACRL President Irene M. H. Herold of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. “This initiative aligns with the new goal area of New Roles and Changing Landscapes and the goal area of Value of Academic Libraries objective to support libraries in advancing issues of equity, access, diversity, and inclusion. With the launch of the ACRL Diversity Alliance, we put further work into action to advance our goals.”

Participation in the ACRL Diversity Alliance requires a deep commitment on the part of library leaders to open doors, share their networks, and connect people at conferences, to facilitate deeper understanding of the profession and prepare them for participating in the wider higher education community and for success in scholarship and professional service and leadership. In addition to the network of library leaders, residents will have access to a cohort/network that allows for sharing of ideas, resources, and best practices.

“This Alliance creates a national effort to measurably impact the diversity of all academic and college library organizations,” added Jon Cawthorne, chair of the ACRL Diversity Alliance Task Force and dean of libraries at West Virginia University. “I am grateful to the ACRL Board, my colleagues, and library leaders across the country for their commitment, involvement, and support for the Alliance. Now the work begins!”

The ACRL Diversity Alliance grew out of an initiative led by founding members American University, the University of Iowa, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.

Complete details on the ACRL Diversity Alliance, including information on how libraries may join the alliance, are available on the ACRL website at

Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook two-volume set now available

ACRL announces the publication of the two-volume Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook. Edited by Nicole Pagowsky and Kelly McElroy, these books provide a collection of ideas, best practices, and lesson plans that contribute to the richness of what it means to do this type of work in libraries.

Critical pedagogy incorporates inclusive and reflective teaching for aims of social justice. It provides mechanisms for students to evaluate their social, political, and economic standing, and to question societal norms and how these norms perpetuate societal injustices. Teaching librarians have long incorporated social justice into their work, but focused interest in critical library pedagogy has grown rapidly in recent years. In two volumes, the Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook works to make critical pedagogy more accessible for library educators, examining both theory and practice to help the busy practitioner explore various aspects of teaching for social justice.

Volume One, Essays and Workbook Activities, provides short essays reflecting on personal practice, describing projects, and exploring major ideas to provide inspiration for the exploration of critical pedagogy. The bibliography of each chapter provides a network of other sources to examine, and the volume closes with a selection of workbook activities to improve practice and understanding of critical pedagogy.

Volume Two, Lesson Plans, provides plans covering everything from small activities to multisession projects. Critical pedagogy requires collaborating with learners and adapting to their needs, as well as continual reflection, but these lessons provide elements that can be tweaked to fit many kinds of environments.

Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook is available for purchase in print and as ebooks for Volume One and Volume Two through the ALA Online Store, in print from, 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

With the rise of online learning comes the desire to create affordable, instructional video content. Enter lightboard, a glass board used like a chalk or white board for writing while lecturing. The content is videotaped and used in online courses and for hybrid or flipped classes. The catch? When students view the video, they see an instructor facing them, no longer do they watch the instructor’s back. The board’s content is also flipped so students view it naturally. Instructors can also superimpose videos or slides, creating a dynamic video. Created by Michael Peshkin, engineering professor at Northwestern University, many institutions have followed example by creating their own. Although not available for purchase, learn how to build one and more at

—Jane Nichols Oregon State University


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