News from the Field

David Free

Banner Days remind, inspire patrons of Mississippi State University Libraries

Mississippi State University (MSU) Libraries has launched the “A Banner Day” program at the Mitchell Memorial Library. Each month during the academic year, the library will unveil a banner commemorating one of the Mississippi writers on the Southern Literary Trail. Covering Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, it commemorates the Southern classical writers of the 20th century. The Southern Literary Trail is headquartered at Mississippi State University Libraries.

(L to R) MSU’s Stephen Cunetto, associate dean of libraries; Frances Coleman, dean of libraries; and Sarah Mc-Cullough, coordinator of cultural heritage projects with the inaugural banner. (Photo: Isa Stratton, MSU Libraries)

The banners remind students and other library patrons of Mississippi’s role in world literature. They also serve to encourage reading the writers’ works and learning more about their lives and the Mississippi heritage that inspired them. Designed by library staff member Jennifer Jones, the banners feature an image of the writer as well as a personal quote from the writer or one of the writer’s works.

Follow banner unveilings and related events on Facebook, Twitter, and at Learn more about the Southern Literary Trail at

ACRL to host Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow

ACRL has been selected as a host organization for the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program, a career-building fellowship initiative designed to expand the reach of doctoral education in the humanities. The Public Fellow placed at ACRL will advance one of the association’s highest priorities by contributing to ACRL’s efforts to improve research around library contributions to student learning and success.

Working with an engaged community of academic librarians and library researchers, the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow placed at ACRL will advance research focused on student learning and success and promote findings from ACRL’s forthcoming action-oriented research agenda to resonate across the network of higher education stakeholders.

Additionally, this position will help academic library professionals to more fully embrace the future of information and libraries in higher education. The application deadline for the fellow position is March 22, 2017. For more information on the program and the ACRL fellow position description, please visit the ACLS website at

CLIR invites applications for digitizing at-risk audio materials

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is now accepting applications from collecting institutions for the digital reformatting of magnetic audio materials, as part of the pilot phase of the Recordings at Risk grant program. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Recordings at Risk is focused on digitally reformatting “at-risk” audiovisual materials of high scholarly value.

In this pilot cycle, CLIR will award approximately $150,000 for the preservation reformatting of magnetic audio media through the Northeast Document Conservation Center’s newly established audio preservation service. Grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 will be awarded for projects of up to 12 months, to fall between May 2017 and April 2018. The application deadline for the pilot project is March 3, 2017. Awards will be announced April 30, 2017. Information for applicants, including a link to the online application form, is available on CLIR’s website at

Nation’s northernmost library joins GPO program

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) recently designated Alaska’s Tuzzy Consortium Library as a new all-digital member of GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Tuzzy, which serves as the library for the town of Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska and the tribal institution of Ilisagvik College, becomes the northernmost library in the FDLP. Utqiaġvik is the northernmost point of the United States. The library will provide the local Inupiat community with no-cost, digital-only access to federal government information. For more information on the program, visit

ACRL scholarly communication workshop hosts announced

The ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee has selected five sites to host the workshop “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement” as road show events in 2017. Recognizing that scholarly communication issues are central to the work of all academic librarians and all types of institutions, ACRL is underwriting the bulk of the costs of delivering this proven content by sending expert presenters on the road.

The institutions selected to host the 2017 road shows are the Council of Research and Academic Libraries (San Antonio, Texas), Portland State University Library (Portland, Oregon), University of Delaware Library (Newark, Delaware), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, Nebraska), and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, Massachusetts). Learn more about ACRL’s licensed workshops on the association website at

2015 Academic Library Trends and Statistics

ACRL announces the publication of 2015 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications. The one-volume title includes data from Associate of Arts Colleges, Baccalaureate, Master’s Colleges and Universities, and Research/Doctoral-granting Institutions. Those who purchase the print edition will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the 2015 survey data available through ACRL Metrics, an online subscription service that provides access to the ACRL survey data from 1999–2015.

The 2015 data show that library expenditures for collection materials averaged $5,700,113 for doctoral degree-granting institutions, $725,826 for comprehensive degree-granting institutions, $524,184 for baccalaureate schools, and $146,542 for associate degree-granting institutions. On average, doctoral degree-granting institutions spent 76.7% of their materials budgets on ongoing commitments to subscriptions in 2015, comprehensive schools spent an average of 76.8%, baccalaureate schools spent an average 72.4%, and associate degree-granting institutions spent an average of 55.5%. On average, academic libraries spent 70.4% of their materials budget on subscriptions.

The 2015 data show that expenditures for salaries and wages accounted for 63.4% of the total library expenditures on average. Salaries and wages constituted 77.9% of total library expenditures for associate degree-granting institutions, 45.4% for baccalaureates, 87% for comprehensive schools, and 43.3% for doctoral/research institutions.

Of the libraries surveyed, 57.5% of doctoral degree-granting institutions, 34.5% of comprehensive degree-granting institutions, 38.5% of baccalaureate schools, and 19.9% of associate degree-granting institutions are developing (or considering developing) a shared print collection with a group of libraries or consortium partners to avoid duplication of titles between partner libraries. More libraries are participating in open education initiatives by providing open access text books, teaching resources, courseware, and books, including 24% of associate degree-granting institutions, 21.2% of baccalaureate schools, 22.4% of comprehensive schools, and 40.5% of doctoral/research libraries.

In the past five years, collection budgets have shifted from traditional collection development to patron-driven (PDA) or demand-driven acquisitions (DDA) with the largest shifts taking place in research/doctoral universities. Currently only 27.5% of research/doctoral institutions, 48.6% of comprehensive schools, 55.2% of baccalaureate schools, and 67.7% of associate degree-granting schools still use a traditional collection development model.

The 2015 survey includes data from 1,499 academic libraries in five major categories:

  • collections (including titles held, volumes, and electronic books),
  • expenditures (library materials, salaries and wages, etc.),
  • library services,
  • staffing, and
  • collection development trends (including shifts in formats, open education initiatives, institutional repositories, support for digitization, shared print collections, and more).

The survey also provides analysis of selected variables and summary data (high, low, mean, and median) for all elements. The 2015 data can be used for self-studies, budgeting, strategic planning, annual reports, grant applications, and benchmarking.

2015 Academic Library Trends and Statistics is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store, by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

ACRL receives Delmas Foundation grant for RBMS Conference scholarships

ACRL’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) has received an $8,000 grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to provide scholarships for first-time attendees to the 2017 RBMS Conference. The funding will provide a combination of full and partial scholarships for 12 individuals to attend the conference, to be held June 20–23, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa.

“Helping new members get their start in the profession is one of the most important things we do as a section,” said RBMS Chair John Overholt of Harvard University. “I’m so grateful to the Delmas Foundation for their generosity in supporting scholarships for first-time attendees to our 2017 RBMS Conference.”

Themed “The Stories We Tell,” the 2017 RBMS Conference focuses on storytelling as practice and metaphor in the mission and daily work of special collections. From writing traditional scholarly monographs to encoding digital humanities landscapes, from building deep and inclusive collections to designing new curriculum, the ability to craft a compelling narrative is at the heart of cultural heritage work.

In discourse about the role of the humanities in education and policy, librarians and archivists speak for the significance and relevance of the past in shaping the present and future.

At the 2017 conference, RBMS looks forward to sharing the community’s stories, while imagining future narratives for special collections in a rapidly evolving cultural and technological landscape.

“We are delighted to have the support of the Delmas Foundation in providing scholarships for the upcoming RBMS Conference,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen Davis. “The additional funding will help us expand access to this wonderful learning experience.”

RBMS Conference scholarships were first established in 2000 to expand the opportunities for conference attendance to those not able to fund their own participation—students, qualified paraprofessionals, early career librarians, and librarians with limited professional development support. Special attention is given to applicants from professionally underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, in order to support the goal of encouraging interest in the special collections profession from diverse populations.

RBMS will fund a total of 20 scholarships with the funding for additional scholarships coming from individual donations to the conference scholarship fund.

Tech Bits …

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

Google Translate is a free, automated translation service offered by Google. Like all automatic translation services, Google Translate does not always perform well on Asian languages, but it translates most languages adequately enough. Perhaps the best thing about Google Translate is that it will translate web pages into your language if you use Google’s Chrome web browser. To do this, simply go to the website and right click, then select “translate into [language].” The language is English by default, but can be changed using Chrome’s advanced settings at chrome://settings/. Although it isn’t a substitute for an actual interpreter or learning a foreign language, Chrome and Google Translate can be useful in helping patrons who speak no English get information in their native tongue.

—Stewart Baker

Western Oregon University

…Google Translate

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