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Deadline tomorrow, 7/22: ACRL-OR Award for Excellence Nominations

The ACRL-Oregon Award for Excellence is given annually for a project or initiative, undertaken by an individual or a group, that has significantly improved Oregon academic libraries or librarianship.

The award will be presented at the ACRL-Oregon/Washington Fall Conference (October 27-28, 2016 at Menucha) and the winner(s) will also be recognized at the Oregon Library Association Annual Conference Award Ceremony on April 21, 2017 in Salem. The winner (if group, one individual only) will receive registration to the ACRL Oregon/Washington Joint Fall Conference and an engraved plaque.

ACRL-OR Award for Excellence Nomination Form

Who can be nominated:

Any project or initiative that includes at least one employee of an academic library in Oregon may be nominated (self–nomination are accepted). Project members do not need to be ACRL-OR members.  The initiative or project that is the basis of the nomination must have occurred in the previous three years.


Nominations must be received by July 22, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.


The award winner(s) will be notified by mid-August.


Please contact the ACRL-Oregon President, Uta Hussong-Christian, at acrlor@olaweb.org.

Round Two: Professional Development Scholarship

Applications for Round Two of the new Professional Development Scholarship are due on July 31, 2016.

Up to three $250 scholarships will be awarded annually. Applications are accepted at three points throughout the year (see below for specific deadlines). Applications will be reviewed within two weeks after the application deadline.

ACRL-OR PD scholarship form header

How can the scholarship be used?  

The ACRL-OR Professional Development Scholarship may be used toward conferences, workshops, courses, seminars, or other learning opportunities (including e-learning opportunities) appropriate to the applicant. The funding priority is registration and transportation costs incurred by the applicant.

Professional Development Scholarships will not be awarded for ACRL-OR/WA Fall Conference attendance as this annual event has its own scholarships.

Who is eligible?

All ACRL-Oregon members in good standing.

Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received a Professional Development Scholarship from ACRL-Oregon.

Who is not eligible?

Non ACRL-Oregon members.

How will applications be evaluated?

Please visit our FAQ page, which contains our evaluation rubrics and answers to frequently asked questions.

How do I apply?

Apply for the scholarship using this online form.


Applications will be accepted at three points throughout the year:

  • March 31
  • July 31
  • November 30

For more information:

Contact the ACRL-OR Board President:

Uta Hussong-Christian
ACRL-OR President, 2015-2016
Oregon State University

Wanted! ACRL Oregon Communications Coordinator

The ACRL Oregon Board is seeking its next Communications Coordinator. Do you enjoy creating and posting diverse web content? Do you enjoy volunteering alongside a motivated and collegial group of academic librarians? Are you looking for an opportunity to get involved with Oregon’s ACRL Chapter/OLA’s Academic Division? Well, ACRL Oregon has an opportunity for you! Consider being our next Communications Coordinator! Duties include:

  • Creating webpages for the ACRL-OR WordPress website (e.g., Fall Conference webpage, Past Conference webpage, OLA Annual Conference webpage, etc)
  • Creating forms (e.g., scholarship application form, conference registration form, etc)
  • Posting Board Meeting Minutes
  • Updating Board member information (September each year)
  • Coordinating with OLA Webmaster
  • Using Memberclicks Content Management System
  • Publicizing events and news of interest to academic librarians via multiple channels

The appointee must be a member of OLA/Academic Division (ACRL-Oregon) and will serve a 2 year term. See the full position description on the ACRL-OR website: https://acrloregon.org/position-descriptions/communications-coordinator/

Please contact Uta Hussong-Christian (current president) or Stephanie Debner (president-elect) by July 25th to express interest or to ask any questions.

We look forward to welcoming YOU to the ACRL-OR Board!

College Readiness and Library Research Skills: Observations from Oregon

Photo of student frustration

Source from Catholic Online; click image to view source

A recent article in Library Journal, “First Year College Readiness,” highlights some of research skills academic librarians have observed first year students struggling with when they reach college. Over-reliance on Google, superficial knowledge of plagiarism, and lack of experience with researching and writing analytical papers were just a few of the themes touched on in the article. It got me wondering if Oregon academic librarians had similar observations, given the decrease in licensed school librarians in the state.

In a very informal survey, I asked ACRL-OR members and other academic librarians involved in library instruction to relay their thoughts about first year college students’ skills. Below are highlights from the responses I received. Based on this small sample, it seems that Oregon students struggle with similar issues outlined in the article. I was encouraged by optimism and strategies for addressing those issues also expressed in some of the responses.

“Far too many of them think that the first 20 returns on a Google search are sufficient ‘research.’”

“My experience is pretty consistent with the Library Journal article, but maybe a bit more extreme. There are no credentialed school librarians in this part of the state, and over time we have seen a decrease in skills by the time students get to college. They come from rural areas with very small schools, where they don’t receive IL instruction, and where, in some cases, they don’t even have access to computers. This is one reason we have IL credit courses at EOU, and students do learn how to do all of these things. We just wish there was more of a foundation that we could build on at the college level rather than starting from scratch. 

  • Students often think they understand plagiarism, but we find they don’t know how to cite correctly, and they don’t know that they need to cite when they paraphrase. They only know that you need to cite a quote.
  • Students don’t know what databases are, or even what journals are. I have had students write in an assignment, “books won’t have the information I need,” because they think all books are fiction. This is rare (happened twice).
  • They don’t understand the vocabulary of information. Not jargon, but even basic things like the difference between print and digital, subscription, periodical, credentials. These are all words students have asked me to define.
  • They don’t understand the way search engines and the Internet work, and how that has an impact on their searching.
  • They want to find information quickly, and are hesitant to use print materials or to wait for interlibrary loan. 
  • They don’t know how to synthesize information from multiple sources, and they seek that one perfect source that will exactly answer their research question.
  • They don’t know what makes an appropriate research question for college-level research.
  • They do know they should not use Wikipedia as a source, but they don’t always know why.”

“I always stress how important it is to have passion for the topic they are researching. Often the students are not fully prepared with their topics and so much of the process is making sure they have a topic that they can work with and have formulated a relevant question. Students are quick to walk away from a topic when they can’t find anything. Often, a library instruction session is more about selling myself as a mentor than anything else.”

“I think ‘kids today’ actually know a lot more than we give them credit for. They’ve learned to search google by typing in phrases. You’d be surprised how often just typing your thesis statement into EBSCO or Gale (without quotes) is an excellent search strategy!”

“I talk to freshman about how using library resources online is their invitation into a part of the invisible web that they now have access to for the first time. … this is their chance to learn more and go to the next level as researchers, which intrigues them, especially when I emphasize that they have paid-for access to these resources with their tuition and fees.” [and research is a job skill valued by potential employers!]

It is clear that librarians are key in helping students learn the research skills they need for college. When that is not an option, at least Oregon does have a tool to help. If you haven’t done so, make sure to check out the great research process guidance offered by the Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS).

OSLIS logo

Thanks to Steve Silver, Sarah Ralston, Dotty Ormes, Michael Grutchfield, and Kimberly Willson-St Clair for their responses to my questions.

Thanks also to Robert Schroeder for pointing me to the survey he conducted with Oregon librarians in 2007:

Schroeder, R. (2009). Both sides now: Librarians looking at information literacy from high school and college. Tips. Educators’ Spotlight Digest, 4(1).

Arlene Weible
ACRL-OR Board, State Library Representative
Oregon State Library

Fall conference opportunities in Open Education

Reposted from multiple listservs, and organized in chronological order by most recent first.

OER Pre-conference at Menucha

  • OER pre-conference at the ACRL-OR/WA joint fall conference at Menucha
  • Pre-conference available only to conference attendees (first 45 individuals to sign up)
  • Oct 27-28, 2016
  • Near Corbett, OR at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center
  • Register at https://acrloregon.org/2016-acrl-orwa-joint-conference/

Open Education 2016

  • The premiere venue for sharing research, development, advocacy, design, and other work relating the open education
  • November 2-4, 2016
  • Richmond, VA
  • http://openedconference.org/2016/

OpenCon 2016

*Deadline Tuesday, 6/28* ACRL-Oregon School/Academic Librarian Collaboration Scholarship

ALA may be in full swing, but so is the application period for the ACRL-Oregon School/Academic Librarian Collaboration Scholarship. Don’t delay! The extended application deadline is just around the corner this coming Tuesday, June 28.

The work of K-12 school librarians is invaluable and interconnected with the work of librarians in higher education. This scholarship seeks to recognize meaningful collaboration between school and academic librarians to enhance information literacy of students.

What does award-winning collaboration look like?

  • Sponsorship to attend, exhibit, or present at a relevant conference (OASL, regional conferences, or others).
  • Creation of programming, such as a conference, workshop, unconference, or pre-conference.
  • Work on a collaborative research project.
  • Something else we haven’t thought of!

To read about one such project, see this post on the ACRL-OR blog.

Up to $1,000 may be awarded per year, and all academic and school librarians are eligible to apply.  So find a partner (or partners), identify a project or professional development opportunity, and apply!  Follow the scholarship application link to access the application and a longer explanation of the scholarship.

Screenshot of ACRL-OR School/Academic Librarian Collaboration Scholarship Application form

Applications will be accepted through June 28, 2016.

Questions? Ask Hannah Gascho Rempel, ACRL-OR Past President, at hannah.rempel@oregonstate.edu

Request for personal perspectives: What do first year college students know (or not know) about research?


I am collecting stories for an upcoming ACRL-OR blog post about first-year college students and their knowledge of library research. Inspired by a recent article in Library Journal (http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2016/05/academic-libraries/the-first-year-college-readiness/), I would like to highlight any trends or gaps in knowledge that academic librarians notice about Oregon’s first-year college student’s ability to conduct research for an assignment or use the library. Are the issues highlighted in the LJ article consistent with what you are seeing or are their other trends you notice?

Please email me your comments, observations, and opinions by June 20. (See contact info below.) The blog post will appear in July on the ACRL-OR blog, https://acrloregon.org/.

Photo of college students

“College Students” by CollegeDegrees360 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Thanks for your assistance!


Arlene Weible
Electronic Services Consultant
Oregon Federal Regional Depository Coordinator
Library Support and Development Services
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem OR, 97301

ACRL-Oregon Spring Board Election Results

With nearly two-thirds of its members participating in the election, ACRL-Oregon is happy to announce the results of its spring Board of Directors elections.

New Board member terms begin on September 1, 2016.

  • Steve Silver, Director of Kellenberger Library at Northwest Christian University, was elected to serve as Vice-President/President-elect
  • Serenity Ibsen, Technical Services and Archives Librarian at Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Albert Solheim Library, was elected to serve as Member-at-Large
  • Molly Gunderson, Access Services Manager at Portland State University Library, was elected to serve as Member-at-Large.

Congratulations to each of our winners! Welcome to the ACRL-Oregon Board.

~ Uta Hussong-Christian
ACRL-Oregon President, 2015-2016
Oregon State University Libraries & Press

Registration + Submissions Now Open for 2016 Joint Fall Conference at Menucha!

ACRL-Oregon is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the annual Joint Fall Conference at Menucha. Join your Oregon and Washington colleagues to explore “Enhancing Creativity and Turning Inspiration Into Reality” from October 27-28, 2016.

Keynote speakers are Lauren Pressley, Director of the University of Washington Tacoma Library and Associate Dean of University Libraries, and Hannah Gascho Rempel, Science Librarian and the Coordinator for Graduate Student Success at Oregon State University Libraries and Press.

The submission period for short talks and poster presentations is also open! We look forward to hearing about the many creative ways you approach your work. Scholarship applications will open in mid-August.

The links for registration and proposal submissions are both available on the 2016 Joint Fall Conference page.

See you at Menucha!

~ Uta Hussong-Christian

ACRL-OR President
Oregon State University Libraries & Press

Interview with Megan Dugan, Mt. Hood Community College

Continuing our interview series of reaching out to academic library leaders across the state to facilitate “getting to know” our colleagues… the next interview in this series is with Megan Dugan, Library Director at Mt. Hood Community College, just east of Portland.

Thanks for talking with us, Megan!

1. Tell us a little bit about your work background.

I started library work as a Page in the circulation department at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District’s Vancouver Community Library in 1991. Since that fateful day, I’ve been a library assistant, children’s specialist, information services specialist, bookmobile driver, circulation supervisor, substitute coordinator, and patron services manager in the public library.

In 2013, I was hired at Mt. Hood Community College Library as the public services manager. I decided to go to library school in 2014 after our director retired, which is when I became library manager. I graduated from Emporia State University in 2015 and became the library director at MHCC!

2. What has been the best thing that has happened to you since you started your position?

Earlier this year we were able to restore a third tenured faculty librarian position that had been reduced in 2012. This position fills a huge need for our library, staff, faculty and students.

3. What would you like Oregon academic librarians to know about you?

I cry when I laugh. And I cry all the time so I carry my grandmother’s old handkerchiefs everywhere.

Megan Dugan, Library Director at Mt. Hood Community College

4. What is the biggest challenge facing your library in the upcoming year?

With our year seven accreditation this fall we have work to do on assessment of our services to ensure that students are being served effectively across all our facilities and academic divisions.

5. What would you like Oregon academic librarians to know about your institution?

It’s not actually ON the mountain. It always interests me how many people ask what it’s like getting to the campus in wintertime. You know, with all the snow on the mountain?

Though the MHCC district does encompass Mt. Hood, the campus is actually located in east Multnomah County just outside of Troutdale, http://mhcc.edu/District/.

6. What does advocacy for academic libraries look like from your perspective as a library director?

For me, this has been one of the most interesting parts of working in an academic library. I am continuously discovering areas for growth and learning how vital advocacy for my library is even within my own institution.

Coming from a public library district where all of the staff worked in a library, it’s a stark contrast when only a few people in an organization work in the library. We promote our services through our district communications department, by visiting lots of council meetings, and by bringing pop-up libraries to campus events whenever we can. Visibility is key!

Jennifer Snoek-Brown, ACRL-OR Communications Coordinator (2014-2016)
Faculty Librarian
Mt. Hood Community College


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