• This site is the primary online presence for ACRL-Oregon, which serves a dual role as the Oregon chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) as well as the Academic Library Division of the Oregon Library Association (OLA).
  • ACRL logo
  • OLA logo
  • ACRL-Oregon logo
  • Categories

  • Archives

Advocacy around proposed changes to the NWCCU Standards for Accreditation

Some of you may be following the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) accreditation standards revision process. They published a First Draft of the revised accreditation standards in which the standards overall have been pared down considerably. The library community is concerned that in the revised draft, the library is only mentioned in relation to collections, and information literacy is only mentioned as one of several examples of potential core competencies set at the institution level. We want to make sure that information literacy instruction and a requirement to employ qualified personnel remain in the standards. We are also concerned about the removal of any language about Academic Freedom, a critical element of intellectual freedom in higher education. The current NWCCU Standards are available for comparison.

The ACRL-Oregon Board has shared our concerns and suggestions with NWCCU. You can read our letter here and also at the bottom of this post. Please feel free to share it with others and you are welcome to use our suggestions in your own advocacy.

Nearly this exact same thing happened in New England several years ago with the NEASC accreditation standards and librarians had to mount a significant advocacy campaign to keep information literacy and libraries in the standards. Here are a few ways that you can help support library presence and values in the revised standards.

  1. Ask your institution’s Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) to advocate for libraries and academic freedom. The ALO is the individual at your college or university who is responsible for working with NWCCU on accreditation. It’s often a Provost or Vice President of Academic Affairs, but the institution can designate who they wish. Advocacy from an ALO will be very influential. Please feel free to share our letter with your ALO.
  2. Comment on the current draft. There is a form you can use to provide feedback or you can send your comments to standards@nwccu.org.
  3. Spread the word! Get others — librarians, non-librarians, and organizations that have an interest in this — involved in advocacy. Librarians are not the only ones who should be concerned by these proposed changes.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Meredith Farkas
ACRL-Oregon President

______________________________________

Dear Drs. Huftalin and Powell and members of the NWCCU Bylaws, Standards, and Policies Committee:

The Association of College and Research Libraries, Oregon Chapter (ACRL-Oregon) Board is pleased to provide feedback on the current draft of NWCCU’s Accreditation Standards. Accreditation standards provide critical guidance to colleges and universities about what a successful institution should provide to students. Library resources, services, and personnel are critical components of institutional quality. By evaluating academic libraries merely on the adequacy of their information resources, NWCCU sends a message that libraries’ instructional work in support of student and faculty information literacy is not critical to maintaining a high quality institution of higher education.

We assert that collections, information resources, and information literacy instruction require the expertise of library and information professionals for both instruction and resource development and management. It is because of the dedicated work and teaching of qualified library faculty and staff that academic libraries are at the heart of their campuses. Librarians are frequent information literacy teaching partners with disciplinary faculty and are often embedded in courses, curricula, and campus initiatives. Library instruction is not only critical to improving student information literacy and mitigating achievement gaps, but also helps institutions maximize the value of those collections in which they’ve invested.

ACRL-Oregon suggests the following addition to section 2G, focused on Library and Information Resources:

2.G.2 Consistent with its mission, programs, services, and characteristics, the institution employs sufficient appropriately qualified library and information resources personnel to provide information literacy instruction in support of institutional student learning outcomes.

If standards around library instruction are softened, we will very likely see a decline in institutional support for these services. The removal of any mention of qualified library personnel or library instruction from the Standards could have a tremendously negative impact on library staffing and student information literacy.

We also believe that librarians should continue to serve on NWCCU accreditation review teams. Librarians are best positioned to evaluate the adequacy of library resources, personnel, and instruction, and also often have a unique birds-eye view of academic curricula as a consequence of their support of college or university disciplines.

The ACRL-Oregon Board is also deeply concerned about the proposed removal of the entire section of the current standards focused on academic freedom. Academic freedom is a bedrock principle for higher education. This principle is under attack on many fronts in the U.S today. The removal of any reference to academic freedom in the NWCCU accreditation standards removes an important and vital defense of this core principle. As such, ACRL-OR suggests the following addition to the draft standards:

2.B.5 Within the context of its mission, the institution defines and actively promotes an environment that supports academic freedom in the pursuit, dissemination, and teaching of knowledge. The institution adopts and adheres to policies and procedures that affirm the freedom of faculty, staff, administrators, and students to share their scholarship and reasoned conclusions with others, and protects its constituencies from inappropriate internal and external influences, pressures, and harassment.

Thank you for considering our suggestions.

Sincerely,

The Association of College and Research Libraries, Oregon Board

Meredith Farkas, ACRL-Oregon President, Portland Community College
Candise Branum, ACRL-Oregon Vice-President, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
Steve Silver, ACRL-Oregon Past-President, Northwest Christian University
Angie Beiriger, Reed College
Kim Olson-Charles, Concordia University
Arlene Weible, State Library of Oregon
Rick Ball, Klamath Community College
Christopher Mansayon, Western Oregon University
Patrick Wohlmut, Linfield College
Katherine Donaldson, University of Oregon
Sarah Rowland, Eastern Oregon University
Janet Tapper, University of Western States
Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy, Oregon Institute of Technology

Congratulations to ACRL-OR Professional Development Scholarship Winner

Garrett Trott headshot

Garrett Trott, Library Director , Corban University

ACRL-OR is happy to announce the awarding of a professional development scholarship to Garrett Trott, library director at Corban University in Salem. Garrett was recently promoted to library director and will use the scholarship funds to partially offset the cost of an online course on “Developing the Leader Within You.” Garrett will be taking this course to improve his “relational intelligence” and to help him transition from “an individual focused on production … to an individual focused on people development,” as he makes the transition from a front line librarian to library director. Garrett will apply what he learns in this course to more effectively lead the library through some university-wide changes under discussion. Look for a future ACRL-OR blog post from Garrett sharing his experiences and insight gained following completion of this course.

Our congratulations to Garrett!

 

2019 Call for Nominations: ACRL-OR Board

ACRL-Oregon logoInterested in meeting other fantastic academic librarians and serving the academic library community in Oregon? Is there someone you know that would be a shining addition to the ACRL-OR Board? Here is an opportunity to get involved! The ACRL-OR Board is looking for candidates to run in our upcoming spring elections.

 

The open positions are

  • 1 Vice-President/President Elect (3 year term)
  • 2 Members-at-Large (2 year term)

View position descriptions and responsibilities for more information.

How to nominate

To nominate yourself, a colleague, or an employee, submit our online nomination form. The nomination period will close on Tuesday, April 23rd.

Eligibility

  • Vice-President/President Elect must be members of OLA and ACRL-Oregon and ACRL national
  • Member-at-Large candidates must be members of OLA and ACRL-Oregon

Questions?

Email Candise Branum (cbranum@ocom.edu), who is our current Vice-President/President Elect, if you have any questions or concerns about the open positions.

Thanks,

The ACRL-OR Nominating Committee
Candise Branum
Katherine Donaldson
Patrick Wohlmut

Outreach on Campus: Library Resources for Staff

Lightbulb clip artAcademic librarians spend most of their time working with faculty and students to promote library services. With all the attention these groups require, it is easy to overlook campus support staff as potential users of library resources and advocates for library services. Staff providing student and financial services, grounds or building maintenance, administrative support, or food service may not be obvious library users, but you might be surprised about their information needs and the resources you might have to help them.

LearningExpress Library is a resource provided to Oregon libraries by the Statewide Database Licensing Program. It provides standardized test preparation materials, career and employment resources, computer and other skill building tutorials. In many ways, this resource has something for everyone, and this point was brought home to me at a training session the State Library provided at a community college campus. Hoping to boost attendance at the session, the local librarian sent out an invitation to all campus staff. While it was not surprising to see staff from the student services office attend the training, we were delighted to see general administrative staff and maintenance staff also show up.

Student services staff were interested in career placement and assessment tools available, and well as skill building tutorial available in math, reading, grammar and writing for the students they worked with. The administrative staff member was looking for resources to help her daughter study for the SAT and was also excited to see the job search tools available through Job and Career Accelerator. The maintenance staff member was looking for opportunities for self-improvement and was thrilled to see tutorials for Excel and Adobe Photoshop. It’s a librarian’s dream to get resources into the hands of users when they need them, and this session really inspired me to think about the value of LearningExpress Library as tool for outreach beyond the usual library user groups.

If campus staff feel that the library is welcoming source of information and support in their own lives, they are certainly more likely to spread the word to the faculty and students they interact with every day. Consider cultivating these untapped library champions as part of your outreach strategy.

Please contact Arlene Weible to arrange a training session for your campus.

Arlene Weible
Electronic Services Consultant
State Library of Oregon

Join ACRL-Oregon for a free webinar on library assessment

ACRL-Oregon is piloting offering webinars on topics relevant to academic library workers. Members and non-members alike are welcome to join us.

Our second webinar is entitled “Geek out, don’t freak out: How to chill out and learn to love assessment” and will be presented by librarians Colleen Sanders of Clackamas Community College and Meredith Farkas of Portland Community College on Wednesday, February 27th from 10-11am Pacific.

Assessment is such a valuable tool to help learn more about our patrons, demonstrate the value of what we do, and improve our teaching. So why is it so difficult to build an assessment culture in library instruction programs? Often, resistance to and anxiety about assessment come from common causes that have been both discussed in the literature and illustrated in our own experiences. Meredith and Colleen will talk about their experiences working with nascent assessment programs at their libraries, the projects they’ve worked on, and what they’ve learned from trial and sometimes error. They will discuss ways that librarians can move past resistance and anxiety to reap the benefits of an assessment culture.

Registration is open to any Oregon library staff, but we are limited to 100 attendees in the session, so register soon: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/848284084394267c7510d14dfea9e911

We also plan to record the webinar and make it available to registrants after the live broadcast.

Past Webinars:

On January 11th, ACRL-Oregon held its first pilot webinar on Critical Library Management! Here is the link to the archived webinar so you can watch it at your convenience: http://bit.ly/acrl-or-jan19. You can also access  Candise Branum and Molly Gunderson’s slides separately. It was a terrific webinar with tips relevant to library workers wherever they are in their organizational hierarchy.

If you do view the webinar, we’d very much appreciate it if you’d provide feedback to us via our evaluation form — it should only take a moment:  https://goo.gl/forms/IHHpC0HpVPRKgP4o2

Questions about our webinar pilot can be directed to ACRL-Oregon President Meredith Farkas at acrlor@olaweb.org.

Congratulations to the Winners of the ACRL-Oregon School/Academic Librarian Collaboration Scholarship

We are pleased to announce the recipients of funding for the current cycle of the ACRL-Oregon School/Academic Librarian Collaboration Scholarship: Sally Mielke of Eastern Oregon University, and Sherry Loennig of North Powder Charter School. This scholarship was created to foster collaboration between academic librarians and school librarians.

Photo of Sally Mielke

Sally Mielke, Eastern Oregon University

Their project goals are to increase student access to online resources and assistance in the North Powder Charter School library, and also to increase students’ information literacy skills. Prior to Ms. Loennig’s recent hire, North Powder had no dedicated librarian. Students have not been receiving information literacy instruction, and there is no computer workstation for searching library resources available to students in their library. The North Powder School District superintendent has asked Ms. Loennig to meet with North Powder teachers to address school library standards and information literacy instruction.

Photograph of Sherry Loennig

Sherry Loennig, North Powder Charter School

Funding provided by this award will allow for the purchase of a computer for students to access in their library, with a librarian present to provide assistance and instruction in finding and evaluating information resources. Ms. Mielke will provide a workshop on teaching information literacy for Ms. Loennig and three of North Powder’s teachers in late Spring or early Summer 2019. During the summer of 2019 Mss. Mielke and Loennig will work with these three teachers to prepare research guides on specific subject areas, to be ready in time for the opening of the 2019/20 school year. These teachers, with the assistance of Ms. Loennig, will then be able to integrate information literacy instruction into their classes. The research guides will be posted to the School Site Academic Page so that students and families can find and access the resources easily when at home or other locations.

Their project supports these Oregon School Library Standards:

LIB 1.1.C Develop, select, clarify, and use questions and strategies to search for information

LIB 1.1.D Find, evaluate and select appropriate sources to answer questions

LIB 3.2.A Consider a variety of balanced and authoritative sources

LIB 4.1.A Find, evaluate and select appropriate digital resources to answer questions

LIB 4.1.C Evaluate digital information sources for accuracy, validity, importance and bias

Our congratulations to Sally Mielke and Sherry Loennig. We look forward to your successful collaboration and to seeing the outcomes of this work!

Apply Now: ARCL-OR Professional Development Scholarship

Looking for a way to pay for OLA-WLA? ACRL-Oregon is delighted to announce a new round of Professional Development Scholarship awards. Thanks to a matching-fund grant from the State Library of Oregon, ACRL-Oregon is able to offer up to $500 for each award for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Applications are accepted at three points throughout the year (see below for specific deadlines); we are currently soliciting applications for the March 3 deadline. Applications will be reviewed within two weeks after the application deadline.

How can the scholarship be used?  

The ACRL-Oregon Professional Development Scholarship may be used toward conferences (including, but not limited to, OLA-WLA), 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.

For examples of how past recipients have used their awards, see these posts on the ACRL-Oregon blog:

  • Serenity Ibsen, – Art Libraries Society of North America conference
  • Kim Olson-Charles, Personal Librarian and First-Year Experience conference
  • Maureen Flanagan Battistella, American Association for State and Local History conference, presentation on digital collections of local history
  • Kate Rubick, ACRL national conference, panel presentation on library-faculty teaching collaboration using BEAM
  • Darci Adolf, e-course on copyright


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.

Deadline:

Applications will be accepted at three points throughout the 2018-2019 year:

  • March 3
  • April 30
  • November 30 (done)

For more information, contact the ACRL-OR Board President:

Steve Silver
Northwest Christian University
ssilver@nwcu.edu
acrlor@olaweb.org

Statement of concern about racist incidents at the ALA Midwinter Conference

ACRL-Oregon would like to echo and support the statement sent earlier by ACRL/NY regarding the reported verbal abuse of their member as well as to express concern about additional racist incidents at the ALA Midwinter Conference that were reported on social media.

ACRL-Oregon affirms our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and would like to see ALA uphold their commitment to creating inclusive spaces throughout their conferences, including in programs, the exhibit hall, social events, and governance meetings. While having a Statement of Appropriate Conduct is critical to ensuring victims of harassment have recourse, what matters most is how victims and the accused are treated in the investigative process. That one victim felt that she was being silenced during the process is concerning. Greater transparency should be provided to members of ALA’s elected governance structures about how reports are handled while respecting the privacy of those involved.

We appreciate the ACRL Executive Board’s statement and hope that it will ensure that structures are in place to address equity issues and limit racial trauma within our organization. We appreciate that both ALA and ACRL are committed to providing anti-bias training for leaders and hope that this is extended to staff as well.

While our profession is focused on serving our diverse communities, there is a history in this country of libraries and librarians upholding racism. The lack of diversity of our own profession reflects this. We can all do more to confront racism in our libraries and professional organizations and ACRL-Oregon is committed to this work as well.

The ACRL-Oregon Board
http://acrloregon.org

Sign up for OLA Preconference “Copyright Outreach, Education, and Advocacy on Campus”

ACRL-OR is proud to sponsor a preconference at this year’s joint OLA/WLA Conference! Please consider signing up for Copyright Outreach, Education, and Advocacy on Campus when you register for this year’s conference.

Academic library staff often have formal or informal copyright responsibilities on their campuses. Whether you are charged with creating copyright education for your campus community or just want some tools to chip away at the misinformation regarding copyright that you encounter from staff, students, and faculty, this interactive workshop is designed to help you design copyright outreach efforts that will work. Participants will leave with plans to either begin or extend copyright-related outreach from whatever role they occupy at their institution.

This preconference workshop is presented by Rachel Bridgewater from Portland Community College; Sue Kunda from Western Oregon University; and Patrick Wohlmut from Linfield College and takes place Wednesday, April 17th, from 8:30am – 12:30pm.

 

Register for the ACRL-OR Inaugural Webinar!

ACRL-Oregon is piloting offering webinars on topics relevant to academic library workers. While this may become a member benefit, for the pilot period, we are opening the webinars up to any Oregon library staff who wish to participate.

Our first webinar is titled “Critical Library Management” and will be presented by Candise Branum, Director of Library Services at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine and Molly Gunderson, Access Services Manager at Portland State University on Friday, January 11th from 2-3pm PCT.

Critical Library Management

Oregon libraries work to meet the information needs of our communities, a mission that is dependent on teamwork. Library managers are tasked with leading, supporting and developing the teams that serve our communities. Social justice and critical theory are frameworks that are often discussed within library practice, but are only starting to be applied to library management practice. The more we discuss social justice, the more apparent it is that inclusion and equity are essential aspects of library management. The goal is for audience members to think critically about their own management practice and consider ways of improving equity and in their own organizations.

Register Now

Registration is open to any Oregon library staff, but we are limited to 100 attendees in the session, so register soon: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/5b1e973165ad47f54ac87b605f06faf5

We also plan to record the webinar and make it available on our website after the live broadcast.

Questions about our webinar pilot can be directed to ACRL-Oregon President Meredith Farkas at acrlor@olaweb.org.