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ACRL-OR report from 2017 Joint Conference

ACRL-OR was well represented at the ACRL Joint Conference for Washington and Oregon at Pack Forest in mid-October. The conference theme “Tried and True or Shiny and New” gave the attendees from both Oregon and Washington an opportunity to explore such topics as just in time assessment and how OER is being integrated and implemented at Tacoma Community College.

A huge hit was the short talks of epic fails!  Presenters shared their library moments, programs and classes that were duds or even huge mistakes. Each of the “failed” librarians learned something from their experience and bravely and nobly, shared their lessons learned with the conference attendees.

ACRL-OR was able to meet in the evening to discuss the upcoming scholarships for professional development with enhanced funding from LSTA monies and kick around ideas for next Fall’s joint OR/WA ACRL conference at Menucha where the Oregon group will host and provide programming. Lots of great ideas were brought up by the attending group. Two themes, “Collaborating for Greater Impact” and “Reimagining Advocacy” were seriously discussed but neither was chosen as a final theme at the time.

Since the conference, the ACRL Board has decided on the theme of “Reimagining Advocacy: Personal, Professional, Political.” If you have any ideas for conference speakers, the board would love to hear them! Contact Steve Silver at acrlor@olaweb.org.

What’s Happening with Statewide Database Licensing?

Text by Arlene Weible, State Library of Oregon and Lynda Irons, Pacific University

Logo for the State Library of OregonThe State Library of Oregon licenses electronic resources and databases for use by academic, school, public, and tribal libraries in Oregon. These resources are available at no cost to Oregon libraries through the Statewide Database Licensing Program (SDLP). This program is supported in whole by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

Currently, SDLP resources include a suite of Gale/Cengage Learning databases and LearningExpress Library. The State Library’s contract with Gale/Cengage Learning expires in July 2018, so work is currently underway on a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new contract.

Learning Express Logo

The Statewide Database Licensing Advisory Committee (SDLAC) works closely with State Library staff to develop the RFP and evaluate proposals. The committee has representatives from all types of libraries, including these academic librarians

  • Karen Kunz, Oregon Institute of Technology, representing public academic institutions
  • Lynda Irons, Pacific University, representing private academic institutions
  • Amy Hofer, Statewide Open Education Library Services, representing community colleges

SDLAC members have developed category descriptions and evaluation rubrics, ranging from what is not acceptable to what is desirable for each category, including

  • Academic Journal Database
  • General Online Encyclopedia
  • General Periodical Resources
  • Reference Resources
  • Contemporary Issues Resources
  • Lifelong Learning and Skills Courses

Academic librarians have provided leadership for the SDLAC as it moves through the RFP development and evaluation process. Previous chair Emily Miller-Francisco (Southern Oregon University) and current chair Lynda Irons as well as the other academic library representatives have particularly worked on developing evaluation criteria for the academic journal database category of the RFP.

Here is the timeline for remaining RFP activities:

September 21, 2017 SDLAC Meeting – Finalize RFP content
November 2017 RFP posted
January-March 2018 Proposals evaluated by SDLAC
Spring 2018 SDLAC Meeting – Finalize recommendation
May 2018 LSTA Council Meeting – Approval of recommendation and LSTA FFY 2018 budget approved
June 2018 OSL Board Meeting – Approval of recommendation and LSTA FFY 2018 budget finalized
June-July, 2018 New Contract finalized
July 31, 2018 Gale contract ends

If you would like to provide feedback to the academic library representatives, their contact information as well as other information about the program is available on the Statewide Database Licensing Program web site.

Columbia Gorge Community College adopts Sanctuary Status

On May 9th, The Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) Board of Education unanimously voted to join a growing list of colleges and the State of Oregon in adopting sanctuary status in light of concerns regarding federal immigration policies. This was a surprising turn of events that played over two months of public comments. At the latest board meeting covering this issue, over 40 students presented testimonials about what sanctuary status would mean to them and their academic goals. The Board was moved by the thoughtfulness and size of students sharing their concerns.

“I’ve been touched by the testimony of so many people over the past few months,” said board member Stu Watson, who brought the successful motion declaring sanctuary. “Obviously there are concerns, and it’s going to be played out in the courts. Yet at the end of the day it’s up to us to take sides” (CGCC, 2017).

Initially, the Board was not in favor of sanctuary status as it might affect federal funding such as Pell Grants. But this resolution doesn’t affect existing policy, and the Board doesn’t expect the vote to have an impact on federal funding.

The Board’s vote aligns with efforts of CGCC to implement Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) programs. CGCC is one of the few Oregon colleges designated as an HSI by HACU. As CGCC strives to implement new policies and strategies through this initiative, the library continues to revamp collections and services by building on a Hispanic and Latinx program begun several years ago.  By continuing to build resources and realigning information literacy instruction, we strive to increase our impact on the CGCC campus, community, and student’s academic and life-long learning success.


Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC). (2017). College Board approves sanctuary designation. Retrieved from https://www.cgcc.edu/news/college-board-approves-sanctuary-designation

ACRL-OR Supports School Library Programs

In a recent collaborative effort between the Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL), the Oregon Library Association (OLA), and the Oregon chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL-OR), a task force formed to write a policy advisory letter to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), regarding their implementation plan for ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). All three organizations respectfully recommended to support school librarians as part of this plan.

ACRL-OR recognizes the role that school libraries play in student learning and success and in creating successful college students, and hope to see this reflected in our state’s implementation of ESSA. At this stage in the process, we believe that combining our support with OASL and OLA will provide the strongest message, but look forward to further supporting this effort from an academic library perspective in the future.  Please read the letter sent to the Deputy Superintendent of ODE in November 2016 here: http://www.olaweb.org/assets/Communications/2016-17_communications/oasllettertoode.pdf

Second ACRL-OR Professional Development Scholarship Awarded to Darci Adolf

Darci Adolf, Oregon Coast Community College

Darci Adolf, Oregon Coast Community College

The second ACRL-OR Professional Development Scholarship has been awarded to Darci Adolf of Oregon Coast Community College. This scholarship is designed to allow ACRL-OR members the chance to apply for awards of up to $250 to attend conferences, workshops, courses, seminars, or other learning opportunities three times throughout the year. You can find out more about the multiple scholarship opportunities ACRL-OR provides here on the ACRL-OR Scholarships page.

Adolf will use her award to attend the upcoming e-course, “Becoming the Copyright Specialist in Your Library” offered through ALA. The funds will also cover the recommended book, “Copyright for Academic Librarians and Professionals.” [UPDATE] Due to lack of space in “Becoming the Copyright Specialist in Your Library”, Adolf will use her award to attend the upcoming e-course, “Demystifying Copyright: How to Educate Your Staff and Community eCourse” offered through ALA.

As Adolf noted in her application, the principle of copyright “supports the OCCC Library’s mission of advancing scholarship and teaching through the creation, application, preservation and dissemination of information.” And as the sole librarian at her small community college, she wears a lot of different hats. One area she chose to focus on for this upcoming academic year is additional training in copyright.

After completing this course, Adolf plans to create a copyright policy for Oregon Coast Community College, and will develop some faculty best practices. She plans to educate staff and faculty at Faculty & Staff InServices, and will post the copyright information on their website.

Are you looking for support to attend a professional development event of your own? Applications for the ACRL-OR Professional Development Scholarship are reviewed three times a year. The next deadline is November 30, 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

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

Location! Location! Location! The Albert Solheim Library is Forefront at PNCA’s New Campus

Written by Kate Rubick, Lewis & Clark College
Photos by Dan Kelley, Lewis & Clark College

Approaching the Pacific Northwest College of Art, a renovated 1909 building in the North Park Blocks of Portland, I was impressed by its beauty — the ground floor is wrapped in high windows with curved tops, that were painstakingly recovered and restored. And through the windows, passersby can see bookshelves and lamps, people engaged in reading and study; the view inside is unmistakably the library.    

(Click each thumbnail in the gallery below for the full photo and caption information.)

PNCA has occupied the new campus since February 2015, but the library was not actually completed until summer 2015, so for the library staff, this has been the first academic year in their new space. When they first moved in, a large portion of the library was inaccessible unless you were wearing a hard hat! They had a service desk and could check out materials to students and faculty — even though most of their collections were located off-site at the old campus. Look for a piece — forthcoming in OLA Quarterly — by Library Assistant, Linden How and Sara Bystrom, Library Access Services Manager, on how they lived through the transition.  

The final product was well worth the initial chaos. Natural light floods the atrium, with two-story ceilings and a wall of gorgeous original windows one one side juxtaposed with a cable-suspended concrete mezzanine balcony on the other. The effect of this mezzanine — a whole new floor in the restored historic building — is breathtaking. It gives the library a feeling of openness and chic Bohemian charm.    

And it is extremely easy to find — just enter the building, turn left and walk in! It could not be any more prominently featured, and this is undeniably “one of the best things about our new space,” according to Technical Services and Archives Librarian, Serenity Ibsen. Ibsen graciously showed me around around on a rainy afternoon (along with my Watzek Library colleague, Dan Kelley, who took the photos). She shared her thoughts about the new Albert Solheim Library and how it is being used.  

There are two service points on opposite ends of the the first floor — the circulation desk and an IT Help Desk (a popular relocation of this service). In between is an atrium, called the Crumpacker Family Reading Room, furnished with high-backed privacy seating and arc reading lamps. There is also a cluster of workstations and a long counter space with plugins and a view out the windows. On the afternoon we visited, the reading chairs were empty, but there were people at the workstations and at the counter on laptops. Faculty and student art is on display, though one tradeoff of having so many high windows is that they have less wall-space than they did before for exhibits. Transparent sunshades prevent glare.

On the mezzanine level, there is a reference desk (the previous library did not have one), as well as several study rooms, which are heavily used. There is another long counter along the edge of the balcony, with a view of the windows and atrium. Much of the collection is also shelved on this floor. Ibsen told us that when the space first opened, there was one study nook with comfortable seating, but library staff felt this was insufficient. So they shifted the collection and took out several shelves to create two new nooks at either end of the balcony — one with an appealing turquoise sofa and grey chairs and another with two magenta upholstered chairs.  

(Click each thumbnail in the gallery below for the full photo and caption information.)

Ibsen describes herself as a “nester” and says that when she uses libraries she always seeks out places to sit that are tucked away. She has observed that many PNCA students have similar preferences, and she says she has noticed another advantage of locating seating in the stacks. “They look up from what they are doing and something entices them. Then you see them pulling a book from the shelf.” Of course, the PNCA Library has some very eye-catching books, including an extensive collection of graphic novels — shelved in close proximity to one of the nooks. Intermingling seating areas and and books helps facilitate contemplation and collision with collections. The addition of the two nooks on the mezzanine is a fine counterbalance to the more social space of the Crumpacker Family Reading Room.

One factor impacting the library space on the mezzanine it that there is no library elevator — only stairs. And since the mezzanine was added as a new floor, it is not serviced by the building’s existing elevators. There is a freight elevator, but it is outside the library and not open to the public. So wheelchair access to the mezzanine involves staff intervention, which is hardly ideal. Ibsen says that they are hoping to be able to install an ADA lift inside the library to alleviate this issue. “We clearly have some accessibility issues and are working to implement solutions,” she said. Working to reimagine older buildings comes with challenges like that. Other usability issues with the new building have been identified, and there is a community putting pressure on PNCA to make sure that these — and other grievances — are addressed. You can read an update on those grievances here

The remodel was designed by renowned architect and Portland native, Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture. The building now occupied by PNCA was built as a federal post office, but also housed immigration and customs enforcement, U.S. Customs and other agencies over the years. The campus more than doubled in size in the new location, and so did the library. Linden How, sitting behind the circulation desk, said how much she loves the new space. “We have students who were used to the industrial look and feel of the old space and kind of miss it. But Ibsen was quick to add, “I don’t miss it at all.”

~ Kate Rubick, ACRL-OR Member at Large (2015-2017)
Instruction Services Librarian, Lewis & Clark College

Make Your Academic Voice Heard: OLA Request for Academic Librarian Strategic Planning Priorities

Last summer, the OLA Board decided to embark on strategic planning. OLA wants to be the library association that you want and would be proud to be a participant in. After much deliberation, the OLA Board voted to hire a strategic planning consultant.

With Coraggio Group‘s help, the planning committee (Michele Burke, Robin Rolfe, Hannnah Rempel, Berenice Creecy, Elsa Loftis, and myself) has put together a survey.

Please help us achieve the best results possible for all of us in the Oregon library community by filling it out. The last date is April 15.

 OLA Strategic Plan Survey

If you have any questions, just ask me or one of the other planning committee members. Also, if you’d be interested in participating in a focus group, I’d love to hear that, too.

~Jane Corry
OLA President 2015-16