As we detailed last week, this is the kick-off post to what will hopefully be a long-running monthly series of posts by ACRL-OR Board members. These posts will cover topics ranging from what is happening at specific academic libraries in Oregon, to statewide initiatives that ACRL-OR or OLA are dealing with, to national-level ACRL goings-on.
Each board member is assigned to one of the 58 (who knew!?!) academic libraries in Oregon, but if you have something to share from your local context, feel free to go straight to either the current ACRL-OR President or the Communications Coordinator — see our Board Members page for contact info — and we can help to share your news or ideas.
This month, I’d like to briefly highlight some library happenings at the state level. For the past two years, one of the goals of ACRL-OR has been to find ways to support our colleagues who are school librarians or media specialists. Many of you are likely aware of the decline in school libraries across the state (and country) and the impact this has had on school media specialists. As academic librarians, we are concerned about this issue, both because this affects our colleagues, but also because of the impact this shift has on students as they transition to the post-secondary environment. Without a foundation of information literacy instruction provided in the K-12 setting, college and university students’ potential for success is markedly diminished.
One of the ways the Oregon Association of School Librarians has sought to strengthen their position is through the endorsement of school library standards (https://sites.google.com/site/oregonschoollibrarystandards/) by the State Board of Education. ACRL-OR was one of many groups who wrote letters in support of this initiative. As you may know, on January 22, 2015, the Oregon State Board of Education adopted the Oregon School Library Standards. Wahoo!
There is certainly much work ahead for Oregon’s school libraries, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction. Academic librarians can add their support to school libraries by talking to school administrators and local legislators. We need to work as a team as we all seek to cultivate life-long learners, critical thinkers, and engaged citizens.
Hannah Gascho Rempel
ACRL-OR President (2014-2015)
Oregon State University Libraries
Corvallis, OR 97331