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Interview with Faye Chadwell, Oregon State University

Photo of Faye Chadwell with dog Tilley

Faye Chadwell, Donald and Delpha Campbell University Librarian and OSU Press Director

Tell us a little bit about your work background.

My career as an academic/research librarian began 30 years ago this August at the University of South Carolina though I’ve worked in libraries since my undergraduate years at Appalachian State University (Boone, NC).  As a young undergraduate student worker, I used to tell the folks at Appalachian State that I always wanted to come back there and be the dean.  Well, that didn’t happen but I did manage to reach my goal of being the university librarian at Oregon State.

Once there was a glimmer of aspiration that I might move on from my course of study in English (with a BA and MA) to get a PhD. I taught composition and  introduction to literature, grammar, technical writing at the university and community college level—plus a stint a high school. Librarianship came calling so I answered. Most of my career has been spent at two terrific Oregon research libraries—more than 10 years at Oregon State University preceded by 12 at the University of Oregon.  As a librarian, I started out as a pretty typical reference librarian with collection development and instruction responsibilities in my areas of strength—American and British literature but I also covered linguistics, folklore, and psychology. My love for collection development work led to a promotion as the social science bibliographer and then from there I took department head positions emphasizing collection development and acquisitions. I came into my role as a CD head as the world of collections and acquisitions was transitioning rapidly to electronic.

Throughout my career, I’ve been very involved in professional associations but didn’t take a traditional academic librarian route for my service commitments.  I was chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee in OLA and eventually elected as OLA’s president. Within ALA,  I chaired the GLBT Round Table Book Awards Committee and the Round Table itself.  ALCTS was also my home for many years because of the collections connection but in the last several years, I’ve been more involved in ACRL, leading up to my recent election to the ACRL Board.

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

I couldn’t have been prouder than when I was selected as OSU’s university librarian and director of the OSU Press.  The folks I work with at OSULP are among the best in the country.  In my opinion, the university librarian is supposed to support the success of her staff and the good ideas for programs and services they bring forth. So, there have been many “best things” but they haven’t happened to me so much as they have happened to OSU Libraries.  On an individual basis, I think being selected and supported to participate in the UCLA Senior Fellows for Library and Information Science as a an AUL has to be among the best things. I actually attended as an AUL who was moving into an interim UL position after the 3-week experience.  The coursework, nationally known speakers, etc. were good, but the network of peers and close friends I developed has proven invaluable to me in so many ways.  When I need to chat about issues, share ideas, or compare notes, I can rely on this group for support and feedback.  That kind of support network is a necessity for library leaders, especially emerging leaders.

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

Personal stuff that I am comfortable sharing: I have been out as a lesbian since I was a teenager. Having grown up in North Carolina, being out wasn’t always easy but I wouldn’t know how else to be in the world.  My partner (since 2000) and I are getting married this summer.  Though no blushing bride, I am pretty excited.  When not working I love to pursue outdoor activities, travel, cook and eat well. One outdoor activity I am still happy to be pursuing is competitive women’s softball at the senior women’s level.  And of course, I’m a voracious reader who typically has 2-3 books going at a time.  In fact I’ve been reviewing books for Library Journal since 1989, mostly fiction by international women writers and occasionally non-fiction titles about women in science.

When you run for ACRL Board, they ask candidates to describe themselves in 3 words.  I chose thoughtful, determined, and fair-minded.  Other folks who know me might add competitive, “tough but fair,” loyal, frank, and great in a crisis.  Apparently many co-workers think I’m a fast walker so that was amusing to learn.

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

Again, it’s hard to pick one. Like so many academic and research librarians, we face budgetary challenges every year.  I’ve been proud that the library’s administrative team has managed to acquire about $1.5 million in new, recurring $$$ in the last 3-5 years but it’s never enough to provide adequate resources for all we do or want to do. We also endured some retirements among our support staff positions so we are onboarding a number of new staff. It’s exciting to begin working with new folks, but these kinds of transition take time and energy. One big challenge that I would deem positive: the development and  implementation of a new strategic plan.  Finally, the sociopolitical and cultural environment we are enduring right now is taking its toll.  It will be important for us to figure out how to keep ourselves motivated in the face of ongoing challenges that yield negative impacts on earlier social and political progress we had made in this country.  No one likes taking one step forward and two steps backward.

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

It’d be cheeky and boastful to say we are the best academic library in the state, right? Okay that’s the competitive streak I mentioned above coming out.  Instead, let me say that I worked my first dozen years at the University of Oregon Libraries which is a wonderful organization.  However, I never knew all the fantastic work—research, teaching, and outreach and engagement going on at Oregon State. We are the best kept secret in Oregon higher education—too humble for our own good sometimes.  I did the research when I interviewed at OSU for the Associate University Librarian position so I knew about the innovative work in multiple areas, but after beginning to work here, I was blown away on a regular basis by my colleagues’ creativity, service commitment, and engagement on campus and in the profession.

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

Everyone in an academic library can be an advocate for academic libraries.  There are activities that we all should pursue no matter what our role or position.  For instance, contacting legislators about funding higher education issues because this has an impact on us and/or our constituents.

To be a good advocate, I think you need to do your homework and be prepared. It’s wonderful to be passionate and to be able to tell a good story, but some audiences need and require data. The folks in various units and departments at OSU Libraries are well-positioned to provide great data for me to present in my role to the University Administration.  So in that regard, we all share some responsibilities for advocating on our behalf.

I’m presently the ACRL liaison to the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group.  We were just discussing how advocacy works for different types of libraries.  I think that advocacy messages do need to be customized but we also need to remember to advocate for all libraries. We are connected and what happens within one arena affects another.  For example, the dearth of school librarians in Oregon has impact on public and academic librarians’ work.  There’s always going to be a learning curve to move from high school to a larger academic library, but I believe children from communities with strong school librarians can have a leg up on others.  We in academic libraries advocate for changes in the scholarly communication ecosystem.  That might be motivated by costs but it’s also motivated by a commitment to broad and affordable (if not free) access for readers to research results paid for by citizens.

Embark on the path to leadership as an ALA or Council Committee Intern!

Ready to climb the leadership ladder within ALA?  Interested in increasing your involvement with the Association?  Not sure where to start?

Embark on the path to leadership as an ALA or Council Committee Intern. Join ALA’s Training, Orientation & Leadership Development Committee (TOLD) to learn more about the application process, expectations and benefits of participation. Members of the ALA TOLD Committee, current Interns and Intern program alumni will share their experiences, application tips and more at the Your path to ALA leadership! ALA & Council Intern Discussion Group at 2018 ALA Annual.

9-10 a.m., Sunday, June 24
Morial Convention Center, Rm 210

Sign-up for this session on the 2018 Annual Conference Scheduler at ALA & Council Intern Discussion Group.

Follow TOLD on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ALA_told

Submit a Proposal for a Lightning Talk or Poster

Please consider submitting a proposal to present an 8-minute lightning talk or a poster for the ACRL-OR/WA Joint Conference on October 25-26, 2018 at Menucha.


The theme of this year’s conference is “Reimagining Advocacy: Personal, Professional, and Political.” Advocacy means so much more than just lobbying the government or our elected representatives (though it is that too!). The Pacific Northwest is full of stories of librarians who have advocated for themselves, their patrons, their libraries, their profession, and their professional values. Our conference will focus on the full spectrum of advocacy work and how each of us can be better advocates when we work to influence decisions at any level.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 31st, 2018.  Accepted proposals will be notified by Friday, September 14, 2018 and the conference registration deadline is October 1, 2018.

Please contribute to our two days of insightful and thought-provoking conversations at Menucha by submitting a proposal!

ACRL-OR Professional Development Scholarship: Reflections from ARLIS/NA 2018

As a new library director at Pacific Northwest College of Art, a small, independent art college, it’s essential to my college and my professional development that I am able to attend the annual conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA). Adjacent to the conference, there is an annual meeting of library directors from the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD), a consortium of 42 art schools in the US and Canada. This year’s ACRL-Oregon Professional Development award supported my attendance at this preeminent conference for librarians in my field and allowed me to meet up with other AICAD Directors. In addition, it was my goal to eat as much New York pizza as possible, as I believe it is superior to all other pizza.  

My first day in New York was the AICAD library directors’ meeting at the School of Visual Arts library. I met several colleagues for the first time and we discussed timely issues to our communities including diversity and inclusion initiatives, overdue fines, our annual data reports, budgets, and future projects. It was enlightening and validating to speak with other directors, many of whom experience similar challenges in their institutions.

From there, I raced to Midtown to the conference hotel to attend the workshop, “From the Margins to the Center: Cultivating a Critical, Reflective, and Radical Practice in Art Librarianship,” lead by librarians from around the country who have been influential in incorporating critical pedagogy into library instruction. At PNCA we have been seeking more ways to include social justice work in every aspect of library services; this workshop allowed us to reflect on our current practices, what we seek for the future, and how best to serve our community. By the end of Sunday, I had eaten four slices of pizza.

The next day, the full conference began and I attended an interesting session on “Crashing the IR Party: Artists as scholars in Institutional Repositories.” My library developed, maintains, and acquires work by our community for our institutional repository, Mimi. Each presenter shared their challenges and triumphs in their varied experiences and I was most particularly interested in discussions around how to achieve buy-in from stakeholders. It seems that more institutions are collecting scholarship by artists and seeing how different platforms handle visual media was very informational.

Next, I attended a meeting of the Book Arts Special Interest Group, a new one for me. I was interested in hearing how other libraries and museums collect and provide access to artists’ publications in all forms. We discussed cataloging, acquisitions, and housing these collections as well. I got to see one of my favorite booksellers and artists, Marshall Weber, Collection Development Curator & Artist at Booklyn. This organization supports artists and activists and provides exhibition space in New York.

In 2017, a task force was formed to update the “Information Competencies for Students in Design Disciplines,” and Linden How, my coworker at PNCA, joined this group. At the conference she presented their recent iteration of this document that drew from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy and the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. In this workshop format, we provided feedback and asked questions. I am excited that this work is being done and look forward to seeing the new competencies next year. Today’s pizza slice count: 2.

Between sessions, I perused the posters including an interesting one about pest management and disaster planning. I visited the vendor hall and purchased a few excellent titles from Purgatory Pie Press. They make artists’ publications that take a variety of physical forms and utilize diverse printmaking techniques, and which make great teaching tools. (I have already shared these publications twice with students and will be presenting them to the PNCA Alumni Council in June!)

Next, I moderated a session for my group, the Public Policy Committee (PPC), entitled “Libraries Resist!” where librarians from across the country shared how their programming, students, and exhibitions participate in activism. The session was heavily attended and a lively discussion followed. I was proud to represent the PPC and moderate a session that challenges the way libraries, librarians, and institutions engage in resistance to threats to our professional values and ethics. Among other activities, the PPC “monitors governmental activities affecting art libraries and visual resources collections; drafts position statements on legislative issues consistent with ARLIS/NA’s interests for review and action by the Executive Board… and educates the membership on these issues.” You can find the PPC’s monthly News Alerts (of which I am the new editor) here: https://arlisna.org/news/public-policy-news-alerts I only ate one slice of pizza today, but it was really good.

Workshop of Robert Campin, Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece), 1427-32, Oil on oak

Workshop of Robert Campin, Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece), 1427-32, Oil on oak. The Cloisters Collection, 1956. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

After an enriching and busy conference, I spent a personal day at the Met Cloisters, the arm of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that is “dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe,” and houses the famous Unicorn Tapestries and several illustrated manuscripts including the The Belles Heures of Jean de France, duc de Berry. I finally fulfilled a lifelong dream to spend a day with the treasures of the Cloisters, especially the Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece), by the workshop of Robert Campin. It is an exquisite example of early Netherlandish painting and I have spent years studying it; It was an unforgettable event to see it in person. Pizza slices eaten: 0, but I did eat many dumplings.

For more information about ACRL-OR’s professional development scholarship, contact us at acrlor@olaweb.org


Summer Reading: Reflection and Renewal

The summer can be a useful time for self-reflection, planning, and renewal. Perhaps one of these books from the State Library’s Library and Information Science collection can inspire you. Why not request one and find out?

Book covers collage

The Library and Information Science collection is supported in whole by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act.

Library and Information Science Collection LogoThe collection is meant to support the entire Oregon library community. The State Library welcomes suggestions – contact them to suggest a title.

Registration Open for ACRL-OR/WA Joint Conference

ACRL-Oregon is please to announce that registration is open for the annual Joint Fall Conference at Menucha!  Join your Oregon and Washington colleagues to explore “Reimagining Advocacy: Personal, Professional, Political” on October 25th and 26th, 2018.

The submission period for lightening talks and poster presentations will be open soon so look for an upcoming announcement!  We look forward to hearing about the many creative ways you explore advocacy in your work.

Be sure to check out the information about this year’s pre-conference as well as keynote speakers and programming.  Scholarship applications will be open in August.

Information on registration, accommodations, and upcoming proposal submissions will be available on the Conference website.

See you at Menucha!

Steve Silver
ACRL-OR President
Northwest Christian University

“We need to elevate & recognize”: Past ACRL-OR Awards for Excellence revisited!

The ACRL-Oregon Award for Excellence recognizes a project that demonstrates excellence in the field by significantly improving Oregon academic libraries or librarianship. Help us recognize the great work of our colleagues — your nominations matter!

This year’s nominations are open! We’re checking in with past recipients to get project updates and hear what the award meant for them. One of the 2012 awards went to the Journal for Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. We asked project rep Isaac Gilman to reflect on the award and to give us an update on the status of the project.

What did receiving this award mean to you or your team?

We received the award about a year after we started the journal, so it was great to have some early affirmation that others saw what we were doing as interesting and important (it wasn’t just us!)

How has this project evolved or changed since receiving the award?

The journal is still being published, although it is in the hands of new editors now. The fundamental structure and approach of the journal haven’t changed, but we did migrate publishing platforms in 2016.

What’s happening in or around our profession that you’re really excited about?

There is (rightly) concern about the consolidation of scholarly communication infrastructure (e.g. publishing, repositories, activity tracking, citations, research metrics, etc) in the hands of large commercial interests, and the movement that has started to create an alternative, collaborative open infrastructure is quite interesting. But I’m excited about another kind of consolidation that I think is good—more and more, we’re seeing academic libraries take on responsibility for additional academic student services. Bringing these into the library creates new opportunities to better coordinate traditional library services with these other areas, which can have a positive impact for students, and can help ensure students know about, and use, services that can help them succeed.

Why should someone nominate a project for the ACRL-OR Award for Excellence?

There are, of course, exceptions, but I generally find that people who work in libraries are quite humble about their achievements. There is incredible work going on all around us, and we need to elevate it and recognize it, especially for our colleagues who would never dream of doing that for themselves! And nominating projects for this award brings them additional visibility, which can lead to new collaborations as well.

More information on the nomination process and past winners can be found on the ACRL-Oregon website. The nomination period closes at 11:59pm on August 31, 2018.

Personal Librarian & FYE Conference: A Reflection

As the academic year comes to an end and planning begins for the next, I’d like to stop and take a few moments to again say thank you to ACRL-Oregon for awarding me a professional development scholarship. The scholarship was for my attendance at the Personal Librarian & First Year Experience Library Conference held in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Personal Librarian & First Year Experience Librarian Conference was definitely a worthwhile experience. I walked away with some very applicable information my library will incorporate this fall as we launch the second year of the Concordia University Personal Librarian program.

The conference sessions seemed to focus on one of two main ideas. The first idea was the practical implementation of such programs and what helps lead to their success; the second idea was the potential implications and results of student outreach. While the practical tips were the most tangible takeaways, what I valued the most was the reminder of the importance that just one positive interaction between a faculty member and a student can have on that student. To paraphrase one of the keynote speakers, “[A]t the end of the day, this still is a people business.” These are ideas that resonate throughout all of higher education.

Overall, I believe what I learned lends itself to broader initiatives at my institution, as well as to colleges and universities statewide, because the bottom line is about student success and retention. Those two themes are at the very heart of Personal Librarian & First Year Experience programs; it’s all about outreach. Everyone in higher education is striving to provide students with meaningful experiences that challenge their thinking and inspire them to become the best that they can be.

Ultimately, there were way too many great ideas to implement all at once or that may not apply specifically to my particular university, but as we continue our planning for our personal librarian program, we will be influenced by what I learned at the conference. I have had the opportunity to share with my fellow Concordia librarians about my experience as well as the librarians at George Fox University. They currently are considering implementing a similar program at their library, so I was able to directly reference a number of tips I learned from the conference.  My ultimate goal will be to continue to improve our program, gather data, and present at a local conference on the successes we’ve had.

Thank you again for a wonderful opportunity.

Kim Olson-Charles
Reference & Instruction Librarian
Concordia University – Portland

ACRL-Oregon Election Results

The ACRL-Oregon election results are in!

The ACRL-Oregon Board is pleased to present its newly-elected officers, who will start their terms on September 1:

Many thanks to all the candidates who ran for office in this election, and thanks to all the members who participated by casting their vote!

Steve Silver
ACRL-Oregon Chapter | Oregon Library Association – Academic Division

Congratulations to Hannah Gascho Rempel – ACRL IS Teaching Methods Committee’s latest Featured Teaching Librarian!

Photo of Hannah Gascho Rempel

Hannah Gascho Rempel, Science Librarian and Graduate Student Services Coordinator, Oregon State University Library

Congratulations to Oregon State Librarian Hannah Gascho Rempel on being selected as the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee’s latest Featured Teaching Librarian!

The Featured Teaching Librarian is selected by the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee. Several times during the year, the committee selects and interviews a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning. This feature provides a way to showcase amazing teaching librarians and share their best teaching practices with others in the field.

Visit the Instruction Section blog to check out Hannah’s interview!