Sustainability is a fast evolving movement in higher education demonstrated by a proliferation of academic programs, co-curricular initiatives, and campus projects. Sustainability is now viewed as vital to the mission of many institutions of higher education, creating a paradigm shift that librarians can help advance with their collective interdisciplinary expertise. A review of LibGuides (online resource guides) showed that academic librarians are involved with sustainability efforts on many campuses and have a role in shaping curriculum-related activities. The author administered a survey to creators of sustainability LibGuides during the spring of 2011, posting the survey on library listservs as well. Librarians returned 112 survey responses that illustrated their engagement in sustainability activities through the forging of campus partnerships with administrators, faculty, staff from the Office of Sustainability, and library colleagues. Telephone interviews conducted with 24 of the respondents showed librarians’ wide-ranging professional interest in sustainability, and their initiatives to promote its cause, including creating resources, collections, exhibits, and events; library instruction; co-teaching with faculty; serving on sustainability committees; and collaborating with sustainability faculty and staff. However, both the survey and the interviews suggest that librarians would benefit from increased collaboration and knowledge of work undertaken elsewhere. Moreover, as the needs of students and faculty studying sustainability increase, libraries need to appoint librarians with special responsibilities in this field. Included is the author’s experience as the Sustainability Studies Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her engagement in professional development activities related to sustainability. Best practices for librarians to advance sustainability efforts are offered.
Patricia Andersen reviews Monty L. McAdoo's, "Building Bridges: Connecting Faculty, Students, and the College Library." Building Bridges gives in-depth, practical advice for librarians, new or not so new to information literacy, with tips on how to both interact with faculty and students to design successful assignments.
This book, Studying Students: A Second Look, edited by Nancy Fried Foster is a follow-up to a 2007 publication, Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester that demonstrates once again the benefits of conducting ethnographic studies when designing academic library spaces and services.
Librarians at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) University Libraries developed the “Student Affairs Connection” program in order to market the Libraries to students in co-curricular settings and to collaborate more closely with the Student Affairs Division. The program also provides the opportunity to seek student input on Libraries’ services and resources and to communicate directly with them in a variety of ways. The program has multiple facets: a liaison program where librarians are assigned to specific student organizations and services such as Student Government and Residence Life, a Student Libraries Advisory Council (SLAC) representing diverse groups of students that meets with librarians several times a year, staffing a Libraries’ table and providing information and giveaways at information fairs, and sponsoring special events such as Game Night each semester.
Alan Fisher (CC class of 1968) grew up in Wichita, Kansas attending Wichita State for one year before transferring to Colorado College in 1965. Graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1968, he served in the U.S. Army until 1971. He received a Master of Library Science in 1972 from Denver University, and a Master of Arts in Business from the University of Nebraska in 1976. He served as reference librarian at Tutt Library from 1977 to 1983. Alan describes campus life and attitudes during the late 1960's.
Two librarians at a small STEM academic library have partnered with professors to develop and teach chemistry and writing courses. These librarians have successfully worked with professors to serve as an active presence within the classroom. This article describes the challenges of navigating the typical obstacles librarians face when attempting to integrate information literacy into the curriculum, reflects on the benefits of these collaborations, and touches on strategies for implementing similar programs at other institutions. It outlines two distinct approaches to collaborating with professors on credit-bearing information literacy courses, along with the key steps involved in planning and implementing these courses, including generating institutional buy-in, identifying potential collaborators, negotiating workload and responsibilities with collaborators, and planning to sustain courses beyond a single academic year. Suggestions for overcoming obstacles, supplemented by experience-based recommendations are discussed.
This article describes how the librarians at Duquesne University’s Gumberg Library developed a system for the promotion of academic librarians. While some of the details in the article may apply only to the faculty at Gumberg Library, the thesis of this article is that other academic librarians wishing to develop similar promotional systems might benefit from what we have learned. Library faculty at other institutions should be aware of the practical aspects of aligning the library promotional path with established university structures, working with existing library culture, and making provisions for the initial cohort to work with the new guidelines. This article will be useful for librarians with faculty status who plan to implement a new promotion process or refine an existing system.
Academic librarians are expected to reach out to faculty to promote library services to the university community and to represent our departments in library meetings. But beyond these functions, faculty may not consider librarians as potential collaborators, especially on projects unrelated to the library. One prime opportunity for librarian/faculty collaboration at Kansas State University is the Tilford Incentive Grants. The grant’s stated purpose is to “encourage the infusion and assessment of the Tilford multicultural competencies with the educational experiences of our students”. This paper discusses the proposal and outcomes of one such collaboration between a journalism faculty member and the department’s subject librarian.
A native of Philadelphia born in 1917, Dr. George V. Fagan received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Temple University, his Master of Library Science degree from the University of Denver in 1957 and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania in 1954. A World War II veteran, he served as librarian of the United States Air Force Academy for 15 years before his retirement from the Air Force in 1969 with the rank of Colonel. From 1969 to 1983 he was head librarian at Colorado College's Tutt Library. During his tenure, he added more than 100,000 volume to the library, established the Special Collections Division, created the Lincoln Room and CC Room, oversaw the planning and construction of the 25,000 square-foot addition to the library, and established the Friends of the Library. In 1988 Dr. Fagan authored a book entitled, The Air Force Academy: An Illustrated History.
Traditional mentoring has many benefits, but peer mentoring can also offer a valuable support structure along the road to tenure. The Junior Faculty Research Roundtable (JFRR) is a peer-mentoring group for junior library faculty at the colleges and graduate schools of the City University of New York (CUNY). Created to encourage junior library faculty in their scholarly endeavors, JFRR organizes professional development events and facilitates in-person and online conversations on research, writing, and publishing. Now three years old, the group has transformed a large number of scattered junior library faculty into a supportive community of scholars.
The need for a tailored textbook for a distance class of PhD nursing students led to a collaboration between a College of Nursing faculty member and librarians from academic and health sciences libraries. The partnership incorporated new and existing library services in the “Research with Diverse Populations” class. Librarians provided curriculum support services and facilitated the creation of an eTextbook authored by class members. The Research with Diverse Populations eTextbook was designed to be openly accessible and structured to expand as future students make additional contributions. The audience for the eBook extends beyond the course participants to a broader audience of clinicians and researchers working with vulnerable populations. The eBook collaboration is an innovative and unique approach to addressing the needs of a faculty member. It is anticipated that the collaborative process will inspire similar projects in the future.
Academic librarians are often physically and intellectually isolated at their institutions, and need to accept much of the blame. Professional literature shows that librarians continue to argue against the responsibilities of tenure, despite the fact that in two of the three usual rubrics of tenure, publication and service, they share a level playing field with teaching faculty. In addition, academic librarians will not be treated equally unless they begin to think and work outside of the physical academic library. This article argues for a multidisciplinary approach to academic librarianship, with an emphasis on collaboration as a means to develop visibility through presentations at every level, publications in multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journals, professional memberships in organizations outside of librarianship, and active, vocal committee participation. By reinventing themselves as both subject / discipline and research methods experts, academic librarians make themselves more visible scholars at their institutions.
While the open access movement is a global movement, University of Northern Colorado librarians acted locally and collaboratively to make changes to their scholarly communication system. Authors of this article describe how global advocacy affected their local, institutional open access activities that resulted in a library faculty open access resolution at University of Northern Colorado Libraries. This article is based on the “Advocating for Open Access on Your Campus” presentation at the Colorado Academic Library Consortium Summit on May 21, 2010.