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SW Chapter PaLA Workshop – Featuring Lois Lowry

May 3, 2022

You are cordially invited to our in-person and Zoom Spring Workshop. We look forward to sharing with you tools and procedures that will prepare you for any possible book challenge that may come your way. We are also thrilled to have author Lois Lowry joining us virtually to discuss, among other things, her challenged book “The Giver.” CLICK HERE for an agenda.

So don’t delay…register now, put it on your calendar and join us on May 20, 2022 from 8:30am until 2:30pm for what should be a very engaging event.

Cost: $20 PaLA member | $40 Non-member


Connect and Communicate PresentsMicrofilm Enters the Digital Age: A Big Evolution for a Microformat

April 29, 2022

Presented by Ashoo Kumar, Sandy Morgart, Eric Novotny, and Dan Peters

May 11, 2022 at 11:30 am EST

Registration Link

The pandemic disrupted many aspects of librarianship and provided an opportunity to rethink and revitalize library services. At Penn State it added new urgency to a long-standing desire to offer more convenient access to Microforms, breathing new life into a format often seen as outdated and inaccessible. In this session, speakers from Penn State’s Microforms and Government Information and Information Technology Units will share how we’ve improved access to microforms and increased impact. With WebLabs softwarepatrons no longer need to visit the library to use the treasures on microfilm. They can browse, view, and scan microfilm from home, the office, the beach, or even from the ski slopes! Dynamic links added to the library catalog allow patrons to seamlessly initiate a scan request at the point of discovery. The impact has been dramatic with individuals across the curriculum requesting materials. The new services promote equity of access and remove barriers, making the collections equally accessible to novices and seasoned researchers alike. We will share data and offer practical advice for those considering similar arrangements at their institutions. We hope to have a robust discussion on innovative ways to promote the use of legacy formats such as microfilm. 

Ashoo Kumar is Library Manager, Microform and Government Information at Penn State University Libraries.  

Sandy Morgart is the Services and Microforms Collections Assistant at Penn State University Libraries. 

Eric Novotny is History Librarian at Penn State University Libraries, and co-heads the Microforms and Government Information Unit.   

Dan Peters is the Systems Design Specialist for Penn State University Libraries Strategic Technologies. 

As a reminder, the Zoom link will be sent approximately 48 hours before the session. We will mute participants on entry into the Zoom room. Session will be recorded and available on YouTube after the session. We will enable Zoom’s Live Transcription feature during the session.

If you would like to present with C&CS, please contact the C&CS team.

This project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.

Support is also provided by the College and Research Division of the Pennsylvania Library Association.

Thoughts on Library Research Recruiting

April 28, 2022

I’m currently in the midst of running my first research project, attempting to learn more about faculty publication choices across Pitt’s five campuses. Because I ended up not taking an optional research methods course in graduate school, and have mostly learned by teaching myself and by imitating others, this process has been an incredibly valuable learning experience for me. Being self-taught, however, does have its challenges.

I’m struggling, as I’m sure all researchers must, with recruiting participants. My team and I wanted to have hour-long interviews over Zoom, compensating participants for their time. Very few of the faculty we approached took us up on that offer. It’s unfortunate, because we believe these interviews are still the best way to coax out the data we’re looking for, but we need more participants if our data is to be useful at all. Therefore, I’m taking steps to revise our methods to something less taxing on faculty’s time.

I also started thinking about the research projects my colleagues at Pitt have done with our teaching faculty in the past (we often participate in Ithaka S+R studies). I thought about the teaching faculty at Pitt, who are incredibly busy and would need a good reason to take the time to speak with us. Even beyond formal research, are librarians trying to learn about how their faculty use libraries and their services at a disadvantage?

On the one hand, you have several librarians asking the same population (or sub-population) to participate in studies that may only be useful for the greater good. For smaller universities and college, I imagine that scarcity is even more apparent. Unlike students, faculty aren’t necessarily on constant rotation. I wonder if faculty get tired of getting requests for our studies. On the other hand, it is convenient that librarians doing this kind of work have a distinct population to recruit from—who they may work with or know and can be recruited with just an email—and don’t necessarily have to cast a wide net using listservs or social media. I’m not a liaison either, so I don’t have relationships with faculty that my colleagues might, but I suppose I have the option to ask them for an introduction here and there.

On top of these considerations, I also wonder if new stresses brought on by the pandemic, whose effects we’re still feeling after two years, make faculty less available for participation in studies. I’m thinking of Zoom burnout and anxiety surrounding teaching and childcare, specifically, but there may be other compounding factors.

Satisfying these questions would require more research that I, like my teaching faculty colleagues, do not have the time for, so for now I’m left to wonder and to continue working on revising my IRB.

CRD Virtual Journal Club Feedback Form

April 26, 2022

Please use this Google Form to share your thoughts about the Spring 2022 series of the Virtual Journal Club, sponsored by the College & Research Division of the Pennsylvania Library Association! Thanks to everyone who participated in our discussions of recent literature on inclusive practices in libraries.

Even if you were not able to participate in the series this spring, please feel free to use the form to indicate which topic(s) you would be interested in reading about in future series, as well as indicate your scheduling preferences.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Thank you, and have a great day! Melissa

Register today for ACRL DVC Spring Programs!

April 19, 2022

The Delaware Valley Chapter of ACRL invites you to participate in our Spring 2022 Program Series, collectively titled “The Essential Work: Centering Our Values, Health, and Humanity”. This program series and our guiding questions were inspired by the ongoing uncertainty around and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past 22 months we have been asked to reinvent our work, (re)define what is “essential,” and negotiate the tension between our values and our responsibilities. This spring we invite you to join us as we explore our guiding questions.

The Essential Work: Centering Our Values, Health, and Humanity – Part I: Presentations – Friday April 22, 2022 from 10am-12pm ET | Registration Link

Shared learning is a fundamental part of our mission, and we have so much to learn from one another as we reflect on the past two years.  To support that continued learning, this first event in our series will feature “sparkler talk” (15min) presentations from a selection of our community members on topics relevant to our guiding questions. Following the presentations, there will be a short panel discussion and Q&A.

“Retooling Technical Services: Life After the Great Resignation”

Melissa Brooks, Head of Technical Services and Associate Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi 

“Treating Illness with Trust: How COVID-19  Changed Attitudes Toward Illness at Trexler Library”
Sarah Pelczynski-Kunda, Public Services Assistant at Muhlenberg College Trexler Library 

“Are Librarians Essential Workers?”

Allyson Wind, Electronic Resources Librarian, East Stroudsburg University

“The Essential Work: Centering Our Values, Health, and Humanity” – Part II: Keynote by Nisha Mody – Friday May 20, 2022 from 2-4pm ET | Registration Link

This virtual keynote address, from Feminist Healing Coach, Writer, and Library Advocate. Nisha Mody, will be on how we can become more trauma-informed in libraries by shifting toward a relational approach rather than a transactional one. She will address the questions: What forces subconsciously take us away from being relational? How can we be more relational leaders and colleagues as well as with patrons and ourselves? How does being relational reframe urgency along with other characteristics of white supremacy culture? 

“The Essential Work: Centering Our Values, Health, and Humanity” – Part III: Healing in Nature – Date in June TBD

While some parts of our work can be negotiated, the importance of our individual health cannot be questioned. Plan to join us this June as we learn to find strength and healing in nature. Date and Details coming soon.

We hope to see you there! Please direct questions to For more, please visit our Events page: