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Social Capital

June 14, 2018

social capitalWhile it’s great to highlight library services and collections, it is called “social” media for a reason. At Bishop Library we’ve found that audiences want to learn and relate to people in the library. Sure you may have spent hours making the perfect Canva ad highlighting a library event, but you will most likely get far more feedback spotlighting people. Not all staff are up for this, but most are willing to participate and enjoy the attention. We’ve tried to highlight staff with short biographies, interests and fun facts.

The best part this is often an easy thing to do ahead of time and with a small staff this is crucial. We use the social media management platform Hootsuite to schedule out as many posts as possible.

Highlighting staff members during national or college-wide events draws attention from alumni and current members of the college community. Your post or tweet may also be shared by the college and wider audience. Staff member Becky Chanas’ unique shirt (in the Instagram post seen here) on election day was a hit on Instagram.


If you have student staff members this is a perfect way to connect to your student workers’ social capital. We created a series of posts spotlighting student workers. The example below of student worker Tyler Miller was scheduled to be posted on the opening night of the college theatre group’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not only did this create more engagement and comments than a typical post it also gained us some new followers.   


Also don’t underestimate the power of your alumni. Working off the momentum established with  student worker profiles, we reached out to former library student workers for a “Where Are They Now?” posts. The majority of former student workers reached out to responded within a few days with a photo and short update on their lives, leaving just editing and scheduling for me to do. I worked hard to tag all their respective departments and former student activities in the posts. Former student worker Leo Kyte, seen here with his wife Cornin (also an LVC grad), created the most buzz we’ve seen from this series of posts.  


So when in doubt on what to post, leverage the appropriate social capital (including your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend) and reap the rewards.

Photo credits in order of appearance.

  • Lebanon Valley College Archives. “Library Staff.” Quittapahilla Yearbook, Internet Archive, 1969,
  • Bentz, Maureen. “Library Staff Catching Up and Keeping Cool.” Facebook, 2017, .
  • Bentz, Maureen. “Meet our Library technician, Becky.” Instagram, 2016,
  • Miller, Tyler. “Meet One of Our Student Workers, Tyler Miller.” Facebook, 2017,
  • Kyte, Leo. “Where Are They Now?? After Graduation Business Major Leo Kyte ’13 Set-out with His Girlfriend, Corinn Shute ’13, to Tackle Washington, D.C.” Facebook, 2018,




BUDSC18 Extends Call for Proposals

June 13, 2018

Bucknell University will host its fifth annual digital scholarship conference (#BUDSC18) from October 5th-7th. The theme of the conference is “Digital Scholarship: Expanding Access, Activism, and Advocacy.”

#BUDSC18 will bring together a community of practitioners–faculty, researchers, librarians, artists, educational technologists, students, administrators, and others–committed to promoting access to and through digital scholarship. We consider “access” in the broadest possible terms: accessible formats and technologies, access through universal design for learning, access to a mode of expression, access to stories that might not otherwise be heard or that might be lost over time, access to understanding and knowledge once considered beyond reach.

We encourage proposals that explore or critique digital scholarship as it relates to access, broadly conceived. Topics may include, but should not be limited to, the following:

  • Accessibility of digital platforms and technology
  • Access to resources to engage in or produce digital scholarship
  • Digital scholarship and social change
  • Sustainability and future access to digital scholarship
  • Digital scholarship and multimodal/interdisciplinary access
  • Access to digital scholarship beyond the academy
  • The public mission of digital scholarship
  • Creating opportunities for diverse voices and perspectives
  • Designing for access, activism, and advocacy

Submissions may take the form of interactive presentations, project demos, electronic posters, panel discussions, work-in-progress sessions, workshops, lightning talks, or other creative formats.

We look forward to building on the success of the last four years, in which we have come together to discuss challenges, share working models, reflect on projects, and inspire new avenues for actively including students in public scholarly pursuits. For more information, please view our highlights from the 2017 meeting, the conference website and this year’s call.

Proposal Submission Form:

Proposals are due: June 30th, 8:00 PM, Eastern Time (US).
Notifications will be sent by the end of July.
If you have any questions please contact:

Dive In

June 12, 2018

Dive InDuring the summer of 2017, the last thing I wanted to do was start another social media channel. However, my director kept discussing Tumblr and it was obvious she thought the demographic (18-29 year olds) interested in Tumblr would be a good fit for our library. As a Gen-Xer, I had no personal experience with Tumblr. When I looked into it, I still didn’t really understand it (and maybe still don’t). To me it was a micro-blogging platform with a visual focus, but what was the point?

After some in-house discussion, we decided to give our archival student worker the freedom to share her opinions and thoughts about archival photos and objects. She dove into the project during the quiet summer months. Once completed, I reviewed each of her posts to correct and edit them for spelling and grammar. Additionally, I corrected any misinterpretations or historical inaccuracies. Our student did an amazing job finding items that were engaging. She crafted and scheduled out (via Tumblr’s queue feature) posts for the entire year. With the help from another staff member, she also took some great photos of some rarely seen objects.

To spread the word we followed other Tumblr accounts (194 in total) and used our other social media channels to cross promote our Tumblr posts. After a year we have 1051 followers and 430 notes/likes. So what is the point? For us, Tumblr expanded the college-age audience of our archival materials and showcased them in a way that was conversational, not authoritarian. With limited staff, our archives have no regular open hours. Tumblr offered a great way to showcase some of our more visual items to a wider audience.

Given the encouraging jist of the title of this post… “Dive In,” don’t be fooled.  I am currently dragging my feet on Snapchat. This morning I spoke with student workers who made a case for the social media channel and suggested uses, but with my limited experience I’m still apprehensive. Eventually, I will dive in, but right now I’m thinking about testing the waters.

Lebanon Valley College Archives on Tumblr

(Photo credit: Lebanon Valley College. “Women Swimming.” Student Affairs-Women’s Sports, F4.2, 2015.06.1337, Lebanon Valley College Archives Photograph Collection, 1954, Annville, PA).


Extra, Extra, Read All About It

June 7, 2018

Learning the whereabouts of family members and loved ones was one of the earliest acts of freedom undertaken by African American slaves who were liberated by The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.


Information Wanted Ad, The Freeman (Indianapolis, IN), March 31, 1894, Accessed from Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery.

The vehicle of discovery was notices placed in newspapers as advertisements under the heading “Lost Relatives” or “Information Wanted.” Historian and Villanova University professor Judith Giesberg, PhD, began a process of unearthing these ads using microfilmed newspapers. Because of this initiative, and others like it, Villanova University’s library recently increased its access to diverse and historically significant newspapers and periodicals in digital format. Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery as a digital humanities project has blossomed and gotten media attention.

When working with newspapers researchers quickly realize most content is not free. Our library buys access to the Philadelphia Inquirer (1981- present) and many other newspapers via NewsBank and other databases like “America’s Historical Newspapers: 1690-1922” from Readex. Other major sources of newspaper content that we have are ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Nexus Uni, and Accessible Archives.


Article Headline, Catholic Transcript (Hartford, Connecticut), Volume LXVIII, Number 31, November 26, 1965, Accessed from The Catholic News Archive.

As critical as these costly options are, librarians should not neglect their “step-sisters.” Web-based portals with free open access to newspaper content which are incredibly valuable to scholars, such as:

Large and small, these mostly niche digitization projects are resources librarians will find invaluable and libraries should support. For a robust listing of newspaper digitization projects visit the International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) Webpage on the Center for Research Libraries: Global Resources Network site.

C&CS Presents: Transparency in the Tenure Process

June 4, 2018

C&CS Presents

Transparency in the Tenure Process:
A Frank Discussion on Earning Tenure and Thriving as an Archivist in Academia

June 21, 2018 — 1 pm

Register here for the Zoom Link!

Many archivists are in positions that require them to publish, present at conferences, apply for grants, and serve in organizations to move forward at their institutions. This webinar will highlight three panelists, all in various stages of the promotion and tenure process, who will be transparent and frank in their discussion of how to navigate the academic system. The discussion will include practical tips for curating a research agenda, strategies for shining in yearly reviews, and advice for those applying to tenure-track positions. Join Elizabeth, Rachel and Heidi discuss these aspects to prepare archivists in all stages of the tenure process to be better equipped organizationally and have a clearer understanding of expectations and challenges.


Elizabeth M Scott

Elizabeth M. Scott is currently the Archivist & Special Collections Librarian and Assistant Professor at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. She is the liaison for art+design, theatre, health studies, exercise science and athletic training. Prior to coming to ESU, she worked as an archivist in various states including Massachusetts and Arizona. She is actively involved with the Academy of Certified Archivists and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference organizations. Her research interests include art and archives as well as archivists in academia. In her spare time she enjoys mentoring new archivists in the field and reading fiction books


Rachel Walton is a junior faculty member and the Digital Archivist and Records Coordinator at Rollins College, a private liberal arts school in Winter Park, Florida. In that role she works to acquire, preserve, and 
Rachel Waltonprovide access to the college’s digital assets. Rachel also serves as the liaison to the Art and Art History Department, acts as the college’s record management expert, and supports digital humanities projects across campus. Her research interests include website usability, oral history, and data management planning. She is an active member of the Society of American Archivists and Chief Editor of the Society of Florida Archivists Journal. When she’s not working Rachel likes sipping cappuccinos, playing with her adorable French Bulldog, and getting out in the Florida sunshine.


Heidi Abbey MoyerHeidi Abbey Moyer is the Archivist, Humanities Reference Librarian, and Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections at the Penn State Harrisburg Library in Middletown, Pennsylvania.  She is also a tenured faculty librarian with the Penn State University Libraries. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and focus on American popular culture, especially motherhood and weddings, archival advocacy, primary source literacy, and outreach, as well as museum studies.  Ms. Moyer has published in the peer-reviewed journals Art Libraries Journal and Archival Issues, and recently contributed to the book Women’s Rights:  Reflections in Popular Culture (ABC-CLIO, 2017).  During her first post-tenure research sabbatical, she completed her second book, Penn State Harrisburg (Arcadia Publishing, 2016), which is a celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary.  Currently, she is working on two new books, one that focuses on the diabetes epidemic and its influence on American fertility, food, and popular culture, and another one that will highlight Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania’s Chautauqua.  Aside from her obsessions with history and research, she enjoys watching movies with her husband and three sons, creating a pollinator-friendly garden, painting, meditation, and yoga.

Zoom link will be sent about 2 days before the session.


Open Educational Resources in Pennsylvania Academic Libraries

June 1, 2018

During my seven years as a textbook specialist and buyer for Northampton Community College’s campus store, the start of each semester was characterized by repeated questioning, frustration, and bewilderment from students and parents alike concerning the rising cost of textbooks and course materials. Having attended Northampton Community College as a student myself back in the nineties, I completely empathized with the students’ dilemma and assured them that it was the publishers who set the prices and that the college’s mark ups on these items were reintegrated into the college’s monetary resources for financial aid, scholarships, and technology updates, to name a few. Nonetheless, there seemed to be a stigma attached to the campus store, as though not only did we relish in charging $280 for a calculus textbook, but that we also pocketed half of that money to afford our private vacations to Fiji. I often contemplated that the students were visualizing what was going on behind the scenes; the campus store associates engaging in a nightly ritual of laughing and dancing around a boiling cauldron, rubbing our hands in glee as we surmised the financial destruction of those sorry souls emptying out their wallets and checkbooks in our honor.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. It was a constant battle between the campus store and the sales representatives. I understood their motives; they needed to stay in business and therefore needed to push their products. But a packaged item consisting of loose leaf pages (ideal so the student would only have to take the chapter he or she needed to class that day in a binder as opposed to lugging around a heavy textbook) and an access code (which could provide online tutorial assistance for assignments and quizzes, or even an electronic version of the textbook) presented issues which agitated the students. Packaged course materials could not be returned if the access code had been used, even if the student dropped the class, for the simple fact that I could not ship an used item back to its vendor. Wholesale vendors such as MBS and Nebraska Book Company would not accept used access codes as well, and often did not allow for us to sell them loose leaf versions of textbooks, since there was no guarantee that all of the pages would be intact. This determined the campus store’s decision to not buy back loose leaf versions of textbooks, which naturally caused the students a great deal of frustration.

Electronic versions of textbooks were also increasingly becoming an option presented by vendors. While this usually came at a cheaper cost than a physical textbook, a majority of students were reluctant to purchase an ebook. Being a community college, our population of students was extremely diverse. Non-traditional students returning to college after decades were not comfortable with reading a textbook online and would much rather have preferred a physical book to hold, take notes in, and highlight. (Interestingly, a lot of traditional students felt the same way.) One major obstacle was that for students wishing to bring their ebooks to class, they needed access to a laptop. (At the time that I worked at Northampton Community College’s campus store, ebooks could not be downloaded onto Kindles or NOOKs.) A majority of students could not afford a laptop. Eventually, the college’s financial aid department started including the cost of a laptop as a necessity which it would cover. However, students often wanted something tangible which they could sell back at the end of the semester. I often had to explain to them that they were getting their savings upfront at the time of purchase; they were saving more money by purchasing an ebook rather than a physical textbook.

Regardless of the affordable options we tried to implement at the campus store, students regularly questioned me if our library carried any of the textbooks we sold. More often than not, I had to tell them that due to ever-changing editions and the limitations of the library’s space, textbooks were not carried by our library. There would be no plausible way that the library could carry multiple copies of Campbell Biology textbooks, for example. Between the college’s library not carrying copies of textbooks, loose leaf versions not being bought back by the campus store, and the escalating cost of course materials, the textbook-selling industry was really taking a hit, and I was at the forefront.

Our academic libraries are aware of these problems and are investigating the implementation of open educational resources. The theme of the Pennsylvania Library Association College & Research Division Annual Spring Workshop, held at Shippensburg University on May 24th, was focused on the topic of open educational resources in our state’s academic libraries. Temple University’s Associate University Librarian for Research & Instructional Services, Steven J. Bell, keynoted a presentation entitled “It’s Up to the Librarians: Working Together for OER Adoption.” Bell is a regular, fervent  advocate for textbook affordability, and believes that an increased awareness of the cost of textbooks is finally taking hold with faculty and staff, thereby marking “more progress and positive developments than anytime in the past.”

These advancements have reached significant levels, showing much promise. Last March, the U.S. Congress included funding for a $5 million pilot open textbook grant program in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus bill (  A first major investment by our Congress in open educational resources after nearly a decade of advocacy, this funding is bringing full awareness to the issue that the high cost of college textbooks is often an overlooked impediment to financing one’s higher education. (A common complaint I often heard in my years as a textbook specialist was that sometimes the textbook cost as much as the course!) With better funding for the cost of course materials, students can be ensured that they have access to the necessary resources for their curriculum and not have their grades suffer as a result, since oftentimes students choose to not purchase the textbooks required simply because they cannot afford them.

Bell mentions other areas of increased development with open educational resources. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has recently instituted an Open Education Leadership Program, a two-semester professional development initiative which arms its participants with the know-how in perpetuating the advancement and inclusion of open educational resources in college campuses and libraries ( Piloted in the fall of 2017 with fifteen participants, the Open Education Leadership Program demonstrated much success and has garnered “overwhelming interest and institutional support.” Such promise signifies that the next generation of open educational resources leaders is being prepared to infiltrate higher education and make it accessible to everyone. The allure of open educational resources is that they are licensed under an open license and are available to the public free of charge.

Retaliations from the publishing companies is another topic Bell touches upon in his presentation. As I have mentioned from my own personal experiences, vendors often tried to increase the appeal of their course materials (or “learning platforms” as Bell says publishers prefer to call their products) by bundling loose leaf versions of textbooks with access codes, peppered with the declaration that the students would incur savings upfront. Prior to visiting me at the campus store, the sales representatives would often meet with the faculty first and pitch these cost-saving alternatives to the traditional textbook. The faculty were often impressed and made the adoption. When the sales representatives would come to inform me that an entire department was going with this particular bundle, I immediately became the barking chihuahua, nipping viciously at the ankles in an effort to remind them that this was not helping out the students in the long run. There had to be a better alternative.


“Run, sales representative, run!”

While the concept of open educational resources was not an option by the time I left the textbook industry in 2013, I am pleased to see Bell’s report of many statewide initiatives taking root and addressing the issue of textbook affordability. Pioneering libraries in Oregon and Georgia influenced Bell to advocate for open educational resources in Pennsylvania. A slew of other library partnerships soon followed suit, such as LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network and OhioLINK (Ohio’s academic library consortium). Bell is also pleased that while at the Annual Spring Workshop, a panel session announced information about the Affordable Learning PA project, which is an initiative crafted by PALCI and funded by a Library Services and Technology Act grant with the goal of creating a statewide affordable platform for textbooks.

It is a work in progress, and it is going in the right direction. One of the biggest victories Bell alluded to is that of the Pennsylvania HB 712, an Act providing for availability of electronic textbooks at institutions of higher education ( It requires that no later than January 1, 2020, an electronic counterpart, in whole or in part, for any textbook offered for purchase at an institution of higher education must be available as an alternative. This electronic version may be copy-protected and must contain the same content as the printed version. This act was referred to the Committee on Education on March 6, 2017.

Bell is confident that we can continue to push for more open educational resources. Academic librarians can be the cheerleaders by creating OER awareness, advocating for OER training, developing standard and shareable resources, issuing surveys among the students, faculty, and staff, and obtaining funding by continuing to engage our legislation on this purposeful mission. Academic librarians can foster relationships with the employees at the college campus store by discussing their concerns with one another. I can honestly say that in my seven years working at a college campus store, I do not believe I ever once had any interaction with one of the college’s librarians about textbook affordability. Pay a visit to your campus store. I can guarantee you that the employees there would much rather see you approaching them than a sales representative! But of course, please do not forget to bring donuts.

I would like to give an appreciative thank you to Steven J. Bell for sharing his presentation slides with me! I am so very happy that this issue is being addressed and that proactive solutions are moving us forward in a positive direction!


















Unique PA Academic Library Book Clubs Session is available

May 31, 2018

Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday’s discussion on PA Academic Library Book Clubs: Food for Thought and Book Club at the Brew Pub.

The C&CS team decided to try something new this time, with the permission of our presenters, by placing the video on YouTube in order to make the video more accessible and use YouTube’s closed captioning for recorded sessions. We will also be able to collect more detailed statistics about the videos and our sessions.

At the moment, you will only be able to access the video via the link below, as it is an “unlisted” video. We would like your feedback about creating a YouTube channel for the C&CS sessions, and you can contact Erin Burns at or any member of the C&CS team (found listed on the page )with suggestions or concerns you might have. You can also use this page to submit any ideas for future C&CS sessions, as we have a form available.

Please let us know if you have any problems accessing this video below.

Thanks again to Diane Porterfield and Sara Pike for moderating and live captioning.