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C&CS Presents: Creating Safe Spaces for Seeking and Creating Help, November 8th at 1pm

October 17, 2019

C&CS Presents

Creating Safe Spaces for Seeking and Creating Help,

November 8th at 1pm


Sabrina Thomas, Kacy Lovelace, Michelle Alford and Leah Tolliver

Link to Zoom session registration

Our students and library users face many mental wellness challenges.  Librarians are accustomed to pointing the way to the counseling center.  What if we could do more to help students access resources and help? In this webinar we will discuss the creation of Marshall University Libraries Mental Health Initiative.  With very little funding, our team creatively found unique ways to engage students and connect people to the resources that they need. By utilizing the tools and resources librarians already have at their disposal, we can enhance our university’s culture of kindness and become a welcoming space to all.

Sabrina Thomas is Research and Instruction Librarian for Marshall University. 

Kacy Lovelace is a Research and Student Success Librarian for Marshall University. 

Michelle Alford is a Library IT Consultant Sr. with 15 years of experience in academic libraries and patron facing services.

Leah Tolliver is the Director of Wellness Programs and the Women’s And Gender Center.

Congratulations, you got the job! Now what?

October 10, 2019

We all know searching for a job in an academic library can be tough. Competition is tight, interviews are exhausting and the differences between institutions can be dizzying. That’s why it feels so awesome when you finally get that offer! All that hard work preparing presentations and answering mock interview questions has paid off and you can finally relax…until your first day.

After answering all those grilling interview questions, you’re faced with the toughest one of them all: what am I supposed to do now that I got the job?

This reality can often be just as overwhelming as the job search. There’s a lot to try to keep track of but here are a few things to keep in mind as you get started.

Learn names

While you’re easing into your new position, take advantage of the time to begin meeting as many people as you can. Obviously, learning everyone’s names and roles within the library should be a priority but don’t be afraid to meet people outside of the library, especially if you see potential opportunities to collaborate. This may seem like a lot to ask for those who are introverted, but a simple “Hello” and handshake is all you need. If you’re new position comes with academic liaison responsibilities, make sure to go out and meet as many faculty in those departments as possible. And don’t forget to make friends with the administrative assistants!

Familiarize yourself with the library and campus

As you’re meeting as many people as you can, it’s important to learn about all that your library and campus has to offer. What are the different departments of the library and their roles? What are some departments outside the library that have collaborated with your role in the past, or where you could see a collaboration in the future? Chances are your new library has resources and databases you may not be familiar with so it is incredibly important to learn about those databases, as well as other things like the catalog and website, so you are prepared to answer any questions from students and faculty.

Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lots of questions. Your new supervisor and your new colleagues all understand that you are new and do not know how everything works. Even things that may seem obvious to everyone else may not seem obvious to you. So just ask.

Learn to walk the tightrope

Probably the most difficult thing to do is to walk that tightrope between assimilating into your new library’s culture and implementing new ideas and strategies. The old saying of “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission” is often true. If you see an opportunity to improve a service, go for it. After all, you’re there to help students, staff and faculty, right? Many people are happy to have some outside perspective on ways to improve the library.

Just be cognizant of how these changes affect your new coworkers. If they have the potential to drastically change a process or responsibility of one or more of your colleagues, it might be worth your while to include them in the decision-making process. Also be aware of your new library’s financial and personnel resources. Just because your previous institution had the time or money to implement a quick change does not mean your new one can.

In the end, remember that you were hired because of what YOU can bring to the table! No matter how you proceed, you’re going to do great!

College Students Learn the Scholarly Communication Lifecycle by Doing

October 7, 2019

cover_issue_179_en_USFalvey Memorial Library recently began publishing online a new Open Access journal that highlights the intellectual contributions of student researchers, Veritas: Villanova Research Journal (VVRJ). It is the first peer-reviewed undergraduate research journal at Villanova University. It promotes investigation and discovery, the referee process, and the work of Villanova students and their faculty mentors by publishing scholarly work across all fields of study. VVRJ publishes student research that meets its standards, is authored by Villanova undergraduates or recent graduates, and promotes the pursuit of truth.

Something else that’s very important about VVRJ, pronounced like verge, is that it is a collaborative effort between Villanova’s Center for Research and Fellowships, the Office of the Provost and the Library. Someone from each one of these entities gave brief remarks at the launch event in the Library. Below are the slightly revised substantive thoughts I shared as the library’s representative at the public launch of the journal Sept. 25, 2019.

Why the Library?

Social and cultural programming have been a large part of life in Falvey for many years, so I am not talking about this launch event.

Why is the library the appropriate platform for announcing and promoting the new student-focused Villanova research journal, Veritas?

Well, members of a scholarly community know the value of an academic library in the enterprise of knowledge creation. Learning, as we know, is not limited to the classroom. And we like to think the library is a place where scholars from any discipline feels at home exploring, discovering, collaborating and growing.

The library, however, is not just a space. Although to be sure it is a place to study, discuss ideas and even debate issues. It is perhaps more importantly people. The resources of the library are more than raw materials of latent data ready-to-hand but include the subject specialists and library support staff who assist, coach and encourage scholars and researchers. And scholars and researchers, regardless if they are faculty or students, are indigenous to the world of the academic library, and are not just visitors.

So, why the library? Because it is a clearing in the forest where language builds dwellings for thinkers. In less philosophical terms, it is a locale where every stage of the scholarly communication lifecycle can and should be supported. Especially for those who are learning to communicate as scholars.

What are the stages of scholarly communication? Data collection and analysis is the first stage. Librarians, if they are doing their jobs well, have always aided this initial step of research. Authoring, Peer Review and Publication are the middle stages of scholarly communication in which libraries have increasingly become partners with researchers. Discovery and Dissemination is the stage that closes the cycle of scholarly communication, and there too libraries have traditionally had a role.

Why the library? Because a 21st century academic library at a research institution deploys its spaces, physical and virtual, and resources including people in support of the individuals, such as the students whose work is featured in and represented by the publication of Veritas, who are learning the art of scholarly communication.



C&CS Session: Listening to Community Users in Our Academic Libraries, October 29 at 3pm EST

October 7, 2019

C&CS presents

Listening to Community Users in our Academic Libraries

with Monica Singh and Celia Emmelhainz

October 29, 2019: 3 pm Eastern (12 noon Pacific)

Register here for the free Zoom link

As academic librarians, we focus first on supporting faculty and student research at our own institutions. Yet many of us also help community patrons who hope to use our print and electronic resources in pursuit of their own academic or passion projects. Serving campus researchers while also supporting the wider community can be mutually rewarding and enriching, yet also requires a balance of time, resources, and library policy. In this webinar, Monica and Celia will discuss highlights from their article, “Listening to Unaffiliated Users of the Academic Library.”

In it, they report on interviews with community users who appreciated campus libraries but also experienced logistical inconveniences and anxieties when asking library staff for help. While librarians at times fear that outreach will result in greater use than they can support, we found that small adjustments to policy and welcoming signals such as posters and brochures could go a long way towards encouraging those who approach our libraries to make the most of them. In addition to sharing some of the challenges we encountered when trying to research a less-identifiable population such as community users, we will also open up the webinar to a broader discussion about integrating and responding to community needs in the academic library. 

Learning outcomes for this webinar:  

  • Librarians can listen to community users as a means of library outreach.
  • Librarians can approach research interviews as a listening and reference tool.
  • Librarians can engage user narratives to improve academic library services.


thumbnail_Monica Singh.jpg


Monica Singh is a business librarian for the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She works with RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) to publish topic-specific business guides and has written reviews of reference sources for business librarianship journals. Comments welcomed at





celia emmelhainz crd ccs


Celia Emmelhainz is the anthropology and qualitative research librarian at the University of California, Berkeley, and was previously the social sciences data librarian at Colby College in Maine. She has led workshops on qualitative data management and on ethnographic assessment in libraries, and enjoys helping other librarians learn to conduct qualitative research. Comments welcome @celiemme on Twitter.

Registration for Fall ACRL DVC Program is Open!

October 2, 2019

Join the Delaware Chapter of ACRL as they present their fall program on October 25th at Cedar Crest College.  You can register for the program here, and information on the event is below!

Beyond Diversity Speak: Practicing Cultural Humility in your Library

October 25 @ 9:00 am – 3:30 pm


This year’s program will be focused on incorporating cultural humility into equity, diversity, and inclusion professional development in academic libraries.

Sara Ahmed (2012) describes diversity initiatives as frequently being “happy talk” that institutions write into their strategic plans and mission statements to manage their image but then do not integrate into everyday practice. While some libraries make a concerted effort to provide diversity or cultural competency training opportunities, often the attention is superficial and/or uninformed. Nicole Cooke (2016) stresses the importance of cultural humility in serving diverse populations.

Cultural humility is a cousin to cultural competency, but while cultural competency means learning about other cultures, cultural humility means continuously working to uncover how we and the institutions in which we engage are complicit in underserving some and overserving others and making ourselves accountable for rectifying the disparity. To do this, librarians and libraries need tools to help them reflect on themselves and their institutions, facilitate difficult discussions, and imagine new possibilities.

Lorin Jackson, the Research and Instruction Resident Librarian from Swarthmore College and co-founder of WOC+Lib, an online community dedicated to amplifying the voices of librarians of color, will run an interactive workshop in the afternoon on cultural humility that promises to be fun, enlightening, and practical.

9:00am Coffee and Snacks

9:30am Programming Begins

10:00-11:30am Presenters

11:30am-12:30pm Lunch

12:30-12:45pm Business Meeting

12:45-2:45pm Cultural Humility Workshop

2:45-3:15pm Roundtable Discussions/Next Actions

3:15-3:30pm Closing Remarks

 In correlation with this event, the organization is seeking to support the library studies of an individual that is focused on helping to create a more equitable society. A $1000 scholarship will be awarded to a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited program to help offset the cost of educational expenses.  To apply, please submit your resume and a 250-500 word essay describing your interest in cultural humility in librarianship. Eligible applicants must reside in, work, or attend school in the chapter’s service area.

Deadline: Monday, October 14, 2019.
Please send submission to

What’s New in APA Style—Inside the Seventh Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

October 2, 2019

As information services librarians, we are often responsible for instructing our students on how to cite using (usually) either APA or MLA formatting. APA remains fresh in my memory from graduate school as recently as two and a half years ago, so I am curious as to the changes which the seventh edition of the publication manual of the American Psychological Association will bring to the proverbial instruction table. Fortunately, a webinar being held on October 24th by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) will help in unveiling the seventh edition and the newest nips, tucks, and tweaks of APA formatting. More details from the ACRL below:

Date and Time: Thursday, October 24, 2019 1:00 pm
Central Daylight Time (Chicago, GMT-05:00)

Duration: 1 hour


The release of the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association ushers in a new era of APA Style. In this session, members of the APA Style team will discuss the seventh edition of the Publication Manual, highlighting key updates in each of the manual’s 12 chapters. The panelists will provide insights into the rationale behind many of the changes and advice for navigating the transition to the seventh edition style. They will also address how students, faculty, and librarians can incorporate APA Style into the classroom and promote the teaching and mastery of the skills of effective scholarly communication.

Used worldwide by students and professionals in psychology, nursing, education, business, engineering, and many other fields, APA Style provides essential guidance for making writing more precise, concise, and inclusive. As the official source for APA Style, the Publication Manual guides writers through all aspects of the scholarly writing process. It is an indispensable tool for all authors to achieve excellence in writing and make an impact with their work. The seventh edition of APA’s bestselling publication reflects advancements in ethical standards, research reporting, use of electronic sources, and accessibility over the past 10 years. It has been expanded to include expert recommendations for writing without bias, student-specific resources, and updated guidance on best practices in scholarly writing, research, citing, and publishing. It also features more than 100 new sample references and more than 40 new sample tables and figures.

Hayley S. Kamin, Chelsea L. Lee, and Timothy L. McAdoo

Hayley S. Kamin, Chelsea L. Lee, and Timothy L. McAdoo are Content Development Managers with the APA Style team of the American Psychological Association. They are members of the team responsible for writing and updating the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Together, the three of them have fielded more than 30,000 questions, written hundreds of blog posts, and spoken to countless people about APA Style. They are passionate about APA Style and excited to pass on their knowledge of effective scholarly communication; citations and references; and ethical, inclusive, and accessible writing.

Sponsored by:

Register here.

Marketing the Academic and Research Library

September 30, 2019

Some of you may have seen the viral Twitter post below. This got me thinking about the nature of scholarly publishing and the role the academic and research library plays in access to these materials.

Before I begin, I want to say I mean no disrespect to Dr. Witteman here. Dr. Witteman is clearly trying to be helpful, and promoting what she believes to be ethical access to materials. However, Dr. Witteman is incorrect here on several fronts.

First of all, as many of you are well aware, the authors are not always allowed to send their papers to students for free. This depends on publishing agreements and contracts with publishers, and many publishers write into their contracts that the publisher retains the rights to all intellectual property contained within the article. In these circumstances, authors are not allowed to send copies of their research papers for free – this would be a violation of copyright law. 

Secondly, it is not the role of the author of a research paper to provide access to those materials. This is the role of the library! Many authors are extremely busy people who cannot field dozens (or hundreds) of requests for their research paper. This is where the library and a trained librarian comes in, where we can help students search for materials, find related materials, and even get access to materials we do not own through interlibrary loan and other resource sharing agreements.

It seems so obvious to me that everyone knows academic and research libraries can provide access to scholarly articles. After all, isn’t this the whole point of a library in general, to provide free access to information?

However, I see this as a challenge and an opportunity for libraries. Clearly librarians – myself included – need to do a better job of marketing library services. In today’s environment, many students are growing up all the way through their schooling, through the K-12 grades, without a school librarian. Many students never receive the kind of information literacy instruction they need in school, and then they enter the world of college and university unequipped and unprepared to conduct the kind of research they are expected to conduct.

It is our job to reach these students with this message. The days where we could assume a basic understanding of writing, research, and information literacy when a student enters college are gone. It is more important than ever, especially in a world where the complexity of information is increasing exponentially, to reach students with a basic message of what their library does, what their librarians can do to help them, and how to go about accessing information.

Something as simple as a once-per-semester announcement of library services, or a flyer or poster explaining basic library services, can do wonders to spread the message to students of what the library can do for them. I am a big fan of the ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign as a toolkit to get libraries started in marketing to their stakeholders. I am also a big believer in the “one-shot” instruction session not just as an information literacy tool, but as a library marketing tool. It is incredibly helpful for students to see the face of their librarians, to get to know their names and recognize them, so that later when they are in need of help they may think to ask a librarian.

Perhaps you can share some marketing strategies that you have found to be high-impact and helpful for your students and your community! I admit I am not an expert on marketing, but I do believe this is a great opportunity for us all to learn from one another – to not “reinvent the wheel” and to borrow what works.

How do we ensure all of our students know what the library and their librarians can do to help them? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!