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On the Air

August 23, 2018

On the AirAre you a videographer? I’m not, and I will never claim to be one. Someday soon a masters in library science may require this, but until then I muddle along. As a librarian working in the realm of social media and outreach, I know video catches attention and generates buzz, but who has the time or the budget.

I have organized and conducted interviews for formal shoots while working with the college’s Marketing & Communications and Audio Visual Technology departments to create library videos. These videos promoted library space and faculty authors. These formal shoots were time consuming. They required a great deal of work and preparation and heck I didn’t even do the actual shooting or editing.

In an effort to fill the gap between professional and good-enough at our library, we have employed the app Boomerang. The app shoots a burst of 10 photos and turns them into a mini video. We have used it (upon the recommendation of a library staff member) over the last three years with increased success to promote a number of things including, but not limited to: displays, craft events, college-wide admission events, our in-house coffee shop, stress relief, and our collections. These super short videos have often generated more views and interaction than those professionally produced.

I’m a creature of habit and often stick with what I know because I’m buried with so many projects, so Boomerang is used often. However, I’m open to new things that payoff with our audiences and save staff time. With the new school year almost here, I’m curious about what apps and video tricks your libraries are using. I would love to hear from other librarians on this subject.  

(Photo credit: Lebanon Valley College. “Lebanon Valley College-College on Air,” Faculty-Activities, C4, 2015.04.84, Lebanon Valley College Archives Photograph Collection, 1959-1960, Annville, PA).

Back-to-School Scaries

August 22, 2018

Have you heard of the Sunday Scaries? The feeling of dread, angst, and anxiety you might feel on a Sunday night thinking about the work week ahead.

For those of us who work in an academic setting, beyond the Sunday Scaries, you might now be feeling the Back-to-School Scaries. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad librarian or that you dislike your job. But getting back to the school-year grind means, at least for me, that the relative quiet of summer (at least in terms of volume in the library) is drawing to an end. Time to do research and service projects will start to dry up as instruction and reference and collection development begins in full force.

It can definitely cause anxiety, even for the most seasoned academic librarian. I think it was worse when I first started.  At my first librarian position, we had a very long winter break. The library was very quiet. I spent much of that break working alone in my library, finishing random projects and helping the few community patrons with simple tasks. As it approached the time for students to return, I honestly questioned if I even remembered how to be a “real” librarian.

So what can we do to battle our Scaries? Maybe you’re used to helping your child or other young people in your life deal with anxiety about going back to school or other life changes — we help them plan ahead, and be prepared. Make a checklist of what you need to do, and take time each day leading up to the start of school to check things off and feel a sense of accomplishment. Get your supplies in order. Think back to going back to school yourself, and consider the Scaries your students are facing. Many of my students, in addition to starting college for the first time, are doing so in a new country, facing down a language barrier in addition to finding their way on a new campus full of new faces.

Let’s practice self-care as we head back into the academic year and battle our Scaries together. What do you do to battle your Scaries?

PALS Leadership Academy Experience

August 21, 2018

Summer is nearly over, and my students started classes for AY 2018-2019 today. But just a few months ago, I took a few days away from campus to participate in PALS (PA Academy of Leadership Studies) Leadership Academy, thanks to the generous support of CRD.

If you haven’t heard of PALS or the Leadership Academy before, here’s a quick overview:

PALS is a cooperative program between the Pennsylvania Library Association and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries that offers leadership training to librarians of all kinds from across the state.

The Leadership Academy is a 3.5 day workshop for librarians with an MLIS/MLS to develop their leadership skills. Participating Librarians are of any experience level and work in many kinds of libraries and are selected through an application process. Some scholarships are available from PaLA chapters and divisions, like the one I received from CRD.

Participants stay onsite at a hotel for the entire workshop, and learn about leadership styles, how to be an effective leader, how to apply leadership contexts to their positions and in their libraries, as well as career development and advancement. The Leadership Academy participants also agree participate in a PALS group project for one year. Projects vary from year to year based on the needs of the organization, but participants can find a project related to their interests.

During introductions, a lot of people did not consider themselves to be a leader. Few people held positions like manager or supervisor. But that is the ultimate message of Leadership Academy, and PALS in general — you don’t become a leader by being in a position of authority. You are a leader when you choose to lead. I think that is a powerful message. In a previous position, I was a manager, and I tried to be a leader in addition to my supervisory roles. I’m not a manager anymore, but I now can more easily see the ways I am a leader in my library, even if I’m not a supervisor. I can still choose to lead, and now I feel more comfortable doing so.

I appreciated that much of the leadership workshops focused on our individual libraries, positions, and contexts. Leadership is not one size fits all. We had lots of time during each session to think about what we learned and how we could make changes in our own lives and workplaces to be a better leader, and better represent our libraries to our communities and stakeholders.

But it’s not all work! Leadership Academy has time built in each day for fun and team building. We had a great time playing funny board games, bowling, and breaking out of escape rooms. I work in a very large library system, and sometimes it can be hard to meet other librarians who do not work in my system. It was really helpful for me to meet other librarians, both public and academic, so we could discuss the challenges and successes we have in our libraries and communities.

I really do want to be more of a leader in my workplace, and become a leader in PaLA over time. Leadership Academy was a great time to learn more about myself, my leadership styles, and PaLA. I would strongly consider librarians who want to build their leadership skills and grow in the profession to apply. You even get a great totebag!

We Should Envision Innovative Initiatives as a Horizon for Our Libraries

August 17, 2018

EDUCAUSE has taken on the challenge of producing the annual Horizon Reports, which have for many years shed light on the trends, challenges, and technology developments likely to have an impact on academic libraries and Higher Ed.

• A plan has been announced by EDUCAUSE on welcoming the NMC community, preserving its assets, and beyond:

• EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) has already archived past reports:

David Thomas, Director of Academic Technology, University of Colorado Denver described himself in a recent Webinar as “an avid reader of the Horizon Report.” In that same Webinar he proclaimed, “I got excited about the report being published and this is my chance to learn and find out what innovations stick, what innovations work and test myself to innovate in my area.” Thomas went on to say, “We do need to think about innovation as that front, that kind of moving front between new stuff and future practice and help people cross that divide”

Three exemplar projects from the 2018 Horizon Report were discussed in the same August 9, 2018 EDUCAUSE Live! Webinar.

• Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL):

• Paramedic VR Training Experience:

• X-Labs:

C&CS Accessibility Awareness and Technologies video link is now available

August 17, 2018

Thank you to everyone who registered and attended the online session from the Connect & Communicate Series, Accessibility Awareness and Technologies. Despite our own technological issues for the session, everyone did a great job and I am so happy that so many of you showed up. Particular thanks to our speakers, Scott Meneely and Patty Petronello, who were the ones who had the power outage, but came back to finish the session, and to Amy Snyder, who moderated the session.

The link to watch is available here,

As a reminder, the C&CS team is looking for new sessions. Feel free to contact me or any member of the team listed on the C&CS page here: , or fill out the Google form on the same page. That page also has some of our past programs available for watching at your convenience.

Happy Friday, ya’ll!


Last Call for Registration!

August 14, 2018

Last call for registration for this CRD sponsored program!

The College & Research Division presents ACRL Roadshow: Assessment in Action.

When: August 17, 2018
Where: Arcadia University, Glenside, PA

Description: In this day-long workshop on strategic and sustainable assessment, participants will identify institutional priorities and campus partners, design an assessment project grounded in action research, and prepare a plan for communicating the project results. This workshop is based on the highly successful ACRL Assessment in Action program curriculum.

Registration deadline: Friday August 10th. No registrations are accepted at the door. Attendance is limited to 100 people so register early.
PaLA Members – $45.00
Students – $25.00


More details and the full program schedule can be found at

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor, through the College and Research Division ( of PaLA. Show your appreciation by becoming a member of PaLA! And if you are a member – thank you!

Library Crawl

August 13, 2018


Register by using this ink…