Unions 101

November 1, 2018

Librarians realized this when their union, the University Council of the American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) Unit 17, filed grievances against the UC administration regarding disciplinary actions for such things as managers reprimanding librarians over product assessments and conference presentation titles. Their grievances were rejected. The union’s contract expired September 30, and at press time … Continue reading Unions 101


From left, Kalani Adolpho, Jesus Espinoza, and Twanna Hodge discuss academic library residency programs during the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Reality of Residency Programs

September 30, 2018

At “Under the Hood: Exploring Academic Library Resident Programs in Practice,” a September 28 panel at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, three librarians of color talked about the benefits, challenges, and outcomes of their current and recent residencies. Moderated by Madison Sullivan, business research and instruction library … Continue reading The Reality of Residency Programs


Joseph Janes

The Last Story

May 1, 2018

My mom was the first of many inspirations in my professional life. She took a job at our smallish public library when I was a kid. I started hanging around there, which led to helping out, shelving, and eventually working the desk, and I never really left. She and my dad worked very hard to … Continue reading The Last Story


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Learning to Teach

January 2, 2018

In that first professional job, at a small library, all librarians—from the director to the systems librarian to the head of technical services—taught classes. None of us had been prepared by our coursework to teach, and no on-the-job training was provided. While my initial efforts to teach information literacy were cringeworthy at best, I learned … Continue reading Learning to Teach


Raymond Pun

Campus Sustainability through Information Literacy

September 12, 2017

This column is one in a multipart American Libraries series that explores the library profession’s relationship to sustainability. When I first started working at Fresno State as the first-year student success librarian in 2015, a colleague referred my name to a team of science professors in this program. From there, I began attending weekly meetings and contributing … Continue reading Campus Sustainability through Information Literacy


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Framework Freakout?

September 1, 2017

In some ways, the Framework was a major departure from ACRL’s previous Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Organized around six information literacy threshold concepts, the Framework is not an exhaustive list of threshold concepts or dispositions and practices. Instead, its developers encouraged libraries to determine their own programmatic learning outcomes based on local … Continue reading Framework Freakout?


Kellie Sparks

Strengthening the Voice for Sustainability

May 31, 2017

This column is one in a multipart American Libraries series that explores the library profession’s relationship to sustainability. Libraries can move toward providing a fact-based voice in fighting climate change in their communities. One way to do this is by more proactively collecting and disseminating information to stakeholders involved in local sustainability efforts. A recent study … Continue reading Strengthening the Voice for Sustainability


Joseph Janes

Revisiting an Old Friend

January 3, 2017

Anyway, in the chapter on the library and society from Shera’s 1976 textbook Introduction to Library Science, he writes in the first paragraph: “It is axiomatic … that the library as a social instrumentality, is, as it has always been, conditioned and shaped by the social milieu within which it functions” (emphasis mine). Well. We’ve … Continue reading Revisiting an Old Friend


At the Open Textbook Network’s Summer Institute, members build community and address obstacles to advancing open educational resources on campus. Photo: University of Minnesota

Pushing for Open Textbooks

May 31, 2016

But with prices skyrocketing—the cost of textbooks has increased 73% since 2006, according to a 2016 report by the Student Public Interest Research Groups—some libraries and networks are using creative incentives to get OERs into the classroom. Texas A&M University Libraries, in partnership with the school’s student government, has established what it believes to be the … Continue reading Pushing for Open Textbooks


Librarian responses to the survey question: "What does the best model look like for the digital humanities?"

How Librarians and Faculty Use Digital Humanities

March 3, 2016

The sea change brought about by digital humanities (DH) resources is still rippling through academia. As Stewart Varner and Patricia Hswe write in their special report on “Digital Humanities in Libraries” (American Libraries, Jan./Feb. 2016), libraries are “unsure how they should respond as DH attracts more and more practitioners and its definition evolves to cover … Continue reading How Librarians and Faculty Use Digital Humanities



Irene Ke, Kristine Greive, and Porcia Vaughn

Improving Retention

September 17, 2015

The University of Houston (UH) has more than 40,000 students from 137 nations. Among our undergraduates, 26.9% are Hispanic, 19.8% are Asian, 10.2% are African American, and 9.8% are international. Many of them are first-generation or nontraditional students. UH is changing from a commuter school to a flagship destination research university, and student success is … Continue reading Improving Retention