Penn State University student Luz Sanchez Tejada uses the school's microcredentialing platform in Pattee Library to earn badges as part of her peer research consultant training. Photo: Steve Tressler

The Making of a Microcredential

January 2, 2019

In the last two years, Penn State University Libraries has seen rapid adoption of its information literacy microcredentials among students. Microcredentials—transferable forms of metadata-encoded, performance-based educational credits—are not new; they started gaining traction in academic libraries around 2012. What is different at Penn State is that to help manage the sudden volume of badge submissions, … Continue reading The Making of a Microcredential


Faculty and librarians work on a research sprint at the University of Kansas Libraries in 2017.

Academic Speed Trials

January 2, 2019

Karna Younger, faculty engagement librarian at Kansas University Libraries, says the idea of research sprints—during which faculty and librarians work together for about a week on the same project, and, more importantly, in the same space—is not a wholly new idea. But the approach is being formalized into a method that can be replicated. “It … Continue reading Academic Speed Trials


Disability and Equity

January 2, 2019

Many people with disabilities challenge these attitudes and advocate for change. They point out that cultural attitudes often create more difficulties for them than the disability itself. Despite their efforts, stereotypes persist—even in the workplace. I recently surveyed 288 librarians, interviewing 10 who identified as having a disability, about their experiences working at academic libraries … Continue reading Disability and Equity


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


Clifford Anderson, associate university librarian for research and learning, at the Vanderbilt Television News Archive.

Bookend: News to Peruse

November 1, 2018

This year the archive of more than 1.1 million abstracted segments—including the only known coverage of its kind of the Vietnam War, the Apollo spaceflight program, and Watergate—celebrates its 50th anniversary. “We want people to have an objective record of what has been broadcast,” says Clifford Anderson (pictured), associate university librarian for research and learning, … Continue reading Bookend: News to Peruse


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?


Christopher Goodbeer (Photo: Ann Schertz)

Bookend: Feeling the Music

September 1, 2017

Goodbeer—a 2007 graduate of Indiana University’s master’s programs in music and library and information science—is a Braille music transcriber. According to the Library of Congress, which certifies music transcription in Braille, fewer than 100 people are listed as having such a skill. “It was an uphill climb at first,” Goodbeer says of learning the work, … Continue reading Bookend: Feeling the Music


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