From left: Emily L. Mross, Jennifer A. Hunter, Amy Snyder, and Christina Riehman-Murphy explain research parties at the 2019 Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland on April 12.

Plan a Research Party

April 12, 2019

Emily L. Mross, business librarian at Penn State Harrisburg (PSH), defined a research party as a venue where students can drop in and talk informally about problems they are facing with their assignments, ranging from finding the best materials to figuring out how to cite sources in American Psychological Association style. “Basically, you give them … Continue reading Plan a Research Party


Copyright for Creators

March 1, 2019

In 2017 we started the “Copyright for Creators” series aimed at graduate and undergraduate students and faculty in arts disciplines, as well as creators throughout the university, such as web designers and communicators. Like most VCU Libraries events, this series was free and open to the public, and the topics covered were relevant to this … Continue reading Copyright for Creators


Jeremy Brett, curator of Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives's Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection.

Bookend: An Archive of Ice and Fire

March 1, 2019

Martin’s relationship with Texas A&M began in the 1970s, when he first visited Aggie­Con, a science fiction and fantasy convention held at the university, says Jeremy Brett (right), curator of the library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection. In 1993, Martin began shipping items to the archives, which now include more than 50,000 pieces. The … Continue reading Bookend: An Archive of Ice and Fire


Columns Society members at University of Mississippi tell visitors about the Committee on History and Context plaque placed at Barnard Observatory.

What’s in a Building Name?

March 1, 2019

With the goal of reconciliation and justice, institutions across the US are increasingly undertaking formal measures to review who they’ve memorialized—evaluating names of buildings and monuments to determine connections to white supremacy and other forms of discrimination. Unsurprisingly, university librarians and archivists are finding a role in these discussions, providing historical materials on the buildings … Continue reading What’s in a Building Name?


Rick Steves Photo: Tim Frakes

Newsmaker: Rick Steves

January 18, 2019

Steves will appear as an Auditorium Speaker at the American Library Association’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle on January 27 to talk about the third edition of his book, Travel as a Political Act (Hachette Book Group, 2018). This month he releases Rick Steves Classroom Europe, a searchable resource of video clips that he hopes … Continue reading Newsmaker: Rick Steves


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


Judith A. Downie poses with growlers from CSUSM Library’s Brewchive. Photo: Brandon Van Zanten (Brewchive)

Tapping into Beer History

November 1, 2018

“Who’s collecting San Diego’s beer history?” This question—asked by Char Booth, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Library associate dean, during a brewing science certificate proposal review in 2016—launched what would become the Brewchive at CSUSM Library. In 2018, the archive received the American Library Association’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. With the … Continue reading Tapping into Beer History



Dr. Dave demonstrates Bernoulli’s principle with a leaf blower and toilet paper at Ohio State University’s Whiz Bang Science Café at Worthington Libraries. Photo: Worthington (Ohio) Libraries

Excited about Science

November 1, 2018

The library furnished students with kits that they used to gather soil samples around campus, which were then returned to NCSU’s biotechnology lab for extracting DNA to locate the “gold-pooping gene,” as Lewis calls it. They then took the samples with the most Delftia and sequenced a portion of the gold genes at the Genomic Sciences Laboratory. With … Continue reading Excited about Science


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