Dispatches, by Emily Rimland and Victoria Raish

Digital Badges

May 1, 2019

In education Digital badges encourage students to cultivate and showcase granular skills beyond their report cards and prepare them for the workplace. In Teaching with Digital Badges: Best Practices for Libraries (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018), contributing author Amanda Rose Fuller details a workforce-readiness digital badge initiative developed at Aurora (Colo.) Public Schools. This program, designed … Continue reading Digital Badges


From left: Yasmeen Shorish, Nathan Hall, and Rebecca Kennison present the new ACRL research agenda.

ACRL’s New Research Agenda

April 13, 2019

On April 13 at the 2019 ACRL Conference in Cleveland, three members of ReSEC described their process for creating the research agenda and what they hope to accomplish with the new document. ReSEC Chair Yasmeen Shorish, associate professor at James Madison University Libraries in Harrisonburg, Virginia, said the committee’s charge was to “help identify actionable … Continue reading ACRL’s New Research Agenda


From left: Cody Fullerton, Desmond Wong, and Deborah Lee share their research on library support for indigenous scholarship.

Indigenous Studies Librarianship and Collections

April 13, 2019

The study examined the research needs and methods of indigenous studies faculty as well as those of indigenous faculty members whose scholarship was in other fields, such as health sciences or law. Also examined were the expectations of the indigenous people being studied. At the outset, researchers stressed that the project incorporated both Western and … Continue reading Indigenous Studies Librarianship and Collections


Fobazi M. Ettarh at the 2019 Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland April 13.

Why Being Bad Is Good

April 13, 2019

Most librarians, she said, believe in this dominant narrative, but the process of “examining those elements and decolonizing them can be uncomfortable for many people, causing defensive reactions and revealing blind spots in one’s perspective.” Ettarh took the traditional characteristics of the library narrative and recast them slightly to give them a realistic perspective: Libraries … Continue reading Why Being Bad Is Good


Mies Martin (left) and Beth Martin present their findings at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland on April 12.

The Impostor Phenomenon

April 13, 2019

At an April 12 session at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland, Beth Martin, head of professional programs at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, and Mies Martin, electronic resources and serials librarian at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, described their own recent IP research. Beth Martin said IP is … Continue reading The Impostor Phenomenon


From left: Amy Fyn, Amanda Foster-Kaufman, Christina Heady, and Allison Hosier at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland

Why Librarians Leave

April 12, 2019

The study identified 20 factors spread across four categories that indicated librarian job dissatisfaction, most significantly workplace morale, with 79% of respondents identifying it as their top reason for leaving. Following closely behind was dissatisfaction with library administration (72%).  “Overall the comments indicated that unfair practices and lack of transparency were the highest areas of … Continue reading Why Librarians Leave


From left: April Hines, Katherine Boss, Chimene E. Tucker, and Jeffrey A. Knapp discuss information literacy and journalism at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland on April 12.

Reporting in the “Post-Truth” Era

April 12, 2019

“First we wanted to find out how journalists find and use information,” said Chimene E. Tucker, communications, journalism, and LGBT studies librarian at University of Southern California. “A simple survey would not work in this case,” she said, “because we needed to ask probing questions about methodology.” So the team conducted 50 semistructured, in-depth interviews … Continue reading Reporting in the “Post-Truth” Era


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



Kevin Seeber (left), head of the department of education and outreach services, and Rachel Stott, teaching and learning librarian, at University of Colorado Denver’s Auraria Library

The Search for Cannabis

April 12, 2019

It turns out results would likely be different, depending on the focus on use (medical or recreational), the academic discipline involved, the geographic location of the researchers, and the sentiment expressed about the drug’s use. Seeber and Stott, who described their study as a “joint effort,” looked at a representative sample of 540 articles and … Continue reading The Search for Cannabis



Meet the 2019 ALA Policy Corps

February 5, 2019

Policy Corps members will attend two training sessions in Washington, D.C. The first is a spring meeting, which will provide a survey of key library advocacy issues, major players in the legislative and policy processes, and the processes of engaging national decision makers and influencers. A second workshop will take place in the fall. Regular … Continue reading Meet the 2019 ALA Policy Corps