All posts by Editor

An Apology* For Avoiding Accompanying Material in the Promotion of Library Collections

By Samuel T. Barber
California State University, Fullerton

*”Mid 16th century (denoting a formal defense against an accusation): from French
apologie, or via late Latin from Greek apologia ‘a speech in one’s own defense'” – Oxford English Dictionary

Introduction – the task

This article describes an ongoing project designed to present archival library collections at Cal State Fullerton. These collections include contemporary 1970’s video recordings of speeches, addresses, marches, events, etc. made by visiting public figures to the university campus. Though eclectic, the collection is dominated by radical and activist voices emerging from underrepresented groups which reflect the politics and struggles of contemporary Orange County, Southern California, and – indeed – the wider United States. Notable speakers include Angela Davis, César Chávez, Sal Castro, Dennis Banks, Humberto Noé “Bert” Corona and Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. The original video recordings were digitized some years ago. However, their subsequent presentation was limited to streaming via an institutional page on the Internet Archive which few students, faculty, or even staff were actually aware of. Furthermore, no metadata records existed to support discovery from the library catalog. As a result, despite their importance, there was extremely limited institutional and student knowledge of either the existence of the recordings or of the original events themselves. A clear and fundamental task was therefore presented to us as it would to any library professional: to expose these hidden collections, representing as they do an important element of our institutional history and the history of the communities in which we work and reside.

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Strategies for Staying Sane While Providing Research Support and Instruction in High Enrollment or Research-Intensive Programs

By Julia E. Rodriguez
Nursing, Health Sciences & Scholarly Communications Librarian, Oakland University
Elizabeth R. Bucciarelli
Health Sciences Librarian & Liaison Librarian Team Leader, Eastern Michigan University


Managing the duties of an academic liaison librarian can be a challenge, especially when the liaison departments have high student enrollments. Two librarians from separate comprehensive Michigan universities assigned to the schools of Health Sciences and Nursing, representing ~4,000 students per semester and with 37 years combined experience, discuss a myriad of strategies used to provide instruction and research support both in-person and online for high enrollment programs and tips for keeping sane.

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The Making of the Mass Aggie Seed Library: A Gardening How-to for Others

By Paulina Borrego
Science & Engineering Librarian
University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Seed Libraries have been sprouting up in public libraries across the country, but what about a seed library in an academic library? Is such an idea in line with the mission of the library or even a viable option?

A seed library offers excellent opportunities to highlight University strategic plans and connect with academic departments and extension services, along with student and community groups. What follows is the story of the Mass Aggie Seed Library, how it came about, lessons learned, and steps to set up a seed library within an academic library.

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Trading Eights: Teaching Collaboratively with Primary Sources

By Jill E. Anderson, Humanities Instruction Librarian
and Kevin Fleming, Popular Music & Culture Archivist
Georgia State University Library


This case study focuses on how Kevin Fleming, Popular Music and Culture Archivist, and Jill Anderson, Humanities Instruction Librarian, have developed a series of “Teaching with Primary Sources” library workshops at Georgia State University, an R1 public university. We designed these workshops to introduce faculty and graduate-student instructors to creative strategies for incorporating primary sources into their instruction. Drawing on historical comic books in the archivist’s collections, the active-learning exercises we devised for these workshops are meant to encourage attendees to consider and share their own ideas about instruction with archival and other primary source types. Rather than presenting ourselves as all-knowing “experts,” we aim to make ourselves available as possible partners for this kind of instruction. With these workshops, we hope to foster attendees’ own imaginative ideas about teaching with primary sources, while at the same time encouraging instructors to consider including us as partners in their classrooms. We received a 2019 Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) Award for Excellence in the Educational Use of Historical Records for these workshops. In this article, we will describe our collaborative processes in the context of the evolution of our workshops. We will begin by discussing our initial collaboration in support of the librarian’s Honors freshman seminar, describe the evolution of our instructor workshops, and close with a discussion of our embedment in a College of Education and Human Development graduate course on Children’s and Adolescent Literature as a direct result of these workshops.

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Enhancing the Self-Service Library with Visual Workplace Principles

By Christopher Raab
Associate Librarian, Franklin & Marshall College

Take a look around your local library, or any modern library for that matter.  You will likely see people interacting with a variety of Self-Service Technologies (SSTs) or Do-It-Yourself (DIY) service points. From self-discovery (catalog and database searching) to self-selection (open stacks and computers) to self-service (printer/scanners and checkout machines), the modern library is, in many ways, a veritable gas-and-go service station for the brain.  While modern sociologists have at times noted the negative attributes of self-service – such as diminished human interaction and increased consumer labor – this article seeks to explore and enhance the self-service experience within libraries, empowering patrons (and staff) through the application of visual workplace solutions.

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