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ACRL DLS Chair: Kristin Miller Woodward
Vice-Chair: Natalie Haber
Secretary: Andrea Hebert
Archivist: Mike Courtney
Webmasters: Tim Ream and Katie Stewart (dlswebcontact@gmail.com)

DLS Award Recipient: 2019 Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award

The ACRL Distance Learning Section Awards Committee would like to congratulate Victoria (Torrie) Raish (Pennsylvania State University) on receiving the 2019 Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award!

Raish has made significant contributions to the field of distance librarianship, including creating an embedded librarian program and information literacy repository, starting an equivalent access e-book program, and collaborating with other departments at Penn State to start a digital badge initiative. Her publications include peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, invited papers, and conference proceedings.

Raish’s accomplishments will be formally recognized at a luncheon at ALA Annual 2019 in Washington, D.C.

For more information, please see the official press release from ALA: http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2019/03/raish-named-2019-routledge-distance-learning-librarianship-conference

ACRL DLS Member of the Month: March 2019

The ACRL Distance Learning Section (DLS) Membership and Event committee is continuing a “Member of the Month” initiative to highlight our diverse members.  Here is our highlight on Raymond Pun, Librarian for Alder Graduate School of Education.

If you are interested in being or nominating an ACRL DLS “Member of the Month”, please fill out this brief nomination/sign up form.

RayPun

Name:  Raymond Pun

How long have you been a DLS member?

3+ years (I think)

Where do you work and what do you do there?

I work in the Bay Area at a new graduate school called Alder Graduate School of Education where I support students and faculty in K-12 education. It’s a startup environment where I get to explore and help design collection development policies, the library website, e-resource management workflows, and research services. I’m the only librarian in this school and it’s been fun working on both public/technical services work.

What is unique about your institution, and how does your work as a distance services librarian support the mission?

The school is very unique because it is completely remote with selected residency periods supporting students who want to be K-12 educators in public schools. I’m at awe at these students for what they have accomplished and their visions as school teachers. My work is to serve as a facilitator and help students access library and writing resources to prepare them professionally and personally. As the distance services librarian, I don’t get to see the students face to face (yet) but it has been exciting to get their messages seeking help or advice relating to research/writing. I am also happy to serve as the point of contact for collection development and getting collection request from faculty has been a nice way to support their teaching/research needs.

How do you bridge the distance with online learners? What’s one way you create a community for your distance learners?

Currently, I collaborate with colleagues in our school who teach and support our students in a variety of ways. Since I am still relatively new in the position, I have been giving brief intros to library and writing resources to our students via online. I’ve already had a chance to meet with several students for help and I am thinking of creating open or research-themed office hours to cover specific topics or research assignments. One area that I am interested in building is open educational resources (OER) for our collection. I hope this may encourage others to create more OER content for K-12 education too.

How do you recharge your knowledge of distance library services?

At times I peruse articles from publications such as Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning or CRL News, read web articles/reports from The Chronicle of Higher Education, webinars from various higher education groups too. It’s rapidly changing and exciting times to explore, revamp and strengthen distance library services.

What’s something fun that you’re doing now (outside of your work as a distance librarian)?

I travel locally or internationally for fun or for other non-library related work. Some places I have visited recently include Oslo in Norway, Stockholm in Sweden and Cyprus. All amazing places to explore!

What are you reading right now?

Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation by Robert L. Tsai

Twitter, LinkedIn, or other handles you would like us to share?

Twitter: @raypun101 (Twitter)

What else would you like for us to share about you?

I am originally from Queens, New York City!

 

Author Forum on Embedded Librarianship: March 7th, 1 PM CST

Author Forum

Meet authors, Victoria Raish, Lori Lysiak, and Emily Mross, who were featured in our most recent Top 5 Post. The authors will share a little bit about their experiences with embedded librarianship and working with distance students, but the majority of the session will be open for questions from attendees. Bring your questions and join us in this discussion!

To register, please fill out the registration form:  
https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/029f7b75efc86745cde7dc3c8da9331e

*Please note: This session will be recorded. By registering for the session, you indicate that you are willing to be recorded. A link to the recording will be emailed to all recipients after the session.

VRaish_smallVictoria Raish is the Online Learning Librarian for Penn State. She is dedicated to providing equivalent access for online students and bringing their unique perspective to important conversations and decisions within the library. She has her PhD in learning, design, and technology from Penn State and has published in leading national venues including portal: Libraries and the Academy, College & Research Libraries, Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, and multiple book chapters. Her most recent publication is an ALA technical report due Spring 2019 on microcredentials in libraries.

LLysiak_smallLori Lysiak is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Penn State Altoona. She supports distance learners through Penn State World Campus, and incorporates online learning best practices in resident instruction.

 

EMross_smallEmily Mross is the Business Librarian and Library Outreach Coordinator at Penn State Harrisburg Library. She supports distance learners through Penn State World Campus and Harrisburg-based programs.

 

 

Featured Article:
Lysiak, L., Mross, E., & Raish, V. (2018). Across the campus and around the globe: Reaching online learners through high-level embedded librarianship. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 12(1-2), 13-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533290X.2018.1502717

ACRL DLS Member of the Month: February 2019

The ACRL Distance Learning Section (DLS) Membership and Event committee is continuing a “Member of the Month” initiative to highlight our diverse members.  Here is our highlight on Karla Aleman, Dean of Library & eLearning Division at Lorain County Community College.

If you are interested in being or nominating an ACRL DLS “Member of the Month”, please fill out this brief nomination/sign up form.

KarlaAleman

Name:  Karla Aleman

How long have you been a DLS member?

Since 2010 or so. It’s been a while.

Where do you work and what do you do there?

Lorain County Community College, Dean of the Library & eLearning Division

What is unique about your institution, and how does your work as a distance services librarian support the mission?

We are a medium-sized community college recently distinguished as the #1 Community College in Student Success by the American Association of Community Colleges. We’re quite proud. 🙂

As Dean, my librarianship has changed somewhat from my days as a distance services librarian (my former position). Now it’s all about supporting my teams (both the Library and eLearning teams) in their work supporting the college’s mission and students. My work is a combination of strategic planning, project management, budgets, advocacy, marketing, meetings, meetings, and more meetings.

How do you bridge the distance with online learners? What’s one way you create a community for your distance learners?

A large area of focus for me now is faculty professional development and accessibility. Although I don’t have regular contact with students the way I used to, I now get to work with faculty and the college administration in providing consistent, welcoming, and accessible learning environments. For example, I’m currently partnering with the Provost, the college’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Senate in developing a holistic program for faculty professional development. Preparing faculty to work in online learning environments and create a community within their classes (and with the library!) is one focus for me on the project.

As an administrator, I tend to work behind the scenes. It’s a lot of committee work that leads to bigger changes based on new standards and new resources. My goal is always to address the bigger hurdles both students face as lifelong learners and the college faces in these demanding times. In truth, I miss working with the students on a regular basis. That being said, I now engage students in new ways, through focus groups and campus task forces and the like. My definition of community and engagement has likely changed as a result, but I can confirm that student engagement and feedback is as important to my work now as it was in the past. It is a key element to creating learning environments and communities that are truly equitable and accessible.

How do you recharge your knowledge of distance library services?

A combination of reading, chatting and visiting. ACRL’s Distance Learning Section is a great resource for all of the above, and I’ve learned so much about the field by being a part of the section. Library conferences are almost always well worth attending, and I consider myself very lucky to have had the funding at my various institutions to attend as many conferences as I have (about one or two a year). I also look to non-library organizations (EDUCAUSE, Quality Matters, etc.) to see what trends may impact the library field.

What’s something fun that you’re doing now (outside of your work as a distance librarian)?

I’m writing a book for fun about a magic doctor who struggles with loads of ethical questions regarding human experimentation.

I’m also planning my first spring garden.

What are you reading right now?

Evicted (by Matthew Desmond) and Wind Breaker (by Yongseok Jo; translated)

Twitter, LinkedIn, or other handles you would like us to share?

@LibLookingGlass for Twitter (but I rarely post)

What else would you like for us to share about you?

If you’re interested in becoming a library administrator, don’t be afraid to go for it. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it.  

Top 5 Articles on Embedded Librarianship

Compiled and annotated by Lindley Homol and Elena Bianco, members of the DLS Research and Publications Committee.

As 2019 begins, our top 5 articles focus on embedded librarianship. The authors of the articles below provide overviews and examine best practices of embedded librarians at a variety of institutions. The articles examine how embedded librarians can integrate with programs, provide instruction, reference assistance and more while keeping scalability in mind.

Abrizah, A. and Inuwa, S. and Afiqah-Izzati, N. (2016). Systematic literature review informing LIS professionals on embedding librarianship roles. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(6), 636-643. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2016.08.010

Embedded librarianship currently receives renewed interest worldwide, seeks to bring the library and the librarian to users in their work environment. This paper identifies and documents embedding librarianship roles as reported in the Library and Information Science (LIS) literature. Method: A systematic literature review was conducted using methods promulgated by the Center for Reviews and Disseminations but adapted to the particular needs of this review. Various online databases were used. The search phrases used were: embedded librarianship, embedded librarians, blended librarian, integrated librarian, liaison librarian, information consultants, knowledge managers, and subject librarians. For inclusion, an article needed to contain a substantive description of the identified role and/or activity performed in embedding library practices. Papers that did not describe an actual (rather than proposed) embedding librarianship role were excluded. In total 102 articles were retrieved, 55 were found suitable for the review.

Takeaways:
This article provides a comprehensive literature review of embedded librarianship roles. The various literature cited identified the roles of embedded librarians in academic libraries. Successful embedded librarianship incorporates functions such as information literacy instruction, reference services, assistance with research and other scholarly activities, distance and online learning as well as embedding in classrooms.

Connoly-Brown. M., Mears, K. & Johnson, M.E. (2016). Reference for the remote user through embedded librarianship. Reference Librarian, 57(3), 165-181. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02763877.2015.1131658

Embedded librarians serve an important role in assisting remote users. Despite the varying degrees of embeddedness, all maintain the goal of ensuring the same high-quality reference and instruction services that users have come to expect from the traditional library setting. Embedded librarians select and use technology that most effectively meets the needs of this unique user group. This technology can include the library Web site, course management systems, research guides, lecture and screen capture software, remote reference (including telephone, chat, and email), web conferencing, online survey tools, citation management, and social media.

Takeaways:
This article provides an introduction to several different technologies librarians can use to support embedded reference and information literacy instruction for online and distance populations. One of the biggest challenges to embedded librarianship is scalability, so the authors helpfully provide both examples of how each technology could support an embedded librarian program and also important considerations to keep in mind. These tips should help new embedded librarians–or experienced embedded librarians interested in adopting a new technology–make an informed decision about which options are best for a given program.

Lysiak, L., Mross, E., & Raish, V. (2018). Across the campus and around the globe: Reaching online learners through high-level embedded librarianship. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 12(1-2), 13-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533290X.2018.1502717

The authors discuss an embedded librarian pilot project undertaken at an R1 university with a large population of online learners. In this model, librarians aimed for a more engaged approach by working with faculty and instructional designers in three upper-division online undergraduate political science courses over two semesters. The embedded librarians took an asynchronous online course developed by their online learning librarian to prepare them for the embedded role, and they were each given a librarian role in their university’s learning management system. At the end of the semester, the pilot was assessed through survey responses from instructors and students, as well as student coursework. Although student-librarian interaction varied across the pilot, all instructors believed that the embedded librarians helped to improve their students’ papers and citations and would want librarians to be embedded in their courses in the future.

Takeaways:
High-level embedded librarianship can be a way to provide equivalent library services and support for distance or online learners. Student engagement with the embedded librarian can be encouraged through the design of graded library activities, though this extra engagement should be weighed against the extra time involved in grading and the librarian’s workload. Due to the asynchronous nature of the many online courses, it is important to count students’ engagement with learning objects or course guides into assessment, rather than just traditional student reference interactions with a librarian.

Olesova, L. A., & Melville, A.D. (2017). Embedded library services: From cooperation to collaboration to enhance student learning in asynchronous online course. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 11(3-4), 287-299. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533290X.2017.1404546

The authors present a case study of a long-running embedded role for a librarian with an online graduate course in instructional design. The embedded librarian was able to work cooperatively and then collaboratively with the course instructor to design the library interaction with the course, relying on a framework that considered learners, content design and organization, instructional strategies, issues in using the LMS for teaching and learning, and an evaluation of the embedded library instruction. Students’ performance on course assignments demonstrated a marked improvement in using citations, copyrighted materials, and reliable sources after the librarian was embedded.

Takeaways:
This faculty-librarian collaboration was successful because it began with a cooperative approach in which the librarian determined which embedded resources to include. Once both the instructor and librarian are more aware of the resources students need, the relationship can evolve into a more collaborative one. Timing is key for embedding librarians into courses and should include significant planning time for outreach to online faculty and for the embedded librarian to develop or edit library content for the course.

Raish, V. (2018). Librarian role and embedded librarianship. Library Technology Reports, 54(5), 24-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/ltr.54n5

The article deals with the best practices derived from coordinating embedded librarians in the online environment regardless of school size and online presence based on the experiences of Penn State University. Such best practices included starting at the program level, valuing collaborations, and respecting one’s limits and expertise. The importance of asking questions related to the learning management system (LMS) is also cited.

Takeaways:
It is important to recognize the strengths and limitations of the library in terms of being able to embed librarians in online courses. Recommended steps: Begin conversations with programs early. Discuss levels of access to courses, and determine which areas within a program’s curriculum are the best fit for embedded librarians. In addition, it is important to determine the interest and capacity of fellow librarians for embedding into programs. Assessments should be continuous with a focus on improvement.