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ACRL DLS Chair: Natalie Haber
Vice-Chair: Amanda Ziegler
Secretary: Stephanie Espinoza Villamor
Archivist: Andrea Hebert
Webmasters: Katie Stewart and Matthew Stevons (dlswebcontact@gmail.com)
Members-at-Large: Karla Aleman and Jennifer Rundels

Member of the Month: February 2020

The ACRL Distance Learning Section (DLS) Membership and Event committee started a “Member of the Month” initiative to highlight our diverse members.  Here is our highlight on Andrea Hebert, Human Sciences, Education, and Distance Learning Librarian at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. 

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

Andrea looks up into the camera, wearing a black baseball cap, black framed glasses and a grey sweatshirt. A brick path and plants are in the background.

 Name:  Andrea Hebert

How long have you been a DLS member?

5 years

Where do you work and what do you do there?

I am the Human Sciences, Education, and Distance Learning Librarian at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. My duties are divided between liaison work with the schools within the College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) and supporting distance & online learning.

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

LSU’s online programs are undergoing a period of rapid change and growth. New programs are being launched every few months. In addition to supporting the online programs that are linked to the schools in the CHSE, I alert other librarians to new online programs in their subject areas. I serve as a point of contact for questions from course developers.

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

This is an area I definitely need to work on! I have so much room for improvement. Right now I’m focusing on increasing students’ awareness of our virtual consultations. That type of one-on-one contact really helps students feel supported, but I need to plot a broader proactive strategy to reach more students and to inform and link students to our services and resources.

How do you recharge your knowledge of distance library services?

The work I’ve done as a volunteer for DLS has introduced me to so many ideas, approaches, and techniques that have improved how I provide support to students and faculty. DLS is an extremely supportive organization, and I’m constantly inspired by the passion and competence of its members.

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

It’s Mardi Gras season, so I’m eating King Cake as often as possible and looking forward to my neighborhood parade. We are also planning our trip to Spain in April. We’ll be able to catch some of the Semana Santa processions in Malaga. 

What are you reading right now?

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

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

Occasional tweets @andrealhebert1 

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

Academic librarianship can be a difficult career to navigate. I’ve received so much help and guidance along the way. I believe in paying it forward; I try to extend the help and opportunities I received to other librarians. Also, I try to express my appreciation for the work that others do. A simple “thank you” can make someone’s bad day a little better.

Call for proposals: Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session (2020)

The Call for Proposals is now open for the Spring 2020 Virtual Poster Session, hosted by the ACRL DLS Instruction Committee!

Calling all librarians! Do you have a tool, project, or great idea about teaching and learning online that you’d like to share with your peers? You are invited to submit a proposal to our second annualDistance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session, which will take place April 13-17, 2020. Proposals are due February 19, 2020.

What is a virtual poster session?

The term “poster” is used very loosely; the intent is to keep the spirit of the traditional poster session while allowing for innovation and creativity in the format used. As in traditional poster sessions, virtual poster session presenters create short, asynchronous presentations of their work (as a guideline, less than 5 minutes of multimedia or 500 words of text) and they are available to answer questions. While an image or PDF that matches the traditional poster format is welcome, creativity and the use of interactive and multimedia formats are especially encouraged during this virtual poster session. 

All posters will be hosted here, on the DLS website. During the poster session week, presenters will asynchronously engage with attendees. Through commenting functionality, viewers can ask questions about your work, and engage in conversation with you about your topic. Last year’s event proves that this format has the potential to lead to interesting and vibrant conversations between presenters and viewers across time zones. 

After the poster session week has concluded, the posters will be archived here on the DLS website so that they can continue to be viewed indefinitely.

What is the timeline for this event?

The virtual poster session will take place April 13-17, 2020

  • Proposals are due by February 19, 2020
  • If accepted, you’ll be asked to submit your poster by April 1, 2020

Presenters will actively respond to comments and questions for a full week (April 13-17, 2020). The Instruction Committee will assist with promoting interaction, but we ask that you check in on your poster at least once a day to keep the conversation going.

What topics can I present on?

Posters can be on any topic related to distance and online library instruction. We would love to hear about your successes and failures in teaching distance and online students, your instructional techniques and approaches, and the tools and technologies that you use! We encourage you to align your proposal with one of our five tracks:

  • Accessibility and Inclusivity: How do you ensure that your online courses and learning objects are accessible and inclusive? 
  • Assessment: How do you assess your online instruction (including qualitative and affective assessment)? 
  • Instructional Collaborations: How do you effectively build relationships and collaborate with faculty, instructional designers, and others to instruct distance and online students? 
  • Project Planning & Management: How do you efficiently manage the “behind the scenes” work of planning, developing, reviewing, and updating online courses and learning objects? 
  • Student Engagement: How do you ensure students remain engaged in your synchronous and asynchronous online instruction? 

How will presenters be chosen?

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the DLS-IC. We will be selecting posters based on the  following criteria: 

  • Quality of Proposal: Is the information requested on the proposal submission form complete? Is the abstract well written, articulate, and does it clearly describe the main idea of the poster? 
  • Alignment to Poster Session Theme: Is the poster about library instruction in the online environment? 
  • Interest to Attendees: Does the topic have potential to attract poster session attendees and stimulate conversation? Will innovative, new and/or unique information be presented? Is the topic practical, easily implemented, and broadly applicable?
  • Diversity of Perspectives: We are seeking to provide a poster session that provides a diversity of perspectives. We especially invite posters from librarians, staff, and LIS students that highlight voices and experiences that are underrepresented in libraries. 

I’m ready to submit!

The Virtual Poster Session proposal submission form is available here

I still have questions!

If you have questions, please contact ACRL Distance Learning Section Instruction Committee Co-Chairs, Matthew LaBrake (matthew-labrake@berkeleycollege.edu) or Jennifer Shimada (jennifer.shimada@gmail.com).

Mentors needed: DLS Mentorship Beta Program final reminder!

Hello Distance Learning Section members! Are you a distance librarian willing to share your knowledge to help others develop their skills? The DLS Mentoring and Networking Committee is looking for mentors to participate in the launch of our DLS Mentorship BETA program!

Wondering if you qualify? You don’t have to be in a leadership position to participate! We’re looking for anyone interested in forming a coaching relationship with another librarian. The only requirement is being a current member of ACRL and DLS.

Thinking about the time commitment? This beta program only lasts until June 30, 2020. It’s a great opportunity to try out a shorter mentorship and see if you might want to later participate in the full, year-long mentorship program we’re launching in Fall 2020.

Want to know other benefits? Besides the networking opportunity and good feels of helping an early-career librarian, there’s a lot mentors can learn from mentees too! Plus, you get early access to our mentorship program with an opportunity to give feedback that will shape the direction of the program moving forward. And it’s great to add to your resume!

Ready to sign up? Simply fill out the Mentor Application below:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc61Q0rUaAi7JvuOT6apAC9_aY-OKmLxPGII5-5wUHOsYYZNg/viewform?usp=sf_link

We’re accepting participants until January 10, but contact the DLS Mentoring and Networking Committee chairs if you have any questions: Neely Tang (nt243@cornell.edu) or Chiméne Tucker (cetucker@usc.edu).

With Appreciation,
The DLS Mentoring and Networking Committee

DLS Virtual Midwinter Town Hall, 1/22/20 – Register today!

The Distance Learning Section will be hosting a virtual Midwinter Town Hall on January 22nd at 2pm EST. Please join us for some exciting updates about the section, information on our spring events, a sneak peek of some face-to-face summer events, information about volunteering with the section, and most importantly, an open question and answer session with DLS leadership where you can get your burning questions answered live! Register here.

Want to get involved in DLS? Volunteer now for an appointment to a section committee!

Please consider volunteering for the ACRL Distance Learning Section next year- the volunteer form is NOW OPEN for appointments that will begin on July 1, 2020! Read below for more on the section, the rewards of volunteering, and how the selection process works.

If you want to find out more about the various committees and opportunities for volunteering with DLS, you can find out more about our committees on our website.

Volunteer forms should be submitted by February 14, 2020. You will be asked to login using your ALA member ID and the password you created. Be sure that you are a current ALA/ACRL member before attempting to login.

To volunteer for a division-level or section committee, complete the online volunteer form at http://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm

If you experience issues logging into the form, please contact ALA Member & Customer Service at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5 to check your membership status.

The rewards of volunteering

Volunteering offers many benefits and opportunities. You can:

  • connect with others in the profession who are passionate and committed to academic librarianship,
  • learn from those who share similar professional concerns and interests,
  • network with information professionals in higher education,
  • become part of a community of academic and research librarians,
  • gain insights into the profession,
  • enhance your leadership skills through group facilitation and project management,
  • discover new ways to work,
  • expand your awareness and understanding of the value of academic libraries in higher education,
  • influence and advance the work of the association and the profession, and
  • promote excellence within the profession.

The appointment process
Appointments are made at the division and section level, and through the editorial board process (see editorial board section below). Section vice-chairs are responsible for committee appointments for the year they will serve as chair. The ACRL vice-president is responsible for committee appointments at the division level for the year he/she serves as president. The ACRL Appointments Committee assists the vice-president in an advisory capacity. Division-level committees are created to conduct the work of the Board, and each committee crafts an annual work plan in consultation with their Board and Staff liaisons to accomplish the charged activities and responsibilities.

Current committee members whose terms conclude at the 2020 ALA Annual Conference should submit a new volunteer form if they wish to be considered for re-appointment. The online volunteer form closes February 14 and most committee appointment offers will be sent in April and May 2020.

Members of all ACRL committees, task forces, and similar bodies are expected to fully participate in the work of the group whether it be working virtually or face-to-face. However, much work can be done virtually and onsite attendance at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and the ALA Annual Conference is not a requirement of committee service.


Factors influencing appointment
Although the appointment process may reflect the priorities of the vice-president/president-elect and section vice-chairs, several factors are always considered:

  • Evidence of interest and expertise. Have prospective volunteers visited and/or posted to the committee’s ALA Connect community, introduced themselves to the chair, or attended the meetings (virtual or face-to-face)? Do they have knowledge and/or previous experience that relates to the work of the committee? Have they indicated their interest on the volunteer form?
  • Demographics and composition of committee. A balance is sought with respect to type of library (community college, college, or university), geographic representation, ethnic diversity, and gender. Those who have not had the opportunity to serve on an ACRL committee are encouraged to volunteer as it is important to add new perspectives.
  • Recommendation of the current committee chair. Current committee chairs are asked to suggest prospective members.
  • Willingness to participate in the work of the committee. Volunteers should be prepared to engage in the committee work year-round.

The final appointments are the prerogative of the ACRL president-elect and the section vice-chairs.

How to apply

1. Identify the committees that interest you.

ACRL committees and their charges are listed on the ACRL Directory of Leadership (http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/committees). Check out the committee’s space in ALA Connect, where documents, discourses, and the work of the committees are posted. Attend face-to-face (or virtual) committee meetings at the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference to decide if their activities interest you. Talk/email with committee members. Express your interest to the committee chair. Ask about current projects and explain how you might contribute to the work of the committee.

2. Submit a volunteer form (Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for accessing the form).

Volunteer forms should be submitted by February 14, 2020. You will be asked to login using your ALA member ID and the password you created. Be sure that you are a current ALA/ACRL member before attempting to login.

To volunteer for a division-level or section committee, complete the online volunteer form at http://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form.cfm

If you experience issues logging into the form, please contact ALA Member & Customer Service at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5 to check your membership status.

3. Volunteer again and check out other opportunities.

If you are not appointed, volunteer again next year. In addition, continue to explore ACRL’s many opportunities to network and connect at http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/getinvolved Review the many discussion and interest groups. Each group selects a new leader in the spring outside of the volunteer process described above. If you’d like to start a new discussion or interest group, contact Lauren Carlton at lcarlton@ala.org.

Want to learn more about how the committee appointment process works? 
On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, the ACRL Membership Committee hosted a free online forum “Get Involved! Everything You Need to Know about Volunteering for an ACRL Committee.” You can view the recording on the volunteer page.

Amanda Ziegler
Vice-Chair, ACRL Distance Learning Section

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