From the Stacks: ACRL Publications Exploring Issues in Special Collections and Archives

Catch up on your reading during Preservation Week! As we celebrate the preservation of our personal and shared collections, today we’re showcasing ACRL publications that explore issues in special collections and archives. Check them out and discuss as part of the #preswk conversation. And don’t forget, e-books purchased through the ALA Store through June 30 are 50% off with code EBPP20!

Libraries Promoting Reflective Dialogue in a Time of Political Polarization, edited by Andrea Baer, Robert Schroeder, and Ellysa Stern Cahoy. Reflective dialogue asks us to pause before reacting, to ground ourselves in a sense of compassion for ourselves and others, and to use that grounding to open a space to listen and to speak with the goal of recognizing a shared humanity and appreciating difference. In four sections, Libraries Promoting Reflective Dialogue in a Time of Political Polarization explores the various ways in which librarians experience and respond to political polarization and its effects, both in our everyday work and in our professional communities:.

  • Libraries as Dialogic Spaces: Limits and Possibilities
  • Dialogue amid Polarization and Extreme Skepticism: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Special Collections and Archives: Past and Present in Conversation
  • The Information Literacy Classroom: Uneasy Questions, Creative Responses

The Sustainable Library’s Cookbook, edited by Raymond Pun and Gary L. Shaffer. In 2019, the American Library Association added sustainability to its Core Values of Librarianship to foster community awareness and engagement on climate change, resilience, environmental impact, and a sustainable future. The Sustainable Library’s Cookbook collects a series of engaging activities for academic libraries interested in implementing sustainability practices in three different areas: Applying Sustainability Thinking and Development; Teaching, Learning, and Research Services; and Community Engagement, Outreach, and Partnerships..

Scholarship in the Sandbox: Academic Libraries as Laboratories, Forums, and Archives for Student Work, edited by Amy S. Jackson, Cindy Pierard, and Suzanne M. Schadl. The case studies collected here address the innovative ways that libraries are actively occupying more central space on campus as practical laboratories outside of the classroom. Authors describe efforts to curate student work, explore intellectual property issues, and provide tips for promoting and preserving access to this production through new programming and services that affirm libraries’ roles in intellectual processes. The cases demonstrate collective learning in a sandbox environment where the answers are far less important than the multiplicity of prospective solutions, and present several models for providing a supportive environment in which students, teaching faculty, and librarians can practice, explore, fail at, and refine their academic work through collaboration.

Collaborating for Impact: Special Collections and Liaison Librarian Partnerships, edited by Kristen Totleben and Lori Birrell. Special collections and liaison librarian partnerships can have a tremendous impact on the work within the library and the university community. Designed to guide the reader through three different themes—collection stewardship; projects, research, and exhibitions; and instruction—Collaborating for Impact: Special Collections and Liaison Librarian Partnerships offers inspiration and case studies detailing how these departments can impact research, teaching, and learning by working collaboratively. With individual expertise and skillsets, librarians and staff are together better equipped to provide researchers with a holistic, well-rounded perspective on the research process and scholarship.

The Globalized Library: American Academic Libraries and International Students, Collections, and Practicesedited by Yelena Luckert with Lindsay Inge Carpenter. In five sections—Information Literacy; Outreach & Inclusion; Collections & Digital Humanities; Establishing Libraries & Services Abroad; and Career & Professional Development—The Globalized Library collects chapters from practitioners across North America detailing how their work has become globalized and demonstrating new ways to address language and cultural differences, the international purchase and processing of materials, professional development and growth of librarians, and information literacy needs of students from all over the world. It explores ways to provide support to students studying abroad, create online teaching tools, establish American-style libraries at satellite campuses, and leverage campus partnerships to create specifically designed programs and learning opportunities for international students, making a huge difference in the success and retention of a diverse student body.    

RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage is the Association of College and Research Libraries’ semi-annual journal covering issues pertaining to special collections libraries and cultural heritage institutions. As rare book and manuscript libraries have metamorphosed into special collections libraries, so too have special collections libraries changed into (or perhaps begun to acknowledge that they have always been) cultural heritage repositories. The opportunities for new professional conversations are proliferating. How we cope with emerging technologies, new economic models for collecting, the creation of strategic partnerships, and the ways in which people experience the “authentic” are all part of the conversations taking place within the pages of RBM.

Visit the ACRL website for a full catalog of publications, including open access titles and books available for purchase, and ACRL’s Pandemic Resources for Academic Libraries LibGuide for curated articles, videos, and government resources about how to sanitize and disinfect books, cultural artifacts, and other collections.