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Seeking Outstanding Community College Librarians and library programs

submitted by Laura Mondt

Do you know an amazing community college library leader or unique library program? Consider nominating yourself or an outstanding colleague for one of these awards.

This year (2020) , we were fortunate to be able to present both of these awards. Jean Amaral, Associate Professor and Open Knowledge Librarian, Borough of Manhattan Community College received the EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award for her work spearheading the OER program at her college and the Colorado Community College System received the EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award for their program “Colorado’s Top 40: Curating OER Content for the Top 40 GT Pathway Courses.” We were able to honor both recipients at a CJCLS webinar in June.

Award Details:

Awards sponsored by EBSCO Information Services:  Winners will receive a citation and $750 cash sponsored by EBSCO Information Services at a special ceremony during the ALA Annual Conference in 2021.

For complete information about these awards, the application form and past winners, please visit:

The applicant for the EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award should demonstrate:

  • Significant achievement in advocacy of learning resources/library programs or services, or
  • Leadership in professional organizations that are associated with the mission of community, junior, or technical colleges.

The applicant for the EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award should demonstrate:

  • Significant achievement in the development of a unique and innovative learning resources/library program.

Submissions must be received by December 4, 2020. 

Questions can be emailed to: Laura Mondt, Northern Essex Community College, lmondt@necc.mass.edu

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Community College Librarians at Home (or not)

Today is Thursday, April 2, 2020. Day 11 of my semi-quarantine. I am a reference librarian (programming and outreach are my interests) at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, KY. My “work from home” experience began on March 19 and was initially scheduled to end on April 5. Now we are scheduled to be home until at least April 30.
In the comments, tell us where you are, and what your current status is.

On the positive side: I’ve started a new virtual program (a very small student, faculty and staff reading group) that is meeting in MS Teams. The students selected Little Women as our first book, so I get to quarantine with the March family.  I  also have a virtual coffee break with librarians brewing (pardon the pun).

On the downside my home technology is far inferior to my office tech, and I’m super lonely and bored.

Grateful to be on the payroll, but a bit sad because two of our part-time circulation clerks were furloughed today. We rely heavily on part-time temporary employees and times like this are especially tough on them.

In the comments, tell us where you are, and what your current status is. To quote my governor “We will get through this”,  and “We will get through this, together”

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Community College Librarians Share Best Practices in College & Research Libraries News

The strategic thinking of community college librarians is on display in the February issue of College & Research Libraries News.  Check out “Maximizing the Impact of the In-Person One-Shot in Community Colleges.”

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CJCLS @ ALA 2017

by Laura Mondt

Heading to ALA Annual 2017? Check out these lists of sessions for CJCLS members as well as all community college librarians. We hope to see you in Chicago!

CJCLS- sponsored sessions

To Teach or Not To Teach Discovery Tools: Balancing Practical Instruction with the ACRL Information Literacy Framework

Hot Topics Discussion Group

CJCLS meetings

Executive Committee Meeting

All-Committees Meeting

Awards Committee Meeting

Conference Programming Planning- New Orleans 2018 Committee

Library Technical Assistant Education Committee Meeting

Nominating Committee 2018 Meeting

See the Full Schedule for more sessions, posters, and events.

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Hitting Refresh at Non-Library Conferences

by Laura Mondt

Have you attended a non-library conference lately? I was recently given the opportunity to present and attend the Teaching Academic Survival Skills (TASS) conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. While it was still a higher ed conference, there was only one other session that was library focused so it was nice to break out of my comfort zone and see what colleagues in other college departments are doing to help students prepare for (and survive!) college.

Academic survival skills and academic preparedness are something that affects all college departments, including the library. This conference had attendees from many different areas including tutoring, student success programs, developmental reading and writing, and more. All discussed issues that we are librarians are likely familiar with: students unfamiliar with college jargon, students not understanding of what their particular department really does and how it can help them, and students waiting until it was too late to ask for help. And, of course, lack of money to make new initiatives succeed. Sound familiar? Almost anyone who has ever worked at a library will be familiar with these and many similar issues.

I had a really great time at this conference. I got to network with people from other college departments that I don’t normally interact with much outside of my own campus. I got to hear interesting presentations about solutions to problems that easily apply to the library as well. While I am not endorsing this particular conference (full disclosure: my college sponsors it), I do endorse going to a conference that is not directly library related. It may help you understand and connect to other departments on your campus.

  • Submitted by Laura Mondt
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Search Trends: 2016 Edition

By Lindsay Davis

In case you missed our latest string of Facebook posts, we wanted to highlight four resources related to search trends in 2016.

Feel free to add to this list in the comments.

Update: The title of one of the articles has been edited but appears incorrect in email subscriptions until the blog post is opened directly in WordPress (January 19, 2017).

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2016 Best Books (& Blogs, Articles, Podcasts, etc.) Lists

2016 Best Books (& Blogs, Articles, Podcasts, etc.) Lists

by Lindsay Davis

It’s hard to believe the end of the semester is here. Soon, we’ll be seeing more and more “best books of 2016” lists—Times Critics’ Top Books of 2016, NPR’s Book Concierge: Our Guide to 2016’s Great Reads, NPR’s The 10 Best Books of 2016 Faced Tough Topics Head On, Book Riot’s Best Books of 2016, Goodreads Choice Awards 2016, Flavorwire’s 15 Best Books of 2016, Jezebel’s The Best Things We Read in 2016 That You Still Can Too, Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books 2016, and World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2016 to name a few.

What about you? Are there books or articles you read—or podcasts you listened to or videos you watched—this year that were useful to you in your work as a librarian?

I’m having a hard time thinking about last spring semester, but, this fall, I read chapters from Heidi Buchanan and Beth McDonough’s The One-Shot Library Instruction Survival Guide, 2nd ed. (2017), which I enjoyed. There is a lot of practical advice in this easy-to-digest read. I also read Amanda Hovious’ Designer Librarian blog and Kate Ganski’s My So-Called Librarian Life blog, which allowed me to think about my instruction efforts a bit more. I was also impacted by Anne-Marie Deitering’s post “Culture is What People Do” in her info-fetishist blog. Most recently, I read Stonebraker’s (2016) “Toward Informed Leadership: Teaching Students to Make Better Decisions Using Information.” (It is behind a pay wall.) I enjoyed this article because it offers some practical information about how to incorporate evidence-based management strategies– decision awareness, process creation, and decision practice–into library instruction, both in a credit information literacy course or in the one-shot environment.

If you’re itching for some professional reading over your winter break, check out LIRT’s Top 20 Articles in 2015 list that was released this summer. ACRL also has a Goodreads account. Don’t forget, the CJCLS Blog also has a list of books and articles written by community and junior college librarians , which you can find in the CJCLS Scholarship page. (We’re still working on updating the citations to MLA 8.)

Please let us know what books, articles, blogs, podcasts, websites, etc. helped you in your work this year in the comments.  Also feel free to share any curated book lists like the ones mentioned at the beginning of this post. And, finally, if you published a peer-reviewed article or book this year, let us know. We will be happy to add it to our section’s growing bibliography.

Happy Reading! Happy Holidays!

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Libraries and Librarians, Agents of Change: Moving Forward

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Image credit: staticflickr.com

By Alise McKeal

Admittedly, I wanted to write about something else, but it was a mere distraction from what was and is weighing like a ten ton brick on my heart. As such, I felt pulled as if magnetically, towards writing about libraries and the increasingly important role they have, particularly in terms of having unbiased, open-arms for all the diverse individuals and populations they serve. We are the one place that our users and patrons know they are accepted and safe, and can use our openly available resources without judgment, bias, and censorship. Furthermore, through our libraries and library work, we can continue to fight the good, strong fight against hatred and oppression that exist in our society and work towards greater acceptance, equality, and growth (including healing) for all people not just the group(s) we connect to in our own lives. I wish us all the strength, courage, and willingness to continue to serve in our important roles and hold a places for our patrons, customers and users, especially in the aftermath of the election results.

I was incredibly fortuitous last week because without any consideration to Election Day, I scheduled a day of seated chair massages along with coloring activities and a therapy dog visit the Thursday following it. The only thing that could have improved the experience would have been if everything had been scheduled for last Wednesday instead.  Ah well, hindsight is perfect, isn’t it? These events shifted the energy in the library and provided support and healing for many during such a challenging time. It was also a great opportunity for students, staff and faculty to connect and share positive stories and just be there for one another energetically. Sometimes it just takes someone holding our space to get us through the moment(s).

Many of us are grieving, hurting, and angry or experiencing a myriad of other emotions, and it is important that we take care of ourselves during these times. A loss has occurred for a large group of us. After we have dealt with our own, very personal self-care, it is imperative that we keep moving forward and participate in progressive action to support those we serve while continuing to effectuate change. What are some ways that you or your library are working towards regrouping, empowering and bringing your community together? Please share here.

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Inclusive Learning Resources: GADP & TILE

By Lindsay Davis

In the last post on the CJCLS blog, “Instruction for Diverse Populations Bibliography,” I mentioned that several of us in the ACRL Instruction Section Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee attended the National Diversity in Libraries Conference that was held at UCLA this August. During the conference, I sat it on a session related to instruction called “Educating the Educators: Proactive Approaches to the Inclusive Classroom,” which introduced me to two new resources for developing a more inclusive learning environment, the Global Awareness Dialogue Project (GADP) and the Toolkit for Inclusive Learning Environments (TILE).

This session was comprised of two individual presentations. The first presentation was given by Paula M. Smith, Reference Librarian, from Penn State Abington and focused on the Global Awareness Dialogue Project (GADP). GADP is a faculty development program that engages faculty in the exchange of ideas about contemporary global issues in education, with an emphasis on non-Western educational systems. The sessions are three hours long and are open to 20 or so faculty members who register for the program.

After Smith introduced the session, we were asked to complete The Numbers Exercise, which was developed by Roxanna Senyshyn and Marianne Brandt. Essentially, it’s a list of simple math problems, but the directions indicate that subtract means to multiply; divide means to add; add means to divide; and multiply means to subtract. So 12 x 2 really means 12-2. After a few minutes, Smith asked how we felt completing the worksheet. I said it was stressful. The idea behind this is that this is the sort of frustration international and immigrant students feel navigating American academic life.

Smith then discussed the types of GADP sessions they have had at the university. In one program, a panel of international and immigrant students were able to tell faculty members about some struggles they have had in the classroom. For example, a few students mentioned they were not familiar with cursive and were Googling the characters one by one. Some students also explained that they felt uncomfortable because many of their American classmates would leave exams early; these students said they were used to using the whole time allotted for an exam. There were also some challenges about what academic integrity means in the western context.

Another neat thing I jotted down that was a result of one of the GADP sessions was that faculty members who speak more than one language started putting little stickers (or signs) on their windows/doors that said, “My name is_____. I speak ________.”

The second presentation was given by Shannon Simpson, Librarian for Student Engagement and Information Fluency, from Johns Hopkins University. She helped develop the Toolkit for Inclusive Learning Environments (TILE), which is a toolkit of “best practices [and] a repository of specific examples that all faculty are welcome to replicate or re-use.”

Simpson shared a sample assignment that professors/librarians teaching information literacy, business, marketing, and communication could use. It’s a simple but effective assignment. “In 2014 a food and entertainment public relations firm called Strange Fruit was the subject of a media backlash. Ask the students to Google the term strange fruit to see why.” Students then answer these questions:

  • To what does the term refer?
  • Where did the term originate and who has used it since then?
  • What would you tell this firm if during the media firestorm they had come to you for advice?

During the session, we also did a pair-share in which we came up with groups or people we could partner with to share about TILE, such as a diversity committee, student life/affinity groups, teaching and learning groups, university departments, human resources, provost/president’s office, and other relevant people or groups.

How is your community or junior college library—or institution at large—working to build and develop more inclusive learning environments and teaching practices? Do you think your institution would benefit from using or adapting these resources?

(Examples from the GADP session revised on Oct. 25th.)

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Instruction for Diverse Populations Bibliography

by Lindsay Davis

Now that it’s mid-October, many of us are in the thick of teaching research skills in the classroom and at our virtual and physical reference desks. How do you help create an inclusive learning environment? How do you learn about reaching diverse populations in your instruction?

In August of this year, several of us from the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Instruction Section committee on Instruction for Diverse Populations (ISDivPops) presented a poster at the National Diversity in Libraries Conference (NDLC) at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), “Reading About Diversity: Developing and Reflecting on Inclusive Instructional Resources.” The poster outlined the work we did in the 2015/2016 academic year, which consisted of updating the Instruction for Diverse Populations bibliography.

Instruction for Diverse Populations Bibliography Poster

The ISDivPops committee’s charge is “[t]o support instruction librarians in providing instructional services to diverse populations. The committee reviews, researches new content, updates, and promotes the ‘Multilingual Glossary’ and the ‘Library Instruction for Diverse Populations Bibliography’ bi-annually, focusing on one document per year” (“Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee”). The bibliography includes print and electronic resources key to development of effective methods and materials for providing library instruction and teaching information literacy competencies to diverse student groups.

In spring 2015, the committee moved the bibliography from a static PDF document to a Zotero bibliography that utilizes collaborative and dynamic features. In fall 2015 and spring 2016, the committee added new student populations, including veteran students, and also worked on adding tags and new content. The committee focused on adding resources written primarily within the last ten years that specifically describe teaching diverse groups within an academic library context. In 2016/2017, the committee will continue to update the bibliography and will also be updating the Multilingual Glossary.

If you come across an article, book, website, or another resource you think would be a good addition to the bibliography, do let us know in the comments. Ernesto Hernandez, Teaching and Learning Librarian at University of California Irvine, is the chair of the Instruction for Diverse Populations committee this academic year.

Stay tuned later this week for a resource not yet in the bibliography that I discovered while at the NDLC.

“Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee.” ACRL Instruction Section, www.acrl.ala.org/IS/is-committees-2/committees-task-forces/instruction-for-diverse-populations. Accessed 17 Oct. 2016.