Reed Garber-Pearson, University of Washington, ACRL-WA President
When I decided to put my name on the ballot for ACRL-WA board elections several years ago, it was a means for me to better understand the different academic library worker communities in the state. What are the conversations, what do we care about collectively and individually, what changes need to be made for workers and students to feel more supported? Specifically, I wanted to address racism in more honest and generative ways, and to practice accountability with you all. As I reflect on my intentions, they seem all the more relevant today during COVID-19.
At times recently it’s felt difficult for me to focus on the tasks that before the pandemic knitted together my day-to-day and work lives: promotion and evaluation cycles and professional development, for example. I’ve been hearing from students that learning and attending school now seem dissonant to what’s happening in the world and with the changes that have inevitably happened in most of our lives. I’ve also heard from disabled folks and those with chronic illnesses, that this way of life was already their reality. With all of these changes my hope is that we have additional generosity and renewed energy to consider how racism continues to invade our libraries, lives and communities. If you were at the ACRL-WA conference in October, take some time to review your commitment(s). If you weren’t at the conference, make some commitments to community accountability and anti-racism, particularly in the context of COVID-19.
I’m leaning into the uncertainty of the future and focusing on the present, which is that my term as President of ACRL-WA is coming to an end, and with that we venture into a merger with the Washington Library Association. This too, has some uncertainty in the logistics and specific details, but offers a chance for larger community and support. I will remain active with the board to oversee the transition with Lizzie Brown, who has done an astounding job of coordinating massive communication between our members and WLA thus far. Our community is growing larger and expanding, and for this I feel hope and gratitude. I will be joining WLA as a member and hope to see many of you there.
Lizzie Brown, Central Washington University, ACRL-WA Vice President/President-Elect
As a result of ongoing conversations about merging with WLA, the ACRL-WA board hosted a series of listening sessions in December and January to gain a sense of the organization’s goals, interests, and appetite to merge with WLA. This conversation has been floating between background and foreground for many years, and this was the year to see if it was worth pursuing fully or officially putting it on the shelf. I personally want to thank everyone for their participation in this process. Decisions to merge organizations should not be taken lightly and gathering feedback from current members was an essential part in the process. We received great participation and I’m grateful for everyone’s involvement.
In finding that the majority of feedback we received was in favor of merging or of having a vote, we decided it was time to put this to a vote of the members for an ultimate decision. The result of the March vote was in favor of merging (85%) and 48 out of 94 members voted. As a result of this, the ACRL-WA board is currently in discussion with WLA leadership to determine logistics of merging the two organizations and developing a memorandum of understanding.
WLA leadership has shared their excitement to work with the ACRL-WA board to create a smooth transition that benefits both groups. While there are still many details to be determined, some details I think we can expect include:
Organizational changes can be scary because there is always the box of unknowns. What will change? What will stay the same? How much will it cost? When will my ACRL-WA membership end? Will I automatically become a member of the new group? Will there be stickers at the next conference? Through this process I’ve found that there are some things that have an easy answer and some things for which the script is yet to be written. As we have answers to some of these questions, we plan to be as transparent as possible in sharing these details and decisions back to members.
While there are still many conversations to have and logistics to figure out, I believe this merge offers ACRL-WA some exciting new potential to partner with other academic library workers, gain administrative support for conference planning, and unite forces with other regional libraries. If you were considering serving in an ACRL-WA board position previously, I encourage you to consider running for a position on the new board in WLA. Elections are hosted in August 2020. I know WLA has a lot to offer us as an organization, and the current members of ACRL-WA have a lot to contribute to it.
WLA Statement on the Merger of ACRL-WA and WLA's ALD
Brianna Hoffman, Executive Director, Washington Library Association
The WA Library Association's (WLA) Board of Directors and the Steering Committee of our Academic Library Division (ALD) are thrilled with ACRL-WA's decision to merge with WLA. We are thankful to the current board of ACRL-WA for bringing this decade-long conversation to fruition with a member vote of approval. As the state chapter of ALA, WLA has always maintained that we are stronger when our various kinds of libraries are working together, giving us a unified voice in library issues and advocacy across the state. While the WLA remains a member-run organization, members are able to rely on the support of a staffed WLA office and professional guidance. We look forward to strengthening WLA's soon-to-be-renamed ALD/ACRL with the infusion of new ideas and fresh faces. Welcome to WLA, ACRL-WA!
Take the WLA Member Needs Survey
WLA recently launched a Member Needs Assessment Survey and ACRL-WA members are invited to respond. You do not need to be a member of WLA or ACRL-WA to participate in the survey.
The survey should take about 10-20 minutes to complete, so a good activity to do while you enjoy your morning tea or coffee! The survey will close June 10.
Kael Moffat, ACRL-WA Communications Manager
A particularly intriguing question that has come out of the COVID-19 crisis is the effect of such situations on copyright and the implications for fair use. Many of us are likely familiar with the Public statement of library copyright specialists: Fair Use & Emergency remote teaching & research, issued on March 13, 2020. Four days afterwards, the Association of Southeaster Research Libraries hosted an informative webinar that expounded on the ideas of the document that included several of the signatories.
The statement and the webinar both grew out of an argument for a more robust interpretation of the fair use doctrine, an argument that has actually been supported by recent court decisions. Brandon Butler from the University of Virginia and one of the signatories of the public statement noted that courts have trended towards supporting “broad and free re-use of copyrighted works for a variety of socially beneficial purposes” (2015, p. 3). He listed five takeaways from the six cases he reviewed in his commentary:
Uses that were seen to be of an appropriate nature were judged to be for an appropriate use, to use appropriate works, to use a small portion of the work, and to not harm the market of the work. According to Kyle Courtney from Harvard University and another signatory of the public statement, told the Copyright First Responders Pacific Northwest that, practically, courts have begun to really focus on the transformative nature of the use and the amount of the original source used (2019).
The webinar presenters contended that both the “socially beneficial purpose” of education and the factors of fair use favor, at least temporarily, a far wider interpretation of the fair use doctrine. A factor playing into this expanded interpretation is the need to manage health risks, specifically student’s health and the health of library staff and student workers (see slide 21). Playing into this risk management is the fact that many students have been unable to get back into their dorms to get print materials they have paid for, thus in these cases providing full-digital access to copyrighted materials does not harm the market since authors and publishers have already benefited from the sale.
Presenters suggested several different ways to manage legal risk in a more open fair use scenario:
Given that schools in the Washington State are likely to be closed at least into the summer and possibly into the fall, we would be wise to be as informed as possible about fair use questions under these unusual circumstances and do the best job we can of communicating our knowledge to our campus communities.
Butler, B. (2015). Fair use rising: Full-text access and repurposing in recent case law. Research library issues: A report from ARL, CNII, and SPARC. Retrieved May 6, 2020 from https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=scholcom
Courtney, K.K. (2019, May). Fair use [Training presentation]. Copyright First Responders Pacific Northwest, Portland, OR.
Library scholarships offered through the CWU University Libraries, Tullis Scholarship and Brooks/Cutright Scholarship, were awarded to Carolin Bigwood. Carolin is studying elementary education with a minor in library and information science. She has a love for music and the great outdoors in addition to working in a library. It is her work in the Circulation unit of Brooks Library which informs her studies and ignites her passion for librarianship. This passion was revealed in her scholarship essays for each award. The profession will be fortunate to nurture more members like her.
Like most colleges and universities, the global pandemic has transformed our campus as we all transition to an online life. In march CWU Libraries learned that a gift had been given to them by an alumna, which will help the CWU University Libraries transition to a digital life more easily. The Ms. Wilma (Bowers) Stellingwerf estate gave $1.5 million to the libraries. For more information about Wilma, please see the CWU Libraries website.
Highline College is participating in the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read: King County, a community literacy endeavor in which members have many opportunities to read and discuss a book that matters to Pacific Northwest history and culture. This year’s book selection is Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor was Divine, a fictional interpretation of the Japanese-American internment experience by the US government during World War II. Collaborating with Seattle Pacific University and the King County Library System, Highline helped secure a $15,000 grant to bring author Julie Otsuka to campus (now an online event). Reference librarians, Karen Fernandez and Monica Twork, collaborated to organize Big Read events at Highline, including a panel on Japanese-American incarceration, a campus book discussion, and an online author talk.
Highline College reference librarians created a CC-licensed telework library guide for college staff and faculty at the request of administration as soon as the campus was closed to all employees. The guide contains web-based resources such topics as wellness, and self-care, resources for professional development, teaching online, and using Zoom. The guide has been recommended to the campus community by the Vice-President of Academic Affairs and the Executive Director of Human Resources, both of whom have contributed guidance and resources to the guide.
Nourishing Campus Community During a Pandemic
Library Director, Gerie Ventura, first began gathering the Highline campus community around food in September 2017. The campus potlucks she has organized, in collaboration with the campus Director of Academic Assessment and Placement, have brought folks together to break bread and build relationships throughout campus. Rotating between campus departments, the potlucks provide an informal opportunity for campus community members to share what’s new within their departments. To help nourish the campus community throughout the physical campus closure, Gerie has shifted the community potlucks online. In April 2020, Gerie organized the college’s first-ever Zoom Community Lunch Potluck, open to kids and four-legged family members, as an opportunity to reconnect with campus community, while maintaining a safe social distance.
An English instructor at Highline College, Prairie Brown, came up with a creative solution for librarians to provide information literacy (IL) instruction to her English 205 (English 102) students in the virtual world. Several librarians are collaborating with Prairie to record short Zoom sessions in which Prairies asks questions, such as how to find citations in the library databases, and the librarians explain how to accomplish the task. Prairie then uses Panopto to create auto-captions and links to the videos in her Canvas class for students to view asynchronously.
The information literacy modules are available in Canvas Commons for anyone to download and use. These modules are openly-licensed and accessible. The eight topics covered are:
Pacific Lutheran University shifted to all-distance mode in early March, and the library building closed to the public shortly thereafter. Librarians and library staff continue to engage in research consultations, teach orientations and workshops, fulfill electronic interlibrary loan requests, and answer inquiries from students and faculty via our online tools. Ironically, Holly Senn, Virtual Reference Service Librarian, had just staged an exhibit on pandemics before the building had to close.
Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Anna Trammell was among those selected to attend the National Forum on Archival Discovery and Delivery held in February 2020 at Stanford University. The event brought a group of 70 participants together to focus on collaborative problem solving around how user-facing systems support discovery and delivery for archives and special collections. At the forum, Anna presented on the PLU Library's migration to AtoM (Access to Memory), an open source collection management and access system, and how this effort will improve access and discoverability of Archives and Special Collections holdings.
Despite the necessity of conducting business remotely, the library continues its migration to Ex Libris Alma-Primo, with an anticipated launch July 2020.
The Campus Library Community Reads Team is engaging the campus with an academic year-long read of Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis. The Team has looked at the book through the main lens of democracy, with selected chapters and sub-themes selected each quarter. For Spring Quarter, Community Reads will focus on Chapter 3, “We Have to Talk about Systemic Change.” In response to the campus being closed because of COVID-19, Community Reads has developed a Canvas course for students, faculty, and staff across campus. Although this quarter a F2F dialogue is not possible, the course has been designed to help readers interact with the text and each other remotely. A copy of the Canvas Course can be found in The Canvas Commons.
These past few years, at the University of Washington, Seattle, the “Going Public” conference has been an engaging, informative event. This conference usually serves as a great forum to talk about what it means to work for or with the public, as well as what capital-O “Open” means when we talk about “Open scholarship,” “Open access,” or “Open Educational Resources.” This year, as usual, the organizers were planning to have an in-person event in the Research Commons of the Allen South Library, but that quickly became impossible because of the virus outbreak. Instead of cancelling the event, they quickly shifted everything into an online webinar format, and this move not only ended up being a logistical success but also proved to be a feat of attendance. Two hundred sixty-nine people registered and they enjoyed a keynote address from Nikkita Oliver as well as presentations and panels about public scholarship, equity in data, Pressbooks and Open Educational Resources, and diversity in design.
Central Washington University
On April 16, Jessica Krill started as the Arts and Humanities Librarian for the Brooks Library at Central Washington University. Jessica holds an MLIS from San Jose State University and a BA in art history from the University of California, Irvine. Most recently, Jessica held the title of Digital Content Librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library, where she managed and developed numerous digital projects and exhibits.
Professionally, Jessica is interested in the areas of privacy, digital safety, user experience, and instructional design in libraries. She is involved with the ALA’s Digital Content Working Group representing REFORMA, which works to improve library services for the Latinx and Spanish-speaking community. Since 2019, she has also been a member of the Library Freedom Project, which is committed to conserving and upholding privacy rights within the library.
Monica Twork has a MSLS from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a MA in international studies with a focus on Japan studies from the University of Washington, and a certificate in teaching English as a second language from NELC-Xplore Asia. Over the years, she has taught English in Japan and worked in academic libraries in Tennessee, Florida, and Morocco. When she’s not exploring new strategies to support students at the library, she enjoys discovering new vegetarian recipes and hiking trails.
Ben Horvath is a 2019 MLIS graduate from the University of Washington’s Information School. Originally from Austin, Texas he has lived in the NW for the past 12 years. He came to librarianship from the museum/archives with a background in history and American studies. He specializes in information literacy instruction and teaching students research skills. Outside of the library he loves to travel with his husband, and dogs Winston and Lulu.
Allison Reibel wrote of herself: “I am grateful to return to my hometown of Seattle and to Highline College library with its super supportive staff and dedication to serving our campus communities. I am returning from Portland, where I spent two years as a Public Services Librarian at Multnomah County Library's Central branch, focused on project management, as well as leading efforts to build information and digital literacy among staff. My professional interests are in tech ethics—especially privacy and anti-oppression work—and building bridges between public and academic libraries.”
Samantha “Sam” Sermeno (they/she) has been with Highline College for 2 years, bringing public and academic librarian backgrounds along with a K-8 educator background. Coming from a multilingual family of Latinx and Asian immigrant cultures, they are glad to be working with multilingual, LGBTTQIA, and nontraditional students. Her interests in libraryland include cross-cultural community partnerships, innovative library outreach, popular education, zine culture, and social justice/equity work within institutions. Beyond the library, you can find Sam at diaspora community events or nerding out over plants.
Kaitlyn Straton has been hired as part-time reference librarian.
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Katherine Kelley is now on the library team as a Faculty Librarian. Previously she was a Library Technician II. Katherine has worked in a variety of library settings from a county bookmobile to an art museum library. In all of these settings she enjoyed working with people and helping them access the information they needed. She earned master's degrees in Library and Information Studies and Art History from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013 and comes to LWTech most recently from New Mexico.
John Ford is now on the library team as a Library Technician II. John is originally from Minnesota and received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota in 2013. He then began working in a number of different public libraries across the Twin Cities area. In 2019, John received an M.A. in Museology from the University of Washington. Outside of the library, John enjoys running marathons, traveling as much as possible, watching movies, and anything to do with basketball.
University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College Library
Alexander Bellairs, Temporary Research and Instruction Librarian, began October 21, 2019. Alexander teaches in the lower division IL curriculum at both UW Bothell and Cascadia College, along with providing reference services. Alexander holds a BA in Social Science with a History concentration from Western Oregon University and served four years as a Signal Corps Officer in the U.S. Army before earning his MLIS from the UW iSchool.
Denise Blike, Reserves Technician, joined our team on December 2, 2019. Denise brings a wide breadth of experience gained from library staff positions held at Seattle University and Billings Public Library. Denise earned her BFA in creative writing from Goddard College. This fall 2020, Denise will begin the UW iSchool MLIS program. UW Bothell/Cascadia College Library wishes Denise all the best with her studies!
Jessica “Je” Salvador, Research and Instruction Librarian, began December 16, 2019. Je will work as a liaison to computer science at UW Bothell and Cascadia College. Je brings extensive teaching experience from numerous colleges and universities. In addition to working in education, Je has worked as a Public Defense Investigator for the King County Department of Public Defense. Je received their BA in studio art from Whitman College, MA in teaching from Walla Walla University, and Certificate in Private Investigation and MLIS from UW.
University of Washington Seattle
UW Bothell/Cascadia College Library
Kimberly Kramer begins a new role at Portland Community College
Kimberly Kramer, Materials Processing Lead, has moved on to a new chapter in her career. Kimberly worked for the UW Bothell/Cascadia College Campus Library for over two years. In addition to her primary duties in Materials Processing, Kimberly assisted with Digital Collections, covered public service hours, and collaborated to build the graphic novel and anime film collections. Kimberly will be missed & the Library is excited for her as she begins the next phase of her career at Portland Community College as their Serials Specialist.
Central Washington University
University of Washington, Seattle
Reed Garber-Pearson, University of Washington Seattle
Immediate Past President
Madeline Mundt, University of Washington Seattle
Elizabeth Brown, Central Washington University
Lydia Bello, Seattle University
Ahniwa Ferrari, Evergreen State College
Chelsea Nesvig, University of Washington Bothell/Cascadia College
Jen Saulnier, Washington State University
Zoe Fisher, Pierce College
Kael Moffat, Saint Martin’s University