California Academic and Research Libraries
California Academic and Research Libraries
Table of Contents .
April 2014 Newsletter (Volume 37, Issue 1) rss

President's Musings

Some Thoughts from our New President, Allison Carr

Dear CARL members,

I am thrilled with how the conference went! A huge thanks goes out to the planners, volunteers, presenters and attendees — we couldn’t have done it without you.

Since this is my first column for the newsletter, you’ll find my Getting to Know You interview below, but I also had a few additional comments.

First, let me start by saying how excited I am to be President. I’ve enjoyed every experience with CARL and the Interest Groups, and want everyone to feel the same way about their own involvement. But we need your help — we cannot do this without you. There are many opportunities to be involved with CARL, from the Interest Groups, to Board positions to Conference Planning, and we anticipate offering additional volunteer opportunities with new projects this year. If CARL is not what you need it to be, you have the responsibility to make it what you want it to be.

With that in mind, this year we’ll be working on expanding current features and developing new ones for CARL members. Our current mentor program is intended for library school students and new librarians, but we are investigating expanding it to include mid-career librarians. This will fulfill a need that is often felt by mid-career librarians — a colleague to turn to when deciding, “What do I do now?”

Based on the results of the membership survey, we’re also exploring some other ideas. Starting a scholarly journal was of interest to many of our members, so we have a small team working on a feasibility study to determine if this is something CARL could do. There is also a team putting together a proposal for a Programming Committee that would look at organizing more general programs — these would be regional programs that focus on topics not typically covered by Interest Groups. Lastly, the Board is having ongoing conversations with the goal of having a decision on the deregionalization of CARL Interest Groups to better
serve our colleagues in the north.

I'm really looking forward to the projects we have this year. If you have any questions or comments about any of our new initiatives, please feel free to drop me a line.

Submitted by Allison Carr, CSU San Marcos, CARL President

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Getting to Know You: Allison Carr, CARL President

Getting to Know You is a series of interviews with CARL leadership, designed to give CARL members an opportunity to get to know the Executive Board better.

Tell us about how you got involved with CARL and how you came to your current role on the Executive Board

I started with CARL through SCIL, which gave me a perfect place to learn about library instruction and get to know people in that area. Many of the people I collaborate with today, I met through SCIL. My involvement with the larger organization also came through my connections in SCIL. I worked with Tracey Mayfield (CSU Long Beach) on the 2008 CARL Conference, and have had some hand in the Conference since then. After chairing SCIL, I decided that I wanted to do more with CARL, so I ran for Southern Vice President. It's been quite a whirlwind of two years as Vice President, and I'm excited to finally reach the presidency. I'm excited to make some positive contributions to CARL that will really benefit our members.

Give us a day in life of CARL President

The work for CARL tends to ebb and flow with the projects and upcoming meetings. In preparation for the next Executive Board meeting, I'll be following up with the Board members on their action items from the last meetings, identifying additional people to work on those projects, and completing some of my tasks on the action items. 

Describe what it’s like working collaboratively with an Executive Board that is all over California

I think it's really exciting to work with people from different regions and types of institutions. We face many of the same challenges, yet there is some unique aspect to each of these challenges, based on our location. 

Tell us a little bit about your work at CSU San Marcos

As the Social Sciences Librarian, I teach and develop collections in Communication and Mass Media, Political Science, Sociology and Criminology, and Women's Studies, along with teaching some sessions for general education courses in our information literacy program. We also have a very strong first year program at CSUSM, and all of us in the information literacy program provide some instruction for that program. Over the years, I've taken the lead in revising and refining the first-year-experience curriculum to move away from just teaching the databases, and more towards critical thinking skills and what it means to be a student-scholar in the academy. We have strong relationships with disciplinary faculty, and that has served us well in making revisions to the general-education curriculum over the years.

Share a favorite moment from a past CARL conference, project or event

I don't think I have one favorite moment at the CARL conferences, but I love that librarians from across the state come together to learn from each other in both formal and informal ways, and have a lot of fun in the process.

What excites you the most about CARL's future?

So many things! Over the past few years, I've noticed fewer and fewer people getting involved in some of the Interest Groups and programs, but I think that's starting to shift back as libraries start hiring again. With this influx of new librarians getting involved, we have some great ideas with energetic people behind them to follow through. Pair this with the librarians who have helped to establish CARL and can provide the institutional history, and you’ve got magic. The current board has such synergy that the board meetings are electric with excitement for CARL and the projects we're undertaking. We've also had some great feedback from our members about what we can do to make CARL a better organization. 

What's the best part about the next thing you're doing?

These next few months, I get to focus on some of the research I've been putting off for over a year. My colleague and I are examining critical reflection through team-teaching, as well as looking at how to use critical pedagogy in one-shot sessions. I'm excited to have the time to work on this, and learn new things and share with my colleagues. 

Describe your dream library

The students are motivated, the disciplinary faculty are respectful of my expertise, and the administration (library and campus) are advocates and supporters of what I do.

Share a favorite quote 

“The world needs more badassitude — the state of knowing you're right because you did the required research to justify it.”Neil deGrasse Tyson 

What are you reading right now?

"The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

The ability to preempt our students' needs.

What is your totem animal?


Photo courtesy of John Morgan

Interview conducted by Nicole Allensworth, San Francisco State, CARL Newsletter Editor

CARL Business

Board Member Bios

Following up on the election news in December's issue, please read on to learn more about our newest (or most recently returning) Board members!

Melissa Browne, incoming Membership Director, is an instruction and reference librarian at UC Davis. Prior to being elected CARL Membership Director, she served several years as CARL Secretary.
April Cunningham is Instruction Coordinator Librarian at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA. Her current scholarship includes innovative pedagogy, faculty collaborations, and library working conditions.

Shana Higgins, incoming Southern Vice-President, is Associate Librarian, Instruction Services, at Armacost Library, University of Redlands. She has an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and an M.S. in Library Science from Indiana University, Bloomington, as well as an A.B. in English Literature from UC Davis. Shana's research interests include: Information literacy research practices; scholarly communication assessment practices; Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino cultural productions and representations of Latin America in U.S. media and film; and social justice issues, especially as they intersect information flows (consumption, production, dissemination).

Debra Hoffmann, incoming Secretary, is Head of Public Services & Outreach for CSU Channel Islands; she has been at CI since 2004. In addition, she is Information Literacy Coordinator, Internship Coordinator and Assessment Czar (just kidding) for her library. Her areas of interest are transliteracy, creative active learning for ILI, authentic assessment of student work, and using pop culture to think critically about information issues. Outside the library it’s all about books, movies, music, cooking, travel and sports.

Annie Knight, incoming Director-at-Large, Private Colleges & Universities, has been a distance education librarian for the past six years and serves as the Coordinator of Brandman University Library Services for the Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Brandman University and teaches an information literacy course. Annie's outside interests include zine publishing and Queer and Gender Studies. She has previously served as a member and chair of CARL's Ilene F. Rockman Scholarship Committee.

Erika Montenegro, incoming Director-at-Large, Community Colleges, is an Instruction Librarian at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park. She teaches various Information Competency workshops and for-credit research methods courses. She has a Master's degree in Library and Information Studies from UCLA and a Master's degree in English from UC Riverside. She has taught English throughout colleges in Southern California and started her library career in a public library in Northeast Los Angeles. Her areas of interest are integrating Composition and Rhetoric approaches to IC and interdisciplinary collaborations. In her free time she likes to bust a move to the soundtrack of "Singin' in the Rain" and run steep hills listening to Vaudeville tunes. She's excited and honored to be the Director of Community Colleges for CARL!

Executive Board Meeting Notes

Beginning with this issue, the CARL Newsletter will be publishing a summary of topics discussed and decisions made at each Executive Board meeting.

CARL Executive Board Meeting
Dolce Hayes Mansion, San Jose, CA
April 4, 2014, 8:00am - Noon


Allie Carr, Annette Marines, Brett Bodemer, Melissa Browne, Annie Knight, Billy Pashaie, April Cunningham, Shana Higgins, Hesper Wilson, Gayatri Singh, Erika Montenegro, Les Kong, Pam Howard, Kathlene Hanson, Nicole Allensworth

Meeting Summary:

Updates were given regarding on-going items.

Allie Carr gave a CARL Conference update: The conference had 199 registered attendees and received $16,000 from conference sponsors. Attendee totals were down from 250 in San Diego (2012). Annie Knight and Erika Montenegro worked on a brochure to promote the conference to directors. For 2016, planners can send this conference brochure to library directors earlier. Kathlene Hanson reported that guidelines and a review process have been created for the CARL Outstanding Paper award. A research grant will be awarded 1.5 years ahead of the CARL Conference, with the winner presenting at the CARL Conference. Elections this fall will include a new Treasurer, with preferred skills of Quickbooks, assertiveness, and attention to detail. Candidate names can be sent to Annette Marines.

Billy Pashaie gave a membership survey update:  We received 137 responses, and members overall are happy with CARL. Respondents want to see CARL do more in the areas of advocacy and outreach. Respondents from the North would like to see more programming and opportunities in their region. Suggestions included: “member of the month”; free online workshops; partnerships; a peer-reviewed journal. Progress on the action items related to the survey will be reported at the June meeting. (Note: Please see below for a writeup of the survey results).

Items related to future CARL Conferences were discussed, such as the purpose of the CARL Conference, potential locales, scheduling and programming considerations. Attendee feedback indicates people want longer Pre-Conferences and additional time for Poster Sessions. The CARL Board will investigate these considerations in planning future conferences.   

The CARL Mentoring program currently has 27 mentors and eight mentees. CARL may develop a Mid-Career Mentoring program. Ideas or concerns related to both mentoring programs will be discussed at the June meeting.

Quarterly officer reports were attached to the full meeting minutes.

Submitted by Debi Hoffmann, CSU Channel Islands, CARL Secretary

You Said, We Did: Membership Survey Results

As you remember, CARL conducted a membership survey in January-February 2014. There was a fantastic response rate and the CARL Executive Board would like to thank everybody who took the time to complete the survey. Your opinions and suggestions help to shape CARL’s strategic planning. Here’s what you said:

You and CARL:

  • 81% of you believe that CARL helps you meet your professional needs
  • 44% find attending the biannual CARL Conference very helpful
  • 42% consider Interest Group (IG) workshops and programs very helpful
  • 60% believe reading the CARL Newsletter is a helpful way to keep current
  • 31% of you believe that serving on various CARL committees is helpful

What’s important to you:

  • Networking and professional development activities provided by CARL and its IGs
  • Time, money, and geographical constraints

You want to see more:

  • Advocacy and activism
  • Diversity (the suggestions for which were, of course, diverse)
  • Programming for various elements of academic librarianship
  • IG programming in northern California
  • Communication and interaction

So, what is the CARL Executive Board doing about all this?

  • We have proposed, resolved, and appointed an Advocacy Liaison charged with: informing the CARL membership of issues that affect academic and research libraries and librarians; encouraging the CARL membership to take action on key issues; and, where feasible, work with other organizations to promote the goals of libraries and librarians.
  • To maintain a culture that values diversity and inclusion innovation, we have started discussions on appointing a Diversity Liaison officer, and on engaging and possibly partnering with organizations that promote the interests of underrepresented groups.
  • To address time, money, and geographical hindrances, we have started discussions on creating and offering virtual workshops on many of the topics in which you expressed interest (e.g., collection management, digital initiatives, distance education, access, tech services, resume and interview help, and much more).
  • As far as IGs, we are thrilled about the recent creation of the Scholarly Communication IG (something that many of you asked for in the survey). We are also working on generating more activity in northern California and possibly offering more virtual IG programming to overcome the geographical divide.
  • Regarding your interest in more interaction and communication, there are plans for some exciting stuff. But, like Joe Strummer, I’ve given away no secrets.

Finally, if you’re wondering about the $25 Amazon gift card prize: Frances Chu of Western University of Health Sciences was the winner. Congratulations, Frances!

Submitted by Billy Pashaie, Cypress College, CARL Interest Group Coordinator

Treasurer's Report

Calendar year 2013 was an interesting fiscal period for CARL. We started out the year with money in the bank and ended the year with money in the bank (Table 1).

Table 1. CARL Bank Balance

  January 2, 2013 December 30, 2013
Checking $20,448.33 $40,547.31
Savings $21,653.49 $21,671.29

The interesting part is where we got the money (Table 2). 2014 Conference registrations were $7,380.00; this, along with donations of $8,550.00 from vendors for the conference, drove the revenue. These two conference related activities supplied over 50% of the 2013 revenue of $28,798.00. Our costs were pretty typical at $15,766.00 for the year. The costs were made up of about $7,000.00 for the Executive Board (travel, meetings, stipends and scholarships), retainers of $3,100.00, and credit card handling fees from RegOnline of $1,100.00.

Table 2. Revenue and Expenses, January through December, 2013

Income   Expenses  
ACRL Chapter Reimbursements $1,000.00 Banking (returned checks) $12.00
Conference   Conference  
Registration $7,380.00 Long-term Planning (site visit) $186.45
Vendor Donation $8,550.00    
Total Conference $15,930.00    
Interest Groups   Interest Groups  
CARLDIG-S $1,881.99 CARLDIG-S $1,091.34
SCIL $3,165.00 SCIL $2,012.92
SEAL-S $675.00 SEAL-S $1,050.70
Total Interest Groups $5,722.09 Total Interest Groups $4,154.96
Total Membership Income $6,146.60 Executive Board  
    ACRL Chapters Council Meeting $477.05
    Miscellaneous (software, supplies, etc.) $1,063.09
    Refreshments (executive, regional) $809.78
    Stipends $1,200.00
    Travel Reimbursement $2,570.85
    Total Executive Board $6,120.73
    Member Awards and Scholarships $1,000.00
    Total Retainers (CPA, insurance) $3,094.00
    Total Taxes and Government Fees $55.00

Credit Card Fees

Total Income $28,798.69 Total Expenses $15,760.48
Net Income $13,038.21    

NOTE: The IGs had revenues of $5,722.00 and costs of $4,154.00 for fiscal year 2013. These are only the revenue and costs reported in the 2013 year. If a program submitted it’s registrations prior to the close of 2013, but submitted its costs after the close of 2013, then the costs for that program are reported in 2014. We run only cash accounting in CARL.

Submitted by Pam Howard, San Francisco State, CARL Treasurer

Membership Report

CARL'S membership stands at 352. Of these, 38 are students or retirees, while the remaining 314 are regular members.

Interest Group Memberships, 1st quarter:



Submitted by Melissa Browne, UC Davis, CARL Membership Director

CARL Awards

Meet the Winners of the Ilene F. Rockman Award

CARL is pleased to announce Andea G. Barkley and Sharon Cheslow as the 2014 winners of the Ilene F. Rockman CARL Conference Scholarship. The award is named in honor of Ilene F. Rockman (1950 – 2005), a librarian, speaker, and author known for her many contributions to library science. During her prolific career, Ms. Rockman worked for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU East Bay, and the CSU Chancellor’s Office, and was also a long-tenured editor of the refereed journal Reference Services Review. She was noted for the wisdom and guidance she provided peers and colleagues and served as a mentor for many academic librarians across California.

Andrea G. Barkley is currently earning her MLIS at the University of Washington’s iSchool through their distance-learning program. Throughout her graduate work Ms. Barkley has been particularly interested in exploring the intersections of race, class, gender, technology, and accessibility. She believes that as human reliance on information technologies increase and as wealth becomes even more concentrated, questions arise as to how underserved communities will continue to access and integrate information into their lives. As a future information professional, Ms. Barkley recognizes that now more than ever it is essential that all users gain the information literacy skills necessary to not just cope with the vast magnitudes of information available at every moment of the day, but to have the opportunity to flourish in this age of so much potential for personal and social growth. After graduate school, Ms. Barkley aspires to work at an academic library in reference and information literacy instruction settings. Ms. Barkley is especially excited to support the learning and scholarship of returning, nontraditional, and underrepresented students. She resides in San Francisco, California and is looking forward to a long and fulfilling career as an information professional in the Bay Area. 

Sharon Cheslow is an MLIS student at San Jose State University, with graduate studies in the Music School at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a BA in Intermedia Arts from Mills College. She interned at UCLA's Ethnomusicology Archive and the CalArts Institute Archive. She has a successful background in the arts and education, and enjoys providing reference, multimedia, and technical services. Prior to pursuing her MLIS, she worked or taught at Mills College's Olin Library, Stanford University, Bay Area Video Coalition, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and CalArts.

As recipients of the Ilene F. Rockman CARL Conferene Scholarship, both Ms. Barkley and Ms. Cheslow received $500 awards to subsidize their attendance at the 2014 CARL Conference 2014, which took place April 4-6 at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San José, California.

Submitted by Daniel Ransom, Holy Names University, Ilene F. Rockman Conference Scholarship Committee

CARL Conference

CARL 2014 Conference Recap

If I were to choose three words to sum up the experience of attending CARL 2014, I would choose “encouragement,” “cultivation”, and “celebration.” Patricia Iannuzzi, Dean of Libraries at UN Las Vegas, kicked off CARL 2014 as the keynote speaker by encouraging a crowd of almost 200 academic librarians to practice self-reflection, to strive to appreciate the work styles of our colleagues, and to create spaces where we can all "shine together." She encouraged us to take ownership of our decisions and resist the temptation to thrust agency onto others. For a conference with the theme "Leadership in Action," the selection of Iannuzzi as the keynote could not have been more apt, not only due to her many years of experience in academic libraries, but because, as she herself noted, "I'm approaching the end of my professional career, so I can say whatever I want." Enthusiastically, she did just that.

In their presentation, “The Library and the LMS: More Than Tools!", Megan Kinney and Felicia Palsson of Sonoma State University encouraged us to think of the LMS as more than just an archive for digital materials. Instead, they helped us brainstorm ways to translate in-person instructional content into engaging asynchronous digital content that librarians could give pre-packaged to teaching faculty. Young Lee and Annie Pho, of the University of La Verne Law Library and University of Illinois at Chicago, respectively, encouraged us to think deeply about user experience, game mechanics, and social engagement practices before embarking upon a path toward designing digital badges and interactive online content during their presentation, “Achievement Unlocked: Leading the Way to Innovation by Leveraging Game Design.” Katherine Becvar of the College of San Mateo and Sarah Naumann of CSU Easy Bay presented findings from their recent survey of cultural competency among academic librarians in their presentation “The Practicalities of Cultural Competence.” They encouraged us to think of cultural competency as a learning process that never ends and to seek out ways to be more empathetic, better listeners, and to develop a deeper understanding of what diversity means for libraries.


CARL 2014 was also about “cultivation.” Marie Kennedy’s invited paper “An Intentional Conversation: Electronic Resources and Your Library Patrons” was about much more than e-resources: it was about cultivating an environment of understanding between ourselves and our patrons that is built upon vigorous research and observation. As Marie and the other librarians at Loyola Marymount University discovered, our users see the library in entirely different and widely varied ways. Similarly, Sheree Fu, Holly Gardinier, and Mary Martin of Claremont Colleges cultivated a more holistic understanding of their users by asking students to track their daily lives: where they traveled on campus, how they studied in the library, and how they felt throughout the research process, as discussed in their CARL Research Award project, “Ethnographic Study of Student Research Frustrations.” Beth Namei and Christal Young of USC, in their session “Letting User Search Behavior Lead Us: An Analysis of Search Queries & Relevancy in USC’s Web-Scale Discovery Tool,” showed us how to cultivate a non-obtrusive method of assessment for web-scale discovery tools in order to determine how effective these tools are for our users. The results were surprising!

Finally, we spent a not insignificant amount of our time at CARL 2014 celebrating. Nicole Branch, Daniel Ransom (both of Holy Names) and I celebrated the changing landscape of information discovery as an opportunity to demolish the use of databases in library instruction by highlighting lesson plans that teach information literacy without ever navigating to a library database, in our session “Database Demolition: Exploding the Scope of Information Literacy and Leading Through Pedagogy.” The SCIL Interest Group, led by Talitha Matlin (CSU San Marcos), and Lua Gregory and Shana Higgins (both of University of Redlands), celebrated instruction librarians who successfully made the transition from mid-level librarian to administrator during their panel session “Change(d) Agents: Library Leaders Who Love Instruction.” Most notably, we celebrated the achievements of Pearl Ly, Interim Assistant Dean of Library Services for Pasadena City College, a position she obtained not long after her graduation from UCLA’s MLIS program in 2008 during her invited paper presentation, “You’re the Dean? An Inside View of An Early Career Librarian Turned Administrator.” Pearl spoke about her experience as a young library leader, the expectations of her colleagues, the expectations she had for herself, and her challenges (three floods and one ILS migration in the first year: enough said).

CARL 2014 encouraged us to immediately change the way we approach traditional services in academic libraries. It cultivated in us a practice of leadership and innovation. It celebrated the achievements of our colleagues and the successes of academic librarians within their communities. However, there is a fourth word that I could use to describe CARL 2014, one that was used during Young Lee and Annie Pho’s session: “funified.” Before leaving San Jose, I offhandedly remarked to Young that this was the most enjoyable conference experience I’d had in years. Not just due to the daily open bar, or the strangely nineteenth-century atmosphere of leisure offered by the Hayes Mansion, or the vast and eclectic array of free food before, between and after every session (from fresh fruit to gummy worms!), but due in large part to the quality of the content, the selection of engaging speakers, and the overall organization of the event. CARL 2016 will be difficult to top, but I for one can hardly wait.

All photos in this article courtesy of Ned Fielden, San Francisco State University (to see more photos from the 2014 CARL Conference, please visit CARL's Flickr page)

Submitted by John M. Jackson, Whittier College

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Beginning with this issue, the CARL Newsletter will feature regularly appearing and special guest columns on timely, relevant and (we hope!) entertaining topics.

Information for Action: The CARL Advocacy Liaison

Hi, I’m your new Advocacy Liaison! At the direction of the CARL President, I’m responsible for sharing information with the CARL membership that you can use to take action.  My goals for my service as the Advocacy Liaison are:

  • To provide brief non-partisan educational reports about issues facing higher education generally and academic librarianship specifically
  • To encourage action for the benefit of students throughout the state, since students are the reasons our institutions and our libraries exist
  • To share contact information or other relevant details that will make it easy for you to know how to take action if you decide to make your voice heard
  • And to create procedures and templates that will serve this position going forward

You can help me achieve these goals by sending me feedback about the value of the messages I’m distributing and by making suggestions for issues and activities you’d like to see CARL engage in, fulfilling its nonprofit mission.

You can contact me by email (please include Advocacy Liaison in the subject of your email.)
While I have your attention, here are a few issues worth looking into right now:

Submitted by April Cunningham, Palomar College, CARL Advocacy Liaison

South by Southwesty: Looking to Music Festivals for Research Help

I’m a librarian who loves word play. In orientations, I’m prone to serendipitous phrases that are reflected back to me in the confused faces of my audience. So you can imagine my curiosity when I was sitting in a session during the recent CARL 2014 Conference: Leadership in Action and someone used the phrase “South by Southwesty” when describing a library resource. Now I can’t remember the specifics exactly, but I cocked my head and thought, “Really? We’re using music festivals as an adjective to describe library resources?”  I giggled to myself as I imagined telling instructors, “So do you want the Coachella experience for your research orientation?” or giving a faculty workshop titled Bringing Burning Man into the Classroom Using Library Resources. Am I being silly? Yes! I’m an inherently humorous librarian; however, at the kernel of the phrase “South by Southwesty” (or SXSWesty) is a serious question: How responsible are we for making research and library resources entertaining? In the face of more exciting student experiences like smart phones, Facebook, Instagram, and the cute mysterious guy sitting in the back row, what’s a new generation of librarians to do to keep our students engaged? Is it our responsibility to make research an experience?

In case you’ve never heard of SXSW, Coachella, or Burning Man: these are popular music, art and culture festivals that have evolved into immersive, interactive experiences. People looking for a lost weekend of sun, music, dancing, jean cut-offs, daisy chains and over-priced food descend upon deserts and giant tents in droves. If you’re on Facebook and Instagram, your feed has probably been taken hostage by photos of friends waving peace signs whilst wearing tank tops, fanny packs, and flowers in their hair. In my early twenties I was one of those dust-covered people schlepping a tote bag filled with sun block, granola bars, and lip balm hoping to have an immersive experience. Mostly I went to see some of my favorite artists like Belle & Sebastian, Siouxie and the Banshees, and Bjork. Besides the music, I went expecting to learn and feel something new, something that I can only get when I’m in a hot tent with a DJ or smashed in a crowd gazing up at a band. I was looking for direction. I was looking for someone or something to shake me out of my normal day to day life and show me excitement. I wanted to be transported, damn it!

After too many sunburns and having been nearly trampled by rabid Ozamotli fans, the romance of music festivals has worn off. I’m now a respectable librarian who is happy to get her kicks from books and online playlists. Last semester when I was teaching my Library Science 101 class, students asked to stay in the computer classroom so they could purchase tickets to a music festival. I noticed that during class they were having a hard time concentrating and now I realized why. One of the students asked if I had ever attended Coachella. They laughed as I retold my stories of almost passing out from dehydration and of hearing Siouxie Sioux scream, “I hate this place!” at her adoring fans. “How could I have competed with this?” I thought to myself as they chattered on about buying tickets, seeing bands, finding the right outfits, etc.

Sitting in that CARL session and hearing the phrase SXSWesty brought me back to this idea of making research an experience in the face of the all the other exciting things students would rather be doing. As an Instruction Librarian who’s been in the business since 2010, I’ve been looking at this from my perspective at the front of the classroom. I’ve developed a few strategies that work for me to make my research orientations an overall experience. My regulars, the faculty who come back for orientations every semester, know that I often create a playlist and coordinate my outfit to relate to their research topic. A friend of mine taught "The Bad Seed and Sociopaths in Literature" recently, so for that workshop, I busted out my favorite Rosemary’s Baby/Wednesday Adams dress and welcomed students with Hitchcock’s Psycho soundtrack in the background. I like this stuff. It’s organic to who I am and how I teach. It’s my way of making the research process alive, fun, and relevant. I’m not a DJ in a tent or Siouxie Soux on a stage, but I’m doing the best I can to shake up students’ ideas of what a librarian can do for them. Heck, I’m trying to make my one-shot orientations exciting and, dare I say it, hoping to transport them for an hour.

When I started writing this I asked my intern to give me a stream-of-consciousness list of words that come to her when she thinks of  SXSWesty or when I say “Let’s Coachellify this e-book workshop!” She immediately blurted out the following: A lot of people. Noise. The desert. Drugs. Dancing. Collaboration. A centralized place where similar people get together and roam. Different ways of seeing/learning/listening.

I was intrigued by her response. (As an aside, I often ask interns to give me a stream-of-consciousness response to something like a worksheet or a tutorial. Try it! It really helps get a fresh perspective on things.) Anyhow, she started off with funny adjectives specific to the actual festivals, such as the desert and drugs. I’m not desperate enough to give drugs out before a research orientation... yet. However, we unpacked the words noise, collaboration, centralized and roaming together, as well as different ways of seeing/learning/listening. We asked ourselves to think about this experience she was describing and how we could realistically translate this into the research experience.

The idea of noise is interesting in a research orientation because when I was a college student, the only noise I heard during orientations was the librarian’s voice sounding like the teacher in Charlie Brown. Now I enjoy and encourage the hum of brainstorming, talking, excitement, and reaction. In order to get this noise, though, I have to shut up more. Of course, I have to demonstrate, but I also have to be realistic about how much they want to listen to me. I was excited by the dichotomy of a centralized place to roam with like-minded people. Okay, we’re not in the desert or a tent, but how can we encourage this idea of students roaming, moving, and collaborating with each other even though we’re in a fixed space and time?

Before you start thinking I’m nuts, naïve, high, or hung up on utopian ideals of research, I get it. I get that most of the time we have one shot at helping students and research isn’t always fun. It’s difficult and many of us learned it through practice and hard work… trudging barefoot through the snow before the Internet existed. I just wanted to take a moment to think past my initial reaction and snarkiness to a seemingly innocent phrase: SXSWesty.

Whether we like it or not, SXSWesty is floating out in the world and librarians love made-up buzzwords. Am I saying we need to wear cut-off shorts, spin records, and dance under strobe lights when interacting with students? Of course not. (Please present at the next CARL conference if you do, though!) I simply ask that we think about what’s at the core of our experience when we’re discovering something new or wandering the desert looking for an experience. As Belle & Sebastian sings in one of my favorite songs, My Wandering Days are Over “I hung my boots up and retired from the disco floor,” but I’m still interested in what my students listen and dance to!

Erika in her Rosemary’s Baby/Wednesday Adams dress, still in character after giving a library orientation inspired by The Bad Seed (as well as giving her intern an experience).

Submitted by Erika Montenegro, East Los Angeles College, Commuity Colleges Director-at-Large


words are more denser than desire
more sparser than raw
more illusiver than fire
more realer than flaw

words are less lucider than dreams
less whyer than how
less raggeder than screams
less unnearer than now

  imitation of estlin
billy pashaie


Submitted by Billy Pashaie, Cypress College, Interest Group Coordinator


Interest Group News

SCIL Program Report

SCILWorks 2014
All Things Digital: Instruction Tools and Services in the Virtual World

On April 25, the Southern California Instruction Librarians Interest Group (SCIL) hosted another exciting SCILWorks program called “All Things Digital: Instruction Tools and Services in the Virtual World” at the Heldman Learning Resource Center at West Los Angeles College (WLAC). Susan Trujillo, librarian at WLAC and our site coordinator, made our return to the north possible! Attendees were welcomed to the Library by Kathy Walton, Dean of Curriculum, Retention, and Educational Services; she was excited to host our group and welcomed us back anytime! Participants were given time to network and enjoy the panoramic views.

The 57 participants attended four presentations which focused on different online tools and the ways they could be used to teach or assess student learning. The conference program included:

  • "Implementing an In-person Instruction Strategy in an Online Environment"
    Dominique Turnbow (UC San Diego)
  • "Looping the Loop: From Assessment Results to Interactive Tutorial and Back Again"
    April Cunningham, (Palomar College)
  • "Visually Capturing Knowledge"
    Lesley Farmer (CSU Long Beach)
  • "Yes We Can! Online Instruction Success with Guide on the Side"
    Annette Marines (UC Santa Cruz)

Attendees were asked to help take notes using Google Docs; these collaborative notes can be viewed by anyone who wasn’t able to make it to the program. In addition to the presenter’s slides and documents, the collaborative notes can be found on the SCIL website.

Submitted by Norma Durian, Monrovia Public Library, SCIL Secretary

CARL Shines at the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Academic Resource Conference

Once again, CARL organized an invited Special Interest Group presentation at this year’s WSCUC-ARC, held April 23-25 in Los Angeles. Since 2012, these presentations have given CARL the opportunity to showcase the excellent work that members are doing in the areas of assessment, program review, and accreditation reaffirmation. 

CARL had a fantastic turn-out for “Information Literacy is Core: From Building Assessment Capacity to Accreditation.” Since Information Literacy is one of WSCUC’s updated core competencies, attendees’ interest in building and assessing students’ learning in this area grows each year. 

Thanks to Les Kong (CSU San Bernardino), CARL’s ACRL Chapters Council Delegate and frequent WASC Evaluator, who has taken the lead on facilitating these presentations, attendees learned about successful assessment strategies that have demonstrated the value of librarians’ work with students.

This year’s conference theme was “As Others See Us” and our colleagues’ presentations showed that librarians are doing our part to make sure stakeholders see us clearly as partners in student success.

Elisa Slater Acosta, from Loyola Marymount, described the role librarians have played in her institution’s transition to a new general education curriculum. By offering assignment suggestions to faculty and taking the lead in an assessment of students’ papers using rubrics, Slater Acosta and her colleagues have been an essential part of ensuring that students are getting a firm foundation in information literacy during their first year.

Catherine Palmer, from UC Irvine, detailed her library’s collaboration with the Writing Program to define and assess information literacy outcomes among first year students by using a survey of research practices adapted from St. Olaf and a rubric to evaluate student papers. She also described how the librarians assess their instruction with a survey administered at the end of each session.

Henri Mondschein, of California Lutheran University, reported on preliminary results from the study he’s conducted for ACRL’s Assessment in Action project. He investigated students’ attitudes toward online tutorials and the effect they have on students’ learning.

Lynn Lampert, the Chair of Research, Instruction, and Outreach Services at Cal State Northridge, shared the long tradition of assessment and collaboration that has resulted in strong campus ties for the library. In particular, the librarians have mapped the embedded IL assessments they are conducting with faculty across campus, including the co-curriculum.  Assessment methods include surveys and rubrics.

Questions from the audience included topics such as:

  • Information Literacy in graduate programs
  • Accounting for the diverse needs of students during IL instruction and assessment
  • Strategies for collecting, sharing, and using professors’ assignment instructions as an aid to planning and assessment
  • Capturing and using data about consultations, outreach, and other student contact in accreditation self-study reports

Mark your calendars for next year so you can attend the CARL SIG Gathering in April, 2015.  It’s a free event and gives you a unique chance to meet librarians and library allies from all of the areas where WASC is the regional accreditor.

Submitted by April Cunningham, Palomar College, CARL Advocacy Liaison

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People News

Awards, Publications and Presentations

Dr. Shahla Bahavar (USC) is a recipient of the Carnegie Corporation's 2013 "I Love My Librarian" Award. The prestigious award was sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation, the New York Times, and the American Library Association (ALA). Shahla is a recipient for academic libraries from 1,100 nominations nation-wide.

Sarah Dahlen and Steve Watkins of CSU Monterey Bay had an article published in the December issue of RUSQ: Dahlen, S.P. & Watkins, S.G. (2013). A “Novel” Approach to Recreational Reading: Creating a Virtual Collection on a Shoestring. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53(2), 94-99.

Lua Gregory and Shana Higgins, both at University of Redlands, have published a co-edited book, "Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis" (Gregory, L., & Higgins, S. [Eds.]. [2013]. Information literacy and social justice: Radical professional praxis. Duluth, MN: Library Juice Press.). The book is a collection of essays that contribute to conversations on critical information literacy in librarianship by providing examples of the intersection of theory and practice, or praxis, from practicing librarians. Most contributors drew from the critical theories of Paulo Freire and Henry Giroux, as well as critical library scholars such as James Elmborg and Toni Samek.

Gregory and Higgins also contributed a chapter based on their co-taught first-year seminar on the intersections of media literacy, neoliberalism and critical pedagogy: Gregory, L., & Higgins, S. (2013). Forces of oppression in the informationlandscape: Free speech and censorship in the United States. In Information literacy and social justice: Radical professional praxis. Duluth, MN: Library Juice Press.

Robert V. Labaree, Political Science/International Relations Librarian at USC presented a paper titled, " Polymathic Information Literacy: Deconstructing What it Means to be Interdisciplinarily Literate " at the European Conference on Information Literacy held at the Harbiye Military Museum and Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey, 22-25 October, 2013. The purpose of the presentation was to propose a preliminary set of literacy-based competencies and associated abilities intended to prepare students to engage effectively in interdisciplinary research and knowledge production.

Places News

Appointments, Promotions and Retirements

Dr. Evan Baker has joined USC as the Acting Head of the Music Library. Evan holds the MLIS degree from UCLA and a doctorate in Performing Studies from the New York University. His research interests focus on opera, Mahler, Handel and Verdi. His professional strengths include also bibliographic studies and cataloging. Evan’s teaching experience includes being a Visiting Professor of Theater History at the University of Wisconsin and an Adjunct Professor at West Los Angeles College. In addition to numerous presentations and lectures primarily focused on the history and staging of operas, he has authored or collaborated on numerous publications and exhibits related to opera and classical music. Most recently, the University of Chicago Press published his extensively researched and illustrated book, "From Score to the Stage: an Illustrated History of Opera Production and Staging in Continental Europe".

Craig Hawbaker, Reference & Instruction Librarian at the University of the Pacific Library, plans to retire in May after 22 years of service. He previously worked in similar positions at Kearney State College (now University of Nebraska Kearney) from 1975-77 and The University of Arizona from 1977-91. He co-authored "Industry and Company Information: Illustrated Search Strategy and Sources", and it was subsequently a starred item in "Guide to Reference Books". His articles have appeared in various journals, including Journal of Academic Librarianship, RQ, DATABASE, and Journal of Marketing Education. Craig served the American Library Association in numerous capacities for 30+ years, including election as BRASS Chair and two terms on the RUSA Board of Directors. After retiring, Craig plans to tackle some home improvement projects, read great books and watch good movies, attend some cooking classes, and possibly train a therapy dog that he can take to nursing homes and hospitals. He will miss his colleagues, professional contacts, and most of all, the students who allowed him to focus on his love of reference work.

Michelle Van Hoeck was recently elected to be the Chair of CSU Maritime's Academic Senate for the 2014-15 academic year. She was elected to the eight-member Senate Executive Committee in 2011 in a campus-wide election and re-elected in 2013. During that time, she has served as Secretary for two terms and Vice-Chair for one term. Michelle is excited about the opportunity to serve in a new leadership role next year.

Library Events, Exhibits and Honors

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has named Cal Poly’s Robert E. Kennedy Library as a recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

Sponsored by ACRL and YBP Library Services, the award recognizes library staff and programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution. ACRL awards are given out in university, college and community college categories.

The Kennedy Library was selected in the university category for its innovations in student engagement.

Joyce Ogburn, chair of the 2014 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and dean of libraries at Appalachian State University, cited Kennedy Library’s emphasis on being open, inclusive and connected.

“The committee noted the level of student engagement and partnerships across campus,” Ogburn said. “We were taken by the LibRATs (Library Research Assistance Technicians) program, in which highly trained students provide instruction and help other students with research. Among the library’s other innovations are development of a Data Studio to address data literacy and instigation of access to and development of open access textbooks to decrease costs for students.”

The Kennedy Library is the first university library in California to receive the award since it was first given in 2000. The library will receive $3,000 at a ceremony to be held on campus during spring quarter.

“Kennedy Library is proud to be an important part of Cal Poly’s cross-disciplinary excellence,” said University Librarian Anna K. Gold. “Our culture of innovation reflects the strengths of Cal Poly’s students, faculty and staff. Our many partnerships and collaborations have been key to our ability to have an impact on learning and research throughout our campus community.”

Additional information on the award, along with a list of past winners, is available on the ACRL website.

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CARL Special Announcements

2014 California Rare Book School Update

Greetings from California Rare Book School (CalRBS)!  We are very happy to announce that the 2014 course schedule is now posted on the CalRBS Website and applications are being accepted. CalRBS will be offering nine courses during Weeks 1 and 2 (August 4-15, 2014) in Los Angeles, and three courses during Week 3 (November 3-7, 2014) in San Francisco and Berkeley. 

Scholarships for mid-career librarians (among other scholarships) will be available once again in 2014. Apply by the scholarship application deadlines.

NEW Courses in 2014:

  • Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts taught by Justine Andrews
  • History, Identification, & Preservation of Motion Picture/Video Materials taught by Snowden Becker
  • History of the Book in East Asia taught by Peter Zhou & Deborah Rudolph
  • History of Typography taught by Paul Shaw

See the CalRBS Website for course descriptions and instructors’ bios. Please email CalRBS with any questions.

Submitted by Susan M Allen, Ph.D., Director, California Rare Book School

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About the CARL Newsletter

The CARL Newsletter (ISSN: 1090-9982) is the official publication of the California Academic & Research Libraries organization and is published online quarterly. The RSS feed rss for this newsletter is available at

Deadlines for submissions: February 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15.

Newsletter submissions, including creative contributions, People News and Places News should be sent to For corrections, questions and comments please contact the Editor, Nicole Allensworth (, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University, 1630 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132.

© Copyright 2014 California Academic & Research Libraries Association. All Rights Reserved.