Title: “Without that detail, I’m not coming: The perspectives of students with disabilities on accessibility information provided on academic library websites", in College & Research Libraries, 81(5), 768-788.
Author: Amelia Brunskill, Information Services and Liaison Librarian, University of Illinois Chicago
Summary: Although most academic library websites include a webpage of information intended for users with disabilities, no research was located that solicited feedback about users’ needs or preferences for these pages. To address this discrepancy, 12 university students with disabilities were interviewed about their perspectives on navigation, search terms, organization, desired content, and the overall look and feel for such a webpage. These interviews revealed numerous important considerations around accessibility and inclusivity, and a list of recommendations was compiled.
Title: "Retreating to advance together: Communicating through internal and external retreats", in Edwards, K.A., Mackenzie, T. (Eds), Telling the technical services story. (pp. 35-48). American Library Association.
Author: Gwen Gregory, Associate Dean for Collection Management, Northern Illinois University
Summary: It can be challenging to step away from our daily work in technical services. There are always invoices to be paid, licenses to be renewed, and books to be cataloged. However, when we take a deep breath and “escape” together as a group, we can build new bonds and come up with fresh ideas. Leaving the day-to-day behind, spending time together in a different environment, and participating in thought-provoking activities can lead to many positive results.
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Title: "Centering graduate students’ research projects in data management education: A pilot program", in Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 8(1), eP2365.
Author: Tina Griffin, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois
Summary: Data management education has been part of library service models for almost 2 decades. This paper describes a pilot graduate student education program whose framework shows interdependencies between data management practices, uses a flipped classroom model to allow maximum time for implementation, and whose primary activities are entirely student research based.
Title: "Student voice in administrative decision-making: Inclusive planning during the pandemic", in Journal of Library Administration, 61(4), 458-475.
Authors: Jung Mi Scoulas, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago; Elena Carrillo, Clinical Assistant Professor and Head of Access Services, University of Illinois at Chicago; and Linda Naru, Associate Dean and Associate University Librarian for Administrative Service, University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary: The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Library began planning for the Fall 2020 semester knowing that COVID-19 and social unrest stemming from police actions across the country would impact library safety for the university community. The goal for reopening was to implement best practices that incorporated University health and safety guidelines as well as student feedback. A task force conducted 12 focus group sessions between June 18–26, 2020, in which 56 university students participated. Students identified physical distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and monitoring compliance in the library as primary concerns. The campus libraries made extensive changes to its facilities, access to materials and services, and conduct policies to address these issues. This paper will benefit library leaders and administrators making tough and unprecedented time-sensitive decisions using evidence-based data from stakeholders.
Title: "Impact of academic libraries on grade point average (GPA): A review", in Performance Measurement and Metrics, 22(1), 71-85.
Author: Elizabeth (Betsy) Sterner, Assistant Professor, Governors State University
Summary: The purpose of this paper is to examine the literature to determine how academic librarians are measuring their libraries' institutional level impact on student success as measured by grade point average, a metric commonly used in American education. This paper highlights a range of methods, outcomes and challenges in an initial scoping study.
Title: "The impact of COVID-19 on the use of academic library resources", in Information Technology and Libraries, 40(2).
Authors: Ruth Sara Connell, Professor/ Director of Systems, Valparaiso University; Lisa Wallis, Associate Dean of Libraries, Northeastern Illinois University; and David Comeaux, Systems and Discovery Librarian, Louisiana State University
Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted higher education, including academic libraries. This paper compares the use of library resources (including interlibrary loan, website and discovery tool pageviews, database use, patron interactions, etc.) at three university libraries before and after the pandemic. The latter part of the 2019 and 2020 spring semesters are the time frames of focus, although two control time frames from earlier in those semesters are used to determine how the semesters differed when the coronavirus was not a factor. The institutions experienced similar patterns of use across many metrics.
Title: "Re-thinking information ethics: Truth, conspiracy theories, and librarians in the COVID-19 era", in Libri, 71(1), 1-14.
Authors: Peter Johan Lor, Research Associate,Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria; Bradley J. Wiles, Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University; and Johannes Britz, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Professor in the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic is an international public health crisis without precedent in the last century. The novelty and rapid spread of the virus have added a new urgency to the availability and distribution of reliable information to help curb its fatal potential. As seasoned and trusted purveyors of reliable public information, librarians have attempted to respond to the “infodemic” of fake news, disinformation, and propaganda with a variety of strategies, but the COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique challenge because of the deadly stakes involved. The seriousness of the current situation requires that librarians and associated professionals re-evaluate the ethical basis of their approach to information provision to counter the growing prominence of conspiracy theories in the public sphere and official decision making. This paper analyzes the conspiracy mindset and specific COVID-19 conspiracy theories in discussing how libraries might address the problems of truth and untruth in ethically sound ways. As a contribution to the re-evaluation we propose, the paper presents an ethical framework based on alethic rights—or rights to truth—as conceived by Italian philosopher Franca D’Agostini and how these might inform professional approaches that support personal safety, open knowledge, and social justice.