Message from the IACRL President: Sarah McHone-Chase, Aurora University

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

September 27, 2023

Hello, IACRL! I’m excited to serve as president this year and I can’t wait to see all the interesting work that Illinois librarians do this year. My intentions this year focus on keeping IACRL thriving and looking to places within the organization where we might need to focus on strengthening or growing.

If you’re like me, the beginning of your semesters has been pretty busy. ILA Annual promises to be a great time to decompress a little mid-semester, reconnect with colleagues, and learn from each other. I’m really looking forward to it, and I hope to see you there. IACRL’s Unconference takes place on Wednesday, October 25, from 8:00-10:00am. This event is always fun and informative—it’s definitely the highlight of the conference for me. Bring your concerns and issues, as we base our discussions on the interests of our participants. I have learned so much from others at the Unconference and it can be so interesting to hear how other libraries are approaching issues. The IACRL Luncheon will also be on the 25th, and our featured speaker is Fobazi Ettarh, who is well known for her writing on vocational awe, race, marginalization, and burnout. Her talk should be especially valuable at this particular time when the pandemic still hangs heavy over us and our institutions and we struggle with wanting to provide excellent service to our patrons but perhaps also feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. IACRL will also have a booth set up in the Exhibits Hall. Please stop by and say hi and grab some swag.

Other issues that are a priority for me this year are OER and book challenges. Even at my small institution, we are more heavily emphasizing the use of OER materials, especially as a way of helping our students save money on textbooks. I have not seen any book or material challenges at my own institution, but I see that libraries across the state have been contending with the issue, including academic libraries. With both issues, the core is ensuring that patrons’ needs are met. It is important that libraries not lose sight of this goal.

The IACRL’s homepage has a lot of great information about our forum and how to get involved. Links to our social media can be found there as well as news.

In last year’s President’s message, Dan Matthews wrote, “IACRL works because our members get involved and because we receive immeasurable support from our ILA staff.” I could not say this better myself and on behalf of IACRL I thank you all.

During my tenure as president, I want to serve as a resource and as an asset to you: please feel free to send me an email if there is an issue you want to discuss or to get on IACRL’s radar. I hope your school year is off to a great start!

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