Editor’s Note

Something for Everyone, Everywhere

There is something for everyone and everywhere in this issue. With 26 articles and book reviews, covering everything from Advocacy to Yarn Bombing (A-Y).

There’s Horror in Academia, Basques in the American West, Google Apps for Education, and a Winning Combination of Technology and Teens.

Ever wonder about the process involving ALA Resolutions? What has the Idaho Legislative Committee been up to? Have you recognized any authors lately? Boise State University has!

You can be Everywhere You Want to Be with an enticing perspective or maybe you would like to read about an Opportunity of a Lifetime.

There is a nice variety of fiction and nonfiction books that have been reviewed to assist you in choosing new books for your personal or organization’s library. The reviewer’s perspectives and opinions are as fun to read as the books themselves. A wide range of books are reviewed for teens, adults, and even librarians!

So look over the table of contents and choose something to read, there’s something waiting for you no matter where you are.

Thomas Ivie, Editor

The Horror, the Horror: Graduate Student Information Seeking and Horror in Academia Bibliography

by Lizzy Walker

Horror has taken a seat at the table of academia. This genre of film has spurred academia to take a closer look at them.  Gender studies, the arts, philosophy, and other humanities studies can benefit from a specific reference section in regard to horror. Graduate status is seemingly a line between undergraduate and faculty patterns and, as such, there is a difference in how they conduct research and information seeking.  While it is clearly their own way of gathering information, it is a combination of the motions performed by undergraduates and faculty.  More specifically, graduate students in the humanities have distinct information seeking behavior.

According to Barrett (2005) in his article “The Information-Seeking Habits of Graduate Student Researchers in the Humanities,” the information-seeking behavior of these students is “often assumed to resemble those of either faculty members or undergraduates” (p. 324).  This makes sense as graduate students have a larger knowledge base of resources available and perhaps had the opportunity in their upper-division coursework to make use of more sophisticated ways of doing research. Barrett mentions the stereotype of the humanities student as being resistant to technology—this study proved otherwise.  Barrett stated, nearly every student who volunteered for the study “strongly disagreed with the stereotype” (p. 326).  In addition, the study found that graduates made use of “online journals, OPACs, discipline-specific CD-ROMs, Internet search engines, and websites” (p. 326) as well as traditional resources. Students preferred primary sources, which are not necessarily going to be located online or in a database.  Graduate students were also found to do what Barrett called citation chasing. Barrett stated, “Most participants described their information-seeking behavior as an idiosyncratic process of constant reading, digging, searching, and following leads” (p. 327).  Skimming the bibliography and index for the desired information yielded positive results, as did browsing a particular section of shelves.

Another article by George et al. (2006) gave some more insight into the information-seeking pattern of graduate students. George et al. broke down the disciplines into their respective schools and focused on four questions during their study.  They found that ninety percent of humanities graduate students used online sources as a primary method of doing research. Of that percentage, sixty percent used citation chaining from searches. The academic library “remains a key element” even though Internet sources are prevalent (p. 15). Ninety-five percent of humanities graduate students made use of books and eighty percent used print journals rather than online journals.  The authors concluded that the information seeking behavior of graduate students “is both random and organized” (p. 20).  They also stated that the “random motions of the information seeking are in effect in the planning stage, when choosing an area of focus, developing a search stratagem or general browsing for background information or a general idea of their field of research. The organized information seeking behavior includes regular planning sessions with an advisor, planned search strategies and use of citation chaining” (p. 20).

While online sources are used by graduates, skimming through physical books is still a popular way of information seeking. Graduate information seeking is a unique combination of undergraduate and faculty practices and as such these students have a unique research technique. The attached annotated bibliography concentrates mostly on primary print resources that have extensive bibliographical sections and notes, as well as filmographies. In addition, it concentrates primarily on aspects of horror film which can be beneficial to humanities graduate students. Information seeking behavior in the graduate studies is a unique area.

References

Barrett, A. (2005). The information-seeking habits of graduate student researchers in the humanities. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 31(4), 324-331. DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2005.04.005.

George, C., Bright, A., Hurlbert, T., Linke, E. C., St. Clair, E., & Stein, J. (2006). Scholarly use of information: Graduate students’ information seeking behavior. Information Research, 11(4). Retrieved from http://informationr.net/ir/11-4/paper272html

Annotated Bibliography

5 Actors in Horror Films

Kear, L. (1992).  Agnes Moorehead: A bio-bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

The author’s purpose for this book was to provide the layman, as well as researcher, with a comprehensive guide on Agnes Moorehead.  Kear separates the book into eight sections pertaining to Moorhead’s life and work, provides an annotated bibliography, appendix, index, and some stunning black and white photographs.  In addition, the film section has extensive annotations and reviews from older publications. The writing style is clear and concise. Biographical information in the horror genre is typically a male dominated field, which makes this book, about a female, somewhat of a rarity.  While she did not primarily perform in horror, the films and radio plays she had acted in were memorable.

Meikle, D. (2003). Vincent Price: The art of fear. London, England: Reynolds and Hearn Ltd.

Meikle wrote screenplays to horror films and in the forward accounts his first encounter with Price. The book is homage to the late Vincent Price.  Meikle’s recollections of Price in the forward are illustrations of the man behind some of the most horrifying characters in film.  The title plays off of the old time radio show, which Price narrated and starred in, called “The Price of Fear.”  Meikle used stage production terms instead of chapter headings, such as “Overture,” “Intermission,” “Finale.” “Encore,” and acts.  A notable addition to the text is the afterword penned by Roger Corman, another influential person in the field.  The book provides biographical information and a filmography.   The appendix, titled “Cast and Crew,” gives a full list of Price’s films, with complete cast and credits listings and movie posters. Flipping through the book, it is difficult to find a page that doesn’t hold a photograph, movie still, or film poster.  There are quotes included on many pages from actors who had the opportunity and pleasure of working with this legend.

Mank, G. W. (1990) Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The expanded story of a haunting collaboration. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Ltd.

When one reads the introduction to this book, it is clear Mank has a huge respect for the actors he writes about.  This is the second edition of the book, the first being published in 1990.  Some of the title chapters are not incredibly descriptive in regard to what they cover, but they are clever (for example, Chapter 4’s “The Strangest Passion” and Chapter 37, “The Film that Never Was”). There are others that are more descriptive, however. For instance, Chapter 33’s “Unholy Three—Bedlam, Genius at Work, and, House of Dracula” and Chapter 11’s “Karloff the Uncanny in The Mummy.”  Mank includes three appendices, one for each actor’s career and one of the films they starred in jointly.  There are chapter notes, a bibliography, and an easily searchable index.  Each chapter includes various photographs, as well as a full color insert with movie poster images.

Nollen, S. A. (1969). Boris Karloff: A critical account of his stage, radio, television, and recording work. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, Inc.

Nollen’s book is another valuable resource in regard to a legend of the horror genre.  Karloff not only starred in film, but also performed on old time radio shows like Creeps by Night and television shows such as Beyond the Veil.  He also wrote several published pieces and performed on stage.  Nollen takes note of these, hence making this resource different from Mank’s book.  Each chapter deals with a different film or era in Karloff’s life.  Another notable fact is that science fiction author and legend Ray Bradbury penned the forward.  Nollen included seven appendices that list the history of Karloff’s professional career.  There are chapter notes, a bibliography, and a well-organized index.  Something noticeable right away in this annotated bibliography is that MacFarland Publishing, Inc. is the company that has published numerous volumes in the horror genre. Nollen’s book is a great source of research for film historians, literature masters, or any number of humanities masters, and also for the interested reader.

Youngkin, S. D. (2005). The lost one: A life of Peter Lorre. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. 

Peter Lorre is a horror genre legend.  His voice has spawned many imitators, whether it is a serious example like in one of O. Arch Oboler’s creepy radio plays or satirical caricature as in at least one episode of Looney Tunes. Youngkin has an extensive knowledge of Lorre and has worked on several books about the actor as well as working on A&E’s Biography about Lorre.  Youngkin takes a look at his career from the point of view that Lorre was a reluctant villain. There were times in his career when he wanted to shrug off the guise of the villain, but Hollywood allegedly typecast him.  Interviews with peers, directors, and other resources are what Youngkin pulled from in order to create this biography.  The chapter titles are eye-catching.  Lorre dealt with drug addiction, which seems to be the focus of Chapter 2, “M is for Morphine,” and Chapter 9’s title, “Elephant Droppings,” makes one wonder exactly what is going on between those pages.  Youngkin includes an epilogue, “Mimesis,” which lists Lorre’s “Credits and Broadcast Appearances” which are listed per section chronologically. He was in numerous old time radio programs, including Suspense and The Philip Morris Playhouse.  He has a chapter notes section, as well as an extensive bibliography and well organized index.

5 Essay Collections Deriving Information from the Horror Genre

Allen, R. and Ishii-Gonzalès, S. (1999). Alfred Hitchcock: Centenary essays. London, England: British Film Institute Publishing.

According to the editors, the purpose of this book is to examine the ways in which Hitchcock has influenced numerous aspects of film. At the time of publishing, it marked one hundred years since Hitchcock was born, 1899.  The authors felt it was an appropriate time to examine the lasting fascination with the famous director.  Allen and Ishii-Gonzalès section the book into four parts; “The Figure of the Author,” “Hitchcock’s Aesthetics,” “Sexuality/Romance,” and “Culture, Politics, Ideology.”  They include a list of contributors, which is quite lengthy, and all of which are scholars at various universities, including the editors.  Allen is an associate professor at New York University in cinema studies and Ishii-Gonzalès, at the time of publication, was a “doctoral candidate in the Dept. of Cinema Studies” at the same university that Allen was affiliated with (p. xx). At the end of each essay is a bibliography under the notes section.  There is also a complete bibliography just before the index at the back of the book.  This would make a very valuable resource to multiple fields in the graduate humanities programs.

Benshoff, H. M. (1997). Monsters in the closet: Homosexuality and the horror film. United Kingdom: Manchester University Press.

Benshoff’s book is a part of the Inside Popular Film series.  He holds a doctorate in film studies from University of Southern California and teaches in L.A. This volume concentrates on the interesting analogy that Benshoff states as being the “monster is to ‘normality’ as homosexual is to heterosexual” (p. 2).  His introduction boils down to looking at culture and society norms in regard to homosexuality and how they can be applied to the horror genre, something that Benshoff does well and convincingly.   He starts with the 1930s films and works his way up to the early 1990s. This expanse of time provides much information for Benshoff’s book, most of which are primary sources, something valuable to humanities graduate students. Each chapter includes a notes section at the end, and there is a bibliography and index at the end of the book. Various black and white photographs, including publicity stills, movie posters, and behind the scenes stills, are included with captions that consider why it is a homoerotic or homosexually charged illustration.  This could be a great resource for gender studies, film studies, historical studies, and art studies material reference, among others.

Cowan, D. E. (2008). Sacred terror: Religion and horror on the silver screen. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press.

The reason that Cowan wrote this book is highly intriguing.  He had a desire to “understand my own fears as much as I do those of other people” (p. ix).  He discusses the fact that horror films with heavy doses of religious tones are the most frightening to him.  Writing this book is a way of addressing his strong feelings of revulsion to these particular films.  Cowan is affiliated with the University of Waterloo as an Associate Professor of Religious Studies.  The Hellraiser series is what spawned his interest in writing this book.  Cowan covers more films than Barker’s Hellraiser series, but they do seem to take quite a bit of space in this volume.  As one of the most popular modern horror films, Hellraiser has one of the most recognizable and intriguing villains Pinhead the Cenobite played by Doug Bradley. With a large amount of religious overtones, it belongs at the forefront. Cowan includes a filmography of films which have religious elements in them, each with the date and director listed as well.  He also includes a bibliography and searchable index. There are not too many books that have looked at religious aspects of the horror film. Cowan’s Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen would be valuable for humanities graduate students in any capacity.

Hantke, S. (2010).  American horror film: The genre at the turn of the millennium. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi.

One thing that most horror movie fans can agree on is that the genre isn’t what it used to be.  Current horror films rely on worn out, recycled remakes, or rewrites that leave the horror connoisseur with a bad taste in their mouths.  Hantke, an Associate Professor of English at Sogagn University, has collected essays from other member of academia, authors, directors, and others for this volume of work.  It is divided into three sections: Bloody America: Critical Reassessment of the Trans/-national and of Graphic Violence; The Usual Suspects: Trends and Transformations in the Subgenres of American Horror Film; and Look Back in Horror: Managing the Canon of American Horror Film.  As mentioned earlier, the long list of contributors is impressive.  Included at the end of each essay is a section of notes and a bibliography, as well as an index at the end of the book.

Weaver, T. (1992). Poverty row horrors!: Monogram, PRC and Republic horror films of the forties. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

One question seems to crop up time and time again about the really bad horror movies.  Why, if they are so horrible, so campy, do audiences and horror fans eat them up?  Weaver looks at thirty-one horror movies made by Monogram, PRC, and Republic from 1940 to 1946 to try and find the answer. Weaver seems to struggle with why these films are so popular when he feels they are stinkers. He uses the terms “abysmal,” “notoriously bad,” and “unfortunate” several times in his introduction.  There seems to be an obvious bias against these films, which some horror fans also exhibit. The book is chronologically ordered and each section contains photographs from the films and movie posters.  Weaver includes four appendices, one for music in the films, filmographies of some of the actors in said films, a briefly annotated list of films that were not included in the book, and one he titles “The Experts Rank Lugosi’s Monogram Films” (p. 356).  Not everyone who views horror can be expected to like or understand why a particular film can belong in a horror fan’s collection. The viewpoint from someone who struggles with the question is beneficial. It could even make the researcher or fan question why he or she enjoys them, too.  Perhaps this could be a good resource for the philosophy, film studies, and art history graduate students.  It could help them answer the question “why is bad art so good?”

5 Influential Directors or Production Companies in the Horror Genre

Beard, W. (2006). The artist as monster: The cinema of David Cronenberg. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

David Cronenberg is a very influential figure in the horror genre.  This revised edition of Beard’s book analyzes fifteen of Cronenberg’s works with each chapter looking at one film each.  The author is a Professor in Film and Media Studies at University of Alberta.  Beard states of Cronenbergs films that, “Technology, the body, subjectivity”  and “the realm of gender and sexuality” (p. vii) are areas that deserve some analysis.  There are numerous fields of study that have taken a look at this director’s work. Rather than corner him in the category of postmodernist artist Beard feels he is, for lack of better terms, a modernist trapped by postmodernist theories and views.   Beard also states that he has a certain respect for Cronenberg, so there is a bias in the director’s favor.

Grey, R. (1994). Nightmare of ecstasy: The life and art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. Portland, Oregon: Feral House Publishing.

This is the second edition of this book, the first being published in 1991. Ed Wood, Jr. struggled with gender, alcohol, and other issues perceivably through his films. He was also not the most honest dealing director in the field either.  In his introduction, Grey briefly illustrates his own struggles with getting Wood’s acquaintances to open up about the troubled director.  He even states that those who did know him flat out denied it. Grey took pieces of interviews and created and organized the chapters from these interviews.  He had “chosen not to eliminate an individual’s memory even if it contradicts another’s account” (p. 7). Having conflicting accounts of people who knew him is a very valuable research tool.  One gets multiple views on one man.  Some love him; some hate him with a passion. There are numerous black and white photographs of film images, candid life shots, and movie posters.  For anyone wanting to research biographical incidents of a particular director’s strange life, this is a great resource.

Kinsey, W. (2003). Hammer films: The Bray Studio years. London, England: Reynolds and Hearn Ltd.

Hammer Films was one of the most important and influential film production companies in the business and Kinsey’s book is an important resource to add to horror reference.  Kinsey focuses on “the Golden Era” of Hammer Films and “places a greater emphasis on the talented team that made these films the cult classics that they are today” (p. 6).  This book is different from many other sources as it not only includes the actors and films but the people who made the movie behind the scenes.  This could be useful to many different areas of study; business, history, film studies, and more.  The author has written a total of four books on Hammer Films, so he can be considered an authority on the company and the films. The book is highly organized in its format.  It begins with a chapter on the “early years” of the studio, then gets into the meat of the matter with the move to Bray and looks at selected films from 1956 to 1966.  Each section includes numerous photographs and a filmography.  There is a section titled “Post Mortem” that lists the films to come after the Bray Studio era.  The appendix includes floor plans from the beginning to the end of the life of Bray.  There are numerous references the author used and they are listed by chapter. Instead of swimming through a long list of citations hoping to get the one desired from a certain chapter, the author has separated them for the researcher.

Morris, G. (1985). Roger Corman. Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers.

This book is part of Twayne’s Filmmaker Series.  Other directors in this series include David Lynch, Peter Weir, and Roman Polanski, just to name a few.   Some of the most recognizable films that were destined to become cult classics were the films based on Poe’s short stories. However, that is only one chapter covered in Morris’ book.  The term Morris applies most often to Corman is that of “auteurist director” (p. vii).  This makes sense because he took charge of the script and direction so aggressively that his films could be considered purely his own creation.  The book gives a brief biography and analyses on Corman’s films. Included, are good quality black and white photographs, one of which is a great photograph of Corman just opposite the title page.  Morris includes a reference and notes section, a short bibliography, a filmography, and an index.

Spoto, D. (1992). The art of Alfred Hitchcock: Fifty years of his motion pictures. New York, New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.

This is the second edition of this book, the first being published in 1976.  Among other works, the author also penned The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock, so it is clear that Spoto has an interest in Hitchcock biographically, historically, and is an expert on Hitchcock.  While he was working on the first edition, he sent several chapters to Hitchcock to take a look at and ended up hearing from the author personally, having the opportunity to interview him.  Spoto also taught classes on Hitchcock’s films at the New School for Social Research located in New York.  The book chapters cover hitchcock’s silent films, and then thirty-seven films are covered in chapters devoted to one film each.  There is a unique storyboard from the director’s last film, Family Plot.  In addition to various stills and images from Hitchcock’s films, Spoto includes “A Hitchcock Album” that contains candid and publicity shots.  There is a detailed filmography that contains information on the cast and crew.  Spoto includes a short bibliography and an index. He specifically notes that the “Italicized page numbers refer to illustrations” (p. 463).

5 General Reference Resources for Horror Films

Fangoria Magazine Online. http://www.fangoria.com/

Fangoria Magazine was formed originally in 1978 under the title Fantastica, but after some legal troubles over the title, they settled on Fangoria Magazine in light of some successful articles on the horror genre.  Since then the focus has been on different mediums of the horror genre: video games, comic books, fiction, interviews, and articles on the films themselves. The website has many features that members, who can join free of charge, can peruse.  The pages are divided into “Home/News,” “Movies/TV,” reviews, blogs, a community section, the register option (with the ominous phrase, “Join Us,” just underneath), and the store link.  As the cursor hovers over each section, there are subsections under each main link.  Also, a link labeled, “Fangoria: Fango family,” provides links to other publications produced by Fangoria.  Incidentally, the company has also published single volumes of interviews and essays concerning different subjects.

Joshi, S. T. (2007). Icons of horror and the supernatural: An encyclopedia of our worst nightmares, Volumes 1 and 2. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

These volumes go through twenty-four of the iconic creatures, monsters, and ethereal villains that wander through the horror genre.  Each entry contains its own bibliography, so it is a haven for citation hunters.  There are multiple contributors, including the electronic resources and reference librarian from Nicholls State University, a humanities bibliographer from Homer Babbidge Library, and more.  The multiple contributors, each with either an interest or a professional career in the horror genre, makes the books even more authoritative.  The entries, as any good encyclopedia offers, are in alphabetical order.  The first volume goes from “The Alien” to “The Mummy” and continues in the second book at “The Psychic”, finishing off with “The Zombie.”  It includes concepts of horror like “The Curse” and “The Small-Town Horror,” and also includes the entirety of “The Cthulhu Mythos.” Joshi includes a “Notes on Contributors” in which he gives a brief explanation of the contributors.  He also includes photographs, movie posters, and illustrations in each entry.

Mank, G. M. (1999). Women in horror films, 1930s. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Reading the introduction to this book yields much information.  The most valuable piece is that Mank had the opportunity to interview some of the actresses he included in this text.  Not in alphabetical order, it is difficult to say just how the entries are ordered.  Despite that, it is a well-done book.  In the introduction, Mank splits the feminine roles into “Monsters,” “Femme Fatales,” and “Misfits.”  Each entry for the actresses includes a black and white photograph of the actress.  The sections include interviews, excerpts, candid photographs, and a filmography.  Mank includes an appendix titled, “Outstanding Performances,” which is a poll that asked authors, directors, and others in the field, “What were the outstanding female performances of 1930s Hollywood?”  He also includes a table of contents and index.  Many of the photographs include the legendary actors Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, as well as some of Mank with the women he interviewed. In addition, Mank wrote Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, which is included earlier in this bibliography.

Hutchings, P. (2008).  Historical dictionary of horror cinema. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

This book is the 25th in the Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts published by The Scarecrow Press. Each book in the series has a different author. Hutchings holds a B.A. in Film and Literature from Warwick University and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia. British horror was the focus of his doctoral dissertation and he has continued his research and passion for the genre.  Having published numerous essays and contributed to reference books, he is an authority on the British realm of horror. Hutchings includes a chronology that “ranges from its origins through the present day” (p. vii), an introduction, and the dictionary itself.  The dictionary contains actors, directors, films, and more.  As with any good dictionary, it arranges everything but the chronology in alphabetical order.  Entries are short and concise.  If an entry coincides with another, the term is bolded for ease of search.  There is also a rather large bibliography at the back of the book.

Wallace, A., Bradely, S. & Howison, D. (2008). The book of lists: Horror. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

As the title suggests, this book consists of lists of horror that covers many areas of the genre.  Film, literature, music, and trivia are only a smattering of what this book has to offer. Since it was published in 2008, it has very recent information.  Coauthor, Amy Wallace, has authored fifteen books, one of them being another Book of Lists written with her father and brother.  Del  Howison owns a horror themed book and gift shop and has authored several articles for horror themed publications. An interesting aspect of the book, according to the writer of the introduction, Gahan Wilson, is that the “list format” could be used as “a teaching device, which will wonderfully, and sometimes downright awesomely, will open their eyes…to aspects of horror rarely considered and new ways of looking at it, which will refresh and delight and downright surprise its most sophisticated fans” (p. xvi).  The book is directed toward new fans of the horror genre, as well as the aficionado.   The contributors of the lists are people involved in some aspect of the genre. The book is split into sections for film, literature, music, “miscellany” (p. 324), and a small section submitted by fans of the genre.  There are a few sections that have illustrations of vintage horror comic books and movie posters.

Lizzy Walker works at the Boise State Albertsons Library. She is currently working in her MLIS with the SWIM cohort through University of North Texas. When she is not working on her studies, she enjoys gaming and spending time with her incredibly supportive husband, Arthur. 

ALA Resolutions: Why do they do that?

by Gina A. Persichini

It is often asked, “Why doesn’t ALA work on improving library funding instead of spending time on all those resolutions?”  The easy answer would be to explain that ALA does, in fact, address funding issues all the time. They have offices and staff that spend a considerable amount of their time addressing funding for libraries.  The more complex response addresses the underlying, unasked question, “Aren’t resolutions a waste of time?”

No, they have a very real function.  To explain, though, we have to delve briefly into some ALA hierarchy.  ALA Council is the governing body of the Association. Council determines ALA policies. There is a 12-member ALA Executive Board made up of members of the Council. They act for Council in the administration of established policies and programs and, as such, manage the affairs of the Association. ALA also has an Executive Director and staff. The Executive Director has the authority to carry out activities for the operation of the Association and implementation of policies & programs. He also directs a staff to carry out these efforts.  There are many more relationships that make up the structure involving offices of ALA and standing committees, but that is a good starting place.

ALA has over 60,000 members. As an organization, the challenge is to figure out how to represent the needs of 60,000 individuals and libraries with a unified voice.  That means ALA staff need guidance from Council and the Executive Board – representatives of the membership – to be sure the association is acting on behalf of the members.

One way they provide that guidance is through resolutions.  Resolutions, if passed, state the opinion of the assembly considering them.  So, where Council represents the membership of ALA, resolutions represent the opinion of ALA. Resolutions can be used to establish policy or to establish a position on an issue.

How does it work? If I want ALA to take a stand on something, then I need to direct ALA to do so. It’s not enough to say that ALA needs to take a stand on; the people that speak on behalf of ALA members need to be clear what that stance is.

A resolution includes WHEREAS clauses that provide a background or reasoning behind the point being made. It is usually among these WHEREAS clauses where one will explain why the issue is important to libraries. WHEREAS clauses will, in the best of situations, succinctly lay the foundation for the resolution.

Then we get to the RESOLVED clauses. The RESOLVED clause states the opinion and/or directs action.  For example, ‘be it RESOLVED that the ALA (1) thinks ABC is bad, (2) urges some organization to stop doing ABC, and (3) sends notice to that organization and its stakeholders to let them know where we stand on the issue of ABC.’

Resolutions, once drafted, are considered by the ALA Council. Often, background information is provided, members of Council think about it, have discussions to hear multiple sides of an issue, and vote whether to pass the resolution or not.  If passed, then ALA Executive Board, the Executive Director, and staff have their orders (in the form of the resolved clauses) to take action. It also provides the parameters for how those ALA leaders might publicly speak about a particular issue.

It is not just about taking a stand on issues. As mentioned earlier, Council is also a policy-setting body.  Not too long ago, ALA members drafted a resolution that would, if passed, direct ALA staff to improve transparency by sharing transcripts and audio recordings of Council sessions. Council sessions were already recorded to assist staff in creating minutes. Plus, council sessions are transcribed for the hearing impaired.  Knowing these functions were already in place, these members wanted that information shared for those who were unable to extend travel arrangements to observe Council meetings.  The resolution was brought by two Councilors and, after considerable discussion about potential costs and benefits, the resolution passed. It is now an ALA policy that audio recordings and transcripts of Council sessions are shared via the ALA website with all members.

Resolutions can be introduced by certain ALA committees, by a member of the ALA Council, or by members through the Membership Meetings.  So, if anyone has a matter they would like to ALA address, they need only take it to one of those sources. That isn’t as daunting as one might think. Because the make-up of Council includes a representative of each Chapter of ALA, it means that every state has a liaison.  To bring up an issue or find out how ALA is already tackling an issue, you need only contact your state’s Chapter Councilor.  And, rest assured, this Idaho Chapter Councilor would be delighted to hear your ideas.

Gina Persichini is the Networking Consultant at the Idaho Commission for Libraries and serves as Idaho’s Chapter Councilor to ALA. To have your idea for ALA heard, contact Gina at gina.persichini@libraries.idaho.gov.

Library Advocacy – An Annotated Bibliography

by Cheryl Hoover

Introduction

Advocacy is often confused with marketing and public relations.  While it is related to both of those concepts, advocacy is the art of using marketing and public relations techniques to defend or promote a cause. Library advocacy is the process of educating and influencing decision makers to enlist their active support for libraries of all types.  Library areas requiring advocacy campaigns include public opinion, financial support, and legislative impact.  People who champion the cause of libraries come from different backgrounds and advocate on the local, state, regional and national levels to increase public awareness of the value of libraries.  Advocate groups can be individuals or part of a formalized group: they are the child down the street, a bookmobile user, the new library staff person, a member of the library’s board of trustees, or the president of the Friends of the Library.  Improving the public’s perception of libraries leads to more powerful advocacy through amplified library use and increased demand of library services.

Passive community support for libraries is not enough to help libraries improve their lot in society.  Libraries compete for tax monies, grants, donations, and funding from other sources. The library benefits when passive supporters become more knowledgeable, vocal, and proactive about supporting their local library institution.  Proactive, effective advocates are vital to libraries of all types; the need to develop successful advocacy campaigns is critical to organizations spiraling towards funding crisis problems.  While data indicates that overall library usage is strong, active advocacy by stakeholders has more untapped potential.

This annotated bibliography provides resources related to the historical development of library advocate groups and also provides resources to help develop an advocacy campaign, ranging from a small-grassroots effort on the frontlines in the library trenches to the formation of formal, structured groups whose mission is to advocate on behalf of the library. The resources are divided into three sections. The first section provides a touch of historical context in regards to two powerful advocacy groups. The second section is the largest and focuses on how to cultivate advocates and offers tips on creating appropriate messages. The final section offers a resource that plays the role of devil’s advocate; friends advocate groups can be helpful but they can also create problems for library staff and administration.  Are they an asset or liability?

Historical Context

Reed, S.G. (2009). Amalgamating for advocacy: Two venerable groups combine their expertise to advance the cause of libraries. American Libraries, 40(3), 34-36.

Author Sally Gardner Reed provides brief historical information on the formation of the Trustee Section of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1890 and how it evolved into the Association of Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA).  Reed also discusses the formation of another library advocacy group:  The Friends of Library. This non-profit organization supported local libraries primarily through fundraising and advocacy efforts. This organization was formalized in 1979 to become the Friends of Libraries, U.S.A. (FOLUSA). Like their Trustee counterparts, members of FOLUSA advocate for libraries to members of the legislature and annually honor a member of Congress who has demonstrated significant support for libraries.

This historical background adds context to the recent formation of the Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) by ALA, which is a combination of the two groups. The power of these two groups was magnified when they joined forces. Their combined advocacy has done much through the years to garner citizen support for libraries, which translates into positive outcomes, politically and financially, for libraries.  Reed proceeds to give specific examples from around the country of how these groups have collaborated to develop campaigns to support and improve library service within their communities.

This article was selected because of its brief overview of the formation of the two advocate groups and for the sample success stories of how formal advocate groups can create positive change for libraries.

How To Advocate

Dimattia, S. (2011). Advocacy and image: Partners in creating a value proposition. Information Outlook, 15(2), 14-16.

A successful advocacy campaign begins with the foundation of a strong image of the organization.  This image, or how others perceive you, must inspire assurance that you deserve their support.  Part of cultivating this image in the library setting requires information professionals to communicate a strong image of what they do for their clientele. If library users or the greater community do not understand the library profession or how it creates value in the community, these people cannot be expected to advocate on the library’s behalf.

Dimattia describes the basic steps to creating an advocacy campaign. The first step involves the creation and verbalization of the overall vision and five issues to use to create messages for potential advocates. The second step is to prioritize issues in order of importance. Step three identifies target audiences for the specific issues and develops a statement of why this issue is important to the target audience.  The next step requires determining the talking points of the main message and to test the message with a sample group. The final step is to select and train advocates to deliver this message to the target audience. Effective communicators are passionate and well-prepared. The understand how to use tools of communication to draw listeners in and convey their message.

This article was chosen because of its discussion on creating an appropriate image for the profession and included details for how to develop an advocacy campaign. The image of today’s library is unclear in the minds of some decision makers and it is important for the library to make sure they convey the right message.

Gerding, S. (2007). Advocate for more: Focus on legislative funding. Public Libraries, 46(2), 36-39.

Alternative funding sources are important to generating income for libraries; however, the normal revenue streams must be protected and should be a priority for library advocacy groups.  For example, libraries receive funds from local tax dollars and also from agencies on the state and federal levels.  Advocating to these constituents is necessary to maintain funds from these sources.

Gerding explains that the first step is finding the right people to advocate for the library. The reason is that the person who delivers the message is often more important than the actual message. Putting the right person in the role of delivering the message can improve the odds of the message being positively received.  The right person to be the advocate varies according to the type of message that is to be delivered.   The next step is determining which audience to target first and then develop the advocate group from within their peers. An important consideration is to build connections in the community before they are needed.

Another important aspect of library advocacy is the ability to organize people to a course of action or for a particular cause. Decisions need to be made regarding who the target audience would consider important people. Then those important people should be cultivated as advocates. Advocating to elected officials can improve funding situations.  Gerding provides advice on how to utilize in-person meetings, telephone calls, letters, email, and editorials to get the message across.

This article provided specific details for how to communicate with elected officials, which was useful for this annotated bibliography. While many of the suggestions were common-sense, they still serve as a reminder for those composing or initiating correspondence.

Lowman, S. S., & Bixby, M.D. (2011). Working with friends groups: Enhancing participation through cultivation and planning. Journal of Library Administration, 51(2), 209-220. doi: 10.1080/01930826.2011.540551

As library budget woes continue unilaterally, improving public awareness of library services to the community increases in importance.  Lowman and Bixby examine and discuss the very successful Friends of the Library activities at Fondren Library that build library loyalty in the donor community and encourage active participation.

Fondren Library at Rice University fosters growth in library resources by encouraging participation through their Friends group. The Friends of the Library’s mission is to increase community and alumni interest and support the University by helping to fund library initiatives and goals.  This active group sponsors various community programs, including lectures, books sales, and author receptions; assist with publicizing library resources and services; sponsor gifts and memorials and purchase materials and equipment. The use of free public events as outreach is particularly successful for the Friends. They sponsor an annual gala which has raised a minimum of $100,000 each year. The money has been used to establish two endowments for the library. Lowman and Bixby attribute the success of the Friends to quality leadership and a successful director who is diplomatic, organized and knowledgeable with event planning, and able to work successfully with a wide range of volunteers.

This article was included in the bibliography because it provides an excellent example of just how successful and productive a Friends group can be and offers fundraising ideas that could be used by other institutions.

Pecoraro, J. (2009). What’s it worth? The value of library services as an advocacy tool. Texas Library Journal, 85(1), 8-9.  Retrieved from http://www.txla.org/sites/tla/files/pdf/TLJ85_1.pdf

Libraries must be able to tell their story accurately and effectively to library stakeholders in order to raise public awareness of the value of their services. Determining the value of specific library services and then communicating that value to the public is a challenge.  Pecoraro, Coordinator of the Big Country Library System, shares his experience in gathering and preparing such information and making it meaningful and relevant to library users.

Libraries need to determine which services they would like to highlight and then decide on the appropriate value of that service. The information can be entered into a spreadsheet template but statistics need to be available.  The goal is to have the total value of the library’s services exceed the actual amount of the library’s budget.  This demonstrates a positive return on investment. This information can then be used to advocate to library constituents.

Pecoraro also provides links to personal value calculators used by other libraries. Patrons enter information on how they use the library and a value is generated demonstrating the monetary value of the library to the patron. For example, how many books or videos were borrowed and how many programs were attended?  These tools can be placed on library home pages and used to improve public awareness and increase support of the library.

This article was included because it provides links to calculators that can easily be added to a library’s home page. It also offered concrete ideas on how to determine the value of the library’s services and how to further communicate that information to the library stakeholders.

Price, L. (2010). Bringing in the money: Elevator speeches for libraries. Public Libraries, 49(5), 24 – 27.

Opportunities to advocate on behalf of a library can occur suddenly, without warning, and in some pretty unusual places.  To be ready for these types of situations, Price recommends library advocates have a short speech ready to sell or promote an idea that would benefit a library or organization. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about presenting this speech. It needs to be brief enough so that it can be stated during a short elevator ride — hence the name “elevator speech.”  The speech should be modified and adjustable based on the intended recipient and finished with a request for action.  The speech and request for action should be performed in about 90 seconds to two minutes time. To further illustrate his point, Price provides fictitious elevator speeches written by professionals at various institutions.

Lastly, the author offers final pointers for preparing successful elevator speeches.  Remember key points and avoid memorizing, remain flexible and adaptable to the nonverbal responses of the listener, and work on developing several elevator speeches in order to be ready for different situations.  Any library stakeholder can utilize an elevator speech so it is important to teach this skill to others.

This article was chosen because it was a simple act that could be done by many library advocates  who find themselves in the right situation with the right person.

Wong, P., & Todaro, J. (2010). Frontline advocacy is everybody’s job. American Libraries, 41(6/7), 82-84.

Wong and Todaro discuss the importance of frontline advocacy to libraries of all types. This idea is so important that the American Library Association’s (ALA) President Camila Alire made frontline advocacy a presidential initiative. She encourages libraries to commit to this type of advocacy to improve public awareness of library services during tough economic times. Frontline advocacy is the action of staff who work at service points within the library to engage and promote the library during work time and beyond. This connection with library patrons and citizens in the community is an important part of library advocacy and helps spread a positive message about the value of libraries.

Libraries do not need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating a frontline advocacy program; there are tools available at the ALA website to help get them started. Using these tools can improve the success of frontline advocacy and help make it part of the organization’s culture.  This ALA toolkit is available online in the Advocacy University section. The toolkit can be used in its entirety or as separate, individual items. Training materials in this toolkit include videos, PowerPoint presentations, tutorials, and a webinar. An initiative document, 52 Ways to Make a Difference: Advocacy Throughout the Year, provides a list of themes that can be used on a weekly basis to help support the library’s frontline advocacy campaign.

Creating formal advocacy campaigns can be daunting to library staff; therefore, this article was selected because it discuss the importance of a grassroots campaign that begins with library staff.  The Toolkit mentioned provides a good starting point for libraries who want to begin a frontline advocacy program.

Problems with Advocacy Groups

D’Andraia, F., Fitzpatrick, J., & Oliver, C. (2011). Academic libraries and friends groups: Asset or liability? Journal of Library Administration, 51, 221-230. doi: 10.1080/01930826.2011.540553

D’Andraia, Fitzpatrick and Oliver examine the early years of friends groups in academic libraries but state there is very little useful information regarding the history or chronology from a theoretical standpoint. Most of the historical information available on friends groups relates more to the practical aspects like how to do fundraising. The first academic friends group was founded at Harvard University in 1925 and the trend quickly grew.  Despite the growth of these groups, the authors argue that are inherent problems that can occur whenever a friends group is formed and that they are not always beneficial to a library.

While many friends groups function without problems, the authors examine literature that discusses various issues common to some friends groups. Members can become lethargic and may require excessive assistance from library staff to do their jobs. Friends may have difficulty understanding their specific role in the organization and the differences between a friend and a trustee.  Current opinion believes that the primary role of a friends group is to assist with the fundraising needs of the library or to support special events. However, finding the right mix of people who are willing and able to work hard to advocate on behalf of the library without creating undue stress on staff and other library constituents is a challenge.

This article was selected because it offers an alternative perspective of friends groups; whereas, the majority of other articles focused on the positive benefits. D’Andraia, et al, describe potential problems of these advocacy groups that are believable and realistic. While this article focused on academic library friends groups, the information easily transcends into friends groups for libraries of all types.

Conclusion

The review of literature included in this annotated bibliography indicates an overwhelming agreement among library professionals that libraries benefit from advocacy efforts. Positive results occur whether advocacy is done on a small scale or through large, organized efforts with formal groups. Important steps for formulating an advocacy campaign include determining the mission, creating the message, and finding and cultivating the right messengers. Despite a library’s best intentions, problems may arise and personality issues within the advocate groups will need managing. Library staff and administrators should use the available resources and tools to guide them in any level of advocacy effort they would like to undertake.

Cheryl Hoover is a MSLS candidate at the University of North Texas. She works at the Montana State University –Billings Library.

Everywhere You Want to Be

by Kathryn Poulter

2012 ILA Conference

Culture and language fascinate me. Libraries seem to me to be the perfect places to slake one’s thirst for things cultural and linguistic: in the library we have access to the thought and languages of the ages, as well as to current discussions of the world and the implications of modern political decisions. I am passionate about the ways libraries can bring people of all cultures and backgrounds together. So when I was asked to be the chair of the Idaho Library Association’s annual 2012 conference in October, I hoped there would be a way to combine my interest in worldwide libraries with my dedication to the freedom of information and vitality found in our Idaho libraries. Thankfully, others shared my ideas as well, and it is with excitement and anticipation that we find ourselves now in the final planning stages of the conference, which is built around the theme: “Everywhere You Want to Be.” Let’s step beyond our borders and explore the world!

Now I don’t have vast experience with international libraries, simply interest in all things cultural and linguistic. However, two years ago I was invited to go to Germany to attend the christening of the daughter of a dear friend. While I was there, I also had the opportunity to visit Sylvia, a long-time pen pal who lives in the small town of Verl in northern middle Germany. Sylvia, who knows me well, arranged for me to meet and speak with the director of her town’s library. How exciting! Like many other librarians, I feel a vacation isn’t really complete unless I can visit a library sometime during the trip. Although my German is only barely passable, I was anxious to talk to the director and see what a library was like in another country.

As we walked in the doors, I was surprised to see how new the library building was. I suppose I thought all European libraries would be scores, if not hundreds of years old, but the Verl library was just celebrating its tenth year of operation. The familiar smell of books and bindings and waiting words greeted me and I felt immediately at home. A librarian led us on a brief tour, and although I couldn’t immediately grasp the cataloging or shelving system, I still felt comfortable surrounded by shelves of books and busy children happily playing on computers and with puppets in the youth area. Then the librarian led us up the stairs into the administrative offices where my German would really be put to the test.

A bright and obviously very professional woman was waiting in her office. She stood to shake my hand, and was patient as I greeted her in my stilted German. For a minute I thought I had probably made a terrible mistake in thinking I could carry on a conversation with this obviously busy and impressive director. Then I asked a question about her integrated library system and all of a sudden the walls between us came down. We discussed our shared concerns, successes, and disappointments regarding library systems in general. Words came quickly, and we had a wonderful, warm discussion. By the time we ended our meeting, I felt the confidence that comes from mutual sharing and understanding. Sure, German libraries are a bit different than what I am familiar with in the United States, but at the core we share similar outlooks and goals. I realized that as librarians we are part of a very large force of thinking people around the world who recognize and are committed to the power of words and literacy and information.

Verl Library in Germany

But not all libraries in all countries are similarly dedicated to the free access of information. My father, Ken Luker, was also a librarian during his working career, but in an academic instead of a public library. I remember that in the early 1990s, as the former Soviet bloc began to allow a bit more openness, Dad was invited to go to Eastern Europe to visit libraries in Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. When he came home again after a month or so of intense work and travel, he described poorly lit libraries where scholars had little or no access to resources, and where the idea of lending materials was unheard of, even shocking. When Dad proofread this article, he added these recollections, “The shocking thing, I think, was not just the failure to lend books, but the failure even to allow anyone into the book stacks:  It was retrieval by a library clerk, always, and often only by appointment.  Browsing at the shelves was forbidden, and the only index to the collection was a card or book catalog, if it existed, which was often in sequence only by author.  My take-away impression after all these years is remembering, when the single fluorescent light in the ceiling was turned on just for us visitors, the sight of a hopeful library user squatting near the floor in a dark alley between catalog cabinets, straining to read the bedraggled catalog cards with the feeble light from a window high in the wall.”

After listening to Dad’s experiences, I was very interested and excited when Amy Campbell, one of the librarians in my own library, had the opportunity to go to Ukraine to build international library connections and see firsthand the changes that have occurred in the past years. She wrote about her experience in the Fall edition of the Idaho Librarian. (https://theidaholibrarian.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/ukranian-libraries-past-and-present/) Amy wrote, “Under the Soviets, libraries did not flourish as areas of free intellectual activity. Instead, censorship, purging of records, and the retroactive changing of history were normal occurrences in Soviet libraries in the 20th century. . . . After so many decades of secrets and restricted information, Ukrainian librarians take a tremendous amount of pride in their freedom of information policy. Most libraries are open to all Ukrainian citizens; they simply must apply for a reader card and occasionally pay a small fee to belong to the library. At that point, the reader may access any information housed in the library. For example, the parliamentary library keeps careful records of all governmental and legal decisions made by Ukrainian politicians, and these records are available for any of their readers to peruse. For a region of the world that spent so many recent years under oppressive and violent regimes, this freedom of information is miraculous.”

I was fascinated by the changing ideas of openness and freedom represented by these visits and observations from librarians on the outside. Because we write and live and work in an atmosphere where there is much more access to information, it is sometimes difficult to comprehend the huge paradigm shift that has taken place to allow such freedoms as do exist in Eastern Europe.

This vast difference in the expectations and practices of libraries around the world brings me to some questions posed by Fiona May, the publicity chair of our upcoming conference. Fiona asked, “In what ways are libraries around the world similar to one another? What common goals and interests bind libraries together? Are there ways librarians can and should support one another beyond the state and national associations we usually think of?” Answers to these questions lie at the heart of our conference theme: Everywhere You Want to Be.

I believe libraries around the world do share some common purposes and goals. I believe there is a golden thread that weaves through libraries everywhere that consists of the desire for, even if not always the practice of, openness and access to learning. Libraries are the repositories of the wisdom of the ages, they can also be places where people of today gather and learn and talk and find some appreciation for whatever hankering they may have toward learning or thinking or developing.

As New York writer Sheila O’Malley, recently wrote in a movie review, “Looking for like-minded people and kindred spirits is something we all do during our time on this planet, and finding kindred spirits in the giants of the past, the artists and writers who came before, is one of the ways that [people] feel less alone, or find the strength to keep going.” (http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2012/02/5342531/oscar-scouting-report-best-picture-some-deserving-nominees-plus-help) Libraries are places where the search is possible, and where the anticipation of discovery permeates the atmosphere. It’s not always like this, of course, but it is an ideal, and when reality and expectation meet, there is where learning and appreciation and recognition of our common humanity can take place. That, for me, is the shared experience of libraries everywhere, and the type of connection our Idaho Library Association conference wants to acknowledge and promote. Join us in the celebration!  2012 ILA Conference

Kathryn Poulter is a Librarian at the Marshall Public Library in Pocatello, Idaho. She is also the Chair of the 2012 ILA annual conference.

The University Authors Recognition Reception at Boise State University: A Celebration of Scholarship

by Julia Stringfellow and Michelle Armstrong

Albertsons Library at Boise State University recently held its seventh annual University Authors Recognition (UAR) Reception.  The reception was first held in 2006 to honor university faculty and their scholarship.  Taking place usually the last week of February, the reception provides a great opportunity for faculty and staff across campus to come together to learn about and celebrate one another’s scholarship.

As with any high-profile university event, planning began early and collaboration was done throughout campus.  The UAR committee began working on this project in the fall of 2011and was comprised of both librarians and staff from different units in the library.  To facilitate the preparations for the reception, a Google site and checklist of things to do was created.  Since the Library always makes a point of trying to include the University’s administration in the reception program, one of the first tasks completed was to finalize the date of the reception.  By doing this, the Provost, College Deans, and even occasionally the University President are able to attend.

Another important task completed was the creation of the UAR bibliography.  The authors recognized for the 2012 reception published works from September 2010through August 2011, and included books, book chapters, articles from peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and other creative works.  Boise State’s institutional repository, ScholarWorks, was a very helpful tool in creating the bibliography of authors’ works.  Using the publication information already gathered by repository staff was very efficient and far less time-consuming than how the bibliography was assembled in the past.  Previously the bibliography was developed through an open call to faculty for publication information and extensive research by the committee to track down recent faculty publications.  In addition to the bibliography, an author’s gallery was created using faculty SelectedWorks sites.  These are webpages created by repository staff that showcase a professor’s individual publications.

As a result of these efforts the bibliography is now on ScholarWorks   As a virtual collection, the main URL will be kept and the filters for creating future bibliographies will be updated each year.  The bibliography brings to light the diverse kinds of scholarship, from works on Second Life to climate variability.  Using the open-access format of ScholarWorks to showcase the bibliography greatly increase the accessibility of the author’s works and shares it with a larger community.  The bibliographies on ScholarWorks from past years will be archived and continue to be accessible on the ScholarWorks website.

The many details of the event also included making decisions about displays for the reception.   The library typically purchases two copies of all new books by Boise State authors.   One copy goes in the main collection and circulates, and the second copy is housed in the Special Collections department and does not circulate.  Since these books in the main collection are almost always checked out, it was decided that a physical display of authors’ books for this reception would come from Special Collections.  The display was set up in high-traffic areas of the library a few weeks prior to the reception and then moved to the reception location the day of the event.  The committee also wanted to create a display featuring the latest trends in technology.  Since the library has incorporated many ebooks into its collection, a display using iPads as ebook readers featuring faculty-authored books was also developed for the reception.

Since the UAR committee makes a special point of trying to be inclusive and find ways to honor all faculty and staff authors, a third display was designed to show individual authors honored in the reception and provide information on them.  Given that there were over 300 university authors, the committee needed a display that would go through the authors fairly quickly and cover everyone.  To do this, a PowerPoint presentation was created with a slide for each author that included their picture (when it was available), their department, and a quote from their publication.  Two computer monitors were set up at the reception, one showing half of the author slides and the other showing the rest.  Each slide displayed for ten seconds.  The committee members who created the slides made a special point of selecting quotes that emphasized why the scholarship was important.  Although it took a great deal of work, this personal touch was especially appreciated by attendees.

The committee spared no detail in planning for the reception.  Work with the university’s catering department was done to ensure food and beverages would be at the reception, and university flags representing each college were also reserved to be part of the decorations.  Student musicians from the Music department were requested to play during the reception.  Announcements on the library’s blog and in the university’s online newsletter also appeared to spread the word about the reception.

The day of the reception involved many last-minute preparations before the reception began. Displays, decorations, and tables and chairs were set up.  The reception started at 3:30 and went through 5pm.  The total count of attendees was over 115, one of the highest numbers for the event.  Faculty and staff from different departments on campus were able to visit and learn about each other’s research and scholarship.  Authors watched the author slideshow and enjoyed seeing their own slide.  The ebooks display was also a big hit with many faculty as they were able to view their colleagues’ books using the iPads.  The program during the reception included each College Dean honoring the faculty authors in their department and a group picture of authors from each department was taken.  After the program, many people stayed and continued to visit.

The reception has proved to be very successful in honoring university scholarship.  It is a popular annual university tradition that brings librarians, faculty, and staff together.  Librarians who serve as liaisons to academic departments are able to talk with the faculty from their department and share new resources the library provides.  By hosting the bibliography in an open access format, the library helps increase the discovery of the incredible scholarship produced at Boise State.  From the perspective of the library, the event was an accomplishment in finding another way to serve the university community and honor their accomplishments.

Photograph from the reception courtesy of Jim Duran

Julia Stringfellow is an Archivist/Librarian and Assistant Professor in the Special
Collections Department of the Albertsons Library at Boise State University.

Michelle Armstrong oversees the development of Boise State University’s institutional repository, ScholarWorks, and serves as the Library Liaison for the Graduate College and Department of Mathematics.

Idaho Legislative Committee

by Becca Stroebel Kabasa and Audra Green

The Idaho Library Association Legislative Committee advocates legislatively for Idaho’s libraries.  What exactly does this mean?  Well, along with our legislative advisor, John Watts and other members of the Idaho library community, the committee tracks legislative that might potentially affect Idaho’s libraries.  After tracking that legislation we develop strategies to support the legislation or to oppose its passage.

Another facet of this advocacy is to build relationship with legislators to educate them about the importance of libraries to Idaho communities.  Annually, the Idaho Library Association makes targeted visits to legislators in key positions. This year the delegation consisted of Legislative Co-chairs Audra Green and Becca Stroebel, ILA president Gena Marker, ILA incoming president Karen Yother, and John Watts, legislative advisor (see attached photos).  Meetings this year focused on the purpose of ILA, the importance of the support offered to Idaho’s libraries through the Idaho Commission For Libraries, a demonstration of Learning Express, the importance of school library involvement in Students Come First and the value of Read to Me. We visited with Governor Otter, the chairs of the Education Committee, Senate and House Leadership, the Revenue and Taxation chairs, the Joint Financial Appropriations chairs and staff from the Superintendent of Education’s office. These meetings vary year to hear depending on pertinent issues.

Many ILA members contacted their local legislators about these issues. This grass-roots advocacy is so important and makes a tremendous difference when it comes time to contact legislators about a particular issue. We thank you for all of your participation and support for legislative activities.

This session the Idaho legislature supported a request to provide funding for the Read to Me program, the LiLI-D databases and most of the budget of ICFL.  They did not support funding for Learning Express, which will expire in October. We plan to advocate for this database throughout the rest of the year and hope to bring it back for re-consideration in the 2013 legislative session. We will be counting on ILA members to communication with their legislators about the value of Learning Express to their libraries. In a few weeks, we will be visiting staff from the offices of Idaho’s Federal Representatives.

Although contacting your legislators can seem like a daunting task, the more you do it, the easier it gets.  Throughout the year, the Idaho Library Association Legislative Committee is making contact with legislators as is our legislative advisor John Watts. Along with your input, these contacts help to keep Idaho libraries top of mind for legislators.

Becca Stroebel Kabasa is a Librarian at the Boise Public Library Main Library. Her term as legislative co-chair is 2010-2012

Audra Green is a Librarian at the Collister Library. Her term as legislative co-chair is 2011-2013.