Academic Library Advocacy: Call for Proposals and Program Registration

Registration is open for ACRL-MD’s Spring Program!

Academic Library Advocacy: Everyone’s an Advocate

April 3, 2020 at Towson University Northeastern Campus

8:30 AM – 12 PM

What do you think of when you think about “library advocacy?” While many libraries find themselves needing to connect with stakeholders such as legislators and voters, academic library advocacy is less likely to target these same groups. Academic library personnel routinely need to advocate for the library as an essential contributor to their college or university’s mission, in addition to advocating for their own unique functional role as an individual library worker. But this typically means advocating for themselves, their students and other campus community members, and their library with a wide variety of colleagues and administrators.

Coffee and light refreshments will be served as we explore what it means to be an “academic library advocate” from a variety of perspectives. Dr. Lucy Holman, University Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and former Dean of Libraries at the University of Baltimore, will share an administrator’s perspective on current advocacy issues and methods. Participants will have the opportunity to begin crafting their own advocacy narrative tailored for their networks during activities throughout the day. We hope you will join us for an engaging event!

MLA Members $25

Non-members $37.50

MLA Student/Retired/Unemployed/Friend $12.50

Register here

Call for Program Participation:

Do you practice every-day academic library advocacy? We’re looking for speakers to share experiences or projects that required advocating on behalf of yourself, your library or your students along with best practices or lessons learned. These lightning talks will be 5-7 minutes long followed by a brief Q&A.

To submit your interest in presenting, please fill out our Google Form. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2020.
Please direct any questions to And please pass along this information to any colleagues who might be interested.

How Do You Create Welcoming Spaces?

Hello, 2019! I hope you all had wonderful holidays.

Remember that it’s not too late to register for Breaking Down Barriers: Improving Inclusion for those with Disabilities.

To focus the discussion on welcoming spaces and information-access barriers for those with disabilities, we would like to hear from YOU about what you’re interested in discussing. It would be awesome if you could answer all or any of these questions in the comments, or Tweet at us at @acrlmd.

1) What have you witnessed or experienced (or failed to witness or experience) in your institution that has led you to think there are barriers to your library services and resources?

2) What have you and your colleagues already done to try making your library and workplace more welcoming to the disabled (which could include those with low vision or hearing, or those who are non-neurotypical)? How has it worked for you? How not?

3) What else could be added to this conversation?

Registration Open for “Discovery: It’s What Patrons Crave”

Register now for ACRL-MD’s 2013 Unconference – “Discovery: It’s What Patrons Crave”.

Lately, if you say the word “discovery” to a librarian, many of us immediately think of discovery services, the elusive “one box to search them all.” But this is just one incarnation of discovery for us.

magnifying lens icon

Our patrons use all sorts of tools and techniques to uncover the information they need. From learning how efficient a well-crafted Boolean search can be to realizing how much you can find in ten minutes spent looking at the right section of shelving, discovery takes a variety of forms. What are your users discovering? How are they finding it? What are they missing? What tools are you providing them with? What tools are they finding and adopting themselves?

Engage in roundtable discussions, hear lightning talks, and contribute a participant-voted talk. Join us, and share what’s being discovered (or not) in your library – and how! Bring your questions, ideas, and experiences and help shape the discovery conversation. The unconference will kick off with a series of lightning talks, which will be followed by roundtable discussions and talks chosen by you and other attendees.

Date: Wednesday, July 24th


  • 9-9:30 Registration/Breakfast
  • 9:30-10:30 Lightning Round Talks
  • 10:30-11:15 Round Table Discussions
  • 11:15-11:30 Break
  • 11:30-12:00 Vote on Show & Tell Demos & Micro-Workshops
  • 12:00-1:15 User Voted Talks
  • 1:15 – 1:30 Wrap Up & Evaluations

**Continue the conversation at lunch following the unconference**


UMBC on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery (1000 Hilltop Cir  Baltimore, MD 21250). Directions and a campus map found at

Registration Fees

  • MLA Members: $30
  • Non-MLA Members: $45
  • Students: $25.50

Registration deadline is Wednesday, July 17th. Register at

Registration is open for our fall program!

The Future is Tomorrow

The future is a slippery concept, especially when it comes to figuring out how to ensure that our libraries remain relevant. There are so many things to consider – our services, the research products we provide, not to mention how the needs and expectations of our patrons will change. It’s overwhelming and tempting to stick our heads in the sand, leaving the future thinking to our directors and deans.

Stop avoiding the issue! On October 14th, take the future into your own hands and join us for a day of thinking and talking about the changes tomorrow will bring.

We’ll begin with a presentation by Steven Bell: “Tomorrow is What We Make It: Designing Our Preferred Future.” After that, we’ll hear from a panel of librarians who will take your questions and discuss what worries them about the future – and what we can do. Throughout the day we’ll engage in some hands-on activities designed to get you thinking outside the box. Come ready to engage with your creativity! Bring the questions and ideas you cultivate out of view of your coworkers, and shine some light on them today.

Tomorrow is What We Make It: Designing Our Preferred Future
In 2011 a futuristic essay detailed the death of academic libraries. The current rash of pessimistic thinking about the future of this profession – and possibly even its future demise – may not be greatly exaggerated. While cautionary tales and threats of extinction may be useful in helping academic librarians stay focused on building a sustainable future, they typically are based more on imagined fears than reality. We need to remember that we are in control of our own destiny, and that this profession is in crisis only if we allow it to happen. Tomorrow is an opportunity to create our preferred future.

In this presentation, Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian for Research & Instruction at Temple University and vice-president/president-elect of ACRL, sheds some light on the prospects for academic librarianship in a tumultuous higher education and information landscape. Adopting a design approach to achieve an intentional user experience provides a strategy for a future-proofed library.

Program Information:
Date: Friday, October 14, 2011
Time: 9am – 3:30pm
Location: Loyola University Graduate Center, Columbia, MD (view map)

This program has been approved for 4 contact hours. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. When registering, please indicate your sandwich choice: Tuna Salad, Ham & Swiss, Turkey & Provolone, Grilled Veggie Sandwiches. Registration and breakfast will open at 9am; the program will begin at 10am.

Registration: MLA Members, $60; Non-members, $90; Students, $51. Register at:

Recap of Unconference Planning Meeting (1/25/11)

Attendees: Danielle Whren Johnson, Alison Cody, Shana Gass, Natalie Burclaff, David Dahl

Several items related to the Unconference were discussed at this planning meeting, including date/time, location, theme, and the schedule of activities.


Several suggestions were discussed in relation to the Unconference theme for this year.  The goal of the theme is to provide some direction and inspiration for presentations/talks without being too restrictive.  The idea of focusing on relationships in the academic library came up, and the theme of “Friends with Benefits” was selected as a preliminary theme.


The Unconference will run from 9:30-3pm on May 26th.

May 26th was chosen as a preliminary date for the Unconference. This date was chosen in an effort to keep some space between the Unconference and the MLA Annual Conference (May 4-6) and to avoid conflicts that may arise because of the Memorial Day weekend.

Feedback from last year’s Unconference indicated that participants would have liked the program to be longer.  With that in mind, the group decided that extending the Unconference until 3pm would allow for more content without significantly increasing the price for participants.


Several locations were suggested for holding the Unconference.  Loyola/Notre Dame Library worked well last year and will be considered again for this year.  It was noted that it would be good to change venues if possible.  Since the MLA conference is on the Eastern Shore and ACRL MD’s Fall Program was held in western Maryland, the Unconference will be hosted by a library in Baltimore.

The following locations will be investigated for the event: UMBC, Loyola/Notre Dame, Towson University, and Goucher College.  Other suggestions are welcome.  Host locations must be able to offer 2 flexible meeting rooms and a larger room or gathering area for lunch and other activities involving all participants.  The location must also be able to address the parking needs of attendees.  Preference will be given to locations that do not require ACRL MD to use the school’s in-house catering service.  If you would like to suggest a location for hosting the Unconference, please send an email to David Dahl at, addressing how the location meets the requirements for the Unconference.  We expect to choose a location by mid-February.

Proposed Schedule

Details of the schedule and related activities are ongoing, but a basic outline of the day’s activities was decided upon:

9:30-10 – Registration
10-10:30 – Speed networking
10:30-11 – Voting/break
11-12 – Lightning talks
12-12:45 – Lunch
12:45-1 – Voting
1-1:45 – Prepared talks
1:45-2 – Break
2-2:45 – Prepared talks
2:45-3 – Closing announcements/evaluations

If you have any suggestions for the Unconference, please leave them in the comments section of this blog post.  More information will be forthcoming as details are worked out.

ACRL MD’s first unconference!

ACRL MD is hosting its first ever unconference, with a theme of  “Library Without Walls”.  This unconference will provide an opportunity to meet with fellow librarians and library staff to discuss ways to extend the library and its services beyond its traditional borders.  Topics might include things like widgets  and toolbars that let patrons search the library catalog from non-library websites or having a librarian provide reference service in a cybercafé.  An unconference is user driven, so the specific topics to be discussed will be voted on the morning of the meeting.  You can start participating beforehand by suggesting a topic or volunteering to give a brief presentation on something you would like to share.  For more information or to contribute ideas and topics to the unconference, visit the unconference wiki at or contact Michael Shochet at  Or just register for the unconference, and we will contact you.

When: May 14, 2010.  9:30 – 1:00
Where: The Loyola/Notre Dame Library (directions)

You can register for the Library Without Walls Unconference at .  Cost for this 1/2 day program is $30 for MLA members, $45 for non-members and $25 for students.  This session is approved for 2.5 contact hours.

Upcoming Meeting – March 8th!

ACRL MD will be holding a meeting next Monday, March 8 at 2  PM at the Loyola Notre Dame Library.  The meeting will be held in the Level 1 Seminar Room.

Driving directions are available here:

Parking permits are not required, but you will need to check in with the security attendant upon arrival.

The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss and plan the details of this year’s Spring Program to be held in May (exact date TBD).  This year we will be basing the program around the concepts and ideals of an “un-conference”.

We hope you will be able to make this meeting.  If you are unable to attend, you are invited to contribute your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions to the program planning wiki. Feel free to use the comment section of this post for your ideas as well, or email your ACRL MD officers.

Save the date for ARLD's fall program

Title:  Open Source Catalogs, OPACS and more:  the next generation is here now!

Date:  Thursday, September 18, 2008

Time:  9:30-2 (breakfast and lunch included)

Place:  Chesapeake College Library, Wye Mills, MD (beautiful library not far from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge!)

Directions and registration information to follow.

Looking for a Web 2.0 portal, OPAC or catalog?  Find out how to use open source software to create a customizable interface, or even a fully featured ILS, that is easier to search, allows users to interact and encourages them to come back to your website.  Save this date for a highly informative program appropriate for public and academic libraries; cataloging, collection management, technical, public services and administrative staff (and others!).  Presenters include Andrew Nagy, Villanova University, who developed a free, open source resource discovery application called VuFind.  VuFind  replaces the web interface to a library catalog.   Jerry Keiser and his staff from the Kent County  Public Library will discuss their implementation of Evergreen, an open source ILS developed by the Georgia Public Library Service.

The speakers will provide background on open source and compare open source and proprietary systems.  They’ll give the nuts and bolts of developing and deploying an open source application or ILS; discuss the expertise, software and hardware required; and address ways of obtaining support for an open source system.