Summer 2011 Newsletter

This issue of the ILA/ACRL Newsletter features a semi-annual President’s Piece submitted by sitting ILA/ACRL president, Ryan Gjerde, article by Linda Nelson about library instruction, and news from academic libraries across the state.

President's Piece

Around this time of year, my friends and family often ask how I’m enjoying the downtime in the library with most of the student population back at home.  In reality, summer can be one of the busiest times of year in our library, as we work to test and implement updates systems and services, and make headway on other projects that are difficult to tackle with classes in session.  Summer becomes a good time to buckle down and power through the to-do list that grew over the course of the academic year.  

As we toil away throughout the summer, I wanted to spend some time reminding our membership of ways we can communicate and connect with one another.  For years, our chapter has offered an email discussion list, of which many are members off.  Our list serves as a forum for issues of broader interest to Iowa's academic library community such as discussions of reference/research issues, news of legislative initiatives, job openings, and staff development opportunities.  We encourage your participation!  More information on the list can be found at

ILA/ACRL also has a social media presence, with a Facebook group  and a Twitter feed.  Feel free to post, follow, retweet, etc. on these sites as well.

Another reminder for the summer is to start thinking about October’s ILA conference in Council Bluffs.  ILA has already posted a good amount of preliminary information regarding the conference, including a program that offers many sessions sponsored or co-sponsored by ILA/ACRL.  I hope to see many of you there at our business meeting on Thursday!  

Finally, there is one fact I neglected to mention back in March during our Spring Conference.  This year marks the 35th anniversary of our chapter, which was first approved by ACRL at the 1976 Midwinter meeting.  One of the first activities offered by the Iowa chapter that Spring was a bibliographic instruction workshop.  I had hoped to ask our 2011 conference attendees if any had been present back in Spring 1976!   

A brief history of our chapter which noted this milestone ends with an assessment that I find still true today: “ILA/ACRL is an organization that has developed from the efforts of many members, and its growth will continue because of those that are willing to serve.”  As we approach that time of year when we seek to fill committee rosters for 2012, I hope that you will consider sharing some of your time and experience if contacted by a member of the nominating committee - or, if you are feeling bold, fill out the volunteer form on the ILA/ACRL website!

Ryan Gjerde
ILA/ACRL President