ILA/ACRL Newsletter, Vol. 9, No.1, March 1999


Y2K - 1 finds ILA/ACRL busy planning another fine year.  It is clear from this newsletter that Sandra Keist (Grand View) and the Newsletter Committee are off to a successful start.  If you are reading this newsletter via either our listserv <> or our WWW web site <>, you will note that Megan Adams (UNI) and the Electronic Communications Committee are already into the thick of things. Kudos again to Lissa Lord and Paul Soderdahl at U of I for continuing to maintain our chapter listserv.

The 1999 ILA/ACRL Directory is now gracing the shelves and desks of many our offices thanks to Randy Roeder (Coe) and the Directory Committee.  The final product is a wonderful blend of functionality and beauty.  Thanks also to Michael Levine-Clark (U of I) who has agreed to chair this committee for the coming year.  The WWW version of this directory will soon follow - thanks to the impending efforts of the Electronic Communications Committee.

Barb Allen - Spring Conference Chair (UNI) and the Spring Program Committee (especially local coordinators Beth Clausen and Joan Loslo of UNI) are busy with preparations for the upcoming spring conference. The 1999 Spring Conference - "Who Are We and Where Are We Going: Academic Librarianship in the 21st Century" - will be hosted at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on Friday, May 7, 1999.  Keynote speakers will be Robert Hauptman and Kristi Tornquist of St. Cloud State University, MN.  Barb Allen notes that a fine variety of papers will again be presented by the local Iowa talent and yes ... there should be plenty of high-quality calories available for everyone. Barb would also like to remind everyone to visit our web site regularly to view new announcements concerning the upcoming conference.  Watch too for announcements of possible Spring Conference scholarships from Mary Beveridge (Drake) and the Awards Committee.

Conference planning is occurring on many fronts at this time.  John Pollitz - Fall Conference Chair (St. Ambrose) is off to a fast start in planning for the ILA/ACRL contributions to the 1999 ILA Fall Conference.  John, Mary McInroy - Conference Liaison (U of I), and the Fall Program Committee have already lined up a number of fine speakers for this conference.  Ed Goedeken - Vice President/President Elect and Kathy Parsons of Iowa State have even launched into the planning process for Spring Conference 2000 in Ames (OK -  I'm impressed).

Jane Kemp - ACRL Legislative Network Chapter Representative (Luther) continues to keep us up-to-date on legislation involving the world of libraries and information.  Jane regularly delivers, via listserv, the news from Washington D.C. concerning information technology, government information policy, federal library funding, copyright, telecommunications, etc.

Finally a note or two concerning participation in our organization.  Leo Clougherty - Membership Chair (U of I) and other members of the Membership Committee will soon be making  eloquent and personalized pitches for recruiting new (and retrieving old) members into ILA/ACRL.  If this organization is to continue to serve as a forum and meeting place (physically or virtually) for all the academic libraries in this state, then most of the academic librarians in this state need to be members.  ILA/ACRL provides ample opportunities for service, networking, discussion/debate, the establishment of new friendships and the renewal of old friendships.  If your colleagues are in need of any of the above (or if they simply need to get out of the office more often) please take a moment to encourage their membership in ILA/ACRL.

I hope to see a number of you at the upcoming ACRL conference in Detroit.  I also hope that most of you will be able to journey to Cedar Falls for the Spring Conference.  Mark your calendars.  Send in your registration.  Bring a colleague.  Have a great time.  See you in May.

Chris "following in the footsteps of giants" Neuhaus
1999 ILA/ACRL President

The Academic Librarian's Calendar

ACRL’s 9th National Conference "Racing Toward Tomorrow" will be held  April 8-11, 1999 in Detroit, MI.

National Library Week - April 11-17, 1999.

IACT/IDLA/IREN Spring Conference, April 28-29, 1999,  Maytag Center in Newton, IA.

National Library Legislative Day, Washington DC, May 3-4, 1999.

ILA/ACRL’s  Spring Conference  will be held May 7, 1999 at UNI in Cedar Falls.

1999 IEEE Digital Libraries Conference: Advances in Digital Libraries, May 19-21, 1999 in Baltimore MD.

ALA Annual Conference, "Celebrating the Freedom to Read! Learn! Connect!" will be held in New Orleans, LA., June 24-July 1, 1999.

Black Caucus of the American Library Association Conference, July 19-22, 1999 in Las Vegas, NV.

1999 ILA/ACRL Spring Conference

Mark your calendar and plan to join your Iowa colleagues in attending the 1999 Annual ILA/ACRL Spring Conference.  It will take place on Friday, May 7, at the University of Northern Iowa, Maucker Union Expansion, in Cedar Falls. Robert Hauptman and Kristi Tornquist have been engaged as keynote presenters. They will speak on "Books & Bytes: Information in an Evolving Ethos."  Ms. Tornquist is the Dean of Learning Resources Services at St. Cloud State University.  Dr. Hauptman is librarian and professor at the same institution. As the editor of the Journal of Information Ethics, Dr. Hauptman has a special interest in information ethics.  He has published and presented widely. You will also be able to enjoy a wide variety of contributed presentations from your Iowa academic librarian colleagues.  Late morning and afternoon contributed paper sessions are planned.

An informal dinner at the Brown Bottle in Cedar Falls is planned for the evening of Thursday, May 6.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet with other academic librarians and our keynote speakers in an informal setting.

For those of you who are traveling to Cedar Falls from further away, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Cedar Falls Holiday Inn for Thursday night at the special rate of $55 (either for a single or a double). If you need a hotel room, please indicate so on the Conference Registration Form.

The Conference Registration Form can be found on the ILA/ACRL Web site at: (also watch this site for further information on the Conference).  The registration fee for ILA/ACRL members will be $40.  This price includes lunch and snacks during breaks.  To facilitate the work of the planning committee, be sure to register by the deadline, April 9, 1999. We think you will find the 1999 Spring Conference to be interesting and full of new ideas.  We hope to see you all in Cedar Falls on May 7!

Barbara Allen
Chair, 1999 Spring Conference Program Committee


The Awards Committee of ILA/ACRL is offering a scholarship for attendance at the Spring Conference, May 7, 1999 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The scholarship will cover the $40 registration fee and up to $60 in travel, hotel and meal expenses.

Applicants must be paid members of ILA/ACRL, working full-time in an Iowa academic or research library and either:
a)      be attending their first Spring Conference OR
b)      have worked in Iowa for less than three years.

The scholarship application form can be found under the category "Conferences
and Scholarships" at the ILA/ACRL web page:
or can be accessed directly at

Mary Beveridge
Chair, 1999 ILA/ACRL Awards Committee


The IPAL Annual Meeting will occur on Monday, March 29th on the Drake University campus in Des Moines.   The morning program will be devoted to an interactive planning session. The IPAL Steering Committee has begun a process leading to a revitalization of the consortium and the development of a strategic program plan for the organization. In addition to the planning session, there will be a keynote speaker who will address the dramatic changes taking place in higher education, and the implications for library services.

For further information contact:
Rod Henshaw,
President, IPAL.
Dean, Cowles Library,
Drake University.


10 Habits of Highly Effective Reference Service

1. Be approachable.  Make eye contact with the person needing reference
help as he/she approaches.  Ask "May I help you?"

2. Acknowledge those who may have to wait for your help - e.g. make eye
contact so he/she knows you have noticed him/her.

3. Reassure the patron, especially if he/she starts, "This may be a stupid
question..."  There are no stupid questions.

4. Listen carefully to the questioner and repeat the question.  Ask
questions to clarify and make sure you both understand what information the
patron needs.  (They may ask for the encyclopedia when that is not what
they really need.)

5. If possible, take the patron to a reference book or database unfamiliar
to him/her and demonstrate how to use it.
6. Follow through.  Ask the patron if the question has been answered.  Tell
the patron you will be glad to help if he/she has any problems finding the
information needed.

7. If you need more time to find the information they need, ask for the
patron's phone number or e-mail address, or ask them to come back or phone

8. Look around to see if there are other patrons who need help but haven't
come to the desk.

9. Respect the privacy of the patron and the information request.

10. Treat patrons as you would wish to be treated.

List developed by Lissa Lord, Research Services Team Leader,
Information and Instructional Services, University of Iowa Libraries, with
adaptations by Ann Ford.

Does Iowa Need a State Consortium for Basic Electronic Products?

Over the past few years, a number of states have developed statewide consortia for the purchase of basic electronic products.  These consortia cover a multitude of types of libraries: state- and privately-funded libraries; two-year, four-year, and doctoral colleges and universities; public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries.  Citizens in these states* and, more germane to ILA/ACRL’s purposes, students at educational institutions throughout these states have ready access to a wide range of basic information resources like Britannica Online or the Wilson Indexes.  The advantages of these consortia for individual library patrons are clear. What are some of the advantages of this approach for academic libraries? First, consortia increase the purchasing power of individual libraries.  The large size of the purchasing group encourages vendors to give price breaks to participating libraries. Additionally, some states have been able to get legislative funds within their states, funds specifically to support statewide electronic resource purchases.  This allows libraries in the state to use their own acquisitions budgets to purchase materials more closely tailored to their clientele, because statewide agreements pick up the basic materials. A second advantage is that consortia license negotiation allows a license to be negotiated once for many libraries.  Our current choices force individual libraries to either accept licenses as written by the vendor or invest (possibly significant) local resources in license negotiation.

Does Iowa need a state consortium for basic electronic products?  This is an area that urgently needs discussion and strategizing, and ILA/ACRL could play a significant role in launching the conversation statewide.

Kristin H. Gerhard,
Collections Officer
153 Parks Library,
Iowa State University



Director Joel Samuels is due back at the University of Dubuque and Wartburg Seminary libraries on February 1 after an extended illness.  In December he had bypass surgery after two heart attacks.


O'Keefe  Library, St. Ambrose University, Associate Director for Public Services, Marylaine Block, has become a regular columnist for FOX News Online ( After winning the competition for an American columnist for the digital London Mall in 1995, and writing a column for the digital version of a local newspaper since 1997, Marylaine was 'discovered' by an editor at Fox in April of 1998 and has been a regular columnist since June. The bi-weekly column is entitled "Observing Us" and explores the oddities of American culture. Her observations are salted with the random bits of information any librarian picks up in 21 years on the job. She has also developed the award-winning reference homepage, the Best Information On The Net, or BIOTN (


Catherine Rod, Associate Librarian of the College, has been elected as Secretary for the College Libraries section of ACRL.


Each year Voss Memorial Library at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa hosts an event called "Midwinter Magic" that includes two different activities.  The first is the Library Lecture Luncheon Series in which two faculty members each day give a presentation in the library on a topic of their choice within a specific theme. (Our theme for the series this year is: "The Renaissance Then and Now: A Time for Vigorous Artistic and Intellectual Activity".) The event is held over the lunch hour with one faculty presenting at 11:00 a.m. and the other at 12:00; lunch is available.

The second event is the After Dark Coffee Talk, held in the library on a Saturday evening following the Drama Department's performance of a play in Smith Theater. The library staff hosts an elegant coffee, serving gourmet desserts, coffee, and tea.  Faculty and students involved in the play discuss and answer questions about the play. This event is very popular on campus and is sold out every year.


During January, the Danish immigrant archive in the library was the focus of research for a visiting scholar, Dr. Maria Bjerg from the University of Tandil, Argentina.  The library and the Alpha Chi Honorary sponsored a lecture by Dr. Bjerg on her research comparing the Danes who immigrated to Argentina and those who came to Iowa.  It was interesting to learn that the Argentine Danes have kept their language and customs intact; quite distinct from the Iowa settlements.  Dr. Bjerg’s thesis is that the reason may be attributed to the difference in the structure of the educational systems in the two countries.


Quest Education Corporation (Quest), formerly Educational Medical, Inc., a provider of diversified career education, completed its acquisitions of the assets of Hamilton College and the American Institute of Commerce (AIC)in December, 1998.  Hamilton College was founded in 1900 in Mason City and currently has campuses in that city, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. AIC, founded in 1937, has campuses in Cedar Falls and Davenport. Together the colleges' enrollment is approximately 1600 students, offering associate degrees and diploma programs primarily in Information Technology and Business.  Each campus has a professional, full-time librarian: Bev Elder, Mason City, Susan Jellinger, Des Moines, Marlene Metzgar, Davenport, Judy Mitchell, Cedar Falls, and Diane Petrie, Cedar Rapids.  Both colleges are regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NCA) and is accredited by Accreditation Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Quest provides post secondary education to more than 12,600 students in 29 schools, located in 11 states.  These schools offer bachelor degrees, associate degrees and/or diploma programs designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary in the fields of healthcare, business, information technology, and fashion and design  Some other colleges which are part of the Quest network: Andon College in Stockton, CA; Bauder College in Atlanta, GA; Dominion College in Roanoke and Harrisonburg, VA; Hesser College in Portsmouth, NH; Nebraska College of Business in Omaha, and the Lincoln School of Commerce in Lincoln:

University of Iowa News

University Librarian Sheila D. Creth Announces Resignation

University Librarian Sheila D. Creth  has announced her resignation to be effective in December 1999.  Ms. Creth has resigned to start an organization development and human resources consulting business. Ms. Creth  has been University Librarian at the UI for 13 years.  Under her leadership, the Libraries established premier library computing facilities, including the Information Arcade, Information Commons at Hardin Health Sciences Library, and the creation of the six year old Iowa Women’s Archive. A search committee will be formed in the near future to select a successor.

Biological Sciences Library Opens at the University of Iowa

On January 18, 1999, the new unified Biological Sciences Library opened to the public at the University of Iowa.  It includes the biological sciences library materials formerly housed in the Biology and Chemistry Buildings.

The new library is housed in a three-level building, formerly known as the Biology Annex.  Built in 1902 as an anatomy laboratory, the Annex had fallen into disrepair and only the first floor was still in use.   The Annex was determined to be a significant example of special-purpose academic architecture and the decision was made to preserve and rehabilitate it for library use.  Construction began in August, 1997.  The exterior appearance remains identical to the 1902 structure, but the inside is pure 1998. Physical unification of the parts of the Biological Sciences Library is the first completed stage of a project that will unite the Biological Sciences Department in a single building complex of modern design.


On January 4, 1999, the Iowa State University Library implemented its new Horizon web-based catalog.  Web users both on and off campus who have book marked the Library's catalog should update their bookmarks.  Off-campus users who do use web browsers will be able to connect via a Telnet to a character-based system, which will be available only for 1999.  More information about the new system can be found at>. Iowa State University Library has been conducting a journal cancellation project over the past 9 months.  A total of $550,000 worth of journals will ultimately be canceled.  Information about the project can be found at>.


Jerry Caswell has joined the Rod Library staff as Head, Library Information Technologies on January 4.  Jerry comes to UNI from Cornell University in New York where he served as Associate University Librarian for Information Technology. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Director for Automated Systems at Iowa State University.  Welcome back to Iowa Jerry!

Librarians from UNI will continue to travel to Slovakia this year as part of the ongoing SK-Libris project under the direction of project coordinator Matthew Kollasch.  SK-Libris is a collaborative project consisting of Slovak library and information professionals and their counterparts in the United States. SK-Libris will facilitate the development of long-term relations through both personal and professional affiliation.  Details of this project can be found at

Cynthia Coulter and Barb Weeg will travel to Klagenfurt, Austria in April to present a series of workshops as part of the ongoing exchange between the UNI Rod Library and the University of Klagenfurt Library
The Rod Library Virtual Orientation - created by Barb Weeg, Megan Adams, Beth Clausen, and Susan Moore - is now up and running.

Take Note for Next Fall - ILA CONFERENCE

Mark your calendars for October 13-15, 1999, and plan to attend the Iowa Library Association Fall Conference in Dubuque.  The theme for this year's conference is "Iowa Libraries -- Writing Our Next Chapter."  Conference sessions of special interest to academic librarians are in various stages of planning.  IA-ACRL is lining up ACRL president-elect Larry Hardesty for a Friday session.  Plans are also in the works for a panel to discuss distance education in Iowa.    The Government Documents Roundtable is planning  a program on Iowa DOT maps.  LAMA will sponsor a session on improving communication between men and women in the workplace, presented by Joan Rinner from the University of Iowa.  Stay tuned for more details as they develop!

Newsletter Committee:
Ann Ford, , Univ. of Iowa
Charlene Lehman, , Univ. Of Iowa
Kristin H. Gerhard, Iowa State Univ.
Leslie, Czechowski, Grinnell College
Marlene Metzgar,- American Institute of Commerce
Suzanne Julich, Univ. of Iowa
Sue Lerdal, Iowa State U.
Sandra Keist, Grand View College, Editor