ILA/ACRL Newsletter, vol. 13, no. 3, December 2003


President’s Piece

Well, this represents my opportunity to close out a wonderful year as President of ILA/ACRL. I had a great time working with all the terrific hardworking people in our group. We had a very good year: a successful Spring Conference, a strategic planning meeting that promises to move the organization forward in some exciting ways, and great programs at the fall ILA conference in Cedar Rapids. This October we were able to bring Joe Janes, best known as one of the founders of the Internet Public Library, to speak at the conference on the topic “Digital Reference: Now What?” Since he was in Iowa we were able to give him some answers. Kris Stacy-Bates, Marcia Keyser, and Steve Ostrem responded to Janes’ program and reported on the exciting things that are happening in our state. It is always inspirational to me to attend the ILA conference where I am always amazed at how Iowa librarians are creating cutting-edge projects. I always come home with new ideas for improving services and new insights on the current issues effecting academic libraries.

Finally, I would like to take some space to thank all of the wonderful people who have devoted their time and talents this year in making the ILA/ACRL organization the best ACRL chapter in the country!

—submitted by John Pollitz

ILA/ACRL Scholarship Recipient

Each fall ILA/ACRL provides a scholarship to a new academic librarian in Iowa to attend the ILA Fall Conference. This year’s recipient was Lezley Johansen from Upper Iowa University. Her comments are below.

Being involved in professional organizations is something I have always found enjoyable, healthy, and helpful in my professional life. My experience as a librarian began several months ago; as part of my career change, I sought ways to gain professional involvement. It was a pleasure to participate in the ILA Fall Conference. I appreciated the opportunity to network with other professional librarians and share in discussions leading to a productive professional life.

Spring Conference 2004

The ILA/ACRL Spring Conference will be held April 16, 2004 at Central College in Pella, Iowa. This year’s theme: “Scanning the Past, Digitizing the Future.” More details will be forthcoming in our next newsletter. Meanwhile, see the call for presentations below.

Call for Presentations

Do you have ideas you would like to share with your colleagues? Would you like an opportunity to present a conference paper? Do you have any partnering ventures you would like to share? Morning and afternoon sessions for presentations have been scheduled for the 2004 ILA/ACRL Spring Conference. Individuals are invited to submit proposals for presentations. Sessions will last 45 minutes, and individuals are encouraged to hold a question-and-answer discussion period for the last 15 minutes of this time.

Your presentation should address academic library concerns. Complete the form at the URL below and write a one-page summary describing the content of your presentation. A selection committee will review your proposal. To assist the committee, please prepare two copies of this form, one copy of your summary with your name, and one copy of your summary without your name. The deadline for proposals is February 20, 2004.

Spring Conference Scholarships

Here we are still heading for the deepest part of winter but it is not too soon to start thinking of springtime, April Showers, Robins, Purple Martins and the Spring ILA/ACRL Conference at Central College in Pella, Iowa, April 16, 2004. If the budget-time blues are getting to you just as bad as the winter-time blues you should consider applying for the scholarship to attend the conference. Our scholarship will cover the registration fee and pay up to $60 in travel and hotel expenses. To apply you must be attending your first ILA/ACRL conference or have worked in an Iowa academic library for fewer than three years. This is a great way to stretch travel dollars and still be able to network with colleagues from around the state. The scholarship application form is available on the ILA/ACRL Spring Conference 2004 website; .

Election Results for 2004 Positions

Balloting was completed on November 6th for the following three positions: Vice-President/President-Elect (and Nominating Committee chair), Secretary/Treasurer, and Member-at-Large.

Vice-President/President-Elect (and Nominating Committee chair): Kathy Parsons, Iowa State University

Secretary/Treasurer: Rebecca Stuhr, Grinnell College

Member at Large: Arron Wings, Kirkwood Community College

Nominating Committee Annual Report

2004 ILA/ACRL officers, executive board and committees are:

ILA/ACRL Officers

Ellen Neuhaus, University of Northern Iowa

Kathy Parsons, Iowa State University

Rebecca Stuhr, Grinnell College

Past President
John Pollitz, St Ambrose University

ILA/ACRL Executive Board

Awards Committee

John Pollitz (Chair), St. Ambrose University, 2004
Tim Bryant, University of Northern Iowa, 2004
Jan Dellinger, Hawkeye Community College, 2005
Randy Roeder, Coe College, 2004
Kent Snowden, University of Northern Iowa, 2005

Directory Committee

Susan Moore (Chair), University of Northern Iowa, 2004
Liga Briedis, Drake University, 2005
Ann Coulter, Southwestern Community College, 2004
Molly Galm, Northwest Iowa Community College, 2005
Jodie Morin, Buena Vista University, 2004
Linda Scarth, Mount Mercy College, 2004
Kris Stacy-Bates, Iowa State University, 2005
Duncan Stewart, University of Iowa, 2005

Electronic Communications Committee

Chris Neuhaus (Chair), University of Northern Iowa, 2004
Ryan Gjerde, Luther College, 2005
Cindy Hoogheem, Clinton Community College, 2004
Karen Zimmerman, University of Iowa, 2005
Steve Ostrem, University of Iowa (ex officio)

Fall Program Committee

Kathy Magarrell (Chair), University of Iowa, 2004
Rachel Crowley, Briar Cliff University, 2004
Becky Lutkenhaus, University of Northern Iowa, 2005
Barb Robb, Kirkwood Community College - Iowa City, 2005

Membership Committee

Stephen Dew (Chair), University of Iowa, 2005
Elizabeth Gardner, Southeastern Community College - Keokuk, 2004
Susan Knippel, Iowa State University, 2005
Susan Lerdal, Drake University Law Library, 2004
Victoria Maloy, Mount Mercy College, 2005
Linda Nelson, Scott Community College, 2005
Elizabeth (Liz) Grimsbo, Simpson College, 2004
Barbara Weeg, University of Northern Iowa, 2004

Newsletter Committee

Steve Ostrem (Chair), University of Iowa, 2004
Barbara Allen, University of Northern Iowa, 2004
Karen Dole, North Iowa Area Community College, 2004
Mary Heinzman, St. Ambrose University, 2004
Steve Johns, Iowa State University, 2004
Marcia Keyser, Drake University, 2004
Mary Anne Knefel, University of Dubuque, 2005
Lisa Stock, Des Moines Area Community College, 2005

Nominating Committee

Kathy Parsons (Chair), Iowa State University, 2004
Leo Clougherty, University of Iowa, 2005
Jean Donham, Cornell College, 2005
Cherly Leffler, Indian Hills Community College, 2004
James O’Gorman, St. Ambrose University, 2004

Spring Conference Program Committee

Claudia Frazer (Chair), Drake University, 2005
Dan Boice, Divine Word College, 2004
Barbara Corson, State Library of Iowa, 2004
Leslie Heinzler, ABI College of Business, 2004
Mary Peterson, Simpson College, 2005
Jennifer Stewart, William Penn College, 2005
Lois Smith, Central College (Local Arrangements), 2004
Dale Van de Haar, Des Moines Public Schools (Local Arrangements), 2004

—submitted by Ellen Neuhaus

Awards Committee Annual Report

Members: Rachel Crowley (Chair), Tim Bryant, Donna Hirst, Nancy Kraft, Corey Williams Green

The Awards Committee gave the Fall Scholarship to Lezley Johansen from the Henderson-Wilder Library, Upper Iowa University. The scholarship covered the registration fee and up to $150 in travel, hotel and meal expenses.

The Awards Committee gave the Spring Scholarship to James O’Gorman from the O’Keefe Library, St. Ambrose University. The scholarship covered the $40 registration fee and up to $60 in travel, hotel and meal expenses.

—submitted by Rachel Crowley

Directory Committee Annual Report

Members: Susan Moore (Chair), Dan Boice, Ann Coulter, Becky Lutkenhaus, Lisa Martincik, Lori Osmus, Linda Scarth, Greg Wool

The Directory Committee worked with the Electronic Communications Committee to keep the online directory up-to-date. There will be a new issue of the directory in print in 2004.

—submitted by Susan Moore

Electronic Communications Committee Annual Report

Members: Chris Neuhaus (Chair), Sandy Ballasch, Liga Briedis, Ellen Van Waart, Steve Ostrem, (ex officio)

Special thanks go to Steve Ostrem for taking over as the ILA-ACRL Listserv Moderator. Steve successfully saw the organization through the transition to a new software program. Thanks also go to Liga Briedis for serving as ILA-ACRL Webmaster during much of the month of April.

Welcome to new members Ryan Gjerde, Luther College, Cindy Hoogheem, Clinton Community College, and Karen Zimmerman, University of Iowa.

Numerous revisions and additions were made to the ILA/ACRL website in 2003, including

—submitted by Chris Neuhaus

Fall Program Committee Annual Report

Members: Kathy Magarrell (Chair), Jim Fisk, Rebecca Graff, Kris Stacy-Bates, Arron Wings

The Fall Program Committee reports a successful presentation by Dr. Joseph Janes, “Digital Reference: What Now?” As usual, Dr. Janes gave an insightful, provocative talk on the state of virtual reference, and the new directions he sees for “live reference” services. It was a well-attended session, and participants enjoyed Dr. Janes’ humorous and witty style.

—submitted by Kathy Magarrell

Membership Committee Annual Report

Members: Kathy Parsons (Chair), Claudia Frazer, Susan Knippel, Linda Nelson, Karl Schaefer, Kent Snowden, Margaret Stangohr, Barbara Weeg

ILA/ACRL had 191 members this year compared to last year’s 196 members.

The committee communicated via e-mail throughout the year as needed. The 2002 web membership directory was saved and archived on the ILA/ACRL website. The committee also updated the current 2003 ILA/ACRL web membership directory three times during the year (February, May, and November). Members were given the opportunity to correct information by notices sent after each update via the ILA/ACRL listserv.

This year the Membership Committee, with the approval of the ILA/ACRL Executive Board, became an exhibitor by paying for a booth during the 2003 ILA Annual Conference in Cedar Rapids. Committee members and Executive Board members (past and present) volunteered to staff the booth during the conference. All enjoyed the candy and games and a drawing for a large Iowa road map was held with the winner being Mount Pleasant Public Library. Photographs needing identification of people from the 1996-2000 Spring Conferences were available. Many academic librarians stopped by, identified the faces of fellow librarians, and recalled the great times at these conferences. After this successful foray into the exhibiting world, the Executive Board has approved that we will continue this booth for the 2004 Annual Conference in Sioux City.

—submitted by Kathy Parsons

Newsletter Committee Annual Report

Members: Steve Ostrem (Chair), Barbara Allen, Karen Dole, Mary Heinzman, Steve Johns, Marcia Keyser, Linda Nelson, Arron Wings

The Newsletter Committee has produced three issues of the ILA/ACRL Newsletter in 2003, including the issue you are reading now. As always, thanks are due to the committee newshounds who poll friends and associates at other institutions for news regarding Iowa’s academic libraries.

We especially encourage ILA/ACRL members to submit reports of meetings or programs attended at both national and local conferences.

—submitted by Steve Ostrem

Secretary/Treasurer’s Annual Report

Balance as of 01/01/03


Spring Meeting receipts



Total available funds


Less expenses to date



Balance in account as of 11/25/03


—submitted by Claudia Frazer

Report on the Charleston Conference

Charleston Conference

November 6–9, 2003

“The Games People Play”

The Charleston Conference takes place annually in Charleston, South Carolina and is sponsored by the College of Charleston. It focuses on the issues related to serial and monograph acquisitions. Over 700 people from across the country and overseas were in attendance. Consisting of panels, keynote addresses, and concurrent presentations, the conference presents an interesting mix of points of view from serial and book vendors, publishers, and librarians. Concurrent sessions tend to focus on the practical side of acquisitions with topics presented including license agreements, consortial purchasing, finding out-of-print books, building collections of graphic novels and science fiction, and setting standards for the acquisitions process.

The most prevalent topic by far was the cost of the scientific journal literature and the changes taking place in scholarly publishing as a result—specifically alternative, lower cost titles sponsored by SPARC and open access publishing as represented by nonprofit organizations such as BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science. This was an ideal time for the discussion to take place because so many advances for the open access movement had taken place during the month of October. Some of those advances included the publication of the Public Library of Science’s first journal, PLoS Biology. Other advances were the signing of the Berlin Declaration of support for the open access movement by major German and French research institutions, the release of reports by two prominent financial groups stating that the open access movement would have an impact on the commercial journal publishing market during the next ten years, and, from the commercial side, the initiation of the Agora Project which will make freely available to the poorest countries online publications in the field of food and agriculture from a number of prominent for profit and nonprofit journal publishers (including Elsevier, Kluwer, and Oxford UP).

Discussions were lively and the feelings ran high on both sides of the aisle. Subscription based publishers are sure that the open access model will not be viable in the long term, and those who are promoting open access are just as sure that they are offering a necessary alternative if scholarly communication is to thrive. I participated in the free-for-all by giving a presentation in collaboration with Alison Ricker, science librarian at Oberlin College, on open access and other alternative publishing models in the liberal arts environment. The Oberlin College library has been in the forefront of liberal arts colleges in their involvement with SPARC with their director, Ray English, on the SPARC board since its inception. Grinnell College Libraries have recently joined SPARC as a consortial member and have also joined BioMed Central as an institutional member. We are currently working on publicizing these memberships and disseminating information about open access and SPARC to our campus community.

Rebecca Stuhr

Grinnell College Libraries

Report on the Virtual Reference Desk Conference 2003

VRD 2003 <>

November 17–18, 2003

San Antonio, Texas

The theme of the third annual Virtual Reference Desk Conference was “Integrating the Virtual Reference Experience: Theory and Practice.” This conference brought together about 400 practitioners of digital reference and assorted vendors of VR software. With a number of virtual reference services operating for a couple of years now, many of the presentations stressed evaluation of VR services. I attended a number of sessions where the focus was how to measure and evaluate VR effectiveness and costs. A corollary to evaluating costs includes assessing costs of training, and how to effectively train librarians to use this new technology.

Many of the evaluation sessions naturally addressed the experiences of the large, multitype (and in some cases, multistate) virtual reference collaborations. They have been doing this long enough and have sufficient users to generate some meaningful statistics. I attended a session about the Maryland AskUsNow service, a statewide collaboration with 75 participating librarians. The presenters had analyzed exit surveys from the service that showed, among other things, that nearly a third of respondents were repeat users, more people had learned about the service via word-of-mouth than through printed publicity handouts, and that most traffic to the service was generated by links to it on their member libraries’ websites.

Which leads me to another major focus of the conference: marketing. Several presenters sounded a common note here, stressing the need for a carefully considered marketing strategy that includes simple, evocative branding: a prominent logo, an easily understood name (e.g., AskUsNow). Of equal importance is a single, short web page that explains what the service is, how it works, and its benefits for users. They also stressed that marketing is an ongoing process. It doesn’t end when you’ve launched your service, but needs to be incorporated into ongoing user education efforts. As was expressed in the evaluation sessions, the key to successful marketing is ongoing visibility on library web pages, including library instruction pages and from within the library catalog.

Steve Ostrem

University of Iowa Libraries

Community College News

Hawkeye Community College
Judy Mitchell joined the Hawkeye Community College Library as reference librarian on September 29, 2003. Previously, Judy was a reference librarian at Colorado State University and library director at Hamilton College, Cedar Falls.

News of the Iowa Private Academic Libraries

Drake University
Susan Lerdal, reference librarian at the Drake University Law Library will serve as chair of the ILA Public Relations Committee for 2004.

Drake and several other private colleges in Iowa are planning a joint virtual reference service, with deliberations and negotiations with vendors ongoing. There are also plans in the works for a digital institutional repository.

Mt. Mercy College
Robyn Clark-Bridges is the new evening library supervisor at the Busse Library, Mount Mercy College. Robyn has worked at the Muscatine Public Library, and the libraries of Lawrence University and Loras College. She is working on her master’s in library science at the University of Iowa.

News of the Iowa Public Academic Libraries

Iowa State University
New Faculty: Janet Pine began a faculty appointment on September 2. Andrea Dinkelman and Pali Kuruppu began faculty appointments on October 3. All three are Science & Technology Librarians supporting the Life Sciences. Janet’s subject duties include Environment, Entomology, and Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Pali’s subject duties include Agricultural Education, Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Pathology. Andrea’s subjects include Biochemistry, Biology, Ecology, and Genetics.

Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Head of Special Collections, has been awarded a James Davis Scholarship to attend the 2004 Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

Kathy Parsons has been elected Vice-President/President-Elect of the Iowa Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ILA/ACRL). She will begin her three-year term on the Executive Board of the ILA/ACRL in January 2004.

W. Robert Parks, Iowa State University’s longest serving President, died July 13, 2003. Parks was 87 years old. Parks was Iowa State’s 11th President, serving from 1965 to 1986. During his 21 years of leadership, Iowa State experienced dramatic growth, adding three new colleges, Education, Design, and Business; approximately 40 undergraduate and 30 graduate majors to the curriculum, and 37 new buildings. In 1984 the ISU Library was renamed the William Robert Parks and Ellen Sorge Parks Library, in honor of Parks and his wife.

University of Iowa

The Ada F. Stoflet Lectureship was held on October 1, 2003. Tracy Mitrano, the Policy Advisor and Director of the University Computer Policy and Law Program for the Office of Information Technologies at Cornell University, was the featured speaker. Her lecture, entitled “Civil Privacy and National Security Legislation: A Three Dimensional View,” stressed the challenges posed to libraries by the USA Patriot Act.

University of Iowa Libraries and the UI School of Library and Information Science have received a $392,347 grant to recruit and train librarians in the sciences and health sciences. The grant will be shared with libraries at Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska. It is one of 27 grants awarded nationally as part of a $10 million initiative from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to make up for what is expected to be a significant shortage of science librarians in the 21st century.

Nancy Kraft, preservation librarian, and David McCartney, University archivist, have received a $2,588 grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to restore a 1960 film of Iowa school children demonstrating physical fitness exercises. A joint production of the UI Department of Physical Education for Women and the UI’s motion picture office, it is believed to be among the first instructional films of its type to be produced in the U.S. after the 1957 founding of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. The grant is the second in two years that UI Libraries has received for film preservation. Last year, two deteriorating films of dance performances made by graduate students as Master’s theses in 1939 were saved.

Amy Cooper, special collections librarian, has been awarded a James Davis Scholarship to attend the 2004 Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

A number of library automation initiatives are on track for implementation in January 2004. These include an upgrade to the Aleph ILS, a redesign of the library website, and the introduction of a library portal and metasearch application, dubbed My Library.

Professional Staff Changes

Anne Gehringer, Librarian I, Health Sciences, effective 08/05/03
John Schacht, Reference Librarian, effective 08/15/03

The library currently has a search underway for a cataloging librarian, details at Searches in progress, some close to completion, include those for a business reference librarian, reference & education librarian in health sciences, reference librarian at the Main Library, Japanese studies librarian, and an ILL/Government Publications librarian.

University of Northern Iowa
Colleen Valente, formerly Head of Cataloging, accepted a new position in October. She is now Head of Technical Services at Auburn University Montgomery. At Rod Library, Cynthia Coulter, formerly Head of Acquisitions, has been appointed Head of Acquisitions and Cataloging.

In an effort to meet requirements for budget reductions, Dean Marilyn Mercado extended an offer to library staff to change their work schedules to less than full time. Several staff members have taken advantage of this opportunity and are now working three quarter or half time schedules.

Cynthia Coulter, Head of Acquisitions and Cataloging, Kate Martin, Head of Collection Management and Special Services, Gerry Peterson, Special Collections Librarian, and Stan Lyle, Reference Librarian, are traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia, on December 4. They will be giving presentations at a conference there titled “Evolution of University Libraries: Past, Present, and Future.” The four librarians are expected to return on December 15.