2021 Conference Program

A downloadable PDF of the conference is available hereRegistration for the 2021 conference is free.
Monday, May 24

Building Bridges: Designing Effective Instruction Assessment Through Cross-Departmental Collaboration, Daniel Neal (Wentworth Institute of Technology) and Kelsey Diemand (Wentworth Institute of Technology)

This presentation explores how collaboration with the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness improved the library’s approach to assessment so that it would better reflect the goals of the library and the university. Attendees will examine their own assessment challenges and successes and discuss strategies to form valuable partnerships with their campus offices. 

11-11:50 am (Concurrent Sessions)

Take Care: Integrating Mental Health and Wellness Resources in the Academic Library, Kate Bellody (SUNY New Paltz)

Dynamic, yet practical strategies to establish campus collaborations and leverage library resources and expertise to enhance access to mental health and wellness information in an academic library.

Changing Your Outlook to Reinvent Your Librarian Role: Finding Balance Between Your Job Description and What You Like to Do, Paulina Borrego (University of Massachusetts Amherst) and Carol Will (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

In every job, there is a balance between what you like to do and what you must do. Learning how to strike a balance between the two can help lead to a more fulfilling and harmonious career. Using storytelling and attendee prompts, we will discuss words of advice and encouragement based on our experiences of how we have each taken our roles and transformed them to suit our talents, strengths, and passions.


New from Bloomsbury Digital Resource in 2021 + Customer drop-in session, Kristina Jutzi

From 12-12:30, hear all about Bloomsbury's newest products and what's releasing through the rest of 2021. This includes,

  • Drama Online - Oberon Books and TCG Collection
  • Screen Studies - Auteur Collection
  • Bloomsbury Philosophy Library
  • Human Kinetics Library - Health Care in Sport and Physical Education
  • Theology and Religion Online - Bloomsbury Religion in North America and the Yale Bible Dictionary & Bible Commentaries
  • Bloomsbury History Theory & Method
  • Sound Studies

From 12:30 - 12:50, drop in to ask questions.  How do annual updates work or where do you get usage statistics? Have you heard about one of our products and want to find out about the pricing models? Drop in to ask any questions about currently available resources or just stop by to say hello!


1-1:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

One from the Many: Creating an Instruction Program with a Diverse Group of Librarians, Jennifer Snow (Yale University)

How can a library move from an individual, ad hoc approach to instruction to a cohesive instruction program? This presentation discusses how identifying a Coordinator of Instruction can guide that process and bring together a diverse group of instruction librarians.

From Cooperation to Collaboration: Towards a Framework for Deepening Partnerships, Laura Saunders (Simmons University)

This session will present a research-based framework for collaboration, reviewing common barriers to collaboration and discussing approaches for overcoming those barriers. The presenter will share best practices for meaningful collaboration, including identifying community needs and potential partners; aligning vision and goals; and implementing and managing a successful collaboration.


Blending Scalability and Customization in Instruction Modules to Expand a First-Year Information Literacy Program, Ben Peck (University of New Hampshire)

In this session, a student success librarian will share how they expanded the reach of their instruction program by creating customized instruction modules within a scalable model. Participants will reflect on how they can strike a balance between the opposing ideals of customization and scalability to achieve sustainable success in an era of limited resources.


ACRL NEC Membership Meeting

Tuesday, May 25

Making the Case for Alternative Student-Centered Assignments, Dawn Stahura (Salem State University) and Tara Fitzpatrick (Salem State University)

What if we could make the case for alternative, student-created assignments that brought course topics to life for the students and gave them agency and expertise? What happens when we take teaching critical literacy concepts beyond the one-shot? In this interactive session, the presenters will share best practices for faculty collaboration, details of two alternative assignments (book talks and zines), and how the final projects impacted student learning. Attendees will brainstorm and create an alternative assignment to take back to their faculty.

10-10:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Balancing Research and Writing: What Would One Do Without the Other? Elizabeth Dolinger (Keene State College), Emma K. Brown (Keene State College), Sarah Flynn (Keene State College), and Julia Messinger (Keene State College)

At this panel, attendees will learn about the development of a Center for Research & Writing where an information literacy librarian and writing center director collaborate to provide fully integrated library research and writing services. Undergraduate student Research & Writing Tutors will share their experiences balancing their workload of providing both research and writing assistance when teaching workshops and in their one-on-one tutoring sessions.

De Gruyter and the University Press Library, Steve Sutton

11-11:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Mergers and Acquisitions: Challenges, Pitfalls, and an Unblemished Look at Two Small Academic Library Mergers in New England, Chelsea Hanrahan (New England College) and Sam Boss (University of Connecticut)

An overview of how two academic library directors worked to merge and combine the services, resources and personnel at their respective institutions with little guidance available. Participants will leave with an understanding of the work involved with mergers and a preliminary to do list for those facing similar ventures on their campuses.

Balancing Work and Learning on the Job: Building a Platform for Experiential Learning, Kris M. Markman (Harvard University) and Jess Rios (Harvard University)

Experiential learning opportunities offer professional development for staff through learning on the job. This presentation will describe a pilot project aimed at developing and testing a discovery platform and guidelines for experiential learning opportunities for library and other university staff.

12-12:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

JSTOR Updates and Open Community Collections Overview, Patrick Moriarty

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Primary Sources (Cengage), Carrie Smith

1-1:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Research Methods for Understanding the Library Support Needs of Academic Departments and Programs, Peter Rogers (Providence College), Sarah Edmonds (Providence College), and Heather Williamson (Providence College)

Learn about an adaptation of an Ithaka S+R-based methodology used to assess the library support needs of departments and programs. The theoretical, practical, and ethical elements of research are all discussed.

We’re All About the Space: Taking Inclusive Library Spaces to Another Level, Catherine Fahey (Salem State University), Tara Fitzpatrick (Salem State University), Elizabeth McKeigue (Salem State University), Dawn Stahura (Salem State University), Rukmal Ryder (Salem State University)

In 2019, our library had the opportunity to make some low-cost, high-impact changes to existing spaces to address ever-evolving student, faculty, staff, and community needs. In this session we will share our proposal process, budgeting, design, outreach efforts, and ongoing work with campus partners in the repurposing of space to create four new library spaces.

2-2:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Creating “Healthy” Connections: What Role Can the Library Play in Fitness and Wellness Programs? Jennifer Little Kegler (SUNY Brockport)

In this presentation you will learn how to foster fitness and well-being in your library and workplace. One college campus increased its participation in an annual 5k dramatically through collaboration with other departments and marketing of fitness and wellness programs.

Balancing the physicality of special collections with the flexibility of digital assets, Katie Gambone and Jessica Kowalski

The events of 2020 hastened a transformation of learning around the world with the balance between the physical and digital library becoming more important than ever.

In this session we talk with Maureen Maryanski, Lilly Library, Indiana University Bloomington, about the work she and her colleagues have undertaken, before and during the pandemic, to demystify special collections libraries and archives on campus, and reflect on the importance of digitized archival content for both in-person and online instruction. 

We’ll also explore the tools available to libraries and archives to digitally share and showcase their own archival material using our Quartex platform. Discover how University of Toronto Mississauga is already doing so with its Visualizing the Americas collection, and how ground-breaking new features such as Handwritten Text Recognition Transcription aid researchers and students of all levels.


Center Yourself: Find Your Balance Through Reflective Practice, Sarah Barbrow (Wellesley College)

How often do you hear “It’s so important to reflect on your teaching!” and how often do you actually do it? How does one actually go about reflecting on their instruction? In this 50 minute interactive workshop, we will spend time using several frameworks to reflect in different ways on a recent instructional experience.

Wednesday, May 26
9-9:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Radical Empathy - A person-Centered Approach to Library Management, Sarah Edmonds (Providence College)

In this interactive workshop, we will discuss what it means to manage staff with their wellbeing in mind at the same time we balance the priorities and expectations of our jobs. Attendees will learn ways to incorporate a wellness mindset into their management practice so they can build relationships with colleagues and staff based on trust and a shared understanding of success.

The Balancing Act: Evaluating Information Outside of the Classroom, Laura Hibbler (Brandeis University) and Esther Brandon (Brandeis University)

Students often report that the evaluation skills taught for academic research do not often translate when it comes to information-seeking in their personal lives (Project Information Literacy Research Institute, 2018 and 2020). In this presentation, we will describe lesson plans, interactive exercises, and reflection activities we have developed to engage students with topics such as the critical evaluation of the news, how to search for underrepresented perspectives in news coverage, personal data collection by private companies, search algorithms and identifying explicit bias in the results, surveillance capitalism, and recommended privacy and security practices.

10-10:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Re-Turn and Face the Strange: A Technology Implementation, Change Management and a Pandemic, Aaron Neslin (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Ann Kardos (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Colin Van Alstine (Smith College), and Michelle Paquette (Smith College)

Utilizing change management principles for large projects can help employees meet project outcomes and permanently integrate the change into the organizational culture. This presentation will use the current Five Colleges FOLIO implementation as a case for applying change management principles. Attendees will engage in guided group discussion and critical thinking exercises in order to apply what they learn at their own institutions.

Where Do My Priorities Lie? Finding Balance and Meaning in a Shifting Professional Identity, Elizabeth Dolinger (Keene State College), Irene McGarrity (Keene State College), and Eric Shannon (Keene State College)

During this panel, you’ll hear from three faculty librarians who made the switch from teaching one-shot information literacy sessions to developing a minor in information studies and teaching full credit-courses. Each librarian will share how they balance curriculum development and teaching courses with their librarianship responsibilities and how their professional identities have evolved along with their shifting priorities.

11-11:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Working Together to Support Undergraduate Women in STEM, Rebecca Davis (Simmons University)

This presentation will focus on the need for more collaboration and outreach to support undergraduate women in STEM.

Rethinking Repositories: Balancing Lived Experience, University Priorities, and Digital Preservation, Sam Simas (Bryant University), Trish Lombardi (Bryant University), and Jonathan Fonseca (Bryant University)

During this talk, we will highlight some of the key collaborations that have made collections in institutional repository possible, as well as how those collections came into existence. We will give tips that will empower participants to open dialogues with their communities to facilitate new ways for collaboration and creation and how to start from the ground up.


SAGE Savvy: Library Resources for Post-Pandemic Online Research, Teaching and Learning, Greg Goss and Gretel Webster

1-1:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Helping Your Parent Employees Find the Balance, Jessica Ramey (William & Mary) and Tami Back (William & Mary)

This presentation will review some of the most current interdisciplinary research relating to working parents and the ever-elusive concept of work-life balance. What can we learn from the most recent studies in sociology, management, and psychology? Presenters will identify actions administrators can take to support their parent employees, highlight the benefits of a well-supported staff, and share real-life examples of parent-support in the workplace.

Open(ing) Communication: Online Students, Online Faculty & Library Outreach, Nick Faulk (Champlain College), Emily Crist (Champlain College), and Beth Dietrich (Champlain College)

This presentation will share the findings of a mixed-methods study of the preferences and barriers to library communication with online students and faculty. Presenters will then outline prospective, planned, and ongoing outreach initiatives impacting online constituents.


Building a Sustainable Library Instruction Program Through Curriculum Mapping, Lindley Homol (Northeastern University), Regina Pagani (Northeastern University), and Alissa Link (Northeastern University)

Are you constantly struggling to balance your teaching workload and are looking for a more tenable solution? Attend this panel to learn about three instruction librarians’ attempts at building sustainable instruction programs in their liaison areas through curriculum mapping.

3-3:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

Building Sustainable Instruction Through Micro-Learning Opportunities, Kathryn Neary (Massasoit Community College) and Erin McCoy (Massasoit Community College)

Community college libraries face a wealth of challenges with information literacy instruction. This presentation will review the decision to build our own online information literacy modules, the process of creating the modules as a team, and the reception of the modules.

Software Innovations from EBSCO: How the open platform will revolutionize the library, Andrew Nagy (Director Software Innovation, EBSCO Information Services)

Innovation in technology is forcing academic libraries to rethink processes and workflows to address the evolving demands on collections and research support. ILS systems, ERM tools and Analytics have not been designed for today’s modern collections and libraries are demanding to move beyond the spreadsheets and leverage centralized tools. During the 2020 academic year, libraries witnessed a rapid evolution in the demand of electronic access and saw print circulation drop to nearly zero. How are libraries ensuring that their money spent on e-books and e-journals are optimized for their patrons needs and the educational programs they support? If the big deal is dying, then libraries have more demand on managing smaller individual purchases. In this talk, we will show how EBSCO is bringing new solutions to libraries to better help and support the evolving library collection. With new Analytics services, new Electronic Resource Management and new ILS replacement technology, EBSCO’s latest innovations in technologies and services are helping to libraries to become more efficient and more effective. Please join EBSCO in learning more about how we are building new solutions to help address your changing needs.

Thursday, May 27. 
9-9:50 (Concurrent Sessions)      

Reflection and Self-Compassion: Finding Balance in Your Professional Practice, Linda Miles (Hostos Community College - CUNY) and Susanne Markgren (Manhattan College)

Explore opportunities to assess your role in certain workplace dynamics in order to devise a plan of action and develop a clear sense of how what you do aligns with the values you see as foundational for your profession practice. This workshop will help you objectively relate to your emotions, successes, and failures, develop a more positive outlook, and connect more fully with the world around you and the people in it.

Balancing Teaching Information Literacy and Data Visualization: Teaching Strategies, Challenges and Outcomes, Mary Ann Rogers (Curry College) and Alan Grigsby (Curry College)

How does teaching data visualization and information literacy intersect in a way that supports project-based learning? Looking deeper into this process of SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching) and assessment may well hold the keys to successful planning of PBL (Project-based learning) and assessment.

10-10:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

The Gentle & Precarious Balancing Act of the Student Success Librarian, Julie Hunter (Western Connecticut State University)

As academic institutions shift their focus to graduation and retention, libraries have begun reinforcing their relevance by filling newly created Student Success Librarian positions. This presentation will illuminate the first-year experiences of a Student Success Librarian learning to balance traditional academic librarian duties with the magnified expectation that everything they do or create should impact graduation, student success, and retention.

Getting Past Fair and Balanced: A Fact-Checking Mindset for Web Source Evaluation, Jennifer Fielding (Northern Essex Community College)

Today's sophisticated information ecosystem barrages users with everything from mis- and dis-information to opinion masquerading as fact. In this hyper-evolving environment, existing methods for evaluating web sources may no longer be wholly adequate. This session will introduce a "lateral reading" strategy for engaging students in fact-checking behaviors that have been shown to more effective than a "checklist" of website attributes, and provide curriculum resources for incorporating this strategy into information literacy pedagogy.

11-11:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

The Strategic Planning Tightrope, Lauren Slingluff (University of Connecticutt) and Dorothy Meaney (Tufts University)

Learn how libraries at both Tufts University and the University of Connecticut recently engaged in a new type of strategic planning process, the creation of a strategic framework. In this session, two library leaders will share how to complete a strategic framework, the relative merits of this method and challenges faced in the process, as well as best practices for fostering engagement and participation across all levels of the organization.

Spring 2021 WALDO Update, Robert Karen

Robert Karen, Director of Procurement Services at WALDO, will present the 2021 spring update on all things WALDO, including new products, trends in the marketplace, and a quick review of the upcoming summer renewals. We will dive into current industry news and trends covering online resources, Open Access, and technology

1-1:50 (Concurrent Sessions)

NELIG Lightning Talks:

  • Rebranding Reference, Lorraine Heffernan (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth), How one library came to the decision to abandon the reference desk and rebrand themselves as research help worth seeking out.
  • Developing a Sustainable and Measurable First-Year Experience (FYE) Library Session, Tracy Joyce (Middlesex Community College), Joanna Gray (Middlesex Community College), Joanna Gray (Middlesex Community College), Kara Schwartz (Middlesex Community College) Middlesex Community College librarians will share the process of creating a sustainable, standardized workshop and assessment for the First-Year Experience (FYE) course. Walk away from this talk with some ideas and actionable steps to create your own workshops that will meet the needs of your students.

Meeting the Needs of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Connie Strittmatter (Fitchburg State University), Kelly Boudreau (Fitchburg State University), and Sherry Packard (Fitchburg State University)

This session will discuss how one library used the Project A+: Serving Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Academic Library manual to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the library physical environment, services and communication strategies in order to provide a welcoming environment for students with ASD. Attendees will learn strategies for conducting their own evaluation.


Finding the Balance and Revitalizing Your Career Through Peer Mentoring, Shin Freedman (Framingham State University)

A mentoring relationship can be a life-changing experience. Whether your library has invited you to a structured and sponsored mentorship or not, mentorship will help you develop in career and psych-social aspects. Then, why do less than 30 percent of academic libraries offer mentoring programs?

Friday, May 28

ACRL NEC Lightning Talks:

  • Begin at the Beginning: The Importance of a Written Philosophy in Shaping a New Library Initiative, Kimberly Burke Sweetman (University of New Hampshire), Finding the balance between theory and practice is an important aspect of library work. Just as a library’s mission statement can guide a library broadly, a written philosophy can guide an initiative, clarifying direction and scope. Using the example of an assessment philosophy to guide the reimagination of a library assessment program, this talk shows the value of creating a philosophy to support new initiatives and how to create and apply such a philosophy.
  • Partnering with Campus Recreation for Wellness Programs in the Library, Sarah Hutton (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Whether encouraging social connections, focusing on reducing stress levels, or increasing energy (and therefore productivity), evidence of the positive effects of exercise during the workday is clear - but, how do you make it happen? This lightning talk will provide practical tools for establishing a partnership between the library and campus recreation to offer on-site, approachable fitness for all library staff during the working day.
  • Bindings, Blades, and Bottlenecks: Finding Equilibrium in an In-House Book Digitization Project, Julia Lovett (University of Rhode Island) and Erin Mullen Parker (University of Rhode Island), "Destructive" scanning, i.e. slicing off book bindings and feeding pages through a sheet feeder scanner, can provide a very low-cost and relatively fast option for digitizing a collection. Learn how the the University of Rhode Island is using this approach to digitizing theses and dissertations and ironing out some imbalances along the way.
  • Using Student Feedback to Develop and Individualized Research Consultation Support Model for Upper Level Undergraduates, Amy Barlow (Rhode Island College), During this brief talk, the presenter will describe how student feedback from the Library Information Sources and Information-Gathering Survey inspired a new approach for supporting advanced researchers in art history. She will share sampled responses from art history students and report on a new program that eliminates library instruction in upper level art history courses and instead requires individualized research consultations with the art librarian for pass/fail credit.
  • Economics of Cataloging: How Serials Holdings Management Can Affect Interlibrary Loan, Daniel Saulean (University of Vermont), Two cataloging decisions regarding the representation in OCLC WorldCat of the local holdings for print and online serials had a major impact on inter-lending activity at a large academic library, while opening the door to further organizational change.

ACRL NEC Lightning Talks:

  • Finding the Balance with Student Workers, Pamela Pfeiffer (Wellsley College), Student workers often provide essential staffing for college libraries, but how can we provide something more than “just a job” to the students? I will show several ideas for helping students learn the job while also reminding them to be aware and thoughtful about what work experience(s) are useful in their academic careers and vice versa.
  • Using Improv to Improve our Instruction, Rachel Sperling (Yale University), Yale University librarians designed and ran a series of workshops designed to help library colleagues improve their communication and instruction skills by utilizing concepts from improvisational theater.
  • Double Trouble: Supporting Expanded Liaison Roles with a Buddy System, Emily Coxe (Rhode Island School of Design), This lightning talk will review the pilot year of a new liaison program at RISD that hinges on librarians working in pairs to provide mutual support for outreach and newly assigned collections development responsibilities.

Avoiding the Ivory Tower of Babel: Library Instruction for ESL Students, Marci Cohen (Boston University) and Patrick Quinn (Boston University)

With American universities filling their classrooms with more international students, instruction librarians are working with growing ESL populations. This session will present best practices for working with these students, including not just vocabulary issues but also dealing with differing cultural norms and knowledge.


All posters will be viewable on the 2021 ACRL NEC / NELIG Conference Materials site during the conference