Nutefall Receives Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award

Congratulations to Jennifer Nutefall, university librarian at Santa Clara University, for editing Service Learning, Information Literacy, and Libraries, which was chosen as the 2018 Association of College and Research Libraries Instruction Section Publication of the Year. Read more about the award from the American Library Association.

[full disclosure: the moderator of this blog contributed a chapter to this publication.]

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CFP: 2018 Colloquium on Libraries & Service Learning

Call for Proposals:

Colloquium on Libraries & Service Learning

Critically Engaged Librarianship:  

Exploring Service Learning and Community Involvement

August 9-10,  2018

American University, Washington, D.C.

Join us for the 2018 Colloquium on Libraries & Service Learning!

Conference Focus:

The intended community for this colloquium includes all who are interested in current and potential partnerships among academic librarians, faculty who teach service learning courses, service learning professionals, and community partners.  The colloquium is designed to facilitate the sharing of research, ideas, perspectives and best practices in library engagement with/in academic service learning.  Students who participated in service learning or community engagement projects are encouraged to attend and submit proposals.  

The planning committee welcomes proposals on any aspect of libraries and service learning/community involvement.

Session topics may include, but are not limited to

  • The Student Experience: Student engagement/career readiness; student learning outcomes/ ACRL Information Literacy Frames.
  • Case Studies: Service-learning throughout the disciplines; innovative programs/collaborations; international service learning (international contexts and/or international students).
  • Community Partners: Libraries and community outreach/reciprocal partnerships; impact of service learning on the community; ensuring or maximizing community benefit. Communities are defined as the campus community, local community, or global community.
  • Program Development:  Curriculum mapping for service learning courses; setting strategic planning and priorities in the engaged library.
  • Assessment: Assessing programs, courses, or initiatives; service learning in university accreditation; impact on student retention; demonstrating the library’s value.
  • Research: Action research; engaged scholarship; intersection of critical librarianship and/or critical information literacy and service learning; archiving of service learning products.

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New engaged library listserv

Join the new engaged library listserv!

Are you interested in discussing how libraries impact service learning? Have you attended regional or national Campus Compact conferences or the Colloquium on Libraries and Service Learning?

Join the new engaged library listserv to continue the conversation with librarians and others working with faculty, students, service learning professionals, and the local community. The listserv provides an opportunity for participants to engage in the sharing of research, ideas, perspectives, and best practices in library engagement with service learning.

The listserv will be useful for:

  • Learning about what other libraries/librarians are doing in the area of student service learning
  • Asking for input on how to get started with service learning
  • Providing support for students, librarians, and the community
  • Discussing how to assess the impact of librarian involvement in service learning courses
  • Talking about faculty/librarian collaborations in service learning courses
  • Connecting service learning to social justice
  • Finding research partners

To subscribe to engagedlibrary-l, simply do the following:

  1. Send a message to list[at] from the address you want to subscribe to the list.
  2. In the subject line of your message, type in: subscribe engagedlibrary-l Firstname Lastname
  3. Leave the message body blank.
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Academic libraries tell the story: Archiving community engagement projects

Moderator’s note: This post was written by Anne Marie Gruber, Instruction & Liaison Librarian, University of Northern Iowa

There is increasing interest among academic librarians in supporting community engagement efforts on our campuses, as evidenced by a growing number of publications on this topic. Librarians are discussing how we can leverage our roles on campus to support service-learning and other forms of campus-community partnerships. As discussed previously on this blog, this can take shape through information literacy instruction, providing local collections, and providing spaces for community events and meetings. In addition, academic libraries can help our campuses tell their community engagement stories by archiving projects online, often through institutional repositories (IR) we already provide to campus constituents.

While many campuses have significant amounts of service-learning and other forms of community engagement already happening, getting the word out about these projects on campus and among alumni/donors can be difficult in an age of information overload. What if campus had an online repository of such projects, complete with student and faculty research, event photos, videos, and more? Academic libraries are creating just these sorts of collections, well-positioned to help gather, curate, and manage the resulting artifacts. An added benefit is the ability to make community-based research and projects available publicly–a hallmark of mutually beneficial relationships between campus and community.

My institution, University of Northern Iowa, has a fairly new but growing collection of community engagement projects, available at UNI Scholarworks. One notable sub-collection comes from the annual Service-Learning Institute (SLI). SLI is a collaboration with Iowa Campus Compact(1) to train a select group of faculty in service-learning best practices and pair each with a community partner so they can co-create course-embedded projects. Materials from several projects are already available. Examples include:

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Upcoming ACRL Webcast: Connecting Pedagogies: Service Learning and Information Literacy

If you’re looking for some professional development opportunities related to service learning and its connections to information literacy, look no further.  Our colleagues Jennifer Nutefall and Alex Hodges will present Connecting Pedagogies: Service Learning and Information Literacy via an ACRL Webcast on November 16, 2016.  For more information and to register, please visit:

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Libraries and service learning: a match made in heaven?

Moderator’s note:  This post was written by Anne Marie Gruber, Instruction & Liaison Librarian, University of Northern Iowa

Libraries and service learning–a match made in heaven? I think so! Especially when it comes to information literacy instruction, it makes sense for academic librarians to support service learning along with other forms of community engagement in higher education. As we work to demonstrate our value to the academy, contributing to this growing area of emphasis in higher education can make us even more connected to our institutional priorities and ensure key decision-makers understand our services.

While I’ve been an academic librarian for over 10 years, I am new to University of Northern Iowa, a mid-sized comprehensive university that happens to be my alma mater. UNI has strong connections to the community and a long history of service learning, but there has been little library involvement with service learning until now. In my short time there, I have been an ambassador of sorts, talking up the potential for library/service learning collaborations based on my past experience teaching many information literacy sessions for service learning courses. While I know I’m preaching to the choir here, I think it’s important to articulate some specific arguments for library involvement in service learning.

Let’s start with benefits to community partners, since they are sometimes forgotten in service learning conversations. One faculty member I worked with at my previous institution indicated the information literacy session librarians led “ensured students represented the institution exceptionally well to non-profit leaders in the community”. Agency representatives appreciated that our students had “done their homework” by conducting some preliminary research. Our involvement enabled students to engage with community partners at a deeper level and brainstorm creative service learning projects.

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Second Colloquium on Libraries and Service Learning Held at the Campus Compact Conference

Moderator note: This recap of “Libraries and the Public Purposes of Higher Education” was written by Helene Lafrance and Jennifer Nutefall of Santa Clara University

The first ever Colloquium on Libraries and Service Learning was offered in 2014 at Santa Clara University and was a resounding success, an all-day affair that brought together 75 participants from all over the country to discuss and share their involvement with service learning.  This year, the organizers chose a different format as the Colloquium was held as a pre-conference as part of the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Conference in Boston on March 19. The pre-conference title was Libraries and the Public Purposes of Higher Education. It included four consecutive sessions highlighting many issues related to academic libraries and service learning, ranging from partnerships between librarians and faculty, to best practices, and program assessment. While there were fewer attendees (full conference registration was potentially cost prohibitive) the intimate format provided for more active participation and in-depth discussions and exchanges.

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Libraries and the Public Purposes of Higher Education

As Campus Compact celebrates its 30th Anniversary at their Annual Conference in March, 2016, there will be a library-focused pre-conference.  Libraries and the Public Purposes of Higher Education will take place Sunday, March 20 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. in Boston, MA. Register by October 15 before rates increase:

The program for the afternoon is as follows:

Libraries and the Public Purposes of Higher Education

Learning to share: Partnerships in service learning, public scholarship, and library exhibitions

Presenters: Debby Walser-Kuntz and Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, Carleton College


Libraries can serve as a site for student-curated, curricular exhibitions that provide an opportunity for public scholarship and an extension of service learning. Exhibit design challenges science students to translate their learning into a compelling story both visually and through text accessible to non-specialists. In this active learning session, a library curator and biology professor will briefly share their experience collaborating to support a student-curated exhibition in an undergraduate service learning public health course. Participants will collectively curate a mini-exhibition, providing perspective on synthesizing, selecting, and summarizing a complex topic for the public, with time included for reflection and discussion.

On the road to Information Literacy: Mapping IL learning outcomes to service learning courses

Presenter: Olivia H. Ivey, American University

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Public Innovators Lab for Libraries

Public Innovators Lab for Libraries

Detroit, MI

October 14-16, 2015

See more information here.  This seems like a great opportunity and appropriate for the audience of this blog.  If you plan to attend, I’d love to hear about your experience.  I would love to include a blog post (or a few) about the event.

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