ACRL/NY 2018 Symposium, December 7, 2018

Libraries in Direct Action


Blind Academic Library User Experiences
Adina Mulliken, Hunter College

This poster will highlight results of a study that conducted eighteen open-ended, qualitative telephone interviews with blind academic library users throughout the United States. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed by the researcher. Participants stated they were legally blind, had experience relying on a screen reader, and used an academic library online or in person several times per semester, in the United States, within the two years preceding the interview. Main results included reports of how time-consuming it was to learn to navigate each new web page, and of confusion with library homepages, issues with results pages, considerations about conducting reference transactions with a screen reader versus verbally, challenges learning citation style, and positive experiences using chat. Journal articles resulting from the study have been accepted. The poster session discussion will generate ideas to carry the research farther.

Community Connections: Breaking Down Barriers & Creating Library Engagement through Health Literacy Initiatives
Laurie McFadden, Berkeley College, Newark Campus; Jessica Kiebler, Stella Sigal, Berkeley College, White Plains Campus

This poster highlights two different successful health outreach programs developed by academic librarians to provide health services and support to members of their communities. One librarian went out into the community with students from the Allied Health program to provide free health screenings at several local public libraries. The successful effort led to invitations to support other local events, including a day of caring for the homeless and a “Parenting Palooza” that featured parenting workshops for low-income new parents. Librarians from another campus decided to invite the community to the college. Local health organizations provided valuable information for new college students to make more informed health decisions. Both approaches to the dissemination of health information and services successfully opened up conversations on important health topics and enabled the librarians to introduce the literacy skills required to empower people to be their own health advocates.

LibEats: One Library’s First Steps to Addressing Food Insecurity and Nutritional Literacy
Tiffany McGregor, Maureen Williams, and Jessica Zappasodi, Neumann University

Food insecurity is not necessarily a new issue for college students, but it draws more attention as costs associated with higher education have come under closer scrutiny and the demographics of college students continue to diversify and change. As our library was beginning to consider food insecurity and how to address it on campus, it also came to light that many of our students had limited familiarity with different types of local fruits and vegetables. The founders of our institution maintain a farm that is adjacent to our campus, and the library acquired a community-sponsored agriculture (CSA) share from them to use as the foundation for several different wellness, social, and academic endeavors, including: a vegetable-forward and dorm-friendly recipe blog, vegetable sampling stations and cooking demonstrations, and use of the CSA’s bounty as an open pantry for students. We will highlight best practices, lessons learned, and ideas for future projects related to these issues.

Promoting Open Educational Resources (OER) for Student Success
Elvis Bakaitis, CUNY Graduate Center Library

This poster will address the ways in which the promotion of Open Educational Resources (OER) at an urban, undergraduate college can have a direct impact on students’ financial ability to attend college, as well as providing quality educational content. OER have gained prominence as an alternative to high-cost textbooks and other materials from traditional publishers. Using OER can mitigate costs and provide immediate financial relief: surveyed undergraduates indicate that money saved went to groceries, Metrocards, and rent. At an institution where the majority of students report a household income less than $30,000/year, cost savings derived from the use of OER have a greater impact, and contribute to basic living expenses (food, transportation, housing). The poster will showcase discipline-specific examples of OER adoption (textbooks, open courses, interactive media), as well as the outreach/promotion (posters, pamphlets, and displays) that encourage their integration and use.

Taking Action: Library Outreach to Military and Veteran Students
Laurel Scheinfeld, Kathleen Kasten, Stony Brook University Libraries

As an academic and social center of campus, the University Libraries seek to make veteran students feel welcome, serve their research needs, and provide opportunities for the entire campus community to interact meaningfully with them. In collaboration with Veteran Student Services, the libraries are offering a variety of programming to provide a platform for discussion and exchange on the subject of military studies. A diversity grant has funded an event with an invited speaker who is a former U.S. Army captain and award-winning author, and has provided for the acquisition of books to help veteran students make the transition from the military to a civilian university. The collection includes memoirs and fiction written by combat veterans. The libraries are also offering additional programming and services that do not require funding. This is an important outreach opportunity for the library, and a chance to engage with a variety of constituencies at the University and in the wider community.

Which Side Are You On? Academic Library Services to a Labor Movement in Decline and Resurgence
Aliqae Geraci, Cornell University

This poster will discuss methods that academic libraries can deploy to support unions and the labor movement, with examples from a state-supported research university library. While there is a growing body of literature on labor issues in libraries from a left or labor perspective, research on labor librarianship has declined. The poster will note the jurisdictional overlap and divergence between union librarians/researchers and services that can be provided by academic libraries. Successful service provision begins with building relationships with key constituencies, and libraries seeking to support this community must jettison the illusion of neutrality, conduct realistic assessments of capacity and competencies, and be self-aware and transparent regarding their own organizational contradictions. Through this poster, I hope to engage libraries and library workers that would not usually consider themselves part of labor union support structures, and invite them to reconsider their role.

You’re the Boss of Your Money: Financial Literacy for our Students Through MoneyBoss Workshops
Anne O’Reilly, LaGuardia Community College

MoneyBoss began as a series of workshops led by the library, in collaboration with the Business & Technology Department and Financial Aid office, with a grant from Santander Bank, to work with students to strengthen their financial literacy. After the grant ended, the library continued the workshops, bringing in faculty collaborators from the Business and Economics programs. There are now monthly workshops with topics such as identity theft, budgeting, emotional spending, and entrepreneurship. The workshops have been well-attended and, based on feedback surveys, well-received by students. In addition to the core MoneyBoss Team teaching the workshops, the college’s Small Business Development Center and the Municipal Credit Union have led sessions for students. This fall semester, we invited faculty to apply to present workshops based upon their personal and professional strengths, further enhancing students’ financial literacy from even more perspectives.