Equity, Diversity, and InclusionVol. 25 No. 2 (2019)
Abstract: Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are at the center of our work in libraries. A cornerstone of democracy, libraries provide free and open access to services and resources for everyone in our local communities. This year EDI is a specific area of focus for the Oregon Library Association (OLA), and related initiatives include this issue of OLA Quarterly (OLAQ), the development of an EDI Plan for the association, and setting Equity, Diversity, Inclusion as the annual conference theme to provide a concentrated opportunity for OLA members to engage in related conversations. Together OLA is exploring EDI in its many connotations and intersections, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical and mental abilities, body size, religious beliefs, political ideologies, and geography.
This issue shares the important work that a wide variety of libraries are doing to help create equitable and inclusive communities in Oregon. It includes contributions from public, academic, and school libraries, and authors include staff, librarians, administrators, and graduate students in library and information science.
Guest Editor: Elaine G. Hirsch, Lewis & Clark College
Editor Biography: Elaine is the Associate Director of Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark College and currently serves as OLA President. OLA has been the focus of Elaine’s professional service for over twenty years and she is constantly inspired by her innovative, socially conscious, and dedicated association colleagues. Her MLS is from Indiana University.
Future Organization of ThingsVol. 25 No. 1 (2019)
Abstract: Oregon librarians are on track with current developments in technical services, but that is no simple task. This issue of OLAQ is dedicated to cataloging, metadata, archival description, and all the various ways we organize our collections. Authors reveal their thoughts on the practical implications of future cataloging methods, faceted vocabulary, and new tools. They share tales of migration and automation, implementing new discovery layers, optimizing access to open educational resources, providing affordable training, and more. In this incredibly instant culture, our work is crucial in providing efficient access to information resources. Come explore the important, yet oftentimes invisible, work of organizing things. What does the future hold?
Guest Editor: Rachel "Ray" Zill, Oregon State University
Digital Repositories and Data HarvestsVol. 24 No. 4 (2019)
Abstract: Today it’s hard to imagine life without a smartphone, but broadcast television, travel to the moon, MARC records, personal computers, email, the Internet, online library catalogs, cell phones, video on demand, virtual reality, and digital archive collections all came about in one human generation.
Throughout that generation of disruptive and innovative technologies, librarians have served the public good by providing the conceptual skills to organize and describe information and provide or facilitate access to it. Moreover, libraries, through cooperatives and information sharing agreements, have made possible the construction of massive data systems that serve our nation’s needs with respect to heritage content, contemporary awareness and future planning.
And that’s the foundation of this special issue of the OLA Quarterly on digital repositories and data harvests. In this issue, experts from Oregon’s libraries, Larry Landis (OSU), Mark Dahl and Zachariah Selley (Lewis & Clark), Sarah Seymore (UO), Becca Evans (SOU), Julia Simic (UO) and Ryan Wick (OSU), Beth Dehn (Oregon Heritage Commission), and Ross Fuqua and Arlene Weible (Oregon State Library) describe their work to develop important collections that have been or will be harvested and shared broadly with users throughout the world. These aren’t siloed collections that live solely in a local database or on one institution’s server. These are world-class collections, shared globally to enrich human existence.
Guest Editor: Maureen Flanagan Battistella, Southern Oregon University
Editor Biography: A librarian by training and inclination, Maureen now has a faculty appointment as Assistant Professor Associate in the Sociology and Anthropology program at Southern Oregon University. Her research interests include heritage preservation, agricultural succession and land use planning. She is the curator of the Stories of Southern Oregon project published on YouTube and in the Southern Oregon Digital Archives at Southern Oregon University. The Stories project has been funded by the Oregon Heritage Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Competitive Grant from the Oregon State Library.
Open Educational Resources: Opportunities, Challenges, Impact!Vol. 24 No. 3 (2019)
Abstract: As always, Oregon Librarians are on the cutting edge of identifying our patrons’ crucial needs and creatively finding ways to remedy these needs. Providing our communities access to otherwise unobtainable resources that support growth and learning has always been among our shared goals as librarians. We know that by providing these resources, we are enhancing inclusive community engagement and providing a crucial contribution for both individuals and society as a whole.
A pressing issue at hand that speaks to both individuals and our society is access to higher education. Oregon’s college students are facing increasing barriers to accessing a college education, opting to delay, or in many cases, permanently putting off attending college due to rising costs. K–12 schools also face seemingly endless budget constraints. Trimming the budget by aging out textbooks or limiting the purchase of textbooks to a “classroom only set” are budget strategies that often make it to the bargaining table. Surprisingly perhaps, it is not just the rising cost of tuition. The cost of textbooks has outpaced almost every other consumer good—including food, healthcare, and housing (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). We can close this gap. Academic Librarians have found themselves embracing a new opportunity with the advent of Open Educational Resources (OER).
Guest Editor: Jacquelyn Ray, Walla Walla Community College
Lots of Ways to Be a LeaderVol. 24 No. 2 (2018)
Abstract: In this issue, you’ll find more stories of librarians who, by leading from their individual strengths, have made their libraries, communities, and the Oregon library community better places to be. Jane Corry and Elaine Hirsch kick off this issue with a discussion of the planning and coordination that went into the first LIOLA, and how their own strengths—as defined by the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment around which the LIOLA curriculum was based—influenced and guided that process. Hillsboro’s Courtney Gill writes about how a collaborative, compassion-driven leadership model, combined with strategic outreach partnerships, produced the HPL Cares series of community service-based library programs. Mark Richardson talks about how he has employed the four-stage Situational Leadership model and his own supportive leadership tendencies in helping his Teen Council discover their strengths. Julie Gaida, acquisitions specialist at Pacific University and the head of a department-of-one, discusses how she overcame the insular nature of her position and made lasting connections with the campus community and her fellow Oregon librarians. Finally, librarians who want to exercise leadership from a non-administrative or non-supervisory position will find much wisdom in Melissa Little and Dawn Marie Lowe-Wincentsen’s articles; both address how “followers” can, with confidence and authenticity, be agents of change. Melissa’s article might even help you get into a titled leadership position, which is pretty cool work if you can get it.
This rambling introduction concludes with a full-hearted endorsement of the program that inspired this issue of the Quarterly in the first place: Leadership Institute of the Oregon Library Association (LIOLA). LIOLA is essential for every librarian or library-adjacent person who has ever wondered if their style of leadership (or not even leadership, necessarily; just their style of being a person in the world) makes them an asset or a liability to their community. I just described you, didn’t I, you impostersyndrome- having basket case!? Even if you are a world-class weirdo, LIOLA will teach you how to recognize, celebrate, and then mobilize your unique strengths for the betterment of your library and your universe, and to recognize, celebrate, and mobilize the unique strengths of others. You’ll also get to meet other cool library-types from across the state and get one-on-one advice from bonafide mentors in the field.
Guest Editor: Jane Scheppke, Crook County Library
The Specialness of Special LibrariesVol. 24 No. 1 (2018)
Abstract: This issue covers "The Specialness of Special Libraries," with a focus on the special libraries found in the state of Oregon. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, “(s)pecial librarians work in settings other than school or public libraries … Law firms, hospitals, businesses, museums, government agencies, and many other groups have their own libraries that use special librarians” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018, para. 10). According to the American Library Association, there are approximately 6,966 special libraries or information centers (“special libraries include Corporate, Medical, Law, Religious, etc.”) in the United States (American Library Association, 2015, para. 5).
Guest Editor: Sue Ludington, Lane County Law Library
Sushi, STEM, or Goat Yoga: Successful Library ProgrammingVol. 23 No. 4 (2018)
Abstract: Llamas, Adulting 101, Henna Art, Raptors, and Trivia. Most people in Oregon typically would not think of these words in connection with their local library. Yet, all of these are programs that have been served up in our local libraries just in the past year alone. With hundreds of programs covering even more diverse topics than these, perhaps the more typical things people think about when it comes to programs are an author talk, storytime, or book talk in the library. These are still staple library programs, but with this Oregon Library Association Quarterly issue we will be sharing some unique ideas that you can replicate at your library. From coffee and conversations to build community relationships to llamas (yes, llamas!) to encouraging upcycling, the common thread of all of the programs in this edition of the Oregon Library Association Quarterly is that they are replicable and they come with “Here’s what worked, here’s what didn’t work,” feedback from your colleagues to hopefully help you jump-start your own ideas of what is possible at your library. Each community is unique, and most librarians typically know their own community and what may or may not work well.
The library as a community center has been a widespread concept for libraries in Oregon as well as on the national and international front for decades, and it is one of the myriad of reasons libraries are simply not going away. Most programs are tied to literacy while others serve to fit a niche or gap in the community served. Programming in libraries today includes a literacy aspect that fits the core tenet of the library as a place where learning and developing literacy take place side by side and most libraries also include STEM, art, and other cultural programs that are important for the community both educationally and holistically. More often than not, programs fill a gap that the community may not have an option for otherwise.
Guest Editor: Esther Moberg, Seaside Public Library
Small Libraries, BIG IdeasVol. 23 No. 3 (2017)
Abstract: The Oregon library community consistently amazes me with its innovative, enterprising, and patron-focused activities. Indeed, we hear about these many activities through Libs-Or, OLA conferences, and this journal. While certainly not by design, many of the voices we hear come from libraries along the I-5 corridor. Cool things happen in those libraries, of course, but this issue of the OLA Quarterly amplifies voices we hear less frequently: the rural institutions that constitute the majority of the libraries in Oregon.
There are so many aspects of rural librarianship that set it apart from working in larger libraries. Sometimes those differences seem small. For instance, try shopping for groceries without running into a patron. Sometimes the differences are more significant. A single person could be the cataloging, finance, adult services, and maintenance “departments” all rolled into one! In addition to fostering a problem-solving attitude, working in a rural library instills in you an important lesson for all libraries: you don’t merely serve the community, you are the community, just like your patrons.
Guest Editor: Buzzy Nielson, Crook County Library
Editor Biography: Guest Editor Buzzy Nielsen is a rural boy with a smattering of big city sensibilities. In his 22 years as a librarian, he has worked in libraries of all types and sizes. His heart remains with rural libraries, however, which is why he currently directs the Crook County Library in Prineville. Buzzy is a self professed policy wonk and currently serves as OLA President.
Critical LibrarianshipVol. 23 No. 2 (2017)
Abstract: Libraries and archives are community spaces that acquire, organize, preserve, and make available resources for our patrons. Library workers connect people to these resources in various ways (technical services, reference, instruction, and more). It is noble and wonderful work, and it begs some interesting questions: is acquisition, organization, preservation, or dissemination a series of passive acts? Are libraries impartial spaces that give the real estate on their shelves to the words and ideas of others without judgment or context?
Libraries and archives are community spaces that acquire, organize, preserve, and make available resources for our patrons. Library workers connect people to these resources in various ways (technical services, reference, instruction, and more). It is noble and wonderful work, and it begs some interesting questions: is acquisition, organization, preservation, or dissemination a series of passive acts? Are libraries impartial spaces that give the real estate on their shelves to the words and ideas of others without judgment or context?
I was curious about these ideas and these questions, so I asked you, the Oregon library community, to tell us about how you see critical librarianship and if it plays a role in your work. I was delighted to get responses from incredible, inspiring librarians who were willing to share their stories.
Guest Editor: Elsa Loftis, Oregon College of Art and Craft
OLA Today: Oregon Librarians Respond to Changing TimesVol. 23 No. 1 (2017)
Abstract: This issue’s contributors and topics span academic and public institutions, rural and metropolitan libraries, political activism and personal narrative, and programming as well as abstraction. Considering instances of political action and librarianship, Oregon Library Association President Elsa Loftis begins this issue by profiling the organization. She cites its Legislative Agenda and its advocacy body, the Library Development and Legislation Committee, offering resources and steps toward political action that align with such guiding principles as Intellectual Freedom, Equitable Access, and Stewardship of Public Resources. Donna L. Cohen details a series of civic education workshops she has offered in recent months as part of an effort to combat the dissolution of social institutions and relationships that she views as playing a crucial role in forging and maintaining democracy—now losing out to the individualist and fragmentative drives of neoliberalism. Carolina Hernandez also writes about her endeavors to create and provide resources in the wake of the 2016 election, which have entailed improving upon existing fake news research guides by using pressing topical issues to draw connections to the broader importance of information literacy.
Elucidating the importance of progress through failure as well as through success, Barratt Miller and Jane Scheppke offer a vivid account of programming gone awry: an event called Guns in America in Prineville that devolved quickly into a racially-charged shouting match among attendees. Verbal melee notwithstanding, the event left both with a greater sense of how to anticipate and address both implicit and overt bias among patrons, marketing strategies for controversial topics, security precautions, and other contingencies, which they present here in a thoughtful and edifying conversation. Pondering activist tactics on a more abstract level, I contemplate the role of librarians amid political upheaval as well as some of the risks that inhere in democracy and the tenet of access to all, emphasizing the need to historicize contemporary issues and reflect on the shortcomings and successes of Oregon librarians since the state’s segregationist inception. Finally, this issue closes with an elegant, poignant narrative from Victoria Cross that relates her immersion into American culture through the work carpool she joined and all that it taught her: a Russian immigrant’s tale in microcosm.
Guest Editor: Lynne Stahl, Multnomah County Library