Current Opportunities for MLIS Students

Now is a great time for MLIS students who live, work, or go to school in the Delaware Valley to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Delaware Valley Chapter of the ACRL.

A mentoring program is in place with mentors waiting to provide support and advice.  Our mentors work in a variety of roles in higher education.  Sign up to be matched with a mentor and receive the invaluable support of an experienced colleague.

Additionally, DVC is currently accepting applications for a $1000 stipend to help offset the cost of educational expenses for an ALA-accredited program.  Applicants must write an essay on news literacy, which is also the topic of the upcoming Fall program – Fact, False, or Just Flawed:  Critically Examining News in the Age of Truthiness.   Interested in attending the Fall program? Students receive a discounted price on program registration and a one-year free membership, so getting involved as a student is a great idea!

The Delaware Valley Chapter is committed to helping future librarians. If you have any questions, please contact

ACRL DVC Fall Program: Fact, False, or Just Flawed: Critically Examining the News in the Age of Truthiness

Has the news kept you up at night this year? Join us to learn more about the current news environment and teaching news literacy at the ACRL DVC Fall program: Fact, False, or Just Flawed: Critically Examining the News in the Age of Truthiness Continue reading “ACRL DVC Fall Program: Fact, False, or Just Flawed: Critically Examining the News in the Age of Truthiness”

ACRL DVC Fall Program Lightning Round: Call for Presenters

Have you developed a new campus partnership, program, or resource that addresses news literacy? The ACRL Delaware Valley Chapter is now accepting lightning round proposals for its Fall program: Fact, False, or Just Flawed. Continue reading “ACRL DVC Fall Program Lightning Round: Call for Presenters”

Now Accepting Student Applications for $1000 Stipend – Deadline October 16

Every year, the Delaware Valley Chapter of the ACRL awards a stipend to support future academic librarians. A $1000 stipend will be awarded to a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited program to help offset the cost of educational expenses. Eligible applicants also must work or reside in the Chapter’s service area. To apply, please submit an essay on the following topic:

Using the ACRL’s Framework to Teach News Literacy

The Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2016 was Post-Truth, defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Libraries have long developed educational programming and collections that support critical thinking and informed decision-making. However, with the spread of misleading or fabricated stories through social media networks and the highly polarized politics of today, the way that people interact with the news has changed.

Our information landscape is evolving and librarians must develop new approaches to fostering healthy information practices and metaliteracy skills. Recognizing this need, the ACRL adopted the Framework of Information Literacy Instruction for Higher Education. In an essay, describe how the framework may be used to address the problems of a post-truth society.  

Word Count: 500 – 1000

Deadline: Monday, October 16 2017

Please send submission to

Greetings from the President

Wishing all members a great start to another academic year!

The 2017-18 chapter officers  met over the summer to discuss goals and initiatives for the year. In addition to continuing the successful programs already established, we plan to offer new networking and educational opportunities and hope to hear from membership about the types of programs that would be most valuable.

I would like to take an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of the 2016-2017 Board under the leadership of Martha Stevenson.

Student Stipend
In November, the Chapter awarded Alexandra Wilder a $1,000 stipend in support of her MLIS studies at Drexel University.

Fall Program
Also in November, the chapter hosted the program, CritLib:Theory and Action at Swarthmore College with presentations  on the intersections of identity, social justice, and professional practice.

ACRL DVC Student Scholarship
Julianna Pakstis
In April, the Chapter awarded MLIS student Julianna Pakstis a scholarship to attend the ACRL annual conference in Baltimore. Read her conference report.


leadership reception

Leaders Reception at ACRL Annual Conference
For the first time, the Chapter collaborated with the Maryland Chapter of the ACRL to host a leadership reception at the annual conference. The event was a success thanks to the generous donations of 26 organizations and individuals.

I would also like to recognize the chapter officers who completed their time on the board this past May: Cathy Ogur, University of Pennsylvania;  Anne Schwelm, Cabrini College; Pamela Harris, Swarthmore College; Christina McCawley, West Chester University; and Kristyna Carroll.

What Can You Do Now?

We have a terrific fall program planned and will be posting information soon, so be on the lookout. In the meantime, please take a moment to join or renew your chapter membership  and consider participating in our Mentor Program

If you have ideas you wish to share or are interested in becoming more involved in the organization, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Nancy Bellafante, Chapter President

Report on ACRL Chapters Council Meeting at ALA Annual 2017

The ACRL Chapters Council meeting took place on Sunday, June 25, 2017, at the ALA Annual meeting in Chicago.  Cheryl Middleton, current ACRL president, welcomed everyone and spoke about ACRL’s participation in the American Council of Learned Societies fellows program.  This is a career building program that is working to expand the reach of the humanities.  The ACRL sponsored fellow will start at the end of August and will be focusing on the Assessment in Action (AIA) work that has been ongoing.  Middleton mentioned that changes to Connect, the ALA communication/discussion group tool are forthcoming.  Keep an eye out for further information from ALA.  Based on member feedback ACRL is working to reduce the physical footprint of the annual conference in 2018.  The goal is to spend less time traveling between venues so attendees can get to more programs.  All ACRL paper/program submissions will continue to be peer reviewed.   As Cheryl plans her president’s program she will be focusing on change management and how to operate in an environment of doing more with less.  Additionally, new roadshow programing will continue in order to help those who can’t attend conferences stay involved nationally.  Some ideas for roadshows include scholarly communication, engaging with the framework, data management and assessment.

Irene Herold, the outgoing ACRL president spoke next, thanking the local chapter in Kentucky for hosting her. Herold reminded the chapter representatives that their local chapters can host a speaker from ACRL national at no cost to the chapter.

Irene reminded us all of the importance and power of legislative days in Washington, D.C.  Outgoing ALA president,  Julie Todaro, spoke during the ALA annual meeting of LSTA and IMLS funding reminding members it was not a quick sprint but a minimum nine month process to get funding into the budget for 2018.  Members need to keep contacting their representatives to remind them of the importance of library funding.

Next Mary Ellen Davis, ACRL Executive Director spoke about the current opening at ACRL for a new program coordinator.  The position is posted and actively accepting applicants.  In the area of action research ACRL has contracted with OCLC research to update the Oakleaf report to address outstanding research questions.  OCLC will be providing a data visualization tool with the report.   They are hoping this report will be released in the fall.   Davis reminded everyone that ACRL/Choice will continue to offer sponsored webinars.  Some of the areas that will be covered include standards for libraries in higher education,  a community college engagement task force, and focus group research results.  Planning for ACRL 2019 is underway.  Trevor Dawes, University Librarian at the University of Delaware is the conference chair.  Keep an eye out for ways to get involved, to submit ideas etc.

The board is looking at guidelines for use of ACRL funds for chapters Currently the guidelines are written as  “funds can be used for activities and support charitable and educational purposes.”  The board is thinking of removing the word charitable.  They want funds to exclusively support professional development.  Davis reiterated that ACRL really needs help with legislative issues.  She suggested we all sign up for updates from the ALA Washington office, send postcards, email, or tweet with hashtags.  Letters take too long to get to Congressional offices.

A quick election for new Chapters Council board members was held.  There were openings in the vice chair, and secretary positions.  Members voted Edward Rock in as the new Vice Chair and Natalie Burclaff as the new secretary.

The final presentation of the Chapters Council meeting was by Kim Boyd who led a Best Practices discussion.  She discussed her work with team members on the creation, launch and growth of the Georgia State Library Association Carterette webinar series.  This series of webinars is free and open to anyone, not just Georgia librarians.  Kim detailed the amount of work and time it takes to run these webinars but the response has been overwhelmingly positive and it has increased the Georgia Library Association membership and member engagement significantly.

— Submitted by Jessica Brangiel, Chapters Council Representative and ACRL-DVC Secretary

Mentors Needed: This is an Opportunity for You

Hello Delaware Valley Chapter!  This is Jess Denke, Public Services Librarian at DeSales University and Chapter Vice President.  Thank you for electing me to serve you!  I have already connected with the rest of the Chapter Board.  They are a very enjoyable and industrious bunch.  We are going to have a great year and I am looking forward to connecting with you personally.

One of my new responsibilities is to communicate to you the value of our programming and to encourage you to participate.  ACRL/DVC connects librarians throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond.  But, more than that, we seek to embolden our members and future members through connections that inspire and inform.  We do this, in part, through a mentorship program.

We hope to expand the ACRL/DVC mentorship program, but we can’t do it without individuals who are willing to dedicate a few hours of their time to talk to aspiring librarians, early-career librarians, or librarians who are changing course.  To make it even easier for you to sign up, we added a checkbox to the DVC membership form – please check if you would like to be a mentor! If you click “Edit Profile,” you’ll also see an option to become part of ACRL/DVC’s mentorship program. Please take this opportunity to get involved!

I know you can think of at least one person who has provided you with invaluable feedback and informed your professional practice.  I think you can be that person for someone else.  If you have any questions, concerns, or want to give me some advice for my time on the board please contact me at  I would love to hear from you. You can also read about and respond to my work on my blog:

Delaware Valley Chapter 2017-18 Board Members

Thank you very much to everyone that ran for this year’s open board positions for the Delaware Valley Chapter of ACRL. Our members’ willingness to donate their time to the leadership of our chapter is a testament to what a wonderful community of librarians we have.

We are pleased to announce our newly elected board members:

Vice President / President Elect: Jessica Denke, Public Services Librarian at DeSales University

Secretary: Jessica Brangiel, Electronic Resources Management Librarian at Swarthmore College

Director at Large: Stephanie Sweeney Pennucci, Ed.D., Education Librarian/Assistant Professor at Millersville University

Please join us in congratulating our newest board members!

-The ACRL DVC Nominating Committee

Pam Harris
Cathy Ogur
Anne Schwelm

Report on ACRL Baltimore from Julianna Pakstis

ACRL 2017 in Baltimore
March 22-25, 2017

Report from Julianna Pakstis, MLIS student and ACRL-DVC scholarship recipient

I would imagine that any first-time attendee to the Association for College and Research Libraries bi-annual conference feels equal parts overwhelmed and in awe while there. But this year it seemed intensified.

Now, as a first-time attendee (a title which I wore in a ribbon on my badge in hopes that it would initiate conversation, camaraderie, and inspire veteran attendees to counsel with some much-needed advice – it worked!), I don’t have much of a basis for comparison to past conferences. Even so, I could tell that something was different. There was a palpable sense of urgency permeating from the small groups to the Baltimore Convention Center’s biggest halls. The message was clear. Libraries are in danger of losing millions in federal funding and we need to save them. We need to help each other and ourselves.

Bigotry, woefully passive activism, and the very real threat of budget cuts were organizing themes from the Thursday keynote given by Roxane Gay, the first formal session I attended. Gay is not a librarian and the topics she covered weren’t specifically library-related the majority of the time. Rather, Gay spoke out against weak allyship, called out racism, and called us to act, not just for library funding, but for human rights in general.

I was (delightfully) surprised to hear this kind of opinionated speech take center stage – at what the speaker called a wonderfully produced talk at that. But I see now that I shouldn’t have been so surprised. When the just side of an issue is so clear, organizations and their members have an obligation to speak up. So now instead of surprised, I am proud. And I am acting. You can too!

When I accepted the ACRL-DVC stipend and was asked to write, I didn’t think this blog post would become a podium for social justice or a call to action to save the very basis of our profession. But that overtone was strong enough to make it central in any summary of this year’s conference.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to hear not only the loud centralized voices of this professional organization, but also to have engaged with individuals from institutions across the country who each have nuanced and, at times, conflicting viewpoints. It’s important for me as a young professional, and young person, to hear this multiplicity of voices and to be involved in the defining dialogue of the future of library science.

Lofty ideas aside, I learned practical solutions for problems that can occur in areas of college librarianship I hadn’t yet even considered. I was reminded to consider logistical factors, like schedule flexibility, workplace status and reputation, and cost of living when applying to Ph.D. programs post-MLIS. I saw how librarians are working with humanities faculty to make their work accessible through metadata. Librarians are creatively teaching and adapting metadata skills so that faculty and students can produce metadata themselves with library support, thus allowing the librarian to foster a strong digital humanities program while working on other projects as well. One poster highlighted that training sessions with school tour guides reduced the inaccuracy of library facts given to prospective students, which is a brilliantly simple solution to a problem I wasn’t even aware of. I saw a shining example of everything that is out there in terms of technology, organization, and institutions neatly packaged into a (giant) exhibition hall.

I was even able to have a bit of fun exploring the host city of Baltimore. From the top of Federal Hill, I took in views of the harbor that were no less impressive against a grey Friday afternoon. I attended the American Visionary Art Museum and was treated to exhibits about and made from food, alongside a 15 foot tall pink poodle. I’m still craving the artichoke and Maryland crab dip served at the ACRL-DVC Leaders’ Reception.

Ultimately, my experience at ACRL made me more acutely aware of issues and opinions in our field and introduced me to finer points of how this profession functions. This experience is impossible to mimic in a classroom and yet so integral to producing well-informed librarians. I would not have been able to learn all that I did without the generosity of the Delaware Valley Chapter of ACRL. Thank you.


ACRL Conference Scholarship Update

ACRL-DVC President Martha Stevenson is pleased to report that MLS student Julianna Pakstis was awarded a scholarship to attend this year’s ACRL conference in Baltimore. Julianna will provide a report on her conference experience for the ACRL-DVC blog.

The Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL-DVC) annual scholarship essay is designed to foster and support future academic librarians. This year, a $1000 scholarship award was offered to cover expenses to attend the ACRL 2017 Baltimore Conference, At the Helm: Leading Transformation. The ACRL conference is held once-every-two-years and offers librarians the opportunity to discover new ideas and to stay at the forefront of the profession.