From the President

Academic Librarians have an exciting set of programs coming in 2016!

By Elizabeth Leonard

NJLA CUS/NJ ACRL Chapter President

ALA Midwinter will be held January 8-12th in Boston. Speakers Chelsea Clinton, Dr. Mary Francis Berry, as well as NJ Senator Cory Booker.

On Friday, January 15th, the VALE/NJLA-CUS/ACRL-NJ User’s Conference will be held at Busch Student Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ. Our Keynote speaker will be Dan Russell, Google's Űber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness who will be speaking about literacy and metacognition in the internet age. We also have a full complement of breakout sessions and posters, as well as lightning talks and networking. I’ll be excited to see you there! Keep an eye out for the registration form, and learn more about the conference here.

On February 3rd, ACRL–NJ is sponsoring a FREE Webinar on “Planning, Running, and Learning from Focus Groups.” Afterwards, we will have a panel of academic and public librarians with experience in this area. This is sure to be a lively discussion and there will be a lot to learn. Look for the registration coming on the listservs in January, and plan to attend the event at Rutgers’ Scholarly Communications Center that day.

And don’t forget NJLA's Annual Convention May 16-18th, in the brand new Harrah’s Conference Center in Atlantic City. In keeping with the conference theme "All Together Now," ACRL-NJ librarians and committee members have been working very hard with NJLA to develop programs that will appeal to academic librarians, whether as solo programs or as co-sponsored events with other Sections and committees of NJLA. Confirmed speakers include Cory Doctorow (author and blogger), Stanley Newman (Newsday Daily Crossword editor), and Jay Asher (author of Thirteen Reasons Why and anti-bullying activist).  Keep an eye out on events (and look at the AMAZING pool at Harrah’s) here.

We hope to see many of you at these and other ARCL-NJ/NJLA-CUS events! And remember, you can support these programs and help us bring you more by joining ARCL-NJ/NJLA-CUS.

The User Education Committee weighs in on the Framework

By Cara Berg, Leslin Charles, Heather Dalal, & Amanda Piekart, on behalf of the User Education Committee

The members of the User Education Committee (User Ed) are delighted to share their current experiences with the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education in this themed issue of the ACRL-NJ/NJLA CUS newsletter. Below is a description of the activities of our members regarding the Framework since it was adopted by ACRL.


When the Information Literacy Competency Standards of Higher Education was slated to be revised, as a committee focused on information literacy, we were very excited and anticipated an updated series of standards. However, what was released was was an entirely different model, the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. We appreciate its philosophical/theoretical stance on our professional expertise. However, it became a concern for us as a committee when the ACRL Information Literacy (IL) Standards Revision Task Force insisted that the Standards would not be revised but be abandoned. As a result of the extensive work that had been done with the standards across NJ, we coauthored this Open Letter in an effort to sensitize the ACRL Board of the implications of losing a professional set of standards. Ultimately, the ACRL Board wisely decided to retain the Standards and the two documents live in the constellation of information literacy. Unfortunately, we still have a set of outdated IL standards but in the meantime, members of our profession are learning how to apply the Framework to their professional work.

What’s happening as a Committee?

Articles Have Been Written

Megan Dempsey and Heather Dalal co-authored an article for the Spring 2015 newsletter,”What’s all the Fuss about the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education”  Please refer to that for more background and details of the differences between the Standards and the Framework. Additionally, the editor of Communications in Information Literacy invited the “Open Letter” writers to compose a follow up for a special issue of the journal. Five User Ed members coauthored an article with discussions on the implications for assessment, accrediting bodies, curriculum mapping, high school teachers, librarians, and potential employers. The editor, Robert Schroeder, wrote, "We like the piece as it shows places not only where the Framework and the Standards clash, but where they can work together symbiotically." Please keep an eye out for this article; the issue is due out by the end of the year.


Become A Member of the NJLA/CUS Research Committee

History of the Research Award

Formed in 1985, the Research Committee began celebrating the best published research of New Jersey Librarians in 1988. We do this by accepting nominations, holding a jury of peers, and selecting one or more Research Awards for the best of work published the previous year. The winner(s) then present at the NJLA Annual Conference. By the mid-1990s, the Research Committee began juried selection of unpublished research by NJ librarians, as well, and these winners now make brief presentations of their projects and efforts during the Research Forum.

For more information, find us at:

Please consider joining our committee. We meet two or three times a year, either in person or online. We have a satisfying purpose, and enjoy reviewing the publications of our fellow professionals. Contact Cynthia if you are interested.

Cynthia J. Coulter is Chair of the Research Committee.  She is a librarian at Hudson County Community College.  You can reach her at

Access Services Listserv for New Jersey Libraries

New Jersey Libraries have an Access Services listserv! The address is Interested in joining? Simply send a message with the subject 'subscribe' to the list. Topics of interest to discussed on the list include Circulation, Reserves, Interlibrary Loan, Stacks Maintenance and other Access Services related topics.

Mind Mapping Tools

By Sharon Whitfield

Mind mapping tools allows students to map a complex set of relationships. Through the mapping process, students are more likely to understand, remember and analyze those relationships (Davies, 2011). There is also empirical evidence that demonstrates that maps allow information to be more usable and more easily processed (Davies, 2011). Mapping has been used in a variety of disciplines, including finance, economics, marketing and medicine (Davies, 2011).

Mapping may also be used as a great instructional tool to teach individuals how to conduct a literature search (Rowley & Slack, 2004). Students can utilize the map to expand their search terms; plan their next search statement and visualize search terms and theory relationships. Prior to using mind mapping for literature search, students should explore mind mapping techniques, such as line thickness, desired colors, pictures and how relationships will be diagrammed. Buzan and Buzan (2000) made the following recommendations when mind mapping:

  1. Use emphasis through images and varying the size of the print.

  2. Use association by color coding search terms that may use the OR search operator in the search.

  3. Be clear. Use line thickness to determine central themes and only place one word on each line.

  4. Use hierarchy. Hierarchy helps to identify major search terms and minor search terms.

  5. Develop a personal style. Allow the student to determine how the mind map will allow them to formulate the search strategy.

While students may draw out a mind map using a pencil and paper, there is a variety of software that may be used to construct the mind map. Below is a sample list of available software:

  • Coggle

    • Requires an account

    • Free

  • Bubbl

    • Requires an account

    • Only 3 Mind Maps are free

  • Popplet

    • Only available for the iPad (Cost $5)



Resource Spotlight

They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing

By Jennifer Hunter

Scholarship as Conversation is one of the frames in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, and also an important corner stone in the field of rhetoric and composition, particularly as it applies to teaching undergraduate students how to write.

The aims of rhet/comp and information literacy dovetail, as do the aims of writing instructors and librarians. In this spirit, I’d like to share a resource that was useful to me when I was a writing instructor and continues to be useful in my library instruction.

They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, by Gerald Graff and Cathy Bernstein, approaches academic writing as a conversation that the student author is having with others in the field, and provides writing templates for engaging in that conversation.

In particular, They Say / I Say addresses the dispositions of student researchers addressed under Scholarship as Conversation, including:

  • Recognize they are often entering into an ongoing scholarly conversation and not a finished conversation
  • Seek out conversations taking place in their research area
  • See themselves as contributors to scholarship rather than only consumers of it (ACRL0

In the introduction of They Say / I Say Graff and Birkenstein talk to students about entering the conversation, and what it means to “deeply engage in some way with other people’s views” (Graff 2014). They discuss the importance of listening and responding to others, and address how argumentation happens in the real world, beyond their undergraduate term papers.

The alignment of the disciplines is further evident from the contribution of a chapter to They Say / I Say by The College of New Jersey’s own social science librarian, Erin Ackerman, Ph.D., In this chapter, Ackerman discusses what it means to become immersed in a conversation in the social sciences and breaks down ways of responding through writing.

In the Classroom

Librarians in one-shot instruction situations are particularly well situated to help students understand scholarship as conversation. After all, most undergraduate students are engaging more in researched writing—finding conversations, immersing themselves through reading, and responding through writing—as opposed to research in which they would design their own studies and conduct original research.



Bergen Community College

Annemarie Roscello is the Interim Dean of Libraries.  She was previously chair of faculty development and a reference and instruction librarian at the Sidney Silverman Library.

Berkeley College

Bonnie Lafazan, Library Director, Berkeley College and Amanda Piekart, Information Literacy Instructional Designer, Berkeley College have co-authored the chapter “Library Programming:  Methods for Creation, Collaboration, Delivery and Outreach” in Rowman & Littlefield’s book Creative Library Marketing and Publicity Best Practices.

Bonnie Lafazan has been appointed the incoming Co-Convenor (2016-2017) for ACRL’s Library and Marketing Outreach Interest Group. Check out their Facebook Group. It’s a great resource!

Caldwell University

Sara Margaret Rizzo has joined Caldwell University as the Electronic Resources/Serials Management Librarian. Previously, she was a Reference & E-Resources Librarian at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Brigid Burke has been appointed to the position of Associate University Librarian, Director of Technical Services at Fairleigh Dickinson University, supervising all areas of Technical Services operations on both the Florham and Metropolitan Campuses. Burke replaces Mary Marks who recently accepted a position as the Coordinator of Clinical Affairs & Experiential Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Pharmacy.

Monmouth University

Eleonora Dubicki presented “Writing a Research Paper: Students Explain their Process” at QQML 2015 (Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries) in Paris, France on May 29, 2015. She has also published the following:

  • Dubicki, Eleonora. Title IX in Action (sidebar). Rutgers: A 250th Anniversary Portrait. London: Third Millennium Publishing. 2015.
  • Dubicki, Eleonora “Writing a Research Paper: Students Explain their Process” Reference Services Review. Vol 43, Issue 4. November 2015.

Montclair State University

Siobhan McCarthy joined Montclair State University as a Reference Librarian.

Raritan Valley Community College

Prof. Megan Dempsey, the Instructional Services Librarian, was elected to the Chair position at Raritan Valley Community College this September.  She will lead the library for the next three years.

Christine Forbes joined RVCC as the new Outreach Services Librarian in September. Christine recently worked at Rutgers Library of Science and Medicine and previously was an Education Specialist with Pediatric Health in Freehold, where she was responsible for marketing, training, and organizing community events. She received an A.A.S. in Nursing from Brookdale Community College.

Rider University

Rider University Libraries celebrates the publication of Creative Library Marketing and Publicity, co-edited by Rider University Professor-Librarian and Franklin F. Moore Library Department Chairperson, Robert J. Lackie. The book is co-edited with M. Sandra Wood, published by Rowman & Littlefield and available for purchase.   *Rowman & Littlefield Special Discount Offer. The book details successful marketing, branding, and promoting efforts from a variety of different kinds of libraries including public, academic, school libraries, systems and organizations. See Rider University's website for more info.

Rider also welcomes Joan M. Serpico as their new Instruction and Outreach Librarian.  She comes to Rider from Mount Laurel Library in Mount Laurel, NJ, where she worked as Head of Adult Services.  She has also worked and taught at Rutgers University and the University of Maryland University College. See Rider University's website for more info.

Heather Dalal was promoted to Assistant Professor II-Librarian. Heather also co-authored the following:

  • Dalal, Heather A., Amy K. Kimura, and Melissa A. Hofmann. (2015). “Searching in the Wild: Observing Information-Seeking Behavior in a Discovery Tool.” Association of College & Research Libraries 2015 Conference Proceedings. pp 668-675. 
  • Dalal, Heather A., Hannon, Paris., & Lackie, Robert J. (2015). "Creating Campus Buzz with Promotional Videos." Creative Library Promotion & Publicity: Best Practices. Lackie, R J. & Wood. M.S. (Eds). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies Library

William Bejarano, MLIS, MA, Information Specialist, was the recipient of the inaugural NJLA Student Award, presented at the annual honors and awards reception of the NJLA Conference on April 21, 2015.

Judit H. Ward, Director of Information Services, was awarded the A. A. Heckman Fellowship by the Hazelden-Betty Ford Foundation to conduct research on the history of alcohol science at the Hazelden Pittman Archives in 2015.

Saint Peter's University

Saint Peter's University Librarians, Daisy DeCoster and Hao Zeng, took part in the recent Amigos Library Services Conference which focused on open source solutions for libraries and archives.  Their presentation was titled "Implementing SubjectsPlus: An Open Source Research Guide Experience."

Seton Hall University

Sebastian Derry joined us as our new Assistant Dean for Public Services.  Prior to Seton Hall, Sebastian was Library Director at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, NY, at Temple University's Paley Library as Head of Media Services, and at the University of Montana Library as Fine Arts Librarian & Media Resources Coordinator.  Sebastian holds a Bachelors of Music from The University of Prince Edward Island and a Master of Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University.  Needless to say, we are looking forward to his contributions.

Katie Wissel joined us as a new Term Librarian filling in for back-to-back maternity (Fall semester) and sabbatical (Spring semester) leaves.  Prior to this year Katie was an Intern here at Seton Hall University Libraries and was (and is!) a tremendous help in the conversion of our old website to our new 2.0 platform.  Katie holds a BA in Political Science from Holy Cross, an MBA from the Stern School at NYU, and is a current MLS student at Rutgers.

The College of New Jersey

David Murray joined the TCNJ library faculty as Humanities Librarian in May 2015. As Humanities Librarian at TCNJ, he will be the subject specialist for Art, Classical Studies, English, History, and Philosophy & Religion.  David comes to TCNJ from Temple University, where he served as Reference and Instructional Services Librarian and Subject Specialist and Bibliographer in History, Spanish and Portuguese, and Latin American Studies. David’s research interests are in the intersection of subject specialty and information literacy instruction. He is also incoming chair of the History Section of ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).  David has an MS in Library and Information Studies from Drexel University, an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and a BA in History and Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also earned an Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies. 

Rutgers through the Centuries: 250 Years of Treasures from the Archives

Rutgers University Libraries is celebrating the 250th anniversary of Rutgers University with the major historical exhibition, Rutgers through the Centuries:  250 Years of Treasures from the Archives. This exhibition showcases unique documents, photographs, and artifacts from the University Archives. The grand opening was held on November 12, 2015 and the exhibit will be on dosplay until November 30, 2016. The opening featured an address, “A Singular Pathway to Excellence: Rutgers at 250” by president emeritus and university professor Richard L. McCormick.

For more information about this exciting exhibit, please see the Rutgers University Libraries website.


The Importance of E-Government and Data Information Literacy for Student Success

By Darren Sweeper

“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a Farce or Tragedy; or, perhaps both”.

                                                                                                                                                         James Madison

The old adage, “From the cradle to the grave” takes on greater significance when we consider the important role that E- Government and Data Information Literacy plays in the success of students. For students majoring in public health, knowledge of, access to and the ability to retrieve vital public health data is fundamental to the informational needs that will arise in their professional lives. What students learn or for that matter fail to learn, will have real world implications. For this reason it is important that librarians assess the learning outcomes of students.  As library budgets remain flat and the need for public health information grows, freely available government information is being under-valued and under-utilized.

In an effort, to meet these challenges and informed by the ACRL Information Literacy Framework, The Harry A. Sprague Library, at Montclair State University applied for and was asked to participate as one of seventy libraries in the ACRL Assessment in Action program, beginning March, 2014 and culminating with a poster presentation of the results from our project at the American Library Association- Annual Conference June, 2015. The Assessment in Action (AiA) project is part of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative. It is supported by the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APUL), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Our team sought to demonstrate the value of our library.

Click the image below to see a larger view, then press Ctrl and + to zoom in.


Game Night in the Library

By Jeffrey C. Donnelly

On September 17th, the Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham Library at Georgian Court University had its first Game Night in the Library. The event was a huge success with students attending throughout the night. The Library was able to create a partnership with an international gaming company to provide the hardware and software necessary for facilitating the event. Through this partnership, the library was able to provide students with a variety of the latest video games and board games. Due to the success of this Game Night, the GCU Library is planning on continuing the event on a monthly basis throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters. GCU librarians are planning to study this series of events to show how other academic libraries might benefit from them in the future.

Jeffrey C. Donnelly is the Systems Librarian and Health & Exercise Science Librarian at Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham Library at Georgian Court University.

Renovations and New Services at the School of Management and Labor Relations Library

By Julie Peters

The James B. Carey Library at the School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) located within Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, underwent an extensive renovation during the summer. The renovation was intended to update the Library’s electrical problems, provide new computers for student use, and create a more conducive environment for students to study.



In preparation for the renovation, the Library completed a major weeding project. After an in-depth analysis, it was concluded that the Carey Library’s collection, specializing in employment and labor relations, as well as human resource management, was widely duplicated at other locations in the Rutgers Libraries System. These duplicated titles, with no circulated use, were discarded in order to make room for more study space and a lounge area.  

Beginning in May, the Library was completely gutted. The worn carpeting was torn up; the water-stained ceiling tiles were ripped down; the dim lights were trashed; the wobbly tables were discarded; and the ancient computers disappeared. (We kept the books J) We now have new blue carpeting, a new ceiling, fresh paint of blues and greens, sturdy furniture, bright lights and computers that work! (And we have new books.) In addition, the Library has extended morning and evening hours, as well as laptops for students to use within the Library. Within the first few weeks of the semester, it was observed that more students are using the renovated facility. The printer is printing, the scanner is scanning and the copier is copying. Students have found the renovated space quite refreshing and have been packing the new facility on a daily basis.

Julie Peters is the Library Director at the James B. Carey Library at the School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) located within Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She can be reached at

From the Newsletter Archives

Go back 20 years with this throwback issue of the NJLA/ACRL Newsletter from Fall 1995! Jeris Cassel, then NJLA/ACRL President, speaks of the "ever-increasing potential of technology" while noting the "stress of reduced budgets, resistance to change... and the fear of the 'technical' overpowering the intellectual aspects of academic librarianship." Sound familiar? See if predictions for the Future Directions of the Technology Committee have come true: "Windows 95... Do we need it and what can it do for us?" Look for your colleagues names in the "Focus on People" section and see what they were doing in 1995! Enjoy reminiscing!

New Learning Commons Opens at Caldwell University

By Heather Cook

The new Jennings Library Learning Commons opened at Caldwell University this fall with an open house celebration for faculty, staff, and students on September 2, 2015. This new space is designed for collaboration and enables students to study in groups and receive research assistance from multiple sources, including librarians and professional writing tutors.

In Libraries Designed for Learning Bennett (2003) describes the underlying theory of the learning commons model, “The core activity of a learning commons... [is] the collaborative learning by which students turn information into knowledge and sometimes into wisdom” (p. 38). The learning commons brings together multiple support services (e.g. information literacy support and writing support), access to technology, and a layout conducive to collaborative group learning and knowledge creation (Heitsch & Holley, 2011).

The Jennings Library at Caldwell University embraced the learning commons model to expand student space in the library. This model was chosen to support the increasingly collaborative nature of student learning and for its ability to house multiple services in one location.

Dr. Nancy J. Becker, the Executive Director of the Jennings Library and Assistant to the President for Special Projects, spearheaded this project. The implementation of the learning commons required thorough planning including finding space, designing the layout, choosing complementary furniture, discovering innovative technology, and partnering with other campus departments. The construction and remodel was made possible with funds from the Building Our Future General Obligation Bond Act (the GO Bond Act), which was signed into law by Governor Christie in 2012.

Finding space for new areas in any library can be difficult. The Jennings Library decided to repurpose space to house the Learning Commons. Two print periodical storage rooms, containing over 600 printed journals, were designated for the Learning Commons. Starting in Fall 2013, the Electronic Resources Librarian began a thorough analysis of the library’s journal collection. During the Spring 2014 semester, Jennings librarians carefully reviewed the periodical holdings and made informed decisions by title as to what needed to be maintained in print and what was no longer essential to the collection. Some criteria for deaccessioning the periodicals included importance to the discipline, relevance for graduate and doctoral programs, and availability online or through interlibrary loan. The periodicals earmarked for discard were offered first to Caldwell University faculty, then the campus community, and finally more than 20 boxes of journals were sent to JSTOR to be digitized and archived.

In Fall 2014, maintenance cleared out the periodical storage rooms of any remaining periodicals and construction began. Walls were demolished, the electric and lighting were upgraded, and the area was painted and carpeted.




Fostering Research Success

Cynthia Coulter (Hudson County Community College), Chair and Gracemary Smulewitz (Rutgers University) Co-Chair of the Research Committee, presented a seminar entitled, “Fostering Research Success: Getting Published, Collaborating, and Winning Grants” with the gracious help of several Elsevier staff. The program was well attended, with approximately thirty people ranging from faculty, librarians, and graduate students, coming from large Research Institutes, small Community Colleges and state institutions.

Morning experts included Elizabeth Perril, Executive Publisher at Elsevier, who gave a very detailed description of what to do and what not to do when trying to get your research published. Coming from the medical field, Elizabeth described her own experiences and then expanded to incorporate how any author, from any discipline, might approach the manuscript writing and promotion process.

Click the image for a larger view.

Dr. John Buschman, Dean of University Libraries at Seton Hall University, added his expertise as Section Editor for the Journal of Academic Librarianship and as part of the Editorial Board of Library Quarterly. He gave great insight into what editors look for, what to avoid in a manuscript, and the protocol for submitting manuscripts to publishers. His experience as both author and editor was an invaluable additional to the panel. 

The morning discussions included questions and comments about open access journals, predatory publishing, publisher contract negotiations, and variations of copyright agreements. Audience members voiced their personal fears of the publishing process, such as knowing what journals to submit to, whether their research topics are unique enough, and the length of the research and writing process being problematic to a manuscript’s currency.



The CUS/ACRL-NJ Newsletter is edited by Joan Dalrymple, Access Services Librarian at Bergen Community College; Katie Maricic Cohen, Interlibrary Loan, Reference and Instruction Librarian at Ramapo College of New Jersey; and Rebecca Sloat, Distributed Technical Services Coordinator/Serials Team Leader at Rutgers University.



Editors Rebecca Sloat, Joan Dalrymple and Katie Cohen pose for a picture during the Summer 2015 Marketing and Communications Committee Meeting at Monmouth University Library.