Fruitful Work

Along the front of my house are two rows of shrubs. Some years they get trimmed a lot. Some years they do not. Recently, I was trimming some branches that had been damaged by the unusual cold we had last winter. When I took a break, I saw an open space that looked a bit awkward. Some might even say ugly. I looked at my pile of trimmings and saw a lot of dead leaves, but there were also some healthy leaves in there. They just had been growing in the wrong spot, too far from the base.

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May 2024

The spring season is funny in New England. We tend to have long, gray, winters that are quite dreary. Then in April, we start to see little crocuses bravely pop their heads out of the ground and hear cardinals whistling for their families and sometimes we can even have the windows open during the day to air out the house—but we can’t put away the flannel sheets because snow has happened in April before! But within one week of 50-degree weather and sunshine, the daffodils, dogwoods, and songbirds erupt into full springtime mode. It’s very sudden, and doesn’t last long, but is always worth the wait.

CILA has been in a similar pattern—there have been seeds planted and germinating and now sprouting and coming to fruition. You’ll see in this update that a new CILA team has solidified their roles, an interest group has formed for international librarians and allies, and the Global Library Investment Grant continues to support work around the world. The seasonal nature of our work has never been more evident to me, and I am grateful for the prayers of the ACL members, an active group of global librarians who are eager to connect, and the support of the Home Office in managing the unique issues that arise with the variety of inquiries we receive. I hope you are encouraged as you read a summary of our global activities.

Peace and blessings to you all,
Erin McCoy
CILA Coordinator

New! International Librarians Special Interest Group

The goal of this new interest group is to try to meet every other month on Zoom, alternating times and hosts to accommodate all the time zones represented. We will discuss the issues unique to overseas libraries as well as ways to share our expertise and resources with each other. If you have a heart for international libraries or live in a country outside the US please join our group.

Koha is a fully featured, scalable open source library management system. Development is sponsored by libraries of varying types and sizes, volunteers, and support companies worldwide. You can find several SQL reports wiki, Jquery wiki, HTML & CSS wiki, and XSLT Library wiki which as code you can copy to make improvements you can add to your installation.

Koha-US promotes the ongoing communication, collaboration, and education of Koha users in the United States and beyond, partnering with the global community and supporting organizations. They have monthly Special Interest Group meetings as well as several resources to help you learn more about Koha. Reach out to Lauren Denny if you have questions or visit the KohaUS Learn Page for more Koha tools:

Meet the CILA Team!

NameTeam RoleDescription
Robert Danielson, Asbury Theological SeminaryResource Promoterreaches out to new international members who receive the International Membership Scholarship and connects them with all the benefits ACL membership and CILA provides
Daniel Baek, Vancouver School of TheologyResource DeveloperPrimarily manages the CILA Libguide, which is currently under construction. If you have resources that would help our global members, please send them Daniel’s way!
Lauren Denny, Teamwork Library ConsortiumACL Member LiaisonPrimarily the author of the bi-annual CILA updates and convener of the new International Librarian’s Interest Group
Gary Flokstra, 4 the World Resource DistributorsGrant DeveloperAssists with managing grant paperwork, applications, and assessment of projects
Erin McCoy, Massasoit Community CollegeCILA CoordinatorManages CILA’s team goals, keeps the team on track with deadlines, and investigates new opportunities for overseas involvement.

There will be another volunteer opportunity with the CILA Team posted soon. Be on the lookout for information!

2023 Global Library Investment Grant Recipients

  1. Saint Andrew’s Theological Seminary – Charlotte S. Tad-awan
    Quezon City, Philippines
    Technology support: Upgrading of Library Management System to Cloud-Based
  2. Institute of Bible and Theology – Le Hoang Anh Vu and Tran Thanh Trang
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Library Training Workshop (pictured below) Note: This is the first-ever theological library training workshop in Vietnam, and it will help the development of theological education in the country immensely. Facilitated by ACL member Katherina Penner.
  3. Mortenson Center for International Library Programs (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)  – Peggy Nzomo
    Matching grant for international librarians to attend a unique professional development opportunity offered through the center.
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When the Hits Keep Coming

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)

I was driving to work the other day, thinking about all of the trials I’ve been through in the last 4 years. It’s been a very difficult season of life. Just as the thought, “How did I get here? How am I still standing?” went through my mind, Cory Asbury’s Song “Egypt” came on the radio. As I listened to this familiar song, God gently reminded me of who is in control. We know that we face troubles in this world.

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Life Fails, God Doesn’t

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 148:8 NIV

Life can take unexpected twists and turns. We work hard only to be led away from work we enjoy and love. Our family life does not come to the fruition we expect. Friendships waver; a relationship to a church we love dissipates; we grieve those we have lost in this life. It can feel as if we are drowning in the problems of this world. Our hope, though, is in the trust we can place in Jesus. We can trust that when the mountains seem tall or the journey long that He can and will direct our steps.

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Insightful Workshops & Presentations Tailored for Librarians

We are excited about the schedule of workshops for this year’s annual conference. The line-up is wide-ranging and strong. We are pleased to offer 20 in-person workshops and 8 virtual workshops. (All virtual content is available for viewing through September 26, 2024. )

The conference planning team has chosen presentations covering a variety of library topics, including:

  • Faith Integration
  • Library Spaces & Makerspaces
  • Leadership & Management
  • Open Education
  • Services, including Reference, Cataloging, Archives, & Systems

Check out the Speakers page to meet this year’s presenters and read workshop descriptions. Notice the presentation tracks too. There’s something for everyone!

We hope you are as excited as we are about the 2024 Conference and these great presentations. Be sure to register soon (early bird registration ends March 19th). Remember to invite a colleague! And, we eagerly anticipate all who can come and join us in embodying ‘The Great ACL Get Together’ theme, as we connect people and ideas for a transformative learning experience.

Hope to see you there!

Ruth McGuire

Ruth is the ACL Conference Presentations Coordinator as well as the Host Librarian for the 2024 ACL Annual Conference. She is the Director of Library Services at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and has been an ACL member since 1999.

Miriam Liethen

Miriam joined the ACL Conference Coordinating Team this year as the Assistant Presentations Coordinator. She is the Electronic Services Librarian at Grace College & Theological Seminary and has been an ACL member since 2020.

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ACL-Pro Plenary Workshop Spotlight

One way that ACL prioritizes continuous learning and professional development for its members is through ACL-Pro Plenary Workshops during the Annual Conference. The workshops are included in the conference registration and offer CEUs.* Whether you need the CEUs or not, I think you’ll find these sessions practical and relevant.

Do you provide instruction to your students or library users—both in person and/or online? Looking for guidance on how to improve the efficacy of your teaching? Join us for “Creating Transformative Instructional Design Experiences for Learning” on Tuesday, June 11. This workshop will be led by UNW Education Professors Annalisa Buerke and Jonell Pacyga. You’ll glean insights into how to apply teaching principles and use technology tools to craft successful instructional sessions.

What about questions regarding AI and ChatGPT? Since ChatGPT was released, discussions about its proper usage and what it even is have been circulating in every arena. Join us for “Librarianship in an AI Era: Mindsets and Tools to Wisely Utilize the Potential of Artificial Intelligence,” on Wednesday, June 12. This workshop will be presented by our very own UNW Professor and Research & Instruction Librarian Jessica Moore and Adjunct Faculty and Instructional Designer Adam Minnie. You’ll want to attend this workshop to learn more about AI and its intersection with the library and how you can approach this emerging technology at your own institution.

I hope you’ll take advantage of these opportunities to earn CEUs and learn together with us at this year’s Annual ACL Conference.

*Earning CEUs is a proactive step librarians can take to remain effective and valuable contributors. Attendees simply complete a survey, and the CEU credits are recorded in their membership record with a certificate emailed to them. 

Please make note of these important deadlines related to conference:
March 15 – Deadline to nominate colleagues for the Emily Russel or Lifetime Service Awards
March 15 – Deadline for international ACL members to apply for the Spidell Conference Scholarship
March 19 – Early Bird Registration Deadline
March 31 – Deadline to apply for the President’s Conference Scholarship
April 9 – Deadline to submit a poster session application

Hope to see you here in June!

Becky Halberg

Becky is the Library Web Coordinator at the University of Northwestern and serves on the 2024 ACL Conference Host Team. She has been an ACL member since 2022.

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Keynote Spotlight

As my colleagues and I discussed themes and speakers for ACL’s upcoming 2024 Annual Conference, a common idea emerged: though technology often makes physical presence optional, we still want and need embodied community. If nothing else, the pandemic was quite effective at revealing our need for physical presence. Technology can simulate it, but I don’t think it will ever replace it—nor should it. In Minnesota, no other event signals our desire and need to gather better than the Minnesota State Fair, also known as The Great Minnesota Get Together! And there it was… 2024’s conference theme: The Great ACL Get Together!

Our next task was to find a keynote speaker who could address the importance of physical presence in a world of digital surrogates. And we are delighted to introduce you to Samuel James! He is the associate acquisitions editor at Crossway Books, and the author of Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age (Crossway, 2023). We asked James to draw on the ideas in his book to help us understand how digital technology shapes the way we think. Check out his abstract here. After his address, James will sit down with us for a conversation on what the implications might be for libraries as physical and digital environments, a timely conversation for both in-person and virtual attendees. I trust that this session will encourage you both personally and professionally as we navigate our online age together.

Registration is now open! (ACL members, be sure to log into the MY ACCOUNT area before registering to take advantage of your $90 membership discount.) When you register, you’ll have the option of adding Samuel James’s book, Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age, to your conference package. At only $12, it’s a great price, and it will be shipped to you prior to the conference. (If you are located outside the US, you can collect your copy at the conference in June.)

We hope to see you in Saint Paul!

Greg Rosauser

Greg is Associate Professor and Archivist at Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and on the 2024 ACL Conference hosting team. He has been an ACL member since 2011.

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Why Minnesota?

University of Northwestern Campus

On behalf of the staff of the Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, I am excited to invite you all to Minnesota this June for the 2024 Annual Conference! Experience a “taste of Minnesota” with a memorable blend of engaging content, fellowship, and fun!  

Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, and a lakeside bonfire with friends is a quintessential summer activity! As the conference kicks off on Sunday evening, we will gather on picturesque Lake Johanna Island for a fun and welcoming bonfire with fellow attendees. There will be an opportunity to tour Northwestern’s Island Chapel with Art Professor Emeritus Dr. Mark Baden, who will also lead devotions on Monday morning in the stunning Nazareth Chapel.  

What is an ACL conference without ice cream? Our Monday evening excursion will feature a walk along St. Paul’s historic Summit Avenue from Cathedral Hill to the Grand Ole Creamery! 

Theatre enthusiasts know that the Twin Cities has a vibrant and thriving theatre scene! Following the banquet on Tuesday evening, Minnesota’s own Theater for the Thirsty will perform their newest musical “This is My Story, This is My Song” featuring the stories behind some of the great hymns of the faith.  

Theater for the Thirsty

For those planning to extend their stay before or after the conference, the Twin Cities offers a variety of attractions including museums, zoos, parks, historic sites, and shopping. See our local LibGuide for a full list of suggestions. Here are some highlights: 

  • American Swedish Institute: Located in Minneapolis, this cultural center celebrates Swedish and Nordic heritage. Explore the historic Turnblad Mansion, art exhibits, and enjoy Swedish-inspired cuisine at the on-site restaurant, Fika. 
  • Mall of America: Located in Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis, the Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States. It features over 500 stores, numerous restaurants, and attractions like Nickelodeon Universe and SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium. 
  • Minnehaha Park: A beautiful urban park in Minneapolis, Minnehaha Park is known for its stunning waterfall, walking trails, and scenic views along the Mississippi River. Visitors can also explore the historic Minnehaha Depot and enjoy a meal at Sea Salt Eatery. 
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: Located in St. Paul, Como Park offers a free zoo and conservatory. Explore a wide variety of animals and plant life or take a leisurely stroll through the Japanese Garden. 
  • Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden: For art enthusiasts, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis showcases contemporary art, and the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features iconic sculptures like the Spoonbridge and Cherry. 
  • Historic Stillwater: Known as the “Birthplace of Minnesota”, Stillwater is a charming town on the banks of the St. Croix River known for its historic architecture, boutique shops, and scenic river views. Explore the town, take a boat tour, or enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants. 
  • Mill City Museum: Situated in downtown Minneapolis, this museum is built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill. It provides insights into the history of milling in the region and offers panoramic views of the city from the observation deck. 
  • Minnesota History Center: Situated in St. Paul, the Minnesota History Center provides engaging exhibits on the state’s history, culture, and heritage. 
  • Guthrie Theater: Theater enthusiasts can visit the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, known for its innovative productions and modern architecture. The theater offers guided tours, and the Endless Bridge provides a stunning view of the Mississippi River and city skyline. 
  • Stone Arch Bridge and Nicollet Island: Take a stroll across the historic Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, which provides stunning views of the city skyline and the Mississippi River. Afterward, explore Nicollet Island, known for its charming Victorian homes and gardens. 
  • James J. Hill House: Visit the historic mansion of railroad magnate James J. Hill in St. Paul. The house, a National Historic Landmark, offers guided tours showcasing its impressive architecture and the lifestyle of a 19th-century tycoon. The museum also offers walking tours of historic Summit Avenue.  

We hope to see you in Minnesota this June! 

Jessica Moore

Jessica Moore is the Research and Instruction Librarian and a full Professor at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and a member of the 2024 ACL Conference Hosting Team. Jessica has been a member of ACL since 2007, and served as the chair of ACL’s Liberal Arts Section in 2013-2015. Her professional interests include information literacy, instructional design, assessment, copyright, and open education. Jessica and her husband Brian live in the Twin Cities area.

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Divine Possibilities

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so, through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV)

For those of a certain generation, or who raised kids in the 1980s or 90s, you may be familiar with the Bill & Gloria Gaither song “I Am A Promise”, published in 1982. For those not familiar with the lyrics, the song begins, “I am a promise / I am a possibility / I am a promise with a capital ‘P’ / I can be anything / anything God wants me to be.” Recently, my mom was visiting to watch my 4-year-old and started

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Matters of the Heart

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner there are A LOT of people already wondering how to maneuver through the day. The flowers… the chocolates… the balloons. Those tokens of affection. Oh, my. Even the little ones who set their carefully -or not so carefully- decorated Valentine’s Day boxes in place are wild with excitement wondering how many valentines they will receive or if their current heartthrob

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