Registration is now open!

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2023 ACL Annual Conference is now open! Joshua Michael, the 2023 Host Librarian, and the librarians at Cedarville University are eager to welcome you to a great week of learning and encouragement as we explore this year’s conference theme: Service, the Heart of It All.

Our hope is that as many as possible would attend the in-person conference at Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH, June 6-8, which will include all of the traditional elements of our annual conference. We know that not all can come in person with budgets and time constraints, so we will continue to offer a virtual streamlined option for 2023, but at a different time than our in-person event. Please note the differences below.

June 6-8, 2023
IN-PERSON at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio

Please join us once again for a time of in-person professional development and rich fellowship at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. You’ll enjoy the traditional ACL conference experience with a keynote address, two plenary ACL-Pro Workshops, 21 concurrent workshops presented by librarian colleagues, section meetings, daily devotional time, poster sessions, vendor showcase, and many opportunities to collaborate and network with like-minded librarians. Virtual participation also comes with in-person conference regisration. Explore the full in-person conference agenda here.

REGISTER for Annual Conference

June 26 & 27, 2023
ONLINE via Whova

If you are unable to travel to Ohio, please be sure to join us online June 26 and 27. This option is less expensive since there are no travel expenses, but will be a robust program with opportunity for lively interaction and engagement. The two days of online content will be broadcast live according to the schedule. There will be nine workshops presented by librarian colleagues and the added opportunity to participate in live Q & A sessions with the presenters. View virtual posters, interact with library-related sponsors and exhibitors, and participate in the many networking opportunities. Virtual content will be available for all conference participant for 6 months post conference. Explore the online participation agenda here.

REGISTER for Virtual Conference

Program Highlights

Keynote Address: Living the Life of a Servant Leader

Scott Livingston

The servant leader is one who is seen as servant first, whose focus is the growth and well-being of the people in the communities to which they belong. However, without proper self-care, even the most well-intentioned leader can become depleted and unable to serve at their fullest potential. Join us for a dynamic and transformative keynote experience as we explore the value and virtue of living the life of a resilient servant leader.

ACL-Pro Plenary Workshop: Embedding Libraries & Librarians into the Campus LMS

Panel: Kirsten Setzkorn, Cedarville University; Robert Burgess, Mississippi College; Taylor Vanlandingham, John Brown University; Miriam Liethen, Grace College & Theological Seminary

In this panel session, discover how librarians from three different institutions creatively practice embedded librarianship in the context of their campus’ learning management system. As more institutions of higher learning adopt LMS platforms and the number of distance learners continues to rise, librarians can capitalize on new opportunities to embed their services and resources into these online learning environments. Learn from each panelist’s unique experience establishing and growing an embedded program, as well as the greatest benefits and challenges they faced along the way. Discussion will include the many forms embedded librarianship can take – from integrating LibGuides into LMS courses, to creating a research course in the LMS, to librarians taking an active role in classes in the LMS context. Participants will come away inspired with tangible ideas on how to implement their own embedded program to the benefit of their students and institutions.

ACL-Pro Plenary Workshop: How to Use Student Workers in Unique Ways

Panel:Kari Siders, Cedarville University; Leslie Starasta, Lincoln Christian University; Gary Fitsimmons, Bryan College; Jean Waldrop, Harding University; Crystal Whitham, Allegheny Wesleyan College

During this ACL Pro-Workshop panelists from four libraries will reveal how they have created unique roles for student workers in their library. Many libraries use or place students in standard roles such as circulation or book processing, yet to fulfill the needs of the library, students can be trained and trusted to accomplish so much more. Students in these libraries were placed in roles that included tasks such as LibGuide creation, ILLs, social media, archives, cataloging, and more. This workshop will expand your idea of the typical student worker role and encourage you to consider how you can utilize students more fully at your library.

We know that budgets are tight! For the greatest cost savings, take advantage of the early bird discount by registering by March 15. No one offers a conference experience like ACL’s in a similar price range so your professional development budget earns more value.

ACL strives to provide conference programming to help you thrive in your profession, so please join us!

Please feel free to contact me with your conference questions. I hope to see you either in person or online in June!

With joy,

April McKinion
Conference Manager and Outreach Coordinator

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Why Ohio?

Welcome to our small town, a village really. We aren’t known for very much apart from a few notable characters. Yet, examine us closely and you will find something far more important, enduring, and inherent. You will find a people, and a heartbeat of a community cut from a long, southwest Ohio heritage… a steady thrum of life in rhythm with the open contours of rich glacial till at the edge of ancient rolling hills. Here, countryside courtesy meets academic ambition in a blend of quiet, earth-hardened folks and fervent, coffee-fueled philosophers. We aren’t always the perfect marriage of common sense and intellectual effort, but rather, we have a more fitting common ground within the crossroads of long-held fundamental traditions and principled values. Faith, family, and neighbor mean so much more to the folks of this part of Ohio than the differences that may divide us ever could. This year’s ACL Annual Conference hosted by Cedarville University mirrors these same traditions and values: “Service, the Heart of It All”.

So why Ohio? Well to be fair, why not? Did you know the ACL home office is headquartered here in Cedarville? Well, consider this your open invitation to join us for the conference and experience all that Ohio has to offer. You can start your journey of exploration with the Local Ohio LibGuide and plan your trip in pursuit of the next great adventure. Between conference sessions, you might visit the Historic Clifton Mill, or tackle a mile of waterside trails in river-hewn gorges and park reserves, or take a driving tour of Green County’s five covered bridges. Even on campus you can find notable points of intrigue, such as the Biblical Heritage Gallery and Archives of the Centennial Library or the Center for Bible & Theological Studies Wiersbe Reading Room. Whatever adventure you choose while at the conference, don’t forget to join us for homemade ice-cream at Young’s Jersey Dairy.

Perhaps your summer plans are more ambitious and the blueprint for this year’s conference is wide open to the road ahead. Before the conference, you might meander over to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter or take an after-conference turn at the Museum of the US Air Force and National Aviation Heritage Area. Ohio may not be your first destination of choice, but in just one state, where else can you find the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Queen City Riverboats, Jack Hanna Zoo Exhibits, Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Serpent Mounds and the Adena & Hopewell Culture Center, or Kings Island & Cedar Point amusement parks, two Major League Baseball teams, and five presidential homes, museums, and libraries with more besides. I dare you to get lost, and to discover just what makes Ohio a place “At the Heart of It All”.

Come on over and enjoy …I hope to see you soon!


Nathanael Davis
STEM/Business Librarian; Assistant Professor of Library Science
Cedarville University
ACL Conference Technology Coordinator

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Eye on It – 03/2023

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV)

Baseball season is almost here! For me – a Little League coach –  this means once again coaching 6-8 year-olds on how to play the game – teaching them how to run through first base,  going over how to stand next to home plate when batting and not on top of it, and trying to keep the outfielders from wandering over to the playground. One of the toughest things to teach a young baseball player is how to keep their eye on the ball when they are up at bat. A lot of other things can be distracting, like fear of getting hit by the ball, exuberant parents shouting advice and encouragement, or a bird flying across the field. Focusing on seeing the ball and swinging the bat at good pitches is a struggle.  

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Timeline: Annually (May 15-July 14) 

Receive at minimum a 15% consortial discount on all Bloomsbury products, with the possibility of a greater discount the more products your institution purchases. This includes the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary and the Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries collection.

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Grace Andrews – 2/2023

Grace is the Director of Library Services at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Ridgeland, MS (152 FTE). Grace has been an ACL member for 6 years.

Describe yourself using a book title: A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The thrill of the hunt! I love learning new techniques for honing the research process and sharing these with students and faculty, and I also love getting to hear first-hand from passionate researchers about their quests.

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A Time for Calmness and Quietness

A Song of Ascents. Of David.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 131 (ESV)

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Robert Danielson – 01/2023

Robert is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY (1104 FTE). Robert has been an ACL member since 2010. 

Describe yourself using a book title: The Librarian as Missionary 

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? I really enjoy being able to help people connect with a subject, particularly students. To listen to them talk about a subject and then be able to direct them to the right resource or topic to help encourage them to go deeper and learn more is always a great feeling.

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Forget the Former Things

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 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 43:18-19 NIV)

As we walk through this weary world…what a pessimistic beginning to a statement that laments the challenges we face in our lives from time to time, even as believers. Yet, we can all resonate with that statement during times of difficulty. Unfortunately, in Christian higher education right now, many of us (librarians) have faced or are facing significant and systemic challenges that do not seem to be fading, which puts pressure on our faith. It is one thing when we face temporary challenges that are resolved in the short term; however, it is quite another thing when those challenges seem to be on an indefinite loop.

So, when we come to a passage, a promise from the Lord, that seems too good to be true, it challenges our faith. That is what we find in Isaiah when God gives Israel, and by extension to us as believers, an enormous promise. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 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 43:18-19).” What a wonderful and encouraging promise. I should forget the difficulties of the past and look forward to the new “thing” the Lord is about to spring on me. God says it is already in the works. Do I not see it? What if I said, “No!”

The challenge and hope of this promise is the context in which it is located. When we back up in this chapter, we find Israel has been in difficulty for a long period. In verse 2, Isaiah tells Israel that when you pass through the waters and rivers, I (God) will be with you, and the waters will not overtake you. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned nor set ablaze.

Over the past few years, I have struggled with serving the Lord as a library leader in a challenging environment. I have wanted to see this “new thing” the Lord is doing and move out of the waters and away from the blaze. Yet, I felt like the waters were continuing to rise, pushing me toward the blaze. Then, in what seemed like an out-of-the-blue event, God fulfilled this promise in my life. He did a new thing that removed me from the difficult environment and put me in a new place with a wonderful, hopeful future. Lord, thank you for keeping your promise!

While I want to relish in the “new thing” God has done in my life, God wants me to reflect on the process. Did you drown while I walked with you through the difficulty? No, God, you were holding me up. Did you get burned by the challenges? No, God, you wrapped yourself around me and protected me. Do you believe I will be with you during the waters and fires to come? Yes, Lord, you are faithful. Lord, thank you for keeping your promises!

Brothers and sisters, keep the faith. When you find yourself walking neck-deep in water or surrounded by the blaze, remember God is with you because He keeps his promises. Also, keep the faith when God springs the new thing on you because God is with you.

Ed Walton

Ed is the Director of Library Services and Operations at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO. He has been a member of ACL since 2010.

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Kari Siders – 12/2022

Kari is the Director of Library Public Services at Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH (4571 FTE). Kari has been an ACL member for 4 years. 

Describe yourself using a book title: Compassionate Leadership

What’s the best thing about being a librarian? The variety in every day! Walking in you never know what you’ll encounter on a given day from the questions from patrons to odd issues you never thought you’d have to sort out. It’s amazing to learn something new every day.

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Be Still and Know – 12/2022

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

Many years ago, I was in the North Carolina mountains with other Youth for Christ volunteer staff. We had traveled from Bradenton, Florida, to spend several days helping out at the home where we stayed: weeding the garden, helping with the goats, and fellowshipping. On this trip, I was struggling with decisions that needed to be made in my life. What path should I choose?

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