In order to help minimize spread of the coronavirus and protect our campus community, Cowles Library is adjusting our services, hours, and building access. Read more…

Information Literacy

Dunham-LaGree published in Reference & User Services Quarterly

Assistant professor Carrie Dunham-LaGree, Librarian for Digital Literacy & General Education, has published an article in the Summer 2013 Reference & User Services Quarterly. The article, co-written with Amy Barlow, Heather Love Beverley, Sarah Elichko, and Emily Hamstra, is titled “Chasing Reference: Librarians and Collaborative Blogging.” These five librarians first collaborated as members of the 2012 American Library Association Emerging Leaders program. Their Emerging Leaders project was to create a new blog for the Reference and User Services Association.

Dr. Susan Fink and Marc Davis presenting at ILA/ACRL on 10 May

Two of Cowles Library’s finest are presenting at the ILA/ACRL Conference on 10 May 2013.  Abstract follows:

Disruptive Thinking About Disruptive Innovation.
Dr. Susan Fink and Marc Davis, Drake University
In The Search for Survival: Lessons from Disruptive Technologies, Henry C. Lucas wrote
that correctly answering the question “what business are we in” is a first, essential step for
an organization in identifying and dealing with disruptive innovation that can undermine
their entire business model. Provocative “disruptive thinking” techniques (such as
challenging assumptions, killer questions and uncomfortable truths) will be used to
challenge the audience as they formulate and discuss “disruptive hypotheses” to answer the
question of “what business are we (academic libraries) in?” The goal of disruptive thinking
is to break up patterns of thought, shift perspectives and catalyze new ways of thinking.
We will explore how our hypotheses can impact our strategic planning, ongoing service and
assessment models, and the different implications each has for the future

Open Access policy passed by Drake Faculty Senate

The Faculty Senate of Drake University endorsed an Open Access Policy at its regular meeting on 17 April 2013 (the amended text follows).  It is one of the first such campus-wide Open Access academic policies to be adopted in Iowa. The Faculty of Cowles Library had originally endorsed the policy, and they hope to leverage this endorsement to raise awareness of Open Access in general, and the Drake Institutional Repository (eScholarShare) in particular.

Drake University Open Access Policy Text (as amended)

 The Faculty of Drake University is committed to disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible. The Faculty recognize the public benefit of such dissemination, including that providing greater access to scholarship promotes social justice. This policy is also intended to serve faculty interests by promoting greater reach and impact for scholarly publications, assisting authors’ retention of distribution rights, and ensuring long-term preservation of the scholarly output of the University.

In keeping with these commitments, the Drake Faculty Senate recognizes that Cowles Library has created an Open Access repository of the scholarly output of faculty (eScholarShare). Each faculty member grants to Drake University permission to make electronically available his or her scholarly works that the author has chosen to distribute as Open Access. Drake University will permanently store and index those works for the purpose of open dissemination. In legal terms, under this policy, Drake Faculty author(s) or copyright owner(s) grant to Drake University the non-exclusive, royalty-free right to reproduce, convert to an updated electronic format, publicly display/perform and/or distribute their submission (including the abstract) worldwide in any format or medium, including but not limited to print, photographic, electronic, audio and/or video. The Drake Faculty author(s) remain(s) the copyright owner unless that author chooses to transfer the copyright to a publisher.

Scholarly works authored or co-authored while anyone is a member of the Faculty would be eligible for deposit in the repository unless the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement, such as transferring all rights to a publisher. If the faculty member grants to Drake University permission to make electronically available his or her scholarly works, he or she may embargo scholarly articles from distribution for a specified period of time if a publishing agreement made by the Faculty member is incompatible with immediate distribution in eScholarShare.

The Faculty Senate calls upon the Cowles Library Faculty Council to work with the Provost’s Office, in collaboration with the Faculty Senate, to develop and monitor an implementation plan for this policy. The Library Faculty Council, in consultation with the Provost’s Office, will submit annual reports to Faculty Senate. The policy and service model will be reviewed as needed and a recommendation on revisions to the policy presented to the Faculty Senate.

Bart Schmidt Named as Instructor for ILEAD USA in Iowa

Bart Schmidt, Associate Professors of Librarianship and Digital Projects Librarian at Cowles Library has been named as an instructor for the ILEAD USA Program in Iowa. Iowa Library Services is partnering with the state libraries of Illinois, Colorado, Ohio and Utah to implement ILEAD USA through a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Learn more about ILEAD USA here.

NOTE NEW DATE AND LOCATION: Gilbert to give Humanities presentation: 15 March

Bruce Gilbert, Professor of Librarianship and Director of Library Instruction, will give a Spring 2013 presentation in the Humanities Center Colloquium Series on 15 March.  Entitled, “The What and Why of the Open: Is Openness the New Humanity?” the presentation will be in Cowles Library 201 (“the Glassed-in Room”), from 3:30-5:00 pm.  All Colloquium presentations are free and open to the public.   A brief description of the presentation and biography of the presenter follow:

Abstract: In recent months, “Openness” (in the form of MOOCs, OAI, the “Academic Spring”) has moved from the relatively obscure concern of a few librarians and internet geeks to the subject of New York Times articles, daily updates in the Chronicle, and the radar screens of University faculty and administrators. All of which begs the question: Just what is (and ISN’T) “Open”? How is it defined? For all the reams written on “Open” topics, there is a paucity of theoretical support for “Openness”; the “Open” is generally assumed not to need a definition and even less to need a justification. Professor Gilbert will argue that this is a role that the Humanities should assume, and that the philosophical vacuum in this area is doing damage not just to Openness, but the academy itself. He will tilt towards provocative points of view: That the various Open initiatives would benefit from a “Grand Unified Theory,” and that Openness is either a new Humanity, or a force that may well subsume the Humanities. Finally, drawing from sources ranging from literature to librarianship to social theory, he will offer some preliminary thoughts on defining The Open, and seek to engage his audience in refining these notions. Note that these remarks will not be technical in nature, and all with a general interest are encouraged to attend!

Brief bio:
Bruce Gilbert grew up on an Iowa dairy farm and was a railroad worker before garnering degrees in history, library science, and public administration from Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and Drake University, respectively.  He began his service at Drake in 1992 when he was hired as the institution’s first Systems Librarian, and is currently the Director of Library Instruction at Cowles Library; among his accomplishments is helping to establish eScholarShare, the University’s Institutional Repository for scholarly material.


Dunham-LaGree to give LOEX presentation

Carrie Dunham-LaGree’s presentation, “What’s Up Doc? Transforming Information Literacy Instruction with Documentary Films”, has been accepted for the LOEX 2013 Conference (LOEX is a self-supporting, non-profit educational clearinghouse for library instruction and information literacy information).  Hers was one of the 60 selected from over 150 proposals submitted.

The conference will be held in Nashville, TN at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown hotel, from May 2 – 4, 2013.

Dr. Schaefer in DC for Fulbright update

Dr. Karl Schaefer (Professor of Librarianship, Cowles Library) is travelling to Washington, DC on 7 February to participate in a workshop for Fulbright Campus Representatives.  The purpose of the workshop is to introduce new programs and procedures to campus representatives so that they have the most up-to-date and most accurate information to convey to those of their faculties who might be interested in applying for the grants.  Dr. Schaefer is Drake’s Campus Representative for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Shenoy named Chair of Health Science Library group

Priya ShenoyPriya Shenoy, who joined the Faculty of Cowles Library in June 2012, was recently named the Chair of the Iowa Health Science Library Association, a subdivision of the Iowa Library Association.  As Chair she will help plan two meetings (one in Spring and one at the ILA October 2013 conference).  As Chair, she will help plan logistics for the meetings, recruit speakers, and coordinate classes that will give CE credits to librarians.

Dean Henshaw Named to STEM Advisory Board

Rod Henshaw, Dean of Cowles Library, has been named by Governor Branstad to the STEM Advisory Council Board for the South Central Iowa region.

The six regional network hubs are the first major initiative of the new Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Advisory Council, a public-private partnership, whose overarching goal is to boost student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and promote STEM economic development.

Prof. Dunham-LaGree at ALA

Dunham-LaGree and Dean Henshaw at ALA.

Professor Carrie Dunham-LaGree and Dean Rod Henshaw at ALA, June 22, 2012.

Named an American Library Association Emerging Leader in 2012, Professor Carrie Dunham-LaGree, Librarian for Digital Literacy & General Education at Drake, is participating in the culminating event for the Emerging Leader’s class, a poster session at this year’s ALA Conference in Anaheim, California. Carrie’s work involved creation of the Chasing Reference blog, sponsored by the Reference & User Services Association of ALA.

Emerging Leaders poster session: “The 2012 ALA Emerging Leaders will showcase their final projects at this culminating event for their class. Since the ALA Midwinter Meeting, the groups have been working virtually on projects related to ALA or a professional concern. These groups have been supported by ALA staff and member mentors from the profession. The poster session will allow each group to showcase its creative and innovative solutions for their projects. All are welcome and are encouraged to attend.” (from the ALA scheduler:


Chasing Reference ( “Chasing Reference is an Emerging Leaders project sponsored by the American Library Association’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). The blog, like RUSA and its membership, is broad in scope, diverse, and appeals to members of RUSA, librarians interested in becoming members of RUSA, and people interested in librarianship. Chasing Reference covers diverse topics from librarians in a variety of settings. RUSA has a very broad mandate, and while Chasing Reference reflects that, it also showcases specific topics and day-to-day concerns of librarians. It’s reference in the world: exciting, unexpected, fun, and informative.”

Scroll to Top