Spring 2024 Newsletter

Alliance News: Spring 2024 (PDF)

2024 John F. Helmer Awards

Since 2017, the John F. Helmer Professional Development Awards have promoted professional development and engagement in support of Alliance strategic initiatives. Funding has supported workshops, collaborative learning programs, and guest trainers. Awards in this competitive process are up to $5,000, and all Alliance member staff are encouraged to submit proposals.

This year’s awardees are:

Creating Educational Escape Rooms and Text Games
Project Leaders:

  • Stewart Baker, Western Oregon University
  • Seyed Abdollah Shahrokni, Western Oregon University

“We will run a 3-hour virtual workshop to teach Alliance member institution staff how to create educational escape rooms and text games in collaboration with other campus units, within their libraries, or even within Alliance groups and teams. After the workshop, attendees can submit a project proposal to create an educational game, with 10 selected to receive a $200 stipend to work towards implementing their game.”

AI Forward in PNW Academic Libraries: An Orbis Cascade Alliance UnConference 
Project Leaders:

  • Carrie Fry, Seattle Pacific University
  • Yen Tran, Seattle University

“Within libraries, and the academic library sector in particular, exploration of the implications of AI and generative AI is of high interest. The AI Forward in PNW Academic Libraries one-day in-person unconference will be an opportunity for Orbis Cascade Alliance library staff members to explore and discover possible intersections and impacts of AI and generative AI with academic library resources, services, and operations.”

Stay tuned for announcements on how to participate in these events.

Congratulations to the applicants, and thanks to this year’s Helmer Awards Committee: Anne-Marie Deitering (OSU), Chair; Alex Rolfe (George Fox); and Ping Fu (Whitman).

DEI Standing Group Hosts LGBTQ+ Training Series

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Standing Group is excited to share information about the LGBTQ+ training series, which is free to Alliance members. Training sessions occur monthly from March through June.

The series began with Stephen Krueger’s Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion for Libraries, which was held on March 5 (recording available). Stephen introduced basic concepts of gender identity and how the nuances of gender vary widely between different contexts and cultures, and ey shared different ways in which trans and gender diverse people express themselves, as well as various barriers they face. The session closed by reviewing recommended practices for academic library workers on how to support trans and gender diverse patrons and employees.

Carson Williams will continue the series with LGBTQ+ Stories in Library Collections, which will be 11am-12pm on April 17. This session will focus on LGBTQ+ perspectives for collection development activities. Carson will review how to identify problematic stereotypes and tropes, along with how to avoid perpetuating such depictions. He’ll also discuss how to amplify representation that affirms queer identities and experiences. During the session, we’ll share practical tips and strategies for promoting LGBTQ+ identities and perspectives in collections.

In late May, we’ll have a session focused on inclusive policies and practices. This will be an interactive workshop focused on practical tips and strategies. Watch for more information as we finalize the session details!

The series will close with a panel discussion. Drew Balduff, Kel R. Karpinski, Maria Mejia, Danielle Nista, Sara Howard, and Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz will share Grabbing Tea: Queer Conversations on Identity & Libraries on June 18 (time TBD). This will be a conversation among six contributors for the Grabbing Tea: Queer Conversations on Identity and Libraries monograph, a 2024 title from Litwin Books’ Series on Sex and Gender, which engages in conversation on library employees and affiliates who identify as (or within) LGBTQ identity. We’ll explore the interrelations of LGBTQ politics and the workplace and consider our own positionalities as we navigate colleagues, ourselves, and library professional spaces.

Alliance Board Issues Statement on American Chemical Society Article Development Charges

Following an announcement in fall that the American Chemical Society (ACS) would start to impose “article development charges” (ADCs) on zero-embargo green Open Access (OA), the Orbis Cascade Alliance Board of Directors issued a public statement available on the consortium’s website. The statement objects to the practice and calls for its abandonment. WIth the stated intent of allowing authors “to post accepted manuscripts with a CC BY license in open access repositories immediately upon acceptance,” the Alliance joins a growing number of international voices objecting to encroachment on authors’ rights. While this charge does not affect the Alliance’s subscription agreement directly, the ADC model is widely perceived as harmful to the academic publishing ecosystem and a further means of monetizing the transition to Open Access. Read the full statement.

Archives West’s 20th Anniversary

Archives West, the flagship offering of the Alliance’s Archives & Manuscripts Collections Service is 20 years old! It was originally envisioned by archivists at several Pacific Northwest Institutions, as Encoded Archival Description (EAD) was first developed. From 2002-2007, funding for Archives West came from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The first iteration of the Archives West website went live in 2004!

Since 2007, Archives West has been a program offering of the Orbis Cascade Alliance. Archives West is one of the largest and most robust aggregations of EAD finding aids in the United States. It offers descriptions of archival and manuscript materials held by participating institutions in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West. Researchers and the general public can search over 40,000 finding aids to locate collections, then contact repositories directly to access materials.

Members of the A&M service include cultural institutions across the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West. The service is opt-in for Alliance members, and is also available to non-member institutions. How to Join.

Staff Contact

Photo of Maija Anderson

Maija Anderson

Assistant Director & Program Manager, Open Strategies and Digital Content

Orbis Cascade Alliance

Work Phone: (971) 373-6152

Pronouns: she/her/hers