Are we faculty or are we hourly?: The meaning and value of exempt status for academic librarians under the DOL’s new Final Rule on FLSA
Maggie Murphy, Georgia Highlands College
This poster will explore how the Department of Labor’s new (June 2016) “Final Rule” regarding overtime pay may impact academic librarians at colleges and universities in the United States. Under the Final Rule, librarians who make less than the new annual wage threshold ($47,476) may find themselves reclassified as overtime-eligible hourly workers rather than exempt salaried workers, depending on whether or not their institution decides they meet the “teaching” duty test. Reclassification will depend on how the nature and duties of our work as academic librarians are interpreted by human resources personnel, university lawyers, and upper administration.
I hypothesize that reclassification to non-exempt status under the FLSA may also negatively impact the stature of librarians within the institution and weaken claims to faculty status, promotion within faculty ranks, and tenure.
Centering students and advocating for resources through ethnographic research
Natasha Tomlin, Kimberly Mullins, and Eamon Tewell, Long Island University
How might academic libraries best learn about and prioritize student needs? Can libraries share power with students by seeking their perspectives while simultaneously making claims for necessary resources? This poster argues that ethnographic research is one way to address issues of money and power in positive ways. By centering student voices to improve our understandings of library users and leveraging this information to make the case for resources as expressed by students, the qualitative study of libraries has much to offer.
This poster presents one library’s ethnographic project as a case study. Our multi-year exploration of student research and study behaviors used interviews, observations, and a survey to enhance our knowledge of undergraduate and graduate needs at two campuses. The ways that the study was leveraged to obtain funding and pilot new projects will be described along with recommendations for attendees interested in conducting their own ethnographic studies.
Librarian Immersion in Shared Governance
Shelley Arvin, Indiana State University
At a time when academic institutions are under economic stress, university governance must make hard decisions regarding the prioritization of goals and distribution of resources. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) defends the ideals of academic freedom and shared governance under which higher education institutions aspire to operate. AAUP recommends that faculty become educated about the governance system under which their university functions and how decision-making occurs in order to more effectively influence policy.
This poster illustrates the case study of a librarian’s involvement with the local chapter of the AAUP and library and university governance. AAUP training enabled her to contribute to the political conversation of the decision-making process to achieve positive outcomes that ultimately benefited both the library and the academic institution.
No money, no power: Serving disenfranchised adult learners
Natalia Sucre and Julie Turley, College of New Rochelle
How do we deliver info literacy to adult learners, who may be both penniless and powerless? Adult learners at The College of Rochelle’s School of New Resources (SNR) deal with many of the same challenges that kept them from college initially, from single parenting, to homelessness, to financial stress, to being on the disenfranchised side of the digital divide. Students at SNR are expected to create a series of Life Arts Projects (LAPs), hybrid papers combining original research and personal-experience narrative with secondary source research. To support students in this work, learning commons librarians teach a two-credit information literacy class.
Our poster will show how we adapt our instruction to meet the needs of struggling adult learners on campuses that are themselves struggling with limited technology, space, and time. Adaptations include flipped classroom practices, emphasizing source interaction over discussions of plagiarism, teaching citation as a form case management.
Power, ethics and corporate sponsorship: Samsung Library, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
Madalaine Vericker, St. John’s University
One of the most significant challenges for an academic library looking to update its facilities, services, and technology is also the most obvious: finances. In order to build an architectural gem packed with study areas and new technologies, library and school administrators may approach donors to sponsor the work. While it is common to accept donations from wealthy alumni in exchange for perks like naming rights on a building, some institutions are now looking to corporate sponsors for financial partnerships. However, when private corporations become involved in higher education, ethical concerns such as the commercialization of education are voiced by critics.
Inspired by my experience studying Library Management abroad at Yonsei University iSchool in Seoul, Korea, and their esteemed Yonsei Samsung Library, this poster examines the ethics of corporate sponsorship of academic libraries and the power flexed by stakeholders as a result of the relationship.
Storming the castle: Examining access to New York City law libraries for pro se litigants
R. Martin Witt and Hunter Whaley, Columbia Law School
For pro se litigants—those representing themselves in legal matters—accessing law libraries can be as hard as storming a well-fortified castle. Under N.Y. State Law, “[e]ach county of the state shall have a court law library… [and s]uch libraries shall be open to the public…” (Judiciary Law § 813). Although these libraries allow pro se litigants access to vital legal information, are they really achieving the spirit of the law? Effectively, each area has its castle—replete with legal resources that can help deliver fair and just outcomes—but who has the keys to those castles? What hurdles exist that—in practice—may limit access?
This poster looks at the access policies and hours of those legally-required court law libraries in each of the five boroughs of New York City, as well as the policies and hours of academic, private, and other government law libraries in NYC to try to calculate the true cost of access for the pro se litigant.
We don’t speak the same English: A pilot program for alternative writing assessment for first- and second-year college students.
Elizabeth Arestyl, LaGuardia Community College
At times, non-inclusive practices in academia are much more pervasive than we think. In the context of the uniformed language standard, there is no effort to understand and account for the complexity of African American English (AAE) and various dialects of the English language, which leaves many students struggling to keep up with their peers. These students bear a double burden of contending with new material and learning to express their ideas using an unfamiliar linguistic structure.
Building on research literature and media publications, this poster will propose a collaborative pilot program designed to raise awareness of the inner variety of English and its cultural implications for higher education. The primary goal of this pilot program will be working toward institution-wide policy changes related to academic writing requirements. The poster will be organized in several sections: background literature; AAE; the problem statement; program design; assessment; and evaluation.