Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter


FALL 2004

Staff Activities

ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute


Christine Conroy, Associate University LibrarianChristine Conroy, Associate University Librarian for Collection Services, attended the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians, August 8-13, 2004. Now in its sixth year, the Leadership Institute is an intensive program designed for librarians with “significant administrative responsibility in an institution of higher education”. Participants include library directors, associate/assistant directors, and others with top leadership responsibilities in their organizations. The class this year consisted of 98 librarians from the United States, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Arab Republic of Egypt, Canada, and Germany, The curriculum of the Institute is oriented around case studies and group discussions. Libraries in academia share many of the same problems regardless of size, type, or location. Creative approaches to leadership are generated through ongoing discussions of shared issues. The intensive, immersion approach to the program leads to quickly formed bonds among the participants. Ongoing communication among participants is facilitated through the Institute listserv for the class.


Library of the Vietnamese Catholic Church


Monique Lowd, Associate University LibrarianMonique Lowd, Associate University Librarian This past summer a team from Boston College, which included Julio Giulietti, SJ, Director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Nham Vu, Serial Specialist, myself and accompanied by Professor Phu Nguyen, emigration lawyer and team translator, traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to meet with Cardinal Pham Minh Man and other members of his staff to discuss the foundation of the Library of the Vietnamese Catholic Church. Under Cardinal Man’s leadership, the Catholic Church and the Vietnamese socialist government have established a new and growing collaboration. According to Father Giulietti, “the development of a major library at the service of both Catholic Vietnamese and readers in general is a positive step toward dialogue and reconciliation on many levels”.


The team met over several days to visit the site of the proposed library, to visit other structures being rehabilitated around the proposed site and to meet with Cardinal Man and his “ad hoc library staff”. This library will represent a reawakening of the Catholic intellectual tradition in Vietnam by providing a place for study and reflection with access to books, journals and electronic resources. Cardinal Man has a grand vision for this proposed library with large meeting rooms, training rooms, a dining facility, computer research areas, reader spaces and of course, room for book stacks. The library team came up with a design which will serve the needs of the many religious leaders, scholars and students for years to come.


The visit also included a side trip to Cu Chi, to visit the Daughters of Charity’s AIDS hospice, home to a few of the children and adults in Vietnam dying of HIV/AIDS. Cu Chi is located not far from the famous Cu Chi tunnels which enabled Vietnamese fighters to operate for years without being spotted by American troops and airplanes. The hospice is in a remote area, beautiful, yet exceedingly poor. The hospice, run by half a dozen sisters, provides a sparkling, peaceful respite from the horrors of the disease. The beautiful orchids that the sisters grow to raise money to support the hospice offer a soft counterpoint to the suffering of the patients.


The Vietnamese Catholic Church has tremendous tasks ahead, to rebuild itself, to regain buildings once confiscated and used as cramped apartments, to once again be part of the vibrant life of the country. The Boston College Libraries are proud to contribute to this enormous undertaking. View photos from the trip.


The Minnesota Institute for Early-Career Librarians


Michelle Baildon, Scholarly Communication LibrarianMichelle Baildon, Scholarly Communication Reference Librarian The Minnesota Institute for Early-Career Librarians offered a week of intensive professional and leadership training for twenty-four academic librarians new to the profession. Held in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota from October 16 to 23, the fourth biannual institute welcomed librarians from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the profession, providing an opportunity to develop skills and build a career network.


I was fortunate to be selected to attend the institute, where I joined colleagues from universities across the country, including Columbia, Duke, and UCLA. We undertook a demanding schedule of workshops, which were led by University of Minnesota librarians, instructors from the Twin Cities academic community, and trainers from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), a nationwide consortium that includes the Boston College Libraries.


Workshops in leadership and organizational behavior were expertly led by DeEtta Jones and Kathryn Deiss of the ARL Office of Leadership and Management Services (OLMS). In addition to exercises about participants' personal career vision and professional strengths and talents, the workshops included sessions about organizational culture, group development, and effective problem-solving, including collaborative work on case studies.


Professional workshops included an excellent presentation about grant writing by Barbara Davis, a grant-writing instructor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and St. Mary's University in Minneapolis. Dr. Richard Krueger of the University of Minnesota's Extension Service, a national expert on focus groups, conducted a lively and informative session on the topic. Workshops on library assessment and instructional design were held by Jerilyn Veldof and Jan Roseen of the University of Minnesota Libraries.


Our work continues after the institute's conclusion as we meet with mentors (chosen by participants) at our home institutions. Chris Conroy, Associate University Librarian for Collection Services, will work with me as a mentor to translate the concepts and skills presented at the institute to our efforts at the Boston College Libraries.


Questions, comments? Contact the BC Libraries Newsletter Review Board.