Public Services Committee Meeting: September 15, 2021

Zoom / Conference Call

Members attending: Caitlin Archer-Helke (Saint Xavier University), Jessica Bastian (Illinois Central College), Krista Bowers Sharpe (Western Illinois University), Chad Kahl, co-chair (Illinois State University), Cynthia Kremer, co-chair (Joliet Junior College), Ashley McMullin (DePaul University), Lesley Wolfgang (Saint John's College of Nursing), Arlie Sims (Columbia College Chicago)

Members absent: Nestor Osorio, (Northern Illinois University)

CARLI Staff attending: Elizabeth Clarage, Denise Green

Discovery Prime VE Task Force Liaison: Christine McClure (DePaul University)


  • All committee members should continue brainstorming ideas for committee’s work for the year expanding on the topics discussed during the meeting including work on the survey draft and PSC project program outline in the committee’s space on Box.  

Tasks Assigned

  • Minutes taken by Jessica Bastian.


  • Member Announcements:
    • Cynthia Kremer (JJC): JJC is hosting vaccine clinics and is using the Cleared4 system for submitting vaccination cards. Testing is available for JJC students, faculty, and staff through Illinois Shield. Vaccination efforts are going well, and library staff feel comfortable being back in-person.
    • Caitlin Archer-Helke (SXU): Testing center is open at SXU. However, the masked mandate is being enforced loosely on campus. Interim Provost is proposing structural changes for SXU.
    • Krista Bowers Sharpe (WIU): WIU is strictly enforcing testing requirements for students, faculty, and staff. Library is very busy. The reference desk has dual screen that displays through plexiglass. WIU will be starting a search for a Library Dean.
    • Chad Kahl (ISU): At ISU vaccination rates for all enrolled students is 74%, faculty/staff is 90%, and students in housing is 81%. Test positivity rate is 0.9%. Mask wearing has been problematic in the library. Staff has encountered resistance from students about wearing a mask in the library.
    • Arlie Sims (Columbia College Chicago): Overall vaccinatione rates are good. It’s been good to see students in library spaces! Students are responding well to the mask mandate. The library is not open on Sundays. Columbia is continuing to do reference and instruction online while also providing in-person services. Some classes have been reassigned to larger spaces. Arlie shared information about the Chicago Research Summit.  
    • Lesley Wolfgang (St. John’s College of Nursing): At St. John’s College of Nursing 80% of students are vaccinated. Students are required to be vaccinated for clinical. However, the hospital is not going to mandate vaccination for employees. Weekly testing is required for those who are not vaccinated.  
    • Ashley McMullin (DePaul University): DePaul University is mandating vaccination for students, faculty, staff, and contractors. There is a mask mandate on campus. Library has been very busy; staff has experienced some resistance from students when enforcing the mask mandate. DePaul is currently hiring a Health Science Librarian.  
    • Jessica Bastian (ICC): East Peoria and Peoria campus libraries are open; with shortened physical hours. Masks are mandated on campus and non-vaccinated students, faculty, and staff are required to test weekly. ICC is using the Cleared4 system. ICC Library continues to provide virtual reference and instruction for students, as well as online curriculum support for faculty. Hiring student workers has been a challenge.       
  • CARLI Announcements:


  • The committee discussion focused on identifying a topic of exploration and project for Fall 2021.
  • The chair surveyed committee members to help identify topics of interest. Survey results were shared and discussed during the meeting.
  • The conversation was centered around the topic of controlled digital lending in the context of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). It was suggested that the Public Services committee could provide leadership and information for CARLI members around the topic of controlled digital lending.
  • The committee discussed increasing faculty interest in Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Access (OA), and use of digital collections to support online learning during the pandemic. Members expressed interest in discussing various copyright issues and compiling questions about challenges faced during the pandemic.  
  • In addition to identifying a topic, the committee discussed what type of program or deliverable would be appropriate for our audience, interest, and scope of the committee. Several ideas were shared including:
    • Collecting mini-case studies on challenges and experiences during the pandemic. The focus would be on digital collections and DEI. The case studies could be published and distributed to CARLI members; followed by a program in the Spring, where members could ask questions and discuss their experiences.
    • Hosting a program on what we learned/discovered during the pandemic, in the context of equity and access to digital materials in a virtual learning environment. This program could include topics like controlled digital lending, copyright issues, and vendor incentives during the pandemic. We would focus the conversation on what challenges were encountered, what was learned, and what problems remain. How to sustain service models provided during the pandemic.
  • Committee members were also interested in communicating the value of the library to administrators and promoting the library on campus as topics to consider.
  • It was suggested that instead of a semester project, the committee should select an issue and then spend the fall semester gathering information and then plan a program in the Spring.
  • It was decided that the committee needed to first settle on a topic and clarify the scope of interest before planning a project or program. We will continue to brainstorm topics and program ideas in the Box document.

Next Meeting Dates and Deadlines

The Public Services Committee’s next meeting is on October 20, 2021, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Future Committee Meetings:
November 17, 2021
December 15, 2021
January 19, 2022
February 16, 2022
March 16, 2022
April 20, 2022
May 18, 2022
June 15, 2022

Deadlines: Work on the survey draft and PSC Project Program outline in Box.