Essay by Sophia Park, SNJM, Included In New Book

“Cross-Cultural Spiritual Direction: To Create a Borderland,” an essay by Sophia Park, SNJM, appears in Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color. Released by Morehouse Publishing on February 20, this book is a collection of essays by Christian spiritual directors of color about their unique life experiences. Park’s essay, which comprises the first chapter, is about the process of creating a cross-cultural space.

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University Librarian Wins Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award

kgscindimediumThe American Library Association has announced HNU University Librarian Karen G. Schneider as the winner of the 2014 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. The award is a biannual recognition by the American Library Association honoring a librarian who takes action for positive change in the profession of librarianship. Some of those actions include helping new librarians grow and achieve, working for change within the American Library Association or other library organization, and inspiring colleagues to excel.

According to Ann Symons, the committee chair, the award jury chose Schneider “ . . . for a career noted by risk taking, inspiring and mentoring colleagues, and making opportunities for change out of the challenges to librarianship.”

Schneider’s accomplishments include developing one of the first training programs for the Queens Library, founding both the Resource Sharing Committee of the Statewide California Library Consortium, and writing one of the first regular columns on library technology.

The award jury’s decision was unanimous.

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Ransom Joins ALA Emerging Leaders Program

HNU Librarian for Research and Electronic Resources Daniel Ransom (left) pictured with his teammates from the Emerging Leaders program (from left to right): Mari Martínez Serrano, St. Helena Public Library;  Kyle Denlinger, Wake Forest University; and Annie Pho, University of Illinois at Chicago.

HNU Librarian for Research and Electronic Resources Daniel Ransom (left) pictured with his teammates from the Emerging Leaders program (from left to right): Mari Martínez Serrano, St. Helena Public Library; Kyle Denlinger, Wake Forest University; and Annie Pho, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Librarian for Research and Electronic Resources Daniel Ransom is one of 56 individuals selected to participate in the American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders program for 2014.

“To me, selection represents an opportunity to showcase the energy and positive spirit we endeavor to capture at Holy Names University,” Ransom said. “I’m very grateful for the students, faculty, and staff I’ve been able to work with here at HNU as I develop my voice in the library profession.”

The Emerging Leaders program provides opportunities for newer library staff and information workers from across the nation to participate in project planning workgroups,

network with peers, and attain an inside look into ALA structure. The American Library Association is the largest and oldest professional library association in the world; the organization supports the development of information literacy curriculum employed on college campuses nationwide, and addresses other issues critical to the profession.

Ransom traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in January to take part in the program’s kickoff session at the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, where he met other Emerging Leaders program participants as well as current and past presidents of the American Library Association. “I got to be a part of some very exciting conversations about how college libraries can better serve our students in an ever-changing technological society,” he said.


Emerging Leaders program participants will be working as teams in an online learning and networking environment. Each group has been assigned a project based on participants’ professional interests and experience, which will culminate in a poster session at the ALA’s annual conference in June.

As part of a four-person team, Ransom will be collaborating with the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the technical services division of the ALA. The team will research social media strategies to improve the technical association’s engagement with young professionals. The group will also design a website that provides recommendations for the ALCTS in an interactive presentation.

“As new professionals … we’re very excited about working on this project,” Ransom said.

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Holy Names University Receives Selective Sparks! Grant to Develop Multimedia Information Literacy Instruction

The Paul J. Cushing Library at Holy Names University (HNU) is one of only 14 institutions nationwide to receive a 2013 Sparks! Ignition Grant for Libraries and Museums. The grant, which was awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the amount of $23,660, supports the development of multimedia recordings providing information literacy instruction.

Like many higher education institutions, HNU’s need for information literacy instruction on topics such as library research and proper citations, exceeds what the librarian staff is able to provide. This grant allows the library to extend the reach of face-to-face instruction through digital learning recordings that are created with lecture-capture software. The recordings will provide instruction to a broader group of students than previously served and will be available online.

University Librarian Karen Schneider and Librarian for Research and Digitization Nicole Branch say that the sometimes mundane but important skills covered in these recordings will help students learn critical skills that they need to be successful—leaving more classroom time for interactive dialogue. An additional advantage is that students will be able to watch the recordings as many times as needed to learn complex concepts.

“This is the first time face-to-face active learning and digital learning objects have been intentionally and programmatically aligned in an academic library setting,” Schneider and Branch said.

Schneider and Branch expect that the project—which began in August and will end July 30, 2014—will help them meet the unique learning needs of HNU’s student population. A significant number of HNU undergraduate students are the first in their families to attend college, and 92 percent of students are from California, where elementary and secondary school libraries are not mandated. However, they say that the project could benefit other higher education institutions.

“Highly visible success with lecture capture and information literacy instruction has the capability to impact student learning outcomes throughout higher education,” Schneider and Branch said. “Our project has the potential to provide a model for other institutions facing a similar challenge of integrating proven, forward-thinking instructional approaches in a limited capacity and timeframe.”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.

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Circle Singing Brings Music to Campus

circlesingWalking through HNU’s campus this week, you may have been surprised to hear spontaneous music filling Corrigan Courtyard. Anne Hege, who began teaching music at HNU in fall 2013, has been leading a circle sing group on a monthly basis since October. Circle singing is an improvisational community practice where a leader teaches short musical phrases to a group that are layered together to create a song.

“Circle singing provides an amazing opportunity to step into a circle and immediately make music with strangers,” Hege said. “I love that this music is meant to be of the moment—it is created in the moment and when the song is over, it is gone. I find the creative and ephemeral nature of circle singing a beautiful combination.”

Hege was inspired to start circle singing at HNU to find students for her choir and voice classes, and to support the music and singing culture on campus. She grew up in the East Bay and sang with the Oakland Youth Chorus, where she learned to circle sing with members of musician Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra.

“I think it is a wonderful, casual, accessible way for people to make music together and thought it would be a great addition to the activities on campus,” she says.

Circle singing is open to the entire HNU community and no experience is necessary. This semester, circle singing will take place in front of the Paul J. Cushing Library on the last Wednesday of every month from 4 to 4:30 p.m. The next circle sing gathering is on February 26. For more information, email Anne Hege at

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