Category Archives: General News

Interview with Maria Accardi

Maria T. Accardi is Associate Librarian and Coordinator of Instruction and Reference at Indiana University Southeast. She served as a co-editor of and contributor to Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (Library Juice Press, 2010), and is the author of Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction (Library Juice Press, 2013), for which she received the ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship. Maria’s research and practical interests include critical pedagogy, feminist pedagogy, the relationships between storytelling and teaching and learning, and combating library instruction burnout. She has taught two classes for Library Juice Academy thus far. They are: Changing Lives, Changing the World: Information Literacy and Critical Pedagogy; and Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction. She is preparing to teach a new course for us, which will be titled, Transforming Your Teaching Toolkit. Maria has agreed to do an interview here about her course and her experience teaching for Library Juice Academy.

Hi Maria, and thanks for agreeing to do this interview.

Thanks, Rory, for the opportunity.

I’d like to start by asking you to say just a few words about the courses you’ve taught for us previously and what it was like teaching them.

I’ve previously taught two courses multiple times: Changing Lives, Changing the World: Information Literacy and Critical Pedagogy, and Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction. Both courses were inspired by Library Juice Press book projects I’ve been involved with. I co-edited Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (2010) with Emily Drabinski and Alana Kumbier, and then I wrote Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction, published in 2013. Those texts provided the general structural backbone for each course. Both courses were primarily concerned with the burgeoning critical information literacy/critical library instruction movement in academic librarianship. The Changing Lives course looks at critical pedagogy more broadly, while the feminist pedagogy course looks at approaches to library instruction more specifically through a feminist lens. Teaching these courses with Library Juice Academy has been incredibly rewarding and enriching, not just as a teacher, but as a librarian interacting with peers on topics that matter a lot to me.

Great to hear. Thank you for continuing to teach for us. The new class is different than the others, not being based on a book and being more of a workshop. Could you talk about the new course?

The new course was inspired by an activity that I’ve done in both of my previous courses. This activity involves participants submitting a lesson plan, along with any materials like worksheets or assessment ideas, for a library instruction session taught from a critical or feminist perspective. The lesson plan is discussed and critiqued on the discussion forum and I provide feedback and ideas as well. This activity always seems to go over very well, based on comments I’ve received from previous participants. In addition, I really enjoy this particular activity and I feel like my years of experience in library instruction, both as a teaching librarian and as the coordinator of an instruction program, provides me with an informed perspective on what has the potential to be successful in the classroom. I also think that instruction librarians don’t often have the chance to discuss their teaching materials with their peers in a constructive and supportive way. So, since I seem to have a knack for helping librarians think through their teaching plans and materials, and since people seem to really get a lot out of the experience, why not base a whole workshop-style course on that idea? That’s where I’m coming from with this new course.

I think it is a great idea and will be very useful to people. I think bringing in what you’ve learned from your prior teaching experience with LJA will be very helpful. Would you tell us a bit about how it has been teaching for LJA previously? What are some things that really worked and what are some things that were surprising?

Teaching for Library Juice Academy has been a sincerely delightful experience. LJA participants are interesting, hard-working, and smart people, and I love working with them. I’ve found that facilitating a safe space for productive and critical inquiry and exploration is a challenge that requires constant tweaking and reflection, but it is a genuine pleasure, because the payoffs are so rewarding. I work to create a environment that is supportive and flexible, and it has resulted in immensely enriching online discussion forums that I truly believe advance the knowledge of the participants, and, in turn, the knowledge of the profession in general.

Based on my prior teaching, I’ve learned that it helps to have a transparent structure and organization and a schedule, so that people know what to post on the discussion boards and when, but it also helps to allow a bit of creative ambiguity. In my feminist pedagogy class, I’ve been experimenting with the activities for the final week of the class, and I’ve tried providing options but ultimately leaving things open-ended. I think that open-endedness can feel a little anxiety-producing, but it also has immense potential for interesting things to happen.

I’ve been surprised and moved by how candidly participants engage with the readings and online conversations and activities. I’ve witnessed students allowing themselves to be vulnerable in the midst of a bunch of strangers, which is amazing and a privilege to observe.

That’s great! I am glad it has been such a positive experience for you and the participants. Thanks very much for the interview. Anything else you’d like to say?

I think that about covers it. Thanks for the chance to chat about teaching, and I look forward to interacting with LJA learners this summer!

Library Juice Academy Makes $1,000 EveryLibrary Fundraising Challenge

Post on March 5, 2015 by John Chrastka

EveryLibrary today announces a new “Monthly Donor Challenge” from Library Juice Academy, a noted provider of professional development workshops and training for librarians. Library Juice Academy is pledging a $1,000 donation to EveryLibrary when 25 personal donors contribute at least $10 each month as reoccurring donors before March 16th. Donations can be made at to support our work with library Vote YES committees across the country in 2015.

Library Juice Academy is donating to help EveryLibrary expand its voter support for libraries. “Libraries exist today because of progressive tax policies that fund the common good”, says Rory Litwin, founder of Library Juice Academy. “We are donating to EveryLibrary because it is uniquely focused on supporting libraries when their basic tax revenue is on the line. We’re challenging personal donors to make a commitment and help fund this work.”

Since early 2013, EveryLibrary has worked with 25 libraries on the ballot, winning 19 campaigns and securing over $46 million in bond, levy, parcel tax, and other referendum campaigns. John Chrastka, EveryLibrary executive director, says, “This Challenge is a great way to work cooperatively to reach our funding goals. For every donor dollar we have invested in campaigns, we’ve returned $1600 to local communities in stable library funding. We appreciate Mr. Litwin’s this call-to-action about our pro-bono work across the country.”

The Library Juice Academy Challenge runs March 9 – 16, 2015. Personal donors are asked to make reoccurring contributions of at least $10/month through to help EveryLibrary meet this Challenge.

About Library Juice Academy:

Library Juice Academy offers a range of online professional development workshops for librarians and other library staff, focusing on practical topics to build the skills that librarians need as their jobs evolve.

About EveryLibrary:

EveryLibrary is a politically active organization that is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and unions nationwide who believe that libraries matter in our society. You can learn more about EveryLibrary and its work building voter support for libraries at

Library Juice Academy Makes $1,000 EveryLibrary Fundraising Challenge

Contact:John Chrastka
Executive Director

4 March 2015

Server upgraded

Our users may be pleased to know that we’ve just done a server upgrade. We’ve been challenged recently to accommodate increased traffic, but now we should be good. In case you’re curious, here is what we are now running:

Intel Xeon processors, two of them
Both running at 3.1 GHz
4GB memory
8MB cache
300GB disk space
Running linux and apache

This should hold us over for a while…

News for September

September 2014

We have a few updates to share for this month.

The first item of news is something you’ll be happy about if you’re newly on the job market and want to take our classes to enhance your resume. We’re offering a 20% discount to new professionals and grad students, intended for people who aren’t with an institution that would pay for their courses. To get this discount, enter the promo code ROOKIE at checkout.

In other news, we are working on a refresh to our website, and also planning on making improvements to our Moodle interface. If you have used our course interface and have specific suggestions on how it could be improved, please share them by writing to

A year ago we announced a six-course series on library management that we had to cancel before it started, due to unforeseen changes in the instructor’s circumstances. I am happy to announce that we have again scheduled this series, as the Certificate in Library Management. Deborah Schmidle developed these courses, and we are very happy to be working with her again. She is extremely well qualified to teach this course series, as you may already be aware, as she has been prominent in the field of organizational change for many years. The courses in this program can be taken separately, out of sequence, or as a series for the certificate. The courses start next March. For more information, see:

Finally, some quick news about new courses and courses scheduled for repeat.

New courses

Backward Design for Information Literacy Instruction: Fostering Critical Habits of Mind through Learning Outcomes, Assessment, and Sequencing, in January-February with Andrea Baer

Online Instructional Design and Delivery, in February-March with Mimi O’Malley

Introduction to Digital Humanities for Librarians, in March with John Russell

Repeated courses


Embedded Librarianship in Online Courses, with Mimi O’Malley

Student Staff Development, with Jeremy McGinniss

Marketing the Library in the 21st Century, with Debra Lucas-Alfieri


Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction, with Maria Accardi

Digital Scholarship: New Metrics, New Modes, with Marcus Banks


Crash Course in Library Management, with Debra Lucas-Alfieri

Patent Searching, with Martin Wallace

New Directions in Information Literacy: Growing Our Teaching Practices, with Andrea Baer

Research Data Management, with Jillian Wallis


Game-Based Learning in Library Instruction, with Scott Rice


The Sustainability Movement on Campus: Forming a Library Action Plan for Engagement, with Madeleine Charney

That’s the news for September. Watch this space next month for more updates.

Library Juice Academy
P.O. Box 188784
Sacramento, CA 95818
Tel. 218-260-6115
Fax 916-415-5446



Check out our jingle:

Two new instruction related courses just listed

We’ve just listed two six-week courses for next year, both related to instruction:

Backward Design for Information Literacy Instruction: Fostering Critical Habits of Mind through Learning Outcomes, Scaffolding, and Assessment
Instructor: Andrea Baer |
Credits: 2.25 CEUs |
Cost $250

Online Instructional Design and Delivery
Instructor: Mimi O’Malley |
Credits: 2.25 CEUs |
Cost $250

New from Library Juice Academy

August 2014

We’ve been offering classes for close to two years now, and we’ve been learning as we go what kinds of classes people are most interested in taking, and which instructors are the most successful as teachers. We are continuing to experiment with new classes whose success it is hard to predict.

This Fall we are running a new selection of technology classes, including a four-course series in Python that just started, a class in HTML and CSS, a couple of classes in client-side scripting using Javascript, and a pair of classes on PHP, one that focuses on MySQL and the other on APIs. This is in addition to our classes on digital library technology – the XML/RDF series and the metadata classes.

At ALA in Las Vegas, we got some feedback from people who would like to see more classes that are appropriate for public libraries, so we are beginning to experiment more with this type of class. This Fall we have three different classes on Readers’ Advisory. Many of our other classes, especially the management ones, work fine in a public library setting.

Earlier this year we had the misfortune of having to cancel a robust series of classes on cataloging that we had planned. I am pleased to say we have recovered and now have two cataloging classes again on offer, using an instructor who has been very good for us in the past, Melissa Adler. She will be teaching Introduction to Cataloging and Introduction to RDA this Fall and periodically going forward. We hope to add a broader selection of cataloging courses over time. We have a selection of other classes that are useful for technical services staff, which you can see here:

We have a partnership with Library Journal to announce, where customers in their Lead the Change workshop series can get a generous discount on LJA courses that are tied to their workshop topics. We hope that this will be the start of a collaborative relationship with Library Journal.

As a last bit of news, we’re planning a major website redesign in the coming months. We look forward to an improved presentation of our offerings. Further down the road we foresee some improvements to our Moodle implementation as well.

Thanks for your business and thanks for your time,

Rory Litwin

Library Juice Academy
P.O. Box 188784
Sacramento, CA 95818
Tel. 218-260-6115
Fax 916-415-5446


Check out our jingle:

Free exhibits pass to visit our booth at ALA

We’re exhibiting at ALA in Las Vegas later this month, showing our books and talking to people about Library Juice Academy. We want to give you a free pass to the exhibits hall if you want to come visit us there. If you’re already registered for the conference you won’t need an exhibits pass, but the exhibits pass will give you a badge without registering. In the exhibits hall we will be at table 1954, so come by and say hello.

UX Unconference Presentations

The instructors for our Certificate in User Experience organized an Unconference on UX at the University of Arizona recently, as a follow-up to the first round of classes in the certificate program. On December 6th, they each gave presentations on their areas of expertise and participated in a panel discussion. The presentations were recorded, and they’re on Youtube, and embedded here for your viewing pleasure and learning. If this is interesting to you, consider taking some of the classes.

Carolyn Ellis, Designing a User-Centered Website
Slides | Recording | Course

Susan Teague Rector, Information Architecture
Slides | Recording | Course

Rebecca Blakiston, Usability Testing
Slides | Recording | Course

Sonali Mishra, User Interviews
Slides | Recording

Nicole Capdarest-Arest, Writing for the Web
Slides | Recording | Course

Rebecca Blakiston, Content Strategy
Slides | Recording | Course

Panel Discussion

Accreditation Status

Potential customers sometimes ask whether Library Juice Academy is accredited. We have not sought accreditation by the IACET. We are taking the opportunity here to explain this decision.

The question about accreditation is based on expectations that we have learned regarding university education, where regional accreditation bodies like WASC assure a certain level of quality in education, and MLIS programs, where the American Library Association grants an accreditation that is designed to define the standard of what an MLIS includes. In continuing education programs, accreditation is not important in the same way, although there is an accreditation body that is concerned with maintaining standards for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). That body is the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). They are responsible for defining the standards regarding how much work is required for one CEU, and standards having to do with management of CE programs. In some industries, continuing education programs are linked to IACET, and in others not. In our field, IACET has not played much of a role, although the American Library Association sought and obtained IACET accreditation for their CE program in 2012.

We have not sought IACET accreditation and have no immediate plans to do so. We have two major reasons for this. The first is simply that CE programs are not eligible to apply for IACET accreditation until they have been operating for at least two years, which at the time of this writing we have not. We began offering classes in October of 2012. The second reason is that the financial cost of applying for IACET accreditation is very high, and amounts to a barrier for small organizations like us.

What we have chosen to do is to observe the educational requirements for IACET accreditation so that if and when we do apply, there will not be any obstacles presented by our curriculum. We feel that our good faith effort to meet the educational requirements for accreditation should provide some assurance of quality, in conjunction with public feedback from our students. We are confident in the quality of the education and training that our customers receive.

There may be some circumstances where IACET accreditation matters, however. Some librarians or library staff are required to earn CEUs or state-based units for their professional development, and in SOME cases, their institutions have requirements regarding accreditation of programs offering those CEUs or state-based units. If your institution requires you to take classes that grant credits that are for your state only, the CE program you choose has to be accredited by your state department of education, and is likely located in your state only. We do not offer any state-based units. If your institution requires your CE program to grant CEUs that are accredited by IACET, then our classes will not satisfy your needs. You will want to check the rules at your institution if this may be an issue for you.

Most of our customers are taking our classes solely for the knowledge they will gain from them, and are not interested in the CEUs. For them, IACET or state department of education accreditation is not really relevant. We include this information for potential customers who have questions about our accreditation status and may be curious about what accreditation means in the continuing education context. At some point, when we’ve grown larger, we might seek IACET accreditation, but at this stage it is not a possibility.

Bundle discounts

We offer discounts on purchases of registrations in a bundle that can be used over a period of one year. A bundle of 5 registrations in our 4-week classes comes at a 10% discount. Purchase 15 and get a 15% discount, or 25 to get a 20% discount. Purchases can be made with a credit card, or, for institutions, by sending us a PO. More information on our page for bundle discounts.

2nd round of both certificate programs scheduled

Library Juice Academy has scheduled a second round of two certificate programs. Both will begin in February.

Certificate in User Experience (UX)

Certificate in XML and RDF-Based Systems

As before, if you enroll in the whole sequence of six courses in advance you get a 10% discount on the registration fee. Institutions registering five or more participants get an additional 10% discount.

It is also possible to take many of the courses in both of these programs without taking the full sequence.

We have found that the level of student engagement and effort varies quite a bit among the people participating. Those who are taking the classes for continuing education units or in order to obtain the certificate are expected to do passing level work in their classes.

Classes are four weeks in length and require about 15 hours of work. The work is done asynchronously, so you can fit it into your schedule or use your personal time. The courses are taught using the Moodle courseware platform, and there are no webinar-style presentations to attend.

Please read our FAQ page for more information. Thanks!

Feedback for “What do I do with all these Images?” Getting Started with Digital Image Collections, August 2013 Session

We would like students to leave their public feedback, or reviews, for the now completed August 2013 session of “What do I do with all these Images?” Getting Started with Digital Image Collections, taught by Beth Knazook. Participants’ feedback will help us know how we can improve, and also to give others a sense of what our classes are like. Thanks!

Webinar Series with EveryLibrary: Libraries on the Ballot

Is your library going to be on the ballot within the next 3 years? Get the information you want and the tools you need to plan the campaign and win on Election Day. Join EveryLibrary and Library Juice Academy for a new 9-part webinar series focused exclusively on local library ballot measures like levies, bonds, and referenda. Whether you are running an Information-Only campaign through the library or are managing a Vote Yes campaign through a ballot committee, you will learn relevant, proven, and actionable techniques for voter segmentation, canvasing and GOTV work, coalition building, opposition research, and campaign management. These webinars are non-partisan, non-political, and pro-library. Sessions will include interactive Q&A time with subject-experts, and participants will receive best practice guides for each topic.

Seats are $25 per webinar session, or $150 for the full series.


Session 1: EveryLibrary – Who we are, what we do, and how we can help you win at the polls (Free)
Thursday, June 13th, 2013, 3pm Eastern

Session 2: Library Ballot Campaigns 101: Organizations and Their Roles
Thursday, July 11th, 2013, 3pm Eastern

Session 3: One Goal, Two Campaigns: Running Effective Informational and Vote Yes Efforts
Thursday, August 8th, 2013, 3pm Eastern

Session 4: Hiring a Campaign Consultant: Thinking Through the Process
Thursday, September 12th, 2013, 3pm Eastern

Session 5: Voter Segmentation and Turf Cutting: Using Data to Drive Success at the Polls
Thursday, October 10th, 2013, 3pm Eastern

Session 6: Pre-polling, Ballot Language and Opposition Research: Getting to Know What You Don’t Know
Thursday, November 14th, 2013, 3pm Eastern

Session 7: Planning Your Message to Voters: How to Talk to Voters and Not Just Library Users
Thursday, December 12th, 2013, 3pm Eastern

Session 8: Endorsements, Coalition Building, and Finding Volunteers: They Won’t Say Yes Unless You Ask
Thursday, January 9th, 2014, 3pm Eastern

Session 9: Campaign Contributions and Reporting: Avoiding Red Flags and Paperwork Headaches
Thursday, February 13th, 2014, 3pm Eastern

Click here for more information