Foster Communications Librarian Jeff Knapp was recently elected vice president/president of ALA’s Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT). LIRT is an organization that advocates for library instruction, information literacy and lifelong learning within all types of libraries (academic, public, and school). “It is a much smaller group than ACRL’s Instruction Section and covers similar subjects, but the fact that LIRT includes all kinds of libraries rather than just academic libraries makes it somewhat unique,” says Knapp. Some of work includes the “LIRT Top Twenty” list of top 20 library instruction-related articles each year; the LIRT Librarian Recognition Award and Innovation in Instruction Award and committees that work on issues like students’ transition to college from high school, and working with adult learners.
Knapp has been involved with LIRT since 2004, when he first became active in ALA, and has held a number of positions in it since then. A few years ago, he led the effort to stop printing the organization’s quarterly newsletter and going electronic, saving almost $15,000 a year, which was used to create the LIRT Librarian Recognition Award and Innovation in Instruction Award and fund some ALA Spectrum Scholarships for library school students of color. “I’d like to see those programs continue and grow, and find some new ways to reach librarians who don’t have the resources to attend conferences in person,” he says.