Professional Development

Metrolina Conference 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 2:37 pm

Metrolina 5th Annual Information Literacy Conference

17 June 2010, Charlotte, NC

This was the first Metrolina Information Literacy Conference I’ve attended, with a program that prompted some dithering over which sessions to choose-always a positive sign.

“Information Literacy Examined in Multicultural Context,” presented by keynote speaker Dr. Clara Chu of the Department of Library and Information Studies at UNCG, was the most thought-provoking of all the talks. Grounded at once in theory as well as in personal conviction and at times painful life experience, the lecture commenced by stressing the vast amount of information that inundates us every day, but adding that although we now have unprecedented access to diverse sources of information it is also difficult to distinguish information from noise and inaccuracy. Professor Chu defined a range of types of diversity: human diversity as broadly encompassing physical differences, life experiences, and personal preferences; cultural diversity as different beliefs, values, and personal characteristics; and systems diversity as variable organizational structure and management. She singled out the importance of critical literacy which fosters diverse ways of looking at information , questioning attitudes, values, and beliefs, and enabling one to uncover social inequality and injustice, as a means of being an agent of social change.

Multicultural literacy is the knowledge of culture and language. From feminist studies Chu singled out positionality, whereby one recognizes what one brings to the table in terms of social demographics, cultural characteristics, and language. She listed evaluation criteria for multicultural content or multimedia materials:

  1. Objectivity or bias such as racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, homophobia, or ageism; this is characterized by unrealistic representation, imbalance, omission, stereotyping, and fragmentation. For example, a library may have information about a community but not BY the community, inadvertently omitting their own voices. Counter-narratives tell the other story, affording perspectives that run counter to the presumed ones and alternatives to the dominant discourse.
  2. Language diversity, variance within languages, and language bias, once again bearing the potential for racism, sexism, homophobia, or ageism with loaded terminology, ridicule, exaggeration, mispronunciation, slander, or offensiveness. She raised the question of whether libraries are doing enough to provide multi-language access, and suggested using an approximate tool such as google translator.
  3. Subject, such as scope, authority, authenticity, and accuracy.
  4. Resources imbalance or selectivity, invisibility or omission, scope, diversity of format perspective and language.

Finally, she addressed cultural competency, which includes ethnic competence and an awareness of one’s own cultural limitations. By way of example, she listed characteristics of American culture: self-expression, equality, and informality, achievement, self control of destiny, individualism and authority in non-authoritarian relationships. By contrast, a Latino/a patron might be characterized by allocentrism (community orientation), simpatico, familialism, personal space issues, time orientation, gender roles, and respect for authority. Cultural competence also includes openness to cultural differences, utilizing cultural resources, and acknowledgement of cultural integrity. Multicultural literacy, she emphasized, is prominently one of the literacies of the twenty-first century.

“Classroom 2.0: Bringing Interactivity into Library Instruction,” presented by Jenny Dale, Amy Harris, and Lynda Kellam of UNCG, was an engaging and predictably interactive session. Prefacing the session with a nod to instructional design, which is intended to make the knowledge transfer happen in a deliberate, systematic, and appealing way, the group went on to advocate for interactivity as a means of engaging students and distributing power and responsibility. A few “Think-Pair-Share” sessions demonstrated the merit of interactivity as we variously pondered and proffered rationales for interactivity or the merits/demerits of our assorted libraries. Another exercise actually got us out of our seats as we wandered about the room in a modified reprise of the old “Sardines” childhood game, bearing slips of paper and searching for research statements and related keywords where we might all legitimately congregate together. It is always enormously helpful to get ideas for interactive strategies, so this was a particularly useful, pragmatic session.

“Teach Smarter Not Harder: Classroom Tips and Techniques,” with Sherry Bagwell, a retired educator from the Greenville County Schools, SC, was the one session that proved to be less than useful. The brief summary in the conference program had not indicated that the intended audience was in fact public school librarians and teachers, so although there were numerous tips and suggestions, they were not really germane to our higher education setting-and happily so, since many referred to problematic situations and behaviors, which we seem to be blissfully ignorant of and largely immune to, as far as I’m aware. She outlined core beliefs in the primacy of caring and the inevitability of conflict, and warned against attaching rewards to grades or to behavior. Behavior can be changed and good behavior must be taught, and good discipline is timely discipline. There was some discussion about different types of teachers: authoritative, permissive, and authoritarian, and the situations in which various approaches might tend to emerge.

Finally, I attended Mary Scanlon’s excellent session, “Increasing Intellectual Engagement in an Info-lit Class for Business Majors.” Her voice projecting valiantly through the ravages of persistent laryngitis, Mary described challenges in teaching an advanced business research course, as well as considerations in devising solutions. She cited numerous distractions for students: the numerous and diverse types of resources, databases and web sites, and the elusive critical thinking process that may or may not enable a student to connect a need with a germane resource. She sought approaches that would hold the students’ migratory attention spans and assignments that would reinforce knowledge and engage students with the research materials. She nonetheless had to bear in mind students’ frequently articulated expectations of the appropriate workload for a one-credit course(familiar, anyone?). Mary offered numerous tactics, including the following:

More graded, hands-on activities, including student presentations (e.g. students responsible in groups for teaching databases)

More of the course grade dependent on intellectual engagement with material (via the class blog and discussion), worksheets, and quizzes

In order to focus students’ attention, she consolidated the syllabus to four primary topics: company information, industry information, market research, and accounting information; and she covered fewer resources, two or three per topic with more time devoted to each and attention to drawing parallels among the resources.

She devised worksheets that were essentially guided note-taking, and were completed during class sessions. In these worksheets students were to describe contents and to list tools for refining a search and for managing results. Quizzes reinforced class content and applied tools learned in class, and written reports, 2-3 pages in length, required the use of certain resources, and were skill-based, involving critical thinking and integrating information from multiple sources.

Tactics to engage student attention included daily group presentations, weekly blog postings, and class discussion. Students had to teach databases, for which she provided initial orientation by way of jing videos.

In conclusion, course components that worked well included the worksheets, quizzes, written reports, database presentations, the final presentation, and the frequent feedback. Less successful were the information topics which did not seem to engage the students, who failed to think through all the issues. These topics were e-readers, Google Books, the decline of print newspapers, and Net neutrality, and the discussion that ensued offered suggestions for alternative topics or approaches. Outcomes for the course included higher grades, better coursework –especially the reports, and course evaluations.

This was a very useful, focused conference, and I hope to attend more in future years.

One Response to “Metrolina Conference 2010”

  1. I like the phrase “migratory attention spans.” Good summary, Ellen. Thanks.


Pages
About
Categories
2007 ACRL Baltimore
2007 ALA Annual
2007 ALA Gaming Symposium
2007 ALA Midwinter
2007 ASERL New Age of Discovery
2007 Charleston Conference
2007 ECU Gaming Presentation
2007 ELUNA
2007 Evidence Based Librarianship
2007 Innovations in Instruction
2007 Kilgour Symposium
2007 LAUNC-CH Conference
2007 LITA National Forum
2007 NASIG Conference
2007 North Carolina Library Association
2007 North Carolina Serials Conference
2007 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2007 Open Repositories
2007 SAA Chicago
2007 SAMM
2007 SOLINET NC User Group
2007 UNC TLT
2007_ASIST
2008
2008 Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
2008 ACRL Immersion
2008 ACRL/LAMA JVI
2008 ALA Annual
2008 ALA Midwinter
2008 ASIS&T
2008 First-Year Experience Conference
2008 Lilly Conference
2008 LITA
2008 NASIG Conference
2008 NCAECT
2008 NCLA RTSS
2008 North Carolina Serials Conference
2008 ONIX for Serials Webinar
2008 Open Access Day
2008 SPARC Digital Repositories
2008 Tri-IT Meeting
2009
2009 ACRL Seattle
2009 ALA Annual
2009 ALA Annual Chicago
2009 ALA Midwinter
2009 ARLIS/NA
2009 Big Read
2009 code4lib
2009 Educause
2009 Handheld Librarian
2009 LAUNC-CH Conference
2009 LAUNCH-CH Research Forum
2009 Lilly Conference
2009 LITA National Forum
2009 NASIG Conference
2009 NCLA Biennial Conference
2009 NISOForum
2009 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2009 RBMS Charlottesville
2009 SCLA
2009 UNC TLT
2010
2010 ALA Annual
2010 ALA Midwinter
2010 ATLA
2010 Code4Lib
2010 EDUCAUSE Southeast
2010 Handheld Librarian
2010 ILLiad Conference
2010 LAUNC-CH Research Forum
2010 LITA National Forum
2010 Metrolina
2010 NASIG Conference
2010 North Carolina Serials Conference
2010 RBMS
2010 Sakai Conference
2011 ACRL Philadelphia
2011 ALA Annual
2011 ALA Midwinter
2011 CurateCamp
2011 Illiad Conference
2012 SNCA Annual Conference
ACRL
ACRL 2013
ACRL New England Chapter
ACRL-ANSS
ACRL-STS
ALA Annual
ALA Annual 2013
ALA Editions
ALA Midwinter
ALA Midwinter 2012
ALA Midwinter 2014
ALCTS Webinars for Preservation Week
ALFMO
APALA
ARL Assessment Seminar 2014
ARLIS
ASERL
ASU
Audio streaming
authority control
Berkman Webinar
bibliographic control
Book Repair Workshops
Career Development for Women Leaders Program
CASE Conference
cataloging
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
CIT Showcase
CITsymposium2008
Coalition for Networked Information
code4lib
commons
Conference Planning
Conferences
Copyright Conference
costs
COSWL
CurateGear 2013
CurateGear 2014
Designing Libraries II Conference
DigCCurr 2007
Digital Forsyth
Digital Humanities Symposium
Disaster Recovery
Discovery tools
E-books
EDUCAUSE
Educause SE
EDUCAUSE_SERC07
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Embedded Librarians
Entrepreneurial Conference
ERM Systems
evidence based librarianship
FDLP
FRBR
Future of Libraries
Gaming in Libraries
General
GODORT
Google Scholar
govdocs
Handheld Librarian Online Conference
Hurricane Preparedness/Solinet 3-part Workshop
ILS
information design
information ethics
Information Literacy
innovation
Innovation in Instruction
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Inspiration
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship
instruction
IRB101
Journal reading group
Keynote
LAMS Customer Service Workshop
LAUNC-CH
Leadership
Learning spaces
LibQUAL
Library 2.0
Library Assessment Conference
Library of Congress
licensing
Lilly Conference
LITA
LITA National Forum
LOEX
LOEX2008
Lyrasis
Management
Marketing
Mentoring Committee
MERLOT
metadata
Metrolina 2008
MOUG 09
MOUG 2010
Music Library Assoc. 07
Music Library Assoc. 09
Music Library Assoc. 2010
NASIG
National Library of Medicine
NC-LITe
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
NCICU
NCLA
NCLA Biennial Conference 2013
NCPC
NCSLA
NEDCC/SAA
NHPRC-Electronic Records Research Fellowships Symposium
NISO
North Carolina Serial Conference 2014
Offsite Storage Project
OLE Project
online catalogs
online course
OPAC
open access
Peabody Library Leadership Institute
plagiarism
Podcasting
Preservation
Preservation Activities
Preserving Forsyth LSTA Grant
Professional Development Center
rare books
RDA/FRBR
Reserves
RITS
RTSS 08
RUSA-CODES
SAA Class New York
SAMM 2008
SAMM 2009
Scholarly Communication
ScienceOnline2010
Social Stratification in the Deep South
Social Stratification in the Deep South 2009
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
SOLINET
Southeast Music Library Association
Southeast Music Library Association 08
Southeast Music Library Association 09
SPARC webinar
subject headings
Sun Webinar Series
tagging
TALA Conference
Technical Services
technology
ThinkTank Conference
Training
ULG
Uncategorized
user studies
Vendors
video-assisted learning
visual literacy
WakeSpace
Web 2.0
Webinar
WebWise
WFU China Initiative
Wikis
Women's History Symposium 2007
workshops
WSS
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
Tags
Archives
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by WordPress.org, protected by Akismet. Blog with WordPress.com.