Professional Development

In the 'LOEX' Category...

Meghan @ LOEX 2016: Learning from the Past, Building for the Future

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 10:17 am

This was my first LOEX experience, but I am certain it won’t be my last. Overall, I was very impressed with the amount of practical implementations that I took away from each session and the level of creativity, innovation and collegial support at this conference!

There was strong representation from first time attendees at LOEX (which once stood for ‘Library Orientation Exchange’, but is now a stand-alone title since library instruction has moved well-beyond the basic ‘orientation’ phase), and at the Thursday evening orientation session, I learned that every year approximately 20% of LOEX conference participants are first-time attendees.

What follows is a brief summary of the sessions I attended and some of my take-away thoughts.

Friday, May 6th

ReModeling the Library Tour: Active Learning through Active Spaces
(Matthew Pickens, Missour University of Science & Technoloy)
Inspired by the tableau set-up frequently used in haunted house attractions, the Curtis Laws Wilson Library (Missouri University of Science and Technology) re-designed their library tour to include short presentations that engage a variety of learning styles and integrate physical activity between each station. The re-design allowed them to incorporate kinesthetic elements to their tour and highlight some of the more entertaining aspects of library services, spaces, and collections. Using this tableau-style for tours and orientations seems to be a creative and fun way to engage students in a more holistic introduction to the library as space, resources and services. Something I hope to incorporate in future tours/orientations that I lead at ZSR!

Engaging Diverse Learners: Creating Accessible IL Instruction with Universal Design for Instruction
(Emilie Vrbancic, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs)

Universal design (coined by architect and designer Ronald L. Mace) describes the concept of “designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life”. During this session, Emilie Vrbancic demonstrated how integrating universal design into information literacy instruction anticipates the needs of diverse learners. What does instruction with universal design elements look like? Content and lesson plans that integrate equitable use (accessible, vocalized actions, use of sans-serif font), flexibility of use (varied instruction methods, appeal to variety of learning styles), simplistic and intuitive instruction (no jargon, draw of previous knowledge/use student-centered topics for demos), perceptible information (present info in multiple formats, shorten task instructions, use icons/images), tolerance for error (allocate time for individual work, encourage students to seek help), etc.

Engaging Students through IL Based Service Learning Assignments for Community Benefits and Academic Success
(Leah Galka, SUNY Buffalo State and Theresa McDevitt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
I was very excited to attend this session and learn about integrating service projects into IL based instruction– especially given the pro humanitate spirit here at Wake. Leah and Theresa shared their experiences with using service learning projects– “a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs, together with structured opportunities for reflection designed to achieve desired learning outcomes”– in their IL instruction. Overall, the program offered benefits to students (real world problem solving, personal growth, deeper understanding of complexity of social issues), librarians/instructors (engage and motivate students, demonstrate that IL skills are essential to complimentary real world tasks), and the university at large (experiential = high impact learning, opportunity to give back and improve community). Leah and Theresa acknowledged that working with the community partner to direct a clear understanding of what will be accomplished is key.

Recycling the First-Year One Shot Workshop: Using Interactive Technology to Flip the Classroom
(Crystal Goldman and Tamara Rhodes, UC San Diego)
Using technology to facilitate, library instructors developed online tutorials and activities for students to complete outside of the class in advance of library instruction session. This model worked well for the providing a in-depth one-shot instruction with limited resources. In addition to the online tutorial, the one shot workshop also included a research workshop and drop-in research consultation component to further develop research assignments and familiarize students with library services and resources.

Rework, Reuse, Reflect on Your Research: Writing Center and Library Collaborations
(Holly Jackson, and Jill Tussing, Wright State University)
This session focused on collaborative instruction and joint service offerings from librarians and tutors with the Writing Center at Wright State University. Both teams utilized the peer-to-peer model and trained student assistants to respond to initial drop-in appointments– student research assistants were embedded at the Writing Center to assist with research-specific inquiries, which helped greatly to bridge the physical space between both service points (Writing Center located in different building than library’s information desk). Location, timing and individuals involved were important factors in the strategies that were employed for this collaborative effort.

Saturday, May 7th

Everything We Do Is Pedagogy: Critical Pedagogy, the Framework and Library Practice
(Jeremy McGinniss, Summit University)
I really enjoyed Jeremy McGinniss’ application of critical pedagogy to our work in libraries — his discussion was refreshing and demonstrated incredible depth. Jeremy introduced the concept of critical pedagogy using a definition from Giroux’s On Critical Pedagogy: “Critical pedagogy . . . affords students the opportunity to read, write and learn from a position of agency- to engage in a culture of questions . . . imagining literacy as a mode of intervention, a way of learning about the word as a basis for intervening in the world.” I absolutely loved his conversation around the recognition of library space and library staff (specifically student labor) as pedagogical opportunities. The stories he shared of his engagement with student assistants in his work (meeting at the beginning and end of each semester, setting goals, encouraging students to self-identify with [and even challenge] staff processes) was inspiring. A powerful session that demonstrated how in libraries, critical pedagogy can be dug up, unpacked and provide a place for flourishing, justice and modes of opportunity.

Jeremy McGinniss reflects upon how the library, as a whole, engages in pedagogy.

Into the Gauntlet: Letting Students Teach One Another
(Jessica Crossfield and Amy Parsons, Otterbein University)
Building on the idea that nothing clarifies ideas better than explaining them to others, Jessica and Amy presented on efforts to integrate peer to peer instruction in their IL sessions. They set up a structured process that divided the classes into groups of 3 (in case you didn’t know, more than 3 is a party), led small groups to Google Doc assignment linked from online guide and gave them time to complete assignment before reporting back to the whole class. The think-pair-share model of cooperative learning strategies was primarily used, but other attendees recommended incorporating competitive elements (judging or multi-evaluative) could also work as both assessment measures and peer learning tools in the classroom.

A Sample Is a Tactic: Hip Hop Pedagogy in the Library Classroom
(Craig Arthur and Alyssa Archer, Radford University)
This was one of my favorite sessions at LOEX. Craig Arthur and Alyssa Archer demonstrated how integrating hip hop pedagogy in library instruction can help students grasp concepts related to the academic research process and the ACRL Framework- such as research as inquiry, scholarship as conversation, information has value. Craig spun samples from Beyonce’s Lemonade, “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza” by Mac Miller, “Work” by Rihanna (ft. Drake) to point out how sampling was handled by each artist and how this process of borrowing and re-use in MC/DJing conventions can be used as a comparison to academic and scholarly conventions. The session also touched on issues related to cultural appropriation, the differences between copyright in music vs print formats, and how personal interests are worthy of academic study. I thought this was an exceptionally creative way to instruct IL frames and share concepts related to academic research that are unfamiliar to most students.

Interactive lessons with turntable and mixer allow librarians at Radford University to demonstrate how creating a hip hop song can mirror the academic research process.

Interactive lessons with turntable and mixer allow librarians at Radford University to demonstrate how creating a hip hop song can mirror the academic research process.

Amanda, Joy and I were able to squeeze in visits to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the Andy Warhol Museum. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, I would recommend visiting both attractions! Do yourself a favor and make sure to stop by the Archives Dept. at the Andy Warhol Museum to see the “time capsule” collection. Incredible!

Kyle’s instruction conference roundup: Three birds with one stone

Thursday, June 16, 2016 4:30 pm

If you’ve ever considered attending three conferences in three different states in the same week, you’d better be prepared to be inundated with new ideas, new contacts, and challenges to your practice. Here, I’ll attempt to find the overarching themes from my experiences at LOEX in Pittsburgh, The Innovative Library Classroom conference (TILC) at Radford University in Virginia, and at NCBIG Camp at UNCG. See also: Joy at LOEX, Amanda at LOEX, Joy at TILC and NCBIG, and Kathy at NCBIG. They’re much quicker at their writeups than I am.

Pittsburgh has bridges, baseball, and for a short weekend in May, some of the best librarians

Challenging structures and practice

It’s a really exciting time to be involved in library instruction. The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy has sparked countless conversations about IL and the role of librarians in the teaching and learning missions of their institutions. The most dominant conversation, I think, has been that surrounding critical pedagogy in libraries, which Amanda so thoroughly covered in her post. I’ll save you the rehash of Amanda, but I will say that I’m really excited to see these conversations becoming more mainstream in the instruction world (although some might react to this with some indie rock skepticism). Some have suggested that information literacy can be considered a discipline in its own right; I think #critlib is definitely the strongest evidence of a move in that direction. Eamon Tewell’s LOEX presentation “The Practice & Promise of Critical Information Literacy in Library Instruction served as both a good introduction to the topic and as an interesting snapshot of current critical infolit practices and attitudes. One finding that rang true from my own experience is that integrating critical information literacy concepts has made my instruction much more engaging and meaningful, both for my students and for me as an instructor.

Other challenges had less to do with what we mean by information literacy and more to do with how we teach it. I found the LOEX presentations “Rhetorical Reinventions: Rethinking Research Processes and Information Practices to Deepen our Pedagogy by Donna Witek, Mary Snyder Broussard, and Joel Burkholder, and “Mixing It Up: Teaching Information Literacy Concepts Through Different ‘Ways of Learning‘” by Lorna Dawes to be particularly interesting. The former investigated IL through the lens of rhetoric and composition theories, finding very relevant connections to the work of our colleagues in the writing program; the latter looked at how we might apply Davis and Arend’s “Facilitating Seven Ways of Learning to IL instruction, especially in light of the Framework.

Keeping awesome sustainable

One refrain of all three conferences was how we might create more sustainable instruction practices and avoid becoming victims of our own success. I think we face this challenge on two fronts at ZSR: our LIB series only continues to grow and evolve (looking forward to new additions to the RIS team soon!), and one-shot sessions, embedded librarian collaborations, and personal research sessions show no signs of letting up. We’re pretty psyched when we get an invite to do a one-shot for a new professor who’s willing to make it more of a collaboration than a babysitting session, but we all know that with more classes comes more student consultations.

Librarians at James Madison University shared how they use asynchronous online instruction as a scalable way to reach the 60 sections (1000+ students!) of the foundational course of their First Year Writing program, requiring just one librarian (!!!) for support, using online tutorials created with Guide on the Side and LibGuides. At the University of Virginia, they employ multiple techniques to make their one-shot instruction program more sustainable, such as focusing their efforts on specific courses, collaborating to ensure consistency across sessions, sharing resources so as not to reinvent the wheel, and setting limits on the number back-to-back sessions and the total number of one-shots taught each day. The instruction program at UVA is much more centralized: they have a standalone Teaching & Learning Team, separate from and equivalent to their two teams of subject specialists on their really interesting organizational structure. Finally, our friend Katy Webb at ECU delivered an amazing lightning talk at LOEX on how she implemented a sustainable method for reviewing and weeding their garden of LibGuides on an ongoing basis. Lots of info here in a ZIP file.

Maybe the best session I attended at any of the conferences was a session at LOEX called “Steal This Idea! Getting from Awesome to Action.” (For slides, handouts, and suggested readings, visit bit.ly/loextoolkit.) Appropriately, this engaging session fell at the end of the conference, when everyone was saturated with awesome ideas. As we all know, actually remembering and enacting those ideas is the trick, because inevitably we all come back to flooded inboxes and quickly forget about or feel that we have no time to do the things we swore we’d do during the conference. A few things I brought home from this session:

  • Keep a list of your ideas in a system that works for you. I keep mine in Trello. It’s now full of ideas from all of these conferences.
  • Separate “dreams” from more actionable “ideas.” You might not be able to accomplish the Big Thing yet, but you might someday when you have new resources or insight.
  • Schedule regular meetings with yourself to review these lists and check your progress. These meetings should be free of self-judgment! Weed out ideas that no longer work, and don’t feel bad about it.
  • Often enacting big ideas requires big (and complicated) change in an organization. Understanding what elements of a project you have, and what elements you need, is crucial to managing this kind of change. I think this slide is super amazing:

Building bridges and dismantling silos

If you’re still reading, you’re awesome! Here’s a reward for you.

Lots of the work I do involves making connections to faculty as they kick around ideas related to digital pedagogies or information literacy. Sometimes that’s just helping them find a tool or some content that will work for what they want to do in their classroom. Sometimes that’s delivering a synchronous webinar after hours to teach online students about research. But sometimes these connections result in bringing together a team of people, including Molly Keener and legal counsel, to update the university’s copyright policy, devise a system for fair use evaluations, and create a workaround for our lack of a streaming media service using the tools already at our disposal, Apollo 13-style. (More on that later, probably, but suffice it to say that Molly Keener is a steely-eyed missile (wo)man.)

What I’m getting at is that my work, and the work of many of us in ZSR, finds adjacencies to the work of various units on campus, such as the Teaching & Learning Center, Information Systems, and Online Education, to name a few. But far too often, I think, we tend to operate in our own little silos, unaware of how the work these other units are doing might overlap with our own.

So I was pretty thrilled to find there was a thread running through TILC and LOEX that spoke to dismantling those silos and building more meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with (specifically) centers for teaching excellence. One session in particular highlighted how libraries and campus partners can both “buy” and “sell” resources, personnel, services, and spaces in our shared mission of supporting the teaching and learning missions of our institutions. The presenters–a librarian and a director for the CTE at Indiana University of Pennsylvania–discussed how they’ve shared each other’s assets to their mutual benefit: co-marketing events, providing classroom spaces, and promoting services, collections, and expertise. For example, the library has used LibGuides to help the CTE organize handouts and workshop materials, and the CTE regularly sponsors faculty lunches in the library in which librarians facilitate workshops on information literacy or using library resources in their classes. A win for the library, a win for the CTE, and a win for the faculty.

Other cool things

I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate Amanda on not one, but two stellar presentations during this whirlwind week. Our talk at LOEX about our LIB100 course redesign was well attended and lots of fun, and her lightning talk at TILC about using learner personas to design instruction was the best of all of them.

Required presentation selfie.

Required presentation selfie. I am not skilled at looking at the camera lens.

Finally, LOEX was a great opportunity to visit my in-laws in Pittsburgh and relax for a couple of days. Sam and I went on a hike; he checked the bridges for trolls.

I’m sure there’s a metaphor here about building relationships with faculty or something.

 

LOEX Fall Focus Conference 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 9:17 am

On Friday, November 13 I traveled to Ypsilanti, Michigan to attend the inaugural LOEX Fall Focus Conference. This two day conference focused exclusively on the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. There were about 120 instruction librarians in attendance from across the nation.

A Brief History of the Framework

For those of you who keep up with what has been happening in the ACRL world of instruction librarianship, you know that our world has been rocked by the February 2015 filing of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. In 2011, it was decided by an ACRL Review Task Force, that significant revisions were needed to the fifteen year old Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. In March 2013, the Revision Task Force began their work and in January 2014 the first draft of the Framework was introduced. Reactions to the Framework were mixed and many discussions (often heated) ensued. The controversy swirled around the nature of the Framework. While the Standards focused on information literacy as skills-based, the Framework introduced information literacy as a social practice. Originally, the Framework was supposed to replace the Standards, but in February 2015, the ACRL Board of Directors decided to “file” (as opposed to “adopt”) the Framework. And so this past weekend, 120 instruction librarians from across the country gathered together to try and figure out what all of this means for the instructional programs at our institutions.

LOEX day one – Friday

I will begin by saying that I wish they had kicked off this conference with a plenary session such as the one we had Saturday morning. While many key concepts were introduced throughout the conference, it would have been great to have someone provide a more structured context for the new Framework with more discussion about the learning theory behind the Framework. While I believe I finally have a grasp on “Threshold Concepts” as being transformative, troublesome, and irreversible, there are other learning theory ideas that I’m still trying to digest. For example, there was mention throughout the two days that information literacy can only be understood within the context of a discipline or social context. Also, it was evident that some of the concepts truly resonated with the librarians (so many references to “Scholarship is a Conversation”!), but some of the concepts were rarely mentioned such as “Research as Inquiry.”

SESSION one – “Translating the Framework into Your Current Practice” by Jo Angela Oehrli and Diana Perpich (U of Michigan)

This session incorporated a jigsaw exercise which the presenters use to train the 100 people who do library instruction at the University of Michigan. They took three of the concepts and distributed them on colored cards throughout the room so that each person held one frame: Authority is Constructed and Contextual; Scholarship as Conversation; and Searching as Strategic Exploration. You first found 2 other people who had your same concept (mine was “Scholarship is a Conversation”) and I must say that it was very interesting to hear what others are doing with that frame! When I teach, I just mention the concept in class (which is a valid approach I later learned!), but some instructors have students examine articles that build upon previous articles/research. The first group was our “expert” group. We then formed our “jigsaw” group and found people with the same color card but with different concepts. We then shared what we learned and that was also interesting! For the “Authority is Contextual,” one librarian was into rock bands and she talked about how a band becomes an “authority” for that type of music. That is not an analogy I could use, but I bet Steve Kelley could nail that!

SESSION Two – Information Literacy by Design by Jonathan McMichael and Liz McGlynn (UNC-CH)

Some of the sessions I attended just tbecause of who was presenting (in this case Jonathan). This presentation was based on Liz McGlynn’s SILS Master’s Paper. In this presentation, they talked about how they trained graduate students and paraprofessionals to use Understanding by Design (which they changed to Information Literacy by Design) to shape their library instruction sessions for their freshmen English 105 classes. They credited the Framework with freeing up the canned sessions they previously presented, to empowering their instructors to tailor the sessions by keeping the learning outcomes for the session the main purpose of the session. They use “Big Ideas” to transform student experiences (very much in line with “Threshold Concepts”) and they teach using “chunking” rather than “coverage.” On a side note, every time I hear Jonathan speak I feel like I’m not working hard enough! The undergraduate library at UNC has two instruction librarians and they are reaching over 300 sections of this writing class by using graduate students and paraprofessionals as instructors, and that is just one piece of what he accomplishes each semester!

SESSION Three – Framing New Frames by Lisa Hinchliffe (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Laura Saunders (Simmons College)

This was probably the most highly anticipated breakout sessions of the conference. Lisa is the lead instructor for “Immersion,” a past ACRL President, and an active contributor to listserves and social media about information literacy issues. Her skepticism of the Framework has been well documented. Laura Saunders is an Assistant Professor at the Simmons School of Library and Information Science.

They began their discussion by talking about the pros and cons of the Framework. They saw its potential in how it is conceptually based, how it inspires pedagogy, how the metaphors invite exploration, and how the new-ness is energizing. They saw the pitfalls as: treat frames as standards (I will reiterate this later, but this was mentioned several times—frames were never meant to be measured or treated like standards); thresholds become ends; functions to limit and not expand; unclear state of concepts rejected. Lisa and Laura both pitched the idea that we need to go with the idea of just “concepts” and give up the theoretical “threshold concepts.” They also believe that the Framework should allow for new concepts to be added. Laura’s new Concept was “Information Social Justice” and Lisa’s Concept was “Information Apprenticeship in Community.” You can read their Knowledge Practices and Dispositions here.

LOEX day two – Saturday

PLENARY – Merinda Kaye Hensley (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

By far, the highlight of the conference was the plenary session on Saturday morning. Merinda Kaye Hensley served on the Framework committee and I learned so many things from her presentation! She presented findings from a study from a survey (in which I participated!) about how the Framework was being used in the Fall of 2015. While that information was interesting, it was the nuggets of additional information that were fascinating! She was a superb presenter and she reminded the group that the Framework was a committee effort and she did not agree with all of the document. She talked about the new definition of information literacy. The old definition could easily be summed up by saying: “an information literate person is one who can find, evaluate, and use information.” Here is the new definition: “Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” Merinda pointed out that there is nothing in the new definition about evaluating which she sees as an essential element to information literacy.

Here are some findings from the survey: 1) most believe that threshold concepts help to elevate librarians from practitioners to instructors; 2) one of the complaints of the Framework is that the learning theory jargon contributes to confusion; 3) people are divided over whether or not information literacy is a discipline (most do not think it is).

She said that FRAMES CANNOT BE TESTED and she specifically mentioned the TATIL test that is being developed to test the Framework! This was reiterated in other sessions by other presenters, but she clearly stated that TATIL was missing the intent of the Framework. This was significant for a couple of reasons: one was that TATIL was presented a breakout the day before, and also we (ZSR) agreed to help test the BETA version of this with at least 25 of our students. Learning Outcomes should be tested, not the Frames.

Another very important criticism of the Framework is that there are no Learning Outcomes included. Each institution is encouraged to come up with their own Learning Outcomes to meet the particular needs of their institution. She stated that the knowledge practices and dispositions should be based on Learning Outcomes and not the Frames. This one idea was worth the entire conference for me! No wonder we are all grasping to understand this document. She also believes that the Standards and the Framework can exist together and that many people are pulling Learning Outcomes from the Standards to be used in the Framework.

The last nugget of gold that she tossed out, was that “No one is expected to teach all the frames.” She went on to say that sometimes just mentioning a concept at the beginning or end of a class is enough. By the way, I did not realize the Frames are listed in alphabetical order! The committee could never agree on an order based on priority.

Session 5 – “A Framework Rubric” by Emily Z. Brown and Susan Souza Mort (Bristol Community College)

Emily and Susan used the LEAP VALUE Information Literacy Rubric to assess the information literacy skills of the students at their community college. When the Framework was introduced, they changed the rubric to reflect the new concepts. This was the only session I attended that gave out their Powerpoint as a handout and they also gave everyone a copy of their rubric. They were primarily doing citation analysis, but Amanda, Kyle and I will be able to use many of their ideas on a LIB100 final project rubric we are in the process of developing.

I attended a few other sessions, but those are the highlights. Overall, it was a fantastic conference! Friday night, I enjoyed eating at a local restaurant with 11 other librarians from the conference (a “dine around”). It was fascinating to talk about all kinds of things. I did not know that at Emory, their I.T. department and Library are combined, and the head of I.T. reports to the University Librarian! Now that is an interesting model!

I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend this conference and I look forward to attending LOEX in the May in Pittsburg!

 

Amanda at LOEX 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 4:06 pm

Earlier this month, Joy and I attended the annual LOEX Conference in Denver, Colorado. Like previous years, this continues to be the standout library instruction conference and I’m so happy we were able to go.

Keynote

I would agree with Joy’s assessment that the opening keynote, presented by Anne-Marie Dietering, was one of the best I have heard. It was the highlight of the conference. If I had to identify a theme for it, it would be about challenging traditional narratives and binaries. Dietering has the full transcript available on her website, but here were some of my takeaways:

  • It’s easy to build up a narrative of what “good” instructional practice looks like. Sometimes these narratives can be helpful, but they are just as easily stressful and harmful, especially when we accept assumptions like “any instruction librarian can fix any bad situation” and judge our performance accordingly
  • Sometimes our assignment design can favor students that are already familiar with traditional assignment narratives (and by extension, good at telling the instructor what they want to hear). Additionally, some traditional assignment designs may result in students “performing” the act of an assignment (e.g. reflection) without actually engaging in the critical thinking the instructor intended. This alone has given me lots of food for thought when designing future assignments.
  • Dietering challenged us to review potentially false binaries in our own teaching (popular vs. scholarly is an easy one to pick on) and how we might re-frame those conversations to include in-between spaces. This topic is very timely, considering the recent introduction of the new Framework for Information Literacy. I feel like I’m hearing lots of conversation in our profession about wanting to move away from teaching “checklists” into how to have more complex conversations about authority, inquiry, and scholarship.
Denver Art Museum

Of course we took some time to sight see. This is the entrance to the Denver Art Museum (conveniently located next to the Denver Public Library).

For the rest of the conference I focused on two main goals: finding new potential learning activities for my LIB 100 classroom and listening to what other library’s are doing for instructional assessment.

Learning Activities:

  • One session focused on developing your own “Choose Your Own Adventure” online game using the storyboarding tool, Twine.
  • Another session discussed creating a “Source Stack” that consists of visual printouts of various library sources on a single research topic. The source stack can then be used for different in-class activities (e.g. information timeline, source evaluation)
  • Joy covered the session on using satirical news sources to teach information literacy concepts, but here is the LibGuide that is cataloging some of these clips if you’d like to browse

Assessment

  • I attended a very helpful session on pre/post test design since we are talking about including one as a LIB 100 assessment in the fall. The session was really on how to write better test questions — I’ve definitely fallen into the trap of writing pre-test questions that are too easy, which makes it hard to get good data on student learning over the length of the course. The presenter offered tips like utilizing plausible distractors for multiple-choice questions, randomizing the test questions, and potentially using open-ended questions graded with a rubric.
  • Another session reviewed one library’s assessment of cited references (using a rubric) to measure student information literacy skills. I’ve done this kind of assessment before and I like it’s authenticity — it assesses the final product of student work. The main caveat is it’s rather time-intensive, and difficult to scale up, so it’s important to consider what the goals of the assessment are and how often/long to collect this type of data. .
  • One library was using course registration data to learn more about their students and how many of them were getting repeat library sessions. While I think we usually avoid the “I’ve had this session before” conundrum at ZSR, my takeaway was that we could potentially use course registration data to “track” first-year students who’ve taken LIB 100. We might use this multiple ways, but I would be interested to see if taking LIB 100 has a positive impact on student performance in later classes (for example, a capstone research class). Grades might not tell us the whole story, so this might be an example of where the rubric assessment of student work could come in handy!
Joy and I at the Molly Brown house in Denver.

Joy and I at the Molly Brown house in Denver. Turns out, she was way more than just the lady on the Titanic!

LOEX 2015, April 30-May 2 in Denver, CO

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 10:39 am

Last week, Amanda Foster and I had the privilege of attending LOEX 2015 which was held this year in Denver, Colorado. This year, 390 instruction librarians from the United States, Canada, and Norway (yes, two librarians from Norway!) gathered to exchange ideas, commiserate, and re-energize. Our common bond was library instruction. As with past LOEX experiences, this was an extremely well executed event filled with outstanding plenary and breakout sessions. The entire conference took place in the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center located 10.5 miles from downtown Denver.

Thursday Evening Opening Reception

One of the best parts of LOEX is having the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting people in the world. At the Friday night reception, I sat with the engineering librarian at the University of North Dakota who was an entomologist and worked for the USDA for many years, including a three year stint in Raleigh, NC (and this is just one small example of interesting people!). At the reception, I learned that LOEX is now a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization thanks to a behind-the-scenes successful rescue by a group of librarians who helped LOEX dodge being absorbed into Eastern Michigan University’s budget!

Friday Morning Plenary Session

The opening plenary session was one of the best I’ve heard. Anne-Marie Dietering from Oregon State University spoke on “Reflections on Reflection: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Meta.” Two years ago, I incorporated metacognition elements in my LIB100 sections and I was less than pleased with the experience. Anne-Marie never used the term “metacognition,” but instead used the term “metathinking,” which I really liked. You can read her entire speech, including the findings here (it includes the names of several books that we have in our library that helped shaped her five year journey with this topic). The punch line of her talk focused on Mary Helen Immordino-Yang‘s findings which connects “social emotion, cognition and culture.” It seems that through the 1980’s, scientists believed that thinking and emotion were separate, controlled by different parts of the brain. But it turns out that emotion is an essential part of higher-level thinking. New experiences receive “tags” that we put into our emotional knowledge banks that determine how we make decisions moving forward. Anne-Marie says that our world is comfortable with binary thinking (good/bad; guilty/innocent, scholarly/popular, novice/expert, etc.). She challenged us to stretch ourselves and our students to accept the uncomfortable spaces between the binaries. We are not good or bad, but in the middle and we must learn to deal with the complexities in between. She says that librarians are particularly equipped to navigate grey areas and that we should embrace our unique role. I personally loved this speech for several reasons. It helped me to understand what was wrong with my metacognition exercises that I used in my classes two years ago which were completely analytical, “What I learned” reflections. It also affirmed what happens naturally in my classes when most of the students let go of old research habits and embrace new search strategies and tools. We introduce them to the uncomfortable world of databases, the catalog, and Summon and the angst they experience is the sweet spot for knowledge. I was so inspired by this speech that I could have gone home after her presentation and declared LOEX 2015 a success!

I will very briefly discuss some of the other highlights of the conference:

Breakout: “Using Satirical News Sources to Promote Active Learning and Student Engagement” By Stephanie Alexander (California State University East Bay)

In this session, the presented showed three video clips and then asked us to use the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy and select the threshold concepts the clips addressed. The presenter shows the clips in one shot sessions. Amanda and I were both at this session and we agreed that the first two clips could not be used in our classes (both took jabs at conservatives: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Rand Paul’s Plagiarism Problem by Stephen Colbert). However, the last clip was John Oliver’s Commentary on the Sugar Industry had more potential. She showed an excerpt from the clip that quotes research from the sugar industry that says sugar does not cause obesity. This clip could be used to discuss the first concept, “Authority is Constructed and Contextual” where learners determine the credibility of sources and understand the elements that might temper their credibility.

Breakout: “Hacking the Framework: Using the Art and Science of Story to Address the Dispositions” By John Watts and Joshua Vossler.

I attended this session because I attended a LOEX preconference two years ago led by this pair and I thought it would be a fun session. It was entertaining, but I was disturbed by the story on which they hinged the presentation. Josh gave a very dramatic presentation about an English professor he had in graduate school who screamed at them for not using proper MLA format when they were given an introductory exercise in class and the answer was Moby Dick: Or, the Whale. After the class, I asked him which threshold concept this represented and he said it fell under, “Scholarly is a conversation,” and the disposition under that was, “systems privilege authorities and not having a fluency in the language and process of a discipline disempowers their ability to participate and engage.” I have thought about this a lot, and it is my sincere hope that this is not the meaning of this disposition. By the way, the Framework was a common thread throughout the conference, and it was clear that everyone is still trying to figure out what it means and how it will be used.

Roundtable Discussion: Assessment of Instruction

During lunch, I attended this roundtable discussion (with Susan Smith in mind), just to hear what others were doing. We will be a beta site for the new SAILs assessment tool starting this fall and I will be using it in my classes. I learned that the full version of SAILs requires a lot classroom time and that other institutions are using “Research Ready” and “Guide on the Side,” but no group seemed thrilled with their tools. I also learned that Megan Oakleaf is a consultant on this topic and she was given rave reviews by those in attendance.

Breakout: Teachers-turned-Librarians Share Tips for Improving Instruction

This session was filled with common sense tips for classroom management and effectiveness. Instructors should engage students, build rapport, and work to prevent distractions. When disruptions occur, subtlety is the key—focus on positives, keep your cool, ignore if possible, never reprimand in front of the class, discuss issues with students one-on-one. Up to 90% of how we communicate is with body language, so be self-aware! Stand still when you are giving directions, be aware of boundaries, use eye contact, be positive and upbeat, and be honest. Find ways to improve your instruction by using peer observation, practicing reflective teaching, co-teaching, and using mentors.

Breakout: Teaching Evaluation Can be a One Dish Meal by Heather Campbell at Brescia University College in Canada

I thought this was a particularly interesting breakout. Heather is the coordinator of instruction at her school, and she implemented a 360 degree style teaching evaluation to help strengthen the presentation/teaching skills of their teaching librarians. She shared copies of the feedback form as well as the rubric they developed. The purpose of the evaluation is to be supportive and helpful, and is not used for job evaluation.

I attended other sessions, but I have summarized what I thought was most interesting. It was a wonderful conference and I am grateful for the opportunity to attend!

 

 

Joy at LOEX 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 3:19 pm

As Amanda said in her blog, LOEX was a wonderful experience this year! It is always energizing to be surrounded by instruction librarians, but it was twice as fun this year because Amanda was with me. This year’s LOEX Conference was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. What a great place for a conference! This historic hotel is located in the heart of Grand Rapids, within easy walking distance of numerous shops, bars, and museums including the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. We took an early flight to Grand Rapids and we spent the afternoon as tourists visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meyer May House as well as the Presidential and Art museums. It was a magical day where everything went right including our flights, the cab ride, and they even had a room ready for us at the hotel at 11:00 a.m.! That evening we attended the LOEX Hors d’oeuvres Reception where we met many wonderful librarians from across the United States and even bumped into Steve Cramer who provided some great tweets over the two day conference.

Since Amanda has reported on several sessions from the conference, I will try not to repeat what she said. Here are some of the sessions that I particularly enjoyed and found helpful:

Friday Morning Plenary Session – Terry Doyle

The conference kicked off with a great presentation by Terry Doyle who is a Professor of Reading at Ferris State University. The title of the presentation was, “The New Science of Learning: How to Learn in Harmony with Your Brain” (which also happens to be the title of a book he wrote that was published in 2013). Doyle’s expertise is neuroscience as it relates to teaching and learning, and for this session the focus was on creating the best conditions for student learning. He presents the idea that the burden of creating these conditions falls mostly on learners (if teachers could fix the problem alone, they would have fixed it years ago!). He started off by showing the Gardio Sarducci 5 Minute University video which is totally worth five minutes of your life if you would like to add some humor to your day. He laid the groundwork for his talk by stating that by 2018 57-67% of all jobs will require a four year college degree and that many of the future jobs do not currently exist. Students must learn how to learn. He dispelled a couple of theories such as the idea of right or left brain learners, and the idea of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. He stated that learning creates a change in the neurological patterns of the brain. It is the “ability to use information after significant periods of disuse and it is the ability to use the information to solve problems that arise in a context different (if only slightly) from the context in which the information was originally taught.”

He stated that “it is the one who does the work who does the learning.” He then proceeded to describe the conditions needed to learn. He talked about the importance of paying attention and how we do not have the ability to multitask. Multitasking interrupts learning and decreases mental resources. At this point, he focused on five things all learners need to be prepared for the learning experience: oxygen, hydration, diet, exercise, and sleep. Here are just a few of the things he said:

Physical activity is a reliable way to increase blood flow, and hence oxygen, to the brain.

  1. Water is essential for optimal brain health and function. Dehydration can impair short-term memory function and the recall of long-term memory. Even mild levels of dehydration can impact school performance.
  2. Glucose is needed for fuel your brain and since neurons cannot store glucose, the bloodstream provides a constant supply. Glucose comes from carbohydrates you consume in the form of grains, legume, fruits, and vegetables. Too much sugar or refined carbohydrates can actually deprive your brain of glucose and deplete your brain’s power to concentrate, remember, and learn. Glucose enhances learning and memory. Recommended foods for healthy brain function include: blueberries, avocadoes, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and wild salmon.
  3. In order for our brains to function optimally, we required regular physical activity. Research shows that movement can be an effective cognitive strategy to: strengthen learning, improve memory and retrieval, and enhance motivation and morale. I like this line, “regular exercise, even walking, leads to more robust mental abilities beginning in childhood and continuing into old age.” Exercise also erodes stress (stress disrupts the process by which the brain collects and stores memories).
  4. While we sleep, our brains flush out neurotoxins through the spinal column. Sleep also plays an important role in the formation of long term memories. The final two hours of sleep from 6-8 hours are crucial for memories to be laid down as stable residents in your brain. Your brain also prepares for learning during the “second half of the nights, so if you sleep six hours or less, you are shortchanging yourself and impeding your learning.” Sleeping directly after learning something new is beneficial for memory. Sleep also helps us produce new and creative ideas. If a person is sleep deprived, even though they are fully awake, the neurons used for important mental tasks switch off. Doyle said that humans are supposed to nap daily and that 20-30 minutes is ideal. Resting after learning improves your chances of remembering (more Starbucks time?).

Terry Doyle has a website titled “The Learner Centered Classroom” filled with fascinating links such as “Helping Students Learn in a Learner Centered Environment,” and “The Learner-Centered Classroom.” I think LIB100 does a great job of helping students develop several of the essential skills he says they need including: Learning how to learn on their own, and taking more control of their own learning.

Sculpting the Mind, Shaping the Learner: Mindfulness Practices in the Classroom

My first breakout session segued perfectly with the plenary session, where Jill Luedke from Temple University and Deborah Ultan Boudewyns at the University of Minnesota introduced the idea of incorporating mindfulness practices in the classroom. Jill is a yoga instructor and Deborah practices yoga, and our session started with a two minute meditation exercise. They explained the benefits of mindfulness practices to foster more productive learning experiences with greater awareness, patience, and focus. I must say that these presenters completely had my attention when they talked about us creating a collective body to be more aware and present in the moment. They showed an image of the constellation Orion and they said that they encourage their students to find the brightest start for their research. They defined mindfulness as “Paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment.” They talked about loving kindness and bringing that to the classroom. These presenters are both art librarians and I found their presentation to be completely authentic and genuine. I have never taken a yoga class, but after this session, I’m ready to give it a try!

ACRL Information Literacy Framework (Roundtable Discussion)

Amanda did such a great job talking about this, that there is no need for me to say much about this discussion. I will reiterate the fact that the overall theme of this discussion seemed to fall under the category of uncertainty and perhaps skepticism. One of my personal goals for this summer is to spend some focused time on the Framework so that I can be up to speed with what is happening. I am hoping that Amanda, Kyle, and I will have the opportunity to lead some discussions about this with the Research and Instruction team. This is still a work in progress and a second draft is scheduled to be released in early June. The next draft will include even more threshold concepts and scenarios that will provide ideas for how to incorporate the concepts into instruction. In order to understand the differences in the documents, you can start by looking at the different definitions of information literacy:

Information literacy as defined by the 2000 Standards: Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” [Note: there is more, but this is the first line and summarizes the rest.]

Information literacy as defined by the 2014 Framework: Information literacy “combines a repertoire of abilities, practices, and dispositions focused on expanding one’s understanding of the information ecosystem, with the proficiencies of finding, using and analyzing information, scholarship, and data to answer questions, develop new ones, and create new knowledge, through ethical participation in communities of learning and scholarship.”

More to come in the future on the new Framework!

Unifying Ideas: Building For-Credit Information Literacy Courses Around Themes to Optimize Student Learning

In this break-out session, Elizabeth Price and Rebecca Richardson, both from Murray State University talked about their experiences teaching a one-credit course using themes. One of the instructors used the theme of “Digital Footprints” and then she had the students research the topics in light of their majors. For example, “How do privacy issues affect us psychologically (or sociologically)?” “What are the financial risks related to privacy breaches?” She touted the approach as helping students analyze sources for their usefulness. The other instructor used the theme “Is Google Evil?” which sounded very intriguing to me, especially since my husband just purchased a Chromebook this weekend!

Saturday Morning Plenary Session – Lee Van Orsdel

Lee Van Orsdel is the Dean of University Libraries at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Her presentation was about the new $65 million main library on their campus which opened in the fall of 2013. She showed numerous pictures and explained the “social/student centered” approach. The layout and philosophy are very similar to the NC State’s Hunt Library‘s. Here are a few things that she said that stood out for me: there is no signage in the building; furniture is only moved by the staff at the beginning of the semester, the rest of the time students are free to rearrange furniture as they desire and they do this frequently with tables and chairs going up and down elevators; only students work at service desks; students do their “Peer Consultant Experience” consultations (the equivalent of our PRS’s); they track a lot of data about their consultations; and they provide quiet study rooms (the opposite from our stated purpose of study rooms). My impression is that it is a beautiful library, but I don’t think I’m ready to turn ZSR into a social-centered instead of an information-centered library.

Zombies, Pirates, and Law Students: Creating Comics for Your Academic Library

This presentation was a lot of fun and presented a range of ways that comics have been developed and used in academic libraries. Jennifer Poggiali at Lehman College and Matt Upson at Oklahoma State University both used artists to create original comics based on actual people in their libraries. Jennifer worked with her college’s art department and Matt hired a nontraditional student assistant who happened to be an artist. The part of the presentation that I got most excited about was Katy Kavanagh’s (East Carolina University) presentation on how she used ToonDoo to liven up their LibGuides. Evidently there are several options beside ToonDoo for creating comics, and maybe if I get some extra time this summer, I’ll explore some of them! Wouldn’t Hu Womack make a great super-hero librarian?! I I think this concept has a lot of potential.

Conclusion

Overall, LOEX was simply wonderful! I’m very grateful for the opportunity to attend this great conference.

 

 

Amanda at LOEX 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014 7:27 pm

Joy and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the LOEX conference in the beautiful city of Grand Rapids, Michigan with 375 other librarians. This was my second LOEX, and again I am impressed with what a great conference this is and how much it has given me to think about. Some takeaways from the conference include:

Online Course Design

Kyle and I will be working hard this summer designing an online version of LIB 100. I attended Mass Producing a Masterpiece, a presentation put on by USC librarians about their creation of an 80-section/yr online information literacy course. While their circumstances are vastly different from ours, this was probably the most beneficial and practical presentation I attended. Some suggestions/lessons learned included:

  • Capping online classes at 15 (check!)
  • Using a backwards design process when planning (check and mate!)
  • Being realistic about how long it will take to grade and provide feedback to avoid all night grading sessions
  • Knowing the capabilities of your technology (Sakai, etc…) going in, as technical difficulties can hamper plans for active learning
  • Being realistic about how long content creation will take (much longer than you’d think)

The session also reminded me about Quality Matters, which is sort of a “quality assurance” approach to online courses and is often used at universities heavily invested in online learning. I found a copy of the Quality Matters Rubric, which is a checklist of sorts for creating online courses, to refer to in the future.

I also attended a wonderful session put on by our NCSU colleagues, Anne Burke and Andreas Orphanides, about using card sorting for instructional design. Card sorting is traditionally used by web designers and other user experience professionals to organize online content, but it definitely makes sense to use for backwards design in instruction as well. I’m hoping Kyle and I can utilize this technique for online LIB 100!

1. In front of the Grand River 2. In front of the Gerald Ford Museum 3. Outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum

1. In front of the Grand River 2. In front of the Gerald Ford Museum 3. Outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum

New Information Literacy Framework

As some of you may know, ACRL has put together a task force to extensively revise the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards adopted in 2000. This revision is in draft phase and is now called the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education. Several major changes are underway in this new document. The first change is moving from a “standards” approach to a “framework” approach, which I believe is an effort to make information literacy less prescriptive and more open to adoption in other disciplines. The second change is the introduction of “threshold concepts” as the cornerstone of the new framework. I recommend the article linked above if you’d like to know more about what threshold concepts are, but I liken a threshold concept to a “lightbulb moment,” or when you finally grasp a concept and it changes the way you think about a subject or idea. The threshold concepts currently proposed for information literacy (with possibly more coming) are:

  • Scholarship is a Conversation
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Format as Process
  • Authority is Constructed and Contextual
  • Searching is Strategic

Some of these ideas are probably familiar (scholarship as conversation, research as inquiry), but some provide a new way of looking at things (authority is constructed and contextual). Unfortunately, there was very limited formal discussion of the new information literacy framework at LOEX, in what I felt was a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, Joy and I attended the one round table discussion on the framework and our dine-around group also had a lively discussion on the topic. My general impression is that most librarians are very interested in the new framework, but perhaps cautious about introducing it to faculty and uncertain about its implications for assessment. To be honest, I’m not sure that the new framework signifies a huge of a departure from what we already do. As instructors, we will still create learning outcomes, assess them, and change and improve each time we teach. What I envision happening is a re-imagining of how teach and assess these ideas — particularly around the concepts of scholarship as conversation, research as inquiry, and format as process.

Anyways, lots of ideas to work with this summer! I could talk about this topic until the cows come home, so I will stop now, but please feel free to talk to me about it in person!

Assessment Ideas

Another beneficial session I attended was onQuick and Easy Learning Assessments in Your Library Classroom. I won’t go into excruciating detail here, because this is getting quite long enough, but the main thing I took away from this session was “any qualitative data can be turned into quantitative data.” Hearing this was like reaching my very own “threshold concept” about assessment and I’ll be looking into ways that this idea could be adapted in my own instruction.

 

Meyer May House

Meyer May House

Thoughts on the GR

Grand Rapids was a lovely, vibrant city. Joy and I made sure to leave bright and early Thursday morning so we would have an opportunity to explore before the opening conference reception. We hit the pavement Thursday touring the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Meyer May House, learning some presidential history at the Gerald Ford Museum, appreciating the art at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and strolling the Grand River on the Grand River Walkway. Check out some of the pictures accompanying ours posts! Great art scene, great beer scene, great food scene — there is lots to love about Grand Rapids and I hope to visit again!

 

LOEX My Presentation and Final Thoughts

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 1:31 pm

My presentation was scheduled for that most hated time….last slot, last day. I was sure it would be me and the two people who couldn’t get flights out until Sunday, but in actuality I had between 60 and 70 people attend and they were an enthusiastic and appreciative group. My topic was two-fold. First I was discussing rethinking the pure annotated bibliography as a final project for library instruction (or any lower level course, for that matter). Second, I was discussing using wikis and Google Docs in our LIB100 classes. There was some familiarity with Google Docs in the crowd but MUCH enthusiasm for my demo and my ability to answer questions. There was also a lively discussion of the annotated bibliography and new ways to approach similar skills with more relevant assignments. So it was a success and I was so pleased to be able to give others some new ideas, as I had been offered so many in the presentations I had attended.

It was a really useful conference to me — it is nice to be in a place where everyone does the same thing. You don’t have to introduce the concept of Information Literacy, and when people say ‘one-shot’ everyone knows what you are talking about. And the sessions gave me a lot to chew on over the summer as I prepare for my ACRL Intentional Teacher Immersion and work on improving our LIB100 and LIB200 curriculum. But for now….that’s all on LOEX….I have bigger fish to fry in the next few days….

Roz at LOEX: Why Does Google Scholar Sometimes ask for Money?

Saturday, May 3, 2008 12:38 pm

This excellent presentation was done by two librarians at NCSU: Scott Warren, the Assoc. Director of the Textiles Library and Engineering Sciences and Kim Duckett, Digital Technologies and Learning Librarian.

What they have done is to expand on our discussion of the economics of information and scholarly publishing for an upper-level english class on communication in the sciences. Here’s what they do:

  • Want to convey to students that their tuition $$ goes to things that the general public cannot afford. They are privileged by their association with an institution and a library and that can give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  • Focus on Discovery (what Google Scholar is for) and Access (what the library pays for)
  • Find that students who run into a fee from a Google Scholar link move on to something else until they find something for free.
  • They focus on discussing with the students WHY articles, journals and databases cost money — the library is a business — we purchase these things on their behalf (and with their money)
  • They provide a larger context to peer review discussion including rejection rates, page rates, ‘not all journals are created equal,’ royalties, ownership, etc. to give them a sense of the culture of scholarly publishing, not just the process
  • Ask Why can publishers charge so much? and Why do we pay it?
  • Ask If we pay so much, do you think the publishers are giving it away for free on the web??
  • Kim uses a great deep web metaphor to explain how Google scholar works vs. online databases

While we already do some of what they are doing in our LIB100 classes — this encouraged me to give it more context — business models make sense to students (they pay, for example, for iTunes songs) so work with that. Especially for our LIB200 classes, this discussion becomes even more important to have.

Good metaphor: the journal is the CD, the journal article is the MP3 of one of the songs….

Roz at Loex: The Future of Libraries in Higher Education

Saturday, May 3, 2008 12:26 pm

This morning’s plenary panel on the future of libraries in HE was presented by Dr. Annette Haggray (Dean at College of DuPage), Lisa Hinchliffe (Head of UG Library at U of IL at Urbana-Champaign) and Christopher Stewart (Dean of Libraries at IL Institute of Technology).

Univ of Illinois:

  • RESEARCH is primary
  • 11 million vols in Library
  • how do we reposition ourselves in an era when having a lot of print stuff is not what makes a great research institution -
  • 10,000 graduate students!
  • how do the research libraries serve the undergraduate student?
  • how do we connect with student habits, traditions, patterns?
  • Put the library where the students will ‘stumble’ over it
  • Best thing about being a librarian is helping students reach their dreams

College of DuPage

  • Community College (largest in IL – top 4 in country)
  • multiple missions – education, workforce development, community outreach, economic stimulation,
  • Deeply embedded in community -
  • many non-traditional students, online, experiential learning,
  • Library helps faculty with instructional development and design
  • increasing number of students who are underprepared or unprepared and of non-native speaking students – library will have a growing role in both of these

Illinois Institute of Technology

  • known for science, technology, engineering and architecture
  • Mies Van der Rohe designed the campus – library is a knock off ;)
  • Libraries 1.8 million volumes; 30,000 digital journal titles
  • Flashpoint of financial tsunami that is affecting libraries — all of their research areas are the expensive titles…..
  • Information Literacy is a bit different for science and technology libraries — much more reliant on a primarily online environment for their research — they will be the ones building our buildings, bridges, schools, airplanes — VERY important that they know how to do good research

Question to panelists: Where will we be in the future?

  • What will the value of the university be in 10 years? What are the President and Provost reading? Quality, measurement, regulations, value, markets, prestige (not related to quality), efficiency will all impact IHEs — where does the library fit in with all of these things — has the library become part of the problem or part of the solution to addressing these issues?
  • Are we going to be an institute of the future or the past? Given the way funding, regulation, student as consumer model are going – do we answer in what we were in the past or what we need to be in the future. What does pursuing quality aggressively mean?
  • Do we have the courage to bring in and welcome the new librarians seeking to come in and work with us and take us in future-looking directions or will we drive them away to other more future-looking professions
  • Library does not ‘OWN’ information literacy — we bring IL to the table and ask faculty ‘how will you work with us on this?’ — we need to address how to define it collectively and collaboratively within the disciplines.
  • Market share of for-profit institutions is growing — neither faculty nor librarians own the curriculum – they have addressed efficiency in the educational enterprise — Univ. of Phoenix now has 300,000 students
  • Illinois State study on how they got such great results integrating IL into the curriculum — librarians were on the committees, volunteered for the jobs others didn’t want (like policy writing) and did the work they said they were going to do….had a profound impact on the policies and the speed at which they were created and adopted
  • Offer the library up as a solution to problems on campus – space, services, events, etc.

Question to Panelists: How do we market libraries?

  • Marketing is about your brand – get students to connect your brand with learning – not just with stuff or with a place
  • Marketing potential exists in EVERY transaction within the library
  • Make sure the marketing is in line with the institutional brand – let the institution print your marketing materials
  • Staff (not librarians) often have more transactions with our patrons than librarians do (student workers even more) — be sure you include them in any discussion of marketing
  • Reconceptualize the job of the student workers — customer service model — so many barriers between a student and a librarian – make sure ALL their interactions are positive and service-oriented
  • Market Librarians’ office hours –

Question to Panelists: How do we create a welcoming environment?

  • Don’t make assumptions about your students and how they expect to be treated in your enviroment
  • New or renovated spaces bring in more people
  • Library should be the symbolic starting place on campus
  • Library is the only place where it is socially acceptable to be alone (never thought of that!)
  • Libraries should start to think of multi-use possibilities — writing center/writing lab; eating/drinking;
  • Part of the reason we get space based on books is because that is how we have sold the need for more space — we need to discuss the need for space for collaboration, student study, staff connecting with students, etc. Change the sales pitch!
  • Career counseling, campus help desk, academic advising, wellness center all have on-site hours in the library — don’t have to bring the office into the building – just the services — set up a consultation desk — have organization schedule time at the consultation desk
  • Prioritize your space for your people, not your books. Let books be off-site and let students connect with the librarians
  • University of Chicago is doing the opposite –new space coming — all monographic titles would be browsable in the new building — only moved journals off-site. Gathering in all of their monographs to one location.

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