- SSB: Schulich School of Business
- ACW: Accolade West
Concurrent Sessions - May 17th
Session 1: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Session 1A (SSB N105)
It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Avatar. Library Instruction in a 3D Virtual World - a Second Life Collaborative Project
Educators and business leaders are racing to develop a presence in Second Life ( 3D virtual world) because of the opportunities presented for creativity and effective communications. Universities have set up virtual campuses, companies are designing and marketing products and services, and over one million people have logged on for a variety of social, educational and commercial reasons. This winter Mount Saint Vincent University Library began taking small steps to investigate the potential of this online world as a learning platform, collaborating with a faculty member in the creation of a course held in this environment.
Learning objectives for the course, PBRL 4101 Employee Relations, included: articulating a heightened awareness of the uses of the virtual environment for effective internal communication; demonstrating the skills necessary to analyse and critique value propositions for professional communication in an online environment; demonstrating a mastery of researching in, and writing for, an online environment; and demonstrating a comfort with basic 'in-world' skills in Second Life.
What role can a library play in the provision of courses in Second Life? Do networks and resources to support this work already exist? How does a librarian provide students with information instruction and services within an environment unfamiliar to all participants, librarian, professor and students? The purpose of this presentation will be to provide an introduction to Second Life, discuss the instructional challenges and opportunities of the environment, and provide a checklist of issues to be considered and when embarking on a Second Life collaborative project with faculty.
Session 1B (SSB N106)
Critical Reading: Doing More
Reading critically is an integral part of the information literacy process and one that can be easily overlooked by librarians. This session will focus on two aspects in which students may work to enhance the skill of critical reading.
To begin, it will attempt to revitalize the importance of the first unaided steps a student takes in examining a piece of academic writing. It is sometimes tempting for librarians to lead students as quickly as possible to the growing variety of online search tools. However, in taking this approach, an important opportunity is lost. Therefore, this portion of the session will stress practical ways of encouraging students to immediately engage with difficult academic writing or assignments so that clear research paths can be set.
The second part of the presentation will add value to the critical reading process by highlighting the key role of context in academic writing. Factors including time period, genre, and gender have an impact on how academic writing should be read critically. For example, it is common practice to steer students away from academic writing that is stilted or choppy and that contains repetitive arguments along with errors or omissions. On the other hand, some scholars argue that these apparent blunders by good writers in specific circumstances are the very benchmarks that demand the critical reader start over and begin reading with much more care!
In presenting this session a real student assignment will be used as a case study to reinforce key points.
Connecting the Dots: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Information Literacy
Combining the use of a customizable online tool and face-to-face meetings with students, librarians at the University of Calgary have embarked on an exciting non-traditional approach to Information Literacy instruction that maximizes faculty collaboration, puts more emphasis on meaningful interaction with students, and allows students to acquire both transferable information seeking skills and a greater understanding of the process of doing library research. This blended approach to information literacy instruction, called Workshop on the Information Search Process for Research (WISPR) in the Library, was accepted for ACRL's PRIMO (Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online) database and will be featured as a "Site of the Month" in 2007.
WISPR was launched in Fall 2005 and has since been fully integrated into a number of courses in different disciplines, including Nursing, Kinesiology, and Science among others. The WISPR framework is based upon the theoretical model of information-seeking developed by Carol Collier Kuhlthau, taking students through the entire process of library research from topic selection to search closure. For each module in the workshop, actions and strategies, thoughts and feelings, and interactive activities are presented to assist students progress to the next phase. While this framework remains constant in every version of WISPR, the specific elements presented within each phase are customizable to suit particular course content and student needs. Librarians work closely with faculty to ensure WISPR is made meaningful and relevant to their students' learning. WISPR also incorporates an online logbook students use to document their work as well as to reflect upon their research process. Much of the students' learning takes place at their own pace online, however the librarian remains greatly involved with the course, providing more individualized assistance and support as students work through their research projects. WISPR goes beyond the one point of contact as it is utilized throughout the course as a framework for inquiry.
This session will provide an overview of WISPR, a demonstration of the workshop's unique features, a description of the collaboration with faculty to integrate WISPR into their course curricula, and will also present findings about student learning using WISPR. (http://library.ucalgary.ca/wispr). Further, the session responds directly to several key themes of WILU 2006 which will be woven throughout the presentation, including: WISPR fosters critical thinking skills through an emphasis on information seeking as an intellectual process rather than skills-based mechanics of searching; WISPR is an excellent example of best practices in faculty liaison as librarians work with faculty to develop content that is directly responsive to the course material, assignments, and learning outcomes; WISPR has recently been nominated by a faculty member for the ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award given its process approach to teaching information literacy and its meaningful integration into courses. Information literacy's competencies are at the core of WISPR, and are woven throughout the workshop and intertwined with the course content. The competencies are not presented as separate entities but are presented throughout the workshop in meaningful, contextualized ways that emphasize a process, inquiry-based approach to information literacy.
Session 1C (SSB N107)
Teaching Open Access Resources for Faculty, Students, and Public Research
Open access resources are digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions (according to Peter Suber's "Open Access Overview" http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm). An enormous amount of academic content, covering many disciplines, is published in open access journals and repositories - but many librarians don't know how to access or evaluate these materials. As serial prices continually increase over and above the rate of inflation, promoting open access materials and publishing models becomes a vitally important public service. At heart, there lies the question of critical mass: when enough librarians, faculty, students, and other people publish and read material that is in the open access domain, they can begin to decrease their dependence on paid subscriptions and gain both proportional leverage against publishers and control over their own content. The conference title "Teach Every Angle" suits this session perfectly. Teaching people to find, use, advocate for and create open access materials is a "progressive and alternative approach to information literacy" (WILU website). Open access blurs the traditional boundary between paid content and the Internet, and with a little help and encouragement from the presenters, delegates can easily become leaders in challenging the ongoing commodification and privatization of research. In this session, librarians will learn that by looking for open access materials, they can demonstrate to patrons the importance and value of publishing models that do not require readers and users to pay for content. Finding and using open access materials also requires a new approach to information literacy, one which promotes an ethos of sharing, critical thought, and open-mindedness. Special strategies are often needed to convince patrons that "free" content can be legitimate and is often peer-reviewed; faculty members, especially, may need need the words and demonstrations of savvy librarians to convince them of the value of open access approaches to information seeking and dissemination.
Searcher's Bring Your Credit Card: An Exciting New Development in Information Literacy or The Beginning of the End?
Does consumer pay-per-view online resources fall within the domain of library led information literacy? The mass adoption of the Internet and World Wide Web gave searchers the expectation of free access to information. As librarians, we knew this was not true, because information is a business and most of the 'good stuff' requires paid access. Libraries fund the access to online sources, they make available to their patrons. We've taught people how to find and evaluate online resources accessessed from libraries, whether they were licensed by libraries or freely available online. Although consumer pay-per-download services initialy fizzled due to uncompetitive business models, they are gaining momentum today. More and more people are willing to pay for transactional access to online content (eg. music, audio, images, text or combinations of the three). While this may be true, teaching library patrons how to find and purchase online content remains taboo. This session will debate the information literacy issues surrounding consumer pay-per-view online resources. Come join this lively debate. This session ties into the conference by encouraging delegates to think beyond the traditional boundaries of information literacy practice.
Session 1D (SSB N108)
The Faculty Angle: What Our Faculty Think About the ACRL Information Literacy Standards
The presentation will provide the results of a survey of faculty perceptions of the ACRL Standards. Faculty from five universities were asked how important they think each of the Standards' outcomes are, and when they expect students to display the skills in those outcomes. Faculty judged most of the outcomes as important and they expect the majority of outcomes of their students in first year university or earlier. Results of the survey were broken down on broad disciplinary lines (science, social science, arts, professional schools) and there were some differences across this divisions. As well as giving selected survey results, the presentation will foster discussion about how these results might have an impact on which ACRL outcomes we teach in a university setting and when we teach them. I will also tie the survey results to the discipline-specific versions of the Standards that have been coming out in the past few years (e.g. Science/Technology and Anthropology/Sociology).
Lunchtime Video: 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
It Changed the Way I do Research - Period: Augustana Talks Information Literacy (Optional) (SSB N105)
The Augustana Faculty Library of the University of Alberta created a video (DVD) for the purpose of providing an audio/visual history and description of Information Literacy (IL) at Augustana. It also serves as a tool for marketing IL within Augustana and to external communities. Augustana students, faculty, librarians and administration were interviewed to gather perspectives on the various IL initiatives within the context of an undergraduate community that values teaching as the highest priority and strives to maintain a relevant and forward thinking curriculum. The DVD derived its title of It Changed the Way I Do Research - Period: Augustana Talks Information Literacy directly from one of the student interviews. Augustana has 21 for-credit discipline-specific IL courses in its undergraduate liberal arts and sciences curriculum. At least one faculty member from each discipline was involved in the creation of the video with a total of more than 50 students and faculty involved. The video describes Augustana's IL "program". The Augustana IL "program" is a family of IL initiatives which includes: an annual IL workshop for librarians (attendees come from across North America) and teaching faculty (primarily Augustana); the for-credit discipline-specific courses and assessment related the courses; surveys of students and graduates who have taken any of the IL courses; a student IL award called the Student Award for Library Research; a faculty IL award called the Teaching Faculty Award for the Support of Information Literacy; and, visual identification and branding of IL at Augustana. Since its creation less than one year ago the DVD has been purchased or borrowed by hundreds of academic libraries across the world and has been presented at a number of international conferences. More information on the IL program at Augustana and the DVD can be found at: www.augustana.ca/library/infolit.
Session 2: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Session 2A (SSB N105)
Launching "InfoLit 2.0"? Considering Web 2.0's Potential to Support Critical Thinking and Higher-Level Learning in Information Literacy Practice
del.icio.us. flickr. MySpace. Facebook. Today, there is no argument that the use of Web 2.0 applications such as these is a predominant trend in academic library practice. Librarians increasingly reach for "social software" applications to help them promote their institutions and their services. But to what extent are these technologies currently used to further the work of information literacy? This research paper examines the current relationship between Web 2.0 and information literacy. It also provides some practical ideas that integrate Web 2.0 technologies with educational theory to foster critical thinking and other higher-level information literacy learning outcomes.
The presenters have conducted a discourse analysis of the growing Web 2.0-related literature and its relationship to information literacy instruction. This analysis reveals two significant themes: 1) widespread ambiguity and ambivalence surrounding the naming and definitions of "Web 2.0," "social software", and related terms; and 2) discipline-specific variances in the use of these terms, particularly between the library literature and the computing science literature. These themes suggest that no matter how librarians use Web 2.0 in their institutions, they are better positioned to do so when they equip themselves with a richer contextual understanding of Web 2.0 and its underlying concepts.
Current information literacy instruction often occurs in "one-shot" sessions as part of the regular schedule of a particular course. This may create several barriers for librarians looking to employ Web 2.0 applications as teaching tools. In such limited sessions, librarians may feel compelled to forego exploration of Web 2.0 in favour of more traditional catalogue and database instruction. Additionally, librarians may feel confined to using Web 2.0 applications to create tool-oriented tutorials, while passing up opportunities to develop students' abilities to find, evaluate and ethically use information. The presenters argue that the social and collaborative features of Web 2.0 applications lend themselves well to information literacy sessions rooted in constructivist learning theory, which includes problem-based and discovery learning. This session will:
- identify themes within the current literature surrounding the Web 2.0 presence in information literacy
- explore educational theory and potential sites of integration with the Social Web
The session will conclude with practical suggestions for incorporating social software applications into information literacy instruction.
Session 2B (SSB N106)
Google and Beyond: What Sources are Students Really Using?
The University of Calgary has an established information literacy program in the biological sciences that has recently been extended into senior level courses. As part of the assessment of the IL program, senior biology students were surveyed about the resources they used for different stages in their research process. The results show a breadth of tools and an understanding of the different qualities of different levels of resources. Questions asking how their research habits evolved over the course of their studies appeared to stimulate critical thinking and self-assessment, and many responses went beyond what was asked, providing additional information about the usefulness of the IL program.
The online survey asked students to reflect on their research process and the various tools they used at different stages, such as Google Scholar, Biological Abstracts, Web of Science, etc. Throughout the responses, students indicate that their habits will change as a result of the IL session during which the survey was administered. This indication of the impact of IL was neither expected by the librarian nor required by the survey. One of the most fruitful questions asked students what they wish they had known earlier; data from this will be directly relevant to adjusting first-year courses, and may be very useful in working with Biology faculty to develop further sessions in between first and fourth year. As informative as the survey was to both librarians and teaching faculty, it was also clear that the survey benefited the students. The meta-learning and reflection encouraged by the questions encouraged students to value their information skills, to see where they might need further development, and to assess their own processes. By making space for self-assessment of the research process, the survey became a teaching tool as well as a research tool.
The presentation will outline the link between the reflective learning prompted by the survey questions, the survey results, and the development of the Biology IL program from first to fourth year. It will begin with the questions asked in the survey and a demonstration of the FAST online survey tool that was used to gather the data. The speaker will relate both the results of the survey and the information students provided that went beyond the survey questions. Participants will then share 'interesting questions' from their own surveys and discuss how to use assessment to prompt reflection.
The Information Seeking Habits of Students: Are They Really That Bad?
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 'one-fifth of today's college students began using computers between the ages of 5 and 8.' For many of them, the Internet plays a pivotal role in their academic and personal lives. Growing up in this information-rich environment, today's student develops a complex and ingrained set of information-seeking habits before setting foot on a college campus. The value of some of these habits is open to debate, but it cannot be denied that they possess them. In the services libraries provide and the way they provide them, positive steps have been taken in recognizing these new habits: acquiring more electronic full-text, constructing interfaces that mimic those of search engine, and offering virtual reference services. To address the learning styles of the digital generation, librarians are encouraged to create lessons that are both active and engaging. But what of the content of our instruction? Has it adapted itself to the changing demands of this population? Do we identify the knowledge they already possess and use it to our advantage? I think the answer to this question is no. Instead of developing and refining these habits and skills, we too often attempt to replace them with traditional library or bibliographic instruction (e.g. 'This is an encyclopedia/online catalog/good source/bad source, etc'). In the short term, this may improve a student's ability to locate, evaluate and use information for school assignments. However, is it really effective in the long term? When they graduate from college or university they will lose access to the array of resources we worked so hard to get them to use in the first place. Given no other choice, they will more likely than not fall back into their previous patterns. If we ignore these habits are we really preparing our students to be information-literate citizens? Students are no longer blank slates. With the web in particular, they are quite confident in their information retrieval abilities. It is no surprise, that traditional instruction has little value in their eyes. Instead of viewing this as hubris, librarian educators should be viewing this as an opportunity. They possess a foundation of skills. Our job is to build upon this foundation, not destroy it. If we want to create lifelong learners, we need to look at the information literacy movement in a broader context. We must teach traditional concepts, but approach them in a manner that recognizes how they interact with information and information technology. Through the latest research in information seeking habits, as well as personal class experience, I hope to illustrate how this approach is possible.
Session 2C (SSB N107)
How to Serve More than One Master: A Case-Study in Collaboration
Collaboration has become the means for success in many academic institutions of higher education throughout Canada and the United States. These unions, however, have created new and diverse library environments, changing the way we do business. While these collaborative efforts are successful from an administrative perspective, it has created several new demands and dilemmas for the delivery of library services. Issues surrounding the training of staff, increased workloads, complex licence agreements and authentication problems have become more taxing and complex affecting the seamless service and access we strive to provide to our users. Library literature falls short in addressing these issues. Humber College has partnered with the University of New Brunswick for several years. Most recently, Humber has partnered with the University of Guelph to provide service to the new University of Guelph-Humber. Serving the needs of all three unique groups has been challenging. The promotion, integration and delivery of IL has proved to be an overwhelming task. How does one efficiently and effectively teach IL skills to students enrolled in Bachelor's Degree Programs, Certificate and Diploma Programs, and Postgraduate Programs? The collaborative unions forced us to re-examine the existing IL program. This is a case-study of how Mark Bryant, Reference & Information Literacy Librarian at Humber College, and Janet Hollingsworth, Liaison & Information Literacy Librarian at the University of Guelph-Humber are addressing the integration and delivery of IL in their diverse environment. At Humber, we are mindful that our student population is culturally diverse. The purpose of our presentation, however, is to focus on the diverse environment that we find ourselves in as a result of our collaborative unions. We believe that this topic fits into this year's WILU conference theme - Teach Every Angle. By the end of the session participants will:
- Have an understanding of how collaboration among academic institutions are impacting libraries
- Understand the complexities / issues surrounding the development of an IL program in a university and college partnership
- See the steps we took to create a viable framework for an IL program in a university and college partnership
Effective partnerships & Seamless Integration: Case Studies from Two Academic Librarians
Academic librarians Sylvia Roberts and Kristina McDavid will share their strategies for effective, innovative partnerships with teaching faculty and seamless integration with course content and delivery. Kristina McDavid will discuss how the liaison librarians for the University of British Columbia's distributed MD undergraduate program work with faculty and program staff to provide fully integrated library resources, services and informatics instruction across 3 university and 10 clinical sites. Sylvia Roberts will speak about her experiences developing an integrated information literacy component for a documentary research course at Simon Fraser University, which has evolved to comprise 3 formal instructional sessions, as well as extensive one-on-one coaching of students and librarians. Sylvia will also share lessons learned while developing an online version of the course in partnership with the instructor and distance education staff, which was delivered via WebCT for the first time in fall 2006. She will highlight some of the ways in which the online course differs from the on-campus version, and will touch on some of the interactive features under development for future iterations of the online course.
Session 2D (SSB N108)
North by Northwest
In Northern communities, isolation is a fact of life and common southern "realities" like high-speed internet, libraries (both public and academic) within driving distance and f2f instruction are not the norm. Due to these factors, online instruction is a core component in northern academic institutions and as such requires a little bit more preparation. As well, another key factor to consider is the diverse student population: First Nations, mature, part-time, first generation university students, and professionals upgrading their credentials. The diverse academic backgrounds of these students makes designing the standard library tutorial a challenge; one size does not fit all in the north. At the same time, this might be the only way that students interact with a librarian so the online environment becomes significant to these students' academic studies (and hopefully success). So how does an academic library with such a variety of students a) reach these students? b) design online tutorials targeting a variety of learning styles? and c) assess whether any of this is working? This session will show you how to take a generic one hour information literacy class and turn it into an online session that will meet the needs of a diverse student population. The presenters will discuss effective pedagogical approaches to online instruction, how to teach specific e-resources and finally how to ensure that the students are actually finding the Library's e-resources and using them effectively and efficiently. This presentation won't focus as much on software, although we will be discussing what we use, it's more about how to use the software to teach InfoLit online effectively. We will conclude with a discussion on how to beta-test your new online approach to Information Literacy Instruction before launching it live for the students. So, come to this session and see how two northern (Ontario and Yukon) librarians are devising new and alternative methods of reaching out to students via a variety of methods and assessing their efforts. How, in fact, we have to examine "every angle" such as mode of delivery, type of student, pedagogical theory, etc. to ensure that we are serving our diverse populations well and contributing to the retention and success of these students.
Library Instruction: Using the Public Relations Angle to Attract Faculty and Students
Although the end result most sought after by librarians engaged in library instruction is the actual teaching of information literacy skills, there still remains the challenge of getting both teaching faculty and students interested in pursuing this venture. Librarians may certainly believe that most individuals should be able to critically analyze and evaluate information, be aware of various legal, ethical, and socio-political issues related to the acquisition and utilization of information in general, and know how to effectively locate information, but they often fail to fully comprehend how to attract an audience to their classrooms. Librarians may be successful in attracting the same faculty and classes for which they conducted library instruction sessions during the previous academic year, thereby maintaining the status quo, but information literacy programs need to grow if they are to flourish on campus. They remain reactive to their clients' needs and not proactive. New collaborative efforts with other faculty, different approaches to teaching, the integration of information competencies within the curriculum, and the involvement of diverse clientele are overlooked.
This presentation (research paper) will examine how library instruction can be energized, enhanced, cross boundaries into diverse student populations, and reveal how marketing your product may be the most effective method in attracting new recruits to the process of library use and information literacy. Specifically, it will address how Bemidji State University's American Indian student population, as well as many first year experience (FYE) students have been encouraged to use library resources and acquire the basic research skills needed to address their educational requirements, while preparing them for lifelong learning.
Library instruction is not unlike a variety of other initiatives which many individuals lack knowledge of. Since people often feel uncomfortable about new surroundings, and in this situation new information or delivery techniques, it's logical that library instruction would not always be well received. By bridging the gap through the development of partnerships, assessment instruments, networking, and with an emphasis on general public relations efforts, librarians and others involved in information literacy programs can achieve their objectives more effectively. Thus, the most efficient method behind getting faculty and students involved in the process may not be its connection to perfecting one's research skills. Likewise, the main reason for implementing library instruction may not be its link to a classroom assignment. It may just be as simple as making teaching faculty and students aware of what the library has to offer, creating a comfortable environment conducive to information inquiry, and most importantly, eliminating the mystique of library instruction through a comprehensive public relations agenda.
Session 3: 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Session 3A (SSB N105)
Visualizing Information Literacy: Site-Specific Art & Design Interventions at the Dorothy H. Hoover Library, OCAD
The Ontario College of Art & Design is a university that offers an art and design-based curriculum that must address the requirements of a diverse student population, many of whom are visual learners. In response, the university employs studio-based instructional strategies that mesh verbal, textual, and iconic strategies. Students learn through one-on-one, tutorial-type instruction; yet, ultimately their artistic development occurs individually in the studio. Critiques-or peer-reviews where students, faculty and creators collectively dialogue over an art or design work-provide an essential component to the creative process, so much so that a work of art or design is not complete until it has been subjected to this evaluative process.
The challenge for the OCAD reference team, therefore, is to engage our users in an instructional language which speaks directly to their educational experience. To meet these needs, the Dorothy H. Hoover Library has launched an exhibition program where instructors are encouraged to assign end-of-term exhibitions using the Library space. Before conceptualizing their work, students attend an information session providing insight into Library of Congress organizational and cataloguing practices, as well as broader library philosophical underpinnings. Participating students must also conform to the spatial limitations of our current location and cannot inhibit daily information seeking and retrieving activities. Holding the critique-where discourse meets theory and practice- in the Library space is of vital importance.
OCAD reference librarians Daniel Payne and Robert Fabbro will present two case studies from courses offered in both art and design that demonstrate the potential of integrating library practices with curricular goals. The exhibitions serve as useful devices in blurring the edges between library research and studio practice, helping to reinforce the notion of a seamless interface between research and practice; the one informing the other. Ultimately, injecting information literacy principles into the creative process-from production, to exhibition and finally critique-communicate with students in a curricular language that they understand.
Crossing the Boundaries: A Case Study
This case study will account for a truly collaborative endeavor between a librarian and a professor to plan and develop information literacy development activities for a revised four-year program in Textile Sciences at the University of Manitoba. The Textile Sciences program applies knowledge in areas such as business, economics, textile science, marketing, consumer behavior, quality management and design to understand the forces that shape consumers' demand for textile products and their development and commercialization. The multidisciplinary nature of the program requires students to learn to use factual, interpretive and evaluative information at a very early stage of their program. In this case study, the presenters will focus specifically on (a) the manner in which the librarian customized information literacy sessions to fit the sequence and level of required courses in the program; (b) the librarian's instructional sessions for a first year course for which there was not a textbook; (c) the development of numerous assignments that integrate seamlessly the subject matter with the components of information literacy; and (d) students' response to the librarian-professor collaboration. This case study is an appropriate fit with the Teach Every Angle theme of this workshop. A four-year Textile Sciences program allows the librarian and the professor to follow the same cohort of students over time. At each level, the collaborators have to consider developmentally appropriate learning activities that incorporate the subject matter and information literacy skills, and hone students' ability to seek, retrieve, evaluate, and use information so that they receive uninterrupted guidance to respond to progressively complex questions or tasks as they move from first to fourth year of their program. Through their partnership, the collaborators foster their own pedagogical skills, and thereby foster students' critical thinking skills as well.
Session 3B (SSB N106)
Making Coursework Matter
Providing bonus marks or higher grades is one way to reward students for insightful thinking and good work; granting students a few percentage points for using a style guide, citing sources properly, and finding peer-reviewed articles is effective, but what if it isn't enough? For students who have dreams of graduate school, better grades are a terrific motivator. But what about those who have no interest in graduate school, or simply aren't motivated by percentage points and GPAs? What about those who want to get out into the world and make a difference, those who feel that activism is the way to be successful in the world? By helping faculty to create assignments that will provide good, well-cited, clearly-written information for people in under-developed countries, people in remote or impoverished locations without the benefit of vast library resources, librarians can offer a new way to motivate and engage students. In keeping with the theme of WILU 2007, this case study examines how librarians can introduce critical pedagogy to the classroom by encouraging students to think about the information that surrounds them, what advantages it brings them, and by giving students an opportunity to challenge oppression around the world by creating new, free, reliable sources of information. By pairing our knowledge of information literacy with cutting edge web applications and charitable projects, librarians can help increase student engagement in classrooms and help shape the world of information at the same time. In taking advantage of information technology to accomplish this, we can help create assignments for undergraduates that will not only give students a passionate and pressing reason to care about information literacy, but will also increase their own technology literacy. Here at University of Toronto Mississauga we have seen student engagement rise to surprising and impressive levels through assignment that had students editing and improving articles in the Wikipedia for the sake of the rest of the world; with the coming One Laptop Per Child program, which will distribute wireless-enabled laptops to children in under-developed countries, there is a sudden and huge need for good, free information in the form of learning objects, e-textbooks, audio files, and so on. Librarians can bring information literacy issues front and centre by pointing out their impact on the world at large, describing the relationship between students, resources, and the wider world.
A Call to Arms: Academic Librarianship in the Age of the Engaged Campus
A momentous change is taking place in higher education as universities and colleges move from the traditional, isolated model of the ivory tower toward socially-connected, socially-responsible institutions of higher learning. By including outreach formally through research, education and service-learning, "the engaged campus" aims to educate students not just for the workplace, but also for their role in civic engagement and the future of democracy.
As these institutions attempt to meet the challenges and responsibilities of preparing citizens for a lifetime of civic participation, academic libraries and librarians play a unique and powerful role. University and college libraries provide the information and the opportunities for learning that students and faculty need to be active participants in civil society. Librarians teach the academic community how to identify and evaluate information that is essential to making decisions that affect the way we live, work, learn and govern ourselves-values and skills fundamental to democratic participation and civil service. So why have so few academic librarians yet to incorporate civic and community engagement into their positions?
This presentation examines the question, "What differences do academic libraries and librarians make?" primarily in the context of community-university engagement. The presentation will first state the reasons why this is an essential question and describe the contributions of current (primarily public) library planning tools in community-building initiatives. It then takes a broad look at the framework that is essential for the intellectual development of this topic and the ability to answer the question, together with practical approaches and theoretical frameworks being implemented at a number of higher educational institutions, including York University.
Session 3C (SSB 107)
Interactivity in Library Presentations
To introduce students to research skills, the University faculty often encourages their students to attend hour-long presentations offered by the Library. This face-to-face introduction to research skills can be a disappointing experience if students either fail to attend or do not participate during the session. Because student attendance rests on the faculty, the present study focused on improving student participation during the Library presentation, by increasing the level of interactivity. The use of the Personal Response System (PRS) -- a wireless technology that equips students with clickers to respond to a variety of questions posed by the librarian in the course of the presentation -- was expected to increase interactivity, student attention, and participation.
In the study, while participants attended either a traditional presentation or one that was modified to incorporate the use of the PRS, both types of sessions were offered by the same librarian. A questionnaire created for the purpose of evaluating various aspects of the library presentation was completed by all students.
Both presentations included the same research skills content. In the PRS sessions, however, students were asked questions that allowed the presenter to gather information about the group: for example, their age, year of study, student status (full-time/part-time), familiarity with the University Library, online usage of resources, and so on. Because the PRS displays a graph of the group responses to the questions, only seconds after the students have responded, the instructor was able to modify the presentation. For example, the focus may be altered if the group is composed mainly of fourth-year students versus a first-year group.
Students in the PRS sessions also answered questions relating to content. The questions presented before differed in purpose from those taken after the learning sequence: the earlier ones evaluated the background knowledge of the group and thus allowed the librarian to modify the amount of time spent on a concept. The questions that followed, however, were used to evaluate the students' mastery of a concept. On the basis of the PRS feedback, the librarian could either clarify the concept further or could move the presentation forward to the next learning sequence.
In comparison to traditional sessions, in addition to differences in student involvement during the presentation -- clicking in response to questions - the PRS presentation was modified to account for the individual differences of the groups. Subsequent to the presentation, the anecdotal comments of students clearly demonstrated their preference for this novel method of increasing participation. In addition, evaluation of the questionnaires filled out by both groups will indicate whether a significant difference in student satisfaction exists between the two types of sessions.
The Use of Personal Response Systems in Promoting Information Literacy and Library Research
The appearance of Personal Response Systems (PRS) in university classrooms has opened an avenue for new forms of communication between instructors and students in large-enrolment classes. Allowing instructors to pose questions and receive and immediately tabulated responses from students, proponents of this technology herald as an innovative means for encouraging higher levels of participation, fostering student engagement, and streamlining the assessment process. Having already been experimentally deployed across disciplines ranging from business to the arts and sciences, it is also beginning to appear in the context of information literacy instruction. Like other instructors, librarians have begun to use the technology to achieve their teaching objectives and to efficiently assess student learning. Our project is set apart by the fact that we employed the technology not to transfer actual skills, but to advertise the existence of online library guides and promote the use of the library itself within the context of the course itself. Using the PRS technology we were able to quiz students on library use and research styles, and "market" library resources interactively. Sessions were quick, focused, and aimed to pique interest in library research. An investigation into actual student research practices was also undertaken on the occasion of a second class visit at mid-term. Our session will present the results of our project and suggest further avenues for future study.
Session 3D (SSB N108)
Graduate Student Library Research Skills Workshop Series: A Needs Assessment
The University of Western Ontario is placing increasing emphasis on graduate studies and research. In support of graduate studies, Research & Instructional Services (R&IS) Librarians at the Allyn & Betty Taylor Library decided to establish a library research skills workshop series for all graduate students in the faculties of Engineering, Health Sciences, Medicine & Dentistry and Science. As a first step in developing the workshop series, a team of librarians at Taylor conducted a needs assessment in July and August 2006. The needs assessment was carried out by means of an online survey for graduate students, and focus groups for faculty and students. The goals of the needs assessment were to identify particular library research skills required by graduate students, determine how they would prefer to learn those skills, and identify areas where discipline-specific instruction would be beneficial.
The proposed workshop series was received favourably by graduate students and faculty members, and the perceived need for these workshops was confirmed by the needs assessment. Results showed that significant numbers of students have not had previous instruction on library research skills. Students and faculty members also identified many challenges that graduate students have with finding information, most notably with respect to developing effective search strategies. Some of the key considerations that emerged from the needs assessment included: accommodating the needs of international students, providing workshop material in online formats, and marketing the workshops to highlight their relevance for graduate students.
This session will present the methodology and results of the needs assessment, and demonstrate how the results were used to plan the first series of workshops. The results will be of interest to anyone who is thinking about graduate students' library research skills, library instruction for students in STM (science, technology, and medicine) fields, and instruction that is not integrated with specific courses.
Giving Graduate Students What They Want to Know Not What We Want Them to Know: A New Approach to Information Literacy Sessions Design
In our constantly evolving world it is increasingly important for students both graduates and undergraduates to be information literate. According to the American Library Association, an information literate person is an individual who is capable of realizing the need for information, finds, evaluates and effectively uses the information he or she needs. A critical look at most of the studies done on user needs indicate a strong emphasis on planning user oriented services that can provide more responsive, effective and accountable service. This on the other hand means that librarians need to have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the user groups to be served since the aim of the library and information literacy skills curriculum is not only to teach how to locate and access information sources but to develop logical and critical thinking in the students as well. Therefore, in order for librarians to design new information literacy programmes, justify existing ones and meet expected demands, they ought to know what target groups require from the library, how the library can help them, and what obstacles prevent them from successful exploitation of library resources.
This session will look at the significance of using user-centered approach to design an information literacy session based on survey results of the information needs of graduate students in the International Development Studies department at Dalhousie University. It will emphasize why it is necessary for subject librarians to conduct an ongoing user-centered studies to meet the needs of their departments and students.