Sarah's ACRL Report
I recently attended and presented at the 14th biannual ACRL conference in Seattle, WA. I attended many interesting sessions and brought back ideas I’d like to explore further. I’ve highlighted a few notable sessions and have provided information about my presentation below. If you’d like more information on any of these sessions, please let me know.
Reinventing Research Guides: LibGuides at Two Academic Libraries
This session, given by librarians from Grand Valley State University (three of my former colleagues) and Boston College, presented the findings from a user survey of LibGuides at their respective institutions. They discussed the history, purpose and continuing evolution of research guides, the implementation of their LibGuides and the survey they conducted. For more information, including their survey and results, see http://libguides.gvsu.edu/content.php?pid=36651&sid=269663.
Reeling in the Faculty: Baiting the Information Literacy Hook
Librarians and a Sociology faculty member, all from IUPUI, collaborated and created Information Literacy Community of Practice to help integrate information literacy into the curriculum. They shared advice from the perspective of librarians and faculty on how to develop partnerships which increase information literacy awareness across disciplines. It was great to hear from a faculty point of view about what realistic steps librarians can take to integrate IL into curricula and make it possible for faculty members to easily include it in the classes they teach. Notable tips include:
• Provide information literacy-related teaching materials to faculty
• Have a non-stakeholder as your champion (i.e., faculty member outside the library)
• Focus on faculty concerns like not enough time, etc. (attend discipline-related conferences if possible)
• Publicize teaching tools and resources
For more information, see http://tiny.cc/v97Ps.
Solve It!: Challenging Students Through Puzzles
This session, presented by three MIT librarians, was my personal favorite at the conference. What began as an advertising campaign for the MIT libraries expanded to a very popular puzzle series aimed at MIT students. Each puzzle required students to use one or more library resources or services in order to solve it. Successful entries were entered in a drawing for prizes such as an iPod. The librarians found that the students were highly motivated to complete the puzzles and that this increased awareness and use of several library resources. The message I took away was the importance of knowing our library community and adapting this to what would work our own institutions.
For more information see http://libraries.mit.edu/about/puzzle/ and http://libstaff.mit.edu/communications/tools.html. This project got students engaged and familiarized them with important library services and resources.
Recasting the Role of Comprehensive University Libraries: Starting Points for Educating Librarians on the Issues of Scholarly Communication and Institutional Repositories
This is the session I co-presented with two former GVSU colleagues. We discussed the program that we designed and implemented to educate our library faculty on the issues of scholarly communication as the library implemented an institutional repository. We covered the importance of tailoring such a program to meet our institution’s needs, ways to sustain enthusiasm and strategies for communicating with faculty outside the library about these topics. Because many comprehensive universities, including Grand Valley State, do not have a person or department devoted solely to scholarly communication, the success of projects like institutional repositories rely heavily on relationships between liaison librarians and faculty throughout campus.