January 2011 Archives

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(Image from EmaStudios via Flickr.  CC)

Jody Kempf and I just taught a session of our new workshop Team Skills: Library Tools for Collaboration and were pleasantly surprised to find that we had 21 people show up for the workshop.  This is the same workshop that we had to cancel last semester because of low enrollment.

Um...so what happened?

There are lots of variables that may have played a role in the new interest, but one thing that I think played a part was an email I sent to instructors in my liaison departments who specifically teach classes with a team component.  One of those classes, ME 4054W, sent 18 of the participants after the instructor forwarded my email and "highly recommended" that each group send a representative.  The professor also attended the workshop.

This got me to thinking of Phase II of the Information Literacy Scan and how it might be used outside of adding a library lecture to a class.  By engaging with the syllabi and whatnot from our departments it might provide us with instructors to contact when promoting our workshops.     This targeted promotion may reach people that our blog posts and Twitter feeds aren't connecting with. 

Scan II might also help us in coming up with new workshops to teach that can support assignments students are encountering.

In this case the professor liked the workshop and wants to discuss the possibility of moving it into a classroom-integrated session in the future...so even out-of-class opportunities to connect with students can evolve into that class integration we information literacy fans like to see!

Just another way to look at Scan II...Have fun!



Here are a few of the things mentioned in the recent Library Issues seminar. We reported interesting themes and presentations from the following conferences:


Selected Themes:regrettheerror.jpg

Livening up your instruction session (storytelling, images, narrative, comics, etc.)

Silverman, C. (2007). Regret the error: How media mistakes pollute the press and imperil free speech. New York: Union Square Press. 

BBC: Wrong Guy on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5evS-ApSNQ)

Dalhousie Libraries Cartoons & Humor: http://infolit.library.dal.ca/staff/cartoons.htm

Supporting Students on Topics
Using images to find/refine a topic. For example, uing Artstor image have small groups work on what they see and what questions they have. What do you see? What do you want to know more about?  What does this mean to __ (time/place)? 

Group brainstorming topic activity sheet: http://www.mtroyal.ca/library/files/lotw2010/davidson.pdf   

Making it "stick"
Making it their idea: The Learning Cycle in library instruction by Eric Frierson in In the Library with the Lead Pipe

Marek, E. A., Cavallo, A. M. L., & Renner, J. W. (1997). The learning cycle: Elementary learningcycle.jpgschool science and beyond. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Transitions to College
As we approach  integrated instruction this semester, you might consider freshening up your sessions, especially with freshmen and sophomores, and relate searching databases to Facebook.  Anne Pemberton does a great job of outlining this approach in her C&RL News article"From friending to research: Using Facebook as a teaching tool.  http://crln.acrl.org/content/72/1/28.full

Give it a read, a try and post your instruction strategies, successes and "lessons learned" here!

Wikipedia turns 10!

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wikipedia_10.jpgInteresting to hear the conversation around wikipedia turning 10--both fans and critics--often in the same breath. Now I know it isn't perfect but it would be hard to go back to a time without it.

Definition of wikipedia in Wikipedia (as of 9:08 on 1/12/2010): "is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 17 million articles (over 3.5 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site." 

 Here are a few stories and quotes on the event:

  • Wikipedia At 10: Plenty Of Fans, Even Among Critics on Morning Edition "From curious minutiae to detailed histories, there is some great information on Wikipedia -- but it's hard to get a consensus on how much trust readers should put into the site." 
  • Wikipedia and celebrity: What Wales wrought 10 years ago "I once sat in on an a meeting with an actress everyone knows...and [she] expressed great bitterness about Wikipedia. Her primary complaint: inaccuracy. Her wikilife, always first or second on a Google search, was a collection of unsubstantiated claims or media references that may or may not have been correct to begin with. The result, in her estimation, was that less than half of the information was correct."
Do you have any thoughts on Wikipedia-ten years later?
Laurel and Kim shared examples of the questions they used as they surveyed students a few walter_libraryinstruction.jpgdays before their scheduled library instruction session. They presented their results in a poster at the Library Assembly on Dec. 1 (see this blog post).

  • What are the areas or topics that you would like most learn more about in a library orientation session? 
  •  When you search for articles for this paper, which search tool(s) do you use? Pick more than one option 
  • If you were given a journal article citation, and were told that the article was available full-text, would you be able to locate the full-text article? 
  • Do you have a RefWorks Account? 
  • Do you have any burning questions about research that you want to be sure I cover? 

See more questions and examples of preliminary text from the document in the IL toolkit: http://www.delicious.com/UMIL. I hope to experiment with this during spring semester. Has anyone else tried this? Seems like post-possibly learning outcome type questions aren't far behind...

Anybody have $$ for London?

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They announced the draft program for LILAC (Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference) lilac.jpgfor April...now just have to figure out how to get to London! Here are some of the titles that caught my eye:

Read the abstracts at: http://lilacconference.com/WP/programme/abstracts/

  • "But this is a library!": Deploying the Cookie Monster for Undergraduate Library Inductions

  • Information Management for Knowledge Creation: Facilitating the PhD candidates' interaction with scientific information in their research and publishing process

  • Developing students' digital literacy skills to live, work and thrive in a digital world

  • Ready to Research? An off-the-shelf solution enabling research students to assess their information literacy

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