May 2012 Archives

LOEX is an annual conference geared toward instruction/info lit librarians or those who are interested in that. loex2012.jpg

It is a great conference--both hard to get to present at, and hard to secure a spot to go (you have to register within about an hour of registration opening)...

Many of the PPTs are up and available for a bit of summer reading:

Here are a couple that caught my eye:
  • Archival Literacy: Active Learning and Teaching with Primary Sources
  • Bringing More to the Table(t): Ideas and Insights for Using Tablets in Instruction
  • Reaching Modern Students Through Amazing Screencasts
  • The Secret's in the Sauce: The RIBS Recipe for Building a Healthy, Well-Balanced Instruction Program
  • Blending, Mixing, and Processing: Strategies used to Engage Students in the Classroom
  • Creating Insanely Great Instruction Sessions: What Librarians can Learn from Steve Jobs
  • 500 Students, 55 Raters, and 5 Rubrics Later: What We Learned from an Authentic, Collaborative, and National Assessment Project
  • From Prix Fixe to a la Carte: Using Lesson Study to Collaborate with Faculty in Customizing Information Literacy Instruction


In yesterday's journal club discussion the topic of scaling out post-library instruction session consultations came up.  A hypothetical anxiety was expressed that if we took on some instruction sessions we may find ourselves with a deluge of follow-up consultations and not enough time to meet with everyone and still get all of the other work that we do on a daily basis done.

In the spirit of sharing "innovations" (I use that term loosely) I thought I'd share an approach that I've taken to scale out follow-up interactions in a large freshman seminar where I give a library presentation each semester to biomedical engineering students.

  • Leverage the Peer Research Consultants.  When schedules permit I bring a Peer Research Consultant to the session with me and have them give a short introduction to what they do.  If they can't come then I promote them myself.   It usually takes about two minutes and highlights a service that can be somewhat hard to locate on our website.
  • Share with *anyone* who will listen.  When I see that the date of the presentation is coming up I send the research tips that I usually offer to students in follow-up individual consultations to everyone that will listen.  I share the instructions with the peer research consultants, with our reference desk, and our circulation team at Walter Library. That way if a student happens to wander in (regardless of whether the reference desk is open) they, hopefully, will be able to get some level of advice.
  • Utilize the Library Course Page.  I realized that the question I was getting the most often regarded determining whether or not an article was from a peer reviewed resource.  So I put together a tutorial that would walk students through the determination process.  I also linked to my presentation slides and handout so students could re-visit what I covered.

The result of these actions is not an absence of individual consultations (I wouldn't want it to be), but it does reduce the number of emails and meetings for minor questions and leaves me time to focus on the real stick wickets of research blocks.  These methods may not work for every class...but thought I'd throw them out there as possible jumpstarts to other solutions for concerns about a deluge of post-class consults...there are ways going forward that don't rely on only the time of a single liaison.

Image "post office scale 5" from donovanbeeson on Flickr.  CC.

This new project has been getting a lot of buzz in the late couple of days:


New: "The site uses a crowd-sourced funding (or "crowdfunding") model to raise enough money to pay book authors to open up their books as ebooks for free. As described on the site: is a a place for individuals and institutions to join together to give their favorite ebooks to the world. We work with rights holders to decide on fair compensation for releasing a free, legal edition of their already-published books, under Creative Commons licensing. Then everyone pledges toward that sum. When the threshold is reached (and not before), we collect the pledged funds and we pay the rights holders. They issue an unglued digital edition; you're free to read and share it, with everyone, on the device of your choice, worldwide.

This follows the model of sites like, where individuals pledge various amounts to support projects. Like KickStarter, offers various rewards pegged at specific pledge amounts as compensation to contributors. Also like KickStarter, each book "campaign" on has an end date."

I remember the speaker at the Library Tech Conference saying that Kickstarter has raised more money for projects than the National Endowment for the Arts or similar funding type agencies so it seems like a likely model.

So...should libraries channel funding from collecting a book to supporting its change to open ebook? 

Libraries in Brief

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Blended Librarian Webcast: Flipping the Classroom: Overturning the Traditional Lecture Thursday, May 10th @ noon (12pm) EDT 
by LearningTimes
Steven Bell and John Shank, co-founders of the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community and their guest, Robert Talbert and Ike Shibley, invite you to join them for a webcast that will explore what flipping the classroom is and how it is being applied to change the nature of student instruction, learning in higher education and academic libraries. Join us for the discussion on "Flipping the Classroom: Overturning the Traditional Lecture" which will take place on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at noon (12:00 pm) EDT.  

This is a free event & no registration is needed. There are a limited number of seats that are available on a first come first served basis. Please go to the BL site and log in to the "Quick Login" early to obtain your seat. It will be the webcast listed at the top of the webpage. 

(Note: You need to be a member of the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community to participate. No fee to join. To join go to the following page prior to logging on to LearningTimes to join the webcast - you should do this at least 12 hrs prior to attending a webcast.) 
1.) Invisible Disabilities Workshop
Date: May 10 from 10am-12pm, Location: 120 Andersen Library
Description: The workshop will include an overview of invisible disabilities, highlight the work of the Disability Services office, and provide attendees an opportunity to learn about and gain practical skills with patrons who may have an invisible disability. Whether working at a service point or consulting with students or faculty, all library staff are welcome to attend. 

2.) Current Issues Coffee Club 
Date: Thursday, May 17 from 3pm -- 4pm, Location: Bio-Medical Library, Diehl Hall 555

Description: Join with colleagues to discuss the new work from Brian Mathews, Associate Dean at Virginia Tech. He self-published this work and had 10,000 downloads in the first two weeks. "In concise terms: startups are organizations dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This sounds exactly like an academic library to me. Not only are we trying to survive, but we're also trying to transform our organizations into a viable service for 21st century scholars and learners." Please join us for a thought-provoking discussion. 

3.) Gilchrist, D., & Oakleaf, M. (2012, April). An Essential Partner: The Librarian's Role in Student Learning Assessment  (NILOA Occasional Paper No.14). Urbana, IL: University for Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. 

4.) New from Project Information Literacy:
5.) In case you couldn't make it to ARLD Day 2012
The keynote and slides are just about all posted....

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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