Recently in Current Issue Coffee Club Category

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....
When: Wednesday, March 23 in Wilson S30A, 3:30-4:30 

 Reading: Moving away from practical we head towards the theoretical with: Sturges, Paul, and Almuth Gastinger. "Information Literacy as a Human Right." Libri 60.3 (2010): 195-202. 

 I enjoyed some of the definitions for Information Literacy highlighted in the article beyond the ALA definition from 1989--"To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

Like this... 

"A set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and actively." 

 and this...

 "Information Literacy is a basic condition for: learning for life; the creation of new knowledge; acquisition of skills; personal, vocational, corporate and organisational empowerment; social inclusion; participative citizenship; and innovation and enterprise." 

 I like this conclusion from the article: "what we in definitions such as this, is the writers striving to work out a strong rationale for an instructional activity that commons sense tells them is obviously worthwhile." 

 Question: How does how we frame IL effect what we focus on and how others see the importance/value of IL?
Last month the Twitterverse declared February 23rd to be Bart Simpson's birthday. Being a lifelong Simpsons fan I thought it was odd that I had never celebrated my yellow friends entry into the world before. The website SplitSider tracked down this erroneous birthday in a very interesting post on their site. ( I will leave the details to their original post but effectively what happened was a global game of telephone. Ultimately the Chicago Tribune, Nexflix, Rolling Stone, and Columbia College Chicago added an air of credibility to this idea. 

I was reading the article for the upcoming Current Issues Coffee Club - March, 23rd - and wondered if a society grounded in information literacy would spontaneously grant birthday's to our fictional friends?

Coffee Club thoughts on PIL

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Some interesting themes from the Project Information Literacy Progress Report:

Finding Context

Students stress the importance of being able to find different kinds of context for their research and what a difficult process this can be for them.   The types of context reported by students were identified as: 1) big picture, 2) language, 3) situational, and 4) information gathering.  I think that we do a pretty good job of putting information in subject context on our website, but we should consider how else we could contextualize tools and information.  How can we do a better job of contextualizing research tools, not only by subject, but also by the type of information needed (e.g. background information or "big picture", primary sources, scholarly articles)?



 7 out of 10 college students interviewed went to Wikipedia first for course-related research even though they were aware that faculty do not want them to use it as a resource (many had been warned by their professor not to use it at all) and just did not cite Wikipedia as a source in their papers.  I am wondering whether and how we talk about Wikipedia in our instruction...Do you talk about use of Wikipedia?  If so, do you dissuade students from using it, encourage it, or say to use it with caution?

Coffee Club thoughts on PIL

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In no coherent manner here are some of the thoughts and ideas that jumped out at me:pil.jpg

How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College students:

  • How does or does not the assignment calculator provide a mechanism to "improve'" some parts of the problems with research handouts?
  • The average handout was 960 words or 3.84 pages
  • 6 out of 10 consulting the library's shelves (not those online)
  • 54% required students find their own topics--what tools can we develop that can help this?
  • "Economics professors, for example, define research entirely differently from civil engineering professors, anthropology professors or Shakespearean scholars." [how can we help student through this?]
  • 14% of handouts steered students toward starting off with a library database (JSTOR was most popular)
  • "Large majority of instructors we interviewed believed that students understood that plagiarism was unethical and should not be done, but not the finer details, especially as they related to the paper they were writing as part of their course work."
  • Based on their earlier work--they develop 4 "context needs of the undergraduate research process"
    • Big Picture
    • Language
    • Situational
    • Information Gathering
  • The handouts had higher levels of "situational" and less on "information gathering"
  • "Most students lack a seminal understanding about what conducting research means as a form of intellectual inquiry and discovery and the large majority of handouts we analyzed did not provide much context that would help."
  • Do efforts like the Library Faculty Seminar ( improve this?

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