Monthly Archives: March 2017

Anchoring Our Practice #acrl2017

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Academic Libraries.

The scholarship of teaching and leaning invites faculty…to view teaching as serious, intellectual work, ask good questions about their students’ learning, seek evidence in their classrooms that can be used to improve practice, and make this work public so that others can critique it, build on it, and contribute to the wider teaching commons. (Shulman, 2006, p.ix).

Framing: a reframing of what you’re doing. Teaching + research + publishing.

Questions to consider:

– what works (or doesn’t!)?

– what impacts learning

– what problems have you solved?

Embarking: Questions – things that make you go hmmmm. What is, what works, visions of the possible.

Support: literature, institution, virtual communities of practice. Look around for literature, may be in disciplinary lit. Virtual networks – #librarianSoTL.

Doing: Benefits – to students, faculty, your institution, the profession, to YOU!

Possibilities: support for others, collaboration with others, your own practice.

Considering: ethics, finding support on campus, partnerships, disseminating research. Consider discipline-specific conferences, journals. Look to journals that are specific to SoTL.

Exploring: much has been written about SoTL:

– Felten (2013); Hutchings (2009); Miller-Young & Yeo (2015)

– Teaching and Learning Inquiry; Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Little has been published on librarians and SoTL:

– Bradley (2009); Mitchell & Mitchell (2015)

Get outside the library literature!



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Beyond the Commons #acrl2017

Increasing emphasis on learning commons in academic libraries. Study rooms offered in most libraries. (Asks for show of hands for libraries with study rooms. Most of the room raises their hands.)

Some different approaches to collaborative study spaces in academic libraries.

Duke University: have been mulling the idea of learning commons or research commons. Moved forward with the project in 2014; opened in 2015.  The Rupert Commons for Research, Technology & Collaboration. Is on the first floor of one of the campus libraries. Have an open lab area and two computer labs. Have a workshop room where they give workshops. Have spaces for project teams. All teams have access to staff working in the difference areas of research. Crucial – need collaboration of all parts of campus.

Virginia Tech: Launched the Fusion Studio in 2016. Have a variety of areas with white boards,  seating, etc. Have carts with creative supplies.

Georgia Tech: very skewed towards engineering. Had a very underutilized commons that was redesigned. Wanted a space that would exist outside specific programs, so all students and programs could use. Rapid prototyping and ideation focus.

Campus dynamics?

VT: Interdisciplinary problem-based learning. Kept being asked, “Can we leave our stuff here?” Needed a more studio-like environment. Longer-term, complicated projects that needed a home.

Duke: people would take ownership of spaces, so needed to set aside space. Scholarship is changing, and so library needed to change to be a part of it. Beneficial for these project to be part of the library.

GT: Provost identified a conceptual innovation corridor on campus. The library would add space where non-engineering students would feel comfortable interacting with their engineering counterparts. (There are labs on campus that are more engineering-centric.)

Defining access?

Duke: in a high-visibility area. Set up access to the rooms on a reservation basis, though if a room isn’t reserved it is available by application. Need to have project team already assembled. Try to have the application be like a reference interview. Started with an idea of what projects they would see, but found that they were attracting projects they didn’t expect.

GT: 1000 square feet with no doors. Open to anybody. Most of the time, is a stripped-down studio space. Rather a messy space. Access is not restricted at all. Access to the programming of the space was complicated. Control administratively needed a MOU.

VT: Non-visible location, so people don’t tend to wander in. Need to fill out a form of interest. Try to get a sense of the scope of the project. Finding more hackathon-type projects.


Duke: Started with a coordinator and a service desk staffed by students during library hours. Have needed to bring in librarians and library staff to help with the projects. Have had to be cohesive in supporting the teams.

VT: Have a manager with a student development background. Brings a different vantage-point to the team. Brings in different expertise from the campus as needed to assist the teams.

GT: Didn’t add staff, as was contracting the space. However, they determined they needed staff to help manage the space. The department person whose job was to run the space didn’t report to the library, so there were challenges. (“As always, MOU.”)

What does the future hold?

VT: Have a lot of students who would like to do their work on evenings and weekends. Are there different audiences that would use the space during the day? May offer a stipend for teams willing to work on wicked problems.

Duke: Have been focusing on library interaction with students and how they use the space. Have been trying to have the teams identify with a librarian and how they can help the team, whether it’s project management or research. Working on programming with the project teams.

GT: Have seen that students who are starting large-scale projects need space and support at the very beginning of the process. Will be establishing another space in a campus library (currently under construction) that is not a partnership with another entity.

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Truth, Lies, and Managing Information #acrl2017

University of Central Missouri. 2 credit course. Translated experience into developing Personal, Professional and Academic areas. Teaching classes, providing library instruction.

Importance of this structure: aware of right search tool for the job; developing more sophisticated evaluation; providing students with real-life situations. Learn to think.

Critical thinking tools. Not just talking about information literacy as an academic skill-set, but using the skills in their personal and professional lives. Tried to come up with approaches that worked across all. Used the CRAAP test rubric. (Currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and purpose.)

Students had to score a resource on a scale of 0-15. Students ended up developing a love-hate relationship with the CRAAP test because they became so familiar with it. Realized that students had trouble recognizing authority, accuracy and purpose.

Had to teach students how to identify and create strong arguments; differentiate opinion from argument. Use multiple sources of evidence, use different kinds of evidence, fully cite sources, acknowledge other points of view respectfully (but explain why yours is better) , and accurately reflect the information coming from other sources.

Scenarios were used throughout the modules – realistic problem that they needed to research and write an opinion on. Ex: write a letter to your sister explaining why she should have her son vaccinated. Professional: write a report for the hospital explaining why special lifting equipment is needed to assist nurses, to reduce back injuries.

Outcomes indicated an enormous increase in the students’ confidence level in skills.

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InfoLit Squad Goals #acrl2017

Using interdisciplinary faculty learning communities to facilitate real talk about information literacy. Jason Vance, Information Literacy librarian at Middle Tennessee State University.

Have a faculty learning community – Learning teaching and innovative technologies center hosts 4-5 faculty learning communities every year. Why not information literacy? Proposal accepted; center recruited and incentivised attendance.

Used ACRL’s Framework as basis for conversations. Faculty had zero familiarity with framework. Scholarship as Conversation was a great conversation, but subsequent frames got messier as the overlaps between them became apparent.

The next semester had a more broad conversation about student writing and research. One conversation centered around citation styles.

Each group is encouraged to see their faculty learning community to contribute to a broader conversation on campus. This group created an Information Literacy Curriculum Integration Grant. The first winner revised her class with such success that her colleagues are revising theirs.

The second outcome was that there was a group of participants that was interested in continuing the conversation. Now have an Information Literacy Faculty Advisory Group. Give feedback on library instruction, serve as review committee on the grant.

Campus-wide conversation and culture change is happening on campus because of this grant.






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