I looked forward to ACRL 2019 in my home state of Ohio for weeks, and the conference in Cleveland did not disappoint. As I reflect on the conference, a key theme of challenging assumptions and taking the time to talk with others began with Michele Norris’ opening keynote about The Race Card Project.
K-12 librarians and those who serve college and university students have their own forums—the recent TLA conference would have found many K-12 professionals, for example, while ACRL naturally attracts the post-secondary crowd. The professional literature they read doesn’t overlap much, either, and they may not often visit each other’s libraries, except perhaps as patrons or parents. But there’s so much the two “camps” can learn from one another.
The latest issue of College and Research Libraries includes an examination of how 15 librarians use the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education in their work. “Implementing the ACRL Framework: Reflections from the Field,” by Don Latham, Melissa Gross, and Heidi Julien, reports some good news: the framework is being used by the librarians surveyed, though more it is implicit in their work than explicitly spelled out. Less positive is that some reported librarian and faculty opinions that the document is “too highly conceptual to be practical for students.”
This blog series provides easy, free access to open web resources and content that support affordable learning opportunities. A wide variety of resources published by government entities, think tanks, and more are curated to demonstrate what may be relatively unknown or ‘buried’ in the internet. Resources reflect issues happening today for the use of librarians, students, and all audiences.
Supporting second-year students in the midst of the multifaceted transitions they face is more than a matter of getting them to persist into their third year. Instead, we want our students to thrive. Thriving is an expanded picture of student success defined by Laurie A. Schreiner as optimal functioning in the three key areas of academic engagement and persistence, interpersonal relationships, and psychological well-being (Schreiner, 2010). “Sophomores who are thriving are investing effort in their academic work and in the process of selecting a major that interests them and brings out their best. They experience a sense of meaning and purpose to their lives that provides direction as they engage in their classes, become involved in campus and community life, form healthy relationships, and make a difference in the world around them” (Schreiner, 2018).
The theme for this year’s ACRL conference is “Recasting the Narrative,” and in this era of rapid-fire disruption it’s hard to avoid thinking about how institutions we take for granted will have to transform themselves. As the information landscape flips upside-down and inside-out, librarians are uniquely positioned to help people navigate this new reality. But rather than serve as the traditional gatekeepers and tour guides of information, one of the trends we’re seeing today is the evolution of librarians as storytellers.
As you no doubt tell students, research is a conversation, and this week the conversation involves student misperceptions of the research process.
This is a topic recently explored in a 2018 paper by Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Allison Rand, and Jillian Collier, all librarians at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their work, “Predictable Information Literacy Misperceptions of First-Year College Students,” in turn continued a conversation, as it leaned on Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (2005), a seminal book on instructional design that discusses how, in all fields, “any domain of learning, instructors will have developed a sense of the typical errors learners make.” In their paper, Hinchliffe, Rand, and Collier describe a study they performed (the research-gathering step of the study was sponsored by Credo and Hinchliffe presented a related Credo webinar) in which they interviewed librarians about first-year students’ misunderstandings about the research process. Freshman students, they found,
In Student Success in College, George Kuh, the student affairs expert on student engagement, and colleagues note that educators are in many places on an effective college campus, and each has a part in making an engaging college experience for undergraduate students (Kuh, et. al., 2005). Of course, librarians and libraries have much to offer toward these efforts.
As we wrote earlier in this interview with Anna Yang, librarians play a critical role in teaching information literacy and other foundational skills to students in the health sciences. It’s no secret that, across all disciplines, library instruction can have a positive impact on everything from retention to GPA-levels to graduation rates. Clinical professions’ reliance on strong research skills, however, creates a unique need for library support in this quickly growing field.
If you are using the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education in your work, you’re challenged with teachings students the ins and outs of how the articles, books, and websites they use in their research come to be. Particularly when considering the frame “Information has value,” students must learn about the business of scholarship—who produces it, what they produce, who controls what makes it to library shelves, and where the money goes.