Writing centers and libraries seem to be natural partners. Academic writing requires use of a variety of sources that students are often asked to find through the library. Related, there is much overlap between the work of writing center personnel and librarians in supporting students in learning the conventions of academic writing and information literacy. Unfortunately, this overlap can be invisible or, worse, conflicting and confusing to students.
Most campuses have centers focused college teaching and faculty development. Collaborating with these centers is a good way for librarians to reach faculty and to integrate information literacy into courses and curriculum. Some academic libraries are heavily involved in the work of college pedagogical practice improvement toward better student learning outcomes, such as Purdue University, where librarians are members of the management team for IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation), a program to help Purdue faculty and instructors to improve their teaching for better learning outcomes (McMurtrie, 2018). Since the program began in 2011, the library has been a critical partner; in addition to members on the management team, there are several librarians involved with the program.
Types of sources often confuse students. They are told to find academic or scholarly articles but many students, particularly first-year students, haven’t used these before and aren’t sure how to determine if a source is scholarly. This is a difficult task for beginning college students, as sources that came into being for different purposes and through different processes often look the same on the computer screen through a novice’s eye. Credo Reference can help you teach the differences between sources because it pulls several types together in search results and on Topic Pages.
In my last post I wrote about teaching from the microcosm, one of my favorite chapters from Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach. Now I’d like to delve into another concept I’ve adapted from this classic text to include in my own work: paradoxes in instruction.
I came across the classic book, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker J. Palmer, thanks to its inclusion on the reading list for our campus Teaching Support Program. It is a powerful book and I am immensely grateful to Parker Palmer for writing it—according to the forward, it took 10 years to complete. Despite its age, originally published in 1998 and reissued at the 10th anniversary in 2007, it speaks to today’s teaching landscape well. Of particular interest to my work was Parker’s practical teaching idea: Teaching from the Microcosm (Palmer, 2007, pp. 123 - 135).
This blog series has focused on librarians establishing connections and engaging with first-year students. This post switches gears and focuses on collaborating with professors to reduce library anxiety and engage students during library instruction.
By Beth Black and Amy Pajewski
In the second installment of our two-part interview (read Part I here), student success librarian Amy Pajewski and I discuss the challenges that went into designing and launching her student leadership program—and how she and her institution have overcome these hurdles.
By Beth Black and Amy Pajewski
I met Amy at the Students in Transitions Conference in October 2018 when I attended a session she led on giving student employees in the library leadership roles. Similar to how we build upon the lessons of the FYE to continue students’ momentum in their second year, elevating student employment beyond the basics is a great way to increase engagement and cultivate valuable skills. In this two-part interview, we discuss her library's leadership program and the challenges she's overcome in transitioning the student employee experience.
Sometimes the best program ideas come from a spark in a casual conversation. Recently, a colleague made an offhand suggestion that we offer adulting workshops because her student staff stressed about responsibilities like filing taxes and understanding their credit reports. At first we laughed, then we realized there were a number of “adulting” responsibilities that students might find more manageable if they understood how information literacy skills could be used outside the classroom. From that staff meeting Adulting 101 was born.
Previously we discussed the ways in which student employment can be viewed as a High-Impact Practice, and how libraries can take advantage of this opportunity to deepen relationships with student workers and teach them even more valuable skills. Now I’d like to highlight a program that’s done this particularly well.