AcademicLibraryLiaison:How Developing ClosePartnerships with Faculty canEnhance the AcademicLearning Experience.
Some Context: Change & TheAcademic Library Change is a reoccurring theme in the most recent literature of academic libraries. A great range of paradigm shifts Products of an array of advances, both technological and otherwise, that are occurring within the broader cultural framework of the 21st century. Information is evolving, growing, & becoming more convoluted.
Higher Education in the Midst of a Major Transformation The university’s constituents are being characterized as having “dramatically different needs” “on dramatically diverse levels of learning and knowledge” which are “often hard to identify and change rapidly” (Todaro, p. 5). “Profilers of learners and teachers are changing” (J. Todaro, p. 6). “Academic emphasis is shifting from course-completion to competency” with “outcomes-based” or “employer-based” competency, which has been accepted has “a critical need for course completers or graduates” (Todaro, p. 7) “Many education structures are changing to focus on design and implementation of programs and processes of ‘academic accountability, competency outcomes, outsourcing, content standardizing, and adaptation to learner- consumer demands” (Todaro, p. 6)
Higher Education in the Midst ofa Major Transformation “The internet and info tech devices are becoming more widespread in teaching and learning. Furthermore, “faculty and staff roles are shifting” “as instructional activities are given to a variety of professionals in the academy” (Todaro, p. 8). Trends in learning theory have come to favor a view of the learner as an individual. Instructional design takes into account a multitude of learning styles and platforms, and no longer subscribes to a “one size fits all” approach.
The information needs of thescholarly community are vastly multifaceted. “as content grows there is a move to standardize content in reusable learning objects to be organized and stored in databases for use in the creation of “customized learning experiences for specific needs”(Todaro, p.6 ). “students cannot learn everything they need to know in their field of study in a few years of college. Information literacy equips them with the critical skills necessary to become independent lifelong learners” (ACRL).
Academic Library Value The academic library’s role in higher education is being Reexamined questioned, and in some cases, challenged.• The academic library’s perceived worth may be in jeopardy.• To ensure its place in higher education now & in the future, its role must be Demonstrated & Reinstated.
Be Friends with Faculty (B.F.F.) Collaboration with educators can provide very rewarding opportunities & outcomes and enhance learning, instruction, and demonstrate value for academic libraries.
The Academic Library’s Role Effectivenessdepends heavily upon the academic community it serves. Faculty Students
Academic Library Patrons:Students Are being characterized as having various user needs that must be met in numerous ways. In some ways, these needs will be related to the student’s coursework. In this sense, a student can be characterized to some degree within the confines of their specific academic discipline. Degree-seeking students will generally identify with their institution through their intended programs of study, typically in organizational terms of academic majors and minors.
Students & Faculty Departmental identities will dictate much of their scholarly activity, These activities will define their personal academic missions be representative of the institution’s mission.
The Academic Library Aims to provide its institution’s students and faculty the opportunity to realize their intellectual and personal potential, by making a comprehensive collection of scholarly materials and library services available to them.
The Academic Library & TheUniversity’s InstructionalMission “…it is readily apparent that instruction— teaching and learning—is certainly the most far-reaching segment of institutional mission.” “libraries at most institutions must exist to a great extent to facilitate teaching and learning” (Budd).
Academic Library Instruction:Past Library instruction in the university “can only be traced as far back as Germany in the 17th Century” but it is imagined to date back much further. “Academic librarians in the United States began teaching in classrooms and writing about it in the late 19th Century”. In the 1960s, “academic librarians taking on classroom roles became standard” (Lorenzen).
Academic Library Instruction:Present More recently, “Academic librarians have had to deal with the emergence of new information technologies in teaching library skills”(Lorenzen) which has resulted in the inclination towards Information Literacy education. Information Literacy is defined as “the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information” (ALA).
A discipline-based approach toinformation literacy the teaching of information literacy skills can be more identifiable by the learner within an academic framework. taking a “generic” approach to “the general process of retrieving and evaluating information” will be less successful than teaching students “the skills required for acquiring knowledge or doing research in a specific subject area”(Grafstein). Not doing so risks “isolating process from content”
Information Literacy & Faculty Faculty“has complementary roles in the delivery of IL instruction”(Grafstein) Therefore,it will be necessary for the academic library to strengthen its relationships with the university faculty. Therefore, FACULTY LIAISON
What is “faculty liaison”? “a systematic way to communicate with, learn from, and serve important library patrons, to advance and publicize the library’s agenda, and to ground the ideals and bureaucracy of the library in the real needs of the community”(Pankake)
How? Exploring the development of “Specialized reference services to specific disciplines, departments, or groups of faculty” “as another avenue for liaison” (Pankake). “One way to forge a partnership is through well- developed library instruction programs” (Budd) “assigning one specific librarian to a particular group of scholars might help build interpersonal ties that will foster continued use of service” (Pankake).
Subject-Specialist Librarians &Library Instruction More recently, have taken on instructional roles that supplement the learning and curriculum related to a specific academic discipline. Such roles are presenting new opportunities for libraries to bridge educational gaps as well as demonstrate their institutional value.
A Real-Life Example: Elaine Robbins English Liaison Reference & Instruction Librarian At Daniel Library At The Citadel SC’s Military College.
As English Liaison, Elaine has: Revamped the Liaison Program by Working closely with English Faculty. Provideslibrary instruction that is tailored to the requirements of English courses at all levels. Freshmen/Composition Courses Undergraduate English Courses Graduate English Courses
Successful Collaboration: Knowing the ins and outs of a department is key. Faculty Students Curriculum Instructional Needs Being able to “speak their language”
Get Acquainted: Themore acquainted the librarian is with the faculty members, The more acquainted they can become with the courses they are teaching. Can plan instructional experiences that specifically supplement the coursework: Assignments Projects Research
Potential Outcomes: CollectionDevelopment • Successful partnerships can lead to Improvement of the Collection. Elaine has strengthened the Citadel’s English Literature collection According to faculty & student needs Coursework & Assignments
Potential Outcomes: Curricular For Elaine, some English Faculty have entirely integrated library instruction into the syllabus/curriculum Weekly assignments that tie library instruction topics in with course topics *Discipline-based approaches to Information Literacy education*
Successful Collaboration: Can lead to professional products. Elaine has greatly improved The Citadel’s Library webpage Subject guides Scholarly publications Elaine is working on an article in conjunction with an English faculty member Beneficial for English faculty to have articles in “non- English” publications Beneficial for librarians to collaborate with faculty Demonstrates academic library value
Collaborative Assessment Elainehas started giving freshman English Literature students Library Quizzes via LibGuides. She grades the quizzes and sends them to the faculty & students Opportunity for immediate assessment & evaluation Helps improve library instruction
Not Communicating with Faculty: Missing communication = Miscommunication The less we know about faculty the less we know about students. The less we know about students, their needs, & assignments, the less we can ensure that our collection & services support their needs.
Works Cited Budd, John M. (2005). The changing academic library: operations, culture, environments. American Library Association. Grafstein, Ann. (2002 July). A discipline-based approach to information literacy. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 28(4), 197-204. Literatures in English Section. (June 2007). Research Competency Guidelines for Literatures in English. The Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/researchcompetenciesles Lorenzen, Michael. (2001). A brief history of library instruction in the united states of America. Illinois Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.libraryinstruction.com/lihistory.html. Pankake, Marcia. (2000). Faculty liaison: librarians and faculty as colleagues. Literature in English:a guide for librarians in the digital age. American Library Association. Todaro, Julie. ( 2008). 21st century academic libraries. The Association of College and Research Libraries, (1-28). What is information literacy? American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/issues/infolit/overview/intro• http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/sections/les/leshomepage
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