Information Literacy Instruction and the First Year ExperiencePresentation Transcript
Information Literacy Instruction and the First-Year Experience by Carol Rain Hagy LIS 7807 December 1, 2008
Every student has afirst-year experience. Here’s mine.
And here. What was yours like?
Did you have some kind of orientation? Were there any special programs for first-years?
Ah, here’s something. Next to information about parking. Nothing in here about the library. Was there anything about the library in your orientation or first-year program?
Do you remember your first experience with the school’s library? I was real confused by the lack of Dewey Decimal.
It’s been a long time since I graduated from college. A lot of things have evolved, including approaches to freshman orientation. Now many schools—about 85%—have some kind of First-Year Experience program. (National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition)
First-Year Experience programs concern themselves with not only the curricular (academic) lives of students, but with the co-curricular (all that other stuff). They are defined by their “comprehensive and intentional approach to the first college year.” (qtd. in Hunter 6)
A Little History (Pierard and Graves 72-73)
“An acquaintance with the library at the start should overcome the initial lack of assurance and the frightened and scared hesitancy about unfamiliar things—strange rooms, strange books, strange people, strange tools.” —F. K. W. Drury, “Library Orientation of Freshman Students,” Library Journal, 1928
Examples Texas Christian University University of Nebraska Oklahoma City University University of Washington University of South Carolina Louisiana State University
Why FYE? positive effects on retention attractiveness to potential freshmen help in integrating diverse student body genuine desire to see students learn and flourish Believe it or not, faculty and staff like to see students succeed.
As the FYE movement has developed and the focus on the transition into college has increased, the information literacy movement too has become more holistic (concerned with overall abilities rather than specific tools). *Not actual data.
IL in FYE programs part of learning the culture of college is learning the ways of the library being a successful college student requires information literacy so, as of 2001, about 86% of FYE programs had a library component (Boff and Johnson 285)
IL instruction found in FYE programs is just as varied and creative and plagued with the same problems as any other IL instruction in academic libraries. scavenger hunts ★ tutorials worksheets ★ database lessons open houses ★ tours course-integrated assignments
the most exciting and inspiring ones have librarians involved in the planning have librarians working directly with students help students become familiar and comfortable with library resources early on help students see how library resources and librarians can help them succeed in the university or college environment are the beginnings of ongoing, multi-year relationships between students and their libraries
2 interesting approaches University of Montana Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis IL integrated into freshman writing courses centers on teaching TAs skills TAs trained to pass them on to students librarians not stretched as thinly each TA remains a resource throughout semester reinforces idea that IL is part of class itself bonus: educates graduate students about library! first-year students each assigned a support team of departmental faculty member, academic advisor, student mentor, computer technologist, and a library consultant librarian, with rest of team, develops course syllabus librarian works directly with student (Samson and Granath 150; Gardner and Siegel 18-19)
Challenges and Obstacles limited amount of time available in programs (only 1-5% of FYE time spent on IL; there are so many competing activities and interests) lack of involvement of librarians in planning limited amount of librarian staff time available lack of understanding of and respect for IL on part of other planners (Boff and Johnson 285)
Sadly, a few more common problems: working with committees is really hard FYE instructors may have great freedom in how they run classes—leading to a lack of standardization and inconsistency no one has yet come up with the perfect solution to the “just in time” vs. “just in case” problem big programs with big goals always take a lot of time and involve a lot of compromise
It’s worth it, though. Students who have a positive introduction to library services and resources will use them much more throughout the next four years. So get involved.
The most powerful predictor of “growth in academic competence” is the student perception that the college environment is supportive. First-Year Experience programs can make a big difference. (Reason, Terenzini, and Domingo 170)
Any comments or questions?
References Boff, Colleen, and Kristin Johnson. “The Library and First-Year Experience Courses: A Nationwide Study.” Reference Services Review 30 (2002): 277-87. Gardner, John N., and Michael J. Siegel. “The Reform Movement for the First Year Experience: What Is Your Role?” Association of College and Research Libraries National Conf. Charlotte, North Carolina. 10-13 Apr. 2003. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/events/pdf/Gardner.pdf. Hunter, Mary Stuart. “Fostering Student Learning and Success Through First-Year Programs.” Peer Review 8.3 (2006): 4-7.
National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. U of South Carolina. 27 Nov. 2008 http://www.sc.edu/fye/index.html. Pierard, Cindy, and Kathryn Graves. “The Greatest Problem with Which the Library Is Confronted: A Survey of Academic Library Outreach to the Freshman Course.” Making the Grade: Academic Libraries and Student Success. Ed. Maurie Caitlin Kelly and Andrea Kross. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2002. 71-89. Reason, Robert D., Patrick T. Terenzini, and Robert J. Domingo. “First Things First: Developing Academic Competence in the First Year of College.” Research in Higher Education 47 (2006): 149-75. Samson, Sue, and Kim Granath. “Reading, Writing, and Research: Added Value to University First-Year Experience Programs.” Reference Services Review 32 (2004): 149-56.