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Beyond the Basics: How Can Librarians Teach What We Truly Care About?


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Beyond the Basics: How Can Librarians Teach What We Truly Care About?

  1. 1. Beyond the Basics:How Can Librarians Teach What We Truly Care About? Information Literacy Summit Illinois State University April, 18 2011 Chris Sweet Information Literacy Librarian Illinois Wesleyan University
  2. 2.  Is teaching students to use the online catalog (which will be obsolete next year) to find a book what we really care about? Or,do we care about the process of efficiently identifying the best information sources and then applying that information to address a problem?
  3. 3.  Didyou become a librarian to teach students how to create a works cited page with all the periods and semicolons in the right place? Or, do we really care about teaching the concepts of intellectual property and attribution?
  4. 4. What do you care about?Whatare your deeppedagogical goals?
  5. 5. What Do I (we?) Truly Care About? Intellectual Freedom Censorship Issues Ethical use of information Using the research process to teach critical thinking Evaluation of Information Characteristics of different information sources Reading and Literacy Valuing librarians and libraries
  6. 6. What are the barriers to teaching what you truly care about?What ideas or methods do you have for overcoming these barriers?
  7. 7. Ruthless Prioritization: You Just Can’t Do it All! Determine what you truly care about and then figure out ways to teach it. Try writing a teaching philosophy statement (then update every couple of years). Don’t keep it to yourself! Discuss what you care about to students, teaching faculty, library colleagues- basically anyone that will listen.
  8. 8. Improving the One-Shot If an instructor wants too much to be covered in one session, use handouts to cover some material and reserve class time to focus on more important stuff. Try to get “routine tasks” such as creating accounts or very basic research skills taken care of ahead of time through pre-assignments. Consider using online modules that introduce basic research skills assigned ahead of time so that you can focus on more meaty issues. Solicit specific research questions / problems from all students in advance of the session. Use these to focus the session on important issues that are also relevant. Advocate strongly for 2 or more sessions in order to progress towards “big picture” library issues.
  9. 9. Get Embedded! Embedding yourself in a course beyond a one-shot session gives you an opportunity to reinforce important concepts that were maybe only touched upon in a single session. Embedding allows you to build rapport with students and then push them a bit harder on some issues.
  10. 10. Librarian as Team Teacher Many courses could greatly benefit from courses co-taught by a librarian and a teaching faculty member. Spending most –or all- of the semester with a single class is very time-intensive but can also yield the greatest results as far as teaching what you truly care about. Identify “library champions” among the teaching faculty to pilot this idea.
  11. 11. Librarian as Lead Instructor Information Literacy or College Research courses are somewhat common courses (elective or credit) that librarians often teach. Are these the most effective use of our precious time? Can they be made relevant enough to engage students? Are there any opportunities to teach at your institution in a subject area where you have expertise? If you are the lead instructor of a course, you can model an ideal way of integrating information literacy into a
  12. 12. Service Learning / Community-Based Learning Service Learning has great potential as a pedagogical strategy for teaching information literacy. Students apply research to a “real world” project instead of just another research paper. Much closer to the way Information Literacy is used in real life outside of academia. Service Learning Librarian Blog: g/
  13. 13. Questions? CARLI Instruction Team Spring Forum Collaboration and Embedded Librarianship Friday June 10th at Heartland