Patterson - Working with what you’ve got: using limited resources and staff to build an information literacy program (teachmeet abstract)

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Patterson - Working with what you’ve got: using limited resources and staff to build an information literacy program (teachmeet abstract)

  1. 1. Working with what you’ve got: using limited resources and staff to build an information literacy programRobyn Patterson, Nazarbayev University Library, rpatterson@nu.edu.kzFirst opened to students in Fall 2010 in Astana, Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev Universityis a new university modeled on the British and American systems of highereducation. The library has been providing information literacy training since openingat that time but only formally organized its Reference Department in Fall 2012.At the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester, the Reference Department, in charge ofinformation literacy for the Library, was tasked by the library director to provideincreased information literacy instruction for users. This meant sessions in addition toregularly held orientation and basic research sessions for new students and moreadvanced subject-specific sessions held for upper-level students. The departmentdecided to focus on once-weekly instruction sessions on specific topics for smallgroups. With only 8 computers on the third floor where the Reference Department iscentered, it was decided to keep these sessions smaller, more personal, and moreuser-focused. In this way each session could be tailored to the specific needs ofparticipants, whether students, faculty, or university and partner institutionresearchers. Instructors would focus on bridging the gap between formalized, class-room learning and one-on-one consultations.Two main objectives were identified for these sessions. The first was to improve thebasic and advanced research skills of students and teaching assistants. The secondwas to promote the awareness and use of databases, while reaching out to patronswho were underutilizing library resources. The department scheduled nine sessionsfor the Fall Semester, including a mixture of general research skills classes anddatabase-focused classes, relatively evenly divided between the two objectives.This presentation will focus on experiences working with a multi-lingual audience,marketing library services to a new group of users, and the decision-making processfor the types of sessions offered.

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