Jill mentioned that San Francisco State University undertook a self-study of its IL program and used the ACRL best practices characteristics as a benchmark to compare their data. For additional information about how they went about creating and implementing the survey instrument, Jill recommended reading the article by Kendra Van Cleave entitled “The Self-Study as an Information Literacy Program Assessment Tool” which appeared in the 2008 issue of College & Undergraduate Libraries Vol. 15(4), pp – 414-431. This article is available online if you are interested in reading it.
Mike Olson from UNC Charlotte asked the question: “How do we get students to discern?” During his presentation, he mentioned the ACRL standards and provided the ACRL defintion of IL. He noted that Donna Gunter (Coordinator, Information Literacy and Instructional Services at the J. Murrey Atkins Library) is busy preparing materials for a new online resource that will be up on the library’s website by August 24. Mike reported that 490 library instruction sessions were given during 2007-2008 and 690 sessions were provided during 2008-2009 reaching 14,794 students.
Joan Petit, who is the Instruction and Reference Librarian at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, led a session called Library Instruction 2.0. Many of the technologies she discussed, ZSR has been utilizing (i.e. Facebook, blogs, and wikis). According to Ms. Petit, students in Egypt are nuts about Facebook, so she created a FB page for her library. It took quite a while for her to get approval to create the page. AUC Main Library’s FB page has 966 fans. She uses WetPaint.com, a free website builder software program, to set up a wiki for her IL classes and wishes that her library would use Twitter. Ms. Petit authors a blog called The Chatty Librarian and can be followed on Twitter as well by the username chattylibrarian. One interesting thing she reported is that Duke has created an iPhone app. for individuals to browse Duke’s digital collections.
“I Never Wanted to be a Teacher” was the title of the session led by Nora Bird and Linda Gann, both of UNCG’s Department of Library and Information Studies. At the beginning, they asked attendees to write on a note card two job responsibilities one had when they were first hired and two responsibilities that one is currently doing in their job but wasn’t listed in the original job description. They feel there is a disconnect between library school curriculum and instruction/teaching and they are gathering information to determine how MLIS programs should respond. Using Powerpoint, they flashed job advertisements for public and academic libraries on a screen that dated back to the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today. One could definitely see a trend in advertisements going from “seeking a person with people skills” to ones that required skills in teaching and instruction of technology and other library resources.
Diane Harvey from Duke University led a session on “Assessing for Improvement: Student Learning Outcomes Assessment for Information Literacy Instruction.” Student Learning Outcomes Assessment is a systematic look at what students are learning. Learning Outcomes Assessment is not an evaluation of teaching, but it moves instruction away from “What am I going to teach today?” to “What do I want students to learn today?” Some examples of assessment methods include knowledge tests, the One Minute Paper, bibliography analysis, concept inventory, and standardized tests. Student Learning Outcomes Assessment provides a practical student-centered approach to teaching as well as a means to improve teaching.
Amy Gustavson and Clark Nall from East Carolina University led a session on “Evidence-Based Librarianship in Assessment of Information Literacy Instruction.” Gustavson and Nall’s presentation focused on the theory and different research methodologies of Evidence-Based Librarianship research. Evidence-Based Librarianship provides a foundation for the practitioner and helps practitioners make effective evidence-based decisions. Gustavson and Nall are currently researching the comparison of students’ self-reported confidence in their research skills and testing their knowledge of research skills.
Overall, this conference was very informative. We highly recommend it to those interested in information literacy. If you would like to discuss any of the sessions that we attended, please let us know!