31 March 2010

LILA2010: Describing the use of scholarly literature by undergraduate students

They can find it, but they don’t know what to do with it: Describing the use of scholarly literature by undergraduate students
Stephanie Rosenblatt, Cal State, Fullerton

Not just finding information, but using information.
Hurst & Leonard, 2007 “Why are papers so often lacking in solid, factual information from scholarly sources?”

Assumptions based on the assumption that if students can be convinced to use our “great” resources found through the tools of the “modern academic library”. They will then synthesize information, add it to their knowledge base, and learning occurs.
Would instruction sessions change behavior. Change in behavior indicates learning rather than just an affect.

Is library instruction even detrimental to student work? Do we put them off? It depends, I think, on what we are teaching and how we are teaching it.

Students found materials that met her requirements and even they gave information:
What’s the point of a research paper that doesn’t make connections between the research and their thinking?
Defining our idea of “Synthesis”. What does it mean? How do faculty come to understand it? How do students?
AACU Value rubrics mapped to ACRL rubrics.
Her expectations: Integrating, Developing, Emerging.
“Transforming Qualitative Information”

Action research methodology: open dialog, communication between practioners.

We are making false assumptions about what they need or what we need to teach. We cannot stop there. It’s not about finding, it’s about using. Is the lack of synthesis a problem in information literacy or is it a problem in writing: they might not know how construct the model for writing.
Activity and instruction that models the behavior. In our teaching, show how we find the connection and how to make the connection. Look at peer reviewed articles for how the connections are made in the articles.
Other activity ideas: working in small groups, look at scholarly literature, specifically at literature reviews to emphasize how to make the connections. How do we deal with wanting to cover so much so quickly?
How much do we need to teach students about interface?

Great example of thinking more broadly about library services: integration!
Concerns about stepping on faculty’s toes: is the analytic the job of the faculty? How do you affect change without insulting their teaching? Faculty that are complaining about student work are prime for this kind of collaboration.

30 March 2010

LILAC2010:Who dares to teach must never cease to learn

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn (John Cotton Dana)
Michelle Schneider & Dan Pullinger
University of Leeds

First off, this was a FANTASTIC session. I learned so much from the session participants about what they cover, activities they use, and what other librarians are thinking about. Great job Michelle and Dan for creating an atmosphere for sharing. Loved it. Now on to my notes…

The changing teaching role of the librarian. How do we gain skills and knowledge to fulfill that role?

Feetham, 2006 in Dale: It’s not sufficient for libraians to teach about resources. We need to be focusing on pedagogical.

Do you consider yourself as a trainer or a teacher?
What’s the difference?
Does it matter what we call ourselves?
Mandy Lupton (2002)
Teachers is a more professional nomenclature. Sometimes we do both. Informaiton literacy is TEACHING, database/catalog work is TRAINING. That is a significant division. The focus on the process is teaching. Often sessions are half teaching, half training. Focus on the doing: skills transfer.
Northampton: they must have a teaching qualification and they are marketed as teachers.
The assessment.
Training is how to do a task and Teaching is why you are doing the task.
Does it matter? It depends on your setting. In an academic setting, it matters significantly. But in an employment or health services, to call it teaching would be a turn off. Approachability. Perception. Sure but perception to whom? Do we want it both ways? Confidence. To be seen by the academics as equals.
Teacher Librarian v. Teaching Librarian
Surface learning v. deep learning.

What skills and knowledge do we need to be effective in teaching our students?
Too many to list.
Educational development
Instructional design
Educational psychology
Subject specificity
Admitting failure
Assessment: learning outcomes.
Time management
This only emphasizes how interdisciplinary our field is.
(Sinikar 2008, Brophy 2007, Conroy and Boden 2008)

What are your experiences? What demands are being placed on you? What kind of teaching are you being asked to do?
Active learning
Inquiry based learning, problem based learning
ESL learning
Having to cover too much in very short periods of time.
Cover what faculty members want and what you know students need.
Let students say what they don’t know how to do. Put it on post its and build the session from there.
Research ethics/research methods

Allowing librarians to be qualified for teaching awards and faculty development opportunities in the college including peer observation, mentorship.

What training/support is available to you now?
In the US: Immersion. Nothing like that in the UK. (PGCHE??)
Sir Learn a Lot online course.
Courses, but it’s hard to find a good course. The problem is that courses are not always flexible enough or applicable in multiple settings.
How to teach in different settings: large groups, small groups.
Librarians need to ask because in many cases, it is not offered.
Required training for everyone that is teaching through the library.
Assessment training***
What training/support do you need?
TIME. Teaching is only a part of our jobs, we need TIME to be able to improve our teaching.
Training on how to run classrooms, use oral communication skills, technology.
Acting skills: how to walk into the room, how to breath, how look at the room of people, voice projection.
Managing classrooms.
CILIP-accredited Library courses to include teaching elements.

PLEASE SHARE your responses to these questions in the comments. As I said, I got so much from hearing from others.

LILAC2010: Assessing collaboration: the effect of pedagogical alignment and shared learning outcomes for information literacy instruction

Assessing collaboration: the effect of pedagogical alignment and shared learning outcomes for information literacy instruction in first year writing classes.
Sara Miller and Dr. Nancy DeJoy, Michigan State University

Currently in process.
Inquiry based learning in writing classes: if they used inquiry method in instruction, would it be more effective? Do students actually learn to find and use sources more effectively? Are the research outcomes met more with aligned pedagogies?

45,000 students
More than 35 sections.
Conducting assessment for 7 sections.
Don’t see all students-not enough “man” power.
Uses web modules.

Boyer Commission, 1998: setting a collaborative model across the institution. Differing views of understanding collaboration: it doesn’t always mean the same thing.
From Twitter: “not just in instruction but areas like research data citation as well. Collaboration: same word, different languages.” @phepbu

Careful about positioning students as “consumers of knowledge.” Example: I already wrote my paper, I just need three sources to back it up. Anti-inquiry. Rather, positioning students to contribute to knowledge base,not just take from it – that is inquiry-based learning.

Norgaard, 2004: connecting info lit & rhetoric.

Inquiry has not taken root in the US as much as in the UK but it is coming!

Students fill out worksheet during library visit. Asking students to find an opinion or background information in groups. How did you find the article?
How did you decide it was a scholarly article?
What is the article’s purpose?

Together, they develop a list of evaluative criteria and then as a group, evaluate.

Did your research practices change as a result of this session?
The rubric reflects inquiry! Recursivity, Synthesis, Source Evaluation, Relevancy.

Asking students a pre and post class survey: “When you think about doing research for an assignment, it’s primarily in what context?”
How did your search change? How is this information important to the conversation about the issue? A lot of diverse responses.

Question to think about: Do students always understand what we are asking them?
Student perceptions about what is valuable: some if “how to” but also conceptual, higher level.

In inquiry, we will position students as mediaries, particularly at Champlain. THAT HAS MEAT. THINK ABOUT THAT. Professional projects. YES. However, that is predetermining the muse. But, that offers an opportunity for thinking about the muse in professional settings and less personal settings.

Asking students what kind of writing they anticipate having to do in their majors. It’s a great question for research. What research do you anticipate having to do in your profession?

Assessment as a way to be accountable, close the feedback loop.

LILAC2010: Keynote with Karen Fisher

Lay Information Mediary Behavior and Social Information Literacy
Dr. Karen E. Fisher
iSchool at Univ. of Washington

People helping other people find information.

National Digital Literacy Corp as part of the US National Broadband Plan: neighbors helping neighbors get on line. Young people will be trained in digital literacy.
QUESTION: Trained? Or will it assume that they are digitally literate? Hmm.
Opportunity for all: how the American public benefits
The point: we know that librarians are doing a great job but we keep telling each other, not those that need to be told (policy makers, decision makers) both nationally and locally.

Methodology for her research: nationwide phone survey, web survey, case studies
Over 50, 000 people about public access computing in libraries
Interesting factoid/sound bite: There are more libraries than McDonalds in the US.

Key Findings:
2/3 use libraries.
2/3 use library staff
2/3 are lay information mediaries (people helping people use info)
32% use public access computers, 50% are ages 14-18.
Agencies are sending their people to libraries for help. People are taking it upon themselves to get help. But libraries are overstretched.

ASIST 2005: The Death of the User. Users as an inherently weak concept?
The user is not always the user. You might be giving users information but they aren’t necessarily using it. You don’t know if they will use the information in the way you anticipated. Direct and indirect outcomes. Let's think about this in academic terms as well: aren't we always surprised by the way students approach problems, construct answers?
USER is an archaic way of looking at behavior (Brenda Dervin).

A new perspective: Social constructivist nature of information: something that is holistic and contextual. Consistent with the need to expand definitions of other: need, giving, use.
Do we need new terms? Expand them? Re-envision them? Re-define them.
Recognize the complexity of the user.

Why do we help people find information?
Lay Information Mediary Behavior: people who seek information on behalf of others without being asked and may or may not follow up. NOT in a professional role. Ordinary people.
Of all demographics, all ages though typically women. Intentional and unintentional. Engage in LIM behavior is a form of caring and maintaining relationships. An expression of caring.
LIM: more likely to RELY SOLELY on PL access, lower income & poverished, women, languages other than English. How info savvy a person is has nothing to do with how educated they are.

80% use library computers DAILY or near daily.

Muses: instead of seeking for themselves, they farm the seeking out to a LIM. Difficult to know who they are.

When people come to the desk, are they the user? Not necessarily—they could be seeking information for someone other than the person in front of you. Concerns about what is lost in translation.

LIMs are info lit: curious empathetic, identify themselves as “go-to” people, recognize info needs, know how to find information.
Stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in public access computers in libraries.

The State of Information Literacy: despite that it is increasingly important, our paradigm is insufficient. It presupposes that it is about individual users seeking and using info on their own behalf. The general public has greater needs than we know.
SOCIAL information literacy: reflect people’s info seeking on behalf of other people. It is based on people being attuned to info situations of others. They know how to provide information at the right time, in the right way, in the right format AS WELL AS providing the right information!
Social Info Lit is a NEW BUSINESS MODEL for libraries.

Research to be done is extensive, deep, and across our discipline.
Social Information Literacy Interventions

Keynote challenge: how can we develop social information literacy and change the world? Step Up!
PONDER: Information Seeking is not always a solo voyage.

Is the relationship between LIMs and Muses co-dependent or exclusive? Are both behaviors occurring in the same person? Does it depend on areas of expertise? Or particular types of information? On life experiences? Opportunity for future research.

For every two people, three people benefit. In public libraries, people that love the library might not be the one in the library “using” it?
The total number of people being served=thinking about it in terms of student use. Are they searching only for themselves or for their friends, sharing information, sharing resources. What is the implications of LIMs in academic use?

29 March 2010

LILAC2010: Relational Frame of Information Literacy

Andrew Whitworth, author of Information Obesity
An evaluation of a course located in the relational frame of IL

A theoretical point of view. Seeing information literacy in a slightly different way because he is not a librarian.

Classic definitions of Info Lit (ACRL), are useful but they focus on the learner as a subjective user of information. What can it do for me, etc. There are other forms of value. If we omit these other value systems, then there are some serious risks to knowledge base. If we are to be truly information literate, we need to move beyond thinking about what information can do for us and think more holistically about information.

Make explicit what is implicit.

Damien Thompson’s “Counterknowledge” (2008), Bad Science.
Books that discuss basis of thinking that have no scientific grounding.

Objective value: scientific measure to transcend subjectivity.
Intersubjective support: people will believe them. Value created by communities (public opinion, moralities, laws, economics). If you don’t have intersubjective value, you have relativism. Just because those types of value are articulated in ACRL, that does not mean that we are building information literacy programming and instruction around those values. This gets to the idea of whether we, as librarians, feel like we are qualified to teach information literacy. Is this why we cloak library instruction as information literacy? Because we aren’t comfortable with the deeper critical thinking issues?

Group think (Ricardo Blaug, 2007)—not thinking of yourself, battery cognition.

Media and information literacy course.
Six Frames of IL (2007), Christine Bruce et al.

Lots of ways of dealing with information literacy
Learning to learn
Personal relevance
Social impact
IL can mean lots of things to lots of different people, hence multiple frames. We intermingle these frames. We might not privilege one frame over the other. They all are important.
The RELATIONAL frame brings all of these together. If you are teaching in the relational frame, then you are preparing your students to move between all of them.

Students ranking what info lit is: only one thought that it is about the world of information.

To teach teachers, we need to teach students about IL. The need to teach teachers well and holistically about IL so it can be passed on to learners. Impact on personal and professional development. How are they using information or changing their habits. Many of them changed their practice. Interesting given what Catherine Williams said this morning about the challenge of habits changing.

Assessing students on their ability to move between frames. Across activities, each activity is assigned a particular frame.

Production of information, putting it back into the public sphere, is transformative. All students felt that they were transforming their practice. They accept the need to transform their practice, even if the assessment didn’t show it. THEY thought so.

Focus on teachers, so it is for specialists.
Converting the course for a more generic post-grad audience.
Will become an open access resource.
log on as guest. Feedback will be welcome.
Moodle based.
Creating something short and modular. 7 hours. A component to professional education for teachers and for librarians.

How do you turn information into knowledge?
We have tendencies to avoid information that challenges our prior beliefs. As a PhD student, you need to see how data challenges your view. We look for information that reinforces your beliefs.

Social impact = media literacy
Ben Goldacre

Who writes the news? Single people. Where does your information come from, literally?

A “rounded view” of information literacy.

To offer these components, even those that aren’t traditionally viewed as info lit. Opportunities for collaboration?

LILAC2010: Keynote with Tony Durcan

Monday Keynote: Tony Durcan
Head of Culture, Libraries, and Lifelong Learning
Newcastle City Council

What is the role of information literacy in public libraries, particularly in terms of current economic climate. Focus on digital inclusion.

Is information literacy a public library issue?
Is Information Literacy a new skills gap?

The People’s Network (2002), free access to the internet is not possible in public libraries. A lot of emphasis on Digital Britain.
New ways to offer adult learning, with new ways to fund that.

Side note: Learning how far ahead the United States is in terms of what we offer at the public library (internet access!) and through e-education. Fewer people using the internet or even having computers in the UK, particularly in rural areas.

If you didn’t have public libraries, you would have to spend a lot more in social issues (crime, education, social services). The library as place but also a place that benefits the community in broad, societal ways--even beyond ways we sometime are aware as librarians.

Libraries as “pillars of interaction.”

Still significant issues around skills and behavior: a real hurdle is getting people to ask for what they want. Not just a problem in public libraries. How can librarians get trained to solicit questions?

Breaking down barriers in physical spaces in order to break down barriers in mental spaces: information points at Newcastle Public Library. No hard spaces—open spaces. Staff as floor based, not office based. Encourages questions.
What kinds of changes have you seen in user behavior? Much more open although staff were very frightened. But they admitted that their fears were misfounded. It has increased accessability considerably.

Made decisions without the background but instinct, and knowing their community.

Getting quite a significant glimpse into the public library’s role in the UK: no free internet across the country, libraries have to pay for government information. Wow. People that don’t know how to use the internet or that they think the internet is not for them. Offering “How to use the iPod”, “How to use social networking”. Is it the medium for you?

A culture change in the staff: we have to enthuse people to use new formats. Removed bureaucracy: no need to use your card to use computers. Breaking down barriers.

IDEA: Putting podcasts of visitors on the library: people famous, people important, just people. Why are you in the library? Why do you love the library?

A strength and a weakness of the public library is its public, democratic root. It is up to what politicians and the people are needing and wanting to do.

At what point do we allow young people to use social networking sites on public computers?

A question from Twitter: why are images on Flickr not available through Creative Commons?

How to build a better relationship with the Council? Respond to the political agenda. Libraries are part of city government—don’t forget it. We have forgotten it in terms of the agenda of the city, initiatives, priorities. Not ours but theirs. You can’t always do what politicians ask you to do, but you can explain why you won’t do it and what you can do.

Highlight your priorities:
Supporting children’s education
Supporting social and digital inclusion.
In the States: universal access.

Raising the profile of the public library.

The relationship between public schools and libraries: how to extend school’s curriculum into the librarian? Again an issue of funding.

LILAC2010: Changing User Behavior on the web

This was an excellent talk and a lot of thoughts started running through my head. If anyone else is reading this, you will find that my thoughts are running through as well so please don't think Caroline Williams said everything here!

Changing User Behavior on the web—what does this mean for the development of online information literacy tools?
Caroline Willaims, Exec. Director of Intute and Deputy Director of Mimas

A focus on the national perspective.
MIMAS: National Data Center (one of two—Manchester and Edinburgh). Provides infrastructure for large data sets (census) but also library as well as assistance through helpdesk, training, etc. Web of Knowledge.

The Alternate Title: Shall we give up and leave it to Google?
Not a throw away question. Are we fighting a loosing battle?

What is research telling us right now about user behavior?
CIBER 2008, “The Google Generation”.
Even though more people have more access to technology, little time is spend evaluating information. There is not an improvement in how we use, evaluate, or select information.
Two camps of thinking:
Make it easy for students to find what they need
Teaching them skills to be able to find what they need themselves

Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World, March 2009
IL should be treated as a high priority—critical evaluation of information.
A new trend in Higher Ed that IL is getting this level of support, although it is focused on digital literacy.
Isn’t this only a greater call of transliteracy???
Digital Britain: digital literacy impacts equality through employability.
Andrew Whitworth and Information Obesity.
This isn’t new information but the emphasis it is getting from government and outside of the academic realm is new.
Q: What are libraries doing to connect to that energy? Or is government turning to Google or to other corporate services as the venue for education?

Mimas Market Research:
1. Project Fusion: the indispensability of Google and Google Scholar
2. Intute Web 2.0
3. ViM Project
4. Mobile Internet Detective

It is not just about information literacy but the complete way we categorize and share information. Catalogers are just as important to the success of information distribution and information seeking success as the skills that users apply in a variety of information environments.
Other resources were used but the emphasis remains on ease of use in terms of searching for resources but also for specific information in the material itself (searching within electronic resources—what Amazon has over libraries).

“Centrifugal model of information gathering—scholarly work and the shaping of digital access”, Carole Palmer 2005.

The habits of researchers: Once they start doing it a certain way, it is hard to change.
Confidence and satisfaction are inextricably linked. Their awareness that they could do it better and that opportunities to improve exist but students won’t seek out that help. Why? What is it that they are afraid of? Confidence and satisfaction are inextricably linked.

Intute Web 2.0:
Perceptions of librarians on undergraduate behaviour
Perceptions of web 2.0 in education: they have a place but they should be adopted because the technology exists. Social use is not the same as academic use. Not in the habit of rating and commenting and were even suspicious of those that did. Students WANT to separate the social and working dimensions of their lives.

Value for Money in Automative Metadata Generation:
Google: Students might use their institutions’ resources but Google remains pervasive and popular.
When it comes to Google, words don’t do it justice.
Undergrads are ignorant of how to undertake effective searches. Students like that iGoogle or Amazon “get to know you”. Aligns to the point about digital natives that they don’t care about privacy in the same way that we might.

Mobile Internet Detective: translating an online IL tutorial to something that can be used on a phone.
Library users will start to demand that everything happen on a phone: a behavior changer.
“Why walk to the library if it’s on the Internet” (not a comment about the resources but rather, about the value of the electronic library).
What about the value of the PERSON. We need to be focusing our attention on the human dimension to information rather than trying to compete with Google in searching.

Concerns over access, speed. Students might not be using their phones during university for information seeking BUT what about the emphasis on the lifelong component? Once they get out into the “real world” and are working with smart phones…

Pack to the question: shall we give up and leave it to Google?
Two sides to the coin:
On one side, digital and information literacies
On the other: interface and sharing information, improving access.
The actions that are being taken libraries to improve is not enough. How can we get Google to participate more fully? What is it that libraries can offer Google?

Taking the step to include Widgets and Feeds so people can put information where they want.
Balancing Child Protection with Web 2.0 tools. Students will bypass school internet protection by using their phones.

Stop saying Google is bad and help students use it better. THAT is where libraries need to put more focus.

28 March 2010

LILAC2010: Ready to go!

It's spring. And for me, that means it is time for LILAC: the Librarians Informations Literacy Annual Conference. Last year, this conference rocked my world in Cardiff. And there were plenty of posts to prove it. This year, the wonderful UK librarians have brought me to Limerick. After a week's vacation in London and the surrounding countryside, I am safe and sound in my hotel and about to go through my presentation one last time.

This year's presentation is called "Building Brick by Brick: a Pragmatic Approach to Measuring Impact". I will post slides of our presentation here tomorrow.

I'm also excited for LILAC's more dynamic presence on Twitter this year. The hashtag is #LILAC2010. I will be adding the #infolit hashtag to my posts as well. I'd like to see that tag get a bit more use and this seems like the right group to make that happen. I am looking forward to keeping up in concurrent sessions through Twitter and I will post notes from those I am attending as well.

LILAC is lovely. I am excited and ready to go!

16 March 2010

She Lives!

Now back to our regular program...

Hi. I'm Sarah Cohen. Infrequent blogger.

It's not that I haven't wanted to blog. Oh, I have. I wanted to blog about Google Books. I wanted to blog about Transliteracy (and don't worry, I will). I wanted to blog about China and the Internet, plagiarism, data....I have a lot starred in my Google Reader.

But I haven't blogged any of those things. Instead, I've been keeping to my self a bit. I haven't been Twittering as much. I haven't been Facebooking as much. I have just been content to stop, look, and listen. And it's been wonderful to read so many interesting things from so many interesting people. I have added a number of new feeds to my reader. I have started following some new people. I have been learning a lot by not always feeling like I needed to comment or produce for myself.

And then today, I read Andy's post asking us what we have to drop. It's a really interesting question for an organization, and Andy does a great job of discussing it in terms of libraries. But it is also really hard for individuals. And that's where it resonated for me.

I love to be involved. I love to generate ideas. I love to participate. It's hard for someone like me to look at my plate and recognize that it is not just full, but too full. That I am wearing myself out. Or not directing my energy in a way that is constructive. As I look at my work, what is it that really motivates me? What is it that gets me excited? What is it that feeds me? There are many parts to my job, as is the case for many of us, especially in small libraries. And I am certainly not in a position to stop doing the parts that are less exciting than others. Frankly, there are some things that I cannot drop. But by recognizing what matters most to me, what excites me, I can be that much more grateful for having as part of my job. Does that make sense? That by recognizing the parts of our job that we love, we can handle the parts that we love less. Or that sometimes feel like they are dragging us down or overloading us.

So, for me, social media was feeling like something that was becoming burdensome to me for a little while. And by stepping away from it, be realizing how much I want to contribute and how much I have to contribute to the conversation, I find myself reinvigorated.

Andy uses a plant metaphor in his post and I'll stick with that, especially being the gardener that I am and it being such a beautiful day in Vermont. Often times, you have to redirect a plant's energy in order to help it flourish. That is exactly what I am suggesting here. Find out what makes you tick. Honor it. Cherish it. And then put that energy and awareness to use in your work, in your teaching, in your interactions, in your less-than-favorite tasks. Andy is right: some things need to be dropped. David Lee King is right: some things need to be re-prioritized. But there is also a part to the conversation that is about directing your energy and directing your mind. Let's not forget to put that into our equations as well.