January 25, 2010

Library Day in the Life

Posted in Inspiration at 9:34 pm by melissaautumn

LIS students – wondering what librarians *really* do all day long? Check out the blog posts, twitter feeds and flickr photo streams at Library Day in the Life.

Bonus! At least one author that we read in reference and in instruction is represented here – can you find her?

And, hey, alumni readers – consider contributing to this communal effort!

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Recommended Reading – More by Melissa Gross

Posted in Instruction, Reference at 9:26 pm by melissaautumn

January is the time I catch up on my professional reading. Since I have a few weeks off between the holidays and the start of classes, I can work my way through the stack of journals I’ve been meaning to read, as well as organize all those articles I read during the fall and set aside in a pile vaguely labeled as “good – do something with.” This is one I read back in September (!) and am just now unearthing again.

Gross, Melissa and Don Latham. “Undergraduate Perceptions of Information Literacy: Defining, Attaining, and Self-Assessing Skills.” College and Research Libraries 70.4 (July 2009): 336-50.

In my reference and instruction courses, we read an article by Melissa Gross about competency theory (Gross, Melissa. “The Impact of Low-Level Skills on Information Seeking Behavior.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 45.2 (2005): 155-63). This article, which says that people with low level skills, the “incompetent,” generally do not recognize their own lack of skill, usually sparks a vigorous discussion.

Those of you who enjoyed that discussion may want to read this recent article. Here, Gross and Latham interview college students about their conceptions of information literacy and their experience conducting research. The article references competency theory, as well as the imposed query model and Christine Bruce’s The Seven Faces of Information Literacy. Very interesting article, especially for those of you interested in reading further research on some of the ideas touched on in class.

January 17, 2010

Recommended Reading – Serving Students with Learning Disabilities

Posted in Instruction at 3:06 pm by melissaautumn

Chodock, Ted and Elizabeth Dolinger. “Applying Universal Design to Information Literacy: Teaching Students Who Learn Differently at Landmark College.” Reference and User Services Quarterly 49 (2009): 24-32.

We all have students with learning disabilities in our classes. However, since learning disabilities are often invisible to casual observers, we may not realize it. In addition, the one-shot nature of standard library instruction often precludes getting to know our students well or learning about any special needs prior to the start of class. Therefore, it behooves us to work from the beginning to design information literacy sessions that are accessible to a wide range of learners.

In this excellent article, two librarians from Landmark College, which serves students with learning disabilities, share nine principles of “universal design,” or methods that make instruction accessible to all learners. The nine principles are clearly explained and accompanied by specific examples and applications for library instruction. This article is an easy read with loads of practical advice that you can start using immediately – highly recommended.