Friday, October 17, 2008

Information Literacy Across the Curriculum Workshop part 2

I attended the second part of the "Information Literacy Across the Curriculum", workshop which is given jointly by the TLT group and ACRL this last Tuesday. Michelle Millet was the presenter for this installment of the series. I had attended a previous presentation she did in person, which was very informative. This presentation was also very helpful because it had a slightly different focus and I picked up several good ideas.

Michelle's institution has chosen Information Literacy as their "Quality Enhancement Plan" which is required for their reaccreditation. Her perspective is very interesting because this level of support and widespread integration is not always so easy to achieve and I personally think it is a wonderful example of how to do things, and I find her recommendations to be very enlightening and practical as well.

Some of the major ideas/points/interesting bits that I came away with:

  • Her description of the marketing and publicity. She mentioned t-shirts and also a Youtube video
  • She continued to stress assessment as a very important step
  • It interested me very much to hear that they had an annotated bibliography assignment as part the First Year Experience program. It sounded like they had the students prepare it over the summer.
  • She mentioned Graduate students which interested me as well, I believe she also mentioned workshops for those students.
  • It sounded like they had quite alot of ways of reaching faculty--such as annual workshops, course stipends, travel grants, and a standing Information Literacy committee.

And of course her final recommendations, which were again to stress assessment, to find and learn from other programs, to host discussion, and to be persistent.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Sad Day

If you are reading this, wherever you are in libraryland, I would ask you to pause for a moment in remembrance of Devin Zimmerman. If you have been a regular reader of this blog, you might have remembered that Devin was the Information Literacy Coordinator here at Alkek from January to August 2007. Tragically he was shot and killed while on duty yesterday at his workplace in San Antonio. Although I only worked with him for a relatively short time, he made a lasting impression on me and the people here at Alkek.

I think Devin was one of those special people who bring a light with them in the darkness and illuminate everyone around them, a catalyst that causes those around to grow and change. I have seen the tributes on his facebook page, and I know that he made a difference to many people. For me myself he was a mentor, and in a friendly competitive way spurred me onto new things. As I sit here in the office that he once occupied I remember and am grateful for his encouragement and advice even after he left to work at Alamo Community College.

By way of a memorial I'd like to link to his youtube videos and his very first blog post. He had also posted some podcasts but sadly the files did not survive. It may seem an odd memorial but I think although it may only reveal some of Devin's unforgettable character in a small way, at least they are his own words.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Interesting Online workshop

I just attended the first part of a really interesting online workshop called "Information Literacy Across the Curriculum", which was given jointly by the TLT group and ACRL. There will be two other meetings, on the 14th and the 21st of this month. There will be three other presenters, each to present a case study of their experiences in their institutions. Today's session was given by Lisa Hinchliffe, who is the Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

One of the first things I noticed as she was speaking was the size and diversity of their program, or rather as she described it as " multiple IL programs." I may have heard this incorrectly but I thought she said that they had from 20-50 staff teaching classes.* If it got that right, it sounds quite vast.

* Note: Special thanks to Lisa H. who graciously sent me the correct numbers via her comment below:
70-100 librarians

20-30 graduate assistants (library school students)

35-45 library units in 27 different campus buildings. (Wow. That *is* vast.)

It was very interesting though to me because although our university is not as large as UIUC, we still are pretty decently sized (29,125 students according to our website) and I could see how some of the things she spoke about could be adapted in our situation.
My ears perked up at several outreach/marketing activities that she mentioned; the idea of having a person dressed as a book and roaming around campus so students could take pictures with him is very endearing. And apparently they have iconic frisbees they give away as well. That is one area that I would like to learn more about--ways to advertise and get the world out in very creative approaches.

I found the interrelated relationship between their IL program and Reference to be also very intriguing, mostly because what she described corresponded to some observations that I had made about our own situation. She described consultations (I thought she meant individual type research consultations) , workshops (in particular for graduate students), tours in several different languages (Chinese, French, etc), and also very heavy IM use. For us IM usage has been steadily increasing although it isn't exactly "heavy." I have noticed though that our individual consultations are increasing and I wonder if this is something that other folks are seeing.

Some other things that stuck out in my mind (and notes):
  • A graduate level IL credit course--I'd always heard of IL credit courses for undergraduates.
  • She mentioned getting assessment plans for programs on campus--sounds interesting
I may be adding more as time permits, but for the most part felt that this was a very useful presentation.