Wednesday, May 03, 2006

TLA Conference Notes: Day 2, Contributed Paper on Information Literacy Assessment

Title: "Information Literacy Assessment in the Health Sciences."
Presenter: Serge Danielson-Francois, reference librarian, Cy-Fair College

Cy-Fair College's library serves both the academic community as well as the public. So, the academic and public realms are not separate. This applies in general for people share in common a desire to "know stuff."

The librarian implemented pilots for active learning. For instance, a scavenger hunt for finding a specific book as well as demonstrating the use of a book to find an answer. He works with students in the health sciences, such as nurses, so they are using various print reference sources in that area.

For a librarian in this field, it is necessary to read in the field. For instance, reading JAMA (I personally think this idea of reading in your field applies to any subject specialist). The librarian also needs to be able to rethink his/her information seeking strategies and build bridges between books, journals, and other sources. Then a learning community can be created. Be interdisciplinary. For instance, in teaching about medical ethics, draw on other areas besides the usual subjects.

Use things like flash drives to save those large documents on PDF files you might usually print or photocopy (I am thinking this may be something to promote more for our students).

On journal clubs. Tried an online journal club for students in nursing. This type of activity can be academic, but it can also be fun. A sample topic was "freak show medicine."

Overall, this presenter was both enthusiastic and engaging. He says that he did not have medical subject background when he took the job, but he clearly projects that learning the subject to serve the patrons is something possible. He did provide a small handout, which at the moment is not online.

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