Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Article Note: On Collaboration of Libraries and Student Affairs

Citation for the article:

Swartz, Pauline S., Brian A Carlisle, and E. Chisato Uyeki. "Libraries and Student Affairs: Partners for Student Success." Reference Services Review 35.1 (2007): 109-122.

Read via Emerald.

The article describes a partnership at UCLA between the College Library and the Office of the Dean of Students. The purpose was for student education about academic integrity, campus policies, and ethical as well as legal issues related to information use and access (110). The pairing seems a logical one since those two campus organizations come in constant contact with students. Also, there are campus organizations with a strong interest in student success. The catalyst for the two groups to come together was the issue of plagiarism and academic dishonesty. The resources they created include an online tutorial and a workshop for students. The article also presents various small ideas that I think might work here such as the teaching on how to do citations. Overall, the article provides a pretty good model, and I think some elements could be replicated in my setting.

Some things I want to highlight:

  • The part on teaching about citations. I think this stance could be reassuring to some folks here. "The librarian does not format the citations for the student, but teaches the student how to identify the type of source he or she is citing, how to effectively utilize style manuals, and how to interpret the guidelines in the style manual and the information about the source in order to write his or her citations" (117).
  • "Before venturing out to build partnerships, it is helpful to have secured support of library administrators who have the authority to commit time and resources" (118). Herein lies the catch: until administrators figure out things like this are important, we won't be getting far. Administrators are in the position to have the awareness of larger campus priorities and initiatives.
  • Remember that "a great deal can be learned about potential partners from what they have to say about themselves, by reading what they are writing, how they promote their services, and how they talk about their priorities and work" (118).
  • Librarians have to prove themselves and deliver when they say they will do something. This is part of building a reputation. "To be acknowledged as viable partners, individual librarians, library projects, and library resources must be visible on campus. This is accomplished through the marketing of library successes and accomplishments (Shane, 2004), as well as through the marketing of librarians as knowledgeable information professionals with valuable expertise" (118). Additionally, in terms of marketing, I am thinking using the newsletter, the library blog, word of mouth, flyers, and maybe the occasional write-up or press release to the local campus newspaper.
Note: The Shane reference above is the following (the article authors use APA. Readers may note I tend to prefer MLA):

Shane, J.M.Y. (2004), "Formal and informal structures for collaboration on a campus-wide information literacy program", Resource Sharing & Information Networks, Vol. 17, pp. 85-110.

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