Friday, May 03, 2013

ACRL 2013 Conference Notes: Contributed Papers on Information Literacy

ACRL Contributed Papers Session, Group 2
Topic: Mostly on information literacy, see specific papers.
Date: Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:00pm

Whenever I attend a librarians' conference, I try to catch at least one of the sessions that offer contributed papers if possible. I do this because often these are LIS school students or librarians just entering the profession, so often they reflect recent thinking in the profession. However, these sessions can often be hit and miss when compared to panels, which usually have more "established" authorities. I did not get a whole lot of notes on these; they did not seem terribly substantial (at least during the presentation), but on the positive, ACRL has made available the proceedings (link to the general proceedings page. Links to papers below are PDF), and you can find the papers there in full. I may have to reread them at some point in the future.

I. "Melding the Nitty Gritty of Critical Thinking and Information Literacy Into English and Developmental and Composition Classes" by Mark Thompson.

  • Use student learning outcomes from courses to mold your IL work and objectives. 
  • Steps:
    • Look at syllabi for student objectives. 
    • Review current textbooks. 
    • Meld, then revise assignments, and then approach faculty. 
 II. "Information Literacy as a Formative Force" by Paulette M. Rothbauer, Sheril Hook, and John M. Budd.

  • (I will admit that the title did sound exciting)
  • They asked students two questions: 
    • What is information? 
    • What is a library?
  • Concept of the library as a place of knowledge. 

III. "The Almost Experts: Capstone Students and the Research Process" by Robin E. Miller.
  • (This was the paper I was actually interested in from the set. Unfortunately, it is common for papers I really wanted to listen to that they were spread out, and leaving the room was not always an option. I was interested because in my current workplace, our seniors do various senior year projects and capstones, and this is an area where we have an interest in expanding our services). 
  • Initial observation: They are not almost experts. 
  • The paper reports on a survey and student interviews. 
  • How could librarians help? 92% would like a capstone LibGuide. 35% wanted instruction on writing a literature review. 57% wanted citation management support. (For us, I think these are all areas, and more, that we could help our students). 
Overall, the session was so-so. I think, for me at least, reading the papers is more productive than listening to the speakers. Keep in mind we have come a long way from when I use to present papers, where I actually had to read the paper. Nowadays, they just toss the highlights on a PowerPoint and hope some stuff sticks.  The result is very often the speakers are rushing through the presentation, tossing out numbers, and overall, not very reflective. As I mentioned, I will be going back and reading over these, specially the Miller paper.

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