Monday, September 01, 2014

KLA LIRT Library Instruction Retreat 2014 Notes for Afternoon Sessions

For the morning sessions note, please check out the previous post. As I mentioned previously, the Kentucky Library Association LIRT (Library Instruction Round Table) Library Instruction Retreat took place on July 11, 2014 on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. As usual, I will try to put the notes of what I saw and heard; any comments of mine that I add I will put in parenthesis.

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Session 3: "Library on the Go: Taking the Library to the Students."

  • This presentation was on a program to reach students outside the library, especially those who rarely come to the library. The idea is to reach students outside of class visits. 
    • For events, have "giveaway" items like pens, pencils, bookmarks, sticky notes,  etc as well as some library handouts. (I have done this kind of thing, especially at my previous workplace where I coordinated library outreach. Success on this can vary depending on the event. Also, what you give away as freebies can determine success. Let us be honest, there are some things students may go for more than others. So it helps to know your audience a bit. Also, freebies do have costs for the library, so doing this can depend on how your library budget looks. In my current workplace, we are taking some steps to do more outreach and events. I may even blog about it down the road.)
  •  Goals: 
    • Promote library awareness. 
    • Deliver information about library resources to students where they are. 
    • Offer one-to-one instruction where they are. 
    • Presenters focused on use of mobile apps and mobile webpages. (I think for us, our focus online would be on LibGuides.)
    • Educate students about subject specific databases. 
    • Deliver information about library instruction and electronic resources to professors in their areas. 
  •  Identify events to attend. 
    • One target was freshmen. 
    • Try to hit campus-wide events. 
    • Identify subgroups such as athletes, a dorm, a cohort, so on. (One thing we experimented on back in my old workplace, and a colleague of mine had down to a science, was having hours in her liaison departments. This was a service for both faculty and students. In her case, it worked out very well.) 
  • Why attend events at all? You reach out to new students and you give the library a face. (Concur. For me, much of doing this boils down having a presence and emphasizing for students that we are there to serve them.) 
  • (For me, this presentation validates the need to step out of the library more.)
  • They went to the Advising Fair on their campus. 
  • On hitting academic departments. They did their Physician Assistant Program. (I am thinking we can do something similar here with our nursing program.)
    • Checked on database mobile app availability (In other words, are apps a PA, or a nurse in my case, use that we get available in a mobile version for use in the field?)
    • (I am thinking also having occasional library hours in the department.)
    • To make a survey at an event more interactive, you could have students try to accomplish something, a task, on an iPad or laptop. 
  •  An event idea (this one was so-so, but I still think there may be potential here). For their Spring Fever week, offer help for final projects. This may work best maybe 2-3 weeks before final projects, so work needs to be done on timing. 
  • Challenges of attending events: 
    • Limited interaction with professors. 
    • Getting buy-in from other groups, such as the athletic teams. 
    • Technological limits. 
    • Reaching a diversity of students. 
    • To consider: social media component. 
      • At EKU, "library pop-up," use social media to tell students where a librarian would be. 

Session 4: "Using Exploratory Image Searching to Invite Inquiry into the Student Research Experience."

  • We know that refining a research question is difficult. How do we help students deal with this?
  • The expectation is usually words and text. Idea: do the unexpected. One way to do it is with image search for topic exploration. 
    • Images provide connections. 
    • Images provide curiosity. The presenter notes this goes with the new ACRL information literacy standards (still under development as of this post. I could not find it on the ALA website, however, this blogger has been discussing the proposed standard statements. From the list, I think the presenter referred to the item on research as inquiry).
    • Images can provide context. 
  • This can work with any topic, visual or not. 
    • Start by asking what students would expect to see for an image search from their topic. Reflect a bit prior to running the search. 
    • Run the search. (You can use your favorite search tool.) Then jot down keywords that describe images you see. 
    • After the search, ask students which images stand out the most in their minds. Why? How do they feel about them? Use this to begin crafting a research question. Evoking emotions can help. 
    • From the research question created, you can then identify your search keywords for a database, so on. 
  • Suggested by the presenter. For student collaboration, could use Padlet. ( I have to look into this some more at this point.)
  • If a topic can bring shocking or suggestive images, you can give a warning to the class; however, you can also make it a teachable moment. Also, do state that you are treating the students as adults. For some students, you may have to offer some other options, say for a topic like female genital mutilation. 
  • This activity allows you to focus on one learning outcome per class. 
  • Once they do the activity-- image search, words, question, keywords--, then take to the database for a search demo, bringing things back to the research. 
  • This exercise is perfect for when students lack a topic. Have them all practice a common topic, like a class theme. (This is an activity I do want to try out in my classes.)

Note: Some of the presentation materials can be found here:  (mostly slides and such).