Consultations between librarians and faculty began in advance of the semester, when the assignment and the course syllabus were in nascent stages. For most participants—faculty and librarians alike—this conversation was new territory. This approach allowed faculty and librarians to collaboratively build a framework for understanding research processes, using library resources, and designing in-person and online learning environments. Faculty were asked to expand their notion of the types of expertise librarians could offer, and to see the library as an extension of the classroom, incorporating use of library collections and research-based learning as an integral component of their courses. Librarians needed to develop an in-depth understanding of information literacy as it applied to specific disciplinary foci and practices, and expand their repertoire of approaches for providing effective instruction beyond the traditional one-shot lectures. Engaging Faculty, Students, and Administrators Through New Roles An extensive evaluation of the initiative’s impact has helped us begin reflecting on our collective experiences.4 The Library’s Educational Initiatives Council has begun creating a new framework for the instructional role of liaison librarians and the organizational support required. The Council is comprised of library staff from various disciplines and specializations, many of whom are library liaisons to an academic department or academic support unit. In a recent structured brainstorming process, the Council members created a list of possible instructional roles and activities for library liaisons, then indicated which ideas they felt would have the most substantial impact and which ideas they felt comfortable personally implementing at this time. One area of particular interest was a deeper engagement of library liaisons with Deans, Department Chairs, and key faculty to better understand the School’s, College’s, and department’s teaching focus, objectives, and challenges for undergraduate and graduate students, and identify courses in which library support would be most relevant. Currently no such conversations involve the library liaisons. During the Mellon initiative, the AUL for Educational Initiatives and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education met with selected Department Chairs annually to pilot these types of conversations universally they revealed a great deal of information about opportunities with individual faculty and larger programmatic directions. When thoughtfully designed to elicit key information, RLI 265 11 Amplifying the Educational Role of Librarians ( C O N T I N U E D ) AUGUST 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
Previous Page Next Page