Thursday, February 16, 2012

Navigating Internet Resources: Sorting the Awesome from the Awful

Last week I hosted another set of "Conversations on Information Literacy" sessions. As Faculty Development and Instruction Librarian, I host a series of events throughout each semester highlighting library resources and how the library can help support faculty teaching and student learning. This semester I am really focusing on hands-on experience with the resources we discuss. Making information accessible, practical, and relevant is important for both faculty- and student-oriented lesson planning. Keeping in mind that people learn better when they’re actively applying the concepts being introduced, I arranged to have the faculty development sessions held in a computer lab in another building on campus. This allows students to continue to use the library lab (which does tend to get quite busy during the late morning & afternoon, when the faculty sessions are scheduled). I was also excited about this because it shows librarians getting out of the library & going to spaces where faculty are. I am hoping to continue this outreach beyond the faculty sessions, and do some office visits or hold office hours for both faculty and students in different buildings in the future (eventually—this may take some time).

In this set of sessions we discussed helping students find quality information online (Navigating Internet Resources: Sorting the Awesome from the Awful). I went over some of the strategies the library uses during our instruction with students, and then dove into different resources. Of particular interest to the faculty were the following:

  • Google Advanced Search
  • Google Scholar
  • The Recommended Websites page we are developing
  • Online citation resources

The feedback from those who attended was overwhelmingly positive and several faculty members said they were excited to share the resources we covered with their colleagues in department or other meetings! My goals are to continue to increase attendance (which is going to be tricky, given schedules on this campus) and to continue to develop sessions that would appeal to a wide range of faculty. I am hoping to do some informal surveying of faculty from a variety of departments (informal because, as I’m sure many other campuses are, our email inboxes are exploding, and paper surveys tend to take the back burner to lesson planning and assessing student work). For more information on the faculty development session, explore the links above.

If anyone has suggestions for something they've tried in the past & loved, I'd love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Library After Hours - Dr. Carol Gilbertson

Dr. Carol Gilbertson

Last Friday, Iowa author (and Luther Professor Emerita of English) Dr. Carol Gilbertson was our fist speaker for the "Library After Hours" series.  She shared her poems and experiences, reading from her latest publication From a Distance, Dancing, which was a finalist in the Finishing Line Press annual chapbook contest.  From Luther's website: "One reviewer calls the poems 'smart, witty, honest, and passionately intelligent.' Another reviewer writes that one of the poems is 'the most perfect description of rural life I have ever read.'" Dr. Gilbertson also spent time visiting classes and meeting Grand View students and faculty throughout the day. We had a very nice turn out, especially considering the approaching snow and the fact that it was on a Friday evening--25 attendees (plus 4 librarians). It was a particular treat for me because of the Luther connection--though I didn't have any classes with Dr. Gilbertson when I was a student at Luther, it was still nice to meet her and some of the Luther alumni that came to hear her read.  (I did have to tell my boss, during the reception after the reading, that Luther people tend to linger--no matter the department--English, Music, Theater--we always seem to be "those people" who are probably a little to loud and who are the last to say goodbye.) Below are some photos from the evening.

Area Luther alumni who attended Library After Hours.