Concurrent Sessions       Lightning Talks       Panel Discussion

Learner Autonomy in Library Instruction

Karen Bordonaro
This session will offer practicing librarians a new way of looking at what many of us already do:  incorporating student choice and reflection in our practice.  It will invoke the concept of learner autonomy as a way to more deeply understand the importance of these practices.  The goal of learner autonomy is to give learners ways to self-regulate their own learning.  As such, it is intrinsically tied to learner centered pedagogy.  A library instruction classroom is an excellent setting for an examination of learner autonomy.  In this session, attendees will learn what learner autonomy is, how to recognize it, how we can promote its presence in library instruction, and how naming it explicitly can connect our libraries to larger university goals such as lifelong learning.   The key elements of learner autonomy, making choices and engaging in reflection, are also elements that appear in the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy.  An understanding of learner autonomy can therefore not only inform our own practices, but it can also offer us an expanded view of the profession’s emphasis on learner centered instruction.

As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand what learner autonomy is
  • Be able to recognize the ways in which they are already using it
  • Value the usefulness of describing library instruction in this way
  • View learner autonomy as a way for libraries to emphasize their instructional role in a university
  • See learner autonomy in the university library as contributing to lifelong learning

When no one wants to wear their life vest: Garnering faculty support for major instructional change

Kacy Lundstrom
Utah State University takes a curricular approach in order to strengthen our library instruction efforts within subject areas by providing targeted, sequential instruction based on learning outcomes articulated by faculty.  In our attempt to achieve this, we have undergone numerous steps, large and small, and used curriculum mapping as both an assessment tool and a conversation starter with faculty.

Our process began on the most basic level by having each subject librarian create a spreadsheet of classes they integrated within their liaison departments.  Then, subject librarians analyzed each program using course catalogs and online program descriptions, which we input into our mapping software.  The next stage focused on matching our own library learning outcomes with existing research learning outcomes in each program and identifying where none existed.  These documents set the groundwork for the fall 2014 “Library Road Show,” which was essentially a thirty minute library presentation at academic departments’ fall semester retreats.

These library presentations prompted conversations about what research skills students need at the disciplinary level and providing new opportunities for faculty collaborations. New courses have been identified for numerous departments.  Progress is slow and ongoing, but our persistent efforts have helped us to begin making large, substantial change in how we reach students in meaningful, targeted ways.  This presentation will provide materials, processes and tips for embarking on curricular change, as well as foster discussion.  Librarians will learn concrete ideas for what smaller steps to take to enact major instructional change at their own institutions.

The Lesson Plan as a Tool for Library Instruction

Michelle Dubaj Price
A lesson plan is the backbone to a library instruction session, no matter what the time length, teaching methods, location or media used.  When well-constructed, a lesson plan can provide a seamless integration of library instruction with a classroom assignment and can help create intrinsic motivation for students.   Also, it can serve as a guide to scale the lesson objectives and activities to the time available.  This living document can also expand and contract with each new session as different situations arise, allowing you to quickly adapt to different time or technology restrictions.  It can also help to differentiate the lesson in order to reach both advanced and struggling students.  The process of decoding an assignment in order to start building the lesson plan will be presented and then common components of a lesson plan will be explored. Finally, different teaching scenarios will be applied to a lesson plan in order to understand the strengths of a comprehensive plan.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Analyze a classroom assignment in order to select library instruction objectives.
  • Identify pieces of a lesson plan in order to create a comprehensive plan.
  • Test a sample lesson plan against different scenarios in order to evaluate the plan as a practical tool.

Beyond ad hoc library instruction: the transformed librarian and learner

Kristen Kinsley
Mutual learning creates a symbiotic, transformative relationship between librarians and students when it occurs in a continuous research conversation. When librarians go from primarily teaching a one-shot instruction sessions to co-teaching multiple sessions of a unique library research-intensive freshman writing seminar, they change. Students approaching such a course, which is primarily devoted to writing their first college-level research paper, undergo a similar transformation.  Learn how such a seminar works to empower active-learners by guiding them through the process necessary to write a research paper.

Creating “A New Normal”:  Transforming Instruction for MLIS students

Lindsay McNiff
Over the past few years, the Dalhousie Libraries and the School of Information Management (SIM) have made concerted efforts to forge a stronger connection with one another. This presentation will outline the process of working with faculty and students to introduce the SIM Academic Support Series, a set of workshops designed to supplement students’ academic study in practical and valuable ways, provide a space outside the classroom for the students to collect research advice and real-world tips about libraries, and strengthen the librarian presence in an MLIS program. Attendees will hear about techniques for integrating quickly and effectively into a small graduate department, but will also gain anecdotal tips (workable for any discipline/student group) for designing engaging extra-curricular instruction that keeps students interested and invested enough to (a) keep coming back willingly mid-semester despite their other commitments and (b) start promoting the instruction sessions creatively through their own channels. Results from the program evaluation will be presented at this session, and will provide attendees with insight into the learning interests of LIS students, future efforts to meet these interests, and what constitutes successful instruction and liaison practices through the eyes of future librarians.

Transforming Instruction: The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education in Praxis

Meredith Fischer and Rachel Figueiredo
The ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education challenges academic librarians to transform how we conceptualize and practice instruction. Our presentation takes a close look at the intersection of these challenges – at the process of praxis – describing how we experienced and aspired to activate transformational learning.

In spring 2014, the University of Waterloo’s Library Instruction Committee (LINC) dove into the Framework, using it as inspiration to update the core LINC lesson plans that were modeled after the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. The process of rejuvenating our workshops involved extensive consultation with librarians and library associates. Together we studied the Framework, assessed previous and current workshop offerings, discussed past experiences, and reviewed student feedback. We identified areas of overlapping content between workshops in addition to content gaps, and this information became the basis for developing the new core workshops.

Our presentation will address the challenges we encountered, the results we are observing so far, and the plans we are envisioning for future directions.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Create a micro-curriculum of one-shot information literacy lesson plans using the Framework as a guide
  • Use the Framework to develop strategies to address some of the challenges of one-shot instruction sessions, such as low attendance levels
  • Develop approaches to the Framework that integrate theory and practice in realistic ways that enrich local instruction

Using Case Studies to Transform Information Literacy Instruction

Vivian Milczarski and Amanda Maynard
Helping students to develop their information literacy (IL) skills is an essential outcome in higher education. However, achieving this outcome is challenging as students may not fully understand the importance of IL skills and instruction in their professional work, and they have instantaneous access to information on the Internet.  In this presentation, we report the development and evaluation of a new case study based approach to IL instruction. As compared to students receiving traditional IL instruction, we hypothesized that students receiving the case study IL instruction would demonstrate greater learning of IL skills (website evaluation and systematic literature search).  Students in two sections of a psychology course were randomly assigned to receive either traditional IL instruction or case study IL instruction.  Students’ IL skills were measured by pretest and posttest using both an essay measure and a standardized measure of IL skill.  In addition, participants completed two assignments that included IL skill components.  Evaluation of posttest data indicated an improved level of IL skill in participants receiving case study instruction as compared to participants in the traditional instruction, for the essay measure of IL skill, and for the standardized measure of IL skill.

Attendees will be able to:

  • Learn about an interactive approach to teach IL skills to undergraduate students.
  • Discuss efficacy of the case study technique as compared to traditional IL instruction for IL skill development.
  • Discuss the applications of the technique to their own disciplines.

Informing Instruction through Internationalization

Karen Bordonaro
The rising emphasis on internationalization in Canadian universities offers instruction librarians an excellent opportunity to transform our teaching and learning practices.  By understanding and incorporating elements of internationalization into current information literacy practices, more meaningful learning may occur for both international students and ourselves as practicing librarians.  This session will extract pieces from a recent research project investigating the phenomenon of internationalization in North American libraries that speak directly to the practice of library instruction.  These pieces include what international students perceive internationalization to be, how they view the use of languages other than English in library instruction settings, how librarians can use language learning examples to bolster library instruction efforts with international students, and how group identity may affect international students’ use of library resources after instruction sessions.  This session will consider how librarians might best foster internationalization in library instruction classrooms through these examples.  The session will then conclude with a consideration of librarian participation in internationalization efforts on our own campuses as a way for us to make a unique contribution to internationalization in higher education.

As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how internationalization is defined differently by different people
  • Recognize the ways in which internationalization can appear in library instructional settings
  • Understand the value of supporting internationalization in library instruction settings
  • Appreciate the value of aligning library teaching and learning efforts to internationalization
  • Underscore the unique contributions that librarians can make to internationalization in higher education

Research as transformational experience: What students gain from research assignments

Margy MacMillan
Students see research assignments as empowering, allowing them to learn the content and the processes that enable them to serve as experts within their social groups. Surprised? This and other rewards for research assignments emerged from a study of over 300 interviews with students at various stages of their undergraduate degrees.

The interviews also provide glimpses of students incorporating threshold concepts in IL into their development as consumers and creators of information. Students’ statements illustrate struggles with concepts such as Searching is Strategic and Research as Inquiry, and coming to understand Authority Is Constructed and Contextual, and Scholarship Is a Conversation. The way students describe research concepts can expand our understanding of threshold concepts, and help develop ways of teaching that foster deeper learning.

Participants will discuss ways of using information from the project and their own experience to improve research assignments – to teach with transformation in mind.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will learn about a long term study of the undergraduate experience that is providing insights into student learning.
  • Participants will see how students’ perceptions of the object of and rewards for research change over time.
  • Participants will learn about three different student perceptions of research evident in the data: information extraction, content acquisition, and transfer/transformation.
  • Participants will discuss and generate key factors in developing research assignments that lead to transfer and transformation.
  • Participants will see how students articulate learning related to threshold concepts present in the new ACRL Framework.

Diving into the ACRL Framework: Engaging Graduate Students with Threshold Concepts

Jennifer Thiessen and Justine Cotton
Librarians face many challenges when planning instruction for graduate students. Masters and PhD students typically arrive in their programs with wide ranging research skills and backgrounds. They may have assumptions about how research should be conducted or, conversely, they may feel out of their depth in the research of their discipline. The nature of threshold concepts—that they are transformative, integrative, irreversible, bounded, and troublesome—make them an ideal way to connect with students at the graduate level. Not only can librarians use these concepts to inform their teaching, but they can use threshold concepts to challenge and engage students in their thinking about how research is created, produced, and disseminated in their field(s).

Join Brock University liaison librarians Jennifer Thiessen and Justine Cotton as they share how they have integrated concepts from the Framework into library workshops for graduate students. Jennifer has successfully used several of the threshold concepts to rework thinking among educators about critical thinking and credibility assessment.  As co-instructor for a second-year PhD Humanities course, Justine has incorporated the threshold concepts into the design of three library workshops on the topics of resource discovery, information management, and publishing. While the instructional content does not change significantly, incorporating threshold concepts paves the way for deeper understanding, provocative discussions, and a more collegial atmosphere.

Rocking the Boat: Rethinking Information Literacy with the Human Library

Kara Blizzard and Nancy Goebel
The Augustana Human Library is an information literacy event held each semester at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus. During the human library, ‘Human Books’ with extraordinary life experiences tell their stories to ‘Readers,’ who may be university students, staff, or community members. Some of our Human Book topics include being autistic, recovering from drug addiction, being intersex, being a female police officer in Haiti, and living with a brain tumour. The augustana human library ‘rocks the boat’ by encouraging Readers to rethink what makes an information source authoritative, and to engage with very personal, oral narratives in a scholarly context. This presentation will show how we are working with teaching faculty to integrate the human library into course assignments. From its beginning in 2009, the augustana human library has evolved each semester in response to information literacy goals, partnerships with faculty and community members, and feedback from participants. We will describe the challenges and benefits of this constant growth.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will gain an overview understanding of a human library in an academic 
library context, in order to increase their practical understanding for potential 
  • Participants will learn about the methods and advantages of working with teaching 
faculty, in order to engage students in a human library as part of the college/university 
  • Participants will learn about dynamics of change and growth in a human library, in order 
to increase their understanding of how to adapt such an event to their local community.

Flipping out with the new ACRL – a Pilot Study

Kelly Dermody

In Fall, 2014, Ryerson University Library and Archives undertook an experiment to flip its instruction for a large first year course. For years, we stuck to the traditional one hour, one shot sessions. We stood at the front of the classroom and tried to cram in as much information as we could, but we had that nagging feeling that our students were not walking away with the skills they needed to conduct academic research.

In Spring 2014, three events occurred that allowed us to make this change. First, we launched our online research and writing module, RUSearch. Second, the Library received a grant to “flip” our instruction in a pilot study.

We piloted with a mandatory first year course in the Arts and Contemporary Studies Department that involved over 150 students, 23 sections, 6 instructors and 8 subject librarians

Finally, while planning for our flipped instruction, we got our hands on the new ACRL framework. We decided to work the threshold concepts into our modules and use the online component to teach the more technical aspects of library instruction and use our in-class time for hands-on activities that would to bring to life the threshold concepts for first year researchers.

This session will discuss how we approached faculty with the new ACRL framework and the idea of flipping; how we integrated them into online modules; the surprising results from our pilot and the limitations to change that we came up against. The session invites attendees to share their own experiences with flipping and the new ACRL framework.

Find the gap: mapping and evaluating library instruction using syllabi

Erin Alcock and Kathryn Rose

Academic libraries deliver library instruction, but how good are we at measuring the effectiveness of our efforts? One medium-sized, Canadian university library undertook a new approach to assessing its library instruction program, by collaborating with faculty members and engaging with their course content.

Looking initially at recently offered IL sessions the study challenged commonly held assumptions on the program and established a number of broad conclusions. All faculty members from two disciplines were invited to submit syllabi for courses taught in the past few years. In addition to those courses that regularly scheduled sessions in the library, we received course content from instructors that had not traditionally booked library instruction, providing a unique opportunity for analysis.

The analysis presented opportunities to learn about research content in the course, requirements of independent use of the library, inclusion of standards on academic integrity, inclusion of a cumulative project, the presence of library instruction, critical thinking, library assignments, general reference to the library and its resources, and whether professors conduct library type instruction.

The findings of the study point to a number of strengths and weaknesses of the library’s instruction program for these departments and challenged a number of assumptions. The absence of a library instruction session did not mean the absence of a research requirement or required library usage. The conclusions from the syllabi analysis suggest a need for diversification of services associated with library instruction and increased collaboration between librarians and faculty to support student learning and research.
The impact of this study will be seen in both future LI program evaluation and the strengthening of that program. The results, with the potential to expand to other disciplines, will help inform the development of new methods of delivering library services that support faculty instruction patterns, consultative course planning and collaborative teaching. This project has presented new lines of inquiry for long term information literacy programs across undergraduate curricula within each discipline.

Using Team-Based Learning (TBL) to Teach Information Literacy

Irina Holden
Under the traditional instructional model, students read before class, come to class, where they hear a lecture on the reading, and, at some future time, are tested on it. But what if the students were tested immediately when class period began, without hearing a lecture on the new material first? What if they were to work together in teams, and be mutually responsible for the work they completed in and outside of the classroom? In other words, what if students were expected to more actively facilitate their own learning?

This model, team-based learning (TBL), was introduced to the faculty at the University at Albany a few years ago and since then has acquired numerous followers, including most of the information literacy instructors at the University Libraries. It happened at the just right time, when faculty members were looking for new ways to teach, including the adoption of classroom technology. Even though the TBL method does not necessarily require the use of new technology and has been around since the 1970s, the model seemed new and unusual.

This presentation will address some of the questions that have emerged in my own experience with TBL, such as the period of adaptation, what works and doesn’t work, and other helpful insights. The presentation will hopefully inspire information literacy instructors to consider adopting this method.  And even information literacy instructors who choose not to adopt team-based learning will feel more confident providing classroom instruction for professors who use TBL in their classrooms and request library instruction.

Upon concluding this presentation, the audience will be able to:

  • Identify major components of the team-based learning (TBL) method.
  • Implement some of the components in their own information literacy instruction.
  • Re-evaluate components of active learning in their own instruction, to improve the teaching and learning experiences or instructors and students, respectively.

Reconsidering the Graduate Literature Review Process

Rosemary Green
Constructing a literature review is a common academic practice, particularly in graduate studies. I propose that literature reviewing is a valuable project in itself, through which learners explore and fine-tune the threshold concepts, knowledge practices, and dispositions of their disciplines (ACRL Framework, 2014). In this session, I will outline findings from my qualitative investigation of graduate learners’ experiences with literature reviewing and share instructional applications informed by the research. As they become more adept, graduate students learn to read and write as scholars; develop techniques for managing large bodies of information; and practice disciplinary-specific research. I have observed, too, that graduate students deploy several–and less evident–conceptual, cognitive, and attitudinal frames of information literacy while undertaking a critical review. My aim is to help participants (re)conceptualize the literature review process as a complex pedagogical tool, one that affords our students multiple opportunities to engage in creative inquiry and critical reflection, and to construct new knowledge.

Session participants will be able to:

  • Examine instructional examples and a literature review rubric, in order to adapt and integrate the materials into their own instruction.
  • Recognize that creating a critical literature review is a multi-literacies process, in order to identify instructional opportunities wherein students can engage with information, reading, writing, and research literacies.
  • Discuss the conceptual, cognitive, and attitudinal frames of information literacy that students deploy, in order to explore the relevance of the graduate literature review process to the ACRL Framework.

Teaching for transfer: incorporating life sciences data in IL leads to deeper learning

Don MacMillan
In the last decade, access to life sciences data has undergone a sweeping transformation. Students now have access to large, integrated data sets to solve problems like researchers in the real world. However, related discovery and analysis tools reflect the complexities of the data. In order for students to benefit from this wealth of information, librarians need to move beyond purely bibliographic sources in IL into the unfamiliar territory of data resources. This will align our activities more closely with students and faculty needs, and better prepare students for their working careers.

This presentation outlines a collaboration between a librarian and a faculty member that annually introduces approximately 550 2nd and 3rd year students to the tools of authentic academic practice in their discipline. Through deliberate scaffolding across two courses students develop familiarity with key resources and successful search strategies. They also develop an understanding of the common content between biochemistry and genetics. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss some of the benefits of this collaboration and incorporating data resources into their information literacy programs.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will learn about open access data in the life sciences.
  • Participants will understand why certain teaching strategies have proven effective for introducing students to these resources.
  • Participants will see how linking instruction between two courses facilitates knowledge transfer.
  • Participants will understand the benefits of a longer term approach to integrating IL within a program, with specific links to threshold concepts in the new ACRL Framework.

Changing Our Aim: Infiltrating Faculty with Information Literacy

Nicole Eva and Sandra Cowan
Librarians are stretched thin these days – budget cuts and decreasing numbers are forcing us to look at new ways of doing things.  While the embedded information literacy model has gained popularity in the past number of years, perhaps it’s time to pursue a new, less time-intensive model of information literacy instruction. What about arming teaching faculty with the tools and ideas they need to teach information literacy to their students?  In this presentation, we will provide ideas and examples of how academic librarians can surreptitiously weave information literacy into the conversation, and provide faculty members with tools and ideas for teaching research and information skills to their classes in a way that integrates with the lessons they already teach.  By meeting faculty members in their usual ‘learning spheres’ we can show them a more holistic perspective on information literacy and give them examples of how librarians can help them in their own teaching and research, with the understanding that if faculty members are better informed about information literacy, they will transfer some of that knowledge to their students.

By the end of this session, participants will have concrete examples and new ideas of things that they can do to develop information literacy instructors out of the teaching faculty at their academic institution; learn about ways to entice faculty members to Library workshops, and teaching methods to get them to enjoy them; and understand and discuss alternative methods to integrate faculty in information literacy instruction.

Inquiry-based learning, blended instruction and critical pedagogy: navigating change in an embedded information literacy program

Alan Carbery
Achieving a course-embedded information literacy instructional model that reaches all undergraduate students is a tall order, and requires planning, experimentation and adapting. But what happens after integration? One institute discovered that achieving the ultimate instructional outreach leaves little room for complacency. In times of institutional change and instability, the stakes are often higher when responding to factors that impede upon the coveted integrated instructional approach.

This presentation reflects on a totally embedded and course integrated information literacy program that reaches 100% of its undergraduate population. Since its inception over 8 years ago, this program has managed change and frequently adapted over time. This program is delivered using inquiry-based learning methods, and most recently, transitioned to a blended instructional model, where students receive sequential information literacy instruction in a combination of in-person or online instructional sessions. In an effort to create meaningful, authentic instruction, teaching librarians design instruction that takes a critical pedagogical approach.

Transforming and maintaining a course-integrated, embedded information literacy program requires creativity, risk-taking and agility. This presentation highlights one library’s use of inquiry-based learning, blended instructional models and critical pedagogy in its award-winning, yet ever-changing embedded information literacy program. This presentation also presents the findings of a year-long evaluative and assessment initiative designed to investigate the impact of the integrated, inquiry-based information literacy program on student success and engagement. Findings highlight that creative, engaging and critical lesson design leads to high engagement levels in students, while longitudinal assessment efforts of authentic, student work highlight the success of instruction on student information literacy performance.


  • Explore the philosophy behind inquiry-based learning in order to consider this approach for future program design.
  • Analyze and examine a blended approach for delivering critical information literacy instruction in online and in-person learning environments.
  • Incorporate a longitudinal approach to assessment of student success and engagement in a course-integrated information literacy instruction program.

Repositioning Learners as Agents of Change: Trans-Generational Approaches to Socially Responsible Critical Information Literacy

Michael Courtney
Critical thinking and metacognitive ability, or, learning how to learn, is central to the very notion of information literacy. Expanding our understanding of information literacy to include a broader view of knowledge acquisition while engaging learners in creative problem solving endeavours promotes community-based collaboration and the metacognitive action of evaluating and understanding disciplinary systems of information. Current developments in higher education emphasise a need for adopting more critical approaches to outreach and community engagement in the curriculum. Such engagement demonstrates the very real potential to reposition learners as agents of change. Incorporating socially relevant research projects in the higher education curriculum allows students to create connections between core competencies and real world outcomes and serves as an example of a broader philosophy of community engagement and social responsibility.

This presentation will discuss a collaborative, trans-generational, real world problem-solving project that attempts to answer the question, “how do you build a library in the midst of a book famine?” Born out of an idea shared by a faculty librarian and a teaching faculty member at Indiana University, graduate students in the Department of Information and Library Science were paired with undergraduate students in a community engagement project focused on Kabwende Primary School in Kinigi, Rwanda. Participants will know the relationship of collaborative, team-based approaches to critical information literacy in student learning scenarios, will identify student learning outcomes in an instructional setting using a community engagement approach, and will analyze tools and techniques in order to apply this approach to a local learning context.

Lightning Talks

Undergraduate Publishing as a Teaching Tool

Matt Benzing
Many students in the STEM fields are considering a career in academia. Few of them, however, have an understanding of the important role that publishing plays in establishing an academic reputation. The Miami Undergraduate Computing and Engineering Review is a publication founded and overseen by faculty and librarians, but published and managed by students. The purpose is to give students an understanding of the process of academic publishing, and hands on experience of the work that goes into editing academic papers.

Fear, Fun and Frustration in the Classroom

Michelle Dubaj Price
The Science Librarian at St. John Fisher College joined a group of student researchers in the biology lab in order to learn basic and applied cell biology, by actively conducting research herself. Although a veteran library instructor, returning to the role of student revealed many unexpected emotions and teachable moments regarding fear, fun, and frustration. After this visceral experience, the Science Librarian made changes to her instructional and professional practices in order to better address these three emotions.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe how fear, fun, and frustration play a role in library instruction.
  • Employ lesson modifications in order to address fear, fun, and frustration.
  • Conclude that experiential professional development has certain advantages over passive experiences.

A Course of my Own: Librarians, Academic Authority and ACRL’s New Framework for IL

Meg Raven
Librarians involved in the work of teaching information literacy often struggle to balance faculty requests for “can you show my students how to find peer reviewed sources” with our own pedagogical goals. While there may be the desire to teach about a research landscape that is rich and complex, and requires scrutiny at many different levels, the reality of the situation is that librarians may often feel it is prudent to relinquish their professional authority and academic freedom believing it is better to provide watered-down information literacy instruction in order to maintain contact with students. Drawing on the experiences at Mount Saint Vincent University, where librarians teach a full-weighted credit course, attendees will leave this session having considered the ACRL Framework’s threshold concepts as they relate to the credit-teaching done by librarians; and that in concert with the adoption of the new Framework (or any new IL curriculum) there are parallel processes that must occur, namely a commitment by librarians to their own critical pedagogy, an understanding that academic freedom is not just for faculty, a belief that teaching is different from instruction, and that strong contract language allows us to practice our profession as full academics.

Pumping up the Use of IL Tools

Tatiana Usova
Literature reports low usage of information literacy (IL) tools such as LibGuides and tutorials even though librarians spend countless hours building these resources. Yet, the tools we bring to the table are important to students’ academic success. Marketing library products and services is critical to keeping our work known and appreciated in today’s self-serve information environment. While the library is not a business, by using corporate marketing strategies we can meet the goal of connecting students with the great resources and services that we have for them. This presentation will describe a practical application of the relationship marketing (RM) at the Bibliothèque Saint-Jean (BSJ), an effective approach of reaching out and working with the academic staff in order to increase students’ awareness of library resources. The participants will validate the importance of developing effective relationships with professors and will identify some effective strategies in building those relationships, developing services that meet faculty needs and getting their buy-in and desire to promote our valuable resources. The presentation will cover the customization of LibGuides and creation of course-specific research pages as well as collaboration with teaching faculty on making library guides and tutorials part of their syllabi and e-courses.

Zen in the Library Classroom: Applying Japanese Aesthetics to Transform Teaching and Learning

Michael Courtney
Structure and flow may seem like contradictory elements for instructional design, yet their cooperative nature is surprisingly vital to engaging the learner. The structure is based on an intentional interrelationship of the parts, while the flow creates a visceral space that allows for a student’s instinctual navigation through the learning process. Structural flow, then, leads the learner naturally through information, creating a positive and fluid experience. In nature, as well as with a learner’s ability to process information about the world around them, structure often performs the functions of flow. Applying a Japanese aesthetic approach to the library classroom, then, can serve to link the way learners develop both critical and creative thinking processes. This talk will briefly explore the interplay of the aesthetic principles wabi (transient impermanence), sabi (withered beauty), and yūgen (mysterious profundity) and how they can be used to transform teaching and learning in the library classroom. Participants will understand the relationship of Japanese aesthetic principles to student learning scenarios and will identify student learning outcomes in instructional scenarios using an aesthetic approach to teaching.

Reconceptualizing Collaboration: Student Associations as Partners in Library Instruction

Courtney Lundrigan
We often rely on faculty-librarian collaborations to develop and deliver library instruction programs. We have spent years and a significant amount of resources nurturing and growing these relationships. Many successes have been made, and many more will likely follow. In the meantime, we often overlook the students we teach as partners in library instruction. This lightning talk will explore how I built instruction partnerships with two student associations. It was part of an effort to experiment with instructional strategies with the ultimate goal of reaching students in a smaller academic community in a more meaningful way. I engaged with peer mentoring programs and student extracurricular groups to provide library instruction. It has bridged some gaps in areas where it has been more challenging to build more traditional faculty-librarian relationships. It lends itself to continued and growing collaborations with various stakeholders in library instruction on campus, such as academic success centres, writing centres, and career centres. Finally, it has changed my perception of library instruction as a sometimes static relationship between one librarian and one faculty member, to a more dynamic and interconnected system of collaboration. While I continue to strive to build fruitful relationships with faculty members, my greater focus has shifted to connecting students with the library, whether that happens in the traditional classroom, or out.

Learning outcomes

  • To consider student groups as partners in the development and delivery of library instruction.
  • To explore potential student group collaborations at participant’s home institution.

Tell us Your Story: The Use of Narrative as a Conceptual Framework by Academic Librarians

Joanna Szurmak and Mindy Thuna
A few years ago, Joanna and I started taking about how we teach. We found that we wove the strands of what we teach into a narrative, because instinctively we each felt that we had been hooked on research in science by the narrative of scholarship happening around us. Starting from this aha moment, we began investigating how our brains use stories to contextualize new learning. After doing some research into the neuroscience of learning, we found that a narrative creates the scope for embedding new details while simultaneously serving as the vehicle for establishing a guiding structure for adding more information. It was a transformative moment when we realized that we were using narrative as our conceptual framework to guide our instruction. Our research in this area got us thinking: What stories do our librarian colleagues who teach use with their students? Do they conceptualize their teaching as a story and if they do, do they value it? What about the visual stories – the ones we tell with slides, prezis, infographics and videos? And so we decided to start asking these questions. This talk is about the answers we have been getting. The goal of this session is to share with you what we have been finding. Add to the mix the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and the ensuing set of constructs with which we can better tell the story of scholarship and research to our students and you have the makings of great narrative.

Learning outcomes

  • Define and discuss narrative with respect to storytelling
  • Unpack your personal narrative

Panel Discussion

Theme: Use and Implementation of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

Nancy Greco
Nancy Greco serves as Instruction Librarian at St. John Fisher College’s Lavery Library, leading the information literacy program using best practices for instruction.

When ACRL announced the first draft of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, librarians from St. John Fisher College were proactive in learning about threshold concepts. Explorations included how the ACRL frames represented threshold concepts in our profession and how these concepts might be addressed with our students in the classroom.   An understanding began to form regarding how the frames act as portals to help students reach transformation.  The group found that, although information literacy skills are practical in nature, the thresholds give a richer context from which to speak with students and faculty. Later, expanded efforts included inviting librarians from other area colleges to actively explore the ACRL Framework’s threshold concepts.

Andrea Baer
Andrea Baer is the Undergraduate Education Librarian at Indiana University-Bloomington and a course instructor for Library Juice Academy.

Numerous discussions about the new ACRL Framework emphasize that it is a meaningful starting point for conceptualizing our instructional programs, while the abstract quality of its threshold concepts points to a need for more concrete and practical teaching approaches. The Framework also presents particular challenges to the traditional model of one-shot library instruction, given that understandings of complex concepts and processes develop incrementally over a sustained period of time. Instructional scaffolding – a teaching technique in which students develop understandings and abilities incrementally through a sequence of increasingly complex activities – is an especially effective model for integrated information literacy instruction that helps engage students in complex ideas like “Research as Inquiry” and “Scholarship Is a Conversation.”

Meg Raven
Meg Raven practices librarianship at Mount Saint Vincent University, where she coordinates reference and collections services, and where librarians teach credit courses.

Librarians involved in the work of teaching information literacy often struggle to balance faculty requests for “Can you show my students how to find peer reviewed sources?” with our own pedagogical goals. At Mount Saint Vincent University the ACRL Framework’s threshold concepts have been explored in relation to the credit-teaching done by librarians. In concert with the adoption of the new ACRL Framework there are parallel processes that must occur, namely a commitment by librarians to their own critical pedagogy, an understanding that academic freedom is not just for faculty, a belief that teaching is different from instruction, and that strong contract language allows us to practice our profession as full academics.

Sarah Shujah
Sarah Shujah is currently a science librarian at Centennial College. Sarah has organized a workshop facilitated by authors of the ACRL Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education and has adjudicated an IL Award for an Undergraduate Research Fair.

York University has successfully explored, implemented, and used the ACRL Framework in inspirational and motivational ways.  York University Libraries took an engaged and collaborative approach to explore, use and implement the ACRL Framework with techniques and tools that other institutions would benefit from. With the initial draft, the libraries’ Teaching and Learning Committee (TLC), organized with the University’s Teaching Commons, a “World Cafe” explorative discussion to foster feedback and awareness with colleagues. TLC continued to communicate with colleagues in email for feedback and response to the three drafts. Furthermore, TLC collaborated with neighbouring institutions (Ryerson University; University of Toronto) to understand and provide support to the new ACRL Framework.