Practice Exchange

Posted on behalf of Aneta Kwak:

Overview of the event

The Library Teaching and Learning Committee (LTLC) held a Practice Exchange on Tuesday, November 29th, 2018. Aneta Kwak (Accessibility and Public Services Librarian, D.G. Ivey Library) introduced the Peer-to-Peer Learning Program, developed by the LTLC Community of Practice Working Group (LTLC CoP WG) in 2017-2018. Kelly Schutlz (Data Visualization Librarian, Map and Data Library) and Ben Walsh (User Services Librarian, Robarts Library) joined Aneta in a panel discussion to share their insights and experiences participating in the pilot of the program in the winter of 2018.


The Peer-to-Peer Learning Program was developed in response the 2017-2018 LTLC goal to “use our Community of Practice (CoP) to share best practices for librarians with an interest/role in teaching” (LTLC 2017 Goal Setting & Discussion). A suggested first step for the LTLC CoP WG to meet this goal was to survey peer observation on the campuses and develop a sustainable method for peer observation. As one of the members of the LTLC CoP WG working on this task, Aneta described the development of the program, which included a survey of existing practices, developing a process with supporting documents, and documenting suggested steps to complete the process.

During the development of the program, it became apparent that there are two models that could be used to support peer-to-peer learning for teaching, Peer Observation and Teaching Squares.

In the Peer Observation model, participants observe an instruction session taught by library staff and provide formative feedback to the instructor.

In the Teaching Square model, participants observe an instruction session taught library staff and reflect on their own teaching practice based on what they have observed. This model does not require providing feedback to library staff that is teaching, instead, observers are encouraged to reflect on their own practices.

Aneta described the recommended process and accompanying documents for both models, which are also available on the Peer-to-Peer Learning for Teaching confluence page.

Panel Session

Kelly and Ben joined Aneta in a panel session to share their experiences and insights participating in the pilot of the program in the winter of 2018, at which time the process and supporting documents were tested. The group shared their concerns leading up to participating in either model, the greatest challenges, greatest learning experience, which model was preferred, and how the observation impacted their relationship with colleagues.


Following the panel session, there was discussion around the logistics of how library staff would be partnered and whether the participants could create a hybrid model. It was explained that the LTLC CoP WG would be working on partnering participants in a manner that included staff from various departments and different years of experience. Aneta also explained that the documents and processes available on the Peer-to-Peer Learning for Teaching confluence page are suggestions and can be adapted to the needs of the participants.

If you would like to participate in the Peer-to-Peer Learning for Teaching Program, please contact Aneta Kwak ( ) or any member of the LTLC CoP WG.

Practice Exchanges happen 2-3 times a year, and the Community of Practice Working Group is always looking for new topics to discuss. Have an idea? Feel free to contact a member of the group.

LTLC Community of Practice Working Group 2018-2019

Aneta Kwak, Eveline Houtman, Alexia Loumankis

Liaison Update Forum May 24 2018 – Curriculum Mapping, ORCID, and Discover Archives

Below is a list of speakers and any slides or resources from the liaison update forum held on May 24:

  1. Jessie Richards, Curriculum Developer, Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education presented on Curriculum Mapping (Curriculum map example 1 and example 2)
  2. Stephanie Orfano, Head, Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office, presented on ORCID task force updates
  3. Emily Sommers, Digital Records Archivist, presented on Discover Archives

LTLC Practice Exchange: Activate classroom learning with polling apps

Submitted by Ben Walsh

Overview of the event

The Library Teaching and Learning Committee (LTLC) held their first Practice Exchange of 2018 on March 9th. Kaitlin Fuller (Liaison & Education Librarian, Gerstein Science Information Centre), Margaret Wall (Communications Librarian, Chief Librarian’s Office), and Jesse Carliner (Robarts Library, Reference & Research Services / Communications Librarian, Chief Librarian’s Office) introduced two free polling tools they have been using in recent instructional sessions to engage students and provide active learning opportunities.


Mentimeter is a platform Kaitlin deployed in her health sciences IL sessions as a way of pretesting to determine areas for emphasis and to reinforce key learning outcomes. She also reported grounding recommendations made to faculty in data generated through Mentimeter.

Kahoot! is a polling tool Margaret and Jesse introduced into a large first-year IL session in Convocation Hall. While Poll Everywhere was the app they initially planned to use, Margaret and Jesse did a quick redesign of planned activities after learning that Poll Everywhere had too few seats to accommodate the large number of students expected. Kahoot! has no limit on the number of participants and Jesse and Margaret’s poll had close to 500 students taking part. They used the poll as an alternative to the think-pair-share activities they would normally use in instruction sessions and see the data generated through the tool as a useful addition to our understanding of undergraduate student needs.


Most attendees agreed that Mentimeter’s more formal interface would be a better fit for IL instruction. Questions were raised about privacy and accessibility which led to a rich conversation about student needs in the context of mobile technology in the classroom.

Practice Exchanges happen 2-3 times a year, and the Community of Practice Working Group is always looking for new topics to discuss. Have any ideas? Fee free to contact a member of the group.

LTLC Community of Practice Working Group members 2017-18:
Aneta Kwak, Kelly Schultz, Eden Rusnell, and Ben Walsh

Library Teaching & Learning Committee PD Day 2018: Course Design & Curriculum Renewal

Overview of the event

The Library Teaching and Learning Committee (LTLC) held their annual PD Day on January 12, 2018. Jessie Richards, Curriculum Developer with the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, was the guest speaker and presented on Course Design and Curriculum Renewal. The half-day event also had a librarian panel, with Stephanie Perpick (Liaison Librarian, UTSC), Mindy Thuna (Head, Engineering & Computer Science Library), and Desmond Wong (Outreach Librarian, OISE Library), providing insights to their own curriculum renewal experience. Mariana Jardim, faculty liaison from CTSI, also presented on her curriculum mapping experience with UTSC Health Studies through a practicum course she took during her time at the iSchool.

Why are we talking about curriculum renewal?

The most recent U of T Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) states, “faculty and staff will work together to revitalize the undergraduate curriculum in many disciplines through curriculum mapping processes that better define learning outcomes and pathways for students” (p.7).

Many departments will be undergoing a curriculum mapping process in the upcoming years. The PD Day presenters provided librarians with a starting point for understanding and engaging in this process with mapping information literacy and library instruction throughout a program.

LTLC PD Day Planning Committee 2018:
Heather Buchansky, Robyn Butcher, Kaitlin Fuller, Navroop Gill, and Kelly Schultz

Useful links:

LTLC PD Day 2018 slides and activity notes
Curriculum Renewal Guide (created by Jessie Richards)
Curriculum Mapping LibGuide
UofT signs Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA)



Electronic Resource Management Lifecycle and Workflow at UTL

Slide deck from the staff presentation  in March 2017 by Weijing Yuan, Marlene van Ballegooie, Klara Maidenberg

Do you wonder what happens behind the scenes to acquire and manage access to e-resources? Are you curious to know why some resources have multiple access points and some have various restrictions? Have you heard talk of the COUNTER standard and wish you knew what it was and how to use it? If so, we hope you’ll join us for a presentation titled The eResources Lifecycle. This presentation will help you become familiar with the e-resource management workflow and will cover licensing, access, assessment and associated challenges.

Using Adaptive Research Consultations to Support Scholars More Effectively

Megan Potterbusch

From the April SHARE Update, this posting by Megan Pottersbush,  2016-17 National Digital Stewardship Resident (NDSR) at the Association of Research Libraries: 

“Although I enter research consultations with questions in mind—and often on paper if there is a particular library or technical goal to illuminate, I try not to assume that my current favorite tool or tools will be the best answer to whatever the researcher’s current challenge might be or even that I already know the right solution to a given challenge. Instead, I gather resources and best practices throughout my work and mentally file them away to call on when the situation warrants it. My goal is to better understand researchers’ workflows and challenges from a human-centered service perspective, and to adapt my questions and solutions to the needs I hear arise in their answers—always seeking to gain a better understanding.”

Read the full post

Infographic – University of Toronto Research and Innovation Ecosystem

An infographic about the University of Toronto’s Research and Innovation Ecosystem has been published by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

The infographic illustrates the relationships between funding support, research, innovation, teaching, and community engagement at U of T. It includes lots of great statistics about the university!

Thank you to Klara Maidenberg for sharing this.

Introduction to Elsevier’s CiteScore

Liaisons and other librarians working with faculty should be aware of Elsevier’s recent release of a new  bibliometric, called the CiteScore Index (CSI). This metric will be a direct competitor to Thomson Reuters’ (now Clarivate Analytics’) ubiquitous Journal Impact Factor (JIF). The metrics are similar in that they both purport to measure the impact of academic journals based on the ratio between citable content published in the journal to citations to the journal.

While the JIF is based on content indexed in the Web of Science database, CSI will be based on the content in Scopus, which indexes a significantly larger number of titles (22,000 titles compared to 11,000).

If a journal’s impact is a consistent and measurable attribute, it stands to logic that its impact rank and score would be very similar regardless of who calculates the metric. However, preliminary analyses are showing that this is not the case. Librarians might wish to read the findings of early comparisons by Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin West (developers of yet another metric, the EigenFactor). Surprising no one, they report that Elsevier journals seem to enjoy a boost in ranking using the new CiteScore, while the scores for Nature and Springer journals (now owned by the same company, and a major competitor to Elsevier journals in the space) are lower than what you might expect given their Impact Factors. Additionally, journals published by Emerald, which performed poorly compared to journals from other publishers in the same disciplines during our own analysis, have also seen a boost from the new metric.

These findings underscore the fact that reputational metrics are neither impartial nor objective and are subject to the influences of the entities that produce them. Librarians should be prepared to engage in critical evaluation of these metrics and to answer questions from faculty.

(Thank you to Klara Maidenberg, Assessment Librarian, for providing this information.)