PASS (Partnering for Academic Student Success) 2011-12 Annual Report now available

Read the report here:

Learn more about the history of the PASS project in the following LibGuide: A Partnership Between CTSI and Instructional Librarians, University of Toronto


During 2011-2012, Patricia Bellamy (St. George), Whitney Kemble (UTSC), Joanna Szurmak (UTM), and Rita Vine (St. George) were seconded to the Centre of Teaching Support and Innovation (CTSI) for one day a week from August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012.  These are the five goals of the partnership:

  1. Build partnerships amongst CTSI staff and instructional librarians.
  2. Collaboration regarding existing CTSI programmatic initiatives to focus on instructional practices that create optimal learning experiences.
  3. Identify and develop new initiatives to support instructor development and increase learning opportunities for students in classrooms.
  4. Identify best practices and challenges that influence collaboration between instructional liaison librarians and instructors.
  5. Develop instructional excellence and transfer of teaching expertise among librarians throughout the University community.

They welcome your feedback on this blog or via email:

Current members of this year’s secondees to CTSI are John Bolan (Law), Angela Hamilton (UTSC), Joanna Szurmak (UTM), and Rita Vine (St. George).

Since 2010, the University of Toronto Libraries and the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation have partnered to support instructor pedagogical development, including support in the integration of information literacy and use of library resources. The overall goal is to increase capacity for integrative learning and academic excellence within classrooms.


Attitudes Toward Re-Envisioning The UC Berkeley Library

Commissioned by the University of California Berkeley’s Library, this highly readable study of the campus users’ attitudes regarding print and digital collections, library spaces, hours, and staff provides a useful reminder of how different our library constituencies are.


Leading a full life (reflections of a chief librarian)

How one chief librarian kept it all together.

Shirley K. Baker. “Leading a Full Life: Reflections on Several Decades of Work,
Family, and Accomplishment.” Research Library Issues: A Quarterly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 278 (March 2012): 2–7.


Assessment in the One-Shot Session: Using Pre- and Post-Tests to Measure Innovative Instructional Strategies Among First-Year Students

From the abstract:

“Many studies focus on the use of different assessment tools within information literacy instruction; however,  there are very few that discuss how pre- and post-tests can be utilized to gauge student learning, and even fewer of those published deal with pre- and post-test assessment within the one-shot paradigm. This study explores the effectiveness of using nonlinguistic representations—kinesthetic, graphic, and physical models—in one-shot library sessions for first-year students in SLU 100 Introduction to the University Experience. As hypothesized, the findings suggest that the use of such representations can enhance student learning and assist in developing research skills that are essential to acquiring information literacy.”


Recommendations on Fundamentals of University Teaching and related PD for U of T teaching librarians

In Spring 2012, 6 U of T librarians attended “Fundamentals of University Teaching”,  a multi-week program for U of T instructors, taught by Zubin Austin and Susan McCahan under the auspices of CTSI.  Patricia Bellamy tracked the librarians’ classroom experiences with weekly surveys, and our CTSI colleagues Martha Harris and Benjamin Pottruff  conducted a focus group with the participants after they completed the program.

The group unanimously recommended that librarians continue to take advantage of this excellent program.  One of the major benefits was joining with faculty in the learning experience:  librarians found that the classroom connection with faculty enriched their own understanding of instructor issues and concerns surrounding teaching.

The group also provided several other recommendations, which will be implemented over the next year.

  1. Revise the FUNDAMENTALS course structure around three topics (course design, teaching dossiers, and assessment) to focus on the Librarian-specific contexts in these areas.  Librarians who were part of the previous year’s Fundamentals program would be engaged to facilitate these breakout sessions, with overall coordination by a designated librarian.
  2. Integrate microteaching into the course for all participants (this would be integrated into the overall Fundamentals program.)
  3. Extend CTSI in-class observations to Librarians teaching.
  4. Provide Librarians for opportunities for collaborative reflection on teaching experiences for purposes of documenting for annual performance appraisals.
  5. Establish opportunities for continued development and discussion after the course, in the form of:
  • Peer teaching observations of other peers’ workshops/lectures (with training on observation skills, as required)
  • Establishing a community of practice/discussion group to share best practices for teaching
  • Pairing of peers to create “buddy system” or formal or informal mentorship through the teaching year