The Liaison Update Forum on Oct. 4 featured short presentations by UTL’s functional specialists, who explained what they do and how their services can be useful to liaisons. Below is a list of speakers and any slides or resources they provided with their presentation.
Suggestions for Improving the Connection between Functional and Liaison Librarians
At table discussions after the presentations, a number of suggestions came forward on how to advance collaborations between functional specialists and liaison librarians:
- invite liaisons who may not regularly teach, to co-teach or be present during information literacy workshops
- create a directory of functional specialists in Confluence
- functionals could do more with liaison clusters during the pilot – come in to talk more about opportunities
- highlight some of the tools that liaisons could promote or use (e.g. Omeka, Islandora) as spotlight articles in In the Loop – a way of showcasing these tools to staff who may not be aware of them
- create a visualization/flow chart of a digital project, from genesis to execution – to illustrate how projects come to be, and the path to execution and completion. This could serve as a model to faculty members who may want to make their own collections of content/images available online.
- Add the work of functional specialists to the Library Resources for Faculty guide, to better highlight their work and increase awareness
Every autumn, the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation hosts a Teaching & Learning Symposium to explore a variety of topics and issues involved in teaching and learning at the University of Toronto.
Librarians are always welcome to participate and attend, and this year the CTSI-seconded librarians deployed a survey to get feedback from the librarians in attendance about their experiences of the event and how it resonates with their work.
A common thread in the feedback was positive responses to a new type of session added to the program this year, the 15-minute “Nifty Assignment” session, in which presenters discussed the development and implementation of creative assignments. As one librarian noted, this session was useful because “[i]t showed how librarians and faculty worked together to design & deliver scaffolded assignments.”
Another important theme that appeared in the feedback was the challenges and rewards of librarians’ relationship to instructors and the classroom, as demonstrated by these quotations:
“[O]ne challenge is simply for librarians to find out about courses where the library could play a helpful role, to instructors and students – often the instructors aren’t aware that their students are dealing with something the library can help support.”
“Interaction and networking with faculty and staff is so often productive, whether they are your ‘home’ faculty or not – the more librarians we can get to faculty events like this the better, just in terms of networking and exposure for librarian services and roles.”
We look forward to next year’s Teaching & Learning symposium, and encourage librarians to submit and attend.
Below is a summary of the points made in the white paper: Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment
We will be discussing the paper at the June 5 Librarians’ Information Literacy Practice Exchange. In addition to the summary below, take 5 minutes to read Kevin Smith’s April 29 blog post, Meet Me at the Intersection, which brings together many of the key points using a recent, vivid example.
This paper argues that librarians need to realign their activities to integrate issues of scholarly communication into their support for teaching and learning.
“Every librarian in an academic environment is a teacher.” (p. 4) The need for librarians versed in information literacy principles and techniques to incorporate scholarly communication into their information literacy programs and cases extends to every level of student, from undergraduate to graduate. Additionally, the paper contends that individual library structures, which are in many ways are still grounded in divisions of public service and collections services, may benefit from redesign in order to foster librarians’ deeper knowledge and capacity in both information literacy and scholarly communication.
- Students are not just users of information but are becoming authors and editors of new knowledge, through avenues such as:
- student journals, as authors of published articles
- creation of blogs, Wikipedia articles, videos, social media and online content. Many students want to publish their content online.
- Publishing is in a state of turmoil. The existing model of scholarly publishing is unsustainable and no single replacement model has been found, resulting in much experimentation.
- Digital technologies are extremely fragmented; users have much greater unmediated access to scholarship now; sharing of knowledge is commonplace and in many cases, expected. With this comes new pressures to understand intellectual property, ethical use of copyright materials, appropriate application of fair dealing/fair use. Users need help navigating these complex pathways, and as librarians we need to understand the life cycle of scholarship, its environment, and the need to respond to specific questions on a case-by-case basis
- Universities face increased materials costs but lower budgets; increased student enrollments; reduced library staff; and increasing pressure on universities to demonstrate value and student success.
- The published item is no longer the ultimate and preferred vehicle for all things scholarly, e.g. multimodal journals, born-digital content
- Boundaries between disciplines are shifting/blurring
- Increasing openness allows additional, non-traditional voices to add to the scholarly dialogue.
Information literacy implies an awareness of the social, economic and legal conditions for scholarly communication within specific disciplines.
- Librarians have come a long way from delivering “bibliographic instruction” and increasingly see themselves as essential partners in both student learning, and as driving forces in scholarly research. They seek to create high-impact teaching and learning experiences. Issues of scholarly communication offer many “teachable moments”
- Adapt our teaching approaches to support students working in the digital environment, integrating new types of content into our teaching. Our challenges now go far beyond bibliographic and textual information.
- Students — even early-stage undergraduates — can benefit from an understanding of “the forces that shape the information they consume” (p. 7)
Some ways this can be achieved:
- Become involved with student-run journals and formal undergraduate research programs. These offer opportunities to consult with students on economic, technological, and legal aspects of publishing.
- In research-based courses, create experiential learning opportunities that explore elements of the scholarly communication process
- Consult with grad students on their dissertations beyond the lit search. Help them with publishing questions that inevitably arise (e.g. reuse of figures; repository selection, access issues)
- Partner in open online courses (e.g. MOOCs) that require advice on copyright, access and use of content
- Develop information literacy programs that are more fully integrated into the curriculum and include scholarly communication topics
- Incorporate interesting case studies and “active learning” into class projects
- Treat publishing as “course work”
- Create learning opportunities where students gain knowledge/information from peers and their environment (ie not just literature searches)
- Help students understand best practices in the use of copyrighted and free materials
- Help students understand the causes of barriers to information access after they leave university
- Help student authors use Creative Commons licenses in their work
Support students wanting to add senior papers or honors thesis to the institution’s digital repository — in doing so learn about copyright, OA and digital publishing
- Help students learn new ways of thinking about evaluating, using, citing many different kinds of media
Help students find and use data, incorporating this into assignments. Not just numeric, but also textual data.
Help students understand how their choices as users and creators of data affect access, reuse and preservation.
Teach the economics of publishing: e.g. the academic “gift economy” where faculty volunteer labour which is sold back by publishers
- Help students understanding the life cycle or “social life” of information, including how impact is measured
Educate students and faculty about disseminating the results of their work for maximum reach
- Help students understanding emerging concepts of “peer review” (e.g. crowdsourcing post-publication)
- Make presentations to stakeholders — faculty, departments, research groups, grad student meetings
- Create online instructional materials aimed at different audiences
- Build expectations of basic scholarly communication knowledge into liaison librarian role descriptions
How can librarians develop our skills and abilities in this area?
- While information literacy roles are reasonably well integrated into many librarians’ activities, scholarly communication is much newer.
- Liaison or subject specialist models have focused mainly on collection building, reference and disciplinary instruction support. The comprehensive liaison model affords new opportunities to become valuable partners in new initiatives and services to the communities served.
- Share best practices in teaching across disparate areas. “All librarians regardless of job title need to learn, understand, and practice the best approaches to instruction in their many different environments.” (p. 16)
- Collaborate with differently-skilled librarians to develop educational programs to support information fluency among students, faculty and staff (defined on page 14) Collaborations enable librarians to become transliterate — understand the interaction across all literacies, digital, visual, textual, data
- Partner with faculty to help students develop new skills and new habits
- To be resilient in the face of changing roles, we need to be willing to practice and model innovation organizationally. Explore options for organizational change that break down barriers between information literacy and scholarly communication
Read the report here: http://guides.library.utoronto.ca/loader.php?type=d&id=523546
Learn more about the history of the PASS project in the following LibGuide: A Partnership Between CTSI and Instructional Librarians, University of Toronto https://librarians.library.utoronto.ca/?page_id=1705
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:
- Build partnerships amongst CTSI staff and instructional librarians.
- Collaboration regarding existing CTSI programmatic initiatives to focus on instructional practices that create optimal learning experiences.
- Identify and develop new initiatives to support instructor development and increase learning opportunities for students in classrooms.
- Identify best practices and challenges that influence collaboration between instructional liaison librarians and instructors.
- 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.