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Full text of "ERIC ED561244: Brick & Click Libraries: An Academic Library Conference (15th, Maryville, Missouri, November 6, 2015)"

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an academic library conference 


Did You See What I Did? Three Steps to Effective Marketing 1 

Corie Dugas, Outreach & Public Services Librarian / Executive Director 

Saint Louis University Law Library / Mid-American Law Library Consortium, St. Louis, MO 

Sustaining Electronic and Print Reserves Services in the Era of the LMS 2 

Christopher Marcum, Evening Access Services Librarian 

Alexander Moran, Access Services Manager 
University of San Diego, San Diego, CA 

Assessment in Action: A Journey toward Transforming an 

Academic Library 3 

Danielle Theiss Dion, Library Director 

University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, KS 

Social Media in the Classroom: Assessment and Evaluation 4 

Jennifer Wright Joe, Owensboro Campus Librarian 
Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 

“Measuring That Which Is Valued”: Implementing and Managing Efficient 

Formative Assessment and Evaluation of Library Instruction 9 

Carol A. Leibiger, Associate Professor, Information Literacy Coordinator 

Alan W. Aldrich, Associate Professor, Instructional Services Librarian 
University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Turn and Face the Strange ILS 26 

Kirsten Davis, Application Administrator (Alma ILS) 

Shay Beezley, Coordinator of Metadata and Cataloging Services 
University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK 

Capturing the Benefits of Open Access in Interlibrary Loan 35 

Tina Baich, Associate Librarian 

IUPUI University Library, Indianapolis, IN 

Library Publishing: What's in it for You? 44 

Marcia Stockham, Assistant Dean for Content Management and Scholarly Communication 

Beth Turtle, Scholarly Communications Librarian 
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 

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LibGuides Best Practices: How Usability Testing Showed Us What Students 

Really Want from Subject Guides 52 

Darcy Del Bosque, Emerging Technologies Librarian 
Caroline Smith, Head, Architecture Studies Library 
Kristen Costello, Systems Librarian 

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 

Going Beyond the "One-shot": Spiraling Information Literacy across Four Years 61 

Shawna Smith, Assistant Director for User Services 
Rivier University, Nashua, NH 

Building a Community of Practice 63 

Lauren Hays, Instructional and Research Librarian 
Mark Hayse, Director, Honors Program 

MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe, KS 

Engineering a New Home: Creating a Repository Collection for Faculty 68 

Lauren Todd, Engineering Subject Librarian 

Emily Stenberg, Digital Publishing and Digital Preservation Librarian 
Washington University, St. Louis, MO 

Teaching Citation Metrics 69 

Nicholas Wyant, Head, Social Sciences 
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 

Be the Change or: What Happened When Librarians Stopped B*tchin’ 

and Did Something 70 

Corey Halaychik, Assistant Professor & Electronic Resources Specialist 
Ashley Maynor, Assistant Professor & Digital Humanities Librarian 
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 

Archives 2.0 on a Shoestring 71 

Julie Pinnell, Library Director 
Doane College, Crete, NE 

The Library CAN Assist in Recruitment for the University 75 

April K. Miller, Sayre Campus Librarian 

Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Sayre, OK 

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November 6, 2015 

You Want Me to Take My Headphones Off!?": A Student-Centered 

Transformative Customer Service Training Approach 81 

Ashley Creek, Access Services Librarian 
University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, KS 

The Value of Graphic Novels: Furthering the Cause of Information 

Literacy Centered Transformative Customer Service Training Approach 88 

Cheryl Blevens, Reference Instruction Librarian 
Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 

Surviving the First Year in an Administrative Role: Challenges, Opportunities, 

and Lessons Learned 97 

Danielle Theiss Dion, Library Director 

University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, KS 

Teaching to the Task: Authentic Assessment and Information Literacy 98 

Rob Hallis, Instructional Design Librarian 

University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO 

The Effect of Short-Term Loan Price Increases on Patron-Driven Acquisitions 112 

Steve Alleman, Head of Collections 

University of Missouri - Kansas City, MO 

All the Wrong Places: Looking for (and Finding) Information Literacy 

in the Undergraduate Curriculum 113 

William Dooling, Reference and Instructional Services Librarian 

Mary Nash, Head of Reference 

Creighton University, Omaha, NE 

Using a Murder Mystery to Teach Evaluation Skills 123 

Elise Bias, Instructional Design Librarian 
Washburn University, Topeka, KS 

Collaborating with Faculty: Getting the Students In to the Library 124 

Rochelle Krueger, Curriculum Librarian 
University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE 

Quick & Pretty: Designing Marketing Materials without Being a Designer 131 

Sarah Fancher, Research & Instruction Librarian 
Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 

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Swimming with the MOOCs: Creating Active Learning Modules for 
Database Instruction 

Alissa Fial, Education and Research Librarian 

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 

Reaching Faculty, Teaching Students 

Gwen Wilson, Health Sciences Librarian 
Elise Bias, Instructional Design Librarian 
Kelley Weber, Business Librarian 
Washburn University, Topeka, KS 

Scoring Library Points with Modern Board Games 

Philip Hendrickson, Director of Library Services 
Concordia University, Seward, NE 

A Toolkit for Reframing Services for a Diverse Group: 

A Research Study of International Students at Illinois Institutions 

Yi Han, International Student Library Services Liaison 
Pattie Piotrowski, Assistant Dean for Public Services 
Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 
John Dorr, Assistant Head, Research and Information Services 
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 

Managing the Waves of Change: What It Took to Unify a Library’s 
Operation with Its New Mission 

Dolores Yilibuw, Library Director 

Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, KY 
Chelsea Dalgord, Implementation Program Manager 
OCLC, Dublin, OH 

Academic Literacies: Integrating Research and 

Writing into a Workshop Series 

Elizabeth Stephan, Learning Commons Librarian for Student Engagement 
Shevell Thibou, Learning Commons Coordinator 
Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 

Active Learning Exercises for Teaching Visual Literacy 

Angie Brunk, Librarian Instruction 

Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO 

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November 6, 2015 


Undergraduate and Graduate Services: Opposite Sides of the Same Coin? 

Victor D Baeza, Director of Library Graduate and Research Services 
Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD 
Tracy Stout, Information Literacy Librarian 
Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 

Hacked! How We Avoided a Search Engine Ranking Disaster 165 

Ayyoub Ajmi, Digital Communications and Learning Initiatives Librarian 
UMKC School of Law, Kansas City, MO 

Ghost Town Resurrected: Exposing Diverse Archival and Educational 

Materials through Electronic Publishing 166 

Jane Monson, Digital Initiatives Librarian 
Jay Trask, Head of Archival Services 
Jessica Hayden, Technical Services Manager 
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 

How to Make your Instruction Suck Less 174 

Jessica Williams, Information Literacy Librarian 
Dani Wellemeyer, Information Literacy Librarian 
University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 

Did You See What I Did? Three Steps to Effective Marketing 

Corie Dugas 

Outreach & Public Services Librarian / Executive Director 
Saint Louis University Law Library / Mid- American Lawy Library Consortium 

St. Louis, MO 


Marketing has been a hot topic in libraries for some time. Unfortunately, with little formal 
training, many librarians and staff have been tackling marketing without a plan or with a 
poorly developed one. This paper will examine academic library marketing failures and 
successes in a way that helps libraries move forward effectively. 

Lrom the newest social media tools to good old fashioned newsletters, the focus will be on 
culling the number of marketing platforms any library uses down so that these tools can be 
used effectively. Once the platforms have been established, attention will shift to establishing 
an approach to marketing that can work across platforms. The ultimate product does not need 
to be an intense marketing plan, but it should be a fully-realized, effective approach to 
academic library marketing. 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Sustaining Electronic and Print Reserves Services in the Era of the LMS 

Christopher Marcum 
Evening Access Services Librarian 
University of San Diego 
San Diego, CA 

Alexander Moran 
Access Services Manager 
University of San Diego 
San Diego, CA 


In this engaging 50 minute session the presenters share several specific initiatives that faculty 
and staff at a small liberal arts university in southern California have implemented to help 
ensure that their physical and electronic reserves services meet the needs of 21st century 
users. The presenters will demonstrate the impact of these initiatives and will offer practical 
tips and suggest tools that participants can use to help sustain reserves services at their own 
institutions. In the last decade the rapid development of online learning platforms has 
outpaced the evolution of our copyright law. Furthermore, during this same period access 
points for digital content have expanded far beyond the traditional venues provided by 
academic libraries. Taken together, these changes have made it increasingly challenging for 
academic libraries to sustain both physical and electronic reserves services. Our library is 
responding to these changes by implementing policies, procedures and initiatives guided by 
three specific principles. 1. Enhanced policy development. 2. Community education and 
interaction. 3. Instructional integration. Among the initiatives we will discuss are: the 
development of robust policies and procedures that seek to make reserves services more 
visible and versatile to use; improved integration of our reserves services into the workflows 
of instructors, as well as the online learning platforms they use; increased collaboration and 
communication with our faculty, as well as other departments, to more closely assess what 
they need and want from reserves services. In this session, the presenters engage the audience 
with interactive polling software, small group activities, as well as point and click 
demonstrations. The audience will leave with several practical tips and ideas to help them 
move their library reserves services into the 21st century. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Assessment in Action: A Journey toward Transforming an 
Academic Library's Value 

Danielle Theiss Dion 
Library Director 
University of Saint Mary 
Leavenworth, KS 


One member of the first cohort (2014) of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ 
Assessment in Action (AiA) learning community will offer her experience with library and 
university assessment initiatives. The speaker will highlight best practices and practical 
lessons learned from her specific AiA research project. As part of the ACRL’s Value of 
Academic Libraries Initiative, AiA offered librarians from 75 institutions a unique 
professional development opportunity where they were allowed to grow their assessment 
abilities from the ground up. Through the establishment of an 18-month community of 
practice incorporating asynchronous, synchronous and face to face experience, participants 
(called team leader librarians) have collaborated with the AiA facilitators and other team 
leaders on the development, delivery and evaluation of library assessment projects that focus 
on the role of libraries in student success. The community of practice model was replicated 
on each campus, as the librarian team leader formed and coordinated an institutional research 
project team with representatives from departments outside the library in order to facilitate 
cross department/school collaboration. 

Participants attending this innovative session will gain an understanding of how the AiA 
program strategies could benefit their institution, learn from examples of effective and 
challenging cross-campus collaborative assessment projects, and create strategies for 
fostering institutional faculty and staff development of assessment skills. 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Social Media in the Classroom: Assessment of its Effectiveness 

Jennifer Wright Joe 

Assistant Professor, Owensboro Campus Librarian 
Western Kentucky University 


Social media has become a very popular educational tool in classrooms ranging from middle 
school up to higher education. In the information literacy classroom, however, it sometimes 
falters. One of the reasons for this is a lack of effective planning and assessment on the part 
of the librarian. Reasons for assessment as well as ways to assess social media in the library 
classroom are not always clear to the librarian or on the forefront of their thoughts when 
creating classroom lesson plans. Surveys, rubrics, statistics and other assessment options are 
available to help combat this problem and are discussed along with the reasons for assessing 
social media use. 


Social media can be an effective tool in promoting critical thinking and collaboration in 
library instruction. It is a varied and multi-faceted resource, encompassing dozens of 
different configurations of networks that allow for added communication both inside and 
outside the library classroom. Whether its use results in simple polls or a much more 
collaborative event, these methods engage students and allow them to interact with material, 
professors, and other students in an organized fashion that might not be feasible without the 
use of technology. Recent studies, such as the one conducted by DePietro reveal that, 
“[sjtudents expect to be part of the educational process, more than they expect to just attend 
class and receive knowledge (4).” When an instructor keeps this in mind in planning their 
lesson, it is referred to as participatory pedagogy, an important and relevant trend in teaching. 

However, social media is still a new tool in the information literacy instructor’s arsenal and 
many people are quick to incorporate these new learning tools without regard to their 
effectiveness. There are many reasons for this, not all of which are the instructor’s fault, but 
social media must be approached like any other teaching tool: with rigorous and frequent 
assessment of the effectiveness of not only the particular network being used for the 
assignment, but also the effectiveness of using social media in the classroom at all. Regular 
assessment of services, including instruction, are invaluable to the continued success of 
students as well as helpful in providing opportunities for faculty and staff whom the library 
also serves (Staley, Branch, and Hewitt; Zoellner, Samson, and Hines.) There are costs and 
benefits to using social media in the classroom and they should be thoroughly explored when 
writing a lesson plan for information literacy instruction to ensure that goals are being met. 

Background Literature 

Social media is a tool that has been around for over a decade now in its many forms. Some 
types of social media, especially the most primitive forms, have been around for as long as 


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the internet has been around. However, it is important when talking about social media that 
everyone has a clear idea of what is being talked about. One of the clearest and most concise 
definitions of social media comes from Fang, et al., who wrote, “Social media is the means of 
interactions among people in which they create, share and exchange information and ideas in 
virtual online communities and networks (336).” By this definition, many of Blackboard’s 
features constitute social media, because it facilitates the creation and exchange of ideas, 
though it does lack some of the bells and whistles that other, more prominent social media 
platforms have. Even the old bulletin board system might have been considered social media, 
had there been public desire for such a communication network, because it facilitated the 
exchange of ideas though public message boards and chatting services. When technology 
advanced, however, it allowed more data to be exchanged than just words typed into a 
computer; suddenly, the user could add pictures, sound, and video, attach whole documents, 
and in some cases even edit those documents inside the social media network itself, allowing 
the complete exchange of ideas - from inception to editing to finished product - to be 
viewable and accessible by the entire network. 

In the classroom, social media can allow for more flexibility and a more participatory 
pedagogy. Web 2.0 brought technologies that engaged the user with the text or tools they 
were using on the World Wide Web (DePietro), and social media has further increased this 
engagement by allowing users to engage with one another. Participatory pedagogy has been 
influenced by this ability to interact with the web as equally as it has been augmented by it. It 
engages students with the materials they are learning in a way that was never possible before 
and it creates students who expect that kind of interaction with their materials from other 
classes (DePietro). However, it has been all too common for librarians to overlook the 
changing methods of education and instruction in favor of relying on tried and true methods 
of information literacy instruction. In reality, adding social media to library instruction can 
improve learning of the material and engage the student more fully in what they are learning. 
Allowing this feedback from the student can also help the librarian better understand what 
their students already know and what they do not, allowing less time to be wasted and more 
thorough discussions of important topics to occur. Then, the class will be taught from the 
perspective of what the student needs instead of what the librarian thinks should have been 
taught (Farkas). 

In addition to bolstering pedagogy, adding social media to library instruction is also valuable 
from an information literacy standpoint; Mackey and Jacobson write, “there are many 
challenges to the standard information literacy definition based on the emergence of new 
social technologies,” the main challenge of which is digital literacy, which can be simply 
defined as the ability to gain and process knowledge from digital sources. Library and 
information science has already struggled with this idea, which arose when personal 
webpages became popular; students could not differentiate between sources they could trust 
and sources they could not trust. Now, with social media, they must be taught to apply those 
same critical thinking skills to the information they find on social media, the caveat being 
that in this case, the information will be coming to them much faster and from many more 
directions than ever before. Therefore, the skills taught in information literacy classes must 
become like second nature to them. There is no longer a time and a place in which one 
collects information; it is thrown at the individual every day. 

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Social Media Assessment 

Some social media networks are vast and complicated, while others are small, intimate 
groups with strict requirements for access. When choosing a social media network for library 
instruction, it is important to remember that there are many different networks with a variety 
of features available, and what may work for one project, may not necessarily work for 
another. The process of designing a class that uses social media is as important as the 
assessment that will take place after the class has been taught, because thought and research 
into the idea at that stage will make the latter stages easier for the librarian. Consulting 
research into social media, as sparse as it may be, is the first step in deciding on how to 
incorporate social media into the classroom. 

Many methods of assessment can be applied to social media in much the same way that they 
would be applied to other class projects. Assuming that proper research and vetting of 
different social media platforms has been done, assessment will start by developing a tool for 
assessment that will work with the platform that has been chosen. Common assessment tools 
include surveys and rubrics, but there are many more options for the librarian to explore 
outside of these two tools. Furthermore, there are many ways to use surveys and rubrics 
when it comes to social media. 

The next step in assessing social media, after the platform has been chosen, is deciding what 
parameters need to be assessed. Options include assessing the social media platform's fit to 
the project or the student’s ability to use the platform; most other questions would fit into one 
of these broad categories. It is highly likely that the librarian will want to assess the use of 
social media from both angles to get the clearest picture of whether or not they should 
continue to use that platform in their classes. When the parameters have been decided, the 
librarian can decide on the assessment tool he or she would like to use. 

Surveys are a popular assessment tool for many reasons that have nothing to do with social 
media. They have been used in assessing everything from circulation services to library 
instruction already, and would be familiar to most librarians. For the purposes of assessing 
social media, surveys should cover three important topics: student satisfaction, ease of use, 
and lessons learned. Student satisfaction, however, should not be limited to whether or not 
they liked the class or project; while a useful thing to know, that should not be the primary 
focus of the assessment. Instead, ask students whether they see a benefit to the project. This 
question will cause the students to pause and reflect on the assignment. In a study of students 
who were using social media in a business class, Payne et al., found, “In addition, [to the 
discoveries already mentioned in their analysis] by reflecting on their work, many students 
found that even when a product seems inherently amenable to viral marketing, fast growth is 
not guaranteed” (213) . While many of the students may have disliked the project to some 
degree, by reflecting on the project, they found that it had value in their lives, and in this 
case, their future careers. 

Ask questions about how well the directions were understood for the assignment and the 
social media platform used. Also, ask the students whether they felt that the social media 
platform used helped them or hindered them. Many younger students know more interesting 


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social media platforms and might be able to provide alternatives to try in another class. Ask 
them if it felt like the use of social media was effective in furthering the lesson goals. Ask 
them what they thought the lesson goals were. 

For something less feedback-intensive, the librarian might decide to employ a rubric in 
assessing the project. This allows the librarian to assess the student and the project at the 
same time, and can take the student’s ability to use the platform more thoroughly into 
consideration. In a rubric, for example, the librarian could assess the specified technology 
was used, beginning competency; how it was integrated into the assignment, developing 
competency; whether it was used in a thoughtful, critical, innovative way, proficient 
competency (Trekles 2012). 

Conversely, the librarian may not want the use of technology to affect the student’s grade or 
overall assessment. In that case, the librarian should develop a rubric assessing the social 
media aspect of the project. The library could base these assessments on the level of 
collaboration the media platform allows, how clear the directions are for using the platform, 
and whether or not the tools it provides are useful. It is entirely possible to develop a 
complete set of rubric questions just based on those concerns. 

Other options to explore in assessing social media are statistical, where the librarian looks at 
the usage statistics of the social media platform. This type of assessment would be limited to 
just assessing the use of the medium, though, and would not lend itself to formative 
assessment. There are built-in tools in some social media platforms that allow for keyword 
tracking and analyzing the frequency with which certain words and phrases yield valuable 
results. There are commercially available assessment tools that gauge student learning and 
fulfillment of outcomes, in a social media assignment. 


Social media has become an inextricable part of the everyday life of the majority of 
Americans, and more broadly, the world. Technology has advanced to the point that humans 
are able to communicate in real-time, expressing ideas and conveying information instantly. 
This has caused a shift in how information literacy is perceived and how the skills of 
information literacy are taught. Adding social media to information literacy sessions 
introduces the concept of information as a ubiquitous entity, and can give students practical 
experience in vetting information in a controlled environment, while also accomplishing 
other goals, such as facilitating conversation, providing feedback, or helping students 
collaborate more effectively. The instructor should evaluate social media to determine if 
these instructional goals are accomplished. 

Works Cited 

DePietro, Peter. “Transforming Education with New Media: Participatory Pedagogy, 
Interactive Learning and Web 2.0.” The International Journal of Technology, 
Knowledge, and Society 8 (2013): 1-11. Print. 

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Fang, Jiaming, Chao Wen, and Victor Prybutok. “An Assessment of Equivalence between 
Paper and Social Media Surveys: The Role of Social Desirability and Satisficing.” 
Computers in Human Behavior 30 (2014): 335-343. Print. 

Farkas, Meredith. "Participatory Technologies, Pedagogy 2.0 and Information Literacy." 
Library Hi Tech 30.1 (2012): 82-94. Library, Information Science & Technology 
Abstracts. Web. 14 June 2015. 

Mackey, Thomas R., and Trudi E. Jacobson. "Reframing Information Literacy as a 

Metaliteracy." College & Research Libraries 72.1 (2011): 62-78. Library Literature 
& Information Science Full Text. Web. 14 June 2015. 

McMeans, April. “Incorporating Social Media in the Classroom.” Education 135.3 (2015): 
289-290. Print. 

Payne, Nathaniel J., et al. “Placing a Hand in the Fire: Assessing the Impact of a YouTube 
Experiential Learning Project on Viral Marketing Knowledge Acquisition.” Journal 
of Marketing Education 33.2 (2011): 204-16. Print. 

Staley, Shannon M., Nicole A. Branch, and Tom L. Hewitt. "Standardized Library 

Instruction Assessment: An Institution-Specific Approach." Information Research: 
An International Electronic Journal 15.3 (2010): n. pag. Web. 14 June 2015. 

Trekles, Anastasia M. “Creative Writing, Problem-Based Learning, and Game-Based 

Principles.” International Society for Technology in Education Conference, June 25, 
2012. Hammond, IN: Purdue University Calumet, 2012. n. pag. Print 

Zoellner, Kate, Sue Samson, and Samantha Hines. "Continuing Assessment of Library 
Instruction to Undergraduates: A General Education Course Survey Research 
Project." College & Research Libraries 69.4 (2008): 370-383. Library, Information 
Science & Technology Abstracts. Web. 14 June 2015. 

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“Measuring That Which Is Valued”: Implementing and Managing 
Efficient Formative Assessment and Evaluation of Library Instruction 

Carol A. Leibiger 

Associate Professor, Information Literacy Coordinator 
University of South Dakota 

Alan W. Aldrich 

Associate Professor, Instructional Services Librarian 
University of South Dakota 


Libraries can demonstrate value through evaluation and assessment. This study describes the 
development and piloting of a hybrid evaluation and assessment instrument in a Freshman 
Composition course at the University of South Dakota. The authors will discuss data 
analysis, reflection, and revision of the evaluation/assessment tool. The University Libraries 
are implementing scalable formative assessment and evaluation of library instruction using 
the Information Literacy Instruction Assessment Cycle and simple cost-effective delivery 
methods that allow quick and efficient collection and analysis of data in a variety of 
instructional settings. 

Assessment and Evaluation 

The academic community has recognized academic libraries “the heart of campus,” yet today 
academic libraries struggle to remain “relevant” while facing the same kinds of scrutiny and 
demands for accountability as all of higher education (Oakleaf, Value , 11). Universities and 
colleges, and their constituent units, must demonstrate their contributions to student learning, 
using measurable or observable outcomes. Assessment can provide proof of student 
achievement to external constituents within and across institutions. Additionally, assessment 
affords data necessary to determine how well units are meeting institutional goals and to 
inform continuous improvement to better respond to institutional needs (Oakleaf, “Are They 
Learning?” 61-62). Academic libraries engage in assessment to demonstrate support of their 
institution’s mission and their value to stakeholders (Daily). Library-internal reasons for 
assessment include “initiating and maintaining an ongoing discussion of student... learning, 
integrating assessment into the regular workflow, ...and aligning the instructional work of the 
library with the mission of the overarching institution” (Oakleaf, “Writing 81). 

In higher education’s current business-oriented funding models, students represent not only 
learners, but also customers. Libraries can demonstrate return on investment (ROI) through 
student-satisfaction surveys. Such evaluation can be a valuable source of data about the 
quality of information-literacy (IL) instruction and student affect, which plays an important 
role in learning (Schilling and Applegate 258, 262). It is a challenge to meet demands to 
assess student learning and evaluate instruction efficiently during one-shot library sessions. 

Assessment and Evaluation in the University Libraries 

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Librarians at the University of South Dakota (USD) have additional reasons to engage in 
assessment and evaluation. As faculty, USD’s librarians are required to undergo regular 
evaluation. This affords data on the quality of teaching and possible areas of instructional 

Since 2012 USD has embraced Responsibility Center Management (RCM), a budgeting 
model that “incentivizes” ROI by “assigning] all attributable costs and income to each 
academic unit; ... providing] appropriate incentives for each academic unit to increase 
income and cut costs; and... allocating] all costs of other units such as library or physical 
plant to each academic unit” (Yurtseven). As a designated support service center, the 
University Libraries (UL) are expected to “satisfy customer expectations” and develop 
“support center priorities” in response to “customer input” (USD Budget Allocation Model 
Advisory Committee). The UL currently provide output statistics (circulation, building use, 
etc.) as evidence of service. Evaluation and assessment of instruction can demonstrate 
customer satisfaction and show that the library is meeting the expectations of the academic 
units receiving instruction (Daily). 

The UL’s latest strategic plan emphasizes teaching excellence and assessment in recognition 
of their importance in demonstrating the library’s value (University Libraries and Wegner 
Health Science Information Center 1-2). By nurturing evidence-based practice, the UL 
affirms its participation in USD’s long-standing culture of assessment. Demonstrating 
effective teaching, academic achievement, and program success are important undertakings 
that justify library funding and situate the library faculty within legitimate institutional 
faculty activities. 

Creating the Assessment Plan for Freshman Composition 

Farkas, Hinchliffe, and Houk define a culture of assessment as “one where assessment is a 
regular part of institutional practice. ..a core part of what the library does, just like materials 
acquisition or reference service” (151). The UL Assessment Committee is currently mapping 
library resources and services to institutional needs (Oakleaf, “Are They Learning?” 68-69). 
The UL provide mandated IL instruction in several general-education courses, making 
instruction an obvious choice for assessment. Since all freshmen are required to enroll in 
Freshman Composition (ENGL 101) during their first semester, it could provide rich data on 
student learning of IL. Therefore, the librarians chose this course to pilot formative 
assessment of library instruction. 

In drafting the Assessment Plan for Freshman Composition, the IL Coordinator utilized the 
IL Instruction Assessment Cycle or ILIAC (Oakleaf, “Information Literacy Instruction 
Assessment Cycle” 541). According to Oakleaf, “[t]he ILIAC encourages librarians to 
articulate learning outcomes clearly, analyze them meaningfully, celebrate learning 
achievements, and diagnose problem areas. . .resulting] in improved student learning and 
increased librarian instructional skills” (539). The ILIAC consists of the following stages: 
reviewing program learning goals, identifying “specific, teachable, assessable” learning 
outcomes, creating and enacting learning activities, gathering data to check learning, 


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interpreting, reflecting, and enacting decisions based on the data; communicating results, and 
“closing] the loop” by repeating the cycle for continuous assessment and improvement (543- 

The IL Coordinator consulted the South Dakota Board of Regents’ (SDBOR) Baccalaureate 
General Education Curriculum to determine IL learning goals. Freshman Composition 
partially fulfills the Goal #1 Writing requirement: 

GOAL #1: Students will write effectively and responsibly and understand and interpret 
the written expression of others. 

Student Learning Outcomes: Students will: 

A. Write using standard American English, including correct punctuation, grammar, 
and sentence structure. 

B. Write logically. 

C. Write persuasively, with a variety of rhetorical strategies (e.g., expository, 
argumentative, descriptive). 

D. Incorporate formal research and documentation into their writing, 
includingresearch obtained through modem, technology-based research tools. 
(SDBOR 2) 

Additionally, ENGL 101 partially fulfills the Goal #7 IL requirement (SDBOR 4), whose 
student learning objectives correspond to ACRL’s IL Competency Standards for Higher 
Education (10-14). 

GOAL #7: Students will recognize when information is needed and have the ability to 
locate, organize, critically evaluate, and effectively use information from a variety of 
sources with intellectual integrity. 

Student Learning Outcomes: Students will: 

1. Determine the extent of information needed, 

2. Access the needed information effectively and efficiently, 

3. Evaluate information and its sources critically, 

4. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and 

5. Use information in an ethical and legal manner. 

(SDBOR 4) 

Course instructors, most of whom are English teaching assistants, certify their students’ IL. 
Since course-grading rubrics do not include IL outcomes, it is unlikely that student grades 
reflect learning of IL concepts. 

Currently, the UL facilitate library sessions for ENGL 101 that support the Research-Based 
Academic Argument (RBAA), a general research paper. The IL Coordinator created an 
assessment plan focusing on that assignment while attending ACRL’s Assessment Immersion 

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in 2014 and subsequently refined it in consultation with the Instructional Services (IS) 
Librarian (see table 1). 

Table 1 

Draft Assessment Plan for ENGL 101 

1. Learning outcomes: What 
do you want the student to 
be able to do? 

Access information effectively and efficiently in order to 
find scholarly resources for an academic research paper. 

2. Curriculum: What does 
the student need to learn? 

1. Choose appropriate resources/tools. 

2. Use effective search strategies. 

3. Refine the search strategy as needed. 

3. Pedagogy: What type of 
instruction will enable the 

1. Flipped instruction: Five online lessons and exercises on 
research skills, catalog searching, database searching, 
web evaluation, and academic integrity. 

2. In-class active learning: Short research demonstration 
followed by assignment-focused searching for resources, 
with a scaffold approach provided by library faculty. 

4. Assessment: How will the 
student demonstrate the 

Students write a “one-minute paper” as part of the student 
evaluation of the session, selecting or summarizing the most 
important thing they have learned in the session. 

5. Criteria for evaluation: 
How will I know the 
student has done this? 

XX% of students identify a useful search process or 
resource that was taught during the library session. (The 
percentage to be determined by benchmarking.) 

Source: Leibiger, Carol A. Draft Student-Learning Assessment Plan for Freshman 
Composition. Vermillion, SD: University Libraries, 2014. Print. 

Hybrid Evaluation and Assessment 

Since ENGL 101 is required of all freshmen during their first semester at USD, there are 
usually over fifty course sections requiring IL instruction. Therefore, all eleven members of 
Reference, Research, and Instructional Services (RRIS), most of whom are library faculty, 
share this instruction. To assure uniformity and quality, the IL Coordinator engages in 
instruction design, providing a lesson plan and a LibGuide that functions as an instructional 
script (Leibiger, LibGuides on Steroids). Evaluation can supply data for faculty growth and 
improvement in teaching. The IL Coordinator decided to include evaluation and assessment 
in a single, scalable activity. 

The IL Coordinator created and circulated a student- satisfaction and assessment survey in 
order to ensure buy-in from RRIS members. RRIS members discussed revision of the survey 
in a meeting. After all members had collaborated in its revision, the form became available 
for online use. 

The evaluation consists of five questions eliciting feedback on observable behaviors 
associated with effective teaching and positive student affect (Arnold 8-12). Four items are 


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closed-response questions with five Likert-scale answers ranging from “strongly disagree” to 
“strongly agree.” The fifth item is an open-ended question. 

1. The librarian presented material effectively. 

2. The librarian presented clear and accurate information. 

3. The librarian answered questions competently. 

4. Students had the opportunity to participate and/or ask questions. 

5. How could the librarian have taught this session better? 

A sixth question assesses student learning using a one-minute essay, a formative classroom 
assessment technique (CAT). CATs are “simple tools for collecting data on student learning 
in order to improve it.. .instruments that faculty can use to find out how much, how well, and 
even how students are learning” (Angelo and Cross 25). Like all formative assessments, 
CATs allow faculty to adjust instruction for the benefit of current students. CATs support 
reflective practice, constructivist teaching, and learning, benefitting students and providing 
faculty with opportunities for transformative professional and personal growth (Oakleaf, 

“Are They Learning?” 72-73). Angelo and Cross’ Classroom Assessment Techniques: A 
Handbook for College Teachers and Broussard, Hickoff-Cresko, and Oberlin’s Snapshots of 
Reality: A Practiced Guide to Formative Assessment in Library Instruction are rich 
repositories of CATs., The RRIS team added a one-minute essay to the evaluation, reflecting 
the IL Assessment Plan: 

6. What did you learn in this library session that you could pass on to fellow students or 
friends to help them complete this assignment better? 

The hybrid evaluation/assessment instrument enables librarians to collect student reports of 
satisfaction and learning. Schilling and Applegate emphasize the need to use a variety of 
evaluation and assessment activities to collect rich data about library services (262). 
Gathering data about “participant reaction” and student reflection on learning are 
benchmarks of effective IL programs (ACRL, Characteristics of Programs). The hybrid tool 
reflects the dual nature of library services, which have functional and relational dimensions 
(Radford 222-224; Aldrich and Leibiger, “Face It!” 236; Leibiger and Aldrich, “Accounting 
for Face”). While librarians teach skills, instruction also creates and maintains a relationship 
between learners and the library. The questions addressing student satisfaction provide data 
on both instructional quality and student affect, while the one-minute essay is an efficient 
way to promote student reflection on learning (Schilling and Applegate 258). Placing the 
assessment question last allows students to leave the library session aware of what they have 
learned. The hybrid form is an efficient way to collect evaluation and assessment data given 
the limited time available for these activities during one-shot library sessions. 

Using Technology to Implement Evaluation and Assessment 

Instruction occurs in addition to RRIS members’ departmental and liaison duties, which 
presents workload and scalability issues. The IL Coordinator addresses the instructional- 
planning workload by providing a teaching script and a LibGuide for use in instruction. 
When it was time to implement evaluation and assessment, the IL Coordinator and the IS 

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Librarian used technology to make evaluation and assessment efficient and easy for their 

Since RRIS uses a LibGuide for ENGL 101 sessions, the IL Coordinator embedded a link to 
an online evaluation/assessment form within the Freshman English Research Guide. The 
RRIS considered several online tools, including Google Forms, EverNote, and NearPod. 
However, since these tools collect responses into a single spreadsheet, they cannot protect 
faculty privacy. The IL Coordinator decided to use Socrative, a free online tool that for 
creating polls, games, quizzes, and CATs, for the online form. Socrative supports anonymous 
data collection, and the data can be stored in individual faculty accounts and exported by e- 
mail or computer download using an Excel spreadsheet (Mastery Connect). 

The IS Librarian created a Socrative “quiz” containing the evaluation and assessment 
questions. He also produced an Excel spreadsheet into which the Socrative data can be 
pasted; the spreadsheet assigns values from one (“Strongly disagree”) to five (“Strongly 
agree”) to each response to the closed-ended evaluation questions, allowing RRIS members 
to report individual and mean scores for their sessions. He copied responses to the open- 
ended evaluation and assessment questions into the spreadsheet as well. 

During the spring 2015 semester, the IL Coordinator and the IS Librarian piloted the 
Socrative form in a convenience sample of nine ENGL 101 research sessions taught by the 
instructional team. The IS Librarian asked other RRIS members to use the Socrative form in 
at least one instructional session to develop comfort with and generate feedback about the 
form and the evaluation/assessment process. 

Time on task and possible technological failure were RRIS members’ greatest concerns when 
launching the pilot. Students quickly accessed and completed the form, thus affording an 
efficient collection of information that does not detract from time dedicated to active 
learning. In the library sessions incorporating Socrative, the technology only failed once, and 
the librarian was quickly able to reopen the form. RRIS was satisfied with the in-class 
evaluation and assessment. ENGL 101 faculty observed the activity with interest, and some 
perceived possibilities for integrating Socrative into their teaching. RRIS Initiated evaluation 
and assessment measures that contributed an additional positive result. The additional 
positive result is that librarians positioned themselves as instructional experts, modeling the 
use of online pedagogical tools. The library’s obvious engagement with student learning 
reflected well on RRIS members as faculty and the library as a learning space dedicated to 
supporting the university’s teaching mission. 

Data Analysis, Benchmarking, Reflection, and Revision 

In spring, 2015, the IL Coordinator and IS Librarian analyzed the evaluation and assessment 
data. Ninety-five students provided answers to the closed-ended evaluation questions 
indicating satisfaction, with ninety-four responses (99.5%) reflecting agreement (4) or strong 
agreement (5) with the evaluation statements (see table 2). 


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Table 2 

Librarians’ Closed-Ended Evaluation Questions (Mean Scores) 

\ Evaluation Question 

1. The 





2. The 



clear and 



3. The 





4. Students 
had the 
to participate 
and/or ask 

Librarian \ 

IL Coordinator 





IS Librarian 





To determine whether these positive responses were the result of a halo effect (or its local 
variant, “South Dakota nice”); the investigators analyzed the responses to the open-ended 
evaluation question (“What could the librarian have done better?”). If students suggested a 
significant number of pedagogical improvements, it might call into question the high 
evaluation scores. 

There were eighty-six useful answers to the open-response evaluation question. Sixty-six 
students (77%) offered positive comments. Half of these comments were coded “holistic 
positive” because students praised the librarians without mentioning any specific practice 
(“He did a great job”). Additionally, seven students mentioned effective explanations (five) 
or helpfulness of the librarians (two) as single factors in effective instruction (8% and 3%, 
respectively, see fig. 1). 

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S 30% 






Positive Attributes 

■ holistic positive ■ effective explanations ■ helpfulness 

Fig. 1: Single Positive Attributes 

An additional nineteen students (29%) praised the librarians’ instruction in general (holistic 
positive) and mentioned specific aspects of the instruction that they considered effective (see 
fig. 2). 

A total of 79% of students answering the open-ended evaluation question indicated 
satisfaction with the librarians’ instruction. Students seemed to value effective explanations 
and helpfulness most; students mentioned other aspects of library instruction like 
attentiveness to students, clear instructions, friendliness, humor, modeling effective 
searching, and scaffolding learning in combination with these two factors or with a holistic 
positive response. 

Seventeen students (20%) offered suggestions for improving library instruction; the most 
frequently mentioned recommendations included changing the pacing of the sessions (3 
students or 19%), providing longer sessions, and offering more database searching tips (2 
students or 13% apiece). Individual students suggested detailed explanations of library 
resources, longer interactions with librarians, active-learning opportunities, and changes in 
librarian behavior (see fig. 3). 

Three students also commented on relational categories, i.e., affect and values. Two noted 
that they valued research databases or library resources because of instruction. An additional 
student noted a pleasant interaction with a librarian (“She said I look like Bob Dylan. I am 
thoroughly pleased with this.”). 


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Combined Positive Attributes 

■ effective explanations + appropriate pacing 

■ helpfulness + answering questions 

■ helpfulness + attentiveness to students 

■ helpfulness + individual attention 

holistic positive + attentiveness to students + answering questions + librarian 

■ holistic positive + clear instructions 

■ holistic positive + effective explanations 

■ holistic positive + effective explanations + attentiveness to students 

■ holistic positive + effective explanations + modeling effective searching 

■ holistic positive + helpfulness 

■ holistic positive + helpfulness + friendliness + answering questions 
holistic positive + helpfulness + scaffolding learning 

■ holistic positive + helpfulness + useful information 

■ holistic positive + humor 

■ holistic positive + individual attention 

Fig. 2: Combined Positive Attributes 

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Student Suggestions for Improvement 

■ use more appropriate pacing 

■ provide longer sessions 

■ offer more database searching tips 

■ offer more detailed explanations (books) 
offer more detailed explanations (LibGuide) 

■ offer more detailed explanations (specific databases) 

■ be equally attentive to all students 

■ change librarian humor 

Fig. 3: Suggestions for Improvement 

The investigators analyzed the assessment results for benchmarking and revision. The nine 
library sessions yielded seventy-nine forms with useful assessment data. Content analysis 
generated three themes: learning research skills (sixty-seven responses), using research 
resources (sixty-eight responses), and improved affect or values (four responses). Forty-four 
students (66%) indicated that they had learned how to search (54%) or had improved their 
searching skills (12%). Fig. 4. displays research-related skills identified by students. 

Seven students (10%) indicated that they had learned or improved in searching and at least 
one other skill (see fig. 5). Students overwhelmingly (76%) identified searching as a skill that 
they had learned or improved upon because of the library instruction. 

All but one student reported having learned to use online library resources to do research (see 
fig. 6). Twenty-eight students (41%) indicated that they had used the research databases, 
while two mentioned having used the library catalog (3%). 


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■ searching ■ improvement in searching skills 

■ narrowing the topic ■ finding scholarly information 

navigating the library homepage ■ navigating library resources 

■ selecting appropriate resources ■ evaluating resources 

■ finding background information ■ focusing/narrowing the search 

■ navigating the databases phrase searching 

■ topic selection 

Fig. 4: Single Skills 

■ searching + retrieving articles 

■ improvement in searching + navigating the databases 

■ narrowing the topic + searching 

■ searching + narrowing the search + retrieving articles 
selecting appropriate resources + searching 

■ topic selection + narrowing the topic + searching + evaluation 

Fig. 5: Combinations of Skills 

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■ research databases ■ library resources 

■ LibGuide ■ catalog 

library web site ■ reference resources (tertiary literature) 

Single Resources 

Fig. 6: Single Resources 

Seven students (10%) stated that they had used both the library catalog and the research 
databases, both of which were part of the instruction they received in the library sessions (see 
fig. 7). Twelve students (16%) mentioned having used a LibGuide, either alone or in 
combination with other library resources. 

Finally, four students indicated changes in affect and values. Three mentioned increased 
value of research databases (2%) and research skills (1%), and a fourth student indicated 
greater confidence in searching, an affective change. 


Students reported strong satisfaction with the instruction they received in both the closed- 
and open-ended evaluation questions. Since instructional librarians implemented the pilot, 
high scores might be due to their experience and proficiency in IL instruction, and it would 
be inappropriate to use only their scores for benchmarking. It will be necessary to expand the 
ENGL 101 evaluation to the entire course and to other RRIS members for benchmarking 


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0 % 








Combined Resources 

■ catalog + research databases ■ LibGuide + research databases 

■ LibGuide + ILL ■ library web site + LibGuide 

Fig. 7: Combined Resources 

Seventy-nine percent of students indicated that they were pleased with the instruction; half of 
the students who responded went no further than a holistic positive statement, and 29% 
reported at least one effective teaching practice in addition to their general statement of 
satisfaction. Other students who provided only one positive teaching practice mentioned 
either effective explanation or helpfulness; other student responses mentioned these two 
behaviors combined with other effective practices in. Students indicated seventeen positive 
instructional practices in their answers. 

Since almost 80% of responses contained holistic positive reactions to instruction, it is 
possible that students’ responses reflect “South Dakota nice.” The librarians might find it 
necessary to revise the open-ended questions to discover specific practices that satisfy 

Twenty percent of students suggested improvements in library instruction. The IL 
Coordinator and IS Librarian will consider ways in which to provide more information, more 
active learning, and more interactions with librarians during one-shot library sessions. The 
positive and negative comments relating to librarian interactions and behavior suggest that 
librarians need to be more sensitive in their interactions with students, since some librarian 
behaviors might impede learning. 

Since the goal of the instruction was for students learn to find resources for their RBAA 
papers, the assessment results indicate success. Seventy-six percent of students indicated that 
they had learned or improved in searching skills due to library instruction. It is gratifying to 
see that students identified searching and other relevant aspects of research as important 
learning outcomes of the session. 

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The open-ended assessment question generated valuable data about resource use. While a 
majority of students indicated that they learned or improved in searching skills, not all 
students who noted having used a resource specified that they had learned anything in doing 
so. Future assessment cycles could pilot more specific one-minute essay questions that elicit 
both skills learned and tools used. The investigators noted a discrepancy in the use of tools. 
Significantly, more students reported having used research databases (41%) than the library 
catalog (3%), while seven students (10%) searched both. Since books are valued in ENGL 
101, the librarians could revise the instruction to focus more on their usefulness (as students 
suggested in the open-ended evaluation question). 

Since students accessed resources using the Freshman English Research Guide , it is not 
surprising that sixteen percent mentioned having used a LibGuide, either alone or in 
combination with other library resources. While LibGuides are used both to scaffold student 
learning and as instructional scripts, it is a concern if students see LibGuides as information 
resources on a par with library homepages and their resources, rather than as mediators of 
information resources for beginning researchers. Luture instruction will continue to use 
LibGuides; however, librarians should transfer the focus of instruction from LibGuides to 
library resources so that students will be able to find scholarly information when LibGuides 
are lacking. 

Given that the assessment question was open-ended, it was gratifying that a majority of 
students noted having learned or improved in searching using specific library resources, thus 
demonstrating that they achieved the goal of the session. Some students provided assessment 
data with details about skills learned and tools used. To encourage more students to provide 
this rich data, librarians should begin instruction with goals naming skills and tools, so that 
students reflect on those goals in the assessment. Librarians included themselves in the 
course LibGuide to ensure they all communicated the same instructional goals. 

Several students indicated changes in affect and values because of library instruction. One 
student reported increased confidence in searching, and another student experienced pleasure 
during an encounter with a librarian. Live students noted changes in values, i.e., valuing 
research skills, library resources, and research databases. Library instruction goals need to 
include the functional and relational dimensions of library services. Therefore, future library 
learning goals will contain functional, affective, and value statements enabling students to 
reflect on both their increase in learning (cognitive growth) and improvements in affect and 
values (relational growth) as a result of library instruction. 

Conclusion: Future Developments 

This study has traced the implementation of efficient, scalable hybrid evaluation and 
assessment in one-shot instruction in a small academic library, using the ILIAC and simple 
technology. Students indicated satisfaction with library instruction and assessment 
demonstrated that more than three quarters of the students learned or improved in searching, 
the goal of the instruction. These results suggest that benchmarks could be set at 80% for 
both evaluation and assessment of instruction. The next iteration of assessment will expand 
this process to the fifty or more sections of ENGL 101 in the fall 2014 semester, in which all 
RRIS members teach. 


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Freshtnan Composition is the first course in the UL’s developmental IL program. Students 
receive IL instruction in Advanced Composition, Introduction to Literature, and Introduction 
to Speech courses. Because the UL performs mandated instruction in these required courses, 
it can address different ACRL IL Standards in each course, varying the instruction and 
maintaining student interest. Each course requires different CATs to reduce student 
assessment fatigue. By the end of the general-education curriculum, students will have 
experienced instruction and assessment in all of the ACRL IL Standards. The IL Coordinator 
will consult with the respective course coordinators to determine how quickly to introduce 
evaluation and assessment measures into various courses. 

Another valuable result of evaluation is the inventory of teaching practices associated with 
student satisfaction. The IL Coordinator will share this data with RRIS members to help them 
reflect on their teaching and develop effective instruction practices. UL’s next phase of 
faculty evaluation can include student satisfaction data to supplement student evaluation with 
a direct measure of instructional quality. UL is currently discussing whether peer evaluation 
is a logical next step in their evaluation and assessment efforts in the UL. 

Works Cited 

Aldrich, Alan W., and Carol A. Leibiger. “Face It! Reference Work and Politeness Theory 
Go Hand in Hand.” Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend. Proceedings of the 
Fourteenth National Conference of the Association of College and Research 
Libraries, March 12-15, 2009, Seattle, WA. Ed. Dawn Mueller. Chicago: Association 
of College & Research Libraries, 2009. 235-46. Print. 

Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook 
for College Teachers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993. Print. 

Arnold, Judith M. “T Know It When I See It’: Assessing Good Teaching.” Research 
Strategies 16.1 (1998): 1-28. Print. 

Broussard, Mary Snyder, Rachel Hickoff-Cresko, and Jessica Urick Oberlin. Snapshots of 
Reality: A Practical Guide to Formative Assessment in Library Instruction. Chicago: 
Association of College & Research Libraries, 2014. Print. 

“Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy That Illustrate Best Practices: A 

Guideline.” Association of College & Research Libraries, Jan. 2012. 
Web. 6 June 2015. chttp://>. 

Daily, Dan L. “Re: assessment and service units.” Message to Carol Leibiger. 29 May 2015. 

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Farkas, Meredith Gorran, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, and Amy Harris Houk. “Bridges and 
Barriers: Factors Influencing a Culture of Assessment in Academic Libraries.” 
College & Research Libraries 76.2 (2015): 150-69. Print. 

“Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.” 
Association of College & Research Libraries, n.d. Web. 27 May 2015. 

< >. 

Leibiger, Carol A. Draft Student- Learning Assessment Plan for Freshman Composition. 
Vermillion, SD: University Libraries, 2014. Print. 

— . Freshman English Research Guide, University of South Dakota, 9 Feb. 
2015. Web. 30 May 2015. <http:// Freshman_English>. 

— . u Libguides on Steroids”: Expanding the User Base ofLibGuides to Support Library 
Instruction and Justify Workload. Library Technology Conference. Web. 27 May 
2015. <>. 

Leibiger, Carol A., and Alan W. Aldrich. “Accounting for Face: Enhancing Reference Work 
through Face Work and Account Management.” Teaching Reference Today: New 
Directions and Approaches. Eds. Lisa A. Ellis and Nicolette Warisse Sosulski. 
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming. Print. 

Mastery Connect. Socrative. Homepage. Socrative, n.d. Web. 5 June 2015. 

Oakleaf, Megan. “Are They Learning? Are We? Learning Outcomes and the Academic 
Library.” Library Quarterly 81.1 (2011): 61-82. Print. 

— . “The Information Literacy Instruction Assessment Cycle: A Guide for Increasing Student 
Learning and Improving Librarian Instructional Skills.” Journal of Documentation 
65.4 (2009a): 539-60. Print. 

— . Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report. Chicago: 
American Library Association, 2010. Print. 

— . “Writing Information Literacy Plans: A Guide to Best Practice.” Communications in 
Information Literacy 2.3 (2009b): 80-89. Print. 

“Policy Manual: Baccalaureate General Education Curriculum.” South 
Dakota Board of Regents, Dec. 2014. Web. 27 May 2015. 
< >. 


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Radford, Marie L. “Relational Aspects of Reference Interactions: A Qualitative Investigation 
of the Perceptions of Users and Librarians in the Academic Library.” Diss., Rutgers 
University, 1993. Print. 

Schilling, Katherine, and Rachel Applegate. “Best Methods for Evaluating Educational 
Impact: A Comparison of the Efficacy of Commonly Used Measures of Library 
Instruction.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 100.4 (2012): 258-69. Print. 

University Libraries and Wegner Health Science Information Center. Strategic Directions, 
2015-2020. Vermillion, SD: University Libraries. Print. 

University of South Dakota Budget Allocation Model Advisory Committee. RCM 

Recommended Budget Committee Structure. Vermillion, SD: University of South 
Dakota. Print. 

Yurtseven, H. Oner. “Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) Case Study: School of 
Engineering and Technology, IUPUI.” Asian Institute of Technology, 

1 Mar. 2006. Web. 25 May 2015. 


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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Turn and Face the Strange ILS 

S. Kirsten Davis 

Application Administrator (Alma ILS) 
University of Central Oklahoma 

Shay Beezley 

Manager, Metadata and Cataloging 
University of Central Oklahoma 


In 2014, a team of two project management novices led the University of Central Oklahoma's 
Chambers Library in migrating from Ex Libris’ Voyager to Ex Libris’ Alma. Although 
inexperienced leadership could have resulted in disaster, the data migration and 
implementation of the new ILS went far more smoothly than anyone at the library had 

An ILS migration is hands down one of the most intimidating behind-the-scenes projects a 
library undertakes. The specter of data loss is inescapable, even when working with a trusted 
company, and the entire process is rife with opportunities for staff conflict and upheaval. 
Time spent on data cleanup, data testing, and training means that other projects and normal 
day-to-day tasks will face be significant delays. An ILS migration, however, does not 
necessarily need to be painful, and most of the skills that will make a migration easier are 
actually non-technical. 

The authors — who are the aforementioned novices — will discuss their perspectives on the 
library’s Alma implementation and share insights that they gained from this experience. The 
authors will address the reasons why the library switched to Alma, as well as a few 
particulars of Ex Libris' migration process; however, the focus will be on the many ways in 
which timing, committee formation, and communication influenced everything from data 
cleanup to training to the project’s ultimate success. 


The staff of Chambers Library learned that they would migrate from Voyager to Alma, a 
cloud-based ILS, in early 2014. The library’s then-current technology was all from Ex Libris. 
The library administration had a history of preferring to stay with one vendor when possible 
so the announcement was not entirely unexpected. Once the Library signed the contract in 
March 2014, a timetable was quickly established. The library, staffed with 20 librarians and 
37 full-time specialists and technicians, would have six months to migrate to Alma and move 
their locally hosted instance of Primo to the cloud. Although initially daunting, it was not an 
entirely unreasonable task. The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) is the largest 
regional university in the state with a full-time enrollment around 12,500; however, the 
Library collections are on the small side given this population. UCO only has one campus 
library with approximately 625,000 bibliographic records representing a little over a million 
items, and the library is not a member of an ILS-based consortia. The combination of this 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

amount of data and the lack of other libraries involved was a factor in how quickly the 
Library was able to get onto Ex Libris’ implementation schedule. It also helped that the 
Library had done all of Primo’s implementation- level decisions and set-up years before, so 
all staff (with the exception of the Primo administrator) were able to concentrate on the Alma 
implementation. As the library’s link resolver was SFX, moving that data to Alma was 
entirely the concern of Ex Libris. 

Literature Review 

Although several hundred libraries were already on Alma when UCO’s migration process 
started, there are few formal publications with articles specific to this still-new ILS. For 
information on various stages in the early process, see Richard Levy on the trend to cloud 
computing. See Alan Cornish et. al. on selection in a consortium. See John Ross et. al. on 
selection in mid-sized libraries. In addition, see Paul J. Bracke for the perspective of a 
development partner is of interest. None of these articles primarily address migration to and 
implementation of Alma, although Ross et. al, does address this phase of the process. While 
many skills that are useful in any migration are transferable, the authors believe that the very 
short implementation window used by Ex Libris necessitates that a library have as much 
information in hand as possible prior to beginning the process. Since people are the primary 
movers of the process, people must be the primary focus of preparing for the change. 

Project Kick-Off 

This project kicked off at the end of May 2014. The following months were by turns exciting 
and challenging, but also rife with opportunity for the entire staff to either shine or crash and 
bum. October 13 th , the go-live date, loomed in everyone’s minds as they worked to meet 
various deadlines assigned by Ex Libris. ILS migrations are no easy task; however, the 
authors learned that success in implementing a major change is due to both technical and soft 
skills. Day-to-day skills are, of course, important, and area specialists from cataloging, 
acquisitions, serials, and circulation had essential roles to play when the full committee 
translated Voyager policies into Alma’s equivalents. If the staff members lack the attitudes 
that help to change management, they will not be able to complete migration and 
implementation tasks. It does not take being a cheerleader for change, either. The authors 
found that staff members who were nervous about the change were still very effective 
throughout the migration and implementation process if they also possessed some or all of 
these traits: curiosity, willingness to learn, flexibility, and willingness to participate. The 
latter was the greatest help of all. 

By the end of 2014, the migration was complete and the Library moved off direct support 
and onto regular customer service support. The parting sentiment from Ex Libris staff were 
that this implementation was one of their most successful. At times, the authors did not 
always feel the same way; however, looking back, the authors were able to identify three 
ways that libraries can “turn and face the strain” when migrating to a new ILS: timing, 
committee formation, and communication. 

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As mentioned above, the entire migration and implementation process took less than a year. 
Library administration and campus IT had been interested in going to a cloud-based system 
for some time, and when the Library’s Voyager administrator announced he would retire in 
June 2014, that interest bloomed into full-fledged effort. Although the timing of the Voyager 
administrator’s retirement could have caused a great deal of difficulty, it led to the best 
possible outcome for two reasons: 1) there was someone in-house who could step into the 
administrator role for Alma, which 2) allowed the retiring administrator to concentrate on 
data cleanup in Voyager (more on that below). 

Most of the timing was in the hands of Ex Libris. Ex-Libris asked the authors to identify the 
three most feasible dates for go-live. The authors examined possible options closely in 
relation to the semester timing and university breaks (in particular, no one wanted to work on 
implementation over the two-week winter break). Part of any ILS migration requires 
downtime of essential library processes. The Alma implementation process includes ten days 
of downtime for acquisitions and cataloging and three days of downtime for circulation. It 
was imperative that the dates provided to Ex Libris were ones that could handle significant 
downtime without throwing the library’s basic functioning into upheaval. 

Out of the three options the authors identified, by sheer luck, Ex Libris chose the best 
possible go-live date of Monday, October 13. The middle of the semester may initially seem 
counterintuitive, but there were several distinct advantages to this timing: 

• The majority of the migration and implementation work happened at the end of the 
spring semester and over the summer, making it easier to schedule meetings and 

• There were no major holidays to schedule around (the authors did take vacations, 
though not at the same time) 

• September was a relatively quiet time of year for the three people who went through 
the Alma Certification training 

• After the fiscal year ended (June 30), our acquisitions department was quiet until late 

• It was the Monday after the university’s fall break, so there was little circulation 
activity during the weekend the library had to use the offline circulation module 

Committee Formation 

In March, the migration and implementation committee appointed the authors as co-chairs. 
However, neither had tackled a project of quite this size before. Given that the formal Ex 
Libris-led process would start in May, there was no time to get any training in project 
management. Using the documentation and recommendations provided by Ex Libris, the 
authors determined that the committee needed to employ layered representation. The first 
core layer was comprised of people essential to the overall success of the project: the Alma 
administrator, the Primo administrator, the head of cataloging, the director of access services, 
the Voyager administrator (until retirement), and a campus-mandated liaison from the 
campus IT department. There were mixed feelings about the latter’s inclusion in the 
beginning, but it turned out that his presence was incredibly helpful when it came to opening 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

ports, working on staff authentication through Shibboleth, integrating with the Bursar’s 
system, and overall communication with campus IT. 

The membership of the core committee changed over time and an extended core committee 
emerged as new members joined or existing members excused themselves, depending on the 
issue at hand. The director of technical services started out on the core committee but had to 
withdraw when he became the interim library director. Meanwhile, the collection 
development librarian and circulation specialist both acted in a capacity somewhat between 
the core and full committees, and various campus IT staff attended WebEx sessions as 
needed. This flexibility of inclusion based on project needs was essential to the committee’s 
decision-making processes and the timeliness of task completion. 

The full committee was comprised of representatives from every area of the library (technical 
services, archives, and public services) with a focus on those who use the ILS most (see fig. 
1). However, the authors also made a point of: 1) being clear about what they expected time- 
wise, and 2) asking everyone whether they wanted to participate on the committee— no one 
was volun-told to participate. The authors did not feel that forcing people to join a committee 
would lead to a productive work environment. Although a few people turned down the offer 
to join, the majority of staff who received the offer accepted because they were eager to see 
the change or because they wanted to ensure that they could express their concerns. As a 
result, the authors were able to assemble a group of 20 willing technicians, specialists, and 
librarians who pulled their weight at the appropriate times and met the Ex Libris -mandated 
deadlines with aplomb. 

Fig. 1. Committee structure 

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November 6, 2015 



In addition to the core and full committees there was, of course, another group of people to 
take into consideration throughout the project: the rest of the library staff. It was important to 
the authors that staff who were not heavy ILS users not be inundated with information that 
did not pertain to their jobs. At the same time, the authors wanted to ensure that everyone 
remained informed about things that affected the base operations of the library. This meant 
that the authors regularly considered which groups needed particular pieces of information. 
For example, everyone received the overall project timeline but only full committee members 
received the detailed timeline. Everyone also received the URLs and logins for the training 
videos and sandbox, but only after the full committee had finished their training. The full 
committee worked on projects that pertained to each person’s area of expertise, while the 
core committee coordinated those projects and facilitated communication with Ex Libris. 

For the core committee, constant communication with Ex Libris was essential. Ex Libris set 
up weekly WebEx calls and any additional calls needed to tackle specific problems. Ex 
Libris also set up a space on Basecamp (for a tour, see: where 
documents and call agendas were shared and questions were answered. Utilizing Basecamp 
kept the library’s email for in-house communication, which was an unexpected bonus for the 
core committee as it helped to compartmentalize during the busiest times. Ex Libris archived 
the project’s space on Basecamp and the Library can still refer to the information as needed. 

Because Alma is such a different animal from Voyager, there were many times throughout 
the migration and implementation when it was essential that the Ex Libris team and the core 
committee communicate well, and yet doing so was almost impossible due to lack of 
knowledge. In some cases, poor communication was a result of the Ex Libris team’s lack of 
understanding of the library’s local processes. However, it was more often due to the 
members of the core committee having to stretch their brains around an unfamiliar concept. 
When instances of poor communication occurred, it helped greatly when two things 
happened: 1) no one got angry, and 2) no one was unwilling to admit, “I don’t understand; 
please explain.” 

As the project got closer to the start of the fall semester, one of the authors began working 
with the library’s publicity committee in order to ensure that everyone on campus would 
know what to expect during the ten-day downtime. It was also beneficial that one of the 
library’s catalogers had graphic design experience, so the Library was able to utilize her 
talents in creating a graphic to advertise affected services. The publicity committee employed 
these methods to publicize affected library services: 

• Posters in the library (see fig. 2); 

• Postcards of aforementioned poster sent to all faculty; 

• Announcements on library and university social media (including Twitter, Instagram, 
Facebook) and the library’s website; and 

• Announcements in the university’s daily campus wide emails for the duration of 
downtime (see fig. 3). 

The committee started putting the posters up and disseminating information by the third 
week of September, which provided ample time to make sure the campus was aware of the 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

October downtime. It was important that the information was concise and not jargon-heavy, 
and it needed to include contact information in the rare event someone had an issue come up. 
Fortunately, the authors did not experience any complaints or frustration from the campus 
community regarding the downtime. 


for Library Services 

attention: FACULTY 

These services will be unavailable 

October 1st - 13th: 

*■ Ordering new items 

for the collection 

Cataloging items 
to be added to the collection 

Attention: FACULTY, 


These services will be unavailable 

October 1 0th - 1 3th: 

► Renewing loaned items 
*■ Placing hold requests 

Rush processing 
of Items needed In 2-3 days 

► Adding items 

to e-Shelf In Central Search 

mm For questions, contact 
Wfvj/ ShayBeezley | 405.974.2918 

For questions, contact 
Carolyn Mahin | 405.974.2595 

Items will continue to be available for check out 
to anyone with an active library account. 

(used with permission from Emrys Moreau) 


2. Advertisement for social media 

Chambers Library System Transition 

Chambers Library is transitioning its internal system for ordering, cataloging 
and circulating library materials to Alma, a next-generation, cloud-based 
library management system. The new system is schedule to go live Oct. 13. 

Note: Kerns will continue to circulate, and anyone with an active library 
account will be able to check out items. Although the Alma project team doe 
not anticipate changes to these dates and/or affected services, information 
will be updated and distributed accordingly if necessary. 

The following library services will be unavailable from Oct. 1-13: 

• Submitting orders for new items to be purchased with department 

• Cataloging items to be added to the collection; 

• Rush processing of items needed in 2-3 days; and, 

• Placing items on course reserve. 

For more information, contact Shay Beezley at or 

Fig. 3. Announcement in daily campus announcements blast 

Lessons Learned 

All of the above were the key factors in why the library’s ILS migration and implementation 
went as smoothly as it did. There were times when, for example, data did not behave as 
expected or the ILS admin got sick for a week. However, timing, committee formation, and 

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communication were what allowed the library to sail through such difficulties needing only 
slight course corrections, rather than needing to replace the whole mast. 

In addition to these factors, there were some specific lessons learned that the authors want to 
highlight as being useful in many ILS migration situations: data cleanup, relationship with 
campus IT, training strategies, and co-leadership. 

Data Clean-up 

Ideally, the head of cataloging and the retiring Voyager administrator would have had more 
than two months to identify and perform cleanup projects; however, there was a more limited 
window to complete the data cleanup. The authors asked two questions: 1) What needs to go, 
and 2) What needs to change? 

What needs to go? 

Previously, the library had adhered to a practice of keeping all purchase orders for historical 
purposes. Removing these purchase orders would delete suppressed bibliographic, holdings, 
and item records tied to ancient purchase orders as well. This was hugely beneficial since a 
fair amount of suppressed records were in limbo due to the past practice of keeping every 
single purchase order. When considering which data your library no longer needs, ask 
yourself these questions: “Why are we keeping this? Is it because that is how it has always 
been done?” In this scenario, both the Library and Accounts Payable had physical copies of 
past invoices, and state records retention policies considered ILS -based electronic copies to 
be for convenience only and not subject to normal retention rules. The Library, with the 
blessing of the executive director, kept only purchase orders from the past five years and 
purged the rest. 

What needs to change? 

Ex Libris provided migration guides, so the authors were able to see which data would 
migrate to Alma and where it would go. These guides were hugely helpful in determining 
what to cleanup. 

Upon recommendation from Ex Libris, the Library consolidated multiple copies of an item in 
the same location onto one holdings record, rather than two holdings records per pre-Alma 
practice. The automation that consolidated these items onto one holdings record resulted in a 
large cleanup project. Fortunately, cataloging staff were up to the task, but it resulted in extra 
work that had a finite amount of time to complete. With the automated tasks involved, the 
Library needed to identify carefully the cleanup projects to complete. 

The Library considered mass editing bibliographic records with RDA elements for some 
time. In order to prepare for the migration ahead, the Library decided to go full steam ahead. 
Since the Library’s catalog contains a relatively small number of bibliographic records, the 
Library staff enhanced the records in-house. They performed these enhancements with 
relative ease thanks to Gary Strawn’s record pull/reload programs for Voyager and MarcEdit. 
Since the head of cataloging had familiarity and experience with these programs, she 
completed the enhancements right away so that she could focus her attention post-migration 
on staff training. The head of cataloging decided to leave the print and microfilm records for 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

future cleanup, as they needed more attention than the schedule allowed, which made 
enhancing the rest of the catalog much more doable. This type of cleanup was desirable 
rather than necessary, but it was helpful to kick off with RDA enhanced records so that 
cataloging staff could see how RDA elements displayed in Alma’s interface. 

Two months after implementation, one of the authors discovered that all of the library’s 
visual resources had the material type of “other” rather than DVD, CD, etc. Addressing this 
oversight proved a difficult challenge. There are bound to be quirks post-migration, but it 
helps to determine what the staff can expect pre-migration with a familiar program. 

Relationship with Campus IT 

It is the rare academic library that does not need to rely on their campus IT department for 
basics like authentication and bursar downloads. Building the best relationship possible with 
that department can make changes like a new ILS much less painful than they might 
otherwise be. The library administration was unaware of some changes to IT processes and 
procedures, which nearly derailed the ILS migration before it even started. Reaching out to 
IT at a much earlier stage would have kept this from being an issue. In addition, once the 
library administration noticed the miscommunication, the Library was able to build some 
solid relationships with the experts in authentication and the Bursar system, making it much 
easier to troubleshoot during the rare occasions the Library needed to do so. 

Training Strategies 

One of the authors’ major concerns throughout the project was training all heavy ILS users 
before Alma’s go-live date. Ex Libris works on a train-the-trainer model, and they provided 
good tools to assist with this in the form of training videos and a sandbox environment. Once 
the test load of the library’s data became available in the production environment, the 
committee used that as well. Watching lengthy training videos alone in an office might be 
heaven for some, but it is pure torture for others. Not everyone has an office space that is 
conducive to such work. Recognizing these facts, the authors scheduled open sessions in the 
library’s classroom that full committee members could attend in order to watch the training 
videos and ask questions of others. Once a committee member completed the training videos, 
they passed on the login information to others in their department and then acted as a 
resource to fellow staff. 

The authors also made certain that all library staff knew that they could only attend the in- 
person training if they had completed all the applicable videos. This helped ensure that 
everyone who worked directly with the Ex Libris trainers already understood the basics, 
which allowed for better questions and deeper understanding of the new system. 

After go-live, there was still training to be done. A few staff had not used the old ILS, but the 
new one had functionalities they needed, such as scanning for in-house use. The Alma 
administrator trained these staff on a case-by-case basis. For example, the reference librarians 
wanted a hands-on group training in the classroom during their usual meeting time. For the 
archives technician, though, it was a one-on-one at her desk, early in the morning before her 
regular patrons arrived. This flexibility allowed the Alma administrator to ensure that every 

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user reached an appropriate level of familiarity with the ILS, and to follow up with them later 
in case of lingering questions. 


The authors learned that having co-leads was immensely helpful in not just chairing the 
committee, but for managing the project progress in case of the other’s absence. Along with 
the Primo administrator, the co-leads created a triumvirate of people who could handle all 
urgent issues. This was hugely beneficial because it allowed: 1) the project not to flounder 
when the Alma administrator was sick for a week, and 2) both co-leads to take much-needed 
vacations at different points in the overall project without any detriment. An ILS migration is 
all-consuming for those at the helm, and supporting each other to maintain a healthy balance 
was necessary and highly recommended. 

Conclusion: Would You Do It Again? 

An implementation of a new ILS is a grueling experience for all those involved. The authors 
still felt they could do this sort of project again. In hindsight, the authors might make some 
different decisions, but overall their experience was well worth the stress and headaches. The 
Library released Alma in 201 1 and has yet to tap its full potential. The Library has had time 
to benefit from the new functionalities and improved processes. The new ILS has allowed all 
library staff to review existing procedures and make improvements that allow the staff to 
provide better services to their users. 

Works Cited 

Bracke, Paul J. “Alma at Purdue: The Development Partnership Experience.” Information 
Standards Quarterly. 24.4 (2012): 16-20. Web. 30 June 2015. 

Cornish, Alan, Richard Jost, and Xan Arch. “Selecting a Shared 21st Century Management 
System.” Collaborative Librarianship. 5.1 (2013): 16-28. Web. 30 June 2015. 

Levy, Richard. “Library in the Cloud with Diamonds: A Critical Evaluation of the Future of 
Library Management Systems.” Library Hi Tech News. 30.3 (2013): 9-13. Web. 30 
June 2015. 

Ross, John, Heath Bogart, Rebecca Fernandez, and Daniel Wilson. “A Tale of Two Libraries: 
How Two Universities Prepared for the Future with Ex Fibris Alma.” Brick & Click: 
An Academic Library Symposium. Ed. Frank Baudino and Carolyn Johnson. 
Maryville, Missouri: Northwest Missouri State University, 2012. 66-73. Web. 30 
June 2015. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Capturing the Benefits of Open Access in Interlibrary Loan 

Tina Baich 

Associate Librarian, Head of Resource Sharing & Delivery Services 
IUPUI University Library 


Though many think primarily of journal articles when discussing open access (OA), there are 
other document types that can fall under the basic definition of OA such as electronic theses 
and dissertations (ETDs), conference papers, and reports. Sources of these OA materials 
abound - institutional repositories, subject repositories, OA journals, organization websites - 
the list goes on and on. While the sheer number of sources may seem overwhelming, locating 
OA materials to fill requests provides real benefits to interlibrary loan (ILL) departments. OA 
allows the fulfillment of requests for materials traditionally difficult to obtain; fills requests 
quickly without external intervention; and eliminates the cost of borrowing. In order to 
capture these benefits, ILL practitioners must prioritize their options and streamline the OA 
workflow. This paper will provide recommendations on how to develop a customized OA 
workflow that best fits your ILL department. 


Though many think primarily of journal articles when discussing open access (OA), there are 
other document types that can fall under the basic definition of OA: “digital, online, free of 
charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions” (Suber). Sources of these OA 
materials abound including OA journals, organization websites, and institutional, subject, and 
mass digitization repositories, among others. While the sheer number of sources may seem 
overwhelming, locating OA materials to fill requests provides real benefits to interlibrary 
loan (ILL) departments. OA allows the fulfillment of requests for materials traditionally 
difficult to obtain; fills requests quickly without external intervention; and reduces the cost of 
borrowing to staff time. 

Open access material encompasses several document types that are generally difficult to 
borrow via traditional ILL. Among these are documents typically unpublished such as 
conference papers and white papers as well as those not widely collected such as reports, 
theses, and dissertations. Theses and dissertations are especially notorious for being hard to 
obtain since hard copies are often housed in special collections and non-circulating from the 
granting institutions. The advent of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) has made it 
much easier to locate and obtain OA copies for library users. Rather than leave requests for 
all of these materials unfilled, an ILL practitioner can utilize OA versions to increase fill 
rates and user satisfaction. 

Open access also increases the speed with which some requests can be filled. By searching 
for likely open access materials prior to submitting requests to other libraries, ILL 
practitioners can reduce the turnaround time for these requests and alleviate the workload of 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


other libraries. You are a better ILL partner and provide better customer service through the 
delivery of easily located OA documents. 

In addition to making you a better partner to other libraries, utilizing OA materials reduces 
the cost of filling these requests for your own library. Instead of potentially paying borrowing 
fees, ILL practitioners can obtain OA documents free of charge with the only cost being a 
minimum of staff time. In summary, the key benefits of OA to ILL are fulfillment, speed and 
lower cost. 

In order to capture these benefits, ILL practitioners must prioritize their options and 
streamline the OA workflow. This paper will provide recommendations on how to develop a 
customized OA workflow that best fits your ILL department with a focus on pre-searching 
(e.g. searching prior to submission to potential supplying libraries). Though some of the 
recommendations herein are specific to the OCLC ILLiad ILL management system, the 
majority have wide applicability. 

Literature Review 

There are many articles on overall evaluation of interlibrary loan workflows and efficiency. 
Some recent articles have addressed the assessment of ILL staffing (Harris-Keith) and 
streamlining and consolidating ILL and document delivery workflows (Moreno). With the 
increasing popularity of patron-driven acquisitions, a number of articles have been written 
with a focus on purchase on demand workflows within ILL including those by Bertuca et al. 
and Herrera and Greenwood. There is also the rich resource of the IDS Project’s Workflow 
Toolkit for ILLiad libraries (IDS Project). However, the author could locate no articles 
focused specifically on the creation of an open access workflow in interlibrary loan. 

The author has made a study of ILL requests for open access materials and has published two 
previous articles on the topic (Baich 2011, Baich 2015). These studies have found that users 
continue to request OA documents despite their ability to locate and obtain them directly thus 
establishing the importance of a mechanism to deal with these requests. A thorough 
discussion of IUPUI University Library’s open access workflows can also be found in these 

Establishing Parameters 

The first step in determining your department’s OA workflow is establishing the parameters 
for what you will search prior to submitting to another library (“pre-searching”). These 
parameters may depend on a variety of factors including volume of requests, number of staff, 
time devoted to ILL and the ILL system being used. While it is not feasible to search every 
request for an OA version, there are categories of material that would likely incur benefits. 
The most obvious of these are items with a pre-1923 publication date and theses and 
dissertations. Other categories to consider are conference papers and reports. 

If you have a low volume of requests and the time to devote to searching, you might also 
consider pre-searching article requests. However, systematically searching all article requests 
will yield less benefit at this point in the life of OA publishing. To include articles in an OA 
workflow, consider limiting article searching according to specific criteria such as 
publication year and subject. More recent articles are more likely to have an OA version as 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

are articles in subject areas where OA has a greater acceptance rate such as physics or those 
with large amounts of federal funding such as medicine. 

If you are an ILLiad user, you can use the parameters you’ve established to create routing 
rules that will isolate these requests in their own queue. For example, you have decided to 
only pre-search requests for material that falls into the public domain. In this instance, you 
would create a routing rule based on the date of publication (see table 1). You also have to 
create a custom queue to accompany the routing rule (see table 2). All of this is done in the 
ILLiad Customization Manager. For more detailed instructions, refer to the ILLiad 
documentation (Atlas Systems 1 ). 

Table 1 

Example ILLiad routing rule for public domain materials 









T ransactionStatus 

Awaiting Request Processing 


((t.LoanDate < ‘1923’) or (t. Photo JournalYear < ‘1923’)) 

NewProcessT ype 


NewT ransactionStatus 

Awaiting Public Domain Searching 


This rule moves all requests with a pre-1923 publication date into 
an Awaiting Public Domain Searching queue. 

Table 2 

Example ILLiad custom queue to accompany a public domain routing rule 




Awaiting Public Domain Searching 





Once you have determined the parameters for pre-searching, think about how this activity 
will fit into your already established workflows. The goal is to create a streamlined OA 
workflow that requires a minimum of extra work or divergence from standard procedures. 
You may find it helpful to create a flowchart showing how potential OA requests should be 
handled (see Fig. 1). 

Search Techniques and Resources 

For ILLiad users, a number of addons are available to assist you with OA searching. After 
enabling addons including Google Books, Google Scholar, HathiTrust, and Internet Archive, 
these websites will appear as tabs within the request form. You can configure the addons to 
automatically execute the searches saving the time of cutting and pasting titles. Determining 
whether there is an OA version of a specific item from one of these sources is then just a 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Article requests routed to 
RapidILL; other requests sent 
via OCLC 

Fig. 1. Example workflow flowchart 

matter of clicking through these tabs. ILLiad addons can be downloaded from the ILLiad 
Addons Directory (Atlas Systems ). 

ILLiad libraries can reduce the amount of pre-searching required for articles requests by 
implementing the WorldCat Knowledge Base (WCKB), which includes a number of open 
access collections. When a request is sent via Direct Request for Articles for an open access 
title in the WCKB, it is returned to the ILLiad client with a link to the material rather than 
being sent to potential suppliers. More information about implementing the WCKB and 
Direct Request for Articles can be found on the OCLC website and the ILLiad 
documentation (OCLC', Atlas Systems ). 

WorldShare ILL includes “View Now” li nk s for open access journals and magazines at the 
point of discovery. These links are populated using data from the WorldCat Knowledge 
Base. Lor other types of materials, you will need to consider an alternate workflow for pre- 
searching. To see an overview of how to fill OA requests using WorldShare ILL “View 
Now” links, the author recommends viewing OCLC’s “Borrower: Open Access Fulfillment 
in WorldShare ILL” online tutorial (OCLC 1 ). 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

There are still options for those without one of these ILL systems or for those that want to 
supplement the WorldShare ILL functionality. One is to rely exclusively on Google Scholar, 
which will reveal a great deal of OA materials. However, if you find that this method misses 
categories of OA items frequently requested or wish to be more thorough in your pre- 
searching, you may want to consult additional sources. In this case, the author suggests 
choosing a secondary browser with a number of preset tabs. Determine which sites you want 
to use in your OA searching and set these as home pages in the browser’s preferences. 
Though you may not use every site for each request, having preset tabs will save staff time in 
navigating to each commonly-used website. 

Communicating with Users 

What to Communicate 

Before you even begin communicating with users about OA requests, you have to determine 
what you are going to communicate. First, to what extent will you use your communication 
as an educational opportunity? Many users are still unfamiliar with the various aspects of 
OA. When you inform a user that his request was for an OA document, you can take the 
opportunity to explain what OA is, potential differences in versions, the specific repository in 
which you found the document and/or how to search for OA documents himself. 
Alternatively, you can choose to merely tell the user the document is freely available and 
leave OA education to your subject librarians. 

Second, what are you delivering to your user through your communication? When choosing 
how to deliver OA documents to users, there are two options: 1) deliver the actual PDF or 2) 
deliver a link to the content. Whether or not to deliver the PDF may depend on several 
factors including the comparative ease with which you are able to deliver a PDF versus a link 
and your assessment of the legality of the posting of the material. You may also choose to 
deliver a link to the item’s page within a repository rather than directly to the PDF as a means 
of educating your user about OA and OA repositories. 

How to Communicate 

The simplest and most common way to communicate with ILL users is, of course, e-mail. 
Based on your earlier workflow choices, you may choose to create one or more templates 
related to open access materials. For instance, you may want a template specific to ETDs 
(electronic theses and dissertations), especially for graduate students who you may want to 
educate about the existence of ETDs for their future research as well as make them aware of 
your library’s own ETD program. You could also create a separate template for the author’s 
manuscript version of articles that provides an explanation that the item to which you are 
referring the user is not the final, published version and offering to obtain the published 
version if it is required (see fig. 2). Alternatively, one simple all-encompassing template may 
be enough if you don’t deem educating your users about OA to be your role. 

Dear Library User, 

We located an open access version of the following item you requested at URL. 

This version of the article is the author’s manuscript and may vary slightly from the final, published version. If 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


you require the final, published version, please resubmit your request including a note indicating that need. 


If you have questions about this request, please contact us at 

Thank you for using XYZ Library’s Interlibrary Loan service. 


ILL Staff 

Fig. 2. Example author’s manuscript e-mail template 

If you are not using an ILL management system such as ILLiad, you can still create e-mail 
templates within common e-mail systems. Gmail has a feature called “Canned Responses” 
that can be activated in the Labs tab under Settings. Once this feature is enabled, you can 
compose your e-mail template, and then select “More Options” at the bottom of the message 
to save your message as a new “Canned Response.” When you want to use the template, 
begin a message and select “More Options” to navigate to and insert your “Canned 
Response.” There are numerous videos on YouTube that can guide you through this process 
including (HowToCreator). 

It is also possible to create e-mail templates in Microsoft Outlook. Compose your message, 
then “Save As” an Outlook Template. When you are ready to use your Outlook Template, 
select “More Items” from the New Item menu and click on “Choose Form.” A window will 
open with a “Look In” dropdown menu at the top. Select “User Templates in File System” 
from that menu and then select your desired template from the list that appears. Open your 
template to make any needed adjustments and send. You can also easily save your Outlook 
Template to a shared location so that all ILL staff has access to it. 

Though OCLC’s WorldShare ILL doesn’t allow for the creation of e-mail templates within 
the system, you can still create simple text file templates that can be easily copied and pasted 
into the standard WorldShare ILL e-mail before sending. ILLiad, however, gives you the 
ability to create multiple e-mail routing templates that are accessible directly from a request. 
These templates can also include tags to automatically import request information. Beginning 
with ILLiad 8.6, all e-mail templates are stored in the ILLiad Customization Manager. To 
create a new e-mail routing template, click New on the Notification Templates tab within the 
ILLiad Customization Manager. Complete the needed fields and compose your message, 
then Save (see fig. 3). 






Email to tell users their request is filled via Open Access. 

From Name: 

Interlibrary Loan 

From Address: 


To Name: 

To Address: 

<#User. Email Addres s> 

CC Address: 

BCC Address: 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Your ILL Request is Available 

Dear <#User.FirstName> <#User.LastName>, 

The following item that you requested through Interlibrary Loan was found freely available on the internet: 
<#Transaction. Photo J ournalTitle> 

Vol. <#Transaction.PhotoJournalVolume>, no. <#Transaction.PhotoJournalIssue>: 
(<#Transaction.PhotoJournalYear>), pp. <#Transaction.PhotoJournalInclusivePages> 

Title: <#Transaction.PhotoArticleTitlex#Transaction.LoanTitle> 

Author: <#Transaction.PhotoArticleAuthorx#Transaction.LoanAuthor> 

We have made it conveniently available for download from your ILLiad account. You can access it by clicking 
here: https://ill. library. edu/ILLiad/NVTGC/pdf/<#Transaction. TransactionNumbeo.pdf 
or by logging into your ILLiad account: 
You can also view the item at the following URL: <#Transaction.CallNumber> 

If you have any questions about this service, please contact us and refer to the Transaction Number TN: 

Thank you for using Interlibrary Loan. Please let us know how we are doing, we appreciate your feedback. 


ILL Staff 

Please e-mail us at: <#LocalInfo.GeneralEMailAddress> or Tel: <#LocalInfo.GeneralPhone> 

Fig 3. Example ILLiad open access e-mail routing template 

In addition to creating the ILLiad e-mail routing template, you must create an e-mail routing 
rule to tell ILLiad what to do with the request after the e-mail is sent. An example routing 
rule is below (see table 3). More detailed instructions for creating e-mail routing templates 
and e-mail routing rules with the ILLiad Customization Manager are available in the online 
ILLiad documentation (Atlas Systems). 

Table 3 

Example Open Access E-mail Routing Rule 






Open Access 

DefaultT o Address 




DefaultF rom Address 

DefaultF romName 


Request Finished 







Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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Libraries differ in how they count OA requests. Some choose to consider these requests as 
cancelled while others count them as filled borrowing requests. The author recommends 
counting them as filled requests because staff has used their time and expertise to locate the 
content on behalf of the user as they would with any other borrowing request. Regardless of 
whether your department considers OA requests as filled or cancelled, it is important to 
establish a mechanism for tracking requests for OA materials. If you choose to cancel OA 
requests, create a specific OA cancellation reason. If you choose to count OA requests as 
filled, establish a lender code for these requests. With this in place, you can generate reports 
on OA requests. Being able to track OA cancellations provides a means of explaining a 
change in fill rate while requests filled by an “open” lender can show time and money saved. 
You may also find it useful to make note of the repository in which each request is found. 

Additionally, you should review your statistics for the most commonly requested OA 
content. You may find that your users frequently request a certain kind of OA document or 
that you locate the majority of OA requests in a handful of repositories. You can utilize this 
information to revise your OA workflow to more easily identify these materials and focus 
pre- searching. Additionally, data from OA request reports can guide the creation of education 
pieces for users to assist them with locating these materials independently. You can also 
share this information with subject librarians to enhance their services. For example, if you 
frequently receive requests for ETDs, it would be beneficial to students for a discussion of 
ETD repositories to be included in instruction and research consultation sessions. 


The overall goal is to achieve a balance between alternative workflows and the benefits of 
open access. If the OA workflow is overly complicated or diverges too greatly from existing 
workflows, the benefits of utilizing OA materials begin to diminish. By implementing some 
or all of the recommendations discussed here, ILL departments can streamline and improve 
open access workflows to capture the benefits of fulfillment, speed and lower cost that OA 
brings to ILL. Open access also simplifies the work of both borrowing and lending libraries, 
provides quality service to users, and can even be a means of educating users about the 
growing world of open access and changes in scholarly communication. 

Works Cited 

Atlas Systems 1 . “ILLiad 8.6 Home.” Atlas Systems, n.d. Web. 22 June 2015. 

Atlas Systems . “ILLiad Addons Directory.” Atlas Systems, n.d. Web. 22 June 
2015. < 

Baich, Tina. “Open Access: Help or Hindrance to Resource Sharing?” Interlencling & 
Document Supply 43.2 (2015): 68-75. Print. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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— . “Opening Interlibrary Loan to Open Access.” Interlending & Document Supply 40.1 
(2012): 55-60. Print. 

Bertuca, Cynthia, et al. “Two ILLiad Clients, One Desktop, Purchase on Demand: Sharing a 
University's Collection, Staff, and Expertise.” Journal of Access Sendees 6.4 (2009): 
497-512. Library and Information Science Source. Web. 9 June 2015. 

Harris-Keith, Colleen S. “Evaluating the Staffing of an Interlibrary Loan Unit: An Exercise 
in Data-Driven Decision Making and Debunking ‘Anecdata’.” Journal of Access 
Sendees 11.3 (2014): 150-158. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. 
Web. 9 June 2015. 

Herrera, Gail and Judy Greenwood. “Patron-Initiated Purchasing: Evaluating Criteria and 

Workflows.” Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Resen’es 
21.1/2 (2011): 9-24. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. Web. 9 
June 2015. 

HowToCreator. “Create Gmail Canned Response.” Online video. YouTube. YouTube, 30 
July 2014. Web. 9 June 2015. < >. 

IDS Project: Workflow Toolkit. Homepage. IDS Project, n.d. Web. 9 June 2015. 

< >. 

Moreno, Margarita. “Streamlining Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Workflows: 
Tools, Techniques, and Outcomes.” Interlending & Document Supply 40.1 (2012): 
31-36. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. Web. 9 June 2015. 

OCLC 1 . “Borrower: Open Access Fulfillment in WorldShare ILL.” OCLC, n.d. 
Web. 19 June 2015. < 

OCLC 2 . “WorldCat Knowledge Base.” OCLC, n.d. Web. 1 July 2015. 

Suber, Peter. “A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access.” Homepage. Earlham College, 29 
Dec. 2004. Web. 19 June 2015. <>. 

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Library Publishing: What’s In It for You? 

Marcia G. Stockham 

Assistant Dean, Content Management and Scholarly Communications 

Kansas State University 

Elizabeth C. Turtle 
Scholarly Communications Librarian 
Kansas State University 


Many academic libraries worldwide are entering the emerging field of library publishing. 

The size and types of libraries as well as services offered vary widely. The authors of this 
paper discuss what is meant by “library publishing” and how it can be a strategic investment 
for an academic library. The authors will provide an overview of the Library Publishing 
Coalition (LPC) and its benefits. They will describe publishing efforts at Kansas State 
University and offer some practical insights into providing publishing services. 


Over the last several years, libraries have been looking to strategically transform themselves 
in order to remain relevant to the academic community they serve. Many academic libraries 
worldwide are becoming more involved with and choosing to invest resources in the 
emerging field of library publishing. Participating libraries range from small liberal arts 
colleges to research-intensive institutions. The services provided within this growing 
community are varied - ranging from depositing electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) 
into an institutional repository, to providing a hosting platform for journals and monographs, 
to offering services such as copy editing, graphic design and editorial support. It is evident 
that libraries are becoming active partners in the creation and dissemination of digital 
scholarship and are providing another model in scholarly communication. 

The authors of this paper discuss what is meant by the term “library publishing” and why 
academic libraries see publishing as a strategic investment. Kansas State University (K-State) 
was a founding member of the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC), and the authors will 
provide an overview of the benefits that organization provides for academic libraries and 
other scholarly publishers. The authors will also discuss publishing efforts at K-State and 
offer practical insights into providing publishing services. 

Review of Literature 

Library literature and conference presentations have discussed the changing role of academic 
libraries and librarians for several years (Jaguszewski and Williams; Cawthorne; Sierra). For 
example, the work of liaison librarians has become more consultative on issues surrounding 
scholarly communications, author’s rights/copyright, and data management, in addition to the 
more traditional information literacy instruction and reference service. Collection 
development roles include more thorough analysis and decision-making processes in order to 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

deal with the ever-increasing costs of commercial publications. In this environment of 
change, libraries have been looking to strategically transform themselves in order to remain 
relevant to the academic community they serve. Librarians are being hired to work 
specifically in areas such as copyright, data management, digital humanities, institutional 
repository management, or library publishing. According to Rich and Feldman, “Today’s 
library is less about what we have for people and more about what we do for (and with) 
people . . .The movement from consuming content to creating content is opening 
opportunities for the new library professional.” One of those opportunities is publishing and 
disseminating created content, which may include managing an institutional repository, a 
digital humanities platform, a journal/monograph platform or offering a suite of services to 
enable researchers to share their findings. Recognizing these new activities in 2007, the 
Association of Research Libraries (ARL) surveyed its membership to gather data on 
publishing services (Hahn). A research report sponsored by Scholarly Publishing and 
Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) in 2012 recognized the emergence of this field and 
sought to advance the professionalism of library-based publishing by identifying strategies 
and services (Mullins). A study by Walters in 2012 targeted library leaders and attempted to 
lay groundwork for scenario planning in library publishing (Walters). The body of literature 
on library publishing continues to grow as evidenced by special issues of journals dedicated 
to library publishing (Davis-Kahl and Schlosser; The Library as Publisher). 

Library Publishing 

A variety of terms are used in the literature such as Library Publishing, Library Publishing 
Services or Library as Publisher, but what exactly do these terms mean? One definition of 
library publishing has been set forth by the LPC, a coalition of over sixty international 
institutions formed to support, learn from and collaborate with each other in publishing 

The LPC defines library publishing as the set of activities led 
by college and university libraries to support the creation, 
dissemination, and curation of scholarly, creative, and/or 
educational works. Generally, library publishing requires a 
production process, presents original work not previously made 
available, and applies a level of certification to the content 
published, whether through peer review or extension of the 
institutional brand. Based on core library values and building 
on the traditional skills of librarians, it is distinguished from 
other publishing fields by a preference for Open Access 
dissemination and a willingness to embrace informal and 
experimental forms of scholarly communication and to 
challenge the status quo. (Library Publishing Coalition) 

This is a broad definition of publishing, but seems to fit quite well with what many libraries 

are currently practicing or considering for further development. 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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Strategic Value and Benefits 

The value and benefits to each institution are unique and can be significant. But, what exactly 
are these values and benefits and why do library administrators support these movements? 
The open access movement is gaining momentum due to federal and non-profit grant-funding 
mandates and open access policies passed by many academic institutions. Peer-reviewed 
open access journals are becoming more accepted by researchers as legitimate venues in 
which to publish, especially in the sciences and biomedical fields (Bo-Christer). Does it 
make sense then that libraries, which have long been seen as the purchasers and curators of 
scholarly information, also participate in the creation and dissemination of such information? 
Library publishing provides a mechanism to highlight and disseminate the research or 
creative work of students and faculty at an institution. It often results in free and open access 
to monographs, journals, conference proceedings, textbooks, and multi-media, and also 
provides an outlet for some content that might be overlooked by traditional publishers. For 
example, some monograph content may be considered niche or cover very narrow fields 
(without a large target audience) that commercial publishers do not find profitable, but if 
published by the library it can be discovered by that audience. Library publishing can also 
assist editors of small established print journals migrate to an online format, providing more 
visibility and a potential larger audience for the content. Faculty members or students 
interested in beginning a new journal can use a library publishing platform to make their idea 
a reality. Open access library-published literature can supplement and enrich regular library 
holdings from commercial publishers. Open access publications are sometimes the only 
information available to underdeveloped areas of the world, and library publishing endeavors 
can contribute to that body of knowledge. 

Although benefits can be readily identified, library publishing does not come without a cost. 
One possible future scenario as identified in Walters’ article: 

might be one in which university faculty embrace library-based 
publishing services, but the university administrations do not 
fund it specifically. Hence, funding for library publishing may 
be low, necessitating ingenious approaches to leveraging 
resources across institutions, such as through publishing 
cooperatives and library-publisher collaborations. (Walters) 

Library Publishing Coalition 

One attempt to facilitate cooperation and collaboration is the Library Publishing Coalition. In 
2010, Kansas State University Libraries developed a new department of Scholarly 
Communications and Publishing (now the Center for Advancement of Digital Scholarship), 
with an eye towards growing a nascent publishing program then consisting of hosting a few 
journal titles on an open source platform. The LPC is an independent, community-led 
membership association whose purpose is to support an evolving, distributed range of library 
publishing practices and to further the interests of libraries involved in publishing activities 
on their campuses. It promotes collaboration, knowledge sharing, and networking among 
libraries and between libraries and other publishers, especially university presses (Lippincott, 
Coalition Launches). The libraries joined the LPC Project Team as a founding member in 
2012 in order to gain knowledge from others and leverage resources where possible to 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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support the growth of the libraries’ publishing arm. The LPC moved from a two-year project 
phase into a full-fledged membership organization in 2014 which indicates that this coalition 
is filling a need for those in the library publishing field. The benefits of belonging to such an 
organization may vary among members, but the authors’ experiences can best be described as 
being part of a community that willingly shares expertise among its members and discusses 
issues of common interest. Membership consists of more than sixty international institutions 
representing a diverse mix of sizes and types, all of whom can take advantage of the shared 
documentation library that includes such items as checklists and model memoranda of 
understanding (MOUs). Members can also attend periodic webinars of interest, utilize the job 
board, and attend the annual forum at a discounted rate. The authors were both able to serve 
on committees that allowed networking with individuals from other institutions, and provided 
continuous learning experiences that could be applied locally. 

One of the early deliverables of the LPC project was the development of a directory that 
compiled information about institutions currently engaged in library publishing. LPC has 
published two Library Publishing Directories that are freely available online in several 
electronic formats (Lippincott, Directory). These directories illustrate a range of emerging 
models and services offered in library publishing as well as information on platforms, 
staffing and marketing activities. The 2015 edition includes information from 124 
institutions. The compilation of this unique information in one publication allows 
stakeholders to locate peers, understand the range of practices, and inspire further action for 
those just starting in the field or for those wishing to grow their activities. 

Library Publishing Initiatives at Kansas State University 

K-State’s earliest foray into publishing dates back to 2004. At that time, the Graduate School 
started a pilot project to distribute and archive electronic ETDs. The K-State institutional 
repository, K-REx, was developed for this purpose using the open source software DSpace. 

In 2007 the Graduate School made electronic submission of all theses and dissertations in K- 
REx mandatory. Today nearly 4,000 ETDs that were bom digital are in K-REx. Another 
5,500 from past years have been digitized and deposited into K-REx. 

That same year, the Libraries began to strategize about the possibility of expanding beyond 
the repository in order to facilitate publishing activities and content creation. New Prairie 
Press (NPP) was founded in 2007 with the express mission of being an online, open access 
imprint devoted primarily to journals in the humanities and social sciences. The press was 
initially launched using the open source software, Open Journal Systems (OJS) but later 
migrated to Digital Commons. Today, the scope of NPP has expanded to include 
monographs, conference proceedings and textbooks from a variety of disciplines. The press 
now hosts seven faculty-led journals, three student journals, three annual conference 
proceedings (with another coming soon), four monographs and one open textbook. 

General Operations 

Once the Libraries made the strategic commitment to pursue publishing activities, staff 
members were re-assigned or appropriated from other areas of the library where some of the 
traditional work was changing focus or emphasis. Individuals contributing to NPP include 
the coordinator (0.5 FTE), as well as smaller time commitments from the director of the 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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Center, the scholarly communications librarian, and support staff. The Libraries’ information 
technology (IT) staff provides programming and IT consultation as needed. While technical 
support is provided by Digital Commons, the NPP coordinator is actively involved with all 
editors in training, set-up, editorial workflows, layout options and attending to individual 
needs of editors. 

In addition to providing the hosting platform, NPP offers services such as platform support, 
training, graphic design, formatting for epubs and other hand-held devices, metadata and 
copyright consultation, digitization, ISSN and ISBN registry, DOI assignment, and 
audio/video streaming. NPP does not currently provide traditional publishing services such as 
copyediting, print-on-demand, or typesetting although these are under discussion in order to 
provide more long-term benefits and value to NPP editors. However, adding services like 
these will involve the addition of more staff skilled in these areas or outsourcing the work, all 
of which increases the funding needed. 

The NPP staff members have learned that each new journal or project is different and brings 
unique challenges and skill set requirements. Whether working with streaming video, 
making content downloadable on various mobile devices, breaking apart PDFs, or dealing 
with digitization specifications one can never assume that a project will be straightforward or 
easy. In addition, training of new editors is critical and communication on policies and 
agreements must be clear and timely. Depending on the number of new projects at any one 
time and the demands of the project, work flows can be minimal or extremely hectic. In 
addition, work flows often need to be coordinated with other departments such as the 
digitization or metadata units or with faculty editors in other departments. 

Outreach and Marketing 

Outreach and marketing are critical to the success of library publishing. This involves not 
only building and nurturing relationships, but also developing the ability to sell the concept 
and authority of library publishing and the importance of open access. Primary outreach and 
marketing of NPP to campus faculty, programs and organizations is handled by the 
coordinator although the director and scholarly communications librarian are also actively 

Other librarians who have developed relationships with academic faculty are extremely 
important to the publishing outreach process. They often have the most information about 
current faculty projects and interests. By attending department meetings and interacting with 
faculty and other contacts, they hear about interest in student journals or the desire to put 
conference proceedings online. By advocating for the press, the librarians develop a certain 
level of buy-in and support for publishing activities and encourage campus collaborations. 
Librarians from public service departments were instrumental in bringing information back 
to NPP staff about potential projects, resulting in the publication of two new journals with 

The NPP web site ( and social media are also utilized 
as marketing tools. All information about the press is centralized on the web site, including 
policies, services, MOUs, and best practices for journal publishing. A Twitter account is 
maintained by staff members in the Center who ensure that one or two relevant tweets go out 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

each day regarding the press, open access or publishing. In addition, the coordinator has 
helped journal editors set up Twitter accounts and RSS feeds to push information out about 
individual journals. The K-State daily electronic newsletter is also utilized to announce any 
new journals or monographs, or promote NPP publishing services to the campus community. 

Looking to the Future: Analysis and Assessment 

The vast majority of library publishing programs were started to contribute to change in the 
scholarly publishing system - not for profit or cost recovery purposes (Mullins), and this is 
certainly the case for NPP. The publishing activities at K-State Libraries have slowly grown 
from the inception of the IR and NPP. While there is strong desire and commitment to 
continue these activities, there are also challenges that will determine future directions such 
as sustainability of staffing, platform costs, expanded services, and outreach efforts. The 
press is currently financed primarily through library budget allocations and publishing is 
offered as a service to the campus and state-wide constituents. As NPP grows, fee -based 
services may need to be considered as library funding continues to decrease. 

It will be critical to evaluate and assess the value of publishing services while also planning 
for a sustainable future. The first step in this assessment process is an annual review and 
update of the operating principles of the business plan. This plan provides a framework for 
the service and must be aligned with the libraries’ overall strategic plan. Analysis of usage 
statistics and dedicated staff time are other metrics to be considered. Other potential tools to 
aid in assessment are conducting focus groups with current editors as well as potential 
stakeholders to formalize their perspectives on current service or future expectations. Such 
information would help determine the feasibility of fee-based services, and a comprehensive 
review of long-term budget projections. 


Library publishing is becoming a strategic part of operations in many academic libraries. 
Besides supporting open access of materials, it fills a niche for many smaller journals, 
monographs and conference proceedings. Because there is such a wide variety of activities 
that fit under the umbrella of library publishing, even smaller libraries can participate at a 
scale that is appropriate for them. As with many endeavors worth pursuing, there can be 
challenges, but many libraries see one of their new roles in the changing landscape as that of 
creating and disseminating research or scholarly works. The overall rewards and benefits of 
such initiatives are framing a new strategic path for many libraries. 

Works Cited 

Bo-Christer, Bjork and David Solomon. “Open Access versus Subscription Journals: A 

Comparison of Scientific Impact.” BMC Medicine 10.73 (2012): n.pag. Web. 23 June 
2015. <>. 

Cawthorne, Jon, Vivian Lewis, and Xuemao Wang. “Transforming the Research Library 

Workforce: A Scenarios Approach.” Association of Research Libraries, 
2012. Web. 9 June 2015. < 

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Davis-Kahl, Stephanie and Melanie Schlosser, eds. Library Publishing. Spec, issue of 

Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 2.4 (2014): 1-148. Web. 4 
June 2015. <>. 

Hahn, Karla. Research Library Publishing Services: New Options for University Publishing. 
Washington: Association of Research Libraries, 2008. Web. 4 June 2015. 

Jugaszewski, Janice, and Karen Williams. “New Roles for New Times: Transforming Liaison 
Roles in Research Libraries.” Association of Research Libraries. Aug. 
2013. Web. 9 June 2015. < 

The Library as Publisher - Part 1. Spec, issue ofOCLC Systems & Services: International 
digital library perspectives. 30.3 (2014): 134-202. Web. 4 June 2015. 

<http ://w w w . emeraldinsight .com/toc/oclc/3 0/3 > . 

“Library Publishing Coalition: About Us”, Library Publishing 
Coalition. 2013. Web. 12 June 2015. <>. 

Lippincott, Sarah. Library Publishing Coalition Launches. Atlanta: Library Publishing 
Coalition. 1 July 2014. Web. 12 June 2015. 

_launch_20 1 407 02 .pdf> . 

Lippincott, Sarah (editor). The Library Publishing Directory 2015. Atlanta: Library 
Publishing Coalition, 2015. Web. 15 June 2015. 

Mullins, J. L. et al. Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success: Final Research 
Report. Washington: SPARC, 2012. Web. 11 June 2015. 

Rich, Hallie and Sari Feldman. “Transforming the Library Profession: Recruiting 

Librarianship ’s Best and Brightest.” American Libraries June 2015: n.pag. Web. 15 
June 2015. < 1 5/06/09/transforming-the- 
library -profession^. 

Sierra, Tito. “Staffing for the Future: ARL University Library Hiring in 2011.” www/ 
Association of Research Libraries. 2012. Web. 9 June 2015. 


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Walters, Tyler. “The Future Role of Publishing Services in University Libraries.” portal: 
Libraries and the Academy 12.4 (2012): 425-454. Project Muse. Web. 9 June 2015. 

Suggested Resources 

Oberlander, Cyril, Patricia Uttaro, and Allison Brown. “The Library Publishing Toolkit.” 

Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo and the Monroe County Library System. IDS Project 
Press, 2015. Web. 10 June 2015. 

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LibGuides Best Practices: How Usability Showed Us What Students Really 

Want from Subject Guides 

Kristen Costello 
Systems Librarian 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 

Darcy Del Bosque 
Emerging Technologies Librarian 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 

Susie Skarl 

Urban Affairs Librarian 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 

Michael Yunkin 

Head, Web & Application Development Services 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 


Subject Guides are a common feature on library websites. Librarians feel that the books, 
databases, and websites they include on these guides help students, but what do students really 

Usability testing was run to determine if librarians and students had different expectations for 
guides. The LibGuides used for testing were guides currently available publicly on the website. 
They were chosen because they represented the two ends of the spectrum of guides at the 
institution, with one being highly comprehensive and the other being shorter and offering more 
“best bets” type of information. Librarians were asked to complete a brief survey to determine 
their attitudes and preferences towards the guides and then performed a usability test on two 
guides. Students completed the same usability testing, but were asked different questions about 
preferences and usage. 

Results showed where students and librarians were in agreement and where their preferences 
differed. This information allowed the researchers to share with guide creators what students 
were really looking for and to redesign guides to better reflect best practices 


Subject guides have been a staple of academic libraries and have been studied off and on for 
decades. Initially, print-based documents and guides helped students connect with library 
resources. As technology changed, guides went online in a variety of forms. Recently 
LibGuides, a content management system specifically created for libraries, has become one of 
the most common ways for libraries to create and maintain library guides. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Although there have been several usability studies of LibGuides focusing on student use, 
there has not been a study that addresses how librarians create guides or if they would be able 
to fulfill common tasks using their own guides. This study aims to fill that void, using 
usability to compare how students and librarians navigate through guides and using surveys 
to obtain attitudinal information. 

Review of Literature 

Although librarians have embraced subject guides to assist patrons, first with print 
pathfinders and currently with online versions, researchers who have conducted usability 
tests have noted that undergraduate and graduate students may not be familiar with or 
interested in using these guides. Reeb and Gibbons conclude that students “do not relate well 
to subject guides” on the basis of several usability tests with a small number of participants 
(123). Additionally, LibGuides users tend to be overwhelmed by clutter and too many pages, 
boxes, and links (Corbin and Karasmanis 24-25). In results from their usability studies, 
Sonsteby and DeJonghe reveal that patrons struggled most when encountering jargon, 
inconsistent language, and visual clutter (83). In her 2007 study, Staley summarizes the 
findings of several studies showing that most students have never used a research guide and 
do not even realize that such guides exist (122-127). Staley also observes that students who 
have received library instruction are likely to make more frequent use of subject guides 

The literature suggests a disconnect between the subject guides created by academic 
librarians and the students who could benefit by using this information. Reeb and Gibbons 
state that if librarians are to meet students where they are, they need to move away from the 
traditional use of discipline-based to more course-based devices for organizing library 
resources. Once a connection is established, then the librarian can bring the student to a place 
of broader knowledge, awareness of content, and greater information literacy (128). In their 
open card sort study, Sinkinson, et al., report that the mental models used by librarians to 
design subject guides do not match the mental models of students who would use those 
guides and concluded that “users need research guides to fit in better with the user's research 
process and context” (80). 

Over the last several years, many scholars have noted that there is a lack of standards and 
regular updating with subject guides. Morris and Grimes surveyed research university 
libraries regarding their subject guides, finding that 70 percent had no updating schedule in 
place. In general, there was no formal protocol in the selection and maintenance of resources 
(213-215). Strutin echoes the need for more than one access point for guides, the importance 
of consistency in guide creation, and lists several attributes (including course- specific guides, 
good library website placement, and using chat to embed librarians within the guides) (para. 
44). In their 2010 article, Gonzalez and Westbrock share a working list of best practices in 
creating LibGuides, which includes creating a consistent look and feel, monitoring use of the 
guides, and soliciting user feedback (656). 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Usability Testing 

The authors gathered data from two distinct LibGuides populations: undergraduate students 
and subject librarians. All subjects participated in a usability test using the Morae usability 
software. In these tests, subjects were asked to perform a series of tasks using one of the 
library’s Subject Guides, which are subject-based LibGuides, as opposed to course or help 
guides. They were then asked to perform identical tasks on a different guide. The guides used 
in the test were chosen because of their differences: The Architecture Guide (see fig. 1) was 
very sparse, with only a few tabs and short pages, while the Communication Studies Guide 
(see fig. 2) was much more information-rich, with many tabs and longer pages. The tester 
chose at random which Guide was used first. Although the tasks for both groups were 
identical, the wording was adjusted slightly to account for the unfamiliarity of 
undergraduates with some library jargon. Following the usability test, subjects completed a 
survey designed to elicit their overall impressions of the guides. Materials collected included 
audio, video, and screen capture of the usability tests, and the post-test surveys. 




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Architecture Tags: aia. architectural, architecture, buildings, codes, construction, design, development, green, interior, landscape, nevada. planning, sustainability, sustainable, urban, vegas 
A guide to resources in the UNLV Architecture Studies Library. 

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Home Electronic Journals 


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(702) 895-2141 
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Profile & Guides 

A resource guide to the Architecture Studies Library (ASL) 

University of Nevada. Las Vegas 
4505 Maryland Parkway Box 454049 
Las Vegas. NV 89154-4049 
(702) 895-1959 - Fax 895-1975 
(ASL Location) 

Architecture Studies Library (ASL) Resources 

Architecture Studies Library (ASL) Home page 

For resources on architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, construction, interior 
design, sustainability, and collections on Las Vegas architecture & architects. 

Architecture Research Links 

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• Scholarly. Peer Reviewed Articles, plus Journals, and Databases 

• Books and e-books from the library catalog 

Fig. 1 Architecture subject guide 


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Communication Studies 

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| Articles 8 t Databases Books 81 e-books v 

Selected Internet Resources Communication Studies Course Guides 

Welcome New Communication Studies Grad Students! 

COM 101 Spring 2015: Starting Points/Resources for Speech Topics 

Database Tutorial - Comm & Mass Media Complete Database Tutorial - Comm Studies Help 

Home f Comments(O) B Print Page Search: 

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Susie Skarl 

Contact Info 
Urban Affairs Librarian 
UNLV Libraries 
4505 Maryland Parkway 
Las Vegas. NV 89154 
(702) 895-2141 
Send Email 


Profile & Guides 

Greenspun College of Urban Affairs 


Welcome to the Communication Studies guide! 

• Books & e-books 

• Articles, journals. & databases 

• Selected websites in Communication Studies 

Comments (1) 

Fig. 2 Communication Studies subject guide 

Eight undergraduates were recruited by contacting students who had participated in an earlier 
library survey, by asking students already involved in one-on-one research sessions, and by 
asking a class meeting in the Architecture Studies Library for volunteers. Students were 
asked to perform eight basic research tasks using each of two LibGuides for a total of sixteen 
tasks. After completing the tasks, students answered five post-test questions. 

Nine librarian LibGuides authors agreed to participate in the study. Each were asked two pre- 
test questions, and performed eight basic research tasks using each of two subject guides for 
a total of sixteen tasks. After performing the tasks, librarians answered four post-test 
questions and completed a survey. 


Getting to the guides was a large hurdle. Despite being linked on the library home page, 
available via search in Summon (QuickSearch), and in the library catalog, students spent a lot 
of time searching for the correct link. Initially, most student subjects went to QuickSearch, 

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November 6, 2015 


and although most of them were successful in bringing up a link to the guides through the 
system, the majority of subjects did not click on the link. In fact, three of the eight student 
test subjects could not find the guides at all and had to be led to the correct starting point. 
Part of the problem was that the students were unclear as to what was meant by a “subject 
guide.” In fact, one subject stated, “I don’t even know what I am looking for.” Librarians, on 
the other hand, had no problem accessing guides, because they were already aware of the 
placement of the link on the library home page. It was interesting to note that when asked to 
switch to another guide, many times instead of navigating from within LibGuides, librarians 
actually returned to the home page link. Another interesting fact was that librarians stated 
that they rarely introduced students to the home page link when teaching, but instead used 
URLs written on a whiteboard, or included on handouts or in syllabi. 

Both the student and librarian groups encountered difficulty answering certain questions 
during the usability test, but it was clear that librarians’ prior knowledge helped them 
succeed on the testing. Frequently, students would actually find the answer to the question 
being asked, but be unable to identify that they had been successful. Librarians, on the other 
hand, were able to understand the jargon and more quickly backtrack and try something new 
when their original attempt had failed. However, many of them indicated they were equally 
as frustrated as the students by the end of the test, remarking that the guides were frustrating 
to use or that there was too much hunting and pecking. At the same time, librarians were also 
stymied in some ways by their previous knowledge. Whereas students were able to think 
outside the box and unearth a variety of ways to answer a question, librarians often focused 
on finding what they considered the correct answer. For instance, when asked how to report a 
problem, students were more likely to say they would contact a librarian or use Springshare’s 
“Report a tech support issue” link embedded in the footer, while librarians hunted for the 
problem report form buried on the Help page. 

Both groups of subjects had problems navigating because of general website usability 
failures. Text on guides was not consistent across all subject areas, which hindered subjects 
finding what they needed. For example, when searching for information to help them create a 
bibliography, some guides referred to them as “style guides,” while other used “citing your 
sources and creating bibliographies,” and others used “citing your sources.” Both groups of 
test subjects frequently hovered over the tab area, but had difficulty finding where to click. 

At times, this was because tabs were hidden, either because guides had too many tabs, or 
because tabs were hidden in pull-down menus. Other times, it was because tabs were labeled 
poorly and could have been improved by using task-based text. Simple adherence to web- 
writing best practices would have also prevented some problems with navigating the guides, 
as subjects in both groups were reluctant to read copious amounts of text, while at the same 
time had a hard time navigating boxes that had no relevant explanation. The one question on 
the test that everyone correctly answered was to find the contact information for the librarian 
who created this guide, showcasing that simple design and appropriate use of graphic and 
text can make information much more easily findable. Both guides included broken links and 
outdated content, hindering completion of tasks. If LibGuides are maintained with relevant 
and current information, students will find them more valuable. 


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One notable result was that both groups of subjects learned as they navigated through the 
guides. If they were successful on one guide answering questions with the help tab, they 
would continue to navigate to the help tab, even when they had switched to the second 
subject guide. This leads the researchers to advocate for more consistency between guides, so 
that once a guide user has mastered using one guide, their skills will be easily transferable to 
other guides. Another observation was that there were two different types of subjects. One 
type actively avoided using the help tab or search bar, because they felt they should be able 
to find the information without it and viewed it only as a last resort. The other type actively 
sought out either the search box or help tab, because that is how they normally navigated 
through websites. This indicates that information should be repurposed from help pages and 
places on other tabs as needed. For instance, all pages should have links for reporting 
problems; users should not have to navigate to a separate page to report a problem. 
Additionally, links to interlibrary loan should be on both the Books tab and the Articles tab, 
in addition to being on the Help page. 

Both groups of subjects felt that guides had the potential to be useful, but students were 
noticeably unclear as to why they should use them. Inclusion in instruction classes and better 
marketing may help to bridge this gap. Additionally, streamlining content may also help to 
get students to use guides. Results indicated that guides should be shorter and more task- 
oriented, with both sets of subjects preferring and being better able to navigate the guide that 
had fewer tabs and geared more towards picking best bets, rather than the guide that was 
more comprehensive. One usability subject who was in her senior year remarked that she 
would not use the guides to answer the types of questions the usability test asked because she 
already could accomplish many of those tasks by using the library website. This points out 
how guides need to add value to information, rather than just replicating it in a different 
place. This was echoed by one of the librarian subjects, who remarked that her view on 
authoring LibGuides was to figure out what problem needed to be solved, rather than 
creating a guide for the sake of a guide. Guides provide an opportunity to increase value 
because they can go beyond what is included on the website and provide a subject based 
context for researching. They can highlight why the resource is important as a primary source 
or for specific to a time period, which may not be possible on the general database listing. 

Attitudes towards subject guides were surprisingly similar between librarians and students 
(see fig. 3). 

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Student and Librarian Attitudes Towards Subject Guides* 




Hard to Use 





Overwhelm ing 

1 1 

ZD 2.75 


~| 2.25 

H 2.38 

1 1 







1 1 


1 2 

H 2.63 






Hard to Use 

(Comprehensive! Cluttered 


Time- sa/ ing 

□ Student Average 











■ Facufcy Average 











• Scale: (1) Agrees Strongly- (5) Disagrees Strongly 

Fig. 3 Student and librarian attitudes towards subject guides 

Best Practices 

Following an analysis of the usability test responses from subject librarians and 
undergraduates, the authors created a working list of best practices that they hope will be 
beneficial to both the librarians who create guides and the students who use these guides for 

General Navigation and Formatting 

• Placement of LibGuides on library’s web pages is important. 

• Create the navigation on the guides so that students can find what they need and don’t 
need to rely on the search box. 

• Make navigation similar across guides. 

• Be consistent with LibGuides naming conventions. 

• Use fewer tabs, clearer words, and fewer columns. 

• Use a single search mechanism on LibGuides pages, rather than including multiple 
search boxes. 

• Use templates for LibGuides to ensure consistency. 


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Specific LibGuides Author Suggestions 

• Create clear and concise content that adheres to web-writing best practices. 

• Incorporate LibGuides into syllabi, library instruction workshops, and in reference 
transactions. Do not expect students to find LibGuides on their own. 

• Along with pointing out the link to the LibGuides, instruct the students on how to find 
guides via the library website. 

• Embed links to LibGuides in course management systems. 

• Market LibGuides via social media, in library orientations and presentations, and 
other venues. 

• Figure out common tasks or problems that need to be done in subject disciplines and 
use the LibGuides to solve those issues. 

• Include help at the point of need and consider using multiple methods of getting 

• Encourage LibGuides authors to review their guides every semester at the very least. 


This research study concurs with what others have discovered. Students are not inclined to 
use guides. They are confused about what guides are and when they should be used. In post- 
testing, many students felt that guides could be useful, but were not sure of how they could 
be renamed to make them more likely for users to find. Librarians were more likely to be 
able to use guides because of their prior knowledge; however, they too were confused when 
trying to navigate guides. 

Course guides are likely far more helpful to students than subject guides, since they help 
students navigate research in a more specific way. If subject guides are created, it would be 
best to put them in places students are more likely to reach them, such as embedding links to 
LibGuides in a course management system or in syllabi, rather than expecting that students 
will happen upon them on the library website. By incorporating some of the best practices 
listed and ensuring that content adds value to what is already offered on the general library 
website, subject guides can become a more useful tool for students. 

Works Cited 

Corbin, Jenny, and Sharon Karasmanis. "Health Sciences Information Literacy Modules 
Usability Testing Report." (2009) 


Gonzalez, Alisa C., and Theresa Westbrock. "Reaching Out with LibGuides: Establishing a 
Working Set of Best Practices." Journal of Library Administration 50.5-6 (2010): 638- 
56. Taylor & Francis Online. Web 24 June 2015. 

Morris, Sara E., and Marybeth Grimes. “A Great Deal of Time and Effort: An Overview of 
Creating and Maintaining Internet-based Subject Guides.” Library Computing: Internet 

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and Software Applications for Information Professionals 18.3 (1999): 213-17. 
ABI/Inform Complete. Web 24 June 2015. 

Reeb, Brenda, and Susan Gibbons. "Students, Librarians, and Subject Guides: Improving a 
Poor Rate of Return." portal: Libraries and the Academy 4.1 (2004): 123-30. Project 
Muse. Web. 24 June 2015. 

Sinkinson, Caroline, et al. "Guiding Design: Exposing Librarian and Student Mental Models 
of Research Guides." portal: Libraries and the Academy 12.1 (2012): 63-84. Project 
Muse. Web. 24 June 2015. 

Sonsteby, Alec, and Jennifer DeJonghe. "Usability Testing, User-Centered Design, and 
LibGuides Subject Guides: A Case Study." Journal of Web Librarianship 7.1 (2013): 

Staley, Shannon M. "Academic Subject Guides: A Case Study of Use at San Jose State 
University." College & Research Libraries 68.2 (2007): 119-40. Education Full Text. 
Web. 24 June 2015. 

Strutin, Michal. "Making Research Guides More Useful and More Well Used." Issues in 

Science and Technology Librarianship 55 (2008): 5. Freely Accessible Social Science 
Journals. Web. 24 June 2015. 


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November 6, 2015 

Going Beyond the "One-shot": 

Spiraling Information Literacy Across Four Years 

Shawna Smith 

Assistant Director for User Services 
Rivier University 
Nashua, NH 


This session presents the ways in which Rivier University includes and assesses information 
literacy in its interdisciplinary core curriculum. Rivier revised its undergraduate core 
curriculum in 2012, adopting “Journeys of Transformation,” the library staff worked in 
collaboration with faculty to embed information literacy throughout the core. The Core has 
many distinctive features, including the ways in which the curriculum— both “skills” and 
“content”— will “spiral” through subsequent years. This enables us to introduce, reinforce 
and then have students master information literacy skills over a four year period. This session 
will discuss how the core information literacy program was built and how it continues to 

In the first year students begin to encounter information literacy during their orientation and 
this program continues through their first year seminar courses. The seminars— one in English 
and one in Religious Studies— include intentional and formal instruction in specific 
information sources. The librarians in collaboration with the seminar faculty offer this 
instruction. Seminar faculty embeds information literacy skills in subsequent assignments. 
The seminars culminate in the First Year Academic Symposium. During the Symposium, 
students present an argument orally, using a poster as visual aid. Peers, faculty, and library 
staff assess their oral presentation and poster with rubrics. 

The faculty and the library staff have continued to build on the success of FY curriculum in 
one of the second year core courses, “Fiterature, Art, and the Human,” which includes formal 
information literacy instruction, again the product of collaboration between faculty and 
library staff. This course culminates in a “virtual symposium,” in which students will present 
their work online as part of our continuing commitment to what we call the “public 
demonstration of knowledge.” The work presented online is evaluated by peers, as well as 
faculty and library staff using rubrics. 

AY 2015-2016 will mark the third year of implementation which will build on the previous 
two years’ success. The collaboration between faculty and library staff will continue into 
what will be the third/fourth year of the core experience for our students. In their third/fourth 
year, students will complete a capstone core seminar, which will include both intentional 
information literacy instruction and a final symposium, in which students will present their 
work publicly, work to be evaluated by peers, faculty, and library staff. 

The session also offers analysis of assessment results from three homegrown tools. 1) An 
information literacy skills quiz completed by all full-time, first-time students as part of their 

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orientation to Rivier University. This evaluation provides library staff and seminar faculty 
with a “base-line” assessment of students’ information literacy. 2) Course-embedded 
information literacy skills assignments throughout all four years. Each seminar includes 
formal library instruction on specific sources and embeds this instruction in subsequent 
assignments. 3) Results from the evaluation of posters and oral presentations at academic 
symposiums with a library created rubric. 


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Building a Community of Practice: Librarian and Faculty Partnerships 

Lauren Hays 

Assistant Professor, Instructional and Research Librarian 
MidAmerica Nazarene University 

Mark Hayse 

Professor, Honors Program Director 
MidAmerica Nazarene University 


Making connections with faculty and other campus community members can prove 
challenging. Librarians have many demands on their time, but connecting with campus 
community members is necessary and important work. In this paper, the authors are a 
librarian and a faculty member who collaborated on the writing of a funded IMLS Sparks ! 
Ignition Grant to create a library-based Center for Games and Learning. As part of the grant 
activities, the authors created a vibrant community of practice that effectively provides 
support for faculty seeking to incorporate game-based pedagogy into their courses. The 
group is continuing to grow and build excitement among campus stakeholders. Communities 
of practices can take shape around any topic. The authors provide practical direction on 
building communities of practice at other institutions to meet the needs of different 

Review of Literature 

Universities get stronger when librarians and faculty members form fully collaborative 
working relationships by establishing communities of practice. Unfortunately, librarians and 
faculty members all wrestle with competing demands upon their time. Librarians manage 
complex systems that function as learning commons for diverse university cultures. Faculty 
members face the ebb and flow of syllabus preparation, lecture preparation, grading 
schedules, and end-of- semester deadlines. These obligations and pressures thicken the walls 
of disciplinary silos across the university. However, librarians already know how to 
collaborate with each another in numerous ways. They conduct effective and exciting work 
through those collaborations (Gunnarsson, Kulesza, and Pettersson 413; Hope and Peterson 
22; Pham and Tanner 2). In addition, librarians already serve faculty members by providing 
technology support, providing publishing and scholarly communications support, teaching 
information literacy, and integrating research into the curriculum. All of this work supports a 
common goal of student learning, mutually valued by librarians and faculty members. 
Librarians already stand at the crossroads between disciplinary university silos. Librarians 
also possess skills in forming collaborative working relationships. Therefore, librarians are 
ideally situated to establish fully collaborative communities of practice within the 
universities that they serve. 

At MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU), the authors— a librarian and the director of the 
university’s undergraduate honors program-leveraged the influence and leadership of the 

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university library in order to form an interdisciplinary community of practice across the 
university, supported by an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Sparks! 
Ignition Grant. The idea for this grant emerged during several meetings sponsored by the 
faculty development committee at MNU. First, the authors explored their shared interests in 
education, gaming, and collaborative scholarship leading to the creation of communities of 
practice during a scholarship incubator meeting hosted by the MNU faculty development 
committee. Next, the authors consulted informally with other librarians and faculty members 
across the university in order to explore and gauge others’ interest in these topics. Bolstered 
by the emerging interest and enthusiasm of others, the authors met formally with the 
university library director and the senior grant administrator in order to pursue grant funding. 
At MNU, librarians enjoy faculty status, leveraging their positions in order to form fully 
collaborative working relationships with the broader campus community. The library director 
and the grants administrator both showed support and interest in the proposed project. 
Obtaining their backing was vital to the formation of the grant and to the community of 

In the end, the IMLS Sparks ! Ignition Grant funded the development of a library-based 
Center for Games and Learning ( The Center’s mission focuses upon 
equipping educators to become game designers, training librarians to support their 
communities through game play, and disseminating cutting-edge research on games and 
learning. Currently, the co-directors of the Center accomplish this mission by concentrating 
on the classroom use of tabletop games instead of digital games, pursuing a vision for 
“games across the curriculum” at MNU. This label emerged during the informal consultation 
phase mentioned above, suggested by one of the faculty members who participated in that 
process. As part of the grant, the authors proposed a series of case studies in which faculty 
members would incorporate games in courses throughout the spring semester. To accomplish 
this portion of the grant, the authors identified almost a dozen interested faculty members 
across a wide range of disciplines: Business, Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, 
English, History, Information Literacy, Physics, and Religion. Nine faculty members finally 
decided to participate by offering at least one game in at least one course each. The authors 
selected these faculty members through a series of face-to-face conversations and email 
exchanges. As suggested by the grants administrator, these faculty members also wrote 
letters in support of the grant proposal, articulating their own interest in games and learning. 
The enthusiastic support of the faculty was evident in their willingness to engage in 
discussions, even prior to the funding of the grant. One faculty member, who had previously 
used games as a teaching tool, decided to teach an entire course using games. Her course- 
interpreting History through Games— enjoyed strong enrollment and sustained high levels of 
enthusiastic participation throughout the semester. 

Once the grant proposal was funded, the authors immediately began to support the faculty 
members who would form the community of practice. Support was provided through 
consultation on games, brainstorming sessions, and research. Wenger and Snyder define 
communities of practice as “groups of people informally bound together by shared expertise 
and passion for a joint enterprise” (139). Lave identified communities of practice as a 
necessary component for learning (65). Communities of practice have been used by academic 
librarians to support the tenure process (Henrich and Attebury 160) and to help librarians 
increase their teaching skills (Willey 91). At MNU, the establishment of the new Center for 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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Games and Learning provided just the right opportunity to create a new community of 
practice. The authors and faculty members jointly brainstormed practical ideas for classroom 
gaming. They discussed the best times and days for meetings. They talked about hopes and 
concerns for the grant-funded case studies that they would lead. 

At first, the community of practice adhered to a weekly meeting schedule. At those meetings, 
each faculty member brought different experiences and expertise to bear upon discussions 
about gaming pedagogy. The community of practice united around 1) a mutual curiosity 
about games, 2) a shared suspicion that games could invigorate teaching and learning, and 3) 
a general enthusiasm for improving their own teaching practice. The authors convened all 
meetings and facilitated discussion. However, the authors also encouraged all members to 
bring their own discussion topics to meetings. Each member shared their prior experiences 
using games in the classroom, as well as their aspirations for the future. All members 
possessed prior experience in game playing, but some of those experiences were negative. In 
response, the community of practice served as a hospitable space for all members to practice 
self-disclosure about game playing and their personal/professional identities-a long-standing 
research concern at the intersection of digital games, situated learning, and communities of 
practice (Gee “Situated Language” 18, 70; Gee “What Video Games” 51, 73, 169; Griffin 
133). A few faculty members in the community of practice already knew which games they 
wanted to use in the classroom. Many group members did not. However, all members were 
invited to discuss their game selections and other issues during early meetings with the grant 
consultant, Dr. Scott Nicholson of Syracuse University. In that way, each member enjoyed a 
sense of influence and agency as the grant work took its initial shape. Through weekly 
meetings, the community of practice provided a platform for collaborative leadership as 
members gave guidance to one another. 

Clearly defined goals must direct a community of practice as it grows. Without clear goals, a 
community of practice may wander aimlessly instead of persist toward its goals. In the 
authors’ case, the community of practice existed to 1) provide intellectual and relational 
support during the grant launch, 2) debrief faculty experiences with game instruction, 
facilitation, and debriefing, 3) provide an accountability structure for grant-related task 
completion throughout the semester, and 4) generate and consider future initiatives for the 
MNU Center for Games and Learning. As the semester unfolded, members felt increasing 
pressure to prepare lectures and assessments, grade student work, and manage the normal 
range of pre-commencement obligations. As a result, members attended early semester 
meetings with more regularity than later semester meetings. Nevertheless, these four goals 
kept meetings focused on the essentials as the semester progressed— even to the point of 
determining when a full weekly meeting was necessary, and when it could be shortened or 

In spite of the occasional shortened or cancelled meeting, the community of practice was 
successful in persisting towards the defined goals. If a meeting was cancelled, faculty knew 
they could still reach out to other group members for guidance or support. Creating a 
community that was willing to engage outside of planned meetings was important to the 
overall success of the group. The grant work required planning and coordinating by both the 
authors and the faculty members. Therefore, many informal meetings, e-mails, and 
discussions took place to confirm all members were ready for their instance of classroom 

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game play. Time outside formal meetings was also used for lively discussion on broader 
educational pedagogies and how they connect to games. 

In addition, the members of a community of practice need to know they can rely on each 
other as well as its conveners. In the authors’ case, the librarian used her skillset of research, 
education, and technology to provide resources and to create an online space for faculty to 
discuss games and learning. The honors director used his prior research expertise and games 
literacies to support faculty in the classroom with gaming pedagogy. A vibrant community of 
practice can be started by one or two champions, but it must be sustained by members willing 
to adopt the cause themselves. Other members in the community of practice shared potential 
game-teaching and game-debriefing tips with each other, drawn from their current 
experience. Members often shared insights such as “This worked well (or not so well), and 
here’s why.” In order to create a community of practice where the members rely on each 
other, members need to be willing to invest their time amidst competing priorities. As the end 
of the semester neared, other priorities understandably eclipsed the ability or willingness of 
members in the community of practice to meet on a weekly basis. The authors concluded that 
in the future, it would be wise to plan for this beforehand in the proposed meeting schedule 
and semester agenda. Leveraging the use of the online space would have been an alternative 
option for discussions when time constraints did not allow for face-to-face meetings. In this 
case, the nature of MNU is personal and communicative, so many of the faculty seemed to 
prefer face-to-face discussions. In general, the community of practice was successful because 
members gladly accommodated each other’s needs. 

Unexpectedly, the community of practice enjoyed a lot of visibility on campus. Since faculty 
members from multiple disciplines participated in the community of practice, a wide range of 
other faculty heard regular informal reports about the grant work. This caused excitement and 
curiosity among a wider campus constituency. Faculty not originally in the community began 
to verbalize their interest in trying games in their classrooms, seeking support from the 
community of practice. The community members successfully provided encouragement and 
support through informal discussions, game recommendations, and tips that they learned 
from their own experience. Although unexpected, this benefit helped the community to 
sustain its momentum and to thrive. 

Communities of practice can organize around any topic. To identify potential topics, 
organizers should note issues of relevance to campus stakeholders. Librarians already strive 
to stay up-to-date with a broad range of campus happenings. Librarians already understand 
the importance of identifying community needs. In the authors’ case, the librarian and the 
honors director capitalized on their prior relationship as professional colleagues. The 
librarian already understood the honors director’s research interests in gaming and education. 
The honors director already understood the librarian’s passion to link faculty members 
together in communities of practice. Together, the librarian and the honors director polled 
their colleagues to determine their interests and priorities. Along the way, the authors 
discovered that approximately half of the university faculty already utilized one form or 
another of gaming in the classroom! In addition, the authors enjoyed a pre-established 
working relationship with the senior grant director. As a result, the authors easily organized a 
community of practice around the topic of gaming and education. 


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November 6, 2015 


In the final analysis, librarians are ideally situated to form communities of practice. In a 
postmodern, digitally mediated age, research activities must surpass the connection of people 
with books or journal articles in a central repository. Instead, research activities must connect 
people with information, wherever it can be found. Authorship, expertise, and agency are not 
enjoyed by an elite few. To the contrary, diverse persons can bring valuable insights and 
skills to bear upon a wide range of conversations. In this sense, libraries that create or 
convene communities of practice enjoy a strategic place in the fulfillment of their missions. 
Librarians are integral to the sharing and creating of information in community. 

Works Cited 

Gee, James. Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling. New 
York: Routledge, 2004. Print. 

— . What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Rev. ed. New York: 
MacMillan, 2007. Print. 

Griffin, JoAnn. “Relationship Gaming and Identity: Stephanie and Josh.” Gaming Lives in 
the 21 st Century: Literate Connections. Ed. Cynthia L. Selfe, and Gail E. Hawisher. 
New York: MacMillan. Print. 

Gunnarsson, Jenny, Wlodek J. Kulesza, and Anette Pettersson. "Teaching International 
Students How To Avoid Plagiarism: Librarians And Faculty In Collaboration." 
Journal of Academic Librarianship 40.3/4 (2014): 413-417. Print. 

Henrich, Kristin J., and Rami rose Attebury. "Communities of Practice at an Academic 
Library: A New Approach to Mentoring at the University Of Idaho." Journal of 
Academic Librarianship 36.2 (2010): 158-165. Print. 

Hope, Charity B., and Christina A. Peterson. "The Sum is Greater than the Parts: Cross- 

Institutional Collaboration for Information Literacy in Academic Libraries." Journal 
of Library Administration 36.1/2 (2002): 21. Print. 

Lave, Jean. "Situating Learning in Communities of Practice." Perspectives on socially shared 
cognition. Ed. Lauren B. Resnick, John M. Levine, and Stephanie D. Teasley. 
Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1991. 63-82. Print. 

Pham, Hue Thi, and Kerry Tanner. "Collaboration between Academics and Library Staff: A 
Structurationist Perspective." Australian Academic & Research Libraries 46.1 
(2015): 2-18. Print. 

Wenger, Etienne C., and William M. Snyder." Communities of Practice: The Organizational 
Frontier." Harvard Business Review 78.1 (2000): 139-145. Print. 

Willey, Malia. "Library Instructor Development and Cultivating a Community of Practice." 
Advances in Librarianship 38 (2014): 83-100. Print. 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Engineering a New Home: Creating a Repository Collection for Faculty 

Lauren Todd 

Engineering Subject Librarian 
Washington University 
St. Louis, MO 

Emily Stenberg 

Digital Publishing and Digital Preservation Librarian 
Washington University 
St. Louis, MO 


Open Scholarship provides access to the scholarly output of faculty, staff, and students from 
Washington University in St. Louis by gathering it in one place. On May 9, 2011, the Laculty 
Senate passed the Open Access Resolution in order to make "scholarship and creative works 
freely and easily available to the world community" ( 
constitution/Documents/Open_Access_Resolution%20591 l.pdf). The Open Scholarship site 
was officially launched on March 26, 2012 as a platform for realizing this goal. Powered by 
Bepress's Digital Commons, and supported by the Libraries’ Digital Library Services, Open 
Scholarship is a further step in the University's commitment to open access. 

However, populating the collections beyond electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) has 
been inconsistent, and most faculty materials are added one article at a time across a handful 
of departments. In summer 2014, the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department 
contacted its subject librarian Lauren Todd about moving their technical reports from the 
department’s private SharePoint repository to Open Scholarship. Todd consulted with Emily 
Stenberg, the Digital Publishing and Digital Preservation librarian. Together with the CSE 
project manager and an involved professor, Todd and Stenberg formulated a plan to develop 
a collection in which faculty could submit their new reports and the subject librarian could 
administer the collection. They also developed a workflow making use of GoogleDrive to 
batch upload earlier technical reports from the department’s SharePoint site. This was the 
first collection developed in Open Scholarship for an entire department in a comprehensive 
manner. The scope of the collection expanded beyond technical reports to include other 
faculty contributions, including conference materials and published research. The CSE 
collection has also led to other engineering collections in Open Scholarship and extended the 
range of materials available in the repository. 


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November 6, 2015 

Teaching Citation Metrics 

Nicholas Wyant 
Head, Social Sciences 
Indiana University 
Bloomington, IN 


Citation Metrics (also known as bibliographic metrics) are available through a number of 
sources, both paid and free. This session will examine the teaching of citation metrics as a 
tool for researchers at any level. Simply put, Citation Metrics trace the use of academic 
articles, i.e. who cited who. Aside from providing a sense of pride to an author whose work 
has been cited multiple times, Citation Metrics can be tremendously useful for researchers. 

Google Scholar is a freely available tool to any researcher with a computer and Internet 
access. Google’s omnipresence in the world of research appeals to a number users, regardless 
of skill set. Indeed, the use of Google Scholar to trace citations is fairly easy and provides a 
relatively painless introduction to citation searching. 

Web of Science (WOS) and SCOPUS are both vendor products, and as such both allow for 
much more powerful use of citation metrics. In addition to tracing citations, WOS allows 
users to examine much more in-depth examination of the journals used by different 
disciplines. SCOPUS allows for examination of author affiliation as well as graphs that 
display trends in publishing of authors and institutions. 

Making sense of the options is no easy task. Librarians are uniquely positioned to instruct 
researchers on how to use these tools. This session will focus on helping researchers 
understand what Citation Metrics mean as well as how to use them effectively for their own 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Be the Change or: What Happened When Librarians 
Stopped B*tchin’ and Did Something 

Corey Halaychik 

Assistant Professor & Electronic Resources Specialist 
University of Tennessee 
Knoxville, TN 

Ashley Maynor 

Assistant Professor & Digital Humanities Librarian 
University of Tennessee 
Knoxville, TN 


Tired of the status quo? Annoyed by the current state of libraries? Fed up with people saying 
“no” or “impossible” to new ideas? We were, too, so we decided to do something about it. 
This session will discuss how a small team of librarians set out to invent a new kind of 
professional gathering. The Collective (, and will share tips for 
others interested in making a difference with vision, tenacity, and a little hard work. Join 
University of Tennessee Knoxville librarians Ashley Maynor and Corey Halaychik as they 
share their journey of organizing and hosting The Collective 2015 - a gathering of next- 
generation librarians who came together to learn, create, and collaborate around the theme of 
“libraries as curators and creators.” Additionally, they’ll share stories from other librarians 
who are shaking things up by redefining the landscape and changing the rules to help guide 
and inspire others who’d like to be the change in their library. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Archives 2.0 on a Shoestring 

Julie Pinnell 
Library Director 
Doane College 


Student employees and available digital resources are being used to increase access and 
preserve Doane College’s archival legacy. No public finding aids were available for the 
Doane College Archives before 2013. The sole access point was the part-time Archivist who 
was extremely concerned with security of the collection. Digitization seemed the solution for 
protecting and preserving valuable and delicate artifacts, but no additional funding was 
available for new initiatives. Library student employees began digitizing the existing analog 
Box Content Inventory Lists in 2012. Updating and creating new box contents lists began in 
2014, employing student employees and one staff member. Student employees were found to 
be very productive in listing box contents. A digitization project of photos and documents 
using Nebraska Memories as the storage and access platform began in 2014. Nebraska 
Memories is a service provided by the Nebraska Library Commission. Box content lists are 
now accessible using the LibGuide platform and all lists and documents are cataloged for 
access in the Doane Library online catalog. Revealing the Archives contents has caused both 
excitement and consternation. 


Doane College Library and Archives are housed in the same building in adjacent spaces. 
When the current library director began working at the library in 2012 she noticed that 
students asking to do research in the archives were turned away. In her first year she never 
saw a student being allowed to work with archival materials. The Archivist was the only 
contact for doing research in the archives. There were no publicly available finding aids or 
inventories. The archivist was the gatekeeper of access to the collection and wished to remain 
in that role. She felt her role was to restrict access in order to protect delicate materials from 
damage or theft. Collection security was an overriding concern. 

The Doane Library staff and budget were quite small so the library director began exploring 
ways to make the archival collection secure while still being accessible and to do this without 
an increase in budget. Using existing resources in new ways was a necessity. 

Doane College is fiscally conservative, a practice that has helped it remain viable since its 
founding in 1872. The budget for the archive is $1000 a year and is primarily used for 
archival supplies. Library funding has been reduced and the primary mission of the library is 
to support student learning. Since no new funding was available for new ventures the 
question became: how do we offer new services with existing resources? 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Review of Literature 

With the increased interest in higher education for undergraduates to engage with primary 
source materials as a starting point for research and the evident interest by undergraduates to 
research Doane related topics, the need for public finding aids became apparent. This follows 
national trends revealed in a literature review. Matt Gorzalski notes that in the last 30 years 
there has been a strong and growing use of primary resources in higher education instruction 
(2015). “Primary sources are all about critical thinking, and as such, the skills needed for 
primary source analysis fit into nearly every expectation for the 21 st century classroom” 
(Johnson 2009). 

Box Lists and Inventory 

The first order of business was to use a student employee to digitize the print Archives 
Directory document. This document was created by a previous library director as a finding 
guide and was dated 1989. Updating this document and making it publicly available as a 
finding aid was the next step. Once the student employee had keyed the directory into a 
Word document, the Archivist formatted the document and added newer inventory 
information that she had been keeping in other documents. 

A happy coincidence occurred at this point. The library director had accepted a practicum 
student from the University of Missouri Library School and her interests centered on archival 
work. The graduate student’s practicum project became creating a register for the Library’s 
archival boxes. 

Some of the library and archives staff questioned who would be qualified to create box 
inventory lists. It was decided that, with training in how to handle archival materials, student 
employees could be trusted to create box content lists and the archivist could later add the 
information for provenance and the historical background (scope and content) considered 
standard for inventory registers. 

But where would these registers and inventory lists reside? Our intention is to make it 
possible for researchers to make informed choices about whether to pursue research in the 
Doane archives. We want to make the lists accessible for perusal by anyone interested. 

Doane Library subscribes to the LibGuides content management system and uses LibGuides 
to make Research Guides available to students. The director concluded that this was the 
logical place for making archival box inventory lists available to potential researchers as 
students are used to going to the Research Guides for help in doing their research. Doane 
LibGuides are linked to the Doane Library web page and through the library catalog. 
LibGuides have the added benefit of being discoverable via Google. 

Three undergraduate students worked on creating box inventory lists during the 2014-2015 
academic year. Two worked as a team with one describing aloud the box contents while the 
other transcribed the inventory. Another undergraduate student wanted to work extra hours 
before graduation and enjoyed inventorying some of the athletics archival materials. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Priorities (for which boxes to inventory) are based upon archives inquiry requests that have 
been entered into our new Archival Queries Log, a Google spreadsheet where queries and 
their progress are recorded. 

Several full time Doane Library staff members have started recording archival box contents 
when their workflows allow. Everyone working on this project finds it to be interesting and 
rewarding work. 

Digitization and Upload to Nebraska Memories Project 

The Doane Archivist’s concern for theft or damage of delicate or irreplaceable artifacts is 
well founded. To remedy this concern, key archival primary resources are being scanned 
and uploaded into Nebraska Memories. 

“Nebraska Memories ( is a cooperative project managed by the 
Nebraska Library Commission to digitize Nebraska related historical and cultural heritage 
materials and to make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet” (Dragos, 
Novotny, and Nimsakont 7). The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) hosts the project and 
translates contributor’s descriptive narratives into formal metadata. The NLC retains a copy 
of the archival TIFFs, providing the contributing institution an off site backup. All of these 
services are provided by the Nebraska Fibrary Commission without fees. 

Doane’s Archivist was concerned that if research quality images were available in Nebraska 
Memories, they would be susceptible to misuse. Fuckily Nebraska Memories is a hosted 
ContentDM site and there are settings for viewing only with no downloading or copying of 
images. Viewers can request copies from the institution so that legitimate use is not 


During the last academic year Doane faculty members have asked that their classes be 
allowed to work with primary sources from the Doane Archives and they have been allowed 
access. The Doane History faculty, in particular, have appreciated the public finding aids for 
student use. 

The Doane Archivist remains unconvinced that such discovery enhancements are necessary 
or desirable. This uneasiness may come from an Archival theory that an archivist is an 
authority figure. Web 2.0 technologies and online finding aids represent a current shift in this 
philosophy that promotes needs of the user and an ethos of sharing and openness. (Palmer 3) 

Works Cited 

Dragos, Devra, Allana Novotny, and Emily Nimsakont. "Nebraska Memories: Making 

Nebraska's Past Unforgettable." Nebraska Libraries 3.2 (2015): 7-11. Web. 24 June 
2015. <http://digitalcommons. cgi?article= 10 1 1 & 

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November 6, 2015 


Gorzalski, Matt. “Archives and Non-Humanities Students: Teaching With Primary Sources 
Beyond Document Analysis”. College & Research Libraries News 76.3(2015): 144- 
146. Web. 1 July 2015. < 
1 09a-48f3-b624-89 1 966e5f0f5>. 

Johnson, Mary J. "Primary Sources and Web 2.0: Unlikely Match or Made for Each Other?" 
Library Media Connection 27.4 (2009): 26-30. Web. 23 June 2015. 

Palmer, Joy. "Archives 2.0: If We Build It, Will They Come?" Ariadne 60 (2009) 1-5. Web. 

1 July 2015. <>. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Student Recruitment: Ways of Recruitment and How the Library Can Help 

April K. Miller 

Assistant Professor, Sayre Campus Librarian 
Southwestern Oklahoma State University 


Recruitment of students is a difficult and imposing task for many colleges and universities 
today. As budgets are shrinking many admission offices are looking to departments on their 
own campuses for assistance in reaching a wider net of prospective students, and enticing 
those students to consider their particular university. Libraries have begun partnering with 
their admissions office to discover various ways they can aid in recruitment. 

Review of Literature 

The focus of research in the literature review revolves around student recruitment and ways 
the library can aid in that recruitment. Limited research was found on the direct correlation 
between libraries and student recruitment, while much was discovered on the importance and 
methods of the recruitment of prospective students. Articles reviewed ranged from a case 
study of a library lending its assistance in communicating the university’s mission to high- 
priority athletic and academic recruits, to an article containing a framework developed to 
assist in recruiting students interested in the health care field. By the lack of articles found 
regarding libraries aiding in student recruitment, one can conclude this is an area in need of 
additional research. The research that has been done all supports the fact that many libraries 
are assisting with recruitment; however, significantly more has been written on student 
recruitment as a whole. 

In the current economy, many colleges and universities stress the importance of recruitment 
to all employees and departments. Recruiting students is a problem of every school, college, 
and university. There are many ways to recruit students. Colleges and universities need to 
look at what sets them apart, or create an environment that sets them apart, from all the other 
numerous alternatives available to prospective students. Each school has its own atmosphere 
created by features or highlights of the university like iconic buildings, a long history that is 
unique to them, intriguing educational programs or award-winning faculty (Kopp 192). The 
library is often overlooked as an asset in aiding the recruitment process and as an excellent 
resource for the admissions office. “Libraries expend a great deal of effort in trying to market 
collections and services to current students and faculty within the campus community. So 
why ignore prospective students, who may become members of a school’s internal 
constituencies in just a year or so (Kopp 194)?” 

Libraries and the University Mission 

Libraries are an integral part of the mission of a university. Often universities use the library 
to share messages about the university and its mission to outside groups like alumni, donors, 
and the community. The library frequently has many services and holdings which can be 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


highlighted during fundraising drives and donor parties, as well as alumni. Although the 
library is used often for promoting the university to outside sources, it is rarely used in 
student recruitment (Kopp 193-194). Despite this fact, university administrators claim the 
campus library is the educational center of the university, yet many librarians feel out of the 
loop when it comes to university happenings and decisions. To counter this disconnect, 
librarians should actively search out campus issues and changes in which they can assist. In 
doing this, they will help the success of the university as a whole, get the opportunity to work 
with faculty and university administrators, and develop a better understanding of the 
workings of the university (Behr, Bundza, and Cockerel 2). Working with faculty and other 
essential offices on the campus can only help the librarians cultivate better relationships and 
bring the library to the forefront as an essential need of the campus. 

Retention and Recruitment 

A study conducted by Hubbard and Loos found that libraries are more likely to participate in 
retention activities than recruitment activities. (In many ways, this result is not surprising as 
there is little literature on libraries and recruitment and much more written on libraries and 
retention.) In cases where the library participated in both recruiting and retention activities, 
the results showed retention levels were higher (175-176). The results of Hubbard and Loos’ 
study indicate the library’s role in recruitment may be on the rise as others realize the 
advantage of the library’s involvement. If libraries want to be more active in student 
recruitment and retention, the consideration of allocating library resources to campus-wide 
activities themed around recruitment or retention which are run and assessed by the library 
should be examined (Hubbard and Loos 175-177). 

Some colleges, especially smaller colleges, have tried a more personal approach in promoting 
the programs of the college or university. Mount St. Mary’s University has taken this 
personal approach and applied it to the school’s website. Prospective students can enter their 
information and interests, and by doing this, the students create a personalized guide to the 
university that they can either view online or print. These brochures, by default, will have 
any information on admission events or open houses. “Getting the prospective students and 
parents on campus remains a key element in the recruitment process” (“Mount St. Mary’s” 

3). Another intriguing caveat in the recruiting process of Mount St. Mary’s University is that 
their web system automatically sends a thank you note to any prospective student who enters 
information in order to create their personalized brochure. Any college or university sets 
themselves apart by using this unique approach and catches the attention of prospective 
students (“Mount St. Mary’s” 2-3). Most students appreciate customization, and by showing 
prospective students the college or university cares about their education and future, they are 
more likely to choose to attend the institution. 

There are many ways the library can aid in the recruitment of prospective students. Many 
prospective students tour the campus; this is a perfect time for the library to begin building 
relationships with them. Instead of describing various services, create an activity to showcase 
these services which also demonstrates the library is a fun environment for learning. If 
students feel the library is an exciting place and librarians are not the scary people many have 
in their mind, the students are more likely to seek help from the library when writing papers 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

and working on other assignments (Scalfani and Shedd 78). If students are unable to visit the 
library in person, or wish to view the library in advance of an open house or other visit, 
having a virtual tour of both the library and the campus is an excellent and accommodating 
way to give the student a feel for the campus. Is your library or campus in a partnership or 
collaboration with outside groups, such as a museum in town, a hospital working with the 
nursing department, or state organization? If so, talk with these partners about including a 
link to the university on their website or have promotional brochures in their offices (Van 
Tonder 6401). 

Examples of Libraries Aiding in Recruitment 

Libraries adopting new technology and services could develop these into activities and 
programs instead of just talking about them in tours, classes, etc. If a library has a digital 
media production center, 3-D printer, gaming activities, iPad or laptop checkout, it could use 
these services to create activities to break up the monotony and information overload of the 
typical campus tour (Scalfani and Shedd 78). As a great icebreaker when talking to a group 
of students, give each a card with a call number printed on it. Have the students figure out 
how to put them all in order (or find the item). This will encourage the students to talk to one 
another and even possibly ask for help from the librarians (Behr, Bundza, and Cockrell 7). 

The University of Alabama (UA) Libraries partner with the UA Office of Orientation and 
Special Programs to host special library activities in addition to regular tours during the 
Sibling Orientation held each summer for the high school siblings of entering freshman 
students. One activity took place in the UA Libraries’ 3-D Studio. 3-D printed Alabama 
script logos were created with the attendees by the Science and Engineering Librarian. The 
other activity took place in the Sanford Media Center where students were taught basic photo 
and short clip video editing. At the end of the day the prospective students had a digital copy 
of his or her own orientation video complied from images and video of their visit which they 
had learned how to edit to make their own, as well as a 3-D printed Alabama script A 
(Scarlfani and Shedd 76-77). Not every library has access to this level of technology, but 
those who do could take advantage of it in order to enhance recruitment. 

Western Michigan University hosts a Medallion Scholarship program for incoming freshman 
every year. This program is also used as a recruiting tool for those students who do not 
receive the scholarship. The library hosts an event that is both challenging and 
entertaining. The library states, “we wanted to take the opportunity to teach concepts and 
skills that would be useful to them, no matter where they chose to enroll and which library 
they would eventually use” (Behr, Bundza, and Cockrell 5-6). The library planned four 
different activities for the event. Artifacts of the Elders showed participants that libraries 
include more than just books and magazines by showing them pieces from the archival and 
special collections. Students had to compare search results between a library database and 
Google in Battle of the Search Engines. In The Citation Jumble and Plagiarism Puzzle , 
students were to cite a variety of different types of sources and answer questions about 
plagiarism. The highlight of the night was the game Going for the Gold. Teams of students 
competed in a timed event collecting various items throughout the entire library from a list 
given to them by the moderator. The activities were a combination of social and educational 

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November 6, 2015 


emphases with points being kept for each game, which also made them competitive, a perfect 
combination when dealing with students (Behr, Bundza, and Cockrell 7-8). 

McMahan Library’s Role with Student Recruitment 

The McMahan Library, on the Southwestern Oklahoma State University-Sayre campus, has 
joined forces with other departments to aid in recruitment. The library assists with Career 
Day, New Student Orientation, Freshman Orientation, the Literary Festival held on campus, 
and many tours for prospective students and their families. 

The Literary Festival is a recent addition to the campus, and is open to not only college 
students, but also high school students and the general public. SWOSU-Sayre began hosting 
it in fall 2012, and each year the event is expanded. The library and the Language Arts 
Department are the main contributors to this event, but as with most events, it takes everyone 
on campus to make the event a success. The Literary Festival is a one day event that features 
mostly local or state authors, student panels, video contests and a variety of vendors. The 
students can submit poetry, short stories or photos of original artwork to be included in the 
Student Anthology which is printed by the University Press and available for pick up on the 
day of the event. The video contest is open to both high school and college students. During 
the break for lunch, which is provided by a local bank, the attendees can vote on their 
favorite videos with winners being announced later in the afternoon. An Open-Mic Night is 
held in the evening at the local coffeehouse where students can read their poetry or short 
stories to those in attendance. This event has drawn a lot of community support, and every 
year the number of high schools who bring their students has increased. 

Career Day is a campus wide event open to area high schools and college students. The day 
is filled with sessions on the variety of interests and degrees offered on both the Weatherford 
and Sayre campuses. The library assists in this event by providing space for some of the 
sessions, introducing various speakers, and by providing tours and talks about how the 
library can assist students in many areas. 

Another similar event for the library is New Student Orientation. Students that will begin 
classes in the fall usually attend a new student orientation in the spring or summer. These 
orientations usually begin in the library with a tour, description of various library services, 
introduction to Dean, Registrar and Counselor, with the students receiving packets of 
information they will need to enroll. The library also gives tours and talks to all Freshman 
Orientation classes, and the author has begun teaching one of the three classes of Freshman 
Orientation offered on the SWOSU-Sayre campus. 

The main recruiting event in which the library plays a big part is the Timed Writing and 
Research Project (hereafter Timed WARP). Since its inception in 2000, Timed WARP is held 
every spring for area high school juniors to attend and write a timed research paper. The 
Language Arts department, in conjunction with the library, hosts the event with help from 
other faculty and staff on campus. A panel of evaluators selects the top three essays and the 
university awards scholarships: 1st place, $600; 2nd place, $500; 3rd place, $400. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Students and sponsors begin the day by registering in the library and enjoying a continental 
breakfast. After a welcome from the dean, the head of the Language Arts department has a 
fun literary quiz for the sponsors to complete with the help of their students. The winners of 
the quiz receive a variety of prizes. Students also win prizes by answering trivia questions. 
Each year Timed WARP has a theme, and the students view video shorts that tie in with that 
theme, and a list of possible writing topics are handed out. After viewing the videos, the 
librarian gives a short demonstration on using databases available on the library’s website as 
well as checking the authority of internet sources. The students are then divided into two 
computer labs to begin working on their research papers. The sponsors attend continuing 
education opportunities provided by the faculty of the Language Arts department and the 
library. At noon the students break for lunch which is either provided by the university or an 
area community group. During lunch, students play games such as Bingo for prizes. After 
lunch the students return to the computer labs to finish up their research papers. When the 
students are finished with their papers, they submit them for review and the students return to 
school. The panel of evaluators reviews the papers in the afternoon and selects winners. The 
university notifies the schools of the winning papers and returns all papers with written 
critiques. This event has been a large success on the campus and has recruited many students, 
not just those awarded scholarships. 


It doesn’t matter the size of the group of students or the fonnat of the contact, college and 
university libraries are perfect partners with the admissions office to assist in recruiting 
prospective students (Kopp 199). The library can use these opportunities to highlight their 
presence on campus as the educational center of the college or university. “Every educator 
involved in a teaching programme [sic] has the responsibility to actively and positively 
promote the relevant professional and academic programme” (Van Tonder 6402). Librarians 
should also take an active course in promoting the library, educational programs and the 
university not only to prospective students, but also current students, faculty, administrators, 
alumni, and the community. 

Works Cited 

Behr, Michele D., Maira Bundza, and Barbara Cockrell. “Going for Gold: Recruiting 

Students and Engaging Administrators through Education and Entertainment in the 
Library.” College & Undergraduate Libraries 14.1 (2007): 1-18. Library, 
Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 25 June 2015. 

Hubbard, Melissa A., and Amber T. Loos. “Academic Library Participation in Recruitment 
and Retention Initiatives.” Reference Services Review 41.2 (2013): 157-181. Print. 

Kopp, Maggie Gallup. “Academic Libraries, Institutional Missions, and New Student 

Recruitment: A Case Study.” Reference Sendees Review 41.2 (2013): 192-200. Print. 

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November 6, 2015 


“Mount St. Mary’s University Personalizes Student Recruitment.” Seybold Report: 

Analyzing Publishing Technologies 14.11 (2014): 2-8. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 25 
June 2015. 

Scalfani, Vincent F., and Lindley C. Shedd. “Recruiting Students to Campus.” College & 
Research Libraries 76.3 (2015): 76-79. Print. 

Van Tonder, SP (Fanus). “Student Recruitment: A Framework Developed Through a Multi- 
Phased, Multi-Method Process Planning Approach.” Gender & Behavior 12.2 (2014): 
6396-6419. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 June 2015. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

“You want me to take my headphones off?!”: A Student Centered 
Transformative Customer Service Training Approach 

Ashley Creek 

Access & Learning Services Librarian 
University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, Kansas 


The University of Saint Mary De Paul Library is in a period of transition. As the library’s 
space and philosophy of purpose changes, library student workers are a constant source of 
valuable feedback as well as resources to help professional staff drive change. While 
revamping the library’s front desk customer service training, the Access & Learning Services 
Librarian empowered student workers to help shape the future of the library. 

A training program was designed to allow the student workers to discuss the overall 
atmosphere and experience of the library before breaking down their professional role in that 
experience. The student workers, as a collaborative group, were then tasked with articulating 
front desk customer service standards, rules, and guidelines. This outcomes-focused 
collaborative approach was well-received by the student workers and has led to a more 
positive, uniform approach to customer service at the library front desk. The author 
showcases the strategies and steps employed in this training program, lessons learned, and 
future training initiatives. 


A new library director can be a transformative change, particularly if she or he brings a new 
vision of what the library should be to an academic campus. Over the course of the past year, 
library staff at the University of Saint Mary have shifted away from a library vision centered 
on the collection to one centered deliberately on the experience of the library users. Physical 
changes were dramatic, but more important were changes in attitudes and priorities. New 
emphasis placed on the user experience resulted in the Access Services Librarian developing 
a customer service training program grounded in the dual role of student workers as user base 
and front line employees. 

Literature Review 

Many different approaches to customer service training are applicable to library student 
worker training. Two of the most popular are the FISH! Philosophy (Lundin, Paul and 
Christensen) and The Disney Way (Capodagli and Jackson), training systems created by 
companies famous for focusing on the customer’s experience while also building employee 
loyalty. Although the nature of student employment includes a certain level of turnover, 
student workers who feel engaged and respected are more likely to return to the library, 
requiring less repetitive training and allowing supervisors to assign more complex tasks 
(Bagshaw 44). 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


FISH! Philosophy was based on the playful work climate created by the fishmongers at Pike 
Place Fish Company, as interpreted by John Christensen, CEO of ChartHouse International 
Learning Corporation in the “Fish!” training videos (Statewide 8). It centers on four main 
directives: 1. Play, 2. Make their day, 3. Be there, and 4. Choose your attitude (7). By 
working to improve the morale and approach of employees, customer service improves 
because employees are truly enjoying their work and empowered to improve their own 
experience (9). 

The Disney Way is a comprehensive training approach created to train supporting employees 
in the experience-oriented Disney culture. As with the FISH! Philosophy, four keys guide the 
service basics for providing great customer service experience: “safety, courtesy, show, and 
efficiency (in that order)” (Jones 1). These guidelines encourage cast members (Disney lingo 
for employees) to interact with guests as individuals on an emotional level, going beyond 
meeting basic expectations to making memories (1). 

The Access Services Librarian was influenced by these two philosophies when creating the 
customer service training session, and thus focused on empowering student workers to see 
themselves both as employees and library guests. While the supervisor should aim to make 
the experience of working in the library rewarding, student workers own an enormous role in 
how the university views and interacts with the library. 

Previous Training Methods 

In previous years, the library had been allotted nine student worker positions for the 
academic year. With 66.5 service hours each week during the spring and fall semesters, it 
was impossible to have all the desk hours covered by student workers alone. Training was 
focused on essential tasks and could only be scheduled during each student’s desk shifts. 
Customer service was covered in a handout outlining expectations for desk apparel and 
behavior and returned (signed) to the Access Services Librarian for each student’s file. Other 
than corrective actions on the spot, the document was generally never referred to again. 

Planning and Preparation 

In late October, the library was gifted two extra student worker positions for the rest of the 
academic year. This development ensured both full desk coverage for the spring semester, 
but also a slight surplus of hours that could be utilized for further training and larger library 
projects. The Access Services Librarian decided to hold a training session for the entire 
student worker contingent with the dual goals of developing student-driven customer service 
standards and enhancing cohesion among the student worker team. 

Beginning with these outcomes in mind, the training session was designed as a series of 
exercises to break the ice, describe the role of student workers within the library, discuss the 
user library experience, and develop a set of customer service guidelines. The Access 
Services Librarian used the time to act as a facilitator, encouraging the students to fully 
participate in the process as library professionals, rather than as a manager dishing out rules 
from on high. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Training materials encouraged broader participation among the student workers. For each 
activity, students were given index cards and pens to write down their own thoughts before 
being asked to share with the group. A mobile TV cart connected to the Access Librarian’s 
laptop had slides with the questions to be asked during each phase, as well as preloaded 
examples of other academic libraries’ customer service training YouTube videos. When 
sharing material with the group, the Access Services Librarian used a whiteboard to record 
responses verbatim. Of course, snacks of cookies and chips also helped to lighten the mood 
and lower inhibitions toward participation. 

Breaking the Ice 

As student workers arrived for the training session, the Access Services Librarian invited 
them to grab some snacks, a pen, and a few notecards for brainstorming throughout the 
training session. The following icebreaker prompts were posted on the display screen: 

1. Name 

2. Year in School and Major/Minor 

3. Hometown 

4. One item on your bucket list 

(A “bucket list” is a list of experiences or accomplishments 
you’d like to do before you die, or “kick the bucket.”) 

After all the student workers arrived, the Access Services Librarian began the training 
session by welcoming all the workers and starting off the icebreaker. This was designed to 
lower anxiety by not putting any student on the spot to be the first to share with the group, 
and also to give those who had arrived at the end more time to prepare an answer with a 
bucket list item example. 

Once all the students had introduced themselves to the group, the Access Services Librarian 
tied the icebreaker to the larger training topic. Bucket list items tend to be very experience- 
focused— two students mentioned skydiving, another wanted to backpack through Italy, and 
one wanted to visit all seven continents. When remembering places or events, users or 
customers are more likely to remember their overall experience rather than a logo, or an 
entrance way, or a marketing slogan (Zwilling 1). In their dual role of student users and 
library staff, student workers are uniquely positioned to assess and positively impact the 
general library user experience for the campus. 

What Do Student Workers Do? 

The Access Services Librarian asked the student workers to write down on their notecards 
their concept of the experience of a library student worker. After a few minutes, students 
were asked to share their descriptions with the group. The librarian acted primarily as 
stenographer, writing suggestions on the whiteboard. Through the ongoing discussion, some 
of the student workers noticed that some of the responses were primarily task-based, the on- 
paper duties as assigned, while others were more of an attitude toward the job. Others argued 
that some suggestions worked both as attitudes and tasks for library student workers. 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


As the conversation about the student workers’ perceptions of their position wound down, the 
Access Services Librarian asked participants to consider how the attitude of student workers 
both at the front desk and throughout the building impacts their experience when using the 
library (see table 1). 

Table 1 

Describe the Role of Student Workers in the Library 


Both Attitude & Task 


Be approachable 

Help students & visitors 

Describe services 

Be polite 


Answer the phone 

Don’t give up— Find Help! 

Shelve books 

Give directions 

The Library Experience 

Again, the Access Services Librarian asked the student workers to think about how they 
wanted users, particularly new students and campus visitors, to experience the library. How 
should they see the space and services? After a few minutes provided for writing down ideas 
on their cards, the floor was opened for discussion and answers were recorded on the 
whiteboard by the librarian (see table 2). 

Table 2 

How Do We Want People to Experience the Library? 

Spaces and Services 

Not scary 

Here for you 


No/low distractions 

Repeat customers/regulars 







Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

This question was phrased inclusively to allow student workers to articulate a vision of the 
library as owners and custodians of the space, as library staff with a vision for the library’s 
role on campus. Answers were left visible for the next stage in the training exercise, keeping 
the student workers’ collective vision at the center as the desired outcome when setting 
guidelines for student worker customer service. 

From Vision to Reality 

For the next stage in the training, the Access Services Librarian asked student workers to 
consider how their behavior and attitudes while on duty impacts how users experience the 
library. Framing the question in terms of training new classes of student workers in the fall, 
she asked each student to brainstorm guidelines for student workers learning how to provide 
customer service. 

To get them started to provide time for contemplation, the Access Services Librarian showed 
customer service training videos for student workers created by the University of South 
Dakota (De Jager-Loftus 1), the Foley Center Library (Mayhook 1), and the FIU Glenn 
Hubert Library (Hammill 1). These videos provided an often comical, yet informative 
opening to conversation. 

After the videos were shown, students were invited to suggest training guidelines for 
customer service. The Access Services Librarian took notes in a Google document, editing 
guidelines in response to student comments and feedback. Discussion was encouraged when 
other students reacted with concern, particularly noticeable when the suggestion arose to not 
allow headphones at the front desk or other primarily service-oriented tasks. 

Having a relatively diverse group of student workers helped discussion, as some students 
reported no trepidation at approaching a student wearing one or both earbuds, while others 
felt comfortable expressing that earbuds would lead them to avoid interaction. A compromise 
position was proposed by the students: when engaged in weeding, shelving, or other non- 
service tasks during their shifts, student workers are allowed to wear headphones. Further 
discussion also led to the proposed caveat guideline, “Don’t invent jobs away from the desk 
in order to wear headphones.” 

When a consensus on the guidelines was reached, the Access Services Librarian sent the 
Google document to the printer and asked student workers to sign a copy before leaving the 
training session, as a ratification of the experience. With a week of lee-way to catch up the 
two students unable to attend the training, those guidelines would be used to give 
performance feedback to student workers through the end of the semester (see table 3). 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Table 3 

Self-Created Guidelines for Student Workers 



The “No” List 

Be patient. 

Greet people as they come in. 

Don’t come to work impaired. 

Have fun & love your job. 

Thank people for coming 
in/say goodbye or have a nice 

Don’t be on your phone. 

Be respectful. 

Offer up options and 
alternative solutions. 

No headphones at the desk. 

Be approachable. 

Look up; don’t get too 
involved in your computer. 

No music or non-training 
videos at the desk. 

Kill people with kindness (not 

Tell a librarian if people are 
breaking rules or making you 

Don’t invent jobs away from 
the desk in order to wear 

Seeing Results 

In the weeks following the training exercise, student workers made a concerted effort to be 
more overtly welcoming at the front desk without prompting. A copy of the guidelines posted 
at the desk reinforced the ideals discussed, and headphone use was confined to shelving and 
weeding student workers— without nagging from the Access Services Librarian! 

While no students prepared formal feedback reflections, informal remarks from individual 
student workers highlighted an increased sense of responsibility and greater ownership of the 
library experience. Rules created by the group were more readily accepted as legitimate. 
Discipline issues still arose, but the general impact was a more inviting, helpful perception of 
student workers and library staff by the campus community. 

Where Do We Go From Here? 

Using the customer service guidelines created by the student workers during this training 
session, the Access Services Librarian is developing a new comprehensive training program 
with multiple tracks: onboarding new student workers, team-building and organizational 
communication, and specialized training sessions for senior student workers on special 
topics. A more interactive training manual will replace currently outdated materials, and 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

student worker supervisors will have access to a feedback form to more easily track student 
performance (and guide disciplinary actions or rewards). 

Works Cited 

Bagshaw, Maria C. “Keep Your Student Workers.” Library Journal 131.19 (2006): 44. 
Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 June 2015. 

Capodagli, Bill, and Lynn Jackson. The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of 
Disney in your Company. New York: McGraw Hill, 1999. Print. 

De Jager-Loftus, Danielle. “Information Desk Training, 2011. University of South Dakota, 
University Libraries.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube , 14 Dec. 2011. Web. 30 
June 2015. <>. 

Hammill, Sarah J. “FIU BBC Library Customer Service 101.” YouTube. YouTube, 19 Apr. 
2011. Web. 30 June 2015. <>. 

Jones, Bruce. “3 Lessons in Creating A Magical Customer Experience.” 
Disney Institute, 30 May 2013. Web. 30 June 2015. 



Lundin, Stephen C., Harry Paul, and John Christensen. Fish! : A Remarkable Way to Boost 
Morale and Improve Results. New York: Hyperion, 2000. Print. 

Mayhook, Zoeanna. “Foley Center Library-Circulation Training.” Online video clip. 
YouTube. YouTube, 24 July 2012. Web. 30 June 2015. 

<https ://youtu .be/T vrKpgGKA3 o/> 

Statewide Training and Development Services, Human Resource Services Division. “Fish! 
Customer Service Training.” PDF file. Oregon Department of Administrative 
Services. Web. 30 June 2015. < 

Zwilling, Martin. “Customers Remember Experiences, Not Your Brand Logo.” 
Forbes, 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 30 June 2015. < >. 

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The Value of Graphic Novels: Furthering the Cause of 
Information Literacy 

Cheryl L. Blevens 

Associate Librarian, Reference Instruction Department 
Indiana State University 

Valentine K. Muyumba 

Associate Librarian, Chairperson, Technical Services Department 
Indiana State University 


Graphic novels have come a long way since being regarded as comic books unworthy of use 
beyond being a quick read by young people. A literature review of the use of graphic novels 
reveals that the use of graphic novels has moved far beyond appealing to the visual learner. 

In addition to serving the recreational reading needs of children and adults, today’s educators 
are using them to support reading comprehension and enhance the learning process of 
English-language learners. They are also used to assist visual learners and to entice reluctant 
readers and struggling students. Beyond building literacy into the students’ education, they 
support development of the multimodal skills needed for future success in the 21 st Century 
workplace. The authors highlight the multiple ways that graphic novels are currently being 
used in and out of the classroom for adults and students alike. 

Defining Graphic Novels, Manga, Comic, and Comic Books 

Graphic Novels 

“The tenn ‘graphic novel’ was popularized by Will Eisner’sl978 short story collection, A 
Contract with God ” (National Coalition against Censorship, et al. p. 3). Graphic novels came 
to symbolize long works of a monographic, self-contained story that had never been 
serialized. This “sequential art” was a means of creative expression that dealt with the 
arrangement of pictures or images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea (Affleck 


Evidence of the word “manga” (Japanese comics) was first noted in the 1770’s. Loosely 
translated, it means “whimsical pictures,” and was popularized by Japanese printer 
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1819) in 1814 (Masuchika 512). Manga was and is an 
arrangement of highly detailed and image-driven pictures that are usually monochromatic 
and lack the lengthy dialogue that characterizes Western comics. The panels are arranged in a 
distinctly different order which requires the reader to “read” them from bottom right to upper 
left, the exact opposite of Western comic panels which are “read” from upper left to bottom 
right (Downey 184). 


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Comics and Comic Books 

Beginning in the 1890’s, comics were featured in newspapers as a way of boosting 
circulation. They were rarely “proper” and often deliberately vulgar but were valued as 
entertainment. Comic books, usually serialized magazines of 32-48 pages, came into 
prominence in the early 1930’s when a series of cartoon strips of Superman that had 
previously been published in newspapers were bound into a single volume (Wagner 43). Will 
Eisner’s early famous work, “The Spirit,” was published weekly beginning in 1940 as a 
newspaper supplement. When Eisner was drafted during World War II, the U.S. Government 
engaged him to create a series of comic books on safety and preventative maintenance for 
soldiers (Humphrey 76). This was among the first use of comics as an educational tool. 

Uses of Graphic Novels, Manga, Comics and Comic Books 
K-12 Classrooms 

Formal literacy training usually begins with children’s picture books which are a happy 
marriage of prose and pictures that illustrate what is being said in the story. The use of comic 
books and graphic novels in K-12 classrooms as early developmental reading tools has been 
growing in popularity (Rapp 64). Teachers encourage children to retell the story by 
examining the pictures. This in turn enhances vocabulary and visual literacy skills, and 
improves comprehension and interpretation of themes and social issues. Comics and graphic 
novels were incorporated into Common Core State Standards and in 2010, when states began 
adopting the standards, the use of graphic novels in the classroom took off (Gavigan 39). 

Educators use graphic novels to develop vocabulary, composition, and comprehension 
among students. They also incorporate multiple approaches when using graphic novels in the 
classroom. One cross-curricular approach pairs English with history or social studies and 
cultural classes. Some classes use titles such as the 1992 Pulitzer Prize winning graphic 
novel, Maus , by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, to discuss political or social events. A 
second approach is the use of graphic novels to enhance comprehension and analysis of 
traditional texts (Downey 184). This is especially useful in teaching STEM subjects with 
which both English speaking students and English language learners traditionally struggle. 
Comic books and heavily illustrated trade books can help strengthen students’ understanding 
of concepts and practices. Background knowledge and providing the motivation to ask 
questions and validate results that support scientific explorations can all result from the use 
of graphic novels in the classroom setting (Ardasheva 40). A third approach is called the 
“contact zone theory.” Teachers and students are asked to look at current events and 
controversial topics from multiple viewpoints and belief systems and then discuss their 
views. Topics such as terrorism and September 1 1, or what constitutes a “family,” in 
particular lend themselves to this method (Downey 184). 

In middle schools, students who have trouble with unfamiliar academic vocabulary involved 
in scientific content may find graphic illustrations of unfamiliar scientific concepts 
particularly helpful. Side-by-side text and visual representations are also desirable 
(Ardasheva 40). Teenagers, a traditionally hard audience to engage, are also drawn to graphic 

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November 6, 2015 


novels. By using them for education purposes, the teacher is assured of capturing the 
students’ attention. Using graphic novels has been described by Kerry Ireland as having a 
kind of domino effect: teens get pleasure from reading comics and graphic novels which 
leads them to willingly continue reading. This is actually a practicing of their reading skills 
which in turn develops better literacy skills and leads to achievement in other areas (Ireland 
18). At the high school level, teachers have used graphic novels to supplement lessons in 
literature, history, social awareness, and writing classes to further students’ understanding of 
basic subject concepts (Williams 171). An example of an assignment that incorporates 
sequential art into the curriculum is an English class where the teacher assigned students to 
read an article that had comic elements. They were then asked to draw their own 
interpretation of the article using a comic format after they’d completed a unit on graphic 
novels (Schwaller 122). 

Higher Education 

During the last two decades, there has been a marked increase in the use of sequential art in 
the teaching of scientific curriculums in institutions of higher education. In 2011, University 
of Nevada - Las Vegas librarian Steven Hoover mapped comics-based activities to the ACRL 
Information Literacy Competence Standards and to ACRL’s Image Resources Interest 
Group’s standards. By mapping ACRL standards to comics-based activities, comics-based 
instruction was shown to be a valuable resource for information instruction and research 
(Hoover 179). The first comic to be published in the prestigious journal, The Annals of 
Internal Medicine , appeared in March, 2013. It was written by Michael J. Green, illustrated 
by Ray Rieck, and was titled “Missed It.” Interestingly enough, the word “comic” was never 
used. Green alternately described his article as a “graphic novel,” a “graphic article,” or an 
“article in graphic format.” This terminology was meant to elevate the article’s cultural status 
to a piece that would appeal to academics who previously disapproved of the classroom use 
of the popular medium of “comics.” 

English as Second Language and Non-Native Language Learners 

The use of comics was one of the leading ways for early twentieth century American 
immigrants to learn English (Matz 331). Comics use repetitive images and recognizable 
symbols to project the author’s story and become vocabulary prompts for non-English 
speakers. When used again and again, they can be thought of as becoming their own 
language which the reader then interprets in an effort to understand the story. During this 
interpretative process, the reader’s key critical thinking skills are honed during an analysis of 
the story’s plot. This method has been referred to as decoding since this approach to the 
sequential art creates the language of the graphic novel. Learning how to decode involves 
developing an understanding of the graphic novels’ conventions and becoming experienced 
at synthesizing the images and textual information of the story. The examination of print and 
pictures encourages the reader to look for new content whose diversity can suggest new 
meanings to readers (Hoover 178). 


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Popular Culture, Movies and Television Script Sources 

Although graphic novels have been blamed for contributing to juvenile delinquency and 
attacked for their depictions of violence, the fact remains that they are a popular source of 
entertainment among young people and adults (Pinkley 5). As a literary medium, themes, 
styles, and stories abound that can be communicated through them. In 2002, Stephen Weiner 
published an article, “Beyond Superheroes: Comics Get Serious,” wherein he identified six 
graphic novel genres: the superhero story, manga, nonfiction, adaptations or spinoffs, human 
interest, and satire. 

The superhero, arguably the most recognizable and popular genre, takes a recognized comic 
book hero and puts him in a stand-alone story. Action adventure graphics can be set in a 
variety of locations, time period, and worlds. They feature “everyman” type of characters 
who are put in exciting stories. Science fiction graphics, much like their counterpart novels, 
movies, and television shows, can take the reader to other worlds through time and space 
travel, with robots and aliens, to life on earth and to the future. The fantasy genre stories are 
set in magical places where the reader encounters dragons and other mystic creatures such as 
those found in Tolkien’s Hobbit series. Crime and mystery graphic novels explore criminal 
acts, the criminal underworld, or nonfiction true crime stories. The 2002 movie, Road to 
Perdition , was from a graphic novel of the same name by Max Collins. Horror graphic 
novels usual feature supernatural creatures such as vampires, ghosts, zombies, and other 
monsters. Popular television shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” have been 
turned into graphic novels. 

Even “classic” literature such as novels by Jane Austen, Mary Shelley’s “ Frankenstein ,” 
Homer’s The Odyssey ,” and authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, Edgar 
Rice Burroughs, and William Shakespeare, have had the works turned into graphic novels. 

The Formal Study of Graphic Novels, Manga, Comics and Comic Books 
Institutions of Higher Education 

For the serious student of sequential art, there are institutions of higher education such as 
Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Florida, who move 
beyond simply offering classes in comic books and the graphic novel. These institutions offer 
degrees and certificates and have concentrated curriculums of “Comics Studies,” and 
“Comics and Cartoon Studies.” Portland State University’s program 

<> is interdisciplinary, and prepares students to work in 
the field of comics and cartoon art as writers, artists, and scholars. Its certification program is 
under the guidance of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and draws faculty from the 
English Department and World Languages and Literatures. Adjunct faculty round out the 
teaching faculty: men and women who are actively engaged in the creation, printing and 
online publishing of comics. Internships at established graphic novel publishing houses are 
also available. 

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The “Comics & Cartoon Studies” program <> at the University of 
Oregon has faculty who come from departments such as the “Department of English,” 
“Japanese & Comparative Film and Popular Culture,” and the “Arts Administration 
Program.” Their interdisciplinary Comics and Cartoon Studies minor was the first of its kind 
in the nation and according to the university’s website, presents students with an 
international, historical, and critical perspective on the art of comics from editorial cartoons 
to comic books to graphic novels. Students produce Art Ducko, a comics magazine which 
showcases their graphic arts and creative writing skills, and gives them creative teamwork 
experience while publishing their own original comics. 

The University of Florida’s Department of English <> 
offers classes, hosts an annual conference on comics, produces the ImageTexT journal 
<> and sponsors the Comix-Scholars list- 
serve <>. Masters of Arts and PhD students can 
choose the Comics and Visual Rhetoric track when pursuing a degree. Participants in the 
program study comics, animation, and other forms of visual rhetoric in North America. 

Nonprofit and Commercial Organizations 

The Institute for Comic Studies <> is an organization that 
dedicates itself to the “promotion of the study, understanding, recognition and cultural 
legitimacy of comics.” Their website describes their activities, among them being 
conferences, symposia, and other forms of academic presentation and idea exchange, 
primarily at comic conventions as well as more traditional venues. They maintain contact 
with both American and international comics publishers, scholars, institutions, and 
organizations in order to serve as a source of communication and contact for comics. They 
introduce scholars, professionals, and others with similar interests to one another, and 
promote publications and other works focused on comics and the study of comics. 

The Center for Cartoon Studies <> is 
located in Vermont. It is approved to grant MFA degrees and One-and Two-Year Certificates 
by the State of Vermont Department of Education but it is not accredited by any governing 
body. It offers a Two-Year Master of Fine Arts degree or a Master of Fine Arts in Applied 
Cartooning, One-and Two-Year Certificates, and summer workshops. The Center also offers 
the option to complete the second year of the program in what is termed “low residency” 
which is characterized by online and correspondence courses. An academic year is nine 
months, and after completing the first year certificate program (30 credits, 9 classes), the 
second year program revolves around a yearlong thesis project which can be completed on 
location or by distance. All programs are full-time enrollment with no part-time status being 
available. The Center also doesn’t accept credits from outside institutions. 

Acquisitions and Classification of Comics and Graphic Novels 



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“Do comic books belong in libraries?” was a question that was posed by Michael R. Lavin, in 
his 1998 article, "Comic Books and Graphic Novels for Libraries: What to Buy." This 
question was raised primarily in the public and school library context. But why include 
comic books in academic libraries? In the 1990 book, Comics Librarianship: A Handbook, 
author Randall Scott states, “Attitudes about comics within libraries and within the academic 
community are the second general problem confronting the library acquisitions program” 

As far back as the 70s, the question of comic books and graphic novels in libraries has been a 
perplexing one (Lavin). Do they belong in libraries or in collectors’ personal libraries? 

Should this genre be taken seriously as a form of literature? At Indiana State University 
(ISU) library, comic books and graphic novels were not taken very seriously until 2003- 
2004. At this time, an area of the browsing collection was dedicated to the comic books and 
graphic novels and a fund code was assigned specifically to the collection development for 
this genre. Once the change was made, it became apparent that series such as Herge’s “Les 
aventures de Tintin’’ and Goscinny’s “Une Aventure d’Asterix,” (previously placed in the 
education and teaching materials area because they were used by future teachers of French) 
would be removed from that location and would be placed in the browsing collection. 

Another reason ISU library collects graphic novels is to satisfy our undergraduate audience’s 
recreational reading needs. 

In their 2011 article, “Graphic Novels in Libraries Supporting Teacher Education and 
Librarianship Programs,” Williams and Peterson offer the observation that “[a]s librarians 
noticed that teenagers, traditionally a hard audience to reach, read graphic novels, the library 
literature began to feature lists of good graphic novels, tips on developing graphic novel 
collections, and anecdotes about teenagers’ insatiable demand for graphic novels” (166). 


When it comes down to cataloging the graphic novels collection, the struggle that catalogers 
face is not unique to the ISU library. What makes the situation complex is that the ISU 
library acquires (collects) at multiple levels — for adults and children. Collection 
development is done by two selectors or liaisons, one for the adult collection, with a focus on 
the department of language, literature and linguistics, and the other for the children’s 
collection, with emphasis on the education and teaching materials area. Because of local 
practices and decisions made years ago, these two collections are classified using Dewey 
Decimal Classification (DDC) and the Library of Congress Classification (LC). The ISU 
library uses multiple classification schemas. The DDC is used for all materials going into the 
education and teaching materials area. The LC is used for most materials going into the 
general stacks, the browsing area, or the reference collection. ISU library classes all comic 
books and graphic novels for the education and children materials in 741.59 or 741.5973. 

The catalogers have to pay extra attention to the subjects assigned to each item by the LC to 
make sure a correct call number is assigned. To assure that all comic books and graphic 
novels would go into the browsing collection area, catalogers decided to use LC PN6727. 
Catalogers continue to struggle when it comes to comic books and graphic novels because, at 
times, the rules are not as clear and they could be. Lists such as described in the article 

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“Sample title/DDC list: 741.5 Comic books, graphic novels, fotonovelas, cartoons, 
caricatures, comic strips,” by Julianne Beall, Assistant Editor, DDC, come in handy as a 
ready-to-use tool when cataloging materials in the education/teaching materials area. LC call 
numbers present another set of issues for the catalogers. The main rule of thumb is to pay 
extra attention to the subjects and at the same time try to follow local, in house rules. 


The use of graphic novels, manga, comics and comic books as a tool for education, building 
literacy skills, supporting reading comprehension, and enhancing the learning process of non- 
native English speakers has exploded in popularity, especially within the last couple of 
decades. The appeal of these formats to children and adults alike is well documented in the 
literature. They present a lot of programming opportunities for libraries and in the classroom 
by encouraging the reader to explore the high-quality comic books and graphic novels that 
exist for every reading level and every type of interest. In the popular field of manga, devoted 
readers of that comic art form are actually learning Japanese so they can read the newest 
manga straight off the press without having to wait for translations. In short, graphic novels, 
manga, comics and comic books have earned their place of prominence among educators 
who further the cause of information literacy and the audience whom they serve. 

Works Cited 

Affleck, Alexander. "Graphic Novels in the Academic Library." Access (1204-0472) 12.2 
(2006): 30-33. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. 
Web. 15 June 2015. 

Ardasheva, Yuliya, et al. "Comic Relief: Using Comics and Illustrated Trade Books to 

Support Science Learning in First-Year English Language Learners." Science Scope 
2015: Expanded Academic ASAP . Web. 15 June 2015. 

Beall, Julianne. “Sample Title/DDC list: 741.5 Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Fotonovelas, 
Cartoons, Caricatures, Comic Strips.” 2014. Web. 24 June 2015. 

Gavigan, Karen, and Mindy Tomasevich. "Connecting Comics to Curriculum." Library 

Media Connection 31.2 (2012): 39. Corporate ResourceNet. Web. 27 August 2015. 

Green, Michael J. “Missed It.” Annals of Internal Medicine 158.5 (2013): 357-361. 

Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 June 2015. 

Hoover, Steven. "The Case for Graphic Novels." Communications in Information Literacy 
5.2 (2011): 174-186. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full 
Text. Web. 15 June 2015. 

Humphrey, Aaron. "Beyond Graphic Novels: Illustrated Scholarly Discourse and the History 
of Educational Comics." Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and 
Policy 2014: 73-80. Naxos Spoken Word Library. Web. 15 June 2015. 


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Ireland, Kerry. "Build It and They Will Come: Graphic Novels for Your Collection." School 
Libraries in Canada 23.3 (2004): 18. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 23 June 2015. 

Lavin, Michael R. "Comic Books and Graphic Novels for Libraries: What to Buy." Serials 
Review 24.2 (1998): 31. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 June 2015. 

Masuchika, Glenn, and Gail Boldt. "Japanese Manga in Translation and American Graphic 
Novels: A Preliminary Examination of the Collections in 44 Academic Libraries." 

The Journal of Academic Librarianship 36.(2010): 511-517. ScienceDirect. Web. 23 
June 2015. 

Matz, Chris. "Supporting the Teaching of the Graphic Novel: The Role of the Academic 
Library." Teaching the Graphic Novel. Ed. Stephen E. Tabachnick. New York: 
Modern Language Association of America, 2009. 327-32. Print. 

Mills, Wayne. "See What U Mean." New England Reading Association Journal 49.2 (2014): 
60-65. Education Source. Web. 23 June 2015. 

National Coalition against Censorship, American Library Association, and Comic Book 

Legal Defense Fund. “ Graphic Novels: Suggestions for Librarians. ”(2006). Web. 23 
June 2015. < 
content/oif/ifis sue s/graphicno vels_ 1 .pdf> . 

Pinkley, Janet, and Kaela Casey. "Graphic Novels: A Brief History and Overview for Library 
Managers." Library Leadership & Management 27.3 (2013): 1-10. Library, 
Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Lull Text. Web. 15 June 2015. 

Rapp, David N. “Comic Books’ Latest Plot Twist: Enhancing Literacy Instruction.” Kappan 
93.4 (2011-2012): 64-67. JSTOR. Web. 15 June 2015. 

Schwaller, Terry. "Using Comics to Increase Literacy and Assess Student Learning." Physics 
Teacher 51.2 (2013): 122-23. Professional Development Collection. Web. 23 June 

Scott, Randall W. Comics Librarianship: A Handbook. Jefferson, NC: McLarland & 
Company, 1990. 

Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. New York: Pantheon Books [1986-1991], 1986. 

Wagner, Cassie. "Graphic Novel Collections in Academic ARL Libraries." College & 

Research Libraries 71.1 (2010): 42-48. Library, Information Science & Technology 
Abstracts with Pull Text. Web. 15 June 2015. 

Weiner, Stephen. “Beyond Superheroes: Comics Get Serious.” Library Journal 121.2 
(2002):55. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 June 2015. 

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Williams, Virginia Kay, and Damen V. Peterson. "Graphic Novels in Libraries Supporting 
Teacher Education and Librarianship Programs." Library Resources & Technical 
Sendees 53.3 (2009): 166-73. Academic Search Alumni Edition. Web. 23 June 2015. 


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Surviving the First Year in an Administrative Role: Challenges, 
Opportunities, and Lessons Learned 

Danielle Theiss Dion 
Library Director 
University of Saint Mary 
Leavenworth, KS 


As the first year of working as a new library director at a Midwestern small university ends, 
the presenter reflects on the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned in an engaging and 
participatory session. From negotiating with local recycling companies to take down 25 rows 
of shelving for free to meeting with donors for a potential multi-million $ library renovation 
project to changing the “outdated library” perception (removing 10 card catalogs from the 
front of the library was a good step), the speaker will use humor and reflection techniques to 
describe her journey through the first year. How to adjust to a new organization’s culture 
(and even possibly transform it!), as well as techniques to increase staff engagement and 
expand library patron commitment will be discussed. Methods used to guide decision making 
and assess the impact of choices made will also be shared, drawing from ACRL’s (College 
Libraries Section) New Library Director’s Cohort - a yearlong mentor/mentee program that 
the speaker participated in during 2014/15. Participants will be encouraged and invited to 
share strategies for moving successfully into leadership roles, how to engage library staff 
when you are the new boss, and how to reach out to others in similar roles for support and 
mentoring. Participants will leave the session with a toolkit of strategies for engaging others: 
how to grow their own leadership skills by putting out fires or starting them, how to build 
commitment and support, and also how to find humor in all situations - such as when roaches 
crawl out of the sinks as 150 people walk into the library for an event. 

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Teaching to the Task: 

Authentic Assessment and Information Literacy 

Robert Hallis, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, Instructional Design Librarian 
University of Central Missouri 


Authentic assessment gages students’ performance in real world situations and information 
literacy describes skills needed to find and use information, but what are the tasks students 
need to master to become informationally literate? Taken in its broadest sense, Information 
Management extends beyond the classroom to span the knowledgeable use of information in 
every aspect of one’s life in the 21 st century. Despite the breadth of applications, there is a 
common set of skills involved in locating, evaluating and incorporating information in the 
context of solving a problem. While we use information to answer many questions every day, 
entering into an academic conversation is especially problematic for students. This paper 
seeks to outline elements of authentically assessing information literacy through examining 
the tasks student face when using information in a variety of contexts, and highlighting the 
challenges students face when working with academic information. 


When information is ubiquitous, skillfully managing information becomes indispensable. A 
few words and a click begin a search that brings the world to your personal device. Credibly 
developing these skills requires doing so in a real world situation, which is the goal of 
authentic assessment. Authentic assessment provides meaningful measures of how well 
students demonstrate a skill in a realistic setting, and the ability to effectively use information 
to solve problems is crucial in the 21 st century (Mueller). Managing Information [hereafter 
MI] involves recognizing what information is needed, the ability to locate it, the critical skills 
to validate it, and the familiarity with the context to meaningfully incorporate it in the task at 
hand (ACRL “Information Literacy in the Disciplines”). Although MI is generally 
recognized as a key competency (Bundy) students continue to demonstrate a poor mastery of 
these skills. With authentic assessment, teaching to the task engages students in a real-world 
setting, and moves beyond efficiently operating a database to encompass critical thinking 
skills in framing a question and evaluating sources in the context of solving a real-world 
problem. The most accurate evaluation of these skills takes place in an authentic context. The 
more applicable the assessment, the more transferrable the skill. This paper seeks to outline 
elements of authentically assessing information literacy through examining obstacles 
students encounter, assignments in various settings, and concludes by examining academic 
conversation in relation to others. 

Obstacles Great and Small 

Students encounter a number of challenges when undertaking academic assignments. Their 
plight is captured in Badke’s assessment: “For the average student, however, the knowledge 


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base of most disciplines is a mystery filled with strange literatures published on the basis of 
incomprehensible, often unwritten, rules.” Head and Eisenberg conducted perhaps the 
broadest surveys of college students, collating responses from almost 8500 students. Their 
study revealed that 84% of students reported problems just getting started with an academic 
assignment. More revealing is the types of problems they reported. Arranging the issues 
students reported into the types of search activities reveals an interesting perspective. 

Students experienced difficulties in defining the informational need, locating sources using 
databases, evaluating sources, and incorporating it into the assignment (Head and Eisenberg 
“Assessing Inquiry 42). Students described experiencing the following problems in defining 
an informational need; defining a topic [66%], narrowing a topic [61%], and creating search 
terms [31%]. Students reported the following problems in locating information; finding it in a 
library database [42%], and finding web resources [31%]. They identified the following 
complications in evaluating the results; determining credibility [41%], finding up-to-date 
sources [37%] and evaluating sources [26%]. The most problems were reported in aspects of 
incorporating sources in their assignment; reading materials [40%], integrating material from 
different sources 30%], writing about what is found [36%], knowing if the assignment is well 
done [46%], deciding if done [37%], knowing how to cite [41%] and when to cite [29%], and 
plagiarism [35%] (ibid, p. 25). In other words, students reported experiencing fewer 
problems driving the database than with tasks involving with beginning the search process, 
evaluating the results, and using the sources. 

In instruction sessions, the 
author used a concept map 1 
to illustrate relations between 
a question and related ideas 
(see fig. 1). Within this 
framework, students can see 
how key words can be used 
to focus on particular aspects 
of a larger argument, how 
ideas fit together, how 
specific articles can be 
evaluated in terms of 
relevance to the 

(Fig. 1. Concept map from 
2015 instruction sessions.) 

assignment as well as to sections of the larger question, and how articles they discover can be 
integrated into the framework of the larger assignment. 

The two examples in the figure above are taken from instruction sessions the author 
conducted in spring 2015 to examine how to frame question, and how to locate scholarly 
articles to address the assignment. The next section will discuss how to measure the student’s 

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November 6, 2015 

ability to search for information. These examples illustrate a tool for framing the question 
and focusing the search for information. 

Framing the global warming question involves exploring facets within the larger concept so a 
manageable issue can be addressed. Once a manageable cluster of ideas is identified, 
scholarly articles can be evaluated by the extent to which the article provides information 
about that issue of the larger question. Once the frame was established, factual support from 
scholarly articles could be meaningfully integrated into the conversation. The introductory 
paragraph can provide a contextual frame that moves the reader through the narrowing 
process and introduces issues that scholarly perspective will inform. Framing the texting 
question involves exploring larger issues that could include texting. The phenomenon of 
texting may be too new to find a significant number of scholarly articles about the issue. 
However, framing the issue of texting within a larger context of distracted driving provides a 
framework within which scholarly articles can be identified and meaningfully integrated into 
the assignment. Again the introductory paragraph provides the contextual framework, which 
integrates specific academic sources to the assignment. 

Joining the Conversation 

We use information constantly throughout the day as we participate in different 
conversations. MI involves effectively identifying when information is needed to fully 
participate in these conversations. This participation involves effectively searching for 
information and finding it, validating it, and integrating it in the solution of the problem. 
Whether figuring out if one need to bring an umbrella, which candidate best reflects one’s 
views, or which scholarly article supports a presentation on eco-friendly business practices; 
one needs to go through the process of critically thinking about what information is needed in 
relation to the context of the conversation, and effectively use it as a participant. 
Consequently, the focus on MI becomes setting the context and integrating sources within the 
framework of their conversation. While students may be familiar with the process of 
informing conversations in some aspects of their lives, using information in an academic 
setting is fundamentally different and pose unique challenges for students. 

Meaningfully participating in a conversation requires participants to have an idea of the 
audience, the issues, the tone of conversation, and have something to add to the conversation. 
Students new to academics need to be mentored in communicating in the unfamiliar parlance 
of an academic conversation. Acquainting students with how information is used in an 
academic setting presents several challenges; their unfamiliarity with the discipline, the 
terms, and concepts complicates the search process because students are unsure of what they 
need or when they have found something usable. 

The figure illustrates several different types of conversations that broadly span areas students 
will encounter during their college years, (see fig. 2). Each is unique with respect to the 
speed of publication, the editorial control of content, the scope of issues addressed, and how 
authors’ focus their message. Yet commonalities are evident in the approach one takes to 
meaningfully participate in the conversation, the type of information used and the extent to 
which information is critically evaluated. Authentic assessment involves asking the student to 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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produce evidence of performing a real-life task that applies the skills being measured 
(Muller). Closely examining each conversation illustrates how MI principles can be 
developed, and examining the skills needed informs how their development can be 
authentically assessed. 




Academic Linked 

Announcement Professional 

(Fig. 2. Student conversations.) 

Smart phones and accompanying apps provide a platform for continuously exchanging 
information. The resulting social conversations take place within a common context of 
interests, shared experiences, and use of language between participants. Over time, 
participants may develop unique words, phrases, and idioms. Publication is immediate, as 
soon as an individual post is sent, but there is an editorial pause. Norms set by participants 
include tone, issues, and sources; and there are consequences for breaking expectations. If 
one breaks the norms of the group, the result may range from reprimand to ostracism. The 
content is shaped by interests and experiences of the group, and their views may not be of 
interest beyond their community. Even here, MI principles can be developed through a closer 
reading of the issues discussed in the example below. 

Recently Angelina Jolie announced that she decided to have her ovaries removed after 
learning that she was genetically predisposed to develop ovarian cancer. (Ryall) This would 
be the second time she undertook preventive surgery to avoid a potentially deadly disease. 
Although there is no external validation beyond peer pressure, individuals take responsibility 
for the content of their contribution. Knowledgeably participating in that conversation 
requires an awareness of the disease, the likelihood of contracting it, and treatments that are 
available. In other words, the social post served to begin an educational conversation about 
ovarian cancer. 

An authentic assessment of student’s MI skills in this conversation would assess if they were 
aware of the disease, the likelihood of contracting the disease, potential cures, and which 
course of action would be appropriate. Rather than exploring a topic, students are instructed 
to answer a question. Framing the topic as a question serves to direct their efforts by 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


structuring the search, provide a measure for evaluating the results by considering how well 
the source answers the question, or a portion of the question, and incorporating the results by 
placing the source next to the question it addresses. This example (see table 1) further 
illustrates problems students early in their career have to cope with when encountering the 
specialized vocabulary, sophisticated concepts and unfamiliar methodology of highly 
technical professional literature, such as scholarly medical journals. 

Table 1 

Assignment Requiring Technical Professional Literature 


Should Angelina Jolie have removed her ovaries? 

After reading the attached announcement, consider the reasons 
Angelina Jolie gave for having her ovaries removed. Evaluate the 
appropriateness of this decision through finding three relevant 
sources that provide credible information about the disease, its 
treatment, and the diagnosis. 


Select keywords that describe information needed, and use them in 
CentralSearch [a library discovery tool] . Filter the results to 
magazine articles, and select three sources from reliable publications 
that address the questions you need to answer. 


Consider the authority of each source by addressing the credibility of 
the author, the publication, and the timeliness of the information 
contained in the article. 


Identify one article that your search produced, but you found 
inappropriate to the question you needed to answer. 

In a paragraph, discuss the choice you would advise a friend in 
similar circumstances using the information you gathered. Use the 
information you gathered to support your advice, and identify the 
source of that information through using a citation so your friend can 
find additional information. 

Commercial discourse is dominated by advertisements. In an effort to sell goods and 
services, merchants discuss benefits of their products. Communications describe the item or 
service, how consumers would benefit from this purchase, and the value of this in 
comparison to alternatives. Their message is broadcast through as many mediums of 
communication as their target demographic would likely use. Their claims could be 
misleading, or even fraudulent. One need only see the number of disclaimers on 
advertisements to see how the publishers distances themselves from claims made in ads. 
There is little objective evaluation of these claims, although social media and reviews 
provide a method of commenting, bogus posts frequently infiltrate these outlets. An authentic 
assessment of students’ MI skills in this conversation would examine if they could determine 
the products’ efficacy, the reliability of the company, and what rights consumers have if the 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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product is not what they were led to believe they purchased. Examining the health benefits of 
fish oil serves as an example of examining ads (see table 2). 

Table 2 

Examining Advertisements 


What are the health benefits of fish oil? 

Examine the attached ad for omega 3 oil and consider if the health 
claims are supported. Evaluate the appropriateness of this decision 
through finding three relevant sources that provide credible 
information about the supplement, its benefits, and any reported side 
effects from taking this supplement. 


Select keywords that describe information needed, and use them in 
CentralSearch [a library discovery tool] . Filter the results to 
magazine articles, and select three sources from reliable publications 
that address the questions you need to answer. 


Consider the authority of each source by addressing the credibility of 
the author, the publication, and the timeliness of the information 
contained in the article. 


Identify one article that your search produced, but you found 
inappropriate to the question you needed to answer. 

In a paragraph, discuss if you would advise a friend to take the 
supplement using the information you gathered. Use the information 
you gathered to support your advice, and identify the source of that 
information through using a citation so your friend can find 
additional information. 

The news of the day is generally broadcast as an announcement, a factual account of what 
happened. Such statements are often accompanied by an analysis of how this event impacts 
an important part of your life to add relevance to the news item. Content is edited by the 
news organization making the announcement, and falsely reporting events undermines the 
credibility of the organization. The scope may be organized by local, national or international 
events; sports, human interest, or cultural events; or commentaries, interviews, and 
investigative reporting. These stories are approved by editors and released within the news 
cycle of the organization. In recent years, however, a number of syndicated news sources 
have been criticized for a bias used when reporting on current events. An authentic 
assessment of students’ MI skills in this conversation would examine if students could 
determine the accuracy of the story by locating corroborating reports, and relevance of the 
information used to analyze the impact of an event (see table 3). 

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Table 3 

Assignment Assessing Students’ MI Skills 


Bridges: how bad are they really? 

Examine the attached story describing bridge repair work in Kansas 
City. This report cites statistics about the safety of bridges. Find 
three relevant sources that provide credible information about the 
fitness of bridges, efforts to repair them, and how often bridges fail. 


Select keywords that describe information needed, and use them in 
CentralSearch [a library discovery tool] . Filter the results to 
magazine articles and government documents. Select three sources 
that address the questions you need to answer. 


Consider the authority of each source by addressing the credibility of 
the author, the publication, and the timeliness of the information 
contained in the article. 

Identify one article that your search produced, but you found 
inappropriate to the question you needed to answer. 


In a paragraph, evaluate the information used in the article about 
Kansas City bridges. Identify the main idea of the article and the 
facts used to support the conclusion. Use the information you 
identified to either support the views expressed in the article, or 
explain differences of opinion using the sources you discovered in 
your search. Identify the source of that information through using a 
citation so a friend can find additional information. 

Professional conversations focus on the skills, interests, and professional responsibilities of a 
specific occupation. We may frequently think of doctors and lawyers, but there are 
professional associations for almost every vocation. The information associations provide 
include career opportunities and appropriate preparation for the profession in the form of 
certifications, education, and experience. An authentic assessment of students’ MI skills in 
this conversation would examine if they could find information about a specific career, locate 
job postings, find association information, and see how the occupation uses information in a 
professional journal (see table 4). 

Table 4 

Finding Information about a Profession 

Assignment Discovering my profession! 

Professionals develop a set of skills and abilities that are reflected in 
their education, experience, and aptitudes. What are the expectations 
of my chosen career and what is the outlook for the next decade? 
What professional associations are there that can help me find jobs 
and prepare me for a career? What professional journals are 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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available, and what topics do they discuss? 


Using the Occupational Outlook Handbook, find the entry for your 
career. Using Google, find a professional association for the career 
you’ve chosen. Using CentralSearch [a library discovery tool], find a 
professional journal used to inform professionals in your occupation 
about current developments in their field by filtering the results to 
journal articles. 


Consider the authority of each source by addressing the credibility of 
the author, the publication, and the timeliness of the information 
contained in the article. 

Identify one article that your search produced, but you found 
inappropriate to the question you needed to answer. 


In a paragraph, discuss if key aspects of your career, including 
average pay, growth projections and recommended preparation. Use 
the information you gathered in your searches to discuss information 
contained on the web-site of a professional organization, and list one 
job listing that interests you. Discuss a professional journal for that 
occupation you discovered using CentralSearch, and summarize the 
types of articles you found in one issue. Please cite the source you 
discovered so your reader can find additional information. 

An academic conversation uses information in a far different context. Just as conversations in 
social media is shaped through norming, academic conversation also exhibits a number of 
expected processes as it spans institutions, time, and continents in discussing ideas within the 
discipline. An academic conversation concerns ideas from the perspective of a particular 
field of study, and extends to everyone knowledgeable in that discipline through a process of 
peer review and professional journals. The editorial process provides an opportunity to assess 
the validity of information relevance of topic and reasonableness of conclusions on an article 
before it is released. Academic journals are written by professionals for people in that 
profession, and pose significant challenges to the novice with respect to the terms, concepts, 
methodologies students encounter. 

Articles are released under the reputation of the publication, and join an ongoing 
conversation as one article enters the conversation through quotations in subsequent 
publications. Professional journals bring together interested academics in that field. 

However, students approach this conversation much differently than faculty, and these 
differences are discussed below. An authentic assessment of students’ MI skills would 
examine the students’ ability to find relevant credible sources, critically evaluate these 
sources through closely linking the content to the assignment as well as comparing the 
information they contain, and draw conclusions that meaningfully incorporate the sources 
they found (see table 5). 

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Table 5 

Management of Credible Sources 


Genetic Cures in our Future? 

Medicine used advances in genetic research to diagnose disease, 
target treatments, and even reprogram genetic mutations. Which area 
of genetic research do you find to be the most promising for 


Select keywords that describe the area of genetic research in health 
care you want to investigate, and use them in CentralSearch [a 
library discovery tool]. Filter the results to magazine articles and 
select a source that provides background information. Filter the same 
search to journal articles, and select three sources that address the 
questions you need to answer. 


Consider the authority of each source by addressing the credibility of 
the author, the publication, and the timeliness of the information 
contained in the article. 

Identify one scholarly article that your search identified, but you 
found inappropriate to the question you needed to answer. 


In a paragraph, discuss which areas of medicine you found to be 
most affected by genetic research. Use the sources you discovered to 
support your conclusion, and cite these articles so your reader can 
find additional information. 

Research: Pedagogical and Academic 

There is a fundamental difference between the research faculty conduct and that encountered 
by students in assignments, and this is reflected in the analysis of their use of library 
resource. While faculty scan the breadth and depth of literature in their respective fields, 
students are assigned tasks to provide an opportunity to gain familiarity with a topic, 
reinforce key concepts, or explore an issue at a greater depth than the text or classroom 
provided. (Baker; Bodi; Warwick; Head and Eisenberg) This difference extends beyond the 
accumulated background knowledge. Badke suggests that “what we call ‘student research’ is 
inevitably an imitation of what professors do (9). However, the difference between the way 
that students and faculty use information is much more profound. Table 6 suggests that 
assignments provide students the context for a rather circumscribed activity, while professors 
are exploring the breadth and depth of the literature in their discipline. 

Table 6 

Pedagogical and Academic Research 

Pedagogical Research 

Academic Research 

Goal: gain a better understanding of a 

Goal: Identify unique information within a 


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concept, theory or skill within a discipline. 

discipline of study. 

ACRL Standards: 

ACRL Standards: 

Information Needed 

Information Needed 

-Answer to a question 

-Representative Literature 

Accessing Information 

Accessing Information 

-Appropriate to answer question 

-Survey of relevant literature 

Critical Evaluation of Information 

Critical Evaluation of Information 

-Does it answer the question 

-Adequately represent current literature 
conceptually, factually, and authoritatively 

Incorporating Information 

Incorporating Information 

-Address the question within the scope of 
the assignment 

-Complete literature review 

Ethically use information 

Ethically use information 

-Cite sources 

-Use information in manner consistent with 

-Avoid plagiarism 

discipline & IRB. 

- Cite sources 
-Avoid plagiarism 

Strategic Satisficing 

Strategic Satisficing 

Meeting the requirements of the 

Identifying gaps in the scholarly literature 


of their discipline 

While both journeys follow the same stages, there is a significant difference between the 
information needed by a student and that needed by a faculty member. Satisficing occurs at 
distinctly different points for the student and the professor. Faculty review representative 
literature in their research activities, students are generally working with sources in the 
context of a specific assignment. Whereas the professor may stop at a saturation point, when 
all the relevant information within her specialty is gathered; students are frequently given a 
saturation point: three academic articles, two books and no web sites. Etc. March observed 
that one’s search for information it satisfied when enough has been found. (March 1997) 
Such ‘thermostatic’ satisficing means that when the student reaches the requirements of the 
assignment, the search is complete. Academic research is much more comprehensive. 
Students carefully calculate ‘what the professor wants’ in setting their thermostat, and 
students became adept at determining what was required to produce acceptable results. 
(Warwick 2009, p. 2409) In deciding which questions to prepare for an exam, students 
reported the following criteria: 

-How long is the question? 

-How many lectures notes did students have? 

-Are the references given URLs or books? 

-What is the topic of the question? 

-How much information has to be memorized to answer the question - dates, etc? 

In addition, students place a premium on convenience in the research process. (Connaway, 
Dickey, and Radford; Biddix, Chung, and Park). As a result, students adopt a pragmatic 
outlook, being “motivated largely by grades and. . .focus much time and energy trying to 
figure out what the professor wants” (Valentine 108). 

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Students may have a familiarity with participating in a number of conversations, but 
developing expertise in an academic conversation requires them to develop a richer set of 
MIskills as well as the perseverance to untangle the professional literature of academic 
articles. Developing these skills involves focusing their research experience by explicitly 
leading them through elements of the process of finding and evaluating information in 
relation to the question they are addressing. Furthermore, students need mentoring through a 
process of using information to answer questions. Using authentic assessment in constructing 
research assignments can highlight critical thinking and cast the exercise in a practical light. 
Head and Eisenberg found that few of the almost 200 research assignments they evaluated 
indicated students internalized the research process, lacked information about which 
databases would contain beneficial information, and did not include contact information 
about the librarians that could help them (“Truth be Told”). They concluded “that students 
are challenged and often inexperienced with “finding context” -a requisite for conducting 
course related research and to a lesser extent, everyday life research” (“Truth be Told” 13). 
Placing such assignments in a real-world context of authentic assessment adds a level of 
engagement to the exercise, and focusing on critical thinking skills moves the experience 
from procedural, rote learning to actively participating in conversations in college and life. 


1. The technique of looping can also be used to frame questions. Looping is a less 
visually based method of identifying key terms and relations between ideas. Looping 
involves describing the topic in a sentence or two, and circling key terms, which become 
search terms, see The Writing Center at Portland State University 

Works Cited 

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Change and Challenge: Information Literacy for the 21 s> Century. Ed. Susie Andretta. 
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Amett, Barbara, and Valerie Forrestal. “Bridging the Gap from Wikipedia to Scholarly 
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Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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Badke, William B. Teaching Research Processes: The Faculty Role in the Development of 
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Baker, Robert K. "Faculty Perceptions towards Student Library Use in a Large Urban 

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Biddix, J. Patrick, Chung Joo Chung, and Han Woo Park. "Convenience or Credibility? A 
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Bodi, Sonia. "How Do We Bridge the Gap Between What We Teach and What They Do? 

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Web. 11 Jan. 2015. 


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Leckie, Gloria J., and Anne Fullerton. "Information Literacy in Science and Engineering 

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Ryall, Jenni. “Angelina Jolie: Why I Removed My Ovaries in My Fight Against Cancer.” 
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Valentine, Barbara. "The Legitimate Effort in Research Papers." The Journal of Academic 
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Warwick, Claire, et al. "Cognitive Economy and Satisficing in Information Seeking: A 
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The Effect of Short-Term Loan Price Increases on 
Patron-Driven Acquisitions 

Steve Alleman 
Head of Collections 
University of Missouri 
Kansas City, MO 


The UMKC Libraries instituted a patron-driven acquisitions program in 2012. Using EBL as 
vendor, the program depended heavily on short-term loans to meet user needs, setting the 
purchase-trigger at seven in order to prioritize access over ownership. Publishers began to 
increase prices for short-term loans in 2014, and the library’s original response had been to 
remove titles from those publishers in order to keep expenditures down. The effect of those 
withdrawals has been a drastic reduction in the number of titles available, undermining the 
original approach of allowing the patron the widest latitude in title selection. Data will be 
presented to show the effect of that reduction in coverage on usage and expenditures. 
Alternative approaches will be explored that will attempt to restore a wide range of materials 
to the program without unduly increasing expenditures. 


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November 6, 2015 

All the Wrong Places: 

Looking for (and Finding) Information Literacy in the 
Undergraduate Curriculum 

William Dooling 

Reference and Instructional Services Librarian 
Creighton University 

Mary Nash 
Head of Reference 
Creighton University 


Creighton University’s Reinert- Alumni Library has recently embraced a creative new model 
for teaching and assessing information literacy in the undergraduate core curriculum. The 
Reinert-Alumni Librarians were involved in discussions leading up to its adoption, thanks to 
a welcome partnership with faculty. Information literacy is now specifically addressed in two 
required components of the new core: a Critical Issues in Human Inquiry course taught by 
faculty across the arts and sciences (3 credits) and an Oral Communication co-requisite lab 
taught online (1 credit). The librarians play a significant role in both components, and this 
multi-disciplinary linked approach is unique and challenging. In its first full year, this 
innovative model for information literacy instruction has been embraced by the faculty and 
promises to be a strong and uniform foundation for all first-year students at Creighton. 


Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic institution in Omaha, Nebraska. With nearly 4,000 
undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students enrolled in the 2015-16 academic year, it is the 
largest private university in Omaha and the second-largest in Nebraska (Higher Learning 
Commission). Creighton has three libraries, with one — the Reinert- Alumni Library — 
specifically focused on students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of 

Creighton’s student body is unusual for a liberal arts university in that fully one third of all 
first-year students have a declared pre -professional interest in medicine. An additional twelve 
percent of all incoming students have declared pre-professional interests in related fields such 
as dentistry, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and pharmacy (see fig. 1). Any core 
curriculum the University implements must necessarily incorporate elements of a Jesuit, 
Catholic liberal arts education, while leaving ample room for pre-medical coursework. This 
is no easy task. Information literacy has only recently found a place in the new core as a 
stated requirement. 

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November 6, 2015 


Freshman Academic Profile 



64% - Arts & Sciences 
26% - Business 
10% - Nursing 

34% - Pre-Medicme 

7% - Pre-Law 

4% - Pre-Dentistry 

9% - Pre-OT/PT/Pharm 

46% - No Pre-Professional Interest indicated 

Fig. 1. Freshman academic profile 

Literature Review: How Creighton Compares 

Information literacy is a multifaceted set of skills and behaviors with numerous sub- 
requirements. Defining the concept has been difficult. The 1989 final report of the 
Presidential Committee on Information Literacy defines information literate individuals as 
simply “those who have learned how to learn.” More recent definitions, such as those 
expounded by the ACRL’s Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education and the 
Big6 process model, list six standards (each with multiple associated performance 
indicators). Universities and the organizations they depend on for accreditation are 
increasingly aware of the importance of producing information literate students (Saunders). 
However, the complex and contentious nature of information literacy makes its integration 
into the overall mission of an academic institution difficult (Brasley) especially in a 
formalized core curriculum. Several competing formats exist for even teaching information 
literacy. Literature on the topic tends to classify such programs as “in-person,” “virtual,” or 
“blended” (Anderson and May; Kraemer, Lombardo, and Lepkowski). At many institutions, 
information literacy instruction remains confined to a single class period (or ‘library day’) 
and lacks any reinforcement (Zai). 

Librarians at the Reinert- Alumni Library utilize both in-person and virtual instruction 
methods, making their information literacy program essentially a blended approach. In this 
case “blending” arose largely by accident, in a unique co-curricular collaboration between 
communication studies and first-year seminar courses. First-year students receive basic 
information literacy instruction online as part of a required oral communication course. 
Librarians deliver slightly more advanced, in-person sessions in most sections of a required 
first-year course. The fact that information literacy instruction is delivered at more than one 
place in the core curriculum puts Creighton's program in a somewhat better position than 


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many universities. However, after freshman year the library’s current approach to 
information literacy is neither explicitly scaffolded nor reinforced, both of which are critical 
to effective information literacy instruction (Johnson et al.). From this fortuitous position, the 
librarians hope to establish a multi-stage information literacy program that is scaffolded and 
directly impacts students in many different classes. 

Creighton’s Once and Future Core 
The Previous Core Curriculum 

The previous Undergraduate Core Curriculum was implemented by the College of Arts & 
Sciences in 1993, and was in effect for two decades. There was no mention of information 
literacy or library skills as a learning objective. However, the 1993 Core did require ENG 
150: Expository Writing. The master syllabus for this course stipulated a unit on library 
research methods, and the librarians were regularly invited to teach a classroom session for 
almost every section. The Core also required four courses certified as including a significant 
writing component. This emphasis on writing across the curriculum generated requests for a 
library session in many upper level courses as well. For first- year students, meanwhile, the 
librarians offered a game of Library Jeopardy in the co-curricular Freshman Seminar 
program. Creighton’s Undergraduate Core Curriculum, at least at its inception in 1993, 
afforded the Library an effective framework for scaffolded information literacy instruction. 

Unfortunately, this framework did not last. The number of ENG 150 instructors requesting a 
library session began to dwindle in the fall 2000 semester. The name of the course was 
changed from Expository Writing to Rhetoric and Composition, and the focus shifted from 
writing with sources to creative and reflective writing. At the same time the librarians 
experienced new demand for consultations through the Research Assistance Program (RAP), 
largely from Biology students, although a cause-and-effect relationship is not clear. In 2006, 
another major change occurred when Freshman Seminar was re-envisioned as a one-credit 
course called the Ratio Studiorum Program (RSP). The name derives from a Latin phrase for 
the Jesuit “plan of studies.” With ENG 150 no longer a viable forum for information literacy 
instruction, the librarians began promoting either face-to-face instruction or an online tutorial 
in RSP, instead of a jeopardy game. Participation was optional, however, and the Library’s 
information literacy program was reduced to scattershot classes. 

The New Magis Core 

Enter the Magis Core Curriculum (see table 1). After years of debate and compromise, the 
new Magis Core was approved by the College of Arts & Sciences in April, 2013 and was 
then launched in August the following year. If magis means “more,” the new core is aptly 
named. It is not only imbued with Jesuit ideals, it also features 80 learning objectives 
assessed as Introduction, Reinforcement, and Proficiency, laid out under six broad, 
university-level outcomes. Fifty-nine of these objectives are common across all 
undergraduate programs, including Business and Nursing. The 80 objectives that form the 
undergraduate curriculum are arranged in three tiers — Foundations, Explorations, and 
Integration — comprised of 18 components and 35 credit hours. Information literacy is 
specifically addressed in the Foundations level as learning objective 2.1.1: 

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Students will develop the basic skills of information literacy, including searching 
for information, critically evaluating information from sources, and appropriately 
using and citing information. ( Creighton College Arts and Sciences ) 

Learning objective 2.1.1 was drafted by the instructional services librarian, in collaboration 
with faculty. However, the unique way that information literacy was built into the curriculum 
came as a surprise. In the Magis Core, information literacy is addressed in a creative pairing 
of two foundational courses: Critical Issues in Human Inquiry (CIHI) and Oral 
Communication (COM 101), a one-credit, online lab. The librarians have taught a classroom 
session in a majority of Critical Issues courses since last fall, and a tutorial called Library 
Encounter Online (LEO) is “baked in” to the online COM 101 lab. At the invitation of the 
Core Curriculum director, the librarians have also participated in ongoing faculty discussion 
of how this paired model is working and are active participants in university-wide 
assessment. The Magis Core has ushered in a promising new era for information literacy 
instruction and assessment. 

Table 1. 

The Magis Core Curriculum (emphasis added) 

Foundations (6 components, 15 credit hours) 

Contemporary Composition (First- Year Experience): 3 credit hours 
Critical Issues in Human Inquiry: 3 credit hours 
Mathematical Reasoning: 2 credit hours 
Oral Communication (First-Year Experience): 1 credit hour 
Philosophical Ideas (First- Year Experience): 3 credit hours 
The Christian Tradition (First-Year Experience): 3 credit hours 
Explorations (6 components, 17 credit hours) 

Ethics: 3 credit hours 

Global Perspectives in History: 3 credit hours 

Literature: 3 credit hours 

The Biblical Tradition: 3 credit hours 

Understanding Natural Science: 2 credit hours 

Understanding Social Science: 3 credit hours 

Intersections: 3 credit hours 

Integration (1 component, 3 credit hours) 

Intersections: 3 credit hours 

Designated Courses ( 5 designated courses, 0 additional credit hours) 

Designated Ethics 
Designated Oral Communication 
Designated Statistical Reasoning 
Designated Written Communication 

Designated Technology 


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The Library Encounter Online (LEO) 

The Library Encounter Online (LEO) is a one -hour tutorial designed to introduce students to 
library research concepts, sources, and strategies. LEO originated in 2005, when it was 
created for Freshman Seminar. It has been reinvented or updated every year since. Although 
it was never widely used by first- year students, LEO has gained traction in online courses. 
The instructional services librarian built the current version in the University’s learning 
management system (Canvas), which is branded as BlueLine. LEO’s five interactive modules 

Determining Y our Information Need 
Accessing Information: The Search Process 
Accessing Information: Locating Resources 
Evaluating Information 
Using Information Ethically 

When librarians and faculty met last August, the COM 101 instructors embraced LEO as a 
means to teach and assess information literacy in the online lab. It was an “aha” moment that 
came days before classes began. In response to feedback from the faculty, LEO has been 
consolidated into a single module in BlueLine for easier grading, and the quizzes for each 
module have been modified so that they can be repeated until answered correctly. Further 
improvements to LEO will address content. First, the librarians will replace the “information 
cycle” with an original construct dubbed the “information wheel,” to explain different types 
of content sources. Second, the CRAAP Test for evaluating sources (currency, authority, 
accuracy, and purpose) will be replaced by the Five Ws, for easier recall (who, what, when, 
where, and why). With these changes, LEO has emerged as a solid introduction to 
information literacy in the Core that reaches every first-year student. 

Critical Issues in Human Inquiry 

Critical Issues in Human Inquiry (or CIHI) courses are designed to expose students to 
“significant questions in humanistic scholarship through a high-impact educational 
experience.” (Creighton College of Arts and Sciences 2013, 28). The Magis Core Curriculum 
dictates that these courses be multi-disciplinary and emphasize creative and critical thinking. 
They tend to be arranged in a seminar format. CIHI courses address no less than eight 
separate learning objectives ranging from “self-knowledge,” to practical “service learning,” 
to developing basic information literacy skills (see table 2). CIHI instructors have adapted 
these requirements to a wide variety of courses which cover topics as diverse as friendship, 
art theft, and nineteenth-century maritime literature. These courses cover many academic 
disciplines, but the majority fall broadly into the humanities, with a few outliers in the fields 
of social work, communication studies, and modem languages (see table 3). 

Within each course instructors have wide latitude to devise assignments demonstrating each 
learning outcome. To demonstrate an understanding of information literacy, for example, 
students might be asked to research and interpret primary source documents articulating 

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different philosophical visions of “liberty,” or compare how friendships are portrayed on 
television with how social scientists believe they operate in reality. Instructors are not 
required to involve the library in their class directly, but the information literacy learning 
outcome has prompted many (more than half in the first year of implementation) to reach out 
to librarians for a library session. 

Table 2 

Critical Issues in Human Inquiry (CIHI) Learning Outcomes (emphasis added) 




Students will develop the basic skills of information literacy, including searching 
for information, critically evaluating information from sources, and appropriately 
using and citing information. 


Students will demonstrate self-knowledge, including knowledge of their own 
biases and perspectives, and be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of 
varying points of view. 

3E.1 1 

Students will explain the concepts of “service” and “social justice” as they are 
understood within the Catholic and Jesuit traditions. 


Students will explain how one or more disciplines identify social ideals and 
analyze actual societal conditions in terms of social justice. 


Students will describe the range and types of human identities and cultures in 
contemporary or historical terms and identify what constitutes “difference” (or 
what has constituted “difference”) within the United States and throughout the 
global community. 


Students will state the meaning of “human dignity” as articulated within the 
Catholic, Jesuit, and other intellectual traditions and how “human dignity” is 
influenced by systems of social differentiation and by relative power and privilege. 


Students will identify their own social locations and analyze a controversial issue 
by articulating their own values and perspectives and those of an unfamiliar 


Students will evaluate and critique ideologies of social differentiation and the way 
systems of relative power and privilege are (or have been) reinforced. 

Table 3 

Critical Issues in Human Inquiry (CIHI) Courses 


Course Name 

ARH 170 

Cities and People: Urban Planning and Ethical Decisions 

ARH 171 

Art Crime 

CNE 170 

Love, Marriage and the Family in Classical Antiquity 

CNE 171 

War in Literature 

CNE 172 

Muhammad in Muslim Life and Thought 

COM 170 

Communication across Cultures 

COM 171 

Friendships and Our Changing Social World 

COM 173 

Health, Communication, and Media 

EDU 170 

Diversity and Justice in Education 

ENG 172 

Race and Identity 


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ENG 173 

Anchors Awcigh! Transatlantic Travels in Literature 

HIS 170 


HIS 176 

Controversies in Science and Medicine (1900-1990) 

SPN 170 

Musical Perspectives: Hearing the Hispanic World 

SWK 261 

Social Welfare Needs of Vulnerable Populations 

This presents an opportunity to move beyond the past scattershot approach. It also poses a 
challenge, as the specific information literacy skills required vary greatly from class to class. 

Library Involvement in CIHI 

The librarians have approached CIHI courses as a way to reinforce and augment concepts 
first taught in LEO. The instructional services librarian devised a 12-point “pick three” 
checklist which doubled as an instructor request form. The checklist outlined concepts 
originally addressed in LEO which could be expanded in a classroom visit. Critical Issues 
faculty requesting an information literacy instruction session were encouraged to pick three 
options to emphasize in a classroom session (see table 4). During the first year of CIHI 
courses, this form has guided library instruction. Instruction sessions are customized to 
accommodate the unique nature of each CIHI course, and generally incorporate lectures, live 
demonstrations, class discussions, small group activities, and guided exercises. 

Table 4 

“Pick Three” Information literacy Learning Outcomes 

Searching for Information 



Students will be able to generate a variety of keywords and phrases in 
order to retrieve relevant sources for their need. 


Students will be able to compare and contrast the features of library and 
open source databases in order to use them effectively. 

Topic Selection 

Students will be able to develop a focused topic for their need in order 
to construct a research question and search strategy. 

Source Selection 

Students will be able to choose the most applicable type of source (e.g. 
book, article, etc.) for their need in order to provide appropriate 

Critical Evaluation 

The CRAAP Test 

Students will be able to evaluate a source based on its currency, 
relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose. 

Scholarly vs. 

Students will be able to identify whether a source is scholarly (peer- 
reviewed) and determine its contribution to the scholarly discourse. 

The Information 

Students will be able to describe how the information cycle flows for a 


given discipline and determine the types of sources available. 

Using and Citing Information 

Primary vs. 

Students will be able to determine what information is considered 


primary or secondary for a given discipline and select the most relevant 


Students will be able to quote, paraphrase, and incorporate another 
person's work into their research in order to avoid plagiarism. 

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Students will be able to create citations and references in order to 
accurately attribute information to its original author(s). 

The librarians have also taken advantage of newfound opportunities for direct assessment of 
information literacy. Within each CIHI class, learning artifacts are gathered from each 
instruction activity for informal summative assessment. This allows the librarians to gauge 
how well students are learning concepts the activity is designed to teach. The librarians have 
played an active role in the campus-wide formal assessment process of the Magis Core. This 
provides an unprecedented opportunity to assess actual work produced following librarian- 
supported information literacy instruction. Additionally librarians and faculty have 
collaborated closely in an attempt to devise assignments and information literacy instruction 
sessions that feel relevant to students and appropriately address the information literacy 
learning outcome in the Magis Core Curriculum. 

Several problems have emerged in the first year of this partnership. Most critically, the Magis 
Core is only assessed at one point, following the first year of a student’s coursework at 
Creighton. This leaves no formal opportunity to directly impact students at a later point in 
their academic careers, or assess how well they have retained information literacy concepts 
taught in CIHI courses. Additionally, the information literacy learning outcome present 
within each CIHI course currently jostles for space with seven other outcomes, and very little 
synergy seems to exist between them. The librarians are hopeful that both of these difficulties 
will be remedied through closer collaboration with faculty and through future improvements 
to the way the Magis Core is assessed. 


An undergraduate student’s exposure to information literacy instruction is often 
“uncoordinated and serendipitous, and ... largely hinges on an individual classroom 
professor’s willingness to designate class time for IL instruction,” (Zai 6). However, this 
dependence on serendipity and the will of individual faculty members can still lead to 
productive relationships and effective information literacy instruction. The librarians believe 
that their position allows for the creation of a scaffolded and assessable information literacy 
instruction program that impacts every student during their first year and beyond. It is 
important to note that this arrangement did not arise merely by chance or top-down 
organization, but came about as the result of close collaboration among faculty, with 
librarians taking the initiative to supply expertise when ambiguities arose. 

Moving forward, the librarians will take steps to firmly establish the new scaffolded nature of 
information literacy instruction at Creighton. This future program will begin with a brief 
introduction to the physical library and its resources using a reworked version of the first- 
year experience in RSP. It will progress to LEO, which introduces basic information literacy 
requirements that are expanded upon in face-to-face CIHI courses, and made directly 
applicable to projects students are working on as the class is taught. Each step on this course 
of studies will heavily promote the library’s Research Assistance Program, an open-ended 
way for students to request help applying information literacy concepts at any point in their 
academic career. This “RAP session” will allow librarians to fortify information literacy 
skills at key points beyond freshman year. Information literacy instruction at Creighton 


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University requires improvement, and the librarians are in a position where such 

improvement is readily achievable. 

Works Cited 

Anderson, Karen, and Frances A. May. "Does the Method of Instruction Matter? An 
Experimental Examination of Information Literacy Instruction in the Online, 

Blended, and Face-to-Face Classrooms." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 36.6 
(2010): 495-500. Print. 

Brasley, Stephanie Sterling. "Effective Librarian and Discipline Faculty Collaboration 
Models for Integrating Information Literacy into the Fabric of an Academic 
Institution." New Directions for Teaching and Learning 2008.114 (2008): 71-88. 


Eisenberg, Mike, Doug Johnson, and Bob Berkowitz. "Information, Communications, and 
Technology (ICT) Skills Curriculum Based on the Big6 Skills Approach to 
Information Problem-Solving." Library Media Connection 28.6 (2010): 24-7. Print. 

"Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education." 2015. Web. 1 June 2015. 
< /acrl/standards/ilframework>. 

"Freshman Academic Profile." 2014. Web. 1 June 2015. 


Creighton College Arts and Sciences Learning Outcome 2.1.1 as cited in “College 

Information Literacy: Instruction and Assessment.” Reinert- Alumni Memorial 
Library, Creighton University. 2015. Web. 1 June 2015. 

Johnson, Corey M., et al. "Information Literacy Instruction and Assessment in an Honors 
College Science Fundamentals Course." College & Research Libraries 72.6 (2011): 
533-47. Print. 

Kraemer, Elizabeth W., Shawn V. Lombardo, and Frank J. Lepkowski. "The Librarian, the 
Machine, or a Little of Both: A Comparative Study of Three Information Literacy 
Pedagogies at Oakland University." College & Research Libraries 68.4 (2007): 330- 
42. Print. 

Magis CCAS Core Curriculum Plan. Creighton University: Creighton College of Arts and 
Sciences, 2013. Print. 

Saunders, Laura. "Regional Accreditation Organizations' Treatment of Information Literacy: 
Definitions, Collaboration, and Assessment." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 
33.3 (2007): 3 17-26. Print. 

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Zai III, Robert. "Neither Fish nor Fowl: A Role Theory Approach to Librarians Teaching." 
Journal of Library Administration 55.1 (2015): 1-23. Print. 


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Using a Murder Mystery to Teach Evaluation Skills 

Elise Bias 

Instructional Design Librarian 
Washburn University 
Topeka, KS 


As games enter the classroom to engage students, an online multimedia murder mystery 
encourages the playful application and exercise of evaluation skills. Building on gaming in 
the library trends, an online multimedia murder mystery created in Articulate Storyline 
challenges students to evaluate information to determine the culprit. Following an 
introduction to evaluation in an information literacy class or a one-shot library instruction 
session, students are often presented with preselected websites and other materials to review 
and evaluate in a static lesson. Alternately, the online multimedia murder mystery’s student- 
paced, student-directed environment allows participants to gather and weigh visual and aural 
information, much the same as in the research process. A multimedia online murder mystery 
is a dynamic Information Literacy tutorial that can be tied into a learning management 
system and used as in-class activity or a homework assignment, completed individually or in 
pairs. This presentation walks the audience through the process of writing, creating, and 
casting an online multimedia murder mystery to reinforce evaluation and other Information 
Literacy skills. 

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November 6, 2015 


Collaborating with Faculty: Getting the Students into the Library 

Rochelle Hunt Krueger 
Assistant Professor and Curriculum Librarian 
University of Nebraska at Kearney 


How can librarians interact with students in an era of declining reference usage? By 
including librarians in an assignment, students must come to the library, reach out to a 
librarian, and learn about the needed resources on a one-on-one basis. Using a “personal 
librarian” approach, students learn that research can be more efficient by getting help rather 
than drowning in Google search results 


Libraries across the nation have noted a dramatic decline in reference transactions. Because 
of this evolution, academic librarians are attempting to reverse this trend. While the author's 
library still has a traditionally staffed reference desk, other services have been added. These 
services include chat and text reference services, social media, and embedded Blackboard 
services, to name a few, to try to raise visibility and awareness. 

How can librarians interact with students when they are not asking questions? By 
collaborating with a faculty member to incorporate the library into an assignment, students 
receive one-on-one library instruction, becoming a personal librarian, of sorts. One 
successful experiment at the University of Nebraska-Keamey involved a class of Speech 100 
students meeting one-on-one with a reference librarian. This assignment requirement helped 
students discover that working with librarians can be a great place to start in order to refine a 
topic and main points. 

By working with faculty and meeting the student at their point of need, librarians become 
more accessible and more personable. Research shows that attaching an assignment to library 
instruction increases the value of the library resources in the students’ eyes, as well as 
lending itself to the practice of lifelong learning. Expanding the librarian’s role, with the 
assistance of the teaching faculty, librarians can become a much more relevant resource to 
today’s students. 

Review of Literature 

This literature review examines the “personal librarian” trend in academic libraries. Drexel 
University’s program initiated in the fall of 2010 and received a lot of fanfare in the library 
world; however, the idea of personal librarians is not as new as one might think. Boatwright 
Library, at the University of Richmond, initiated their program in the fall semester of 2000. 
According to an interview with Lucretia McCully, Director of Outreach Services, the idea 
came to her because she had a favorite personal banker at her bank and thought a personal 
librarian program might be a good way to make a personal connection with the students, 
much as her banker had made with her (Dillon 1). Mon and Harris discuss how natural it is to 


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November 6, 2015 

want to go back to someone who knows you, such as a hairdresser, doctor, or auto mechanic 
(360). It does seem to be a natural step to want a personal librarian, as well. 

Contact with the students can be made in different ways. Students at Boatwright Library 
receive a postcard from the librarian explaining the personal librarian concept and the 
librarian’s contact information is attached (Dillon 3). At the Yale Medical School Library, 
students are contacted by the librarian at the beginning of their first semester at the school 
and then regularly afterwards (Nann 22). Garofalo reported a faculty member shared, 

“Calling a librarian our ‘personal librarian’ appealed to the students and they seemed more 
inclined to seek that person out for help” (23). 

Much of the research addresses the very real issue of time. Boatwright Library has about 80 
students per librarian (Varga 1 1). Drexel University Libraries reached out to a total of 2,800 
freshmen. Some were concerned about the amount of time this would monopolize; however, 
that has not been the case. Drexel librarians spend less than an hour a month, with the aid of 
an assistant who writes the letters (Kilzer 295). One of the Yale librarians has more than 700 
assigned students and feels okay with that (Nann 22). Yale has a personal librarian program 
coordinator who creates the message for the students. The personal librarians receive this 
message and personalize it before sending it out to the students (Nann 23). Overall, the 
research tends to show that the librarians are not overwhelmed. 

Students have appreciated this personalized approach to reference. It is no secret that students 
seem reluctant to ask questions and the reference numbers have gone down. However, when 
students have that personal contact with a librarian, it can lead to further contact. Henry, 
Vardeman and Syma state the importance of making librarians more “personal, authentic, 
and real to students” (399). Student accounts echo this statement. One student reported, 
“Since my positive experience with him, I have not been intimidated to ask another librarian 
for help” (Pellegrino 276). Another stated, “It’s a great privilege and resource to have a 
personal librarian, and if anything we underestimate the benefits of having a personal 
librarian” (Spak and Glover 24). For more information regarding student involvement, see 
Spak and Glover’s evaluation results (18-24). 

It is the author’s perspective that personal librarians are a great way to connect students with 
the library. If it is not possible to do this as an institution, it would behoove librarians to find 
other ways to act as a personal librarian where possible, such as finding a faculty member to 
partner with in library reference assignments. 

Connecting Librarians and Students 
The Assignment 

One such partnership developed in 2010 with a professor in the Communication Department 
at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Each semester, for one of their class assignments, 
students are given a librarian directory which includes contact information and subject 
specialty. They must make an appointment with a reference librarian of their choice to 
receive assistance locating credible sources on their anticipated career choice. During this 
appointment, the librarian ascertains the level of library instruction each student requires, and 
guides the student through the information retrieval process. 

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This project involved multiple points to consider (see table 1). Prior to coming to the library, 
the student was to complete a career assessment offered by the University’s Career Services 
office. This assessment was used as a tool to guide students to select their major and make 
informed career decisions. Several freshmen in this class were still declared undecided; 
others had already declared their major and were not surprised by the results. 

Table 1 

Project Topic: Your Anticipated Career 

Why you have chosen this career/why it interests you 

What the job consists of, i.e., what you will do on a day-to-day basis, 

where you will work (example organizations), with whom you will 

work, etc. 

The skills and interests you already possess that will allow you to 
succeed in this career 

The s ki lls you may need to develop to be successful 

How this career aligns with your values 

The path you will take to succeed in attaining this career goal 
(education, training, experience you will need . . . .) Will you start at 
the top, or will you work your way up? 

During the meeting with the librarian, a minimum of four sources were to be located, 
including a current job posting. This author's favorite consultation involved a student who 
loved baseball and longed to work, in some capacity, with a professional baseball team. Her 
career assessment agreed with her desire. She was a Red Sox fan and together she and the 
librarian located a current job posting with the Red Sox. Because the job qualifications were 
listed, she could see the path ahead of her. This student left the library with a renewed 
enthusiasm for her education and her career path. 

While lab sessions are efficient and can help acclimate students to using library resources, 
the professor indicated in an e-mail dated June 3, 2015, that individual appointments are by 
far her preference (Messersmith). The author concurs. The librarian can help the student 
search specifically for an actual topic, rather than everything being hypothetical. The student 
walks away with credible sources, citation instruction, and has learned which databases and 
keywords to use. They have also hopefully met a person they will feel comfortable 
contacting for future assignments. 

Librarian Goals 

Students come to the library with a wide variety of abilities. Some students have all their 
“ducks- in-a-row” and others do not know where to begin. This is the main way that the one- 
on-one sessions benefit the student. That said, the goals of this assignment span three main 
areas: helping the students obtain resources for their assignment; becoming acquainted with 
a librarian, and assisting the students in achieving information literacy skills. The first two 
goals have already been discussed. What follows briefly addresses information literacy skill 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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Even though the students have grown up in the Internet age, many of them do not know how 
to effectively search. The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education notes 
that information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize 
when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the 
needed information" (1). While Google is an excellent tool, it is not the means to effectively 
retrieve the most trusted and scholarly information. By teaching students to evaluate web 
resources, information professionals are setting the students up to succeed, as these are skills 
that will increase “workforce preparedness (Johnson and Becker 31). 

It has always been a struggle to find the best way to teach bibliographic instruction in a way 
that students will embrace. Librarians must continue to learn ways to make the lessons 
relevant. Manuel points out “materials must be made meaningful to learners in order to be 
comprehensible by them (209). Meeting one-on-one with students for a particular assignment 
has made the biggest impact for students in the author’s career so far. 


If a professor would like to make this librarian appointment a requirement, there are some 
that help the process run as smoothly as possible. Remind the students that they are not a 
burden to librarians; rather, that the librarians are pleased to help them and are expecting 
their appointment requests. It has been the author’s experience that the joy of a librarian’s 
experience is to help students. The professor pointed out students repeatedly mentioned how 
surprised they were that the librarians were so excited to help. Many of the students ended up 
talking for much longer than expected, not only about the assignment, but also about other 
classes, areas of common interests, or getting to know one another. 

Please talk to your liaison librarian to make sure the librarians have the time and willingness 
to work with the students on a one-on-one basis. Because certain times of the semester are 
busier than others, it is also helpful to ascertain that the assignment’s time frame works well 
with the librarians’ time frame. The initial assignment occurred during a time that nearly all 
the librarians were attending the state library conference. Students began e-mailing 
requesting appointment times. Due to this scheduling conflict, it was not possible to meet 
with the students in a timely fashion. Because the librarians had just received iPads, the 
professor was quickly notified to request an extension in the assignment and students were 
notified of the change. Subsequent semesters were planned with this regular conference in 

Share the complete assignment, rubric (see table 2) and library appointment documentation 
form (see table 3) with the librarians working with the students. By providing the librarians 
with this information, they will know the requirements and can guide the students 
accordingly. Some professors have specific resource requests, such as “print only” and 
sharing the assignment and its rubric can relieve a lot of heartache to all parties involved. 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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Table 2 


□ Completed outline; outline contains required components: 

o heading (1 pt) 
o thesis (2 pts) 
o purpose statement (2 pts) 

□ Outline is appropriate length— at least 2 pages (5 pts) 

□ Outline is in phrase format (5 pts) 

□ Outline uses parallel form in phrasing/ various levels of points (5 pts) 

□ Outline uses assigned indentation and outlining format (I, A, B, 1., 2., etc.) (5 pts) 

□ Outline contains quality, appropriately detailed, synthesized information (10 pts) 

□ Source Information on submitted materials (25 points) 

Name of Source/ Author 




(2 pts ea) 







1) Focus-2 

2) Assignment website: 

3) Job posting: 



□ Reference page utilizes accurate APA format (5 points) 

Table 3 

Documentation Form 

Library Appointment Documentation Form 
Commemorative Speech— Fall 2014 

( Student should complete this portion prior to appointment) 

Student Name: 

Appointment date/time: 

(Librarian should complete this portion at the conclusion of the appointment) 

Today's date: Student scheduled appointment in advance Y / N 

Student honored appointment time Y / N 

Librarian name (printed): 

Librarian signature:^ 

Librarian's brief description of what was discussed during appointment^ 

Any other comments/recommendations for this student^ 

& ~A BIG THANK YOU to our fantastic UNK Librarians for all of your help! 

Provide students with a list of librarians. Include their contact information and areas of focus 
or liaison responsibility. While any librarian can assist with this assignment, stress that this is 
a unique opportunity to establish a relationship with the librarian in one’s academic area, as 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

the students will likely need assistance for other classes. In the end, the important thing is 
that they met with a librarian and hopefully were able to come away having had a positive 

Finally, consider giving the students a deadline for the library appointments that is at least a 
week or two prior to the assignment deadline. Invariably there will be students who wait until 
the last minute. The documentation form has the appointment date listed, so the professor 
will know this information. 


Research shows that attaching an assignment to library instruction increases the value of the 
library sources in the students’ eyes, as well as lending itself to the practice of lifelong 
learning (Keyes 101). Via e-mail, the collaborating professor reported, “I am confident the 
quality of their sources was drastically improved by the librarian appointment requirement, 
and more than anything, I think the experience showed them that there are many people 
available and willing to help them in the library. They now know how to better research for 
upcoming assignments in other classes” (Messersmith). Pillai notes that collaborative 
relationships “provide an opportunity to demonstrate the. . .value of using additional help and 
guidance” (136). Tyckoson advises “reference services will continue to change as our 
sources and technologies change, but one-on-one personal assistance will remain its 
centerpiece” (63). By expanding the librarian’s role, with the assistance of the teaching 
faculty, librarians can become a much more relevant resource to today’s students. 

Works Cited 

Association of College and Research Libraries Board. "Framework for Information Literacy 
for Higher Education." Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. 
American Library Association, 2 Feb. 2015. Web. 18 June 2015. 

Farber, Evan. "Faculty-Librarian Cooperation: A Personal Retrospective." Reference Services 
Review 27.3 (1999): 229-234. Web. 19 June 2015. < 
=pdf >. 

Dillon, Cy. "The Personal Librarian Program at the University of Richmond: An Interview 
with Lucretia McCulley." Virginia Libraries 57:3 (2011). Web. 18 June 2015. 

<http ://scholar . lib . vt . edu/ej oumals/V ALib/v5 7_n3/pdf/dillon .pdf> . 

Garofalo, Denise. "Connecting with Students: Information Literacy and Personal Librarians." 
Against the Grain (2014): 20-23. Print. 

Henry, Cynthia L., Kimberly K. Vardeman, and Carrye K. Syma. "Reaching Out: Connecting 
Students to Their Personal Librarian." Reference Services Review 40.3 (2012): 396- 
407. Emerald Insight. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. 

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Johnson, Larry, and Samantha Adams Becker. “The NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher 

Education Edition.” NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition. Web. 19 
Apr. 2015. <>. 

Keyes, Anne, and Pat Barbier. "Librarian-Faculty Collaboration on a Library Research 
Assignment and Module for College Experience Classes." Community & Junior 
College Libraries 19: 93-103. Print. 

Kilzer, Rebekah. "Reference as Service, Reference as Place: A View of Reference in the 

Academic Library." Reference Librarian 52.4 (2011): 291-299. Web. 18 June 2015. 

Manuel, Kate. "Teaching Information Literacy to Generation Y." Journal of Library 
Administration 36.1/2: 195-217. Print. 

Messersmith, Amber. “Re: Collaboration.” Message to the author. 3 Jun 2015. E-mail. 

Mon, Lorri, and Lydia Eato Harris. "The Death of the Anonymous Librarian." Reference 
Librarian 52.4 (2011): 352-364. 

Nann, John B. "Personal Librarians: The Answer to Increasing Patron Contact May Be 

Simpler Than We Think." American Association of Law Librarians (2010): 20-23. 

Pellegrino, Catherine. "Does Telling Them to Ask for Help Work?" Reference & User 
Sendees Quarterly 51.3 (2012): 272-77 . Print. 

Pillai, Mary. "Locating Learning Development in a University Library: Promoting Effective 
Academic Help Seeking." New Review of Academic Librarianship 16 (2010): 121-44. 
Academic OneEile. Web. 19 Apr. 2015. 

Spak, Judy M., and Janis G. Glover. "The Personal Librarian Program: An Evaluation of a 
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Outreach Initiative." Medical Reference Sendees 
Quarterly 26.5 (2007): 15-25. Print. 

Tyckoson, David A. "What's Right with Reference. American Libraries 30.5 (1999): 57. 
MasterFILE Complete. Web. 26 June 2015. 


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Quick & Pretty: Designing Marketing Materials without Being a Designer 

Sarah Fancher 

Research & Instruction Librarian 
Saint Louis University 
St. Louis, MO 


We know that outreach and promotion of library resources and services is important, but 
many libraries don't have the luxury of full-time graphic designers on staff. Fortunately, 
many web-based tools exist to make the task of designing attractive marketing materials 
much easier for novices. The presenter will introduce a few tools, including and, and discuss how they have been used to enhance outreach efforts at Saint 
Louis University. 

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Swimming with the MOOCs: 

Creating Active Learning Modules for Database Instruction 

Alissa Fial 

Education and Research Librarian 
University of Nebraska Medical Center 
Omaha, NE 


Four Reference / Education Librarians at McGoogan, University of Nebraska Medical Center 
(UNMC), set out to create learning modules following MOOC-style, in order to address three 
issues: 1) supplement one-shot library instruction events; 2) showcase the library on campus 
as a key player in supporting the growing focus on online instruction; and 3) provide an 
opportunity for instruction even when a librarian is not embedded in a course. Focusing on 
PubMed, a database that serves many professional students’ information needs, the modules 
follow a search on blood clots in airline travel. The modules cover basic topics, including: 
development of a search strategy, advanced features of PubMed, and how to access full-text 
resources. McGoogan Library staff will discuss in detail the process involved in creating 
active learning modules, and share feedback from both students and the author librarians. 


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Reaching Faculty, Teaching Students 

Gwen Wilson 
Health Sciences Librarian 
Washburn University 

Elise Bias 

Instructional Design Librarian 
Washburn University 

Kelley Weber 
Business Librarian 
Washburn University 


A major challenge for academic librarians is reaching all students at the university 
(undergraduate and graduate, face-to-face and online). The authors show that by 
collaborating with faculty they have started to meet this challenge. In this paper, the authors 
describe their experiences in establishing relationships with faculty, the value of 
collaborating with faculty to customize one-shot library instruction sessions to a variety of 
topics and needs and how they’ve become an integral part of some classes. In addition, by 
working with faculty, they’ve been able to reach more face-to-face and online students. 

Readers will leave with multiple strategies on how to establish and build relationships with 
faculty that can lead to collaboration on one-shot instruction sessions and longer 
partnerships. The paper also includes specific ways to customize face-to-face instruction 
sessions and resources for online courses. This includes tools for developing learning 
outcomes for the class, tailoring handouts to the topic at hand, sharing resources, and 
evaluating the student work. 

Review of Literature 

Many academic librarians have started to develop relationships with faculty as a way to reach 
and teach students. Hsieh, McManimon, and Yang demonstrate that a librarian-faculty team 
makes a positive impact on the learning of their students (326). Cooperation with the faculty 
could be a key element in students’ perception to librarians. Fagan surveyed students in a for- 
credit library research class, taught by a librarian, about how students view the librarians in 
general. This class was not affiliated with other faculty on campus. Students reported 
uncertainty about who was the librarian in the building and the educational background and 
expertise of the library professionals (Lagan 137). They also responded that librarians had a 
“positive role in assisting users with technology” (Fagan 139). 

Meredith and Mussell describe their efforts in embedded librarianship at their small 
university. “Preliminary efforts at embedding were largely reactive with librarians primarily 
monitoring and posting to discussion forums during the literature search portion of research 

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methods courses (93). The authors explored how students perceived embedded librarians and 
their services through surveys. Students reported that they appreciated the librarians in their 
classes as a refresher and improved their ability to do research (Meredith and Mussell 97). A 
similar survey went out to the faculty teaching these online classes, who reported positive 
experiences regarding “... the librarians’ ability to take the initiative in increasing student 
involvement, proactively posting helpful information, being approachable in all 
communications, and providing individual coaching” (Meredith and Mussell 101-102). In 
general, faculty were pleased with the embedded librarians. 

Gonzales explains that as the formats of research materials are more often digital than not, 
"...librarians must provide information literacy instruction to an increasing number of 
students who are not physically in the library" (46). Librarians embedded in an online class 
must create digital learning objects as a way to teach students. Creating effective and 
efficient tutorials is imperative to demonstrating the value of the library and librarians to 

Adebonojo outlines the important elements to consider when designing online library 
tutorials: audience, length of videos, student learning styles, student learning outcomes for 
videos, technical aspects, time allotment, and faculty feedback (109-111). Creating tutorials 
or using pre-made videos from vendors to place in the learning management system is one 
way to reach more students. Though Abedonojo's research was limited only to embedding 
videos and not a librarian providing help within the virtual classroom, pairing video tutorials 
with an embedded librarian who students can contact for clarification or individualized 
research assistance could lead to lasting relationships. The overall theme of the literature 
reflects the importance of collaboration between faculty and librarians to benefit students. 

Collaborating with Faculty 
Reaching Faculty 

The first step in collaborating with faculty is to create a relationship. By having the 
foundation of a relationship, collaborative efforts are a more natural development. There is 
no perfect strategy for reaching faculty to develop a collaborative relationship. One strategy 
that the authors found to be a great way to start building relationships with faculty is through 
participating in any professional development opportunities through the institution. 
Professional development events are a great place to meet faculty while sharpening teaching 
skills. For instance, a librarian could use the subject expertise from a second master’s degree 
or other experience to team up with a fellow faculty member to lead a professional 
development seminar. This shows off the librarian's skill at teaching and connects the 
participating faculty to the librarian, offering a built-in topic for small talk at other events 
around campus. Faculty may recall this professional development seminar and the librarian's 
services when teaching other classes and invite the librarian to the classroom for a focused 

Another place to network and build relationships is through university committees and social 
events. Committees made up of faculty and staff can provide librarians the chance to be seen 
as active campus community members who add to the educational experience for students. 


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Working on committee projects can lead to casual conversations that circle round to class 
projects. A librarian is then able to offer assistance by way of visiting the class as a guest 
speaker, being embedded in the class, or working with students outside of the classroom. It is 
also important to remember the value of attending department meetings, even if the librarian 
has to aggressively seek the invitation. The key when networking and building relationships 
with faculty is to take advantage of any opportunities to interact with faculty. Librarians 
should take steps to be seen around campus, not just in the library waiting for students and 
faculty to approach them. 

Reaching Students 

Historically, academic librarians reached students via the front desk of the library or during 
the library one-shot instruction. These are still effective methods. However, the authors know 
that these methods do not reach all students. Through collaborating with faculty, the 
librarians are able to reach students beyond traditional methods. One way the authors have 
collaborated with faculty is by participating in the first year experience for-credit course that 
is a university requirement for graduation. This initial contact of students observing librarians 
and faculty working together in a course illustrates to the students the librarians’ valuable 
role in higher education. Students have the opportunity to connect with a librarian in this first 
year experience class and form a professional relationship that can last either that single 
semester, until the student gains entrance to a program on campus and connects with that 
subject librarian, or to graduation as a personal librarian or mentor. 

Part of the first year experience teaching team is made up of peer educators, students who 
have gone through the high school to college transition and mentor first-year students. First- 
year students can see how the peer educators interact with librarians in the classroom as 
teaching assistants by passing out materials such as handouts or technology. The librarians 
demonstrate their respect for the peer educators, which can make an impact on the first-year 
students. If the first-year students see the librarians' respect for other students, they may feel 
more comfortable approaching the librarian with a question. 

Having an established relationship with faculty who know how the academic librarians can 
assist students is another way to reach the students. When faculty refers a student to the 
librarian, the faculty demonstrates to the student the value and respect they have for the 
librarian. Once the librarian meets with the student, the librarian starts to establish a 
relationship with that student directly. 

This direct relationship with students can also help librarians reach additional students. When 
students have a positive relationship with a librarian, they are likely to encourage their 
classmates to seek out the librarian for assistance with research. Word of mouth is free 
advertising that works in the librarian’s favor. 

Maximizing Library Instruction 
Different Instruction Methods 

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Librarians have the opportunity to teach in multiple settings, whether it is as the instructor of 
a for-credit course, a one-shot guest lecturer, or as an embedded librarian. No matter the 
setting, it is important that the librarian tries to enhance the experience for the students. This 
can be done by customizing the instruction methods for every course. 

The key to enhancing the experience is to relate the instruction to life beyond the assignment. 
Discussing the specifics of the assignment and learning outcomes with the professor before 
visiting the classroom enables the librarian to tailor lessons and provide relevant examples to 
the class. Providing real life examples that use the day’s lesson can help students internalize 
the instruction to use in their personal and academic lives. For example, in an Evidence- 
Based Practice nursing course, the librarian discussed the particulars of the assignment and 
then discussed how the students would apply the information in the clinical setting. In a 
speech class, the librarian shared evaluation skills and challenged students through a group 
discussion to evaluate the lesson, including identifying the librarian’s biases and how that 
affects the material presented. 

In the information literacy section of the first year experience course, the librarian 
incorporates multiple instruction methods. In addition to the aforementioned methods, 
students participate in the Amazing Library Race, a scavenger hunt introducing first-year 
students to the library and services offered. This active learning lesson can make students 
more comfortable in the library, encouraging them to return for research assistance at a later 

Technology can also be used in the classroom for a hands-on experience. The librarian gives 
a short lesson on evaluating websites and information, then challenges students to review 
websites and share their findings with the class. Additional instruction methods are small 
groups, pair and share, and role playing. 

When the librarian is embedded in an online class, the learning management system (LMS) 
becomes the vehicle for instruction. Through the LMS, the librarian can post tutorials, share 
direct links to resources, and participate in discussion boards to teach students. These 
interactions are effective instruction methods for the online student population. The librarian 
can also adapt in-person lessons to the online environment through multimedia resources 
created with various software. These online activities should be discussed with the faculty in 

When creating such videos for online classes, it is important to consider the time required to 
produce such tutorials. As Adebonojo explains: "If a script or storyboard is developed before 
the video is created, it takes much less time to reach the stage where the video can be 
produced and uploaded..." (111). A storyboard not only guides the creation of the video, it 
can also guide the revision of videos when websites and database interfaces change. Keeping 
the videos updated to reflect current user interfaces is vital: students who see current sources 
will spend less time trying to connect new skills and outdated interfaces to the new layouts 
and will be less likely to give up. These multimedia resources allow for a more personalized 
interaction between the librarian and students by using the librarian’s voice and a picture of 
the librarian, rather than silent screenshots of a website with no human touch. 


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Role of Faculty 

The faculty’s role is essential when customizing library instruction. Faculty invite the 
librarian to the classroom, be it in-person or online. By inviting the librarian into their course, 
faculty members demonstrate confidence in the librarian's value. An invitation shows the 
faculty member wants to work with the librarian in an instructional setting, which opens the 
door for the librarian to ask the professor specific questions that will help enhance the library 

The professor helps the librarian know the details of the assignments such as research 
requirements and due dates. Although the librarian does not want only to discuss the 
assignment in class, it is an element the students expect from the library instruction. The 
librarian can connect research skills to the assignment, which helps students understand when 
they will use such information. Additionally, by collaborating with the faculty member 
regarding the course outcomes and class goals, the librarian gains a greater insight about how 
the outcomes of the course relate to life outside of the classroom and can help students make 
similar connections. 

An additional critical role of the faculty is to provide support for the librarians when they are 
invited to class. Without faculty support, the students are likely to underestimate the value of 
the librarian. Faculty support also enhances the role of the library at the institution. If the 
faculty demonstrate that the library has value to the institution, then students are more likely 
to use the library as a resource. Faculty can show support in a variety of ways, from how they 
introduce the librarians in the classroom to when they refer students to librarians and/or the 
library. When faculty view librarians as part of the teaching team, students may extend the 
same courtesy and feel comfortable asking the librarian questions about the presented 

Value of Learning Outcomes 

Information literacy is becoming a more common student learning outcome in higher 
education, both at the course and institution level. Knowing the learning outcomes before 
designing research instruction for a course is a method called backward course design, a 
process made popular by L. Dee Fink's book Creating Significant Learning Experiences. 
Having clear learning outcomes in mind when creating a lesson or online tutorial helps the 
librarian include only what students need to know, keeping the lesson focused. 

Clearly defined learning outcomes on the part of both the faculty and the librarian not only 
set the tone for the lesson but help set the level of respect between the faculty and librarian. 
The librarian is not just a guest speaker. Students can tell when librarians are a substitute 
teacher or when they are a value part of the teaching team. 

Another value of establishing learning outcomes is the role of learning outcomes in 
assessment efforts. Without detailed learning outcomes, assessment is extremely difficult. 
The librarian should work with the faculty to identify the intended outcomes of the lesson 
and possible assessment tools. 

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Assessment is how librarians report the effectiveness of their instruction to administration. 
When using the learning outcomes to customize a lesson, the librarian should also know the 
type of assessment that will be used to evaluate students' understanding of the presented 
material. A common method for assessment is the pre- and post-test. When the librarian is 
not the instructor for the course, the only way to administer the pre- and post-test is with the 
faculty’s collaboration. Another assessment tool is course evaluations. Even though the 
librarian is not the instructor, a section of the course evaluation can reflect the library 
instruction provided in the course. The one-minute paper is a quick way to find out students’ 
perceptions of what they learned. 

Assessment can also be built in to a classroom assignment. Collaboration with the professor 
in designing a research component in an assignment can clarify how the librarian's lesson fits 
into the class. The librarian should know the timeline and general details of this assignment: 
Has the teacher previously graded a research-related assignment and found students need 
assistance in a certain area? Will the skills the librarian teaches be part of a larger project? 
Including the details of the assignment in the instruction can increase students' attention in 
the classroom and help demonstrate the usefulness of the skills. 

Additional assessment can be in the form of both faculty and student feedback. This feedback 
can be verbal or written, though written feedback is the easiest to track because the librarian 
will have it on record. The librarian can and should request feedback from both the professor 
and students. When the librarian requests feedback, it might be beneficial for the librarian 
and faculty member to meet. During this meeting, the librarian will be able to ask the 
professor questions and brainstorm ideas for changes to the library instruction in future 
classes. Feedback could be related to teaching activities, relevance of the material the 
librarian presented, or the tutorials and videos embedded in the LMS. 


After designing the instruction and gathering the assessment, it is important for the librarian 
to think about and reflect on the library instruction across a semester. Questions for reflection 

1. What worked well? 

2. What did not go as planned? 

3. Was any information missing from the instruction? 

After answering these questions, re-evaluate for the next semester as itt is never too early to 
plan changes for the next semester. If the librarian does not record the changes, then it is easy 
to forget before the next semester. Simple notes kept with the lesson plan that could be 
reused for future lessons help the librarian make necessary changes. In other cases, more 
detailed notes could be necessary, such as knowing when a major research project is assigned 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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each semester, how a faculty member approaches the research process, or how the final 
project should be laid out. 

Refection is also a great way to see how the librarian has grown as an instructor and 
professional. Looking over notes from previous lessons about what worked well and what 
didn't work well, or how a faculty member approaches a topic, helps the librarian adapt and 
grow as a professional. 

No matter how the library instruction or embedded librarian experience went or how positive 
or supportive the faculty member was, it will still be up to the librarian to approach the 
faculty next semester and ask “So when shall I come to your class this semester?” Do not 
wait for the faculty’s invitation. 


Librarians and faculty collaborating is not a new concept. There are many ways that 
collaborating with faculty can benefit students. The first step is to build a relationship which 
is the foundation for future collaboration. By collaborating with faculty, the librarians are 
able to customize library instruction to maximize the student learning experience. Getting out 
of the library and working with faculty in professional development seminars and committees 
helps librarians connect with the campus community. 

The second step is to build relationships with students. Beginning with the first year 
experience class in the students' first semester at a university, students have the opportunity 
to meet with librarians in a variety of formats. When students feel comfortable approaching a 
librarian with a question, they can get research assistance and be more successful. 

It is up to the librarian to continue to reach out even if a professional relationship has already 
been established. Collaborating with faculty, customizing and maximizing library instruction, 
and building relationships with students is a continuous process. The librarian has to keep the 
process going. 

Works Cited 

Adebonojo, Leslie G. “A Way to Reach All of Your Students: The Course Management 

System.” Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning , 5 (2011): 
105-113. Education Full Text. Web. 16 June 2015. 

Fagan, Jody. “Students’ Perceptions of Academic Librarians.” The Reference Librarian , 78 
(2002), 131-148. Education Full Text. Web. 25 Jun. 2015. 

Fink, L. Dee. Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to 
Designing College Courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2013. Print. 

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Gonzales, Brighid M. “Online Tutorials and Effective Information Literacy Instruction for 

Distance Learners.” Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 
8 (2014), 45-55. Education Full Text. Web. 16 June 2015. 

Hsieh, Ma Lei, Susan McManimon, and Sharon Yang. "Laculty-Librarian Collaboration in 
Improving Information Literacy of Educational Opportunity Program Students." 
Reference Services Review, 41.2 (2013): 313-335. Education Abstracts. Web. 10 May 

Meredith, William, and Jessica Mussell. “Amazed, Appreciative, or Ambivalent? Student 
and Laculty Perceptions of Librarians Embedded in Online Courses.” Internet 
Reference Services Quarterly, 19 (2014): 89-112. Education Full Text. Web. 25 June 


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Scoring Library Points with Modern Board Games 

Philip Hendrickson 
Director of Library Services 
Concordia University 
Seward, NE 


This presentation explores the ways in which a significant board game collection supports the 
mission of an academic library. It is not unusual for an academic library to hold a small 
collection of popular games to entertain students and a few educational games that would 
never be played outside of a classroom. In recent decades, however, board game design and 
production has undergone a global renaissance that can be traced back to post-WWII 
Germany. A far cry from Monopoly , Sorry!, or other mass-market titles, designer board 
games are intellectually challenging, thematically diverse, artistically engaging, and have 
become a growing hobby among adults. Designed for fun rather than education, these games 
nevertheless reinforce concepts learned in class, offer healthy brain stimulation, and rebuild 
social skills that have atrophied in our high-tech age. 

Numerous resources exist to help librarians build appropriate board game collections. As 
with other library materials, two key methods to promote usage of the game collection are 
library events and engagement with faculty members. Board game events attract visitors to 
campus, a fact appreciated by administrators. Fun events also draw in students and give them 
opportunities to get to know the library staff in a non-threatening setting. 

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A Toolkit for Reframing Services for a Diverse Group: 

A Research Study of International Students at Illinois Institutions 

Yi Han 

Instruction Librarian and International Student Library Services Liaison 
Illinois Institute of Technology 

Pattie Piotrowski 

Assistant Dean for Public Services 
Illinois Institute of Technology 


Statistics show that increasing numbers of international students have arrived in the current 
decade and projected trends in global education reveal that more international students than 
ever before will be attending academic institutions in the United States. This study was 
undertaken to discover current services, staffing, and practices that Illinois academic libraries 
have developed to identify needs and expand services that meet the educational or research 
requirements of international students. Starting with an online survey, followed by face-to- 
face interviews with library and institutional staff who work with international students, the 
results clearly show institutions will be better suited to provide services if there is more 
research and specific information shared about this segment of the campus population. Using 
the knowledge generated about their cultural, educational, and social practices, university and 
library staff will understand that these students are not a homogeneous group, and they are 
deserving of targeted services and outreach. The research process the authors followed is 
described, findings are discussed, and the resulting recommendations can be used as a 
toolkit— one that contains tips and successful examples that will assist libraries in reframing 
current services for international students. 


With the current and projected increases of international students arriving to study at 
academic institutions in the United States, there is an interest in understanding their unique 
needs. Librarians at academic institutions have adopted both accepted and uncommon paths 
to provide services, but in the past institutional staff treated the foreign -born as a single 
homogeneous group. In reality, the diversity of international students requires distinctive and 
varied programs and services. Today, a more global view is needed as library organizations 
confront the cultural and educational differences among these scholars, and changing existing 
services or adding new ones will aid the effort to meet the research needs of international 

With anticipated increases in the international student population, this is an opportune time 
for librarians not only to educate students about research services and tools, but also to teach 
them about open access, collaborative and open collections, copyright, and intellectual rights 
and ownership. Developing lasting and cost-effective methods of scholarly communication in 
the pursuit of collaborative research efforts, and in support of education and research, is a 
challenge faced by all higher education institutions. Now, students from all over the world 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

can learn how to store their research and publications in repositories, making their ideas 
available to a wider audience, while building collections at the home institution. 

Academic libraries can use the increase in international students at their institutions to 
transform themselves in the present information environment, while positioning themselves 
for the future. The authors recognize that a unique opportunity exists with these international 
scholars, who will one day return to their home countries armed with new knowledge and 
practices they learned during their time here. These practices will expand collaborative 
research, encourage preservation, and create new collections and partnerships. 

In addition to learning opportunities, research possibilities, and cultural exchange, 
international students studying in the United States are also important economically to our 
academic and municipal communities. International students contributed more than $21 
billion to the U.S. economy in tuition, fees and living expenses; these numbers are not 
expected to plateau or decline in the near future (Lewin). 

The authors serve an institution which has a high concentration of international students from 
more than 95 countries and they are currently conducting a research study focused on the 
institutional members of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois 
(CARLI). The purpose of the study is to identify current services, staffing, and practices that 
Illinois academic libraries have developed to identify needs and expand services to meet the 
educational or research requirements of international students. They will share the methods 
and results of the research which includes examples of best practices; the types of assessment 
instruments used to identify the needs of international students; how services and programs 
were created or adapted; and the staffing necessary to serve foreign-born students. This study 
will assist libraries in assessing and reframing current services provided for international 

Review of Literature 

A review of the literature shows that librarians have searched for best practices to meet and 
support international students’ needs over the last two decades. Universities and academic 
libraries realize that the diversity of international students requires distinctive and varied 
programs and services. Their different cultural and educational backgrounds can affect their 
success of academic performance. Many of the research studies focus on discussing the 
language, cultural issues, and other difficulties that international students face in Western 
academic libraries. Researchers primarily use surveys to discover and learn more about the 
international students’ library experience. The literature reviewed includes three surveys that 
focus on finding international students’ information- seeking behaviors and challenges in 
using academic libraries, as well as advice to librarians on their approach to library 
instruction, outreach and other services for international students. 

Baron and Strout-Dapaz, in their survey of 123 libraries and offices that support international 
programs in universities within a Texas library consortium, found that the major challenges 
international students face are language/communication problems, adjusting to a new 
educational/library system, and general culture adjustments (Baron and Strout-Dapaz 321). 
Based on their findings, they developed a sample for a skillset derived from the ACRL 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Information Literacy Competency Standards and also a suggested list of pedagogical 
methods and services for international students (319). 

In another significant study, Nicole Sackers and colleagues at La Trobe University Library 
used an in-depth survey to discover international students’ preferences regarding library 
services and methods of communication (Sackers, Secomb, and Hulett 38). According to the 
survey results, online tutorials, in-class demonstrations, and hands-on workshops were 
highly-rated for learning about the library resources and tools (43). The survey also indicated 
that students want to know the basics about using the library resources by the third week of 
the semester (45). One recommendation is to have library orientation sessions sometime 
during the first three weeks of the semester to maximize student interest and involvement 
(47). In her study assessing incoming international students’ library experiences in San Jose 
State University, Jackson also found students repeatedly note the need for more orientation 
and introduction to the library (Jackson 205). Recommendations from the study include: 

• Increase library orientation and outreach efforts for international students 

• Create an online tutorial and web pages for international students 

• Collaborate with campus ESL institutes 

• Plan a professional development seminar for library staff 


In 2014 the authors were awarded a CARLI Research Subsidy to assist in their study of 
international students. They designed a multi-question survey to discover current services, 
positions and practices that Illinois academic libraries use to identify needs and expand 
services for international students (Han and Piotrowski). The expectation was that the survey 
results would not only illustrate best practices, but would also establish if there is a shifting 
focus in how libraries reach out and engage the international population. The authors 
anticipated the survey results would include the types of assessment instruments used, 
whether new services were created or adapted from previous services, if new positions were 
developed to serve the needs of foreign-bom students, and if members of the international 
community were routinely integrated into services or treated as a separate segment. The 
authors believed that the information documented in the survey would be useful to 
institutions seeking to develop or expand their own services and programming. 

For purposes of the study, the definition of an International Student was pulled from the 
Common Data Set initiative: “A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States 
and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and who is enrolled for credit at an 
accredited higher education institution in the U.S” (“Common Data Set, 2014-2015”). Note 
that the survey questions did not apply to domestic students in international study abroad 

The survey was distributed to 139 CARLI institutions in fall 2014 and was available for five 
weeks. There were forty-two initial responses, with six institutions agreeing to be 
interviewed with follow-up questions. After analyzing the initial survey data, the authors 
began face-to-face interviews in the spring of 2015 with the institutions that had indicated 
their willingness to participate. All six libraries provide services for international students, 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

and they represent various types of institutions, including an independent undergraduate 
liberal arts college, two public universities in Illinois, a private Ph.D. -granting research 
university, a small private college, and an accredited independent school of art and design. 
Those interviews were recorded, transcribed, and the findings were used to strengthen earlier 
survey results or add new and meaningful information prior results. 


The results were collected from the online survey data, and examples/best practices shared by 
librarians during the interviews. They are presented below in three sections: Background, 
Services, and Activities and Outreach. 

Background: International Students on Your Campus 

According to the open door report from the Institute of International Education, over the last 
60 years there was a steady 1% annual increase in the total number of students until the early 
1990s when the annual increase shot to 3%, where it has stayed ever since. In the last 5 years, 
research universities have seen the highest percentage change in total enrollment with annual 
increases of 8% (“International Students: Enrollment Trends”). 

The survey asked if their institutions have international students and what percentage of 
international students makes up their user population. Ninety percent of respondents 
indicated that they have international students in their institutions, with the largest number of 
respondents, more than two-thirds, in the 1-10% range and about one-fifth with 11-25% 
international students. The authors’ institution reports that 48% of the student population is 
international (see fig. 1). Of note is that one of the institutions in the survey reported their 
population as 1-10%, but when interviewed, it was discovered they actually have more than 
30%. This is one example of why securing and using institutional data to inform your 
decision making is an important step. 

Services for International Students 

A separate section of the survey focused on the services provided to international students. 
Results show that 40% of those replying provide services, resources, or tools specifically for 
international students. When they were asked to give the primary reason for services, more 
than three-quarters chose anticipating the unique needs of international students. In another 
question, respondents indicated the method used to identify service and resource needs. The 
results show more than half of the libraries use guidance from outside of the library, followed 
by advice from liaisons or assigned library personnel, and then information gleaned from 
discussion groups (see fig. 2). Campus offices offering guidance include the international 
student center, office of cultural affairs, diversity initiatives, and the admissions office. 

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November 6, 2015 



1 - 10 % 


41% ore moer 




0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 80.00% 

Fig. 1. Survey Question: International students make up what percentage of your user 






20 . 00 % 

10 . 00 % 

0 . 00 % 

Guidance from Liaisons or Informal Library social Surveys issued by 

outside of the assigned library discussion groups media the library 

library personnel 

Fig. 2. Survey Question: How do you identify service and resource needs for your 
international students? 

Respondents were also asked to list the services they provide to international students. 
Results indicate orientation/tours, research assistance, study/research skills, writing/citing 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

service, and research guides/pathfinders are the top services that most libraries offer (see fig. 


More than half of the institutions provide orientation and tours for international students. 
Some of them shared their successful practices in the survey, while others gave more details 
during the interview. One library uses pre-written questions for attendees to read at each 
station during the library tour. This helps students to know it’s OK to ask questions, and to 
provide them with the type of answers they should be seeking. In some libraries, both 
orientation sessions and tours are offered by bilingual staff, and are usually very well 

40% of responses are related to the development of the students’ education and research 
skills. Providing research assistance and scheduling information literacy instruction sessions 
assist in the development of these skills. In order to reach as many international students as 
possible, some libraries offer instruction sessions focused on writing courses being taken by 
non-native speakers and ESL students, and programs that feature high numbers of enrolled 
international students. 

Offering writing and citing support is the third top used service that libraries presented for 
international students. Multiple institutions partner with the writing center on campus to co- 
operate on workshops, or they have writing center staff offer “office hours” using a table or a 
study room in the library to meet with students. 

Some libraries choose to use research guides or pathfinders to share information with 
international students. Here are a few examples of online guides received from the survey: 


• http ://libguides .uis .edu/intemational 




Activities and Outreach 

Results in this survey section demonstrate that 23% of respondents plan events and activities 
targeted to international students. Respondents were asked to briefly describe an activity, 
program, or event. One activity shared was an international film exhibit and the library 
purchases movies in subtitled, foreign languages. Another library shared their story of 
holding a tea party for international students that was co-hosted by the international student 
center. Several libraries addressed partnering with non-academic departments, or placing a 
library liaison in those departments, as a great way to cooperate on organizing an event or 
activity, as well as to market and promote library services. 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Fig. 3. Survey Question: Which of these services do you provide targeted specifically to 
international students? 

Toolkit: Best Practices in Providing Services, Outreach and Staffing 
for International Students 

The authors analyzed the responses to the survey, incorporated information gleaned from the 
interviews, and added in their own experience to formulate a list of best practices, or a toolkit 
of tips for providing library services, designing outreach, and coordinating staffing to 
international students. What follows is a list of recommendations from the authors. 

Recommendation 1 

Assess your current services. That’s right, look at what you’re already doing. The most 
interesting reaction in the face-to-face interviews was that staff at each and every institution 
visited said “We aren’t doing anything special. We won’t have anything of interest to share.” 
Of course that wasn’t true once the interview started and responses were collected. So 
assessing what you are already doing is an important first step. That’s because services to 
students already exist, and services targeted to international students don’t need to be created, 
just modified from existing services. 

Also, make your library visible by reframing your services and outreach to be more engaging 
to international students. Recognize international holidays, or have a table or booth at student 
resource fairs targeted to international students. Even having simple signs welcoming them in 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

their own language can be effective. Remember: Don’t try to change behavior. Identify it and 
then design for it. 

Recommendation 2 

Update your own knowledge. International students have different academic perspectives 
based on geography, and what they learn as educational concepts vary from those in the 
United States. Remember that some educational concepts that are accepted and common in 
the United States may not be common at all for international students. It is important for 
librarians to be aware of the differences in student learning behavior and use teaching 
opportunities to properly explain concepts. 

Start by talking and interacting with international students. Hold events that will create 
opportunities to engage. Make sure to hire international students to work in the library. They 
will be happy to educate you about their culture and their home countries. Learn more about 
your international students by conducting surveys, having focus groups, and arranging “talk 
tables” for sharing stories and experiences. Exchange stories with staff on campus who work 
with international students (faculty, departments, campus units, etc.). Seek out campus 
workshops on international students, attend library conferences, and read articles in 
professional journals to better understand the international student perspective. 

Recommendation 3 

Partner on campus with those in the know. Why duplicate work marketing, engaging, and 
providing services to international students when there are already units on campus tasked 
with assisting in their success? Possible partners on campus include the International Student 
Center, Admissions Office, Student Affairs, Student Employment, Teaching/Learning 
Centers, and Student Organizations. 

When you partner with any of these groups on events such as welcome receptions, coordinate 
activities such as captioned film viewings or cultural recognitions such as Chinese New Year, 
then the hours necessary for library staff to be successful in outreach or programming can be 

Working with other departments will also assist library staff in understanding some of the 
challenges that international students face in such areas as financial aid and employment 
acculturation. Many of the units mentioned attend workshops or have access to webinars 
focused on the needs of international students, and sharing information with these 
departments can increase the engagement and enjoyment of everyone. 

Recommendation 4 

Redesign and create a separate orientation for international students. Most libraries hold 
orientation sessions or informational tours, but there is definite success in holding separate 
sessions focused on the learning needs and educational transition of studying in a foreign 
country. One important function of separate sessions is to provide an opportunity to have 
library staff recognized as approachable and friendly. Staff can slow down and speak clearly 
in sessions, providing handouts when necessary to explain library policies and services, but 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


still take time to indicate that the library is an open and welcoming space for all on campus. 
This encourages staff to build early relationships with students who want to learn and know 
as much as they can about their new and strange surroundings. Separate sessions create 
opportunities not just to speak, but also to listen. Librarians can initiate questions about their 
native countries, as students may like to talk about their experiences. 

Recommendation 5 

Create information literacy opportunities. The experiences of librarians and institutional 
staff interviewed uncovered that international students have a real fear of missing out 
(FOMO) and want to attend instruction sessions. FOMO is real for international students. 
They question what American students know about the campus, the community and 
coursework that they don’t. Librarians can assist with FOMO by working with faculty in 
basic level courses, by creating specific instruction sessions for upper level or graduate 
courses that have high international student enrollment (such as business or engineering). 

Offering open workshops on topics ranging from the basics of library services (such as 
interlibrary loan) to more specific topics (such as patent searching) are useful. Reach out to 
faculty and work together to create course content targeted to specific topics with which a 
class may be struggling. 

Other potential partnering units on campus for offering informational sessions include the 
Writing Center, Tutoring Services, and Career Services. Especially popular are Career 
Services sessions as students are interested in job opportunities, resume writing and how to 
best present themselves. The library can assist in teaching them industry or company research 
so they are fully prepared when they go on interviews. 

Recommendation 6 

Additional recommendations. Collections and resources should be considered for your 
international students. Do you already offer foreign language learning programs? Make sure 
to provide upper level English resources through these types of providers, a resource that will 
not only assist your international students but also remedial learners. Do you collect or 
provide popular fiction? Try to include multilingual resources in your collection. Copies of 
Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, in foreign languages from Spanish to Chinese to Polish 
will not only expose international students to cultural norms, but American students will also 
read them to increase their language fluency. 

Hiring international students in the library is a huge benefit for all. It provides a student staff 
that more closely resembles the campus population, library employees learn more about 
cultural and social norms, and international student employees can assist in your efforts to 
serve international students. In some libraries, student employees have assisted in creating 
signage or online resources such as research guides with bilingual or multilingual aspects. 

For example, one library posts welcome signs in appropriate languages throughout the library 
for that year’s incoming group. 

Outreach targeted to international students is challenging, but in the survey, the top four 
recommended marketing tools to reach international students were: 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

a. Posters or flyers. These students try to read everything they can, remember FOMO? 
Target areas where they gather: dorms, dining hall, or study space. 

b. Library website. If you’ve held sessions for them, then you’ve also told them to find 
news in the banner, breaking news feed or elsewhere on your web site. 

c. Partners outside of the library. Many libraries did not have email blast capability, but 
partners on campus such as the International Student Center, Admissions or Campus 
Affairs probably do, and they also probably have a newsletter or monthly email they 
distribute. Ask them to help market your event, program or session. 

d. Library social media sites: blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. One very important thing to 
remember is that many of the international students may not be using Google, 
Facebook, etc. when they first land on your campus due to restrictions in their native 
countries or internet access issues. Don’t rely on social media until you have built its 
use among your students. One good way to do that is to work through the student 
organizations that provide social opportunities on campus. 

The last recommendation concerns staffing. In this research the authors have not uncovered 
anyone with as specific a job title as one of the authors, International Student Library 
Services Liaison. Her efforts on campus both within the library, and external to the library, 
have increased the engagement and level of services offered. However, that uniqueness in her 
title is deliberate because of the 48% population of international students on campus. 

What the survey and interviews uncovered is that whether a specific person is assigned or if 
it is a shared staff duty, services to international students should not be left to chance or 


This study provided a valuable learning experience for the authors. The findings have helped 
them to assess and update their current services to international students. They also hope this 
study can offer varied perspectives, ideas, strategies and examples for academic libraries to 
reform or enhance their services for this segment of the student population. Further research 
is called for and the authors intend to continue to study the impact of international students 
on services, staffing and outreach in academic libraries, and to also continue promoting and 
encouraging the adoption of best practices for meeting the needs of international students. 

Works Cited 

Baron, Sara, and Alexia Strout-Dapaz. "Communicating With and Empowering International 
Students With a Library Skills Set." Reference Services Review 29.4 (2001): 314-26. 

“Common Data Set, 2014-2015.” Common Data Set Initiative, 2014. Web. 25 March 2014. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Han, Yi and Pattie Piotrowski. Survey of International Students at CARLI Institutes: Service, 
Outreach and Staff, 2014. Web. <https://www.surveymonkey.eom/r/BPBXNRF>. 

“International Students: Enrollment by Institutional Type, 2004/05-2013/14.” Open Doors 
Data. Institute of International Education, 2014. Web. 25 March 2014. 
Students/Enrollment-by-Institutional-Type/2004- 1 4>. 

“International Students: Enrollment Trends.” Open Doors Data. Institute of International 
Education, 2014. Web. 25 March 2014. < 

Jackson, Pamela A. "Incoming International Students and the Library: A Survey." Reference 
Sendees Review 33.2 (2005): 197-209. Print. 

Lewin, Tamar. “Taking More Seats on Campus, Foreigners Also Pay the Freight.” New York 
Times, 4 February. 2012. Web. 10 April 2014. 



Sackers, Nicole, Bess Secomb, and Heather Hulett. "How Well Do You Know Your 

Clients?: International Students’ Preferences for Learning about Library Services." 
Australian Academic & Research Libraries 39.1 (2008): 38-55. Print. 

“Trends in Academic Employment for Doctoral Scientists and Engineers.” Science and 
Engineering Indicators 2012. National Science Foundation, 2012. Web. 10 April 
2014. <>. 


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November 6, 2015 

Managing the Waves of Change: What It Took to Unify a Library’s 
Operation with Its New Mission 

Dolores Yilibuw 

Library Director 

Lexington Theological Seminary 
Lexington, KY 

Chelsea Dalgord 

Implementation Program Manager 
Dublin, OH 


Recently, the Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS) changed to a completely online 
academic program. In response, the LTS Library underwent major changes, not only with its 
physical space and collection, but with its online presence and services. Sometimes change 
comes like big waves. We can choose either to ride the waves, fight against them, or perhaps 
do some of both. This session will provide some insight into the waves of change that your 
library may experience, or perhaps has already experienced, all the while working to better 
serve your users. The presenters will discuss how the LTS Library managed the waves of 
change, as well as candidly address instances of fighting those waves. The discussion will 
focus around two concepts: (1) Reduction of the Library’s collection, space and budget, and 
(2) Expansion of the Library’s online presence with more electronic resources, web-based 
transactions and services to better support its new community of all-online users. In 
summary, the Library’s print collection was reduced to a solid core that supports the 
curriculum while leveraging new, cloud-based technology to expand its online collection and 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


Academic Literacies: Integrating Research and Writing into a Workshop 


Elizabeth Stephan 

Learning Commons Librarian for Student Engagement 
Western Washington University 
Bellingham, WA 

Shevell Thibou 

Learning Commons Coordinator 
Western Washington University 
Bellingham, WA 


Western Washington University’s Learning Commons consists of eight program partners, 
including Research Consultation, the Writing Center, and Writing Instruction Support, all 
focused on advancing their role in developing students’ academic literacy. The program 
partners are co-located within Western Libraries. The academic library is an ideal location 
for establishing and promoting student-centered spaces that influence collaboration and 
innovation; however, there are obstacles that come into play when several programs within a 
learning commons and library work together to meet the needs of students and faculty. 

To better integrate the teaching and learning efforts across the Western Libraries and 
Learning Commons, program partners Research Consultation, the Writing Center, and 
Writing Instruction Support began offering a series of research and writing workshops to 
writing-intensive courses. These strategy-based workshops address key dimensions of the 
research-based writing process and demonstrate to students how they are interrelated. The 
three workshops-Getting Started, Linding & Using Sources, and Revising & Editing— are set 
in an intentional order to encourage faculty to stage their assignments to enhance the research 
and writing process. 

Over the last two years, the number of requests for workshop series has increased. Twenty- 
four workshops were offered during the first quarter the series was offered, fall 2013, and the 
numbers began to increase greatly the following quarter. By the end of the 2013-14 academic 
year, more than 1200 students had taken at least one of the workshops. The number of 
workshops offered increased to fifty-one in fall 2014 and fifty-three during the winter 2015 
quarter. While there is no doubt the series is successful, the benefits from the workshops 
have been both internal and external. Participation in the workshop series has opened up a 
dialogue between librarians, learning commons facilitators, and teaching faculty focused on 
the development and revision of research-based curriculum and writing assignments. 
Additionally, the workshops have led to a better understanding between Learning Commons’ 
partners and have helped facilitate the integration of Research Consultation and the Writing 
Center as they move into their new Research and Writing Studio. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

This presentation will outline the development of the workshop series, review student and 
faculty feedback, as well as some of the changes faculty made to their curriculum and 
assignments after they saw the benefits of the workshops. We will also discuss how it has 
helped staff from different Learning Commons partners better understand how they can 
collaborate together to contribute to and support teaching and learning across campus. 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Active Learning Exercises for Teaching Visual Literacy 

Angie Brunk 
Reference Librarian 
Missouri Western State University 
Saint Joseph, MO 


Visual literacy is becoming more and more important in information literacy instruction, but 
what is it and how do I teach my students to be visually savvy information consumers? What 
is worth 1000 words and how I can use it to teach visual literacy? In this session you will 
learn how to teach your students about photo manipulation, even if you know very little 
about it yourself. Additionally you will learn how to discuss the basics of digital photography 
as it relates to visual literacy and how to demonstrate perspective and its effect on the 
presentation of visual information. Many social issues intersect with visual literacy, including 
the inherent weakness of film in representing persons of color. These issues will be touched 
on in this session. We will also touch on how to include students with disabilities when 
discussing visual literacy. Participants will leave with several exercises and points to use in 
teaching visual literacy. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 

Undergraduate and Graduate Services: Opposite Sides of the Same Coin? 

Victor D. Baeza 

Director of Library Graduate and Research Services 
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 

Tracy Stout 

Information Literacy Librarian 
Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 


Undergraduate and graduate students use many of the same facilities and services provided 
by their library. There are similarities in their use, but how and why they use the facilities 
and services differ greatly due to several factors that should be considered when determining 
how best to meet their needs. This paper will explore the similarities and differences among 
the two student bodies and will provide suggestions for meeting their varying needs. 


Academic librarians know all too well that we are in a time of both rapid growth of 
information and information delivery methods, as well as a time of changing information 
needs. Academic libraries must stay on top of the rapid changes in information, information 
needs, and technologies in order to remain relevant to students. Librarians, and libraries, have 
long understood that they must be prepared to effectively meet the divergent needs of various 
user groups. “Understanding student demographics is essential to identifying topics that 
should be included in an orientation program” (Poison 61), and this applies to all workshops 
held throughout the year. Two library user groups that have typically been combined are 
graduate and undergraduate students, or at least it was felt that graduate students’ needs were 
not much different from those of the undergraduate. Students have been expected to use 
many of the same facilities and services provided by their academic library in much the same 
way. Although there are many similarities in their use of the library, how and why graduate 
and undergraduate students use the facilities and services can differ greatly. Their 
expectations, information needs, and information-seeking behaviors can be completely 
different. There are numerous factors that will determine what and how a student envisions 
the library as a place to seek and use information. Factors such as program of study, 
expectations from faculty, living arrangements of the students (on or off campus), as well as 
other factors need to be considered when planning and implementing instructional and 
service programs, as well as building renovations, to best meet the needs of these two groups. 

Student Similarities 
Use of Library Space 

Many university libraries are a Third Place (Walton and Matthews) for both undergraduate 
and graduate students. Libraries are unique in that many can offer a wide variety of spaces 
for students. Some libraries offer quiet floors where students who need a quiet place can find 

Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
November 6, 2015 


one. Many libraries now usually provide either group study rooms or group areas where 
students can meet, collaborate, and work on group projects together. In focus groups of 
undergraduates at Missouri State University (MSU), it was found that how specific spaces 
are used in the library not only depends on the student but also on the unique need that 
student may have at that particular moment. For example, some students could have multiple 
hours in between class sessions and may come to the library simply as a place to spend time 
between classes. Some students said they chose different areas of the library depending on 
what they were working on. One student said that she would find a comfortable couch or 
lounge chair to curl up in when she had a book chapter to read for class, but if she was 
working on Math, she preferred a table where she could spread her materials out. According 
to Kinsley et al., graduate students “pay attention to the atmosphere of a space and their 
surroundings. They desire a welcoming space, with comfortable seating” (2). This desire was 
echoed by graduates in focus groups at Oklahoma State University (OSU), although many 
teaching graduate students mentioned an unwillingness to use the library if a private study 
room was not available. The sentiment was that if they were out in the open areas, their 
students would find them and ask them about class or ask for assistance. A commonly noted 
barrier for graduate students are limited library hours (Kinsley et al. 2), which seems to be a 
universal complaint at many university and college libraries that are not open 24 hours. This 
complaint would seem to emphasize the importance of the library as a Third Place, since 
most libraries now have electronic library resources available 24/7. 

Literacy Skills 

A commonly held belief is that undergraduate students are entering school with only a basic, 
if any, knowledge of information seeking skills. On the other hand, it is commonly believed 
that graduate students have already attained a degree and therefore have a better 
understanding of information literacy. But, in a paper on graduate students’ views of research 
tools, Khoo, Massam and Jones (1) noted that the proliferation of discovery services has 
blurred the lines between academic library resources and internet search engines. This 
blurred view leads to graduate students describing and viewing the discovery service no 
differently from Google, Google Scholar, or Wikipedia— sources most incoming freshmen 
have used, or at least heard of. Often, library instruction sessions targeted towards 
undergraduate students will highlight the difference between library online resources and 
internet search engines, with little success. 

Many undergraduate students are provided with “one-shot” library instruction sessions. 
During these sessions, focus is on teaching undergraduates those skills needed “to locate, 
retrieve, and evaluate needed information from suitable sources” (Rosenblatt 51). At MSU 
and OSU, librarians have collaborated with First Year Programs in order to introduce 
information literacy competencies and outcomes to students, but increasingly instructors 
believe they can teach the information literacy skills themselves, much in the same way that 
faculty will “teach” graduate students how to do research. Faculty then not only may 
overestimate their own information seeking skills, but may overrate the skills of their 
students. In faculty focus sessions at MSU, professors of senior level and graduate level 
courses stated they fully believe that those students should already have solid information 
literacy skills and the knowledge to conduct research effectively, efficiently and be able to 


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write well-researched works. However, in focus sessions with students both at MSU and 
OSU, many students mentioned either not ever having an information literacy session or 
having one long before their need for research. Also, many of the students attended a session 
in their freshman year but could not remember what they had learned in that session. A few 
of the graduate students that were in the MSU focus sessions stated they had taken 
undergraduate courses elsewhere and either did not attend an information literacy session or 
the library website at MSU was too different from that of their previous institution. 

Access Preferences 

A stereotype of the undergraduate student is that they want and will settle for the quickest 
and easiest answer rather than the best or correct answer. Research has shown that many 
graduate students also follow this pattern: 

“Graduate students prefer information that is easily accessible even if it may be 
unreliable; they prefer electronic access; and they are unaware of many library 
resources and services such as interlibrary loan. These characteristics of student 
information seekers, whether graduate or undergraduate, are often shared throughout 
the disciplines” (Catalano “Using ACRL Standards” 23). 

A survey conducted at the University of Notre Dame discovered “graduate students will 
modify their topic or ignore relevant bodies of information if the source is not electronic, and 
ask for help only as a last resort” (Kayongo and Helm 348), mimicking perceived 
undergraduate behavior. In reality, favoring the easiest and quickest answer is not only a 
student behavior, but could be used to describe most researchers’ desires. 

Student Differences 

Information Needs 

Just as there are many similarities between undergraduate and graduate students there are just 
as many, if not more, differences between the two groups, one of which are the information 
needs of undergraduate versus graduate students. This is best simply stated by Kinsley et al.: 
“The needs of students taking courses differ from those of students working on a thesis or 
dissertation” (2). Graduate students normally will be focused on preparing either seminar 
papers, theses or even dissertations and many with the aim of getting a work published. 

Large papers are often worked on throughout the graduate student's time at the university and 
require a large amount of time, energy, and also a great deal of resources. The information 
needs and behaviors of graduate students “change significantly over the course of their 
graduate school careers” (Kinsley et al. 2) and “adult learners evolve throughout the course 
of their studies, not only in the knowledge of their discipline but their approach to research 
and the way they think about themselves as learners” (Catalano “Patterns” 269). 

Graduate students tend to focus on one research area, working towards their 
thesis/dissertation, while most undergraduate students are more focused on completing an 
assignment (i.e., annotated bibliography, essay paper). Each assignment is likely on a 

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different topic, and “research shows that undergraduate students struggle with the initial 
stage of the research process, mainly identifying and defining a topic” (Lundstrom and 
Shrode 23). 

Information Seeking Behavior 

At the basic level, “graduate students are far better at evaluating information sources than 
they may be given credit for” (Catalano “Using ACRL Standards” 3 1). This may partially be 
due to the fact that they are often researching within a singular subject area and want to find 
all the information available on that topic. Undergraduates, on the other hand, typically are 
researching a topic for only a single paper/project and only need enough resources to meet a 
minimum requirement. So, unlike a graduate student who will tend to seek out library 
resources, according to Prescott and Veldof , undergraduates are different: 

[Wjith so much information available online, this generation of undergraduates often 
does not use the academic libraries for research. Studies indicate that the majority of 
teenage students use the Internet rather than library resources for their coursework, 
usually without the information literacy skills needed to utilize sources effectively. 
(30) " 

The type of sources needed for undergraduate and graduate students are very different 
depending on the type of work or assignment. In fact, faculty may drive the information 
seeking behavior of students. They typically require thoroughness from graduate students, 
but may not require as much from the undergraduate. It is not uncommon for students to 
inform a librarian that many professors simply require resources dealing with their topic, 
including magazines or newspaper articles. When this is the case, it only makes sense for 
undergraduates to go with whatever resources may be easier and faster for them to use, 
without even debating on whether their source is of college-level (Fain 109). According to 
Fain, first year college students do not carefully analyze their search results from a search 
engine like Google and instead rely only on the rankings of that search engine (109). 

Access to the Library 

One of the greatest barriers for graduate students according to Kinsley et al. (10), “is the lack 
of convenient parking.” Most undergraduate students live on campus, with some schools 
requiring underclassmen to live in dorms, or near campus and can walk to the library. In 
contrast, a large number of graduate students live off campus, and often have work and/or 
family responsibilities that require them to commute to and from campus. “Graduate students 
can find it especially difficult to find a work-life balance because they find themselves filling 
multiple roles” (Kinsley et al. 2). Poison note “[gjraduate students often juggle the demands 
of adulthood (including parenting, full-time employment, and elder care) with those imposed 
by seeking an advanced degree” (63). Those factors may become a significant challenge to 
the graduate student; learning about a citation tool or new software can seem time consuming 
even though it may end up saving time in the long run if they use it (Kinsley et al. 2). In 
addition to the work/life responsibilities limiting graduate students access to the physical 
library, increasingly graduate students are working on degrees online or in cohort groups that 
rarely visit the campus. 


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Addressing the Differences 

Tailored Services 

Although not a difference, something that may need to be addressed at many institutions is 
the belief that graduate students already know how to do research or that their advisors and 
faculty will teach them what they need to know. Like undergraduates, graduate students need 
an introduction to the library and the available resources and services. At OSU, basic how-to- 
do research workshops targeting graduate students have been offered for the last four years. 
Designed on the concept that the graduate student has no more knowledge of doing research 
at OSU than does the undergraduate student, they have been well received. Often a session 
will end with the statement, “Why didn’t anyone tell me about all this when I started my 
program?” Because of the belief that graduate students have many work/life hurdles to 
overcome, these sessions have been offered at various times and through various media. As 
stated by Poison, “it is important that institutions not only provide support to offset the 
external resistance these graduate students may be experiencing, but also refrain from adding 
to this source of stress” (63). At one time registration was required for these sessions and 
attendance was tracked in order for the instructor to know who, if anyone was going to be 
there since these sessions were often held at night, on the weekend, or in-between semesters 
when undergraduate students are not around. Registration and attendance is no longer 
required in order to ease the burden and stress on the graduate student. 

Student Focus 

To address the different needs between and within the student body, different levels of 
workshops designed for different information needs are required. No longer does a one-size- 
fits-all model work. Since discovery services are growing in popularity, special effort and 
attention may need to be made to instruct graduate students how to differentiate between 
library discovery tools and general internet search tools. Although discovery services serve 
the needs of a large number of undergraduate students who just need to find sources for one 
paper, discovery services, often customized at each institution, may cause a problem for 
graduate students and future graduate students who may become dependent on a discovery 
service they will more than likely not have access to as they graduate and continue 

Professors expect their graduate “students to use research-based practices in their teaching as 
well as research, therefore it is essential that students know how to find and evaluate relevant 
sources” (Catalano “Patterns” 22). Although some undergraduate classes, and students, may 
need some instruction on information seeking strategies, graduate students “need advanced 
bibliographic search skills and strategies that are often not addressed in traditional “one-shot” 
library instruction sessions” (Catalano “Patterns” 31). Catalano also suggests that “multiple 
sessions may be necessary throughout a student’s graduate career, as information needs 
develop and change” (“Patterns” 31). Just as the graduate student may need different levels 
of research instruction throughout their careers, so do needs of undergraduate students 
change as they go from underclassmen to junior and senior level courses in their major. 

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Library Spaces 

In recent years there has been an abundance of library renovations and redesigns to provide 
more learning, social, and teaching spaces in libraries. Often these projects are designed to 
provide greater access to group study spaces, social areas, quiet zones, and adaptable spaces 
which is appropriate. “It is a mistake to think of the library only as a place where services 
such as reference, instruction, and computer use are provided” (Applegate 345). At MSU the 
library has several private study rooms for graduate students with a key issued for the 
semester, providing a consistent graduate only space. In contrast, OSU has no graduate 
specific areas, and although there are 12 group study rooms which can be reserved, graduate 
students must compete with undergraduates for them. Participants comment in many OSU 
graduate library focus group meetings that although the group study rooms are nice and that 
there are ample places for graduate students to study in the library, teaching graduate 
students will often avoid these spaces because their students often find and bother them in the 
library. Some college departments will provide space for their graduate students but others do 
not, so it seems important for those students without departmental space to have some place 
in the library in which they can call their own. Kinsley et al. point out that there is a “greater 
reliance on the library to meet those needs” (3). 


Library services that could help students, both undergraduate and graduate, often go unused 
because students simply do not know about them. For undergraduate students the problem 
often stems from the overwhelming experience of leaving home for the first time, having 
access to so many social and academic activities, and general unfamiliarity with academic 
libraries. For graduate students it may be as Kayongo and Helm hypothesize that graduate 
students’ low use of library services available to them could be attributed to the fact that 
“91.1 percent of the graduate students attained their bachelor’s degrees elsewhere, or to a 
lack of awareness of the role of librarians in library searches” (348). 

Undergraduate students “have high expectations for academic services, desire for customized 
experiences, comfort with technology, and experience with new communication tools” 
(Prescott and Veldof 30). In an effort to address this desire, libraries hold special events at 
the beginning of each academic year in order to reach undergraduates. At MSU and OSU, 
each Fall the libraries host open house parties for freshmen to introduce new students to the 
library. MSU librarians are also present brief information about the library during the week 
before school starts for SOAR (Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration), a 
required student orientation for incoming students. At OSU, librarians have attended browse 
sessions for incoming freshman throughout the summer. Increasing efforts at both MSU and 
OSU provide a strong marketing presence through social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, and 
YouTube).Although undergraduate and graduate students may be similarly unaware of 
resources available through the library, using social media to communicate the availability of 
resources will differ. In a comparative study of Chinese students’ attitudes towards digital 
resources, Liu and Luo state that for undergraduate students it is important “to demonstrate 
the tangible benefits and value of using the service,” and to make the use entertaining, 


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whereas it is more about providing “awareness of available digital resources to increase the 
usability of digital libraries” for graduate students (235). 


With schools across the country admitting record numbers of undergraduate and graduate 
students in order to overcome budget decreases, it is increasingly important for academic 
libraries, also facing budget decreases, to make sure they demonstrate their worth by 
addressing the needs of specific student populations. To do this, a closer look should be taken 
at how resources, services, spaces and communication with these populations is being 
conducted. In this way, libraries can be sure they are meeting the needs of the students, and 
doing so in a way that is conducive to that population. As the old saying goes, we are here for 
the students, not the other way around. 

Works Cited 

Applegate, Rachel. "The Library is for Studying: Student Preferences for Study Space." The 
Journal of Academic Librarianship 35.4 (2009): 341-46. Print. 

Catalano, Amy. "Patterns of Graduate Students' Information Seeking Behavior: A Meta- 
Synthesis of the Literature." Journal of Documentation 69.2 (2013): 243-74. Print. 

Catalano, Amy Jo. "Using ACRL Standards to Assess the Information Literacy of Graduate 
Students in an Education Program." Evidence Based Library and Information 
Practice 5.4 (2010): 21-38. Print. 

Fain, Margaret. "Assessing Information Literacy Skills Development in First Year Students: 
A Multi-Year Study." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 37.2 (2011): 109-19. 

Kayongo, Jessica, and Clarence Helm. "Graduate Students and the Fibrary: A Survey of 

Research Practices and Fibrary Use at the University of Notre Dame." Reference & 
User Services Quarterly (2010): 341-49. Print. 

Khoo, Michael, Diana Massam, and Hilary Jones. "“I Go into a Lot of Different Places to 
Get My Research”: Graduate Students’ Mental Models of Research Tools and 
Services." in iConference 2015 Proceedings. 2015. 9 pages. Illinois Digital 
Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship. Web. 1 July 2015. <>. 

Kinsley, Kirsten Michele; Besara, Rachel; Scheel, Abby; Colvin, Gloria; Evans Brady, 

Jessica; and Burel, Melissa, "Graduate Conversations: Assessing the Space Needs of 
Graduate Students" (2014). Library Faculty Publications. Paper 15. Web. 1 July 2015 

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November 6, 2015 


Liu, Ziming, and Lili Luo. "A Comparative Study of Digital Library Use: Factors, Perceived 
Influences, and Satisfaction." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 37.3 (2011): 
230-36. Print. 

Lundstrom, Kacy, and Flora Shrode. "Undergraduates and Topic Selection: A Librarian’s 
Role." Journal of Library Innovation 4.2 (2013): 23-41. Print. 

Poison, Cheryl J. "Adult Graduate Students Challenge Institutions to Change." New 
Directions for Student Sendees 2003.102 (2003): 59-68. Print. 

Prescott, Melissa Kalpin, and Jerilyn R Veldof. "A Process Approach to Defining Services 
for Undergraduates." portal: Libraries and the Academy 10.1 (2010): 29-56. Print. 

Rosenblatt, Stephanie. "They Can Find It but They Don't Know What to Do with It: 

Describing the Use of Scholarly Literature by Undergraduate Students." Journal of 
Information Literacy 4.2 (2010): 50-61. Print. 

Walton, Graham, and Graham Matthews. University Libraries and Space in the Digital 

World. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2012. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). 
Web. 1 July 2015. 


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Hacked! How We Avoided a Search Engine Ranking Disaster 

Ayyoub Ajmi 

Digital Communications and Learning Initiatives Librarian 
UMKC School of Law 
Kansas City, MO 


On January 5th 2015 the UMKC School of Law launched its newly designed website. Two 
weeks later we received an email from Google informing us that the website has been hacked 
and that Google’s search results may label the site’s pages as hacked! The web site fell 
victim to an SEO URL Injection hack. 

The purpose of this presentation is to share our experience with this type of hacking, to 
describe its scope, to suggest how to avoid it; and if you fall victim to it, how to clean-up the 
mess it leaves behind in your server and in search engines. 

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Ghost Town Resurrected: Exposing Diverse Archival and Educational 
Materials through Electronic Publishing 

Jessica Hayden 
Technical Services Manager 
University of Northern Colorado 

Jane Monson 

Digital Initiatives Librarian 
University of Northern Colorado 

Jay Trask 

Head of Archival Services 
University of Northern Colorado 


Many libraries, archives, and museums have begun to explore self-publishing models to 
promote local collections. Advances in electronic book publishing have allowed individuals 
and organizations to easily create and disseminate resources to the public. Members of the 
University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Archival Services Department, in collaboration with 
digital initiatives and technical services personnel, decided to explore the electronic book 
format as an option for making a selection of its primary source collections available. 
Collections of local area interest were selected for the goal of creating electronic books at an 
appropriate level for regional K-12 educational use. 

The UNC Libraries makes digital copies of archival materials, as well as faculty and student 
research, available through the online repository Digital UNC. Much of this material is 
related to university and local history, including a collection of items pertaining to the ghost 
town of Dearfield, located approximately thirty miles away from the UNC campus on the 
eastern plains of Colorado. Dearfield, an African-American settlement that flourished from 
around 1910 until the Great Depression, is a site of local interest that has been researched by 
UNC faculty and students and is the subject of a yearly conference held in northern 
Colorado. It has also been studied by elementary school children from locations around the 

Recently, an iBook showcasing a collection of Civil War-era letters held by the University, 
along with additional digital resources from various external sources, was created to be used 
as a curricular tool for area secondary schools. Inspired by this project, librarians at the UNC 
Libraries endeavored to create a similar multimedia iBook about Dearfield. The book 
features correspondence and other manuscript materials from the UNC Libraries archives, as 
well as images and various other materials from sources such as the Greeley (Colorado) 
History Museum, the Denver Public Library, and the Black American West Museum and 
Heritage Center in Denver. The book seeks to bring these materials to life with the addition 
of features such as maps, timelines, audio, video, and biographies of Dearfield residents. 


Brick and Click Libraries Conference Proceedings 
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Photos of the town during its heyday are interspersed with images of the few falling-down 
buildings that remain today. 

The Dearfield iBook is an experiment in using unique digitized primary source materials to 
create a free, interactive curricular tool for Colorado teachers. It is our hope that the book 
will prove useful for instructors of Colorado and African-American history at the K-12 
levels. As work has progressed on the project, it has become clear that there is a much wider 
audience for the materials. The Dearfield iBook can also hopefully serve the needs of the 
general public, providing them with an informative resource that delivers a broad 
introduction to the Dearfield colony and serves as a starting point for further research on this 
fascinating piece of Western and African-American history. 

Review of Literature 

Education literature has well documented the recent explosion in the use of iPads and similar 
electronic devices to aid student learning. According to Comiskey, McCartan and Nicholl, 
students favor the interactive iBook format over traditional learning tools such as PowerPoint 
and textbooks (89). They conducted a study of undergraduate students in an architectural 
technology program at the University of Ulster. Results of the survey indicated that students 
found this form of open educational resource (OER) “more dynamic and engaging due to the 
range of technologies which could be incorporated in a single resource” (90). Similarly, 
Baena-Extremera and Granero-Gallegos conducted a study of Spanish secondary school 
physical education students and teachers who used iBooks in the study of anatomy and found 
that the students in particular found working with iBooks to be novel, interesting, and 
effective. Payne, Goodson, Tahim, Wharrad and Fan found the iBook format to be “a 
valuable tool to the modem teacher in medical education,” (162) but it does suffer from a few 
drawbacks including the obvious need for the students to own Apple products. 

Mathematics educators have effectively used iBooks to deliver content that students often 
find difficult in traditional teaching tools. Parrott and Holvig detail a project in which each 
student chose some aspect of their cultural heritage to explore mathematically. Each student 
then created one chapter of an iBook which was then shared with the class. This was a 
retooling of an existing assignment and according to the authors, “this new version turned out 
to be successful beyond [their] greatest expectations” (267). Zakrzewski describes how she 
created an iBook to teach her students the difficult concepts of fractions, decimals, and 
percentages. She used the built-in gallery widget to demonstrate step-by-step problems 
solving, recorded lectures, and created self-tests using the review widget. While students 
enjoyed the interactive tool and found it beneficial for learning the material, the author feels 
that “some direct instruction, without the aid of technology, is still necessary” (436). 

Librarians and educators have also collaborated on the use of iBooks for teaching literacy to 
English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners. Brodsky and Vahab outline a learning plan 
for teaching literacy through iBooks and podcasts in seventh grade EFL History and Social 
Studies. Students conducted research on geographical or political features of a chosen 
country and presented the results of their investigations as an iBook. The curriculum involves 
classroom teachers and school librarians collaboratively planning and implementing the unit, 

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November 6, 2015 


and the authors note that “presentation of the subject content as iBooks . . .makes the project 
engaging” (52). In a case study from the United Arab Emirates, Johnston and Marsh describe 
how librarians and college-level English faculty used iBooks to embed information literacy 
into the curriculum of a foundations course for ELF students. Faculty feedback indicated that 
the hands-on nature of this activity “contributed to student engagement” (5 1). 

Educators are discovering the value of having students themselves create the iBooks using 
digital resources. The work done by the Pioneer Publishers and Digital Storytellers Guild at 
Oregon State University demonstrates undergraduate student involvement in the creation of a 
wide variety of iBooks ranging from a walking tour of Fort Hoskins to an exploration of the 
archival records of the Milagro Theatre group in Oregon. Working with high school students, 
Mularski and her fellow teacher Jennifer Kordek developed an entire unit allowing their 
students to create an iBook about World War One. Through the project, students learned to 
research both primary and secondary sources, locate public domain resources and create a 
narrative about the war that would engage their peers. 

Dearfield History 

It is clear that the iBook format is a valuable tool to increase the accessibility of digital 
resources. The growth and collapse of the African-American community of Dearfield, 
Colorado is a fascinating story that lends itself well to the format. Dearfield was one of the 
last examples of an exclusively African-American agricultural community established on the 
high plains. These towns represented efforts by African-Americans to create self-governed 
communities free from the racial violence and intolerance endemic to much of the country. 

Inspired by Booker T. Washington’s dream for the advancement of African-Americans 
through entrepreneurship and the ownership of property, Oliver Toussaint Jackson 
envisioned an African-American farming community along the front range of Colorado. 
Jackson, an African-American entrepreneur whose varied professional activities included 
serving as a messenger for Colorado’s governors, running a laundry service and establishing 
restaurants, worked with his wife Minerva for several years to secure minimal funding and 
land to support their vision. In 1910, with the support of Colorado’s governor John Shafroth, 
the Jacksons secured a site for their colony and filed a desert claim on 320 acres of land in 
the dry plains of Weld County, Colorado. Under Jackson’s leadership, the first seven 
homesteaders began constructing the town and planting crops, initially living in tents and 
dugouts on the wind-swept plains. 

Although the first few years were difficult, especially during the winters, by 1915 the town 
had grown to include twenty-seven families, forty-four wood cabins, a dance pavilion, 
restaurant, grocery store, and a boarding house. Dearfield experienced a considerable boom 
during the late teens due to increased demand for agricultural products and a favorable 
climate. During these boom years, the community’s population grew to over 700 people with 
two churches, a school and its own post office (see fig. 1). However, the boom was short 
lived and postwar America experienced a dramatic drop in the agricultural market. 
Dramatically declining food prices, coupled with terrible droughts and the beginnings of the 
Dust Bowl, spelled the end for Dearfield, as it had done for so many other western dryland 


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farming communities. By 1940, only 12 people still lived in the community. Jackson worked 
tirelessly to prop up his dream, but he was unable to revive interest in Dearfield. He lived 
there until his death in 1948. 




have the best of accommodations here, the next thing i 
ve go for a little recreation and a good country lunch or dinner: 




goon MUSIC 


i-arc to fish or hunt in season, you will find this territory well adapted to these sports. If you care for 
l. there are many lakes and canals close at hand. If you arc on your vacation you can find no better place 
I'RKK camp grounds, camp cottages for rent: and everything to make your outing enjoyable. Fine drives 
hand — through beautiful farming communities and the famous Eastern Colorado Oil Fields. 

to stop, 
on every 

Soft Drinks 
Ice Cream 



DEARFIELD is just and old-fashioned country visiting place of interest in Colorado. 
Don’t miss a trip to Dearfield. You’ll find a true western welcome awaiting you here! 

O. T. JACKSON and MINERVA J. JACKSON, Proprietors 

PostoCflce Address: Dearfield, Masters, Colorado Phone Weldona 68 R s 

Fig. 1. Dearfield promotional poster, ca. 1925. University of Northern Colorado Special 

After the death of Jackson, the community was effectively abandoned with many of the 
structures collapsing. Renewed interest in the community’s history sparked its inclusion on 

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November 6, 2015 


Colorado’s list of most endangered places in 1999. Led by the efforts of the Denver-based 
Black American West Museum and Heritage Center, work began to preserve and stabilize the 
remaining buildings, including O. T. Jackson’s home. Additionally, historical archeologists 
from UNC and Colorado State University began efforts to survey and analyze the town site. 
All of these activities have increased public awareness of the town, raising interest in 
resources telling the unique story of the Dearfield community. 

Dearfield Research and Building Partnerships 

One of the primary goals of the Dearfield iBook project is to increase the accessibility of the 
many historic letters, oral histories, photographs and other documents that still exist related 
to the town. These resources documenting the experiences of Dearfield settlers are scattered 
in numerous cultural heritage institutions throughout Colorado’s Front Range, including the 
UNC archives, the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library, History Colorado, 
the Denver Public Library and the Greeley (Colorado) History Museum. Additionally, 
artifacts uncovered by teams of historical archeologists are providing a new source of 
information about the lives at Dearfield, but are completely inaccessible. Only portions of the 
collections are available online and for many of the resources, researchers would need to 
travel throughout the state for access. It was important to locate all institutions that housed 
these materials, in order to provide a centralized point of access. The authors have traveled to 
the various sites proposing to use the Dearfield iBook as that unified source of discovery. 

One area for building partnerships that needs further development is with education 
specialists. Working closely with teachers or faculty within the Education Department at 
UNC would have greatly strengthened the iBook. It would have ensured that the iBook was 
written to fulfill specific standards applicable to K-12 teachers. Colorado history is 
introduced at the fourth grade level, so the authors contemplated focusing on this reading 
level, but work on the iBook had progressed too far and existing content was written at a 
level more appropriate for a middle or high school audience. Therefore, collaboration with 
education specialists is an area that will be further explored as the iBook project grows and 

iBook Outline 

The Dearfield iBook is intended to be a complete introduction to the Dearfield settlement, 
past and present. The first sections of the book focus on the establishment of the settlement 
and touch briefly on the overall situation of African-Americans in Colorado at the time. 
Chapters are devoted to the formation of the colony, to the people who shaped it and lived 
there (see fig. 2), to the heyday and prosperity of the WWI years, and to the decline and 
eventual abandonment of the town following the Dust Bowl and Great Depression of the 
1920s and 1930s. 


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Chapter 2 

The People of 

Oliver Tous.saint Jackson (1862-1948) 

Born in Oxford, Ohio, O.T. Jackson became a 
prominent businessman and entrepreneur in 
the Denver, Colorado, area. He served as mes- 
senger to several early Colorado governors. In 
1910, O.T. purchased land, recruited home- 
steaders, and formed the Dearfield commu- 
nity in Weld County, Colorado. He and his 
wife, Minerva, would spend the rest of their 
lives working to make Dearfield a success. 

Doctor Joseph P. Westbrook 

Doctor Joseph Westbrtwke was a founding 
member of the Dearfield community. Dr. 
Westbrook? is also credited with naming the 
community when he noted that the new town 
would be “dear to us." Westbrook? was a 
prominent physician serving the African- 
American community in Denver before enter- 
ing the endeavor to make Dearfield a suc- 
cess. Like many of the Dearfield men, he 

continued to work at his job in Denver during the w r eek and trav- 
eled "home" to Dearfield on the weekends. Westbrooke w r as also 
important to the community’ as a Klan informant. His pale com- 
plexion allowed him to infiltrate Klan meetings and report back 
to the Deadeld community’, providing valuable information for 
the security’ of the residents. 

Erma Downey Ingram 

Erma Downey Ingram and her family 
moved to Dearfield in 1918, when Erma 
was five years old. They relocated at the 
invitation of Errna.S father’s sister, w'ho 
had purchased land at Dearfield and 
needed help running her farm. The fam- 
ily grew' various crops including com, 
pinto beans, potatoes, and sugar beets. 

Erma and her mother and brother 
would take care of the crops while 
Erma s father worked for the Union Pa- 
cific Railroad. The family also had horses and cow’s and raised 
chickens, turkeys and hogs to eat. Many things about life in Dear? 
field were very different than they are today. People used horses 
and wagons for transportation, and the nearest doctor was four- 
teen miles away. Erma and her siblings attended a one-room 
school house that only went up to the 8th grade. Some of Ermas 
favorite memories are of her father playing guitar at the dance- 
hall, and of cow’boys coming through town once a year on cattle 
drives. In 1925, when Enna was twelve, her family left DtfarfifiWl 
due to drought and settled in Denver. 

Fig. 2. Sample page of text in iBooks Author. 

For later sections of the iBook focusing on the decline of Dearfield and current research 
being conducted at the abandoned settlement, it was desirable to consult with experts in 
pertinent fields. The authors worked with an African-American studies scholar to learn more 
about Dearfield’ s past and the efforts underway to help save this valuable piece of Western 
African-American history. The authors also worked with a retired archaeology professor who 
has conducted extensive research on the present Dearfield site. By utilizing the knowledge of 
these scholars, the authors were able to provide a much more comprehensive background and 
to provide a more accurate interpretation of remaining structures. 

Software Used 

The Dearfield iBook was created using the freely available iBooks Author application. This 
“app” provides several built-in templates to choose from, but the authors elected to begin the 
Dearfield project using a “blank” template. Another template could be selected later if 
desired with little change to the basic elements already created. The iBooks Author app 
allows the creator to add multimedia, including movies, photo galleries, and 3-D imagery. 
Various means of help exist to aid one in learning to use the app, including extensive 
instructions available in the help menus. The authors also found online support very useful, 
especially the myriad of YouTube videos containing instruction on various aspects of the app 
and the publishing process. 

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Since the intent of this book was primarily for K-12 education, interactive material, to the 
extent possible, was added to make the information more engaging. The authors used widgets 
for rotating photo galleries containing historic images from the heyday of the community as 
well as recent images of the abandoned community and its remaining structures. Videos were 
inserted containing oral histories from one-time residents as well as a recent recording that 
convey the current ambiance of the location. 

The authors also looked at using external tools that could be embedded in the iBook. For 
example, it was desirable to include an interactive timeline. Since there was no pre-built 
widget specifically for this purpose, the authors examined infographic sites, including 
Piktochart and Upon further examination of the app, iBooks Author does allow 
embedding of some external content, such as YouTube videos, but special coding is required 
to do so. At this time, there is no external site content used in the Dearfield iBook, but the 
authors may revisit this in the future. An adequate timeline page was built using the scrolling 
sidebar widget that is available within the app. 

Once the iBook is ready for viewing, the iBooks Author app can publish it. This process 
requires an iTunes account with access to iTunes Connect enabled. It also requires that the 
author download the iTunes Producer from the Apple App Store. iTunes Producer provides 
simple steps for completing the publication process, including options for digital rights 
management. It also enables easy creation of a sample book so users of the iBooks store will 
be able to preview the content. When all of the publication steps are complete, the iBook is 
submitted to Apple for approval. This approval step can take as little as a day but that is not 
guaranteed, so it is important to plan accordingly. 

Once all the publishing steps outlined above are completed and the iBook has been approved 
by Apple, it can be freely downloaded from the iBook store. Even after publication, the 
author can continue to make edits, updates, and additions to the iBook and republish the new 
version easily. Each update or revision will require a new version number, so this process 
should be done sparingly so the versioning does not reach an off-putting number. 

Future Work and Conclusions 

The Dearfield iBook is a work in progress. Since it is desirable that the content reach as 
many readers as possible, the authors plan to explore other methods of publishing the 
electronic book. Currently, users need access to an Apple computer or mobile device to be 
able to read and fully interact with the Dearfield material. The creators of the iBooks Author 
app restrict reuse of the content if a fee is charged, but since this publication is free, it should 
be possible to distribute the content in alternate formats. The app, in fact, facilitates this by 
allowing the content to be downloaded in PDF and rich text formats. The authors plan to 
identify ways to promote the iBook as widely as possible to local schools and researchers. 

Since the iBook allows one to widely disseminate unique local and archival materials, the 
authors plan to select additional special collections that may be appropriate for similar 
treatment. As universities and libraries struggle to remain relevant, it is the unique collections 
that really stand out for researchers. The authors believe that the iBook format is an excellent 


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method of exhibiting these unique collections in an informative and interesting way, so they 
will work to apply this tool to the further benefit of the institution’s resources. 

Works Cited 

Baena-Extremera, Antonio and Antonio Granero-Gallegos. “Using iBook in Teaching 

Anatomy Content in Secondary Education.” International Journal of Morphology 

31.2 (2013): 505-511. SciELO. Web. 16 June 2015. 

Brodsky, Marina and Diane Vahab. “ELL History/Social Studies: Teaching Literacy Through 
iBooks and Podcasts.” School Library Monthly. 30.5 (2014): 51-52. ProQuest. Web. 
16 June 2015. 

Comiskey, David, Kenny McCartan, and Peter Nicholl. “iBuilding for Success? iBooks as 

Open Educational Resources in Built Environment Education.” European Conference 
on e-Learning (2013): 86-93. ProQuest. Web. 16 June 2015. 

“eBooks.” Oregon State University, n.d. Web. 17 June 2015. 

Johnston, Nicole and Sally Marsh. "Using iBooks and iPad Apps to Embed Information 

Literacy into an EFL Foundations Course.” New Library World 115.1/2 (2014): 51- 
60. ProQuest. Web. 16 June 2015. 

Mularski, Jessica. “Turn the Page: Student-generated iBooks.” Library Media Connection 

33.3 (2014): 30-31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 June 2015. 

Parrott, Cindy and Ken Holvig. “Teaching with Technology and iBooks Author .” 

Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 18.5 (2012/2013): 267-269. JSTOR. 

Web. 16 June 2015. 

Payne, Karl F. B., Alexander M. C. Goodson, Arpan Tahim, Heather J. Wharrad and 

Kathleen Fan. “Using the iBook in Medical Education and Healthcare Settings - The 
iBook as a Reusable Learning Object: A Report of the Author’s Experience Using 
iBooks Author Software.” Journal ofVisucd Communication in Medicine 35.4 (2012): 
162-169. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 June 2015. 

Zakrzewski, Jennifer. “Create an iBook to Teach Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages.” 

Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 20.7 (2015): 434-437. JSTOR. Web. 16 
June 2015. 

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How to Make Your Instruction Suck Less: 

Proven Strategies for the Teaching Librarian 

Dani Wellemeyer 
Information Literacy Librarian 
University of Missouri— Kansas City 

Jessica Williams 
Information Literacy Librarian 
University of Missouri— Kansas City 


This is a story about librarians who teach. The moral of this story is that all teachers have 
something to learn, whether it be how to create more meaningful learning activities, how to 
relate to students, how to make things beautiful and usable, or how to tell stories to improve 
student learning. The beginning of this story tells of how the authors came to write, and the 
big, fat middle of the story tells how to execute each strategy. The end of the story is all 
about the why. 

This article is for librarians teaching both online and face-to-face classes who are interested 
in simple strategies for improving their teaching. The strategic areas include: connecting to 
students through shared culture, designing meaningful and relevant activities, employing 
storytelling and humor to build relationships with students, relying on real world examples to 
help students connect course content to their own lives and work, the flipped classroom, and 
DIY graphic design and the importance of good design for teaching and learning. These 
techniques are situated in the context of real classroom experiences, based on a foundation of 
pedagogical theory, and explained as methods that librarians can apply to their own teaching 


Confirming what public services librarians have long suspected, research shows that students 
who receive information literacy instruction directly from a librarian achieve more academic 
success (Bowles-Terry). Information literacy skills are foundational to the academic research 
and writing that college students need to perform and the more effectively a teaching 
librarian can transmit those concepts to students, the more clearly student work will 
demonstrate the benefits of library instruction. 

While it can sometimes seem that teaching comes naturally to certain individuals and not to 
others, teachers and teaching librarians all have room to improve. When librarians gain 
confidence in their teaching abilities and connect with students in productive ways, student 
learning has the opportunity to improve as well. 

This paper identifies six strategies that can be used to more effectively engage students both 
inside and outside the library instruction classroom, leveraging these teaching tactics to 
improve the reach of librarian expertise. Evaluation of instructor performance, reflection on 


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teaching experiences, and formal assessment of student learning supports these strategic 
categories as areas in which librarians can improve their teaching: connecting to student 
culture, designing meaningful activities, employing storytelling and humor, relying on real 
world examples, as well as flipped classrooms and graphic design considerations. 

Literature Review 

The majority of academic teaching librarians end up standing in front of a college class by 
happenstance. A small number have degrees in education and some others have teaching 
experience acquired through various channels; fewer still have educational backgrounds that 
include formal pedagogical instruction. Numerous surveys have revealed that library schools 
provide little, if any, “formal preparation for professional librarians doing instructional work” 
(Julien, 210 & Walter, 56). And yet, providing library instruction sessions and teaching 
information literacy classes and courses have become one of the major roles filled by 
librarians in academic libraries of all kinds and sizes. 

The authors are no exception. When information literacy was integrated into their 
university’s General Education curriculum, the authors found themselves primarily 
responsible for creating curriculum, instructional design for online content, and classroom 
teaching. Having only a fair amount of teaching experience between the two of them, the 
teaching load for their five person department increased by 1 14% in one year, from 35 
sessions per semester to 75 sessions per semester. 

This increase caused the authors to adopt what Walter calls the “centrality of teaching” (61). 
All other professional roles and duties - service at the reference desk, faculty relations, 
committee work, and collection development - were approached through the lens of teaching 
and being a teacher. Together, and through leading their departmental team, the authors set 
out to improve through self-education, trial and error, risk-taking, and affirmation of natural 

Speaking the Language 

This strategic area is one that may come more naturally to some teachers than to others. 
However, the impact and importance of connecting with students in this way warrants 
emphasizing this strategy. College students vary in age, race, country of origin, 
socioeconomic background, educational level, cultural background, language ability, and a 
host of other factors, based on both the course and the university setting. Regardless, 
teaching librarians know enough about the student population at their institutions to tailor 
their approach based on these considerations. No matter the median age of the student group, 
librarians can make an effort to find ways to communicate an understanding of the general 
culture of the class. Identifying ways to show this understanding and to make instruction 
relevant to the lives students lead is a powerful shortcut to building relationships during a 
very limited time frame. Librarians often provide instruction in one class period - a few 
hours is a luxury - and this tactic allows them to make fast connections so that students will 
return later for further assistance, or ideally, become regular library users. Getting to know 

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students personally would fulfill this same function of making connections but librarians very 
rarely have time for that when allowed just 50 minutes with 25 students. 

Concrete strategies for speaking the cultural language of a group of students require 
librarians to know what’s going on in the world of current events and popular culture. What 
do your students care about? Luckily, social media tools like Twitter’s Trends feature and the 
proximity focus of Yik Yak can perform this research for you. Librarians have the inclination 
to collect evidence to inform method and the skills to investigate the proclivities of a social 
group. Turn those skills to this task and reap the benefits. Students early for class? Take 
advantage of the down time and the captive audience to ask students about their taste in 
music or YouTube videos. Yet another captive audience - and often an untapped resource - 
comprises the student workers at your library. A combined service point that positions the 
reference desk at or near the circulation desk provides a particularly rich opportunity to chat 
with members of the student body about, well, whatever it is they want to talk about. 

Don’t be too concerned about losing credibility at the cost of making connections. 

Sometimes a terribly planned joke that contains a pop culture reference can have the effect of 
revealing the teacher’s knowledge of the cultural phenomenon, even if it doesn’t result in any 
laughs from the audience. Informal language, in the form of slang or socially-acceptable mild 
cursing, is a cue to students who may be experiencing library or classroom anxiety (Mellon) 
that the teaching librarian is understanding and approachable. Drop some knowledge on your 
students. And then drop a culturally relevant and timely celebrity gossip tidbit as well. 

Unsure about the most current slang? Again, take to the social media channel where your 
student body is active. They’ll tell you without being asked. After all, they’ve posted their 
language preferences all over the Internet in the form of 140 character updates. 

Spending an entire class session chatting with students about movies will clearly not do 
anyone any good, but it is possible to strike a balance between casualness and 
approachability and authority and expertise. Being friendly and relatable is not mutually 
exclusive to providing excellent research guidance. 

Meaningful Activities 

While on one hand students seem to want easy points toward their grade, nothing loses the 
attention of a class faster than work that seems irrelevant or disconnected from the student 
experience. Librarians can easily ensure that students are engaged with the work they are 
doing during information literacy instruction by tying every in-class activity directly to the 
research assignment that students must complete for the class. 

Some instructors request library research instruction for classes that don’t have a research 
assignment - or request instruction at a point in the semester when they don’t have one 
currently assigned. A simple way to avoid disposable activities during instruction for such a 
class is not to teach it. That may seem unaccommodating, but both experience and research 
show that “library instruction best facilitates student learning when it aligns with specific 
research goals” (Bean and Thomas 237). Students recognize the difference between work 
that has been designed to keep them busy and instructional content that has been created with 


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their best success in mind. Additionally, librarians are increasingly focusing on both just-in- 
time resource delivery and point-of-need assistance. Has your library implemented a virtual 
reference service to provide chat help to users when they’re stuck using your website? Apply 
the same concept to offering information literacy or other types of instruction. Students won’t 
be forced to think about the concepts the librarian is presenting in the abstract - how they 
might be applicable later in the semester or in the college experience - if they can apply them 
right away to their own topics for a research assignment. Craft policy and procedures for 
accepting library instruction requests that encourage instructors to insert the library at 
strategic points in the semester. The weeks preceding an annotated bibliography due date are 
a perfect place to introduce library research. 

When planning for instruction sessions, examine the class’s research assignment and avoid 
the classic mistake of trying to teach the entire library system in 50 minutes. (And 
conversely, follow where the students take the conversation, even if it seems like 
sidetracking; if students ask questions in class it’s for a reason.) Instead, focus on the most 
valuable skills you can transmit to the students in the allotted amount of time, realizing that 
full comprehension may require spending time on activities that allow students to apply the 
new knowledge they’re acquiring. Individual, group, and whole class activities are time- 
consuming and it is easy to skip them in favor of spending time demonstrating a few more 
database interfaces. However, if you’ve spent the time working with the instructor to find an 
ideal time to provide instruction and crafting a session that ties in with the assignment the 
students are working on, take the final step of giving your pupils the opportunity to translate 
what they’ve learned from you into productive work. Time is of the essence, so don’t be 
afraid to include low-tech activities. Students may love their cell phones, but if an activity 
involving a new app isn’t the most effective conclusion to your instruction, favor classic 
activities - worksheets or small group discussions - over using technology simply for the 
impact factor. 

The Real World 

This tactic combines the ideas of cultural relevance and classroom work that is meaningful to 
students and then takes it one step further, out into the real, future lives of students as 
employees and citizens. When you encounter a class that doesn’t have a research assignment, 
use anything besides a hypothetical research essay as an example. Structure your 
demonstrations and content delivery choices around a different imagined scenario. Tell 
students that they’re going to find information relevant to applying for a job: they found a 
posting for a job that sounds like exactly what they want to do, but it’s in an unfamiliar (to 
them) industry. The instruction session can then focus on search strategies related to finding 
similar jobs in the geographic area, researching market potential, looking up salary ranges, 
finding statistical data for the size of the job field, doing historical research about the origins 
of the profession, and finding information sources about the industry can help them prepare 
to apply and interview for the job. 

If the class needs to focus more on the humanities, present the scenario that they are a 
musician with a gig playing a wedding, and the couple has requested a very specific 
arrangement of a piece for string quartet. The musician may need to research the quartet, the 

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composer, or the publisher of the arrangement, and may even need to navigate a library or 
interlibrary loan system to get their hands on it. 

These are jobs your students could really have or situations they might actually encounter in 
which research skills provide a competitive edge. Perhaps a music example seems too 
specific to a small subset of students, so think of another job that could require historical or 
literature research. What matters most is demonstrating that library research and information 
literacy skills are transferable to the real world of careers. Framing research skills in terms of 
real world scenarios is a technique found in Problem-Based Learning. Research in this area 
reveals that the Problem-Based Learning model can be “successful because their projects 
[are] grounded in the real world and focused on meaningful student learning outcomes. 
Students [seem] to be most engaged when their learning outcomes [are] dependent on 
meeting a community partner’s needs” (Lee 8). 

In the real world, sometimes Google is actually the best option. There are few subject areas 
or assignment parameters that have absolutely no room to include Google as a search tool. 
Students will need to use search engines and the open web for their research for school as 
well as in their real lives, and you can teach them to use it better. This is another area in 
which library research skills are transferable. Discuss the applicability of keyword searching, 
phrase searching, Boolean operators, faceted searching and limiters to the library catalog, 
database, Google searching, and shopping sites. The same basic architecture underlies many 
of the places your students will find themselves needing to mine for information. Equip them 
to do so by showing that not only can they search library electronic resources more 
effectively, but that a smart Googler will apply the same search strategy and techniques. 

Storytelling and Humor 

Similar to engaging in student culture and using real world examples, using storytelling and 
humor in the classroom is a method that will quickly improve students’ ability to relate to the 
librarian, invest in the learning activities, and leave with new knowledge and skills that stick. 
Though many librarians are intimidated by casual conversations with students, simply talking 
with students goes a long way when creating a comfortable environment. Daring to ask 
questions demonstrates that an instructor is genuinely invested in the students and their 
personhood; it also gives students indirect permission to ask questions themselves. 

Students will take their research assignment (and therefore their time in the library 
classroom) more seriously if they feel that their topic can be connected to their own interests 
or passions. But most students struggle with developing a topic for academic research, let 
alone identifying one that is connected in this way. Storytelling is particularly effective in 
this situation because it can illuminate possibilities. Teaching librarians can present a sample 
research topic and make it personal, telling a real story that demonstrates a motive for doing 
research, lending depth to the research process. The goal is to help students think about their 
endgame - a career or degree goal - and then to see the possibility to turn every school 
assignment into something they care about instead of just something they have to do. 


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The field of narrative criticism provides us with an explanation for why stories are such a 
good way to connect with audiences. Fisher’s narrative paradigm claims that stories are a 
building block for human communication because they provide a structure around which we 
can build meaning for our human experience and because they provide common 
understandings for communities. Telling stories places a librarian in a space where students 
are equal as narrators. Moreover, studies show that storytelling increases student learning: 
“People remember stories because they involve visualizing those involved and what 
happened to them. Scientists say our memories work best when attached to images. 
Translating that into a classroom environment, students will remember a story and then 
remember the lesson it seeks to teach” (Christian 27-28). And in the case of librarian 
instruction, it is also highly likely that if students remember the story, they’ll also remember 
the librarian. . . and be more willing to seek advice or assistance from that librarian in the 

While this skill comes more naturally to certain personality types, all teaching librarians 
should find comfort in knowing that storytelling is one area in which people don’t need 
training, just practice. Everyone, arguably, has a sense of humor that manifests in an 
individual way and letting that show through in the classroom may speak to students with 
similar sensibilities. Whether they’re funny or not, stories can be drawn from a well of 
personal experience that already exists: embarrassing moments, personal triumphs, 
frustrating problems, life lessons, revelatory experiences, or anything else a librarian is 
willing to share can be a starting point for the relationship that needs to be built with a class, 
no matter how short the timeframe. 

Outside the Classroom 

Many libraries have embraced the flipped classroom as a way to stretch that short time that 
instructors are able to allot to library instruction. The basic benefits are clear: less lecturing in 
class means more time that students spend actively learning, and the online format of the 
flipped classroom allows for more creative content delivery. 

This paper is based on experience the authors have with providing multi-session information 
literacy instruction that is integrated into general education courses. The curriculum relies 
heavily on flipped classroom material for both content delivery and assessment of student 
learning. Student feedback, discussions with instructors, and the assessment data itself shows 
that the most important and productive part of the curriculum is research time, when students 
spend time in the library classroom conducting research on their individual topics under the 
supervision of the teaching librarian. Bean and Thompson found similar value in ’’including 
the combination of visual demonstrations of research techniques with guided practice. They 
have further shown that more time should be allotted for active learning by the students 
themselves” (248). The significant time allotted to individual research during class would 
never be possible without using flipped instruction. 

Discussion of the flipped classroom can portray it as a sophisticated pedagogical tool 
employing fancy tutorial creation software, but (don’t tell students this) it’s simply a better, 
updated, more compelling version of the classic syllabus setup of assigning readings to be 

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completed before class and then lecturing over the material. Librarians are capable of 
creating flipped content to meet the particular needs of the classes they provide instruction 
for and then taking advantage of the flexibility to structure face-to-face time in the most 
productive way possible. 

Hybrid and online-only classes are being scheduled in increasing numbers at universities 
around the world, and libraries are responding as quickly as possible with resources tailored 
for online students. Information literacy instruction has been slightly slower at moving 
online, but online students have no less need of guidance in this area than students on 
campus. A simple way to speed up the process of supporting online education with 
information literacy and library instruction is to repurpose content, materials, and activities 
that have previously been used for in-person instruction. Flipped classroom lectures or 
tutorials are perfect for distance students. The resources that are offered to faculty who need 
to convert their courses to online formats are available to librarians, too. Your campus may 
have staff that specializes in assisting instructors through the process of reimagining in-class 
activities for the online learning environment. Librarians have long been adapting 
mainstream educational practices for the particular needs of the embedded, integrated, and 
guest instruction they provide to semester long courses. This is a new area where those 
methods can result in essential tools and support for student learning. 

Make it Beautiful 

Establishing robust content for learning outside of the classroom compounds a practical 
challenge for librarians: making materials look good. The prevailing culture in many libraries 
does not place value on graphic design. Whether this is intentional or not - budgets, time, 
and generally limited resources are a constant challenge - this oversight can be damaging to 
student learning. 

Presentations, worksheets, tutorials, videos, quizzes, and even the library’s website become 
not just teaching tools, but also representative artifacts which either add to or detract from the 
credibility of both the teaching librarian and the content itself. When evaluating this 
phenomenon in the virtual world, David and Glore point out that “[djesign and aesthetics 
have a profound impact on how users perceive information, learn, judge credibility and 
usability, and ultimately assign value to a product. To dismiss design as merely visual is to 
make a fundamental mistake. Style does not replace substance, but style and substance in 
balance work much better.” Indeed, good design adds to credibility... and clip art kills it. 

This principle is exemplified in the way audiences perceive a speaker based on their use of 
slides or visual aids. Masterful use of PowerPoint or other presentation software boosts the 
speaker’s credibility; a person who knows their way around a slide deck clearly possesses 
technical proficiency, experience giving presentations, and the creative tendencies audiences 
appreciate when sitting through a series of potentially boring talks. Less than adequate 
proficiency with visual aids is also readily apparent to audiences and both distract listeners 
and detract from the speaker’s credibility, like typos in a resume. Good design can also be 
like good punctuation: when it’s done well the reader doesn’t even notice it’s there because 
it’s not interrupting the reading, or, in this case, the learning. 


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Teaching librarians don’t have to have a degree in graphic design to improve slides, learning 
activities, or library signage; apps and free web tools make it easy to follow good design 
examples. Piktochart is an inexpensive web application that enables users to create 
infographics and presentations alike. Even more versatile is Canva empowers 
even the non-artistically inclined to design beautiful and contemporary graphics with an easy 
to use interface and templates; both this tool and Canva’ s Design School - which includes a 
blog, tutorials, and teaching materials - are provided free of cost. With these tools available, 
there’s no reason for libraries to produce content that students will have difficulty relating to 
because it looks different - in a bad way - than what they’re used to seeing. American 
college students are surrounded with good, clean design and user friendly technology as they 
tote their laptops or MacBooks to class, keep their notes in Evernote, and check their Gmail. 
Academic content can easily be just as nice to look at. 


The information literacy curriculum taught by librarians at the authors’ institution is formally 
assessed through a variety of proven techniques and all pedagogical changes are made based 
on the assessment evidence collected through those feedback channels. Student learning is 
measured using a combination of scoring data, self-evaluation and written reflections, and in- 
classroom assessments based on observation by the instructor. The interpersonal teaching 
strategies discussed here, in contrast, have been developed primarily based on thousands of 
hours of classroom experience. They began with trial, error, happenstance, and hunches. 
Since then, they’ve been validated with educational research and proven effective based on 
the results of student learning assessment over a number of semesters. 

Librarians don’t usually have the opportunity to spend time with students over an entire 
semester but they still have to stand in front of a group of learners, communicate information 
to them, develop their skills, and do so in a way that gets them coming back for more. The 
techniques shared here are shortcuts to building relationships with students in a hurry so that 
they become library customers for life. 

Experimenting with these strategies can be a way for librarians to become better teachers 
who value student learning above all else. If these simple methods for sharing more during 
teaching and considering students carefully during instructional design can result in students 
gaining more from their interactions with librarians, that’s a success story. And in the end, it 
is the stories of student success that make all the drafting, reflecting, and revising of teacher- 
stories (this one included) worth it. 


Bean, Teresa M., and Sabrina N. Thomas. "Being Like Both: Library Instruction Methods 
That Outshine the One-Shot." Public Services Quarterly 6.2/3 (2010): 237-49. 
Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 1 July 
2015. ’ 

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Bowles-Terry, Melissa. “Library Instruction and Academic Success: A Mixed-Methods 
Assessment of a Library Instruction Program.” Evidence Based Library and 
Information Practice 7.1 (2012): 82-95. 

Christian, Elizabeth. "The Art of Storytelling." AALL Spectrum 18.4 (2014): 27-29. Library 
Literature & Information Science Lull Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 1 July 2015. 

David, Alicia, and Peyton Glore. "The Impact of Design and Aesthetics on Usability, 

Credibility, and Learning in an Online Environment." Online Journal of Distance 
Learning Administration 13.4 (2010): n. pag. ERIC. Web. 1 July 2015. 

Fisher, Walter R. "Narration as a Human Communication Paradigm: The Case of Public 
Moral Argument." Communication Monographs 51.1 (1984): 1-22. 

Julien, Heidi. “Education for Infonnation Literacy Instruction: A Global Perspective.” 
Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 46.3 (2005): 210-16. 

Lee, Jean, et al. "Taking a Leap of Faith: Redefining Teaching and Learning in Higher 

Education Through Project-Based Learning." Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem- 
Based Learning 8.2 (2014): 1-17. Education Lull Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 1 July 

Mellon, Constance. "Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and its Development." College & 
Research Libraries 41.2 (1986): 160-65. 

Walter, Scott. "Librarians as Teachers: A Qualitative Inquiry into Professional Identity." 
College & Research Libraries 69.1 (2008): 51-71. 


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