Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

Information Literacy for Business Students: Request for Ideas & Input

Dear Tame the Web community,

As an information literacy librarian at a southern university, I have been charged with developing and teaching a one credit undergraduate information literacy course for business students. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, not so much. The problem is that I don’t want it to be just another information literacy course (no offense to information literacy courses). I want to take it out of the classroom, into the real world, out of the library databases and into free, quality information they will have to use once they get outside of college and into their jobs. And of course I want to inspire them to be curious about the world, information, the connectedness of it all and how it affects their lives.

The challenges are plentiful. One being that the course is only one credit. That means that I have about 6 weeks to help business students learn the concept of information literacy, the concept of research, how to use keywords, Internet searching, database searching in several rather unintuitive business databases, privacy, plagiarism, citing, evaluating information and seemingly everything else under the information literacy/metaliteracy umbrella.

In order to break this all down, here are things I feel I have to do to stay within the pre-determined course objectives and course description.

Things I have to do:

  • Teach business databases to ensure success in college research

  • Articulate the meaning of and need for information literacy skills

  • Keep the work for the course under 3-6 hours per week

  • Create both a face-to-face and online course

  • Use Moodle as a CMS

Things I want to do:

  • Incorporate social media/online communities (related to research) into the course

  • Use a scaffolded, creative, interesting course project that includes a final project with my current leading idea being to incorporate the job search and research necessary (company, industry, financial health and consumer/investor) to write a cover letter and prep for an interview

  • Develop students learning objectives that reflect metaliteracy principles

  • Create a vibrant online space where students feel connected, engaged and challenged

Basically, I want to make the course cool, practical and useful. I want the students to learn important concepts that will follow them their entire life and have a good experience doing it. Am I worried too much about the students liking the course? Maybe. Do I have a high standard because I have been in some pretty exceptional online learning spaces and want to replicate? Definitely yes.

But how do you do an online community that is exciting and challenging (but not too challenging) in an undergraduate environment in 6 weeks? How do you do that with students who may only be in the class because they are in desperate need of one extra credit to stay a full-time student?

So many questions and so little answers – at least so far. At this point, you may be wondering why this post is on Tame the Web. Michael has been kind enough to allow me to use his blog as a forum for my thoughts, fears, pressures, questions and ideas and because I am developing this course as an independent study course with Michael as my last class in a Post-Master’s Degree Certificate Program at SJSU SLIS.

So, I am reaching out and open to suggestions, ideas, examples, thoughts, hope and communication from my professional community. If you would like to get in touch, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at terri.artemchik@gmail.com. I am so looking forward to your thoughts on my slightly idealistic and currently messy potential information literacy course for business students.

 Terri Artemchik is an Information Literacy Librarian at Coastal Carolina University’s Kimbel Library. She has an MLIS from Dominican University and is finishing up a Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Digital Services & Emerging Technologies from San Jose State University’s School of Library & Information Science. 

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The User is Still Not Broken by Brian Kenney

Don’t miss Brian Kenney’s new column:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/60780-the-user-is-still-not-broken.html

Meet People Where They Are—Not Where We Want Them to Be

Libraries are very good at organizing and presenting content in anticipation of users’ needs. From cataloging resources to creating booklists, to offering workshops and classes, we’re all about meeting people where we think they may be. The trouble is, not all individuals fit into our elaborate schema.

It’s difficult to genuinely meet people where they are. It’s far easier to set up a system that we think might help most users—and a whole lot cheaper. Meeting people where they are can take a serious commitment of staff time.

In the past decade, libraries have experimented with creating alternatives to their “build it and they will come” paradigm. Teen librarians, working with teen advisory groups, have encouraged their users to help determine teen programs and services. Letting the public have a role in ordering materials is one way to open a library’s collection to its readers. Book-a-librarian programs allow us to focus on our users’ needs in more depth than is possible at a reference desk.

For several years, my library provided drop-in e-reader help. But in the past 12 months, interest in e-readers has taken a nosedive, so we expanded the program to offer help for other types of devices. The response has been enthusiastic: the public has hauled in cameras, phones, laptops, and iPads. No amount of handouts, FAQs on our Web site, and classes could begin to address the variety of questions we have received, and few programs have generated gratitude.

Technology isn’t something we offer, it’s something we do, and helping people understand how to use their technology is perfectly in line with what libraries do best: respond to people’s needs.

News: Library Effect Launches

Jan Holmquist shared this with me:

There is a new attempt to break out of the echo chamber and share the many different sides of library activities and the positive effects they have  on the communities they serve.library-effect-600 The goal of The Library Effect is to share stories about the many facets of library activities — and their outcomes — with a general audience. Good luck to Shannon K. McDonough (@shnmcd) with this fine initiative.

Read the first edition of The Library Effect here: http://thelibraryeffect.com/ – Then share with your library and non-library friends.

https://twitter.com/libraryeffect

From Michael : In the first edition you can read why Jan Holmquist thinks the library is the hummingbird (http://thelibraryeffect.com/2014/01/16/the-library-is-the-hummingbird/). You can also read about the library as community living room and mobilizing a volunteer army. Good luck to all involved with this initiative.

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Circulating Ideas: The Michaels!

ideasHonored to be interviewed with Michael Casey for an episode of “Circulating Ideas” by Steve Thomas.

http://www.circulatingideas.com/2014/01/episode-36-michael-stephens-and-michael.html

photo by Cindi Trainor

Dr. Michael Stephens is an Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. His research focuses on use of emerging technologies in libraries and technology learning programs. He currently writes the monthly column “Office Hours” in Library Journal exploring issues, ideas and emerging trends in library and information science education. Stephens has spoken about emerging technologies, innovation, and libraries to national and international audiences. He is fascinated by library buildings and virtual spaces that center around users, participation, creating content, and encouraging the heart. Michael’s Tame the Web blog is here: http://tametheweb.com.

Michael Casey is currently the Information Technology Director for the Gwinnett County Public Library in metropolitan Atlanta. Named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in March 2007, he co-authored (with Laura SavastinukLibrary 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service and is a contributor to Library 2.0 and Beyond. He and Michael Stephens co-authored a monthly column in Library Journal titled “The Transparent Library“. He has written and spoken extensively on the subject of modern library services. Michael holds an MLS from Southern Connecticut State, an MA in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University, and a BA from Duquesne University. His family, friends, travel and hobbies can all be seen in his photos on Flickr.

Congrats to Corinne Hill, LJ’s Librarian of the Year

“Honestly, I simply wanted to manage a library the way I had always wished I had been managed,” says Hill, with a laugh, when asked to describe her management style. “Coming up in this field, you get so tired of hearing ‘No,’ or ‘Let me tell you why that is not going to work,’ or ‘We tried that years ago; it didn’t work.’ ”

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/01/awards/corinne-hill-ljs-2014-librarian-of-the-year/

What do you see?

 

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I know it’s trendy to fight the system and cry that we are all becoming slaves of technology, but this attitude overlooks that computers and phones are tools for communicating. When someone thinks I’m an idiot smiling at a machine, I’m actually smiling at my girlfriend who is 10000 miles away and whom I would have never met if not for these newfangled electronics. As they say: when the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger.

http://hugtherobots.tumblr.com/post/69627090387/i-know-its-trendy-to-fight-the-system-and-cry

#YLIBRARY Writing Competition Winner: What will never change?

I am LOVING this:

The winner of the #YLibrary of the Future Writing Competition is Sophie Manion. Sophie will receive an iPad mini. Congratulations Sophie!

Here is her winning entry:

I want to hear the voices of a million lives. I want to brush their hearts with the tips of my fingers and feel as they feel, with their skin and their lungs and their ears. It takes a moment – a light on a screen, a battery cord plugged in – but then I can. In a moment I am timeless. The library is a passport to worlds that exist only in the mind. I am lost amongst these places with my greatest friends, my most treasured heroes. Words can transport me. I can listen or I can read but I will always experience. It doesn’t matter whether I can touch the ink, smell the fresh pages or instead, scroll down the electronic page with a gesture of my hand. The future is a grand place but it is those words, the magic that I can only find in a library, that can teleport me away to somewhere I’ve never been. Whether I walk through those open doors from my computer, or on my phone, or physically – I will always find a new world waiting in that maze of books. There are some things that will never change.

Read more #ylibrary postst here: http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/slq-today/category/ylibrary-2/

My post “Making the Case for the Library to be a Space for Infinite Learning” is here: http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/slq-today/2013/11/26/ylibrary-making-the-case-for-the-library-as-space-for-infinite-learning-by-michael-stephens/