Tuesday, January 24, 2006

ALA Midwinter 2006

I attended the following events at the American Library Assocaition's 2006 Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Combating the Culture of Copy: Information Literacy Intervention for Plagiarism

Presented by Lynn D. Lampert; Sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
Friday, Jan. 20, 2006
Today’s typical college students routinely download information and media. Wikis, blogs, and open-source programming encourage collaboration. Most students do not know what constitutes plagiarism and what is legal. Furthermore, what most faculty recognize as plagiarism differs from many librarians’ stricter definition of plagiarism. The definition of plagiarism also differs by discipline. This session focused on a discipline-based approach to anti-plagiarism instruction. To understand what constitutes plagiarism in a specific discipline, a librarian, along with faculty, can investigate the field’s code of ethics and its literature on plagiarism and academic dishonesty. An academic department’s or an instructor’s specific plagiarism problem provides a “zone of intervention” where a librarian and faculty can work together to prevent plagiarism.

The Instruction Balance
Sponsored by the Teaching Methods and Education Committees of the ACRL Instruction Section
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006

In this participant-driven session, participants discussed questions in a group, and then shared the highlights of their discussion with the larger group. My group observed that of all our responsibilities, preparation (objectives, materials, etc.) takes the most time. Nevertheless, sharing can save time. Templates, shared drives, and online materials, such as PRIMO, LOEX, and MERLOT, provide opportunities to share instruction materials. We also discussed ways to avoid burn-out. Training, including team-teaching, is necessary for less-skilled instructors so that teaching duties are equal among instruction librarians. Members of my group also suggested taking a break, participating in non-library activities on campus, and taking advantage of continuing education opportunities as means of avoiding burnout.

Management of Instruction Services Committee's Bright Ideas Session:
"Hello, Anybody out There? How to Improve Outreach Efforts and Build Positive Relationships"

Sponsored by the Management of Instruction Services Committee of the ACRL Instruction Section
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006

This session was conducted in a “jig-saw” manner. The session had 6 topics. The table a participant sat down at became their home table. Each participant at all the tables was assigned one of the 6 topics. Then participants moved to tables with others assigned their topic to discuss the assigned topic. My topic was “Outreach to Adjunct Faculty or Teaching Assistants.” We discussed ways to locate adjuncts and TAs and how to broach the subject of information literacy with them. Ideas for finding adjuncts and TAs included: making friends with department secretaries, connecting with them when they come into the library, and attending orientations or training sessions. One can inform them about information literacy when they come into the library for assistance or through letters or e-mails (some colleges have e-mail lists or offices that can be used to reach adjuncts and/or TAs).

After discussions in our assigned groups, everybody returned to their home tables, where everybody shared the highlights from their assigned topics with their home table. The participants at my home table shared the ideas that follow.

Outreach to Students

  • Integrate into Freshman Experiences or introductory English Courses
  • Librarian visits student classes to introduce self
  • Activities during Parents Weekend or Orientation
  • Poster contest (students designed posters to advertise the library)

Outreach to Graduate Students
  • Involvement with the Graduate Student Association
  • Newsletters
  • Hand out business cards during sessions (helps them see you as a professional)
  • Have experienced and respected faculty promote the library to them

Working with Non-academic Departments
  • Work with residence halls
  • Participate in School fairs
  • Gain support by serving on campus-wide committees

Partnering with Faculty
  • Provide them the option to select from various library instruction approaches
  • Attend social events
  • Send periodic e-mails, but don’t overdo it

Cool Marketing Ideas
  • Key chains (light-up or carabineers) with library logo or website are very popular
  • Other Freebies with library logo or website, including post-it notes, magnets, branded candy and miniature highlighters
  • One librarian gives new graduate students a coupon for “Free Espresso with a Librarian.” When they return the coupon she treats them to a cup of espresso and spends 20 minutes talking with them.
  • Temporary tattoos