Info lit beyond the words

Random colored letters

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On May 10 the Association of College & Research Libraries New England chapter held its annual conference.  From Worcester, MA it streamed the keynote address and selected breakout sessions to remote sites.  I attended the virtual conference at Bates College in Lewiston.  Here were the highlights:

Keynote Address

Lynn Sutton highlighted exciting projects at Wake Forest University’s library.  I found the visit from Musicircus very interesting (What can I say?  I enjoy music.).  The mini-MOOC for alumni was also intriguing for its focus.  I won’t get into the whole MOOC controversy in this post.  Still, if I were to have a MOOC, I’d want it to be focused and purposeful.

Breakout Sessions

My favorite breakout session concerned the University of Rhode Island’s information literacy rubric.  Presenters Mary MacDonald, Jim Kinnie, and Elaine Finan described the process of developing the rubric.   A key part of this process involved input from different stakeholders.  The different groups discussed what certain key terms–including the term “research” itself–meant to each of them.  Thus the rubrics came from a place of shared understanding.


This point brings me to my final highlight, conversations with colleagues from elsewhere.  One of our hosts mentioned that she does not use the term “information literacy” with her faculty.  Instead, conversations focus on the learning goals.

Do we get too hung up on a phrase?  What would our conversations sound like without the jargon?  I’ll ponder this question.  In the meantime I thank our gracious hosts at Bates.