ACRL Conference, Part 1

Baltimore Inner Harbor
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I had the privilege of attending the Association of College & Research Libraries conference in Baltimore.  Though I can’t do justice to every session, I’ll share some highlights from Thursday, March 23.

In the first session Leanna Jantzi, Nicole White, Mary-Ellen Kelm (Simon Fraser University) and Andrea Cameron and Sean McLaughlin (Concordia University) shared their experiences of thesis boot camps.  Overall students gained confidence and built connections with both peers and services.  Future research possibilities include the relationship between participation and completion rates.  Since a variety of models for such events exist,  I want to explore possible services the library can offer to our thesis students.

My next session, a round table, allowed participants to discuss the scaffolding of information literacy concepts.  I particularly enjoyed hearing from my community college counterparts.  I also picked up some ideas for upgrading my instruction menu.  Thanks to Elizabeth Nelson (McHenry County College) for facilitating the discussion.

The third session concerned open educational resources.  Quill West, Kathy Swart, and Dr. Debra Gilchrist (Pierce College) noted that open education goes beyond textbook alternatives.  It involves sharing ideas and giving credit, as well as giving thoughtful feedback and assessing impact.  It gives students a more active role.  Imagine, for example, having students help create the research guides.

The fourth session explored the connection between the library and Writing in the Disciplines.  Daniel DeSanto and Susanmarie Harrington (University of Vermont) likened writing, research, and disciplinary content to a three-legged stool.  Though different departments/disciplines have their unique cultures–which must be respected, the collaborations have the common goal of helping faculty help their students.

In the final session a panel described the research guiding a library design project at Auburn University.  The redesign has been informed by changes in teaching and learning.  The researchers interviewed students and faculty, used reply cards, and held a design workshop.   Stakeholders described flexible spaces that would support classwork, but not ignore self-care considerations (lighting, aesthetics, etc.).  Thanks to presenters Kasia Leousis, Juliet Rumble, Greg Schmidt, and Marcia Boosinger for sharing this research.

If you’d like to know more about any of these sessions, please let me know.  Stay tuned for my highlights from Friday, March 24.

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