Last week I taught my final round of one-shots for the fall semester (three more BUS 105 sections, covering the basics of searching Business Source Premier and Journal Finder) and now just have my ongoing teaching gig with MKT 426. It’s still high season for reference questions and consultations, but I hope to get a couple more blog posts out this month.
By the way, I would be happy to upload a guest blog post, if you are a business librarian with something to say. Just let me know.
At NCLA 2011 last month in Hickory (the foothills of the Blue Ridge), I was fortunate to participate in panel of four librarians called “Embedded Librarianship in North Carolina.” (It was sponsored by the Business Librarianship in North Carolina section.)
The other three panelists included:
eLearning Librarian, Central Piedmont Community College
Instruction and Web Design Librarian, Queens University of Charlotte
Social Sciences Librarian, Appalachian State University
Around 40-45 librarians and LIS students were in the house and asked questions with enthusiasm. As you read through my summary, you’ll notice that the panelists present different models of what it means to be embedded. That was part of the fun.
Jennifer Ballance coordinated her library’s efforts to embed a librarian in every online class via Blackboard and LibGuides. This semester, she is the librarian for 14 online classes herself. Jennifer talked about the goal of making online embeddedness scalable in order to cover the most territory. (CPCC has over 11,000 students taking online foundational courses, plus many students in on-campus versions.) In the process of embedding librarians in so many classes, Jennifer created best practices for online embedding in some many online classes.
One of CPCC’s best practices is to unpublish all class-specific libguides at the end of each semester. This forces the instructor to ask for the guide back, and provides the library a chance to update each guide as needed and to keep a librarian in the class each semester. Gutsy! I like that. Another best practice is to pay close attention to each class’ deadlines and to email relevant research tips and reminders of librarian support a week or so before the assignment is due.
Jennifer created a tutorial that all COM students (online and traditional) are required to take for a grade, even in sections that don’t have an embedded librarian.
Joli McClelland from Queens University and Allan Scherlen from ASU teach for-credit library research courses, as do many librarians, but their classes are based within the major and are required of all majors.
Joli helps teach PSYC 300, “Information Literacy for Psychology majors,” a required 3-hour class that leads into the required experimental methods and senior thesis classes. Joli discussed that faculty had been disappointed with the quality of student work. The psychology department added the info lit class to teach the students literacy skills. The course objectives were based on goals from the “APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major.” The librarians do most of the work; their activities include in-class instruction, consultations with individual students on their topics, and communication through their CMS. Pre- and post-tests indicate the info lit class is paying off.
Allan Scherlen teaches Philosophy 2800, “Library Research for Philosophy Majors.” His class is a required prerequisite to philosophy majors’ capstone research course. The class meets one hour each week and covers all five ACRL competency standards. Allan has been teaching it for three years. He emphasized that being a teacher in the philosophy department improved his effectiveness as a librarian through becoming part of the learning process and better understanding the needs of the philosophy majors.
I’ve written about my experience as a co-teacher of MKT 426. In Hickory I focused on the various roles I’ve found myself playing: teacher, counselor, cheer leader, team mediator, and textbook co-author — but not grader. I talked about avoiding that role in order to remain as approachable as possible, and later in the Q&A we had a discussion about the increased approachability and availability to students that librarians sometimes provide compared to that of the professors.