User Services Advisory Committee Minutes, March 12, 2013.
Committee met in Room 230B of the Main Library, from 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Present: Sue Searing, Joe Lenkart, Kelly McCusker, Jim Dohle, and Geoff Ross. Absent: Susan Schnuer and Lisa Romero. Guests: Lisa Hinchliffe and Francois Michel.
Select Minute Taker: Ross volunteered.
Approve Minutes from February 12, 2013. Searing and McCusker approved. Lenkart and Ross were absent at the February 12th meeting, and Dohle had not yet arrived at today’s meeting.
Additions to Agenda? None.
Information Literacy Services and Instruction.
Professor Lisa Hinchliffe was present to discuss the role of the Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction. Hinchliffe explained that librarians, being faculty, set their own standards for their own disciplines within their own units. Anyone can work with Hinchliffe for one-on-one instruction design assistance, but she has no power to enforce standards.
Discussion highlighted the difficulties of working in an environment where uniform, mandated service approaches don’t work. However, USAC is optimistic, and believes that encouragement coupled with the right tools and opportunity can move people toward doing the right thing. As Hinchliffe pointed out, none of our colleagues wants to be a bad teacher or to deliver ineffective lessons, but finding the time and will to improve is seldom easy.
Lenkart suggested that an instruction retreat might be useful. Hinchliffe said that a retreat would have to be initiated by an AUL, and that the former AUL for Services was not interested, since poor attendance at instruction-focused professional development events in the past had produced a lack of enthusiasm on the User Education Committee for investing time in planning such events. Hinchliffe instead has focused on providing an intensive professional development workshop every spring.
Discussion shifted to LibGuides, and best practices for LibGuides. There are multiple guides, of varying quality, on the same topic. Faculty autonomy and academic freedom militate against enforcing quality standards. We have no peer review for instructional material and probably never will.
Searing suggested that LibGuides with broken links should be updated or deleted, while
others acknowledged the difficulty of keeping current with links on LibGuides and library webpages. About 60 ghost LibGuides have been deleted. Ghost LibGuides were deleted when they were pointers to webpages that now point to full LibGuides.
Digital Content Creation and the need for digitizing reference sources.
Lenkart asked if a list could be made that would allow DCC to digitize older reference works.
Searing thought this might be a question for the Reference Services Committee.
Core Competencies for Reference Services
Lenkart pointed out that changes need to be made to the Reference Services Core Competencies document (http://www.library.illinois.edu/committee/ReferenceServices/ReferenceCoreTraining.p df). He gave as an example the section on referrals.
Searing and McCusker clarified that the Reference Services Core Competencies document provides guidelines for all personnel who work at the Reference Hub, not only Graduate Assistants.
Ongoing policy review: no time.
Informing next Dean of Libraries regarding user services: no time.