Library Committee Handbook

User Education Committee

March 10, 2008 Meeting

User Education Committee
University of Illinois Library

March 10, 2008

Library 428

Members Present

Members Absent

Also attending

Remaining Meetings for 2007-2008 (All in Library 428)

Active Learning

The working group would like to invite Robert Slater to join the Active Learning Working Group. The committee approved this addition.


Lisa understands that Scott Walter, AUL for Services, will be turning some attention to a more general recognition program in the coming months and this group will begin meeting when it makes sense to fit with the larger process.

Community Outreach

Members of the group have contacted high school librarians about the possibility of conducting workshops during in-service days, as discussed at the last meeting, and have gotten positive responses. They will now meet to discuss what steps will be taken next in this project.

Event Calendaring and Registration

Library events for patrons can be sent to Merinda to be added on the events calendar. The registration system may also be used but this is not required in order to submit a calendar event.

International Education Week

The International Film Week events are currently scheduled for April 1, 2, and 3. Videos have been selected and a PDF flyer containing further information is being developed.

LibGuides Implementation

Sarah Thompson, a GA in Reference, has created subject headings to be put on LibGuides. Merinda asked that the working group review these as well as the Grab-n-Go boxes. A library-wide training for LibGuides is scheduled for the second week of April.

Campus Initiative on Student Learning Assessment

Approach and Plans

Discussion turned to the Unit Plan for Assessing and Improving Student Learning in Degree Programs that the campus is required as part of the preparations for the campus’ next accreditation visit. Lisa mentioned that, although the template seems simple, it will be necessary to collect a great deal of information regarding learning assessment in the library. The committee reviewed briefly the library’s Statement of Learning Goals,which serves as benchmarks for library instruction.

Once data is collected from individual librarians and summarized, the plan will be submitted. The library then has ten years to accomplish the goals of the plan before the next accreditation process. Lisa explained that, in addition to reporting how the library is assessing student learning, the outcome may be also an understanding of what the library should be assessing. The purpose of this plan then is to show effort and progress in the library over time.

In order to efficiently collect data from individual librarians, changes need to be made to the Unit Plan template. For example, the template term “unit” refers to each campus unit, in this case the entire library. This will need to be changed in order to highlight particular programs, like Composition I instruction, ESL instruction, and subject specific instruction. It was the general sense of the committee that data should be collected at the course level or subject level instead of at the level of the departmental library. Credit courses may already be covered by GSLIS data collection. If so, these will not be included in the final Unit Plan.

Lisa asked the group for input on which mechanisms might be useful in collecting data for this report. Lori suggested that examples of measures and methods may be useful. Also, brainstorming all the ways teaching is related to library service may provide a starting point to define which programs should report on their assessment strategies.

Emily suggested that, in making changes to the template, the following should be asked of individuals: 1) Give an example of how you meet X goal (from the Statement of Learning Goals),2) How do you know when this goal has been reached?, and 3) How do you plan to improve?

Paula suggested that following-up with course instructors after doing a presentation may help to begin discussion regarding ways track student improvement on specific assignments and specific skills.

Melody described a recent assessment she conducted after a presentation on databases. She supplied instructors with essay questions to disperse to their students. These proved useful and provided much insight and feedback. The fact that the assignment was made mandatory by the instructor was also helpful.

Karen suggested that the following simplified question be asked of librarians as they may not be familiar with terms related to assessment: How do you know when you are doing a good job of teaching?

Merinda mentioned that embedding quizzes in her online tutorials has not been very successful; however, having students respond via email to one question has provided her with useful feedback. This began a discussion among committee members regarding the most useful format for surveys.


Working groups submitting minutes to be added to the website should send those to Lisa and not deposit them in the G:/ as discussed at the last meeting due to the structure of permissions on the G:/ drive.

Paula discussed her session with 90 students regarding short stories. She observed many students having problems with accessing information through the ORR. Most often they would click on the “I” information icon. This may be useful for the website group in making updates to links in the ORR. Lisa suggested Paula discuss her observations with Robert Slater, Web Technologies and Content Coordinator, and describe what steps students took and where they encountered problems.

Merinda reported that five new workshops are being added to Savvy Researcher series. Details are available on the Library Gateway


Respectfully Submitted,
Sarah A. Hjeltness and Lisa Hinchliffe