Library Committee Handbook

User Education Committee

May 11, 2009 Meeting

User Education Committee

University of Illinois Library

May 11, 2009

Library 428


Members present

Melody Allison (10)
Susan Avery (ex officio)
Paula Carns (09)
Bernice Harrington (09)
Merinda Hensley (ex officio)
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (ex officio) - Chair
Karen Hogenboom (09)
Emily Love (ex officio)
Lori Mestre (ex officio)
Yoo-Seong Song (10)
Ellen Swain (09)
Nathan Yarasavage (10)


Members absent


Also attending

Robin Miller (Central Reference/Academic Outreach GA)


2008-2009 Meetings Remaining

June 8, 10-11
July 13, 2009 (Canceled: Conflicts with ALA Conference)
August 10, 10-11

Lisa reminded the committee that there are two User Education Committee meetings left for the 2008-2009 year.  Members whose terms are up and who wish to be reappointed, should submit the committee volunteer form to Kim Matherly.  Lisa also asked that people let her know if they would like to join the committee.  The User Education Committee is not divisionally represented, so appointments are flexible.

User Education Lunches - "Teaching Toss"

Susan Avery will lead the discussion about assessment at the next Teaching Toss, to be held on Thursday, May 21, 12:00-1:00, in Library 428.  This session was previously scheduled for April 21.

Discussion of ACRL Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators

Susan explained that the ACRL Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators were approved in 2007 and were meant as guidelines for proficiencies for instruction librarians and coordinators.  The proficiencies are divided into 12 categories, and they identify essential skills for successful instruction librarians.  Susan said that there will be a discussion group about the Standards at ALA.

Lisa asked the committee to brainstorm about how these Standards could assist librarians who provide instruction, and how the Standards could be promoted.  The main ideas emerging from the discussion:


Professional Development

Skill-building for graduate assistants

Lisa shared that at LOEX, she had seen the results of a survey of the profession about the skills needed for instruction.  Survey respondents said they most valued:

Lori said that the Services Advisory Committee also has an interest in the intersection of reference and instruction and Lisa said she would send the survey results that she had learned of at LOEX.

LOEX Reflections

The Library was well-represented at this year's LOEX Annual Conference, April 30-May 2, 2009.  Lisa Hinchliffe and Beth Woodard facilitated a session called, "The teaching philosophy framework: Learning, leading, and growing."  Merinda Hensley facilitated a session called, "The savvy researcher: Teaching information management skills to graduate students."  Robin Miller, current graduate assistant in Reference, also presented a poster at LOEX titled, "Live and online!  Developing drop-in library instruction sessions for distance learners."
In reflecting about LOEX, Merinda commented that the keynote speech, "Information Fluency in a Virtual World," by Stephen Abram had made important points about Google and YouTube.  Abram talked about manipulation of Google search results based on IP, location, and advertising.  Lisa agreed and commented that Abram's talk raised an ethical question about the librarian's obligation to explain to students the reliability of Google.
Lisa also noted Abram's comments about the popularity of YouTube as a search engine.  The quantity of searching conducted on a video site has interesting implications, suggesting that libraries should provide more non-text information options.

Lisa said the best session she saw was about "threshold concepts," perspective-changing ideas that can be nurtured in information literacy instruction.  These ideas were referred to as "threshold concepts," and were used to transform a for-credit library class.  Threshold concepts have five characteristics:

Some of the threshold concepts developed by the session leaders included:

The closing plenary speaker, Susan Deese-Roberts, talked about learning styles and recommended a book, About Learning and a corresponding website  Deese-Roberts talked about learning modes, and the circumstances in which learning is easier.  She offered a very basic instructional design model:  structure instruction around what needs to be learned, why, how, what if (i.e., a chance to play with the information).  Facts, rationale, procedure, and changes to components are recommended instructional components.  She also discussed the issue of culture and its influence on learning styles.  The research is that the styles show up in all cultures, but the variation is the cultural valuation of the style.  In the US, we value the text, in another culture, the oral style would be more desirable.

Updates from Working Groups

Library in a Box
Emily announced that photos from libraries around campus have been placed in a folder in the G: drive.  Emily asked for input about the best photos to include in the box.  The photos can be viewed at: G:/User Ed /Library in a Box.  Merinda also suggested that the Library in a Box could include photos from the library's Flickr account.


Merinda congratulated Lisa on her recent election as vice-president/president-elect of the Association of College and Research Libraries.


Respectfully submitted,

Robin Miller