Library Committee Handbook

User Education Committee

October 8, 2012 Meeting

User Education Committee

University of Illinois Library

October 8, 2012


Library 428


Members Present:

Melody Allison (13)
Susan Avery (ex officio)
Merinda Hensley (ex officio)
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (ex officio) - Chair
Carissa Phillips (13)
Elizabeth Sheehan (13)
Mara Thacker (14)
Mark Wardecker (14)
Sandra Wolf (14)

Members Absent:

Ryan Ross (14)

Also Attending:

Emma Clausen (Information Literacy GA)
Eric Kurt (Media Commons Coordinator UGL)

1. Welcome, Introductions and Agenda Review

The committee welcomed Eric as a guest. Members each introduced themselves. Lisa noted that she meets with new librarians and academic professionals who have instructional responsibilities. Meetings of the User Education committee are open and Eric expressed interest in attending a meeting. Lisa also noted the opportunity for a relationship moving forward with the intersection between media commons and media literacy with information literacy and the work of the committee.

 2. Upcoming 2012-2013 Meetings – 10:00-11:00 am Library 428

  • November 12
  • December 10
  • January 14
  • February 11
  • March 11
  • April 8
  • May 13
  • June 10
  • July 8
  • August 12

3. Acclamations and Accolades

Susan shared that 160 classes are scheduled for the fall semester. To date, this is the largest number of classes scheduled in one semester. She noted that the first week of instruction went well and that 57 sections are scheduled for the current week. Susan noted the great level of cooperation with faculty and complimented the hard work of all those involved with instruction at UGL.

Sandy shared that today is the last day of LEEP on-campus instruction. She highlighted the success of presenting in three classes on Saturday.

Carissa shared that the fourteen 90-minute sessions she taught over a six day period in early September with Illinois Business Consulting were well-received. She also noted a new opportunity to work with the Executive MBA students who will be travelling to China.  

Beth shared that she was invited to meet with new doctoral Anthropology students. She said that she is excited to be expanding formal instruction in that department. She may also try to plan a brownbag library orientation session for existing faculty and new faculty.

Mark shared that the Savvy Researcher sessions he has taught over the last few months were successful and he noted that the Classics Library is gaining traction with implementing instruction.

Mara shared that she took a “risk” during a recent instruction session. She passed out index cards and asked students to write down questions that they had about research for the assignment. She then addressed these questions during the live session. Mara noted the value of the interactive element but also mentioned that, by nature of the activity, the delivery came across as less smooth. She was excited to share that she made connections with students—10 students contacted her for research consultations.

4. Instructional Space Scheduling – Sue Searing

This update has been delayed until the November meeting of the committee.

 5. Primo Update

Lisa is now serving as the formal liaison between the implementation team and the committee.

Michael Norman sent out an email with a URL for Primo. At this time, Primo is only released within the Library for testing and feedback/suggestions. An introductory Primo session is scheduled for October 17th at GSLIS from 1:30-2:45. 

One advantage of Primo is that it does not have to go through Library subscriptions to get content. However, this is also a problem given varying versions of databases, full-text availability, and the issue of publisher agreements and the possibility that an agreement will be end and content will disappear. Another issue is that the entire Primo Central Index will not be turned on initially—there will only be 60 targets. The committee discussed the importance of knowing was databases users are searching against. The committee discussed expectations of what sources are being searched and how this affects Library public services. A list should be available of what is available in the index for the initial rollout of Primo. The committee also discussed how inconsistent de-duplication of records is problematic.

The committee noted that with the initial rollout, it is incumbent of those in public service roles to take time to explore and document experiences. For example, the committee discussed faceting with Primo and how it is a post-search filter. The committee noted that this will be a concept complicated to teach users. Facets cannot be removed individually.

The committee discussed how the Library would become incredibly reliant on Primo’s ability to maintain relationships with publishers. The committee discussed how subject librarians should open the lines of communication with subject database vendors and content providers to address how this change will affect how we use their product if it is not available in the index. The committee discussed the possibility of other web-scale discovery systems in the future and how this could affect the availability of content if a publisher pulls out of Primo. 

The committee discussed future possibilities of Primo offering a portal to digitized content. If Primo was in front of IDEALS, HathiTrust, IDM, and the Internet Archive, it could provide federated results for these resources. This would help users discover both print and digitized copies of resources.

The committee discussed the possibility of working with the Primo group to propose something to the annual Charleston Conference, a conference that brings together librarians, publishers, and vendors. It could provide an opportunity to present the impact on students, a study of librarians, or how Primo is used in instruction and reference environments.

6. Blackboard Collaborate Update

The Library Budget Group approved funds to use Blackboard Collaborate as a synchronous online instruction system for the Library. The committee noted the value of the system including synchronous virtual committee meetings, instruction, and staff training. The committee also noted the possibility to move international consultations to the online classroom environment. Lisa noted that the Library is currently working with Outlook to set up a virtual room reservation. There will be training sessions on the Blackboard Collaborate software. The Library will begin with five classrooms available, but there are no limits for the number of classrooms. It was noted that eventually libraries could have their own classrooms.

7. Committee Charge:

The User Education Committee provides guidance and advice to the Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction and the University Library by formulating and reviewing plans, goals, priorities, strategies, policies and procedures related to user education; identifying temporary and ongoing instructional issues; promoting awareness of and participation in information literacy activities within the Library and the University as a whole; gathering information and encouraging research and discussion about information literacy, information seeking, and user education; creating and assisting with instructional development programming; and responding to requests for assistance or advice about user education and information literacy issues.

The committee reviewed the charge.

8. Brainstorm and Review Projects for 2012-2013

Lisa noted the three current projects that the committee has discussed working on this year:

  • Writing Across the Curriculum/Advanced Composition Initiative

The Executive Committee added to Strategic Initiatives.

  • Information Literacy Awareness Month (October)

Webinar “From School to Workforce: Information Literacy, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills” on Tuesday, October 16.

  • Spring Information Literacy Workshop

Char Booth is unlikely to be available. The committee will brainstorm at future meetings.

Lisa opened the floor to committee members to suggest other projects/initiatives for consideration. The committee discussed possibilities that center on three different areas:

  • Knowledge bank or repository that includes assessment/instruction materials

The committee discussed possibilities now that Library has an established Assessment Coordinator. It would be useful to form a partnership with Jen-Chien Yu to possibly develop guidance and     support resources for librarians to assess instruction sessions.

The committee also discussed how Blackboard Collaborate could help colleagues with the pedagogy of teaching online. The committee discussed co-browse and other features and noted the availability of best practices material available. 

The committee discussed the possibility of creating a repository for instruction materials or developing a toolkit to help with instruction workloads. Lisa noted that she and Susan attended a presentation on creating a repository for instruction materials by librarians at the University of Michigan at the last LOEX conference. Lisa noted that their repository was based on Drupal and the knowledge base was built on top of an Intranet. Currently, the Library does not have a platform that would work well for supporting a repository. PB Works and the shared drive were discussed. The committee discussed file structure and the need for an interface. The committee also discussed the challenges of creating a repository that fits into people’s workflows. The committee also discussed challenges with encouraging people to populate the repository.

  • Professional development and engagement

The committee discussed exploring opportunities like the faculty development opportunities at GSLIS. GSLIS has a Preparing Future Faculty program for doctoral students. IT is a year-long seminar. The group meets three times in fall and spring around different topics.

The committee also discussed engaging librarians who are new to teaching. The structure of a group could range from informal to formal. One suggestion was to have a monthly meeting where experienced instructors could offer suggestions and advice to those who are new to teaching. The committee noted that the goal is to create a Library-wide sounding board for instruction.

  • Work closely with people who scope the environments we teach

The committee discussed the complex systems we ask users to grapple with (vuFind, Classic Catalog, Easy Search, SFX) and how we approach instruction. The committee noted that librarians often have to make difficult teaching decisions based on conversations and decisions with which they were not involved.

The committee discussed talking with and possibly inviting Tom Teper and Robert Slater to come to committee meetings to discuss how to improve the user’s experience and the learner’s experience. Currently there is no advisory committee for the Library Gateway. A recommendation has been made to CAPT. Currently no one on the Web-Scale Discovery System Implementation is charged with evaluating Primo from a collections viewpoint. 

9. Announcements/Open Discussion

  • Discussion: Ask-a-Librarian and LibGuides

This discussion will take place at a future meeting of the committee.

  • Lane Wilkinson’s Talk

Lisa reminded the committee about Lane Wilkinson’s upcoming talk, “It's Not Just Privacy, Porn, and Pipe-bombs: Libraries and the Ethics of Service.” Spaces are available for dinner and lunch.    Email Lisa if you are interested.

Submitted by Emma Clausen