Library Committee Handbook

User Education Committee

December 9, 2013 Minutes


User Education Committee

University of Illinois Library

December 9, 2013
Library 428


Members Present:

Melody Allison (14)
Susan Avery (ex officio)
Kirstin Dougan (14)
Merinda Hensley (ex officio)
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (ex officio) – Chair
Cindy Ingold (14)
Jameatris Rimkus (15)
Mara Thacker (14)
Mark Wardecker (14)
Sandra Wolf (14)
Members Absent:

Elizabeth Sheehan (15)

Also Attending:

Meredith Riddle (Information Literacy GA)

1.             Welcome and Introductions

Lisa welcomed the committee.

2.              Agenda Review

No additions were made to the agenda at this time. Merinda requested that the revised information literacy standards that will be presented at ALA Midwinter be added to the February agenda.

3.              Acclamations and Accolades

Susan offered an anecdote regarding the value of instruction for Communication 101. In previous years, all Communication 101 students attended formal library instruction sessions. The Library accommodated these instruction requests within a one week time period by combining classes. This year, the Communication Department decided to discontinue the formal instruction sessions, perhaps due to perceived inconvenience of meeting at the Funk ACES Library, doubling classes, etc. To meet their instructional needs, Susan initiated a “train the trainer” program in which she taught the teaching assistants how to instruct their Communication 101 students to use the library. Susan reported that this semester the virtual reference staff have seen a large increase in questions from Communication 101 students. Susan believes that the increase of basic questions indicates the value of the Library’s formal instructional sessions. Next semester, Susan will train the new teaching assistants and will discuss future approaches with the department. Lisa suggested that collaborating with Merinda for scheduling classes in 314 may ease classroom space demands.

Lisa announced that the Information Literacy Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) marked a major achievement in working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). At the urging of IFLA, UNESCO recently passed a manifesto on media and information literacy with advice on strategies to use at the country level. Lisa explained that there are not specific recommendations for the United States because the US is not a UNESCO member. However, this manifesto is a significant achievement for IFLA, as this manifesto has been in progress for more than five years.

Melody reported to the group about the pilot database instruction sessions being offered by graduate assistants at Funk ACES Library. The graduate assistants started by creating guides for agricultural literature databases, then offered open sessions that were announced via intercom in the library along with other advertisements. The sessions were not as well attended as hoped, but the pilot has been a valuable learning process for the graduate assistants and library staff.

Melody’s mentioning of program attendance segued into a brief discussion of Savvy Researcher attendance. Merinda reported that this semester’s sessions have attracted approximately 700 students, which is similar to previous years. Some of these 700 students may be repeat visitors. Last year’s total Savvy Researcher attendance was 1200 students. Lisa suggested that organizing and analyzing the student attendance data could make a great practicum project. Furthermore, if any librarians have well-defined projects but are not otherwise available to supervise practicum students, Lisa offered to supervise.

Merinda shared that there is a new projector in Library 314. The new projector is much brighter and thus a big improvement.

4.               Discussion Items/Updates

Susan explained that she and Merinda were inspired to explore the open source web application Guide on the Side based on the University of Arizona Library’s website. Guide on the Side is an application used to create simple instruction modules in databases that can be turned on or off. Susan explored the application’s potential as an interactive help screen in basic databases, and both librarians hope that using Guide on the Side will be easy to update, thereby helping to overcome the challenge of keeping instructional materials up to date. Merinda demonstrated how the Guide on the Side usually displays on the lefthand side of the screen and can include interactive elements, such as quizzes. Merinda is working with her graduate assistant, Erik Radio, to explore possible implementation with the LEARN website. The committee also discussed how the Guide on the Side could be used in conjunction with ghost guides in LibGuides. Merinda reported that there are no plans to alter the code much beyond adding institutional affiliation to the display and that Library IT has already put this web application on the server. Merinda will email committee members when they can sign up for user accounts.

The committee discussed their trial of ProQuest Research Companion. In general, the content was seen as too basic for Illinois undergraduate students. One librarian reported that her graduate assistants thought that elements of the product would be useful for certain populations such as English as a Foreign Language learners, but otherwise struggled to see how the product would be used by other user groups. The committee concluded that the product was interesting to view, but they will not pursue it further.

Lisa reported that the first Library 106 planning meeting occurred, and that the discussion was open-ended in nature. The committee would like to see further discussion of local management of the classroom to ensure that the space is functional, similar to the current management model for Library 314. The committee is supportive of the proposal for ID-based access to the space.

Lisa reminded the committee that LibGuides 2.0 will be released soon, though UIUC’s migration date is yet to be determined. The information literacy graduate assistant has made plans to attend a webinar. Committee members asked questions about the new tabs, which might either be a system or a local guide setting.

Lisa explained that the migration process involves configuring the new website while keeping the old site public for approximately one week. During that week, librarians should not make changes to the old site, as these changes won’t be reflected in the new site. Due to the large number of LibGuides at UIUC, the Library will not attempt to be one of the first institutions to migrate.

Lisa reminded the committee that the Library will do the LibQUAL survey this spring using the Lite protocol. This Lite protocol consists of each user receiving a random subset of the questions, but the overall results will show all answers. All user groups will be surveyed, including undergraduates, graduates, staff, and faculty. LibQUAL will focus on students, but the committee also hopes that this survey will be a useful follow up to the results from the Ithaka survey. In the Ithaka survey, faculty at UIUC were more likely than those at other institutions to indicate that the library has a primary role in educating students about research.

Lisa explained to the committee how the questions on the survey must be appropriate to all user groups since they are randomly assigned. Any format of question is permissible. The committee had a wide ranging discussion about possibilities for questions. The question most favored is some version of the following: “Would you find it useful for a librarian to visit your class?”

 5.             Upcoming Events

6.             Open Discussion/Announcements

FYI – Upcoming 2013-2014 Meetings – 10:00-11:00 am

Respectfully submitted by Meredith Riddle