Short WILU report and summer projects that may happen

Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU) at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta

I haven’t written since my last conference report on the OLA Superconference…It’s now near July and I’m just starting to tackle my summer projects To-Do List.

The trouble with WILU for me is that instruction is really only one component of my job (though I do teach 60+ sessions/year), so it was quite overwhelming to be thinking of so many potential things I could/should/would be doing with more time/resources/staff. Instead, I wanted to take home one thing to work on at my library.

Two librarians from McGill presented a great session on ‘redirecting’ library instruction. This session really made me think about taking a big picture snapshot of our library instruction. We do so much instruction, and record our stats faithfully, but I’d love to develop a visual showing where our instruction is actually taking place within the college curriculum. Further, mapping ACRL standards to our instruction efforts is a tangible first-step in formalizing our instruction program and moving toward assessment.

I also really enjoyed the keynote by Dr. Michael Eisenberg and a session on  Teaching Research Methods. I really want to get ‘out of the box’ in terms of my own instruction. I already avoid using library jargon as much as possible, but we really need to stop just demo-ing a database or other tools. At the end of the day I want my students to care about research and knowledge, and how even a small assignment fits into scholarly activity.

As Eisenberg stated, students know how to find stuff. And there is too much stuff. We need to focus on the research process.

Among my other summer plans: What to do with music scores, weeding the P’s (!), revising our APA documentation, weeding AV, finalizing plans for OBOC, revising policies, hiring student assistants, creating a research guide for addictions, planning a pilot assessment project for instruction in history, developing a library survey…

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