On Being a Librarian

Trends, Achievements, and Perspectives

E-Learning, Blended Instruction, & Academic Librarians

Integrating library services and instruction across curriculums provides opportunities for building strong, respectful, creative, and innovative relationships between librarians, staff, faculty, and students. Strategies for connecting with colleagues and faculty vary with each institution and course.  Many resources are available to help navigate through projects and opportunities.

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Conference Presentations
Every time I attend WILU the research, engagement, and strategies which I learn impresses me and informs my library and information instruction practice.
For example, in 2014 Qinqin Zhang and Maren Goodman, from Western University delivered a passionate, dynamic, hands-on, and detailed presentation on Planning and Implementing  Library e-Learning Projects.  An excellent opportunity to engage with colleagues and try new strategies.
Next year WILU is at the University of Alberta.
Another conference taking place in 2017, Northwest Conference, offers a session titled “Mind the Gap: Research Instruction in Online vs. Face-to-Face Courses” by Elizabeth F. Pickford from Portland State University.  Referring to a Pew study, Pickford notes that online students use less reliable resources.  I wholeheartedly agree.  During the last term, I supported a Psychology instructor through online reviews of student annotated bibliographies.  The instructor bemoaned that in their experience online students generally earned about 10% fewer marks than the face-to-face students to which the instructor noted direct correlation to the authority of resources used.  The session might provide an answer to a question we often ask: “How do online-only students encounter the library, and how does it compare to the experience of students in face-to-face courses?”
Research and Journal Articles
The literature is replete with research and studies on this topic.  For example:
Librarians are change agents at the ready to consult, strategize, and collaborate with faculty supporting student learning when providing opportunities to engage learners with authoritative online sources. Challenges continue, but advances in technologies offer opportunities for introducing innovative and strategic online blended learning programs. It is important to open conversations with department heads, faculty, and instructors providing them opportunities to easily integrate library services and instruction into online courses.

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