Thursday, August 12, 2010

IFLA Report: questions after the information literacy session

This is the final post about the panel session organised by the Informtion Literacy Section and Reference Section at the 76th IFLA General Conference . If you are wondering why I have been quite so conscientious about blogging it all, I was asked to take notes, so obviously I am doing that via this blog! This last post covers the questions after the papers from Sheila Corrall, Vicki McDonald, Cathy Palmer, Huy Nghiem,Kaijsa Calkins and Cassandra Kvenild. Once again they are included in the podcast of this talk at this location, courtesy of Niels Damgaard.
Question: Librarians feel that there is a difference in reception from students when librarians rather than academics are teaching (i.e. they pay less attention when librarians teach). Any views?
Sheila made the point that projects for collaboration bteween academics and staff enable librarians to get credibility with students and staff – based on the notion of PATRNERSHIPS.
Caisja said it varies in the USA, also there are status issues in the USA: some librarians are faculty and therefore have greater status. Cathy said that it is important that you are not positioned as an “add on”, but rather that the IL and librarian are seen as an integral part of the class. Being involved in planning is important. She thought that attitudes of academics can transmit to students
Vicki agreed with these points and said that it about relationships with the faculty, and that it works better in some disciplines than others.

Question to Vicki: does having research group (i.e. Christine Bruce’s research group) have any impact on what happens in the library?
Vicki answered that this had helped profiling IL within Queensland University of Technology, and work that Christine Bruce and others have done provides a foundation, but also support from other faculty in the university had been important. Sheila added something about Sheffield University (i.e. my department): she mentioned work that I have discusssed on the blog from time to time, e.g. collaboration through the Information Literacy Network and joint work on seminars for academic staff.

Question: Has embedding IL got faculty to change their pedagogy at all?
Cass and Caijsa replied that it has impacted some: they gave the example that someone in nursing was excited by the initiative and is now rewriting the curriculum taking this into account. On the other hand there are some departments where frankly there has been no impact at all: again a disciplinary thing. Generally though “it’s spreading”.

Question: The questioner was interested in sustainable, scalable solutions. Is it better to be a node rather than being at the centre, given realities of scarce time and resources?

Sheila mentioned working in partnership with academics, so that the librarian is more of an expert consultant. She noted technical/procedural barriers to becoming node (e.g. not being given access to the virtual learning environment for a class). Vicki said there had been worries about 1-on-1 consultancy, but is all part of delivery model which has a number of complementary strands. Offering across a number of channels in a number of ways helps achieve sustainability. Huy mentioned librarian having right to add elements that were important to course curricula.

Question: to Vicki: do students realise who is providing things?
Vicki said there are services or resources that people don’t know about – this is one reason for their plan for a one stop learner support portal.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Colourful candles, August 2010.

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