Category Archives: Citta

Cooperative Library Instruction Project

At the OWEAC meeting we discussed the Cooperative Library Instruction Project, an LSTA grant proposal for creating a shared collection of information literacy/library instruction tutorials. There seemed to be agreement that OWEAC supports the spirit of this project, but we wanted to know more about the specifics of the proposal before issuing an endorsement.
I contacted Allen McKiel, Dean of Library and Media Services at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. McKiel initiated the project and wrote the grant proposal. You can read his comments below.  
I feel compelled to clarify that I am not on the payroll trying to market this project. However, after reading the description, I  do believe it is a good starting point for building a shared resource. I recommended that OWEAC track the development of this project and form a liaison relationship with the project coordinator(s) so that the voices of Writing and English faculty are represented as this takes shape. I am happy to help set up this communication.  I also recommend that the project include teach-the-teacher tutorials as a resource for helping instructors incorporate IL into their subject curriculum.  

McKiel’s Description of The Cooperative Library Instruction Project:

Although the initial project will involve a subset of the libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance that will set up the standards for producing and sharing modules, the modules are meant to be open source for use by anyone. The precise mechanisms for participating in the production of modules by librarians or faculty will be an outcome of the processes set up through the grant. The Alliance provides the organizational and administrative infrastructure for cooperation. The processes set up for the ongoing development of standards and procedures will likely expand through the administrative structures of the Alliance. It would be important from my perspective to set up structures that provide for participation by non-Alliance members in the production of modules.

There are two focal areas for content development that reflect ACRL’s call for horizontal and vertical integration of information literacy instruction throughout the curriculum. Comprehensive horizontal integration requires that institutions of higher education find ways to ensure that all incoming students are able to effectively function within local institutional and the greater Internet information sphere. Below is an example list of some of the topics that basic modules could address. The list is an example of the types of modules intended. It is not comprehensive. The modules available would undergo constant expansion and revision as the information infrastructure and student and faculty experiences evolve and librarians continue to contribute modules. I have provided the list to show the relevance of this effort to OWEAC. The modules will be available for use as they are or for modification as modules for insertion into courses for students or as tutorials for faculty. It is intended that assessments be included—i.e. multiple choice questions and exercises that could be available through some mechanism of controlled access.


Knowledge of Institutional Information Infrastructure
Web Services, User ID and Password, and Email
WebCT, Moodle
Campus Resources
Library Physical Overview
Library Web Page Overview


Effective Use of Resources
E-books—Ebrary and Netlibrary
E-journals—Ebsco and Jstor
Government Documents
Accessing Physical Materials
Link Resolver
Serials Solutions
Federated Searching
Interlibrary Loan


Skills & Concepts
Evaluation of URLS
Research Strategies
Peer Review
Plagiarism and Citation
Search Terms

Vertical integration of information literacy is the second focal area of development that could benefit from cooperation. The information literacy needs of nursing, finance, education, or chemistry students are different. The information resources relevant to the various disciplines are in a state of rapid expansion in diversity and depth on the Internet. Much of the current expansion of the Internet is occurring through the integration of governmental, corporate, and organizational data structures. The interfaces to these data sets are often not intuitive. The interface to the Federal Government’s Census Datais an example. As librarians and faculty progressively identify relevant web sites and online resources that are relevant to the curriculum of the various disciplines, it will become increasingly important to share the instruction that librarians produce. 










IL discussion at Menucha (ACRL OR/WA Joint Fall Conference)

ACRL Oregon & Washington Joint Fall Conference 2008
The Once & Future Catalog
When: October 23-24, 2008
Menucha Conference Center, Corbett, Oregon.
Grab a beverage and join colleagues from Oregon and Washington to discuss Information Literacy. We have time set aside Thursday, October 23 @ 8:00pm, so this will be a pre-social-social. 
Oregon librarians are in the process of interpreting the revised AA/OT and JBAC recommendations.  Washington librarians from 2 and 4-year schools are continuing conversation about statewide IL articulation. We’re all interested in ways to embed IL in foundational courses. The Cooperative Information Literacy Project would start a pool of shared online IL tutorials for Summit libraries. Always lots to talk about- hope to see you there.

Ah, the Old Dog and Pony Show

I saw a dog and pony show two weeks ago. Like I tell my daughter, yes, for reals. Live! Little energetic dogs scantily clad in sequined bikinis and feathers, riding ponies, climbing ladders and diving into the arms of a not-so-energetic woman scantily clad in sequined bikini and feathers…in short; the whole shebang.  And you know what? At the end of the daredevils and acrobats, tightrope walkers and motorcycles zipping around a steel cage, the dog and pony show was right up at the top of my favorite acts (since you asked…a clown who “accidentally” put soap in his gas tank (I think he did this on purpose) and a juggler who kept dropping stuff…for reals, I’ve never seen a juggler drop so many things and still attempt the flaming bowling pins…and the elephants…but I digress). My point, if I have one, is that today an instructor gushed that I was going to pull out the whole library dog and pony show- and she was sincere, and happy! And actually, I was happy too. It was just what her class needed, and she wasn’t coming up with it on her own, so she was pleased. Why? More on this later. I have to go help my daughter…for reals.


Swarm and destroy

Came across this site today- love it! Moped Army . My family is experiencing a small swarming trend initiated by my young spunky sister and her manly-man, but it involves Vespas and Flys. The difference between a moped and a scooter? A moped looks like something I could afford to buy and possibly afford to leave by the side of the road “if” (i.e., when) it breaks down (collective green gasp). But I digress. I really would like to find a better way to commute than the Subaru, and I too want to swarm and destroy! But could I really survive downtown Salem and Lancaster on one of these little scooters or mopeds? I’ll spare you the details, but I’ve already been hit 7 times in Salem traffic, 6 of those times I was stopped in traffic or waiting at a red light…so there’s a case for driving within a large steel frame. And of course driving the kids…

Speaking of green living (were we?), I’ll try to attend ACRL’s Free OnPoint Chat: Green Libraries (depends on our instruction schedule, we have classes that day). The chat is Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 10 a.m. Pacific and intent is to discuss and share ideas about green libraries and campuses.

Info from the listserv announcement

Mary Carr, Dean Instructional Services, Spokane Community College Dr.
Debra Rowe, President of the US Partnership for a Sustainable Future

From a library/librarians’ perspective, how are our library resources when it comes to sustainability?  Are we supporting the college’s curricular efforts?  What about the “greening” of the library and the campus?  Can we practice sustainability?  Can we promote it by speakers, presentations, etc.?  What can we do within our library associations, and other professional groups?

This OnPoint Chat session will engage colleagues in discussing the following questions:

1) The whats, whys and wherefores of sustainability?

2) What is happening on our campuses and in our communities regarding sustainability?

3) How can we support what is happening and how can we contribute to “moving the needle?

Suggested background readings:

*  Inside Higher Ed blog “getting to green”

*  Do Colleges Need Green Czars?” Inside HigherEd. April 15, 2008.

*  Greening your library blog


I heard Y-Love interviewed on NPR and he talked about using rap to memorize religious texts. I found him compelling and I liked his music. How can we use music as a mnemonic devise at Chemeketa? Maybe an aerobics class for the nursing students using lyrics to help them memorize medical terminology while they exercise/relax. I wouldn’t want to use bad music. Hmm. Other subjects: chemistry, languages. Something to think about.  Y-Love article from 2006

Revisiting the Feng Shui of information organization and web design and that whole thing…

Last week the English program had a humorous email conversation about the new Grand Theft Auto release. It sparked some discussion about gaming and learning, a topic that librarians have been geeking out about for quite a while. How can we get students to engage with our online presence and electronic resources with the same motivation and enthusiasm they bring to gaming? The repeat and learn, repeat and learn, pattern of building game knowledge and skills without instruction/direction….why, oh why don’t they do that with library databases? the catalog?…etc. How can we make our library site a world that young and old want to enter and move through? This could happen, right?! And should they have avatars….fun questions about technology and access and site design and learning and service that go on and on.

I’m reminded of a library school paper (oh, boy), I think it was for an organization of information class. I wanted to connect Feng Shui principles to information architecture and web design…and learning environments and on and on (I’ll see if I can dig it up, this is the only MLS paper I ever saw where the instructor commented  “‘A’ for effort”).  I did find lots on interesting material on the various elements, but only one mention specifically of Feng Shui in information design (I think- I better find the paper). 

Why Feng Shui? As I recall this sprang not just from a personal interest in Feng Shui and a lingering desire to be some kind of guru, but from experiences with file management and reorganizing shared drives and folders at the WOU library and the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training curriculum unit. When organizations grow there’s a tipping point where the homegrown system that used to be fine just isn’t working for all of the new hires who don’t realize that the state mandated safety training curriculum is kept in a file called “Diana’s Stuff”.

Principles of clutter clearing and connections to calm (oh, that’s annoying) are so apparent when trying to navigate through a shared mess of electronic documents. Frantic, a lot of extra clicking, I think it was here, or was it here, multiple documents named multiple things, which is the current draft…I’m guessing we’ve all been here at some point. And how nice and peaceful is it to have these same documents (and your website, of course) arranged in a way that lets you move to and from what you need with ease and not a lot of energy drain. 

Librarians think about these same principles in keeping our reference desk clutter free with an inviting physical structure. The microfilm box, binders, multiple handouts, scanner, barcode reader, phones, stacks of papers…not inviting. I’m not a neat freak (if you want personal testimonies, let me know), but clutter drains energy from patrons when they approach a desk and creates a barrier.  Ahhh, my new reference desk , just like this description of the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum” displays a comprehensive collection of artwork by this sculptor in a tranquil setting created by the artist” (…in a tranquil catalog created by the librarian….). Actually, if our print collections go the way of muscle cars and Tang (i.e., available but eccentric), we’ll have room for this.