Student Learning Objective 3
The student applies and values user education principles in the teaching of information literacy, in the valuing and providing of library and information services.
Finding, evaluating, and utilizing information is a complex task requiring both general and specific skills that vary with the specific need. Librarians must meet users at their level and provide education and services with particular users in mind as well as provide general resources for learning about available services and finding information. Classroom situations work when enough users have common needs and often works well in an academic setting. Individual help is often required, such as an individual with a specific reference question or other needs. The rapid and constant changes in technology require a flexible approach to education with principles that allow for adjustment to the changing environment.
Creating tools to teach research skills was part of the LIS 620 class. One of the tools created for that class was a libguide that was lost in the system upgrade—an important lesson to teach students regarding the fragile nature of tools outside personal control. Other tools made during that class endure such as the library web site I created for the library I operate for Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill. Specifically, the digital resources page with its introduction to the History Reference Center from EBSCO was created for an assignment and the rest of the site developed as a result learning during the class. Currently the site is too text heavy and needs more tutorials, but it far exceeds the nothing it replaced.
Another part of my experience in the program was teaching a section of LIS 200 in the Spring 2018 semester. This course focused on teaching information literacy and research skills to a twenty UNCG undergraduates who had a wide range of backgrounds. One of the most important topics of the class was the location and evaluation of information resources. Understanding even resources that are fully truthful in their facts can convey lies was the point of the lesson of spurious correlations. Utilizing graphs to make that point was far more effective than words could ever be. The use of a framework for evaluating information such as ABCD or CRAAP was part of the class. The acronyms serve as memory aides with the key point of the lessons being the importance of thinking critically about information regardless of the source.
These two components of my work at UNCG highlighted the teaching of information literacy, but it was an underlying topic in all classes. Each class addressed information literacy from the student perspective if not directly from the teaching perspective. The work as a student in LIS 620 and an instructor in LIS 200 represent the most overt examples of information literacy and valuing library resources.