Notes on Atlanta 2007, Session 2, Communicating and Collaborating: Working with Faculty for Information Fluency

Moderator: Jennifer Parker, Asst. Professor/Art and Architecture Librarian, University of Colorado at Boulder


  • Jennifer Parker: Working with Faculty to Create Credit Courses and other Instruction for Art and Art History Students

  • Jeanne Brown, Head, Architecture Studies Library, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas: Comm. & Collab.: Faculty and Core Information Competencies

  • Claudia Covert, Readers’ Services Librarian, Rhode Island School of Design, Work in Progress: Foundation Building with Art and Design Students

  • Lucie Stylianopoulos, Art and Architecture Librarian, Univ. of Virginia: Developing Organic Instruction for Incoming Architecture Students

Jennifer Parker:

They have a required course for incoming art history students, a credit course.

The Colo. Univ. Lib. has a long time collab. with the CU Program for Writing and Rhetoric. The lib. does a tutorial and instruction session with the students in those classes, but it is not subject- or discipline-specific. The result is that 75% of freshmen come into the libraries in the 1st year, but the library rarely sees them after that. She’s a believer in subject/assignment specific library instruction.

She tried several things to get this instruction going and it’s taken four years to get it adopted. She had to be persistent and try different things for different groups. She knocked on doors. She set up web pages for each course [using Dreamweaver]. She created an exhibit space for artists’ work to be displayed, but that didn’t work to bring in students. She says it was harder to reach the studio classes’ students. They have a ‘Foundations’ class for studio art, so she started with that.

For Foundations, they have to write a 3-4 pg. paper on a contemporary artist that the student has learned about in class. The paper must include a bibliography and the assignment requires that the student visit the library. The bib. must include one book, one database, one website about the artist. Plagiarism is also discussed.

She includes steps for searching the catalog and searching databases such as ArtBibliographies Modern and Lexis/Nexis Academic for articles.

For art history graduate students, she proposed library instruction at an art history faculty meeting. They now have a one-credit library course taught in conjunction with the art theory course. The library course is required for all incoming graduate students. It’s also recommended for advanced undergrads. The library course is now listed in the course offerings for this Fall 2007.

They reached 700 students through the Foundations classes. The library’s art/architecture section has high visibility now.

Jeanne Brown, 2nd speaker:

Persistence and repetition has been the key for her. She’s had problems with faculty turnover, even though people are receptive and positive when approached about library instruction.

She uses plagiarism as a topic to convince instructors that lib. instr. is worthwhile.

She offers to grade the lib. assignment for the instructor and return it to them.

There’s an assessment 2-3 mos. after the class to see if the students remember anything or if they thought it was helpful. She also collab. with a faculty member to create an image copyright tutorial on the architecture website. She’s done something with using wikipedia to teach. She was a member on a mini-grant, which she said was useful for forcing them to get something done.

She recommended that people capitalize on opportunities to talk with faculty because this can lead to collaboration.

Evaluation: for each competency, she asked

how important do you think it is, on a scale of 1-5?

how competent do you feel, how confident, on a scale of 1-5?

Claudia Covert, 3rd speaker:

Restructuring of art history 101-102. A mandatory library session, incorporates ACRL information literacy standards. It’s 15 sessions of 90 minutes each. The faculty asked to meet with the librarians: they brought over a really bad bibliography with inappropriate citations that a student had done and asked for help in improving things. So the librarian changed it around a little and removed identifying information and now they use that in the class as an example of what not to do. They break into groups in class and discuss why each source is unacceptable and say what they’d use instead.

They also use a picture of an artwork and have them use library resources to get information on it.

In the class, they give a handout of the slides they’ve discussed. All documents are kept on a shared drive that faculty and librarians can see. Components include a walking tour, a presentation with a handout, an exercise/scavenger hunt, and an evaluation with a candy treat. She said it’s funny but people really like the candy part.

Evaluation: They found that evaluation for students are best done on paper right after the session. For faculty, they do surveys/assessments by email, later in the semester, because faculty members prefer it this way.

She’s happy to send sample power points. Her email is ccovert at (using the @ symbol).

Lucie Wall Stylianopolous, 4th speaker:

The embedded librarian. She said universities are very interested in outcomes. You have to evaluate/survey students and faculty at the end of instruction and post the results for all to see.

A required graduate course for incoming students. All lib. instruction is mandatory at their school. Key for her in designing instruction were scalability and location.

She says architecture students are studio people, like artists. They went to the classroom where the architecture students met, instead of having lib. instr. in the library. They looked at the syllabus to see where library instruction could fit in.

They have a required Refworks class and a class in using Artstor. They also teach about searching and using images on the web, copyright, and plagiarism. She said their BI involves a progression of using Google, then the online catalog, then the databases, then … Google was her main research tool, especially the international pages and learning how it is structured. She said it can be more useful than Google scholar.

Their mantra was ‘keep it to the curriculum; keep it to the syllabus.’

Students have to be able to do credible research on images and on topics for research. They have the hardest time making their research relevant to their topic.

Now student requests for acquisitions have increased greatly, so their collection is picking up.

They plan to continue teaching in the classrooms where the classes already are and they’re going to require that students bring their laptops to class.

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