Final Thoughts

As M401 draws to a close, so too does the internship! I know I’ll do a final wrap-up by mid-August in presentation form, but I thought I’d add a blogpost as well.

My final project for Misti is setting up a mock instruction session from start to finish. First, I meet with a “professor” to find out more information about the undergraduate music history class I would be visiting to see what kind of instruction I could provide and what kind of students they have.

Next, I design the class! I create learning outcomes which are partially inspired by a frame or two from the ACRL Framework, and these outcomes inform my lesson plan. I get two 50-minute sessions. These sessions will involve a lecture and one activity.

The second meeting with the professor is my pitch. I have a physical handout to give to them, detailing my outcomes on one side and a general outline of the lesson plan and activity on the other.

Voila! Hopefully I woo the professor, and get to do the fun stuff: instruction!

This internship has been a wonderful introduction to instruction – an introduction that many budding librarians aren’t lucky enough to receive. It’s definitely confirmation that this is the aspect of librarianship that I’m most passionate about, alongside general outreach and reference. I’m glad I was able to confirm this hunch with such a respected adviser at such a respected school.

Libguide Madness! pt. 3

Today’s skill: Adobe inDesign

So our wonderful circulation supervisor in the music library, Erin, created a PDF map of the music library by floor which has been so helpful. I wanted to add a more visual element to this as well. At first, I figured I wanted to add a video tour or something. After some trials and many errors….naaaah. Just wasn’t going to work.

But then I remembered something Misti mentioned – an interactive map! So people would hover over part of the map and a picture and brief description would show up. And I thought yes. Let’s do it. A google search and Creative Cloud download later (Thanks IU!), I settled in and worked.

Hours later. Hours. Like…7+ hours. I had the first version done! It’s so cool! It’s gone through a few revisions since then, but I think it’s finally all set. I’m really proud of it, and now I can say I know how to use inDesign!

Libguide Madness! pt. 2

Today’s new skill: just…libguides? Google slides? Photoshop? iPhones? Sheep? iMovie?

Right now it’s just a lot of little things to tie together. I took A LOT of pictures. There was plenty of helpful text but not a lot of visuals. And I wanted the visuals to be fun, so I took the music library’s mascot, Sheepastian, along for the ride. I just used my iPhone, but then I still needed to crop and gussy up the photos in Adobe’s photoshop. Then I created google slideshows to embed in the libguide. But I didn’t just embed the slideshows. I used talltweets which is a website that turns google slideshows into gifs. Super handy! And then there was also the learning curve of just learning the ins and outs of the libguide creator. I’m not nearly done, and I’ve sunk a lot of time into this. Well, not sunk. I think I’m creating something pretty darn useful! Hopefully!

Libguide Madness! pt. 1

Unfortunately, fewer professors than we anticipated feel like they have enough time to spare for information literacy sessions, and the voice professor I was supposed to work alongside has backed out. Gotta go with the flow! So my new big project is to revamp the welcome guide on the music library website.

My first new skill: HTML anchors.

There’s a pretty substantial FAQ that has some great info already provided! Unfortunately, it needs to be rearranged and relabelled, as well as add a few more questions. Which means I get to figure out how to reapply anchors and add a few new questions with anchors. I tend to learn by submersion so here we go!

ACRL Framework: Scholarship as Conversation

Misti and I have been going through each of the frames of the ACRL Framework. This is the 6th and final frame.

Scholarship as Conversation:

Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.

As you may have started to see, a lot of these frames play in to one another. This frame can relate back to Information has Value. Once learners and undergraduates realize their input has value, they may be more willing to enter into this scholarly conversation. To relate also to Authority is Constructed and Contextual, these scholarly communities have different authorities and thus different conversations and perspectives, so there is a never-ending spread of knowledge as marginalized communities (albeit often slowly) are heard. The main thing I’d like to emphasize with this frame with young scholars is that if you’ve done due diligence with checking facts, your perspective and interpretation matters. Your age does not.

ACRL Framework: Research As Inquiry/Searching as Strategic Exploration

Misti and I went through the ACRL Framework as we developed outcomes for our information literacy sessions. I will now outline each frame. These two frames have quite a bit of overlap, so I’ll explore them together.

Research as Inquiry:

Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.

Searching as Strategic Exploration:

Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

Research can be seen as a fun journey! Sometimes a scholar starts a paper or essay with one thesis in mind, and questions posed by other scholars leads them in a wholly different direction. Other times, researchers must manipulate the scope of an inquiry. Occasionally we start too broadly with a search. “Form in Beethoven piano sonatas” would yield hundreds of results. Sometimes we are too narrow – “analysis of the third movement of Mozart’s clarinet concerto” would maybe get you two. Young scholars often get trapped in their dead-ends and may not know that reference librarians are available to guide their search.

ACRL Framework: Information Has Value

Misti and I went through the ACRL Framework as we developed outcomes for our information literacy sessions. I will now outline each frame.

Information Has Value:

Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.

Knowledge and original ideas deserve to be credited and must be cited. There is value in information – even if people disagree on the commodification of knowledge. Speaking of the commodification of knowledge, learners should begin to wonder how current paywalls may limit certain socioeconomic classes’ education and access to resources. Indiana University has access to a lot of expensive databases; are other state schools so lucky? Beyond this, learners and new scholars should know that their thoughts have value, too!

ACRL Framework: Information Creation as a Process

Misti and I went through the ACRL Framework as we developed outcomes for our information literacy sessions. I will now outline each frame.

Information Creation as a Process:

Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.

Learners should realize that different information needs may align with different formats. New scholars should learn, understand, and even question current dissemination processes of certain information formats. Identifying different processes behind information creation can help reveal differences in the types of information formats available.

ACRL Framework: Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

Misti and I went through the ACRL Framework as we developed outcomes for our information literacy sessions. I will now outline each frame.

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual:

Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

Basically, authority is given by sociological power structures and information need. Who has the street cred here? For an undergraduate research paper on Beethoven, it’s probably the old white dude from Harvard with several books published from a university press. For an insiders’ look into inequalities faced by first generation undergraduate students? It’ll be a different authority. There’s a difference between subject knowledge, position or power, or personal experience.