Brown Bag Session #5, Wed. February 8, 2017 Take Away Notes

Wed, Feb 1: The Role of Library Instruction  (MIT Recommendation 3): Furthering the library’s mission to equip Mines’ community members with essential skills for effectively using, creating, and disseminating information and knowledge.

9 attendees, including 2 faculty members; 1 CCIT staff member; 1 student; 1 campus architect; 1 member of the Colorado Geological Survey , 2 Trefny Center staff              

Major Takeaways

  • Undergraduate courses don’t involve much library research. Most that do are humanities. More library instruction needed in STEM vs. humanities courses.
  • But HASS courses may be easiest place to further integrate IL since these classes tend to require more research than STEM, and because they are integrated throughout the undergraduate curriculum.
  • Need for scaffolding library instruction to prepare students not only for senior design projects, but also for graduate and doctoral students.
  • Strong need to reach graduate students
  • Information literacy (IL) instruction needs to fit “naturally”. It has to have context and a purpose for students to value it.
  • Library component in CSM101 is optional. Making it a required course component is desirable but difficult.
  • Not enough students know about ILL and options to obtain information sources from other libraries.
  • Idea: Reach senior design students at beginning of semester when they’re researching and brainstorming for projects. Perhaps flipped classroom group sessions, as the library does with EPICS.
  • Let students pick their own topics so they’re interested in them.
  • Disintermediation is an issue – students use library resources via Google Scholar but don’t realize it.
  • Reducing barriers to entry (ease of use) is important to increase use of library resources.
  • Online modules have to be contextual, at point of need. But also useful to physically bring first-year students to the library, so they see it’s a good place to work, see how to connect with reference librarian assistance.
  • Online materials must be interesting and short as well as useful; otherwise won’t be used.
  • For faculty, they won’t need help until they need it, and then you need to reach them right at that point. Difficult challenge.
  • Mines students may be more self-sufficient as high achievers. May not have used a library, or may be reluctant to do so. Seen as a weakness. How to break through that barrier?
  • Need to make research easier, provide help at point of need.
  • CASA, Writing Center, and library are three places where people do ask for help – these units need to partner to connect with students when and where they’re already asking for help.
  • Students may not know they can get help at the library, as they can with CASA, Writing Center, and other places on campus. How to raise awareness? Integrating Libguides throughout Canvas is one way.
  • Ideas for connecting with faculty via Trefny Center.
  • Concern about IL being deemphasized in revisions of ABED accreditation criteria.
  • Library doesn’t currently reach graduate students much. This is partly a limitation of staffing. Offering open workshops on graduate-level topics may be one approach that is efficient with staffing. We’re just starting on this.
  • Graduate students come in with varying IL skills. And some graduate research programs may not involve much academic research. Greater focus on applied research.
  • Librarians need to participate in curriculum committees.

FULL SESSION NOTESwin_20170208_13_04_38_pro



I'm Lisa Dunn, the Research & User Interface Librarian. I've been working on library space planning teams here for over a decade.

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