Overview of Communications in Information Literacy Volume 11 Issue 2

This issue has 6 articles that focus on instruction in some capacity. The first article in the issue is called “The Reconquista Student”. It focuses on a librarian’s experience in the classroom when confronted with a student who openly espouses white nationalist, misogynist, or other bigoted view points. It explores ways to respond to these outbursts. In
“Transformative? Integrative? Troublesome?,”  the researchers survey students about the six thresholds of information literacy. They determine that teachers of information literacy should directly involve students in their teaching and research practices. Students offer valuable insights that the researchers may not know about if they do not consult with them. In
“Library Experience and Information Literacy Learning of First Year International Students: An Australian Case Study,” the researchers seek to understand how international students interact with the library and how they feel about the approaches to information literacy the the librarians use. The researchers do a case study in which they have surveyed and interviewed international students to see what works and what changes need to be made to improve their library experiences. In
“SoTL in the LIS Classroom,” the researchers argue that it is important to introduce librarians in training to the concepts of SoTL like the “four critical stages of SoTL training: Exposure, Encounter, Engagement, and Extension.” By doing so, they argue that it will make the LIS students more well rounded and prepared academic librarians.

Overall, much of the work in this article is based on case studies, surveys, and in-person interviews. The overall loose theme of all of these articles is that student outcomes can be improved when teachers engage with them and ask them what works for them and what doesn’t. All four articles are based on working with people and coming up with solutions so that everyone’s information literacy skills and library experience is improved.

Reflecting on Teaching

Before starting teaching by myself, I had a lot of expectations going in. I was nervous and worried that I might make a mess of the entire thing. And while the experience was not perfect, I think it went better than I anticipated. The students seemed pretty engaged with most of them filling out the entire worksheet I gave them. However, they blew through everything I asked them to do so quickly, that I ended up having to let them out about fifteen minutes early. I am proud of myself in the fact that I created an entirely new activity for them during the class to help take up a bit more time but also to help cement into their minds what I had been teaching them about how to conduct research. I put them into groups and had them write down their own personal research strategies including everything they did. They wrote down their topics, how they went about searching, what limiters they used, if they used basic or advanced search, what resources they found, and more. I then had each group go around and talk about what they did. I did this as a way for them to realize that there are many ways you can go about conducting research and you don’t have to follow one set formula. Overall, I think the class was a successful learning experience for both myself and the students in the class. I have another session that I am doing with them, so I am interested to see them apply what they learned before in this next session.

Overview of Instruction in Journal of Academic Librarianship Volume 45 Issue 2

Of the eight articles in this issue, four of them are either focused on library instruction or tangentially related to it. In “The Pedagogical Promise of Primary Sources,” the authors examine primary source usage in the classroom and include an overview of the topic from past to present. They use key word searches to explore several databases. The authors conclude that primary source usage in the library classroom has increased over time and yielded pedagogical benefits. In “Talent, Schmalent,” the authors interrogate the idea that people are just “naturally” good at teaching. They push back against the idea that being able to teach is an “innate” gift and explore literature on the subject. In “Building Intercultural Teachers,” the authors discuss how information literacy and library instructions should keep in mind that international students may need different learning approaches. They offer some solutions for engaging international students in the classroom. Lastly, the journal includes a “perspective piece” on Wikipedia in the classroom. It argues that students are already using Wikipedia, so librarians should come into the classroom with this in mind and embrace Wikipedia. The authors find it odd that more librarians aren’t writing about Wikipedia, and they argue that it can be a useful pedagogical tool.

All four articles do an overview of the literature on their subject to date to prove that it either hasn’t been discussed enough, or to show how much their topic has changed. The articles discuss pedagogical approaches and conceptions that we may have about teachers or students. Most are writing the articles either because there is an existing gap in the literature or because they want to trace changes in the literature over time.