Enhancing the Self-Service Library with Visual Workplace Principles

By Christopher Raab
Associate Librarian, Franklin & Marshall College

Take a look around your local library, or any modern library for that matter.  You will likely see people interacting with a variety of Self-Service Technologies (SSTs) or Do-It-Yourself (DIY) service points. From self-discovery (catalog and database searching) to self-selection (open stacks and computers) to self-service (printer/scanners and checkout machines), the modern library is, in many ways, a veritable gas-and-go service station for the brain.  While modern sociologists have at times noted the negative attributes of self-service – such as diminished human interaction and increased consumer labor – this article seeks to explore and enhance the self-service experience within libraries, empowering patrons (and staff) through the application of visual workplace solutions.

Continue reading Enhancing the Self-Service Library with Visual Workplace Principles

Making Stone Soup: Integrating Academic Libraries into International Outreach Programs and Initiatives

By M. Nathalie Hristov, Associate Professor & Music Librarian
and Allison L. Sharp, Associate Professor & International Education Liaison Librarian
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Introduction

The international student population in the United States has risen by over 72% over the last twenty years; however, a review of the literature seems to suggest that the LIS field would continue to benefit from greater research in this particular area of librarianship (Click, Wiley, and Houlihan, 2017, p. 328). Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of articles published in the library literature focus on services and activities that promote the international education of domestic students rather than the library needs of international students. Future efforts call for academic librarians to define their role in the information seeking activities of their international constituents (Click et al, 2017, p. 344). It is the contention of this article that a solid platform for the engagement of international students by librarians must first be established.

Continue reading Making Stone Soup: Integrating Academic Libraries into International Outreach Programs and Initiatives

Square Peg, Round Hole: Big Picture Planning and the Opportunities and Limits of Design Thinking

By Ashley Roach-Freiman
Research and Instruction Librarian
University of Memphis

Introduction

Strategic planning is an important issue in academic libraries, and a practice that doesn’t often come easily. Recent literature shows that academic libraries suffer the consequences of poor planning by struggling with low morale, personnel turnover, and burnout (Kendrick, 2017). In an effort to combat and prevent such situations, one Instructional Services department at a large Southern urban graduate-degree granting university library sought ways to plan for the future. As a department, we were in a unique position, having recently acquired several new faculty members, replacing others who had retired or otherwise left. The incoming librarians included a hire new to the university, a Department Head who had served recently as Interim Dean of Libraries, the former Dean of Libraries returning to the faculty,  and myself, a librarian formerly in a visiting position with this department who had left the university for a period of months before being rehired in a tenure-track position.  We needed an opportunity to both get to know one another as colleagues and determine the department’s vision at a crucial stage of growth. To help the department heal from the effects of high turnover, we planned for a two-day departmental retreat to take place during the university’s Fall Break. Inspired by recent trends in library planning, we decided to incorporate design thinking methods into the retreat’s structure. After discovering the open-access IDEO toolkit Design Thinking for Libraries, we created an agenda that led us through brainstorming, ideation, and goal-creation.

Continue reading Square Peg, Round Hole: Big Picture Planning and the Opportunities and Limits of Design Thinking

Language Learners in the Library: Developing a Partnership with Pre-College ESL at a Community College

By Haruko Yamauchi
Teaching Coordinator
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College

Introduction

The United States is a vibrant and diverse country, made up of people with roots in many nations. While immigrant communities are now caught within political disputes that lie beyond the scope of this article to address, a few statistics about the current population of our country, our cities, and our colleges will indicate why teaching information literacy to English Language Learners in post-secondary education is and will continue to be of pressing concern, whatever may be the outcome of current battles over immigration policy.

Continue reading Language Learners in the Library: Developing a Partnership with Pre-College ESL at a Community College

Teach Where They Live: New Opportunities for Library Instruction and Outreach in Residence Halls

By Michelle Bishop
Acting Coordinator of Reference
Penfield Library, State University of New York, Oswego

It was 7:30 p.m. and the student actors were beginning to arrive to review their roles for the “Experience World Libraries” workshop that would start in 30 minutes. As a live-in Faculty Resident Mentor in Hart Hall at SUNY Oswego, I had designed the workshop as an experiential learning activity meant to illustrate the critical role libraries around the world play in facilitating access to information. It was rewarding to see that after going through the three scenarios, students were actively discussing the impact that limited access to information has on societies. Two years later, I can still say this has been one of the most exciting teaching experiences I have had as an instructional librarian. It is important to point out that this experience occurred in a residence hall and not a traditional classroom. This workshop and other residential outreach experiences I have designed are as a result of the educational mission of Residence Life and Housing on the SUNY Oswego campus. Like Oswego, an educational focus is a key element of residential life missions on other campuses. As such, there is exciting potential for wide-ranging instructional outreach opportunities for librarians in campus residential settings.

Continue reading Teach Where They Live: New Opportunities for Library Instruction and Outreach in Residence Halls