“Scholarship is a Conversation”: Discourse, Attribution, and Twitter’s Role in Information Literacy Instruction

by Alexander J. Carroll

Agriculture and Natural Resources Librarian

University of Maryland College Park

ajcarrol@umd.edu

Robin Dasler

Engineering / Research Data Librarian

University of Maryland College Park

rdasler@umd.edu

[Peer-Reviewed Article]

Introduction: Information Literacy & Scholarly Communication Instruction

When addressing scholarly attribution, citation, and plagiarism in one-shot instruction sessions, librarians often fail to present these issues in a manner that has relevance for students. Librarians often focus on intellectual honesty and the potential ramifications of plagiarism, both individual pursuits, rather than explaining that by creating an academic work, students are participating in academic discourse. Within Pluralizing Plagiarism, Anson argues that scholarly attribution instruction that emphasizes “policy, detection, and punishment” is antithetical to the mission of institutions of higher learning – the education of students (Anson, 2008). One of the major deficiencies of this compliance-based instruction is that it presents students with a false dichotomy that does not align with their authentic life experiences; plagiarism is demonstrated as a black and white issue, rather than existing in shades of gray. Students who have come of age within a twenty-first century information ecosystem rife with remix and parody culture will likely find teaching that presents the re-use of source material as a non-nuanced issue unconvincing. Because students respond positively to instruction that aligns with their authentic experiences, this suggests that librarians need to develop new methods for teaching attribution and scholarly discourse that not only recognize the nuance inherent to these topics, but also presents these concepts within a familiar framework (Klipfel, 2014). As a familiar platform for social interaction with multiple avenues for giving credit and a shorter timescale, Twitter presents an opportunity to place attribution, plagiarism, and integrity into a humanizing, real world context that models how discourse unfolds in an authentic manner for learners. By embedding attribution instruction into a meaningful context, librarians and other educators can make substantial and much needed improvements to traditional compliance-based instruction, which is often built upon the slow, rigid, and unfamiliar patterns of how to cite scholarly works.

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Can only Librarians do Library Instruction? Collaborating with Graduate Students to Teach Discipline-Specific Information Literacy

By Alexander Watkins

Art & Architecture Librarian, University Libraries, University of Colorado Boulder

Katherine Morrison

Arts Education and Regional Services Director, Tippecanoe Arts Federation

Former Lead Graduate Teaching Assistant, Art & Art History Department, University of Colorado Boulder

[Peer Reviewed Article]

Introduction

At many libraries the ratio of students to librarians is in the neighborhood of thousands to one; teaching these students information literacy requires a creative approach to library instruction. To expand the reach of information literacy in challenging situations, we should rethink the idea that only librarians can teach information literacy. There is a role for librarians as collaborators and teachers of information literacy pedagogy which can multiply their reach. Many instruction programs already apply similar methodologies for large first-year experience programs, but this strategy can be expanded to amplify introductory subject-specific library instruction as well.

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Creativity at the Edge: Cutting Back on Library Services during Hard Times

By Amanda Moeller and Julie Gilbert

Gustavus Adolphus College, Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library

[Case Study, Article]

Introduction

In a service profession like librarianship, it can be difficult to conceive of ever saying no. We are in the business of helping people, after all. The very notion of saying no to our users may cause a spike of fear: if we say no, will people stop seeking our services? Will they stop seeing us as useful and helpful? Of course, circumstances sometimes arise that make it necessary for us to say no to taking on additional tasks and initiatives. Conditions might unfold in our personal lives that require us to step back for a time, or we may already be working at capacity and unable to take on anything new. We might say no after concluding that we simply do not have the time or energy to add more to our plates. Or we might realize that a new task does not fit within our priorities and we let it go. In these situations, we hope our colleagues are positioned to assist with the work or that the tasks are not essential and can be tabled for now.[i]

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“Je Suis Charlie” and Our Commitment to Intellectual Freedom

The JCPL editorial board strongly condemns the attacks on the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and the murders of twelve individuals. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families touched by the tragedy. We also see in this public moment of outrage and public support for free speech an opportunity to confront the challenge inherent in supporting intellectual freedom and the underscore the responsibility of librarians to engage that challenge.

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Academic Librarians as Knowledge Creators

Author: Donna Witek, Associate Professor
Public Services Librarian
The University of Scranton
donna [dot] witek [at] scranton [dot] edu
@donnarosemary

Abstract

Despite support from national organizations like the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), pursuing research and scholarship remains a challenge for academic librarians, even when the literature connects these activities to greater effectiveness in the practice of academic librarianship. This essay examines the history and present state of the questions of faculty status and tenure for librarians, and relates these questions to that of performing scholarly research and creating and disseminating new knowledge as an academic librarian. It then offers as a case study my experience identifying and pursuing a research agenda in collaboration with a faculty colleague in another department at my institution, with the goal of both sharing what has worked for one academic librarian (n=1) while also critiquing the system within which that success has occurred. The essay concludes with a list of creative strategies academic librarians can put into practice to become successful knowledge creators in the field of library and information science.

Keywords: academic librarians, faculty status, tenure, scholarly publishing, library research, library and information science, collaboration, information literacy, social media

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