Organic Outreach: Subtle Strategies for Liaison Librarians

By Elliot Brandow
Senior Digital Scholarship Librarian/Bibliographer for History
Boston College


As my manager prepared me to meet with the Music Department faculty in my role as their new liaison, we reviewed the department’s potential needs. We discussed the outreach efforts of my predecessor and our hopes for connecting the department to the library priorities of instruction and new media collection development policies. I felt ready as I joined the faculty meeting that afternoon. Talking points in hand, I sat down. Then they told me, “So, what we really need is ear training software. Can we get some?” Um, sure. Let me just check on that for you…

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The Game of Research: [Board] Gamification of Library Instruction


Nicole Tekulve (
Chapel Cowden (
Jaime Myers (

All three from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

[Peer-Reviewed Article]

Faced with the annual revision of curriculum and activities for first-year Rhetoric and Composition courses, a group of instruction librarians at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) created a versatile board game, based on The Game of Life, to address the pitfalls and rewards of the research process. Librarians quickly learned, however, that creating an engaging, meaningful, and fast-paced game for library instruction is no small feat. Developing The Game of Research was a reminder that, just as librarians encourage students to be adaptive and creative in their research, we must also be adaptive and creative in our curriculum design in order to meet information literacy and course learning objectives. To that end, The Game of Research not only underwent many revisions but it also prompted the creation of a second game, The Research Road, based upon common learning objectives.

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Fostering Website Usability Partnerships in the Academic Library Setting

Author: Bethany Messersmith
MLS/MA Journalism
Information Literacy Librarian/College Liaison
Southwest Baptist University Libraries
bmessersmith @ sbuniv dot edu

[Peer-Reviewed Article]

Website usability studies are by no means brand new. In many respects they are a close relative to the focus group session because they utilize prompts to assess opinions, as well as the usability of a product. According to Dr. Jakob Nielsen, a leading web usability consultant, “Usability allows us to make everyday life more satisfying by empowering people to control their destiny and their technology rather than be subjugated by computers” (qtd. in Chow, Bridges, and Commander 254). While website usability testing is a practice that was adopted a little over a decade ago by the library sector, librarians have always invested time in assessing user wants and needs (Battleson, Booth, and Weintrop 190). Today public and academic librarians are devoting more attention to seeking user feedback on the ease of website tasks, as “the library as ‘place,’ traditionally defined in a physical building, has expanded into a virtual environment” (Bakoyema and Groves). In light of this, developing partnerships with web design experts is critical in the academic library setting.

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Play a Game, Make a Game: Getting Creative with Professional Development for Library Instruction

Maura A. Smale, Associate Professor
Chief Librarian, Ursula C. Schwerin Library
New York City College of Technology, CUNY
msmale [at] citytech [dot] cuny [dot] edu

[Peer-Reviewed Article]


Using games in the library classroom is an active learning strategy that can increase student engagement. However, not all librarians are equally familiar and comfortable with bringing game-based learning to the library. Game On for Information Literacy is a brainstorming card game to help librarians create games for information literacy and library instruction. Inspired by other successful brainstorming card games, this game was developed, playtested, and iterated over several years in workshops, graduate-level MLIS courses, and professional development programs. Game materials are all available to download, use, remix, and share.

Keywords: game-based learning, games in education, information literacy, library instruction, brainstorming, professional development

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“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

Robin Dasler

Engineering / Research Data Librarian

University of Maryland College Park

[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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