Please say hello to a new editor, Derrick Jefferson

We would like to say welcome to a new editor for the journal.  We are very excited to have Derrick Jefferson join the editorial team.  If you would like to learn more about him, this post at American University is a great write-up. It covers some of his background and his passion for serving others.

Derrick Jefferson

This image is from, and it is not CC-BY.

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Supporting the Professional Writing Program with Online Modules – Collaboration and Engagement, Theory and Reality


Lily Griner (griner at umd dot edu)
Yelena Luckert (yluckert at umd dot edu)
Judy Markowitz (judym at umd dot edu)
Nevenka Zdravkovska (nevenka at umd dot edu)

All four from the University of Maryland, College Park



The Professional Writing Program (PWP) at the University of Maryland, College Park, is designed “to teach the research, analysis, writing and language skills that students will need in their lives beyond the classroom.” The program currently reaches approximately 5,000 undergraduates in roughly 250 subject-centered classes (e.g. business, health sciences, economics, etc.) and focuses on helping students write and communicate effectively in the workplace. In response to the growing demand for library instruction to support the PWP, as well as the declining number of librarians available to provide instruction, a Canvas ELMS (Enterprise Learning Management System) modules course was developed to meet the library literacy needs of the program. The course consists of three independent modules that introduce students to Information Literacy Concepts, Research Pro Tips, and Core Sources in several PWP supported subject fields. This paper will explore how we developed and promoted the Modules concept (development process), how it has been received by the PWP (outcomes), and how the resources are being used by the faculty and students (impact). This article is based on a presentation given at the 2015 Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference (April 24th, 2015, University of Maryland, College Park).

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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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