Library Director at The Harker School in San Jose, California, USA
We know how lucky we are at The Harker School, an independent, PK-12, college preparatory school in San Jose. We enjoy an oasis of library programming and teaching featuring five full time librarians, two part time librarians and me, the library director. My team spends hundreds of hours teaching at all levels, in all disciplines, to infuse information literacy into lessons and units collaboratively designed by subject area experts and librarians.
We have a sense that our work puts our students ahead of the curve, especially in California where the ratio of school librarians to students has been dismal for many years. We see our students’ success in classrooms. We hear about it from alumni. But we also perceive weaknesses. When a test came along to quantify our students’ skills, like any good library team, we did our research. Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL), offered by Carrick Enterprises, seemed promising. Inspired by ACRL’s Threshold Concepts, which inform much of our information literacy instruction at Harker, TATIL might provide a faithful assessment of how our students are doing.
Dr. Stephanie Sterling Brasley is the Dean of the Library at California State University Dominguez Hills. She joined the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2017. Here she talks about the critical role of information literacy in student success and life long learning, her support of OER, her experience at IDEAL '19, and more!
Question: Please tell us about a project or research or initiative you are currently working on.
I have been interested in open educational resources (OER) and open access issues for several years. Thus, I am trying to carve out time to turn my dissertation research on faculty adoption of open educational resources in higher education into an article. On the job front, at CSU Dominguez Hills, high impact practices (HIPs) are a focal point for the campus community and undergraduate research is one in which our library can make a positive contribution. I am excited about working this year with our Student Success Librarian, Cristina Springfield, to develop and implement an Undergraduate Library Research Fellows program to excite our students about the positive aspects of knowing how to and successfully engage in quality research. As a perennial information literacy enthusiast, I see implementing this program, which aligns with our information literacy goals, as being a win-win for HIPs and information literacy.
By Robin Ewing, Professor, Department Chair & Assessment Librarian, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA
This post is based on a poster session presented at the 2018 Library Assessment Conference.
Faculty librarians at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) developed a 3-credit course combining critical thinking and information literacy. LIB 280: Critical Thinking in Academic Research satisfies the critical thinking requirement of SCSU’s Liberal Education Program (LEP). In this course, students examine and evaluate critical reasoning in scholarly research, the construction of arguments, and the management of their own academic research. We offer the course in a variety of formats. We’ve had sections paired with English composition courses, sections in a learning community, sections in the Honors Program, and we regularly have an online section.
Silvia Vong joined the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2015. She was a key contributor to the creation of TATIL. She wrote test items, conducted cognitive interviews with students, and advised on other aspects of the project. In this interview she describes her work at the John M. Kelly Library in the University of St. Michael’s College, how her teaching approach has evolved, her project to introduce scholarly communication to undergraduates, and more!
Question: Please tell us about your job.
I am currently Head of Public Services at John M. Kelly Library in the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. This was a recent change as a couple years ago, I was the Collaborative Learning Librarian. In my previous role, I was the liaison for the Book and Media Studies program and taught an undergraduate course that introduced students to library and archival concepts and topics as well as research skills. Eventually I was given the opportunity to become Head of Public Services and I saw an opportunity to learn more about access services including overcoming the daily challenges that come with working the frontline. In the role, I oversaw the various services we provided for faculty, students, and staff and act as a liaison between our department and other library departments as well as the various departments across campus.
TRAILS was a very popular information literacy assessment tool designed for pre-college students. While the TRAILS system is no longer available, much of the archived TRAILS testing material can be found on a new OER web site, TRAILS Archive. Carrick Enterprises is pleased to host the site and provide access to this valuable material.
In this post, TRAILS founder Dr. Barbara Schloman describes the TRAILS journey and the new TRAILS Archive.
Reflecting on TRAILS
Barbara F. Schloman, Ph.D. TRAILS Founding Member Emeritus Professor University Libraries Kent State University Kent, Ohio, USA
TRAILS (Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) was an online information literacy assessment site for K-12 that ended its fourteen-year run in June 2019. Over that time, there were 31,000 registered users who administered over 126,000 assessments to nearly 2.5 million students. This is a look back in time on its development and reception by users.