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Today we talk with Joseph Aubele, Librarian at California State University Long Beach in California. Joseph joined the TATIL Advisory Board in 2015 and has been instrumental in making the new test come to life. Learn how his approach to teaching has evolved from feeling like an imposter to handing over control to students. Read his perspective on using assessment results, the library patron as customer, and more!

Q: Please tell us about your job. What do you do? What do you like about your job?

Joseph: At the most basic level I am a reference and instructional librarian -- and almost anyone reading this will have some idea of what that entails. Beyond the obvious, as a tenure track librarian, I engage in research/writing. I also have an administrative assignment as Internship Coordinator for our library which has me meeting with graduate students who are interested in participating in our semester-long experience and then mentoring them once they’re here (and beyond!).

I spent many years in the private sector before coming to librarianship, working too many hours, doing work that -- while rewarding in its way -- lacked the intellectual stimulation that is so much a part of what I do know. So, while I hate it when others say this, I have to say that there is not any single part of my work that is absolutely my favorite. Instead, I enjoy each aspect -- assisting students and faculty, teaching, research, and contributing to the preparation of those who are joining our profession -- and the satisfaction I feel is actually greater than the sum of the parts.

Q: Why did you join the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL)?

Joseph: A great deal of library assessment measures everything BUT information literacy, and that is understandable -- measuring a student’s ability to recognize when information is needed, or the ability to evaluate information, especially in the context of a one shot session, is daunting. The work that TATIL is doing enables educators of all stripes to assess where students are at when they arrive on campus and how far they progress during their time in college. Colleges and universities talk a lot about helping students become critical thinkers but the only regular assessments are the grades they earn in their classes. The assessments TATIL has developed focus on something much more fundamental to the individual, and being able to make a very small contribution to that effort is as exciting as it is rewarding.

Q: Please tell us about a project you are currently working on.

...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Joseph Aubele"

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Jane Liu, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pomona College

Dr. Jane Liu is a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy. She is a faculty member in the Chemistry Department at Pomona College and she incorporates elements of information literacy in her teaching.

Jane, we are so pleased to have you on the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy. You bring a valuable perspective to our work, particularly as a faculty member in the sciences. Please tell us about your position as Associate Professor of Chemistry at Pomona College.

Jane: I have a fantastic job!  I was hired to primarily teach biochemistry, which I describe as understanding how cells and organisms work, at a molecular level. I teach this subject in the classroom, mostly to third- and fourth-year undergraduates, but I’m a firm believer that some of the best ways to learn science is to actually do science. So I also engage students in my research lab where I investigate how genes are turned on and off in bacteria. My students and I work side by side, wearing lab coats and gloves, growing bacteria, isolating DNA, RNA and proteins, and doing experiments on these materials to answer questions that we do not know the answer to. There is a great deal of learning that can occur when tackling the unknown – and there are always a few unexpected surprises that are uncovered.

...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Jane Liu"

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Liz Kavanaugh, Information Literacy and Assessment Librarian at Misericordia University

Liz Kavanaugh is a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy. A long-time user of the Project SAILS information literacy assessment tool and an advocate for effective assessment, Liz was the perfect match for the fledgling project to create a new tool based on the ACRL Framework.

In this interview, you will see how Liz's commitment to assessment and to information literacy are woven throughout her professional life.

Question: What do you like about your job?

Liz: I am very fortunate to be in the position of Information Literacy and Assessment Librarian at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania. When I took the position about five years ago, we were just heading into an accreditation year with Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). It was an exciting time that launched me right into the thick of gathering data, writing reports, and meeting with stakeholders across campus. I really loved the active sense of how important assessment was at that time and I love how it has grown into a more full-fledged body of data today for the library. Much of it is based on the information brought forward through our long-term use of SAILS at this time and now we’re on the route to our 2024 review, which brings the excitement full circle.

Q: Please tell us about a project you are currently working on. What are you trying to accomplish? ...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Liz Kavanaugh"

Sophie Bury joined the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2015. In this interview she reveals her passion for teaching and her commitment to assessment. Read about Sophie's projects on faculty IL and media literacy and learn why she joined the TATIL Advisory Board.

photo of Sophie Bury
Sophie Bury, Librarian at York University

Question: Please tell us about your job. What are the highlights of your position?

Sophie: I am currently in the role of Head of the Bronfman Business Library at the Schulich School of Business and Learning Commons Chair at York University Libraries. I will commence a new role at York University Libraries as Director of Learning Commons and Reference Services in July 2018.

The Learning Commons unites learning services at York University to better support students’ success and is a partnership of the Libraries, Learning Skills Services, the Writing Department, the ESL Open Learning Centre, the Career Centre, the Teaching Commons (supports teaching development at York) and the YUExperience Hub (supports experiential education at York).

My previously held roles include that of Business Librarian at York University and Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as leadership roles in the area of information literacy at both these universities in committee chair or other leadership positions.

...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Sophie Bury"

Cynthia Mari Orozco
Cynthia Mari Orozco, Librarian for Equitable Services, East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park and South Gate, California, USA

Cynthia Mari Orozco joined the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2017. She is Librarian for Equitable Services, East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park and South Gate, California, USA. Cynthia talked with us about promoting information literacy through faculty collaboration and about the importance of recognizing the efforts of our colleagues. 

Question: Please tell us what you are working on these days.

Cynthia: We have a small instruction team that oversees a lot of information literacy instruction (ILI) at a relatively large campus, so we're actively seeking strategies to institutionalize information literacy across the campus but also to provide more targeted, intentional ILI. One project we are working on is creating embeddable information literacy content for classroom faculty in Canvas, our campus LMS, to provide faculty with easy-to-adopt resources. We also want to build professional development for classroom faculty in teaching information literacy in a Train the Trainer model, in which faculty learn about information literacy and work with a librarian to embed information literacy in their courses, ideally scaffolded throughout the semester.

Q: Do you teach? How has your approach to teaching changed since you started? ...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Cynthia Mari Orozco"