Journal of Creative Library Practice
Subject Librarians often have difficulty delivering instruction that reaches the often large, introductory courses in their disciplines in a meaningful way. However, there is a need for basic subject specific library instruction that scaffolds advanced upper-division classes. This challenge requires rethinking the idea that only librarians can teach information literacy, and we propose creative collaboration between librarians and graduate students to integrate information literacy into introductory disciplinary classes. This paper presents one strategy for collaborating with graduate students to reach first-year students, and is the combined effort of the Art & Architecture Librarian and the lead graduate art history TA at CU-Boulder. The required World Art Studies I & II classes are one of the best ways to reach all CU-Boulder art undergraduates, but teaching every recitation would be too much for one art liaison librarian. By using a train the trainer model to teach the TA’s how to conduct an information literacy sessions, we were then able to reach students in small interactive classes led by graduate students. The paper will present assessment data gathered from students and describe both our successes and areas for improvement. To study the effects of the program we interviewed the TA’s, and we found that collaboration also had benefits for the graduate students. It introduced them information literacy and honed their pedagogical skills. Since often the best way to learn is to teach, they found their own research skills improved. The graduate students expressed enthusiasm for collaboration with the library, and we believe our program is the start of many library partnerships throughout the careers of these future art professionals and faculty.
Watkins, Alexander, and Katherine Morrison. “Can only Librarians do Library Instruction? Collaborating with graduate students to teach discipline-specific information literacy.” The Journal of Creative Library Practice (February 27, 2015).