2006 ALISE Annual Conference

From Research to Practice:
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in LIS Education

January 16-19, 2006, San Antonio, Texas

 

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Juried Paper Abstracts, presented during 9 sessions at the 2006 ALISE Annual Conference.

For information on how programs and papers were chosen, see the Conference Committee's process summary (pdf).

Juried Papers Session 2
Akin, Lee
Kazmer
Kingma, Keefe
Juried Papers Session 3
Dickinson
Kim, Sin
Preer
Juried Papers Session 4
Radford, Connaway
Fleischmann
Miksa
Juried Papers Session 5
Chiu
Lester, Van Fleet
Juried Papers Session 6
Jeong
Maurino
Pavlovsky
Juried Papers Session 9
Higgins
Park

 

 

Juried Papers 1

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 1
1.1       Preparing Future School Library Media Specialists: Juried Papers 1

 School Library Media Specialists for the 21st Century: Leaders Educated to Make a Difference (Project LEAD)
Dr. Eliza T. Dresang, Eliza Atkins Gleason Professor (edresang@ci.fsu.edu)
Dr. Nancy Everhart, Associate Professor
College of Information
Florida State University
With the assistance of Harry Buerkle, Doctoral Student

 

Introduction
            The research reported in this paper responds to several of the following questions in relation to the 2006 ALISE conference theme:

  • How does research inform teaching and learning?
  • What innovative practices have programs undertaken to enhance curriculum design and delivery?
  • How have individual faculty improved teaching and student learning?
  • How is research incorporated into classroom practice?
  • How are students engaged in active learning and constructivisim in the real and virtual classroom?

The research is conducted as part of a grant funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the goal of which is to "develop graduate education opportunities focused on leadership for school library media specialists and integrating the tenets of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Among the project activities are (1) conduct a formal and informal needs assessment with successful and unsuccessful National Board candidates and use the findings to develop curriculum and support mechanisms; (2) design, pilot, and teach four (12 credits) master's-level certificate courses; (3) develop a 30-credit specialist curriculum on organizational leadership; (4) develop and initiate a recruitment plan with a focus on historically underrepresented groups; (5) develop a related research agenda; and (6) conduct, guide, and disseminate research" (http://www.imls.gov). 

Objectives
This paper focuses on development and administration of the needs assessment, analysis of the data collected, and the proposed design for the certificate courses, the specialist degree, and other supporting educational experiences that will be created based on the results of the needs assessment.  All courses will be offered online and will be marketed nationwide.

Background Of Problem
National Board Certification (NBC), a voluntary process to recognize and reward organizational leadership established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), a non-profit, non-partisan organization, is the highest credential in the teaching profession.  NBPTS was created in the wake of a Carnegie Foundation report on the dismal state of U.S. education. NBC is achieved through a rigorous performance-based assessment. To qualify, library media specialist candidates must hold a valid state library media specialist license, have at least three years of library media specialist experience, pass a standardized subject area test, and develop a portfolio that includes videotaped interactions with students and extensive documentation of excellence and organizational leadership.  The process can take a year or longer to complete.  Thirty-five states, each with separate certification requirements, now accept this national certification. Numerous incentives to become National Board (NB) certified exist both at the state and local levels. All fifty states and more than 500 school districts across the nation have implemented policies and regulations to recruit, reward and retain NBC educators (http://www.nbpts.org).

Statement of Problem/Assessment of Need
Baseline Data: Gathering baseline data on the status of library media candidates in relation to the national board process is one informal method of data collection. Library media certification was added to the thirteen existing teacher certifications in 2001-2002. Currently only 1.2%, or approximately 1200, library media specialists in the U.S. are NB certified.  Typically, no more than 50% of candidates who apply for the National Board process are credentialed each year (Gordon, 2002).  The rigor of the process has resulted in the development of workshops, support groups, and resource centers to assist classroom teacher candidates. To date no ongoing program of support specifically for library media specialists exists.  Library media candidates are disadvantaged, because there are distinct differences between classroom teachers' and school library media specialists' roles and responsibilities as educators.
Advisory Committee Knowledge and Expertise: Project LEAD has an advisory committee that meets monthly. The Director of one of the five NBPTS Resource Centers, which is located at a historically black university in our community, is an advisory committee member. She has enthusiastically offered her expertise and access to course modules she has already developed for NB teacher candidates.
One of the paper's authors is a member of the American Association of School Librarian's National Board for Media Specialists Committee and has obtained valuable needs assessment data from other national leaders.
Electronic Discussion Group: Both of the paper's authors belong to the NBPTS electronic discussion group. Needs assessment data was gathered informally from participating in this group, particularly just after the passes/failures were announced in the spring – from both successful and unsuccessful candidates.
Survey: A list of all successful school library media NB candidates has been compiled.  Names and some contact information is on the NB website; missing contact information has been gathered using other directories and sources. A web-based survey using Survey Solutions Software has been developed to assess what was most helpful to these candidates during the process of preparing for the exam and constructing their portfolio and what was missing from their support mechanisms.  The survey has been piloted and the full survey will be administered in early September and the data analyzed using charts, graphs, and statistics generated by the survey software as well as with appropriate SPSS software.
Interviews: A NB media specialist who is another member of the advisory committee will interview the unsuccessful candidates in the local school district  (unsuccessful candidates are not identified by the NB) in mid-August. The remarks will be aggregated without any identifying information. N6 software will be used for analysis of this data.

Development of Curriculum and Instruction
            Through the data gathered to date, three courses are already under development (the content of which will be modified by the addition data collection), Leadership (general), Leadership and Reading, and Leadership and Technology. The final paper provided for ALISE will include results of all data analyses, a description of the overall curriculum and how the data collected has influenced it, and an in depth description of how the three leadership courses under development incorporate research findings, innovative practices, and active learning.

Reference
Gordon, D.T. (2002).  Putting national board certification to the test.  Harvard Education Letter: Research Online.  Retrieved November 19, 2004, from http://www.edletter.org/past/issues/2002-ma/boardcert.shtml
           

 Teacher and Librarian Collaboration: From Research to Practice
Patricia Montiel Overall, Assistant Professor
School of Information Resources and Library Science
The University of Arizona

Using a mixed methodology research approach, this study examines four models of collaboration proposed by the researcher. These models evolve from a taxonomy developed by David Loertscher of levels of involvement between teachers and librarians. The research examines the extent to which teachers and librarians fit into the distinct levels of interaction and attempts to answer questions about how successful teacher and librarian collaboration is carried out in school environments. Quantitative and qualitative methods are used to determine how teachers and librarians engage in collaborative efforts and factors that inhibit and facilitate these efforts.

 School Library Media Certification Program Review: Stakeholder Perspectives and Expectations

Donna M. Shannon
Associate Professor
University of South Carolina

Statement of Problem and its Significance
The American Library Association’s Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies call for involvement of students, faculty, employers, alumni, and other constituents in the evaluation of program goals, and objectives as well as evaluation of the program’s curriculum and assessment of student accomplishments (ALA, 1992). Standards developed by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2002) for teacher certification programs also include requirements for involvement of the “professional community” in development of an assessment system that provides “regular and comprehensive” information on candidates’ (students’) qualifications and proficiencies in order to develop plans for program improvement. NCATE standards require an assessment system that “collects and analyzes data on the applicant qualifications, candidate and graduate performance and unit operations to evaluate and improve the unit and its programs” (NCATE, 2002, p.10). More specifically, NCATE expects to see data collected at candidate entry into the program, at program completion, and at transition points along the way. (The University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science is accredited by the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation and its school library media certification program is part of the USC university-wide Professional Education Unit (PEU) accredited by NCATE.)
The charge for an assessment system that tracks students at admission, mid-point, and program completion is especially challenging for programs like the one at the University of South Carolina. First, students pursue the program in different timeframes. That is, most (but not all) are part-time students who may take one or two courses each semester. Students may begin the program in any one of three semesters per academic year and they do not move through the program as part of a cohort unless they are admitted as part of an official out-of-state cohort. With the exception of a required first course and pre-requisites for a few courses, there is not a required sequence of courses. Second, approximately three-quarters are distance education students who do not visit campus on a regular basis.
In order to carry out an initial program review and subsequently develop performance assessments, programs must begin by (1) aligning NCATE/AASL standards, state standards, the institution’s conceptual framework elements, and course-embedded assessments, and (2) collecting data from stakeholder groups regarding their perspectives of and expectations for the role of school library media specialists in the P-12 school setting. In an effort to gather the perspectives and expectations of multiple stakeholder groups (professional community), USC-SLIS has surveyed and/or interviewed program completers, current students, internship supervisors, district level library media supervisors, and school principals. These perspectives and expectations are the focus of this paper.  This research is part of a larger project funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to (1) develop public relations and advertising strategies for recruiting school librarians and (2) develop a model for an outcomes-based assessment system for programs leading to certification for school library media specialists.

 

Objective
The ultimate aim of this part of the project is to review the current school media preparation program, make appropriate revisions, and develop an assessment plan that reflects AASL/NCATE standards with input from stakeholder groups. Subsequent analyses and summaries of assessment data will be used for continuous program review.

Questions

  • What are the perceptions of program completers regarding their preparation for work as school library media specialists?
  • What are the perceptions of district level supervisors and internship supervisors for how well prepared SLIS students are for their work as school library media specialists?
  • What are the expectations and priorities of school principals for the work of school library media specialists?
  • How satisfied are principals with the work of their current school library media specialists?
  • How do the perceptions of stakeholder groups compare with results from previous research studies?
  • How can these perspectives and expectations inform program review and development of an assessment plan?

Methods
Students who completed the USC-SLIS school media certification program from fall 1997 through 2003 were surveyed. In addition to demographic questions, program completers were asked questions related to their current professional activities, perception of the quality of their degree, how well the SLIS program prepared them for various roles (as described in professional standards documents), and their perception of the quality of their internship experience.
Professional school library media specialists who have supervised SLIS interns during academic years 1999 through fall 2004 were surveyed. In addition to demographic questions, internship supervisors were asked about specific knowledge and competencies (as described in professional standards documents) the intern(s) they supervised brought to the internship experience. In an open-ended question, internship supervisors were asked to describe how their intern(s) had grown over the course of the internship period.
A selected group of South Carolina school district level supervisors of library media programs were surveyed. In addition to demographic questions, they were asked about their satisfaction with graduates of USC’s program and asked to rate new hires on their knowledge and competencies (as described in professional standards documents).  An open-ended question asked district supervisors to list the three most important criteria they use for hiring new library media specialists in their districts.
South Carolina school principals were also surveyed. In addition to demographic questions, they were asked what knowledge and competencies they value when making hiring decisions (including an open-ended question to list others) and asked to rate their current library media specialist on specific competencies.  They were also asked the same open-ended question to list the three most important criteria they use for hiring a new library media specialist.
Focus group interviews (or individual interviews) have been held or will be held with selected groups of stakeholders in order to clarify, triangulate, and build on survey results.
Results of data analysis will inform articulation of USC-SLIS school library media certification program learning outcomes and development of an outcomes-based assessment plan. Results of this research will also be analyzed for relationships to other research related to the topic (e.g., Alexander, 2003; O’Neal, 2004; Roys, 2004; Shannon, 2002).

 

References

Alexander, L. B., Smith, R. C. & Carey, J. O. (2003). Education reform and the school library media specialist: Perceptions of principals. Knowledge Quest, 32(2), 10-13.

American Library Association. Committee on Accreditation. (1992). Standards for accreditation of master’s programs in library and information studies. Chicago: Office for Accreditation, American Library Association.

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. (2002). Professional Standards for the Accreditation of Schools, Colleges, and Departments of Education. Washington, D. C.: NCATE.

O’Neal, A. J. (2004). Administrators’, teachers’, and media specialists’ perceptions of the roles of media specialists in the schools’ instructional programs: Implications for instructional administration. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 45(4), 286-306.

Roys, N. K. & Brown, M. E. (2004). The ideal candidate for school library media specialist: Views from school administrators, library school faculty, and MLS students. School Library Media Research 7. Retrieved March 20, 2005 , from http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume72004/candidate.htm

Shannon, Donna. (2002). The education and competencies of school library media specialists: A review of the literature. School Library Media Research 5. Retrieved January 21, 2005, from http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume52002/shannon.htm

 

 

Juried Papers 2

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 2
2.1 Teaching from a Distance: Is It Working? Juried Papers 2

 Teaching a Process Online: How do we know that they learned what we taught!
Lynn Akin, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Jeong-Mee Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Studies Texas Woman's University

This research explored the relationship between embedded course goals and objectives, the nature of content delivery, and the effectiveness of assessments when teaching a process online.  There are two main research questions; what are the most effective ways to teach a process online, and what assessment tools are most appropriate to evaluate what the students have learned. In addition, there are two sub-questions; how do students assess their learning in online instruction, and is the actual performance of the students comparable to their own assessments of their learning.

During fall 2005, three sections of two process-driven online courses with a total enrollment of 84 students, were used to evaluate delivery, assessment, and student outcomes. The two courses fall under the area of cataloging and online searching, and in both courses, students were expected to learn and master steps in a process that is both gradual and cumulative. BlackBoard 6.0 served as the online course platform.

Initially, a curriculum plan, which identified the course goals and objectives, an array of delivery methods, and a menu of assessments, was embedded in the course and served as a course schemata or blueprint.
The two researchers agreed to use the delivery methods selected for each particular objective or the closest matching objective for the two classes. In a choice module, students selected an assessment from a predetermined array.  Students took a normally scheduled quiz, and then participated in a short, reflective survey.  This cycle (choice, quiz,
reflection) ran 3 modules long and was repeated three times during the term. Each cycle involved the same process, with consistent choices for students' participation in the cataloging classes or varied choices for the online searching class.  The choices were provided according to the instructors' reasonable inference about the effectiveness of the choice to students' achievement.

Correlations were examined on the quiz grades, the student self-perceptions, and the achievement of the goals and objectives.  It was found that 1) there was significant correlation between an embedded curriculum plan and the students' perception of achievement and 2) the options were beneficial for students to achieve the goals and objectives, as well as to improve their learning ability.

This exploratory study shows the effectiveness of embedded curriculum plans, the ability to successfully allow e-student's to customize their learning circumstances, the use of reflective evaluations to give the students a sense of ownership in their own progress, the effectiveness of activity options, and the positive use of targeted assessment. This study proposes a working model of course design when teaching a process course.  It is hoped that this study provides ways to amplify the effectiveness of online education.

 

 Does residency matter in online master’s degree programs?

Michelle M. Kazmer
College of Information
Florida State University

Many LIS programs have distance education components, and some offer their entire master’s degrees online. Many online degree programs require students to spend time on campus, but others do not (Westbrook, 2002). Research about programs that require residencies has indicated students find their time on campus invaluable for community-building and learning (Haythornthwaite, Kazmer, Robins, & Shoemaker, 2000; Small & Paling, 2002; Frey, Alman, Barron, & Steffens, 2004), yet students have many reasons to choose programs that do not require them to travel (e.g., Mellon & Kester, 2004).

Do students in LIS programs with no on-campus residency requirement miss vital experiences? Do they find other ways to support their learning and build social and professional communities? If so, what other mechanisms of support do students develop? Are there ways LIS educators can improve the experience of students who never come to campus – and in turn, can those techniques be used to improve the experience of students in all distance programs including those with on-campus requirements? Can the findings be used to allow more programs to offer a travel-free option for students who need it?

In an earlier study, the researcher of this project explored community building and disengaging processes of students in a program that included an on-campus component. In the current study, the researcher explores students’ community building, professional networking, and interpersonal support networks in a program without an on-campus component. The results of the studies are compared, according with grounded theory methodology, to understand the factors at play.

For example, the earlier study found students bonded during on-campus sessions, and then used information and communication technologies (ICT) to provide one another with emotional and task support when they were learning in the distributed mode. They renewed friendships during periodic on-campus visits and shifted gradually to using ICT for professional networking after graduation. If the initial condition of the on-campus session is taken away, what happens? Do students not bond? Do students who have never met face-to-face provide one another with task and/or emotional support via ICT while they are learning? Do they form lasting friendships and/or professional networks with each other? Or are emotional, schoolwork, and professional support found elsewhere? If so, where?

Procedures:

To begin to answer these questions, the researcher undertook an interpretive case study of an online master’s degree program that does not require students to come to campus. The master’s degree at the Florida State University College of Information has been offered online since 1996. In its initial years, it included an on-campus orientation. Since 2002 orientation has been available online and distance students have been able to complete the master’s degree without visiting campus (Burnett, Burnett, & Latham, 2003).

Data collection comprised semi-structured interviews with 47 students and alumni of the College of Information at Florida State University. The interview schedule was based on the earlier study completed with students in an online program requiring on-campus visits, to allow for meaningful comparison. Eight interviews were completed by telephone and lasted from 45 to 90 minutes. The telephone interview schedule included 21 basic questions but allowed the interviewer to pursue topics as they emerged during the conversation. Thirty-nine interviews were completed by email. Each email interview comprised two exchanges. In the first exchange, the research participants responded to the same 21 questions used for the telephone interviews. In the second exchange, the researcher posed follow-up questions based on the participants’ first-round responses.

Data were analyzed according with grounded theory methods, using open coding, axial coding, memoing and constant comparison to examine emerging dimensions of the data (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). After the first sequence of data analysis, a participant validity check was performed (Patton, 2002, p. 560). A summary of research findings was shared with research participants who were asked to comment on the verisimilitude of the conclusions.

Preliminary findings:

Students in the program without a residency do not build a sense of community with each other at the program level. Instead, students build friendships with classmates that last one semester, or one course, at a time. Professional networks are built almost exclusively among colleagues who are physically local to the students (see also Kazmer, 2005a). Findings about community building are confounded in this case, as indicated by the data, because students in the non-residency program are not cohorted as were students in the earlier study. Available data are insufficient to allow a thorough examination of the cohort aspect, but imply that a cohort model would facilitate community building (see also Frey, et al., 2004, p. 88). Future research is needed to find out whether using a cohort model with students who never come to campus will strengthen their bonds with each other (if desired).

Students report that they are dissatisfied with group work in the non-residency distance program, in contrast to findings from the earlier study but in line with conclusions by researchers of other online programs (e.g., Hirschheim, 2005). Some pedagogical methods mitigate successfully against dissatisfaction with group work.  Overall, students in this study were pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of communicating and learning using technology (for example, Kazmer, 2005b), even though many of them were involved in a potentially disruptive shift from an in-house system to Blackboard for course management.

References:
Burnett, G., Burnett, K., & Latham, D. (2003). Distributed learning in the Florida State University School of Information Studies. In D. D. Barron (Ed.), Benchmarks in distance education: The LIS experience (pp. 29-51). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
Frey, B. A., Alman, S. W., Barron, D., & Steffens, A. (2004). Student satisfaction with the online MLIS program at the University of Pittsburgh. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 45(2), 82-97.
Haythornthwaite, C., Kazmer, M. M., Robins, J., & Shoemaker, S. (2000). Community development among distance learners: Temporal and technological dimensions. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 6(1).
Hirschheim, R. (2005). The Internet-based education bandwagon: Look before you leap. Communications of the ACM, 48(7), 97-101.
Kazmer, M. M. (2005a). Community-embedded learning. Library Quarterly 75, 190-212.
Kazmer, M. M. (2005b). Cats in the classroom: Online learning in hybrid space. First Monday 10(9). Retrieved January 26, 2006, from http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue10_9/kazmer/index.html.
Mellon, C. A., & Kester, D. D. (2004). Online library education programs: Implications for rural students. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 45(3), 210-220.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Small, R. V., & Paling, S. (2002). The evolution of a distance learning program in library and information science: A follow-up study. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 43(1), 47-61.
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Westbrook, L. (2002). LIS distance education: Modes and plans. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 43(1), 62-68.

 

 An Analysis of the Virtual Classroom:Does Size Matter? Do Residencies Make a Difference?
Should You Hire That Instructional Designer?

Bruce Kingma
School of Information Studies
and
Stacey Keefe
Maxwell School of Citizenship

Syracuse University

Using 2003-2004 data from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies distance education program, we use regression analysis to examine the impact of enrollment, faculty teaching experience, online faculty pedagogical training, and help from an instructional designer on student course evaluations.  This paper shows that higher enrollments result in lower teaching evaluations in traditional classroom-based courses, while online courses maximize overall student satisfaction at a class size of 23-25 students.

 

 

Juried Papers 3

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 3

  1. The Future Look of Our Professions: Juried Papers 3

 Performance Appraisal as Social Construction of Identity

Gail Dickinson
Old Dominion University

ABSTRACT

Formal job descriptions cross boundaries between construction of the social identity of LIS professionals and more specific professional standards of service and best practice.1 In school library media, performance appraisal procedures administered by the educational professional (principal), but directed towards the LIS professional (school library media specialist) in K-12 schools, is seen as an area requiring further study.2

The school library media specialist (SLMS) must be culturally competent in two divaricate professions; education and library/information science. The building administrator, usually the principal, evaluates the job performance of the SLMS according to a formal job description. The principal rarely has training in library science, and conducts the performance appraisal according to previously developed perceptions of excellent, adequate, or below average performance.  During the 2002-2003 school year, a new performance appraisal process for school library media specialists was piloted in four North Carolina school districts.  Principals were trained in the use of the instrument and appraisal procedures at the beginning of the school year.  The training included applying examples and evidences of school library media behaviors to the specific categories of above standard, at standard, and below standard. 

Daniel Duke, in his research on performance appraisal of classroom teachers, noted that teacher evaluation is a social construction of reality3.  Evaluation systems are developed to provide accountability for teacher performance as well as opportunities for teacher growth.  The dichotomy of purposes requires principal discretion in determining whether a teacher is above, below, or at standard.  This paper reports on the social construction of the role and job identity of the school library media specialist, based on the validation study of the performance appraisal process.   First, it examines perceptions of principals regarding the performance appraisal process. Second, it explores application of the process by principals in the four pilot districts.

This study has significance in the preparation of school library media specialists, as well as future research in principal perceptions of school library media behaviors.  In this study, principals were trained to articulate the role of the school library media specialists in teaching and learning, in program administration, and in information access and delivery.  Exercises using role-play and video revealed that groups of principals exhibited an inter-rater reliability of nearly 100 % when determining whether exhibited behavior was above or below standard.

The validation study triangulated data by a variety of methods.  Observations and interviews were conducted in the pilot districts.  Confidential surveys were completed by school library media specialists and building principals.  Data were also gathered by focus groups and electronic discussion lists.  The media coordinator participants were enthusiastic about their role in the validation study and gave comments without reservation.  Open sharing about the evaluative process, how the evaluations were conducted, and comparisons of the use of the instrument to previous instruments were not uncommon.  Principal participants were generous with their time, and gave insightful comments both on the instrument and on the evaluative process.
 
The validation study was based on the presence of assumptions regarding the fair application of the instrument.  The instrument was assumed to be valid regardless of the quality of the library facilities, strength of the budget, collections, and resources, and the years of experience of the media coordinator.  Other assumptions included the presence of a flexible schedule and a school-based technology facilitator.

Results indicated that the power of this instrument far exceeded its use as an evaluation instrument.  Some principals interviewed used the supporting documentation as a school improvement tool, noting the need to inform classroom teachers of their expectation of library/classroom interaction.  Principals regarded the training as extremely valuable and even experienced principals made comments such as “time well spent”.  Media coordinators reported that the instrument made them more confident when facing principal turnover, and expressed intentions to use the supporting documentation as discussion points with new principals. 

Interviews revealed that principals used discretion in the evaluation of the media coordinators to compensate for failed assumptions.  Principal discretion was defined for the purposes of this study as the process by which a principal exercises his or her inherent authority in a given situation, using personal judgment rather than policy.  Principals regularly used discretion to mitigate the impact of one or more missing assumptions, even while admitting that job performance was clearly below the standard as reviewed in training.  Furthermore, there were instances in which principals accepted the responsibility of ensuring that all assumptions were present, and readily recognized their professional culpability for the assumptions that were lacking. 

Principal discretion fell into two distinct categories.  First, as one principal described it, the “reasonable person model” was used.  The limits of what a reasonable person could achieve in a particular school and under particular circumstances guided the principal in their evaluation of the school library media specialist.  Secondly, principals used discretion to apply the evaluative process to focus on strengths rather than areas of concern.  If the principal believed that describing behaviors as below standard would achieve negative results for future growth, the behavior was described as at or even above standard.

The results of the validation study indicated that the instrument was valid when applied in accordance with proper procedures.  It is evident, however, that the school library media specialist and building principal used the instrument to construct a joint expectation of job performance.  That this expectation is socially constructed at the building level has implications for future research involving principal perceptions of school library media specialists, as well as comparison studies of school library media job performance.

References

1. Ian Cornelius,  “Information and its Philosophy,”  Library Trends 52, no. 3, (Winter 2004): 377-386.

2. Miles Bryant,  “The Role of the Principal in the School’s Library Media Specialist,”  School Libraries Worldwide 8, no. 1, (2002): 85-91.

3.  Daniel A. Duke, ed., Teacher Evaluation Policy:  From Accountability to Professional Development.  (Albany, NY:  State University of New York, 1995).

 

 Recruiting and Retaining Students of Color for LIS Schools:
Perspectives from Librarians of Color

Kyung-Sun Kim
Joanna Sin
University of Wisconsin-Madison


According to the ALISE (Association for Library and Information Science Education) statistical reports, the student population in LIS schools/programs has been far less diverse than the US population. Only 11.3% of the student population in LIS schools is students of color including the four main ethnic minority groups (African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic American, and Native American) (ALISE, 2003). The proportion of students of color at LIS schools is significantly lower than the proportion of those enrolled in US graduate programs (26.5%) (NCES, 2005) and much lower than the proportion of ethnic minorities in the US population (31.3%) (Census Bureau, 2003). Recent projections of the US population show that, by 2050, the four ethnic minority groups will represent almost half of the US population (MBDA, 1999). Unless the LIS schools and the library and other professional associations develop and implement a comprehensive recruiting program, the gap between LIS and US populations may widen even further; and the librarian population will not reflect the users in the communities that they serve.

The study was conducted to find out how librarians of color evaluate the efforts that LIS schools have made in recruiting and retaining students of color, and what they suggest for better recruitment and retention of such students. The main goal of the study is to identify effective recruitment and retention strategies. Using a Web-based survey, the study collected data from librarians of color, enrolled in, or graduated from, LIS schools. The study has revealed that the Hispanics tend to be more dissatisfied than other ethnic groups, particularly with the retention effort. It has also identified top ten strategies for recruiting and retaining students of color. Findings suggest that the perceived effectiveness of strategies vary depending on ethnic groups. American Indians, for example, tend to view the distance education option as one of the most effective strategies for both recruitment and retention. The study findings helped us reassess the efforts in recruiting and retaining students of color in LIS programs, and shed light on some key areas of focus and improvement for such efforts. The study also suggested the importance of using different strategies depending on target ethnic groups. Further research is needed to develop more efficient strategies for a diverse LIS community, and also for LIS programs where diversity is fully integrated.

 

 Louder Please: Using Historical Research to Foster Professional Identity in LIS Students
Jean Preer, Indiana University at Indianapolis

            Although few LIS students have time in their academic programs to study library history, and even fewer LIS programs offer such courses, an understanding of the history of our institutions and the work of our predecessors is essential to our profession’s identity and continued strength.  Lacking historical perspective, our students may not understand what is unique and important about the work of libraries and librarians and may be poorly equipped to distinguish librarians from other, more newly minted, information professionals.  The extended discussion on JESSE of the use of “librarian” vs. “information professional” demonstrates the power of the name we assume.  My research into the history of American librarianship from 1926 to 1956 examines an era in which librarians struggled to define their role amidst social and technological change and competition from new media and information providers, challenges much like we face today.   Using primary sources in the archives of the American Library Association and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, along with an array secondary material, I explore how librarians responded to those changes. In all my courses, I incorporate themes and examples from this research to demonstrate the readiness of librarians to respond to societal change, adopt new technologies, and engage in the major issues facing their communities. Over these three decades, librarians developed a professional voice of outreach and advocacy, using the latest means of communication to reach the broadest possible audience.  This history provides the identity we require to counter the image of our profession devised by others.  
The period from 1926 to 1956 witnessed the transformation of America from a rural to an urban and suburban nation, the growing popularity of films, radio and television, the economic dislocation of the Depression, and the political upheavals of World War II and the Cold War.  For librarians, the period is bracketed by the 50th anniversary of the American Library Association celebrated in 1926 and the passage of the Library Services Act by Congress in 1956.  During these years, library leaders warned of the increasing competition libraries faced.  At the 50th anniversary observance, Melvil Dewey declared that “the book is not sacred,” warned that “the enemies of the book and reading grow apace,” and urged librarians to “give to the public in the quickest and cheapest way information and recreation in the highest plane.” 1  Ten years later, ALA president Louis Round Wilson lamented that cooperative extension agents using radio had captured rural audiences unserved by libraries.  In the 1940s, the Public Library Inquiry suggested that librarians yield the provision of popular material to commercial outlets like drugstores and rental libraries. 
            To meet these challenges, librarians became activists, lobbyists, and publicists,   terms that our students and the public do not associate with our profession.   In extending the reach of library service, broadening its financial support, and employing new technologies and public relations techniques, librarians from 1926 to 1956 honed the same entrepreneurial and advocacy skills required in today’s competitive information environment.
            Three issues during this period demonstrate how librarians developed a stronger professional voice.2  In 1936, having witnessed the segregation of African American librarians during the ALA conference in Richmond, Virginia, the association resolved not to meet in cities where discriminatory laws would be imposed.  Librarians since have struggled to define what constitutes a “library issue.”  When the issue does not directly affect the profession, where do we draw the line?  Adult education programs developed in the 1920s and 1930s, with readers’ advisers, lectures, and discussion, provide one model for library involvement with current affairs.  ALA’s stand against discrimination provides another. Librarians continue to grapple with this question, as seen in ALA Council debates on whether to take a stand against the war in Iraq.
            During the 1930s, librarians expanded the communities they served and debated the types of materials to provide them.  While adult education reached well-educated urbanites, ALA committed itself to extending library service to all parts of the country.  Its sustained campaign, begun in 1936, for federal aid to support rural library service provides a powerful model of activist librarianship.  During the 1990s, proponents of the e-rate for discounted telecommunications connectivity made exactly the same arguments on behalf of poor, isolated communities lacking the resources to connect to the Internet.  Librarians during the period of my research continued to fret over whether to offer the popular materials demanded by the public or the quality literature more compatible with the library’s educational mission.  The same debate continues today as libraries across the country consider adopting a popular materials collection.
Contrary to the popular image, librarians have enthusiastically greeted new technologies, employing new communications devices to promote and expand library service.  In the mid-1920s, even before talking films, librarians promoted book and movie tie-ins.  In the 1930s, library radio broadcasts and librarian broadcasters were common.  In the 1940s, Mary Utopia Rothrock wrote of the power of audio-visual materials in language equally applicable to electronic information today.  And in the early 1950s, the Louisville Free Public Library, which put a television in its lobby so its patrons could experience this new medium, won a Peabody Award for its own FM radio station. 
            Students in LIS programs need to understand that their profession has long stood for active engagement in contemporary issues, the extension of service to meet community needs, and the enthusiastic adoption of new information technologies. Since many LIS programs no longer require a Library Foundations course, the history of our profession must be incorporated more broadly in current core.  We need to instill in our students a professional identity distinct from the timid book-bound librarian stereotype of story and film. The current stand of librarians against the USA PATRIOT Act has elicited a surprised public response.  But no one who has studied the development of the professional voice of librarians should be surprised and neither should our students.  This is our history.  We need to know, celebrate, and share it with our students if librarianship is to retain a claim to the future.

References

1. Melvil Dewey, “Our Next Half-Century,” Library Journal 51 (15 October 1926): 888.

2. “Louder Please” was the name of the conference newsletter at the ALA annual meeting in Richmond, Virginia in 1936.

 

Juried Papers 4

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 4
4.1     The Relationship between Research and Education: Juried Papers 4

 Values Embedded in IT: Applying a Research Agenda to Education and Practice

Kenneth R. Fleischmann
fleischmann@ci.fsu.edu
College of Information
Florida State University

What values are embedded in information technologies, and what are the ethical implications of these embedded values? This paper focuses on the applications of an NSF-funded research agenda on embedded values for both education and practice. As an increasing number of LIS schools embark on the development of undergraduate IT programs, including FSU’s College of Information, it is critical to examine ways to make ethics education for undergraduate IT majors both intellectually compelling and practically applicable.

In the area of research, one important contribution was a dissertation project focusing on the values embedded in educational software. The dissertation project was supervised by Dr. David J. Hess and funded by a dissertation improvement grant from the National Science Foundation. This study dealt with the problem of values that may be unconsciously or unintentionally imbedded into educational software. The objective of the study was to collect data that could potentially lead to improvements in educational software design. The study asked if, how, and why values are embedded in educational software. To answer these research questions, multi-sited ethnographic methodologies were employed, including interviews, participant observation, and analysis of the software. One important finding of the study was the discovery of a symbiotic relationship between software designers and animal advocates, through the embedding of animal advocacy values in frog dissection simulations (Fleischmann, 2003). Another finding was the embedding of the human-computer interaction assumption of one student per computer, rather than grouping multiple students collaboratively as in the case of traditional hands-on frog dissection (Fleischmann, 2005). Finally, the design of educational software, including the embedding of values, was significantly shaped by hybrid designers who were also users: in this case, biology and anatomy teachers (Fleischmann, in press).

An ongoing study focuses on the values embedded in computational modeling. Through funding from the National Science Foundation of a collaborative grant with Dr. William A. Wallace, the important issue of the unconscious and unintentional embedding of values in computational models will be explored. The goal of this project is to enable computational modelers to make conscious decisions about the values that they embed in their models. Again, the questions are if, how, and why values are embedded in computational models, and these questions will be addressed through the use of ethnographic methodologies.

Planned future research along this trajectory includes a study of the values embedded in digital libraries and archives. Decisions about which materials to store and archive are value-laden, and as such, they should be informed by factors such as democratic decision-making and a concern for social justice and equity. Indeed, the recent developments surrounding the Patriot Act and the Sanders Amendment make clear the role that values play in access to information, both physical and digital.

Insights from this research agenda have been fruitfully applied to teaching within the College of Information’s new undergraduate Information Technology degree program. For example, in Societal Implications of the Information Age, students discuss critical issues connected to the relationship between information technology and society, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, voting machines with or without a paper trail, and open source software. Embedded values play a critical role in all of these issues. For example, the DMCA has led to the development and implementation of new technologies designed to limit illegal access to information, but may also have infringed upon some legal accesses to information. Voting machines can illustrate a valuing of the cold objectivity of technology over the subjective decisions of people, but at the potential cost of allowing new ways of tampering with elections. Finally, open source software is an example of an information technology that seeks to challenge the corporate dominance of IT through new forms of collaboration and sharing. All of these examples demonstrate the importance of learning how the values embedded in IT affect society.

Guest lectures on information ethics in the Information Science course also serve to make students more aware of the importance of values embedded in information technologies. Attention to ethics is an important component of any professional program, as the students will soon become practitioners who will frequently be faced with difficult ethical decisions. By making students more aware of ethical issues that shape the information field, and by giving them practice in dealing with those issues, it is possible to prepare them for this important aspect of their future careers.

These insights have perhaps been most directly applied in the Interface Design course. In this course, students learn not only how to design software, but how to design software that will meet the needs of a target audience. One important aspect of this course is learning about the ways that values are embedded in IT, and ensuring that these values complement, rather than contradict, the values of their target audience.

Contributions of this research agenda to practice have focused on three main strategies. First, emphasis on the values embedded in IT in learning and teaching can lead to long-term contributions to practice, since students are future practitioners, and will apply the lessons that they have learned in their professional degree programs throughout their careers. Second, research subjects are directly influenced through their participation in the research project, and may increasingly focus on the values that they embed in the information technologies that they design. Finally, contributions to practice can be in the form of articles in practitioner-oriented journals, such as an article in Communications of the ACM on transparency in IT design (Fleischmann and Wallace, 2005).

Thus, a research agenda focusing on values embedded in IT can have implications for LIS education and practice. This research agenda encompasses examination of educational software, computational models, and digital libraries. Contributions to LIS education in the context of an undergraduate IT program include lectures in courses such as Societal Implications of the Information Age, Information Science, and Interface Design. Finally, applications of this research agenda to practice can be imparted through education of undergraduate students, interaction with research subjects, and outreach to communities of practice.

References

Fleischmann, Kenneth R. 2003. “Frog and Cyberfrog are Friends: Dissection Simulation and Animal Advocacy.” Society and Animals 11(2): 123-143.

Fleischmann, Kenneth R. 2005. “Virtual Dissection and Physical Collaboration.” First Monday 10(5): http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue10_5/fleischmann/index.html

Fleischmann, Kenneth R. In Press. “Do-It-Yourself Information Technology: Role Hybridization and the Design-Use Interface.” Forthcoming in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Fleischmann, Kenneth R. and William A. Wallace. 2005. “A Covenant with Transparency: Opening the Black Box of Models.” Communications of the ACM 48(5): 93-97.

 

 The Role of Theory in Research as One of the Components of LIS Education
F. Miksa, Professor
School of Information
The University of Texas at Austin

Research has been deemed an important component of LIS education in many though not all schools for many decades.  What has been meant by research has varied, though it has not been uncommon to refer to it generally by associating the term with such ideas as scholarliness and the work of scholars and intellectuals, exploring and talking about the intellectual foundations of LIS, theoretical thinking, and so on

One word sometimes, but not always, associated with research in LIS is “theory.”  While to say that research entails theory may make little difference to some because scholarliness, intellectual thinking, etc., is assumed to be theoretical and involve theory, here, the addition of the word to the mixture means more than that.   It suggests the more direct idea that research incorporates or should incorporate theory or theories specifically.  By extension, good research should be “theory-based” or “theory-laden” research in a very specific sense..

The sticking point in describing research as theory-based or –laden is what the idea of theory is intended to convey.  Without clarifying that, we are no further ahead in connecting research to LIS education than to use intellectual, or theoretical or some other general adjective to describe it.  In short, it is one thing to conclude that LIS research and, thus, LIS education (and by implication the content of classes, the efforts of teachers, and the learning process of students) should in some general and loosely defined way be theoretical, scholarly, intellectual, etc.  It is quite another thing to say that it should include theory (or theories) specifically. 

Even the foregoing might elicit little interest were it not for the increase during the past decade for better theory in the field and in some cases the quite insistent call to accept, adopt, perhaps even believe this or that theory.  Some of this increase has focused on the need for better theories related to particular phenomena—information, information use, information systems, social informatics—and some of the increase has focused on what some call “meta-theories” but which seem better described as ontological positions.  An example of the latter can be found in the Journal of Documentation, vol. 61, no. 1. 

These two approaches to theory—theories related to phenomena, and meta-theories as ontological positions—are made the basis of the remaining discussion of how research that is theory-based might be a component of LIS education.  In particular, the appropriateness of meta-theories as ontological positions is questioned.  First, each approach to theory is characterized as to some of the range and background of its meaning.  Second, some background history of each in the LIS field is provided.  Finally, some suggestions are made as to how each might fit into an LIS curriculum (both as good fits and poor fits), with summary conclusions focused on problems that each engender for LIS education and its research.

 

Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Transcripts

Marie L. Radford, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC

Statement of Problem and Significance
Since 1999, Web-based library reference services have emerged as vital alternatives to the traditional face-to-face (FtF) or telephone reference encounter. Synchronous, (i.e., chat reference or Ask a Librarian services) and asynchronous (i.e., email) virtual reference services (VRS) have grown in number and have become common features of both public and academic library home pages. Seed money from granting institutions has supported the development and the initial one to three years of fledgling VRS, but for many of these services, grant support is running out and sustainability is a critical issue in these times of tight budgets. The present study proposes to extend the research literature on chat services by conducting the first evaluation of transcripts randomly selected from an international VRS provider (OCLC Online Computer Library Center’s QuestionPoint). QuestionPoint is a VRS supported by a global network. It has been developed by OCLC and the Library of Congress and has recently merged with 24/7 Reference developed by the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System in Southern California. QuestionPoint is used in more than 1,000 libraries in twenty countries; 24/7 serves approximately 500 libraries.  With their merger, the majority of libraries offering VRS will participate in the QuestionPoint network. 

Objectives
The proposed research has the following objectives:

  • To address the research questions detailed below.
  • To provide research-based guidelines to inform VRS practice and policy.
  • To apply Katz/Kaske & Arnold’s (2002) decision tree and classification scheme for VR to an international chat service.
  • To refine Radford’s recommendations for improving interpersonal communication in VRS for both librarians and users.
  • To identify factors critical to successful VRS interactions and to develop guidelines and recommendations for evaluation of VRS.
  • To inform software development and interface design.
  • To develop a theoretical model for VRS that incorporates interpersonal (relational) aspects as well as information (content) aspects.

Research Questions
This study addresses the following research questions that are derived from the gaps uncovered in the literature review.

  • What is the relationship between information delivered/received (task/content) and interpersonal (relational) dimensions of VRS in determining perceptions of satisfaction/success?
  • What is the impact of the use of prepared scripted messages on satisfaction/success (e.g., “Welcome to our service, a librarian will be with you in a few minutes.”)?  Do impersonal scripted messages impact user behavior (e.g., promote rude behavior)?
  • What are the most frequent subjects and types of questions asked?
  • Which subjects and types of questions take the most time to answer in the chat environment?
  • How does the transcript analysis results from the modified Katz and the Radford classification schemes compare to textual content analysis?

Method
Twenty-five VR (chat) transcripts per month were  randomly selected from OCLC’s 24/7 chat service for a period of twelve months (July 2004-July 2005), resulting in a total sample of 300 transcripts out of a population of approximately 150,000. These transcripts were stripped of all identifying information (e.g., name, email address, IP address, location) and analyzed, using four types of analysis. First, Katz’s (1997, modified by Kaske & Arnold, 2002) decision tree and classification scheme for VR questions were used to identify the type of query (e.g., directional, specific search, ready reference, research, policy and procedural level, holdings/do you own?). Next, the questions were classified by subject, using broad subject areas based on the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Thirdly, the transcripts were coded using Radford’s classification scheme to identify type and frequency of interpersonal communication (See Radford, In Press, Radford 2003; Radford & Thompson, 2004). Finally, a portion of the transcripts were textually analyzed using NVivo content analysis software.         

In-depth qualitative analysis involves repeated reading, identification, comparison, and categorization of issues, patterns, and themes following the constant comparative method). The category scheme and coding method was developed in a manner similar to that used in a previous study involving large quantities of qualitative data (see Radford, 1993, 1999), and was applied to chat reference in two prior research projects (Radford 2003; Radford & Thompson, 2004). The theoretical framework of Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson (1967) underlies the development of the categories. It focuses attention upon the content (task) versus the relational (interpersonal) aspects of communication. The classification scheme for interpersonal aspects of chat reference that was developed by Radford (2003) and further refined in Radford and Thompson’s (2004) analysis of 245 randomly selected transcripts from the statewide service Maryland AskUsNow! was further expanded and refined during the transcript analysis. The analysis of a portion of the transcripts using NVivo was compared to the transcript analyses using Katz’s modified decision tree and classification scheme and Radford’s categorizations. The NVivo software was used to perform a content analysis of the transcripts and compare these results to the results from the Radford and modified Katz classification schemes as well as provide descriptive statistical data for a portion of the transcripts.

This presentation is one of the outcomes from the project Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Rutgers University and OCLC, Online Computer Library Center, Inc. More information is available on the project web site: http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/synchronicity/.

Bibliography

Kaske, N., & Arnold, J. (2002). An unobtrusive evaluation of online real time library reference services.  American Library Association, Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, June 15, 2002. Retrieved on January 5, 2005 from: http://www.lib.umd.edu/groups /digref/kaskearnoldunobtrusive.html.

Katz, W. A. (1997). Introduction to Reference Work. (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Radford, M. L. (1993). Relational aspects of reference interactions: A qualitative investigation of the perceptions of users and librarians in the academic library. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. DAI A54/07, 2368.     

Radford, M. L. (1999). The reference encounter: Interpersonal communication in the academic library. Chicago: ACRL, A Division of the American Library Association.

Radford, Marie L. (2003). In synch? Evaluating chat reference transcripts.  Presented at the Virtual Reference Desk 5th Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, November 17-18, 2003. [Available: http:// www.vrd2003.org/proceedings/presentation.cfm?PID=231]

Radford, M. L. (In Press). Encountering Virtual Users: A Qualitative Investigation of Interpersonal Communication in Chat Reference. Paper accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Radford, M. L. & Thompson, J. (2004). “Yo Dude! Y R U Typin So Slow?”  Online proceedings of the Virtual Reference Desk 6th Annual Conference, Cincinnati , OH, November 8-9, 2004 [Available: http://www.vrd2004.org/proceedings/presentation.cfm?PID=325]

Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J. & Jackson, D.D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication. NY: Norton.


 

Juried Papers 5

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 5
5.1     Preparing Future Professionals: Competencies and Skills: Juried Papers 5

 What Does a Newcomer Librarian Need to Know?
A Study of Organizational Socialization in Academic and Research Libraries

Ming-Hsin Chiu, Ph.D. Student, SLIS, University of Wisconsin -Madison

Socialization, in general, is the continuous process by which people adopt and modify their own behavior within a surrounding culture. Organizational socialization is considered the most critical stage for organizational newcomers because only through effective socialization can newcomers reduce uncertainty and apply their full potential to various tasks.

During the last part of the twentieth century, scholars and practitioners have grown fascinated with cultural approaches to organizational management. However, compared to the successful research on, and the numerous applications of, organizational socialization in the fields of business and industry, very little research into socialization and organizational culture in a library setting has been conducted. Academic and research libraries, as information service organizations, play an important role in the advocacy and the support that benefit intellectual freedoms and, particularly, advancement in higher education. Because of the special nature of academic culture, the newcomer librarians, the entry-level librarians in particular, must cope with the uncertain forces associated with the technological advancement, increased accountability, rising service, and research expectations in order to become fully functioning members of academic culture (Black & Leysen, 2002). Black et al. (2002) also emphasize that the new librarians must discover an effective route for their own advancement and success, as well as navigate successfully for new expectations in place and the support structures available for their progress.

The objective of this exploratory study is to examine what the newcomer academic and research librarians need to know when they learn to adapt to their new roles, which operate in relation to their related expectations. More specifically, the study investigates the contents and sources of socialization information acquisition the newcomer librarians seek during the socialization process. The researcher argued that scholars in the field should strive to understand not only the cultural perspectives familiar in library management, but also the process of newcomer socialization and of librarians’ socialization information seeking practices.

Structured interviews with academic and research librarians were conducted. During the interview, the participants were asked to describe their early experiences that characterized their introduction and assimilation to the new organization, culture, and norms. The librarians were also asked to describe the types of socialization information they needed and sought. The questions of the structured interviews were meant to answer two research questions: (1) what socialization information is desired? and (2) what sources of socialization information are consulted?

Two-step data analysis was conducted based on qualitative analytic induction. To prepare for analysis, an initial step of open-coding was conducted to identify general characteristics of emergent categories and tentative descriptors for the types of information sought and the sources of information consulted. Those descriptors for categories were formulated and modified as the data analysis proceeded according to constant comparative strategy. Each tentative descriptive was tested and refined as the notes for each structured interview were processed. However, some information content may fall into two or more areas because of the nature and purpose of information content. After the descriptors for the types of information sought and sources of information consulted were formulated and tested, these each category for the types of information sought was re-examined to match its specific source consulted.

This study recognizes the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to any rigorous understanding of newcomer librarians’ information needs, for this approach greatly facilitates analyses of socialization information acquisition and its importance to newcomer librarians. It also represents new knowledge on what newcomer librarians need to know in order to socialize into a new workplace. It is hoped that the successful application of the organizational socialization concept in human resources management and in organizational behavior may also generate similar impact in library settings. It is also anticipated that the results of the study will help librarians make better employment decisions, develop more effective training programs, and arrange organizational structure and span of control so that organizational-level learning can be maximized and organizational commitment can be increased.

Reference:

Black, W. K., & Leysen, J. M. (2002). Fostering success: The socialization of entry-level librarians in ARL libraries. Journal of Library Administration, 36(4), 3-27.

 Use of Professional Competencies and Standards Documents for Curriculum Planning, Continuing Education, and Assessment of Public Librarians

June Lester, Professor
Connie Van Fleet, Professor
School of Library and Information Studies
The University of Oklahoma

 

Statement of the problem
In conjunction with the process of accreditation of master’s programs in library and information studies, a number of information professional associations have developed statements of competencies, setting forth their expectations for the preparation of entrants to their segment of the information field. These statements complement and supplement the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library & Information Studies. In addition to these specific statements targeted to particular venues or areas of practice, a generalized statement of core competencies has been developed by the American Library Association.  In spite of this sustained interest in outcomes of the education programs in the field, the Public Library Association has not developed such a statement since 1994.

Significance of the problem

The quality of public library service to citizens of all ages is directly related to the development of a cadre of knowledgeable professionals dedicated to lifelong learning.  Significant resources are expended by schools and libraries in developing relevant curricula and continuing education activities that instill core professional values, foster critical analysis, and meet the demands of the changing information environment. A carefully developed and widely accepted competencies statement is an effective means of providing a conceptual framework without the expenditures of time and money necessitated by redundant analysis and evaluation at the local level. 

Objectives

In the interest of fostering the development of a cadre of knowledgeable professionals dedicated to lifelong learning, this project  is studying current use of competency documents by the three primary institutions charged with education of public librarians: schools of library and information studies; state library continuing education consultants, and public libraries.

This project is designed to:

  1. determine whether the public library competencies document is currently used in initial and continuing education activities conducted by various institutions concerned with the training and education of public librarians.
  2. develop recommendations regarding revision of existing competency documents for public librarians.
  3. facilitate planning of education, certification, and continuing education activities of public librarians.

Research questions

  1. Do faculties in schools of library and information studies use professional competencies documents?  If so, which documents are used, for what purpose, and to what extent?
  2. Do state library continuing education development officers use professional competencies documents?  If so, which documents are used, for what purpose, and to what extent?
  3. Do public library administrators use professional competencies documents?  If so, which documents are used, for what purpose, and to what extent?
Method

This study is being conducted through the following methods for data gathering and analysis:

  1. Comparison of the structure, framework, and content areas of the Public Library Association’s 1994 competencies document with competency statements cited on the Office of Accreditation of the American Library Association web site.
  2. Content analysis of program presentations (or self studies), the official accreditation documents submitted to the American Library Association Committee on Accreditation by schools of library and information studies in the U.S. and Canada, to determine the use of various competencies documents, particularly those of the Public Library Association. 
  3. Survey of schools of library and information studies in the U.S. and Canada with master’s programs accredited by the American Library Association regarding the use of competency statements in curriculum planning.
  4. Survey of state library development officers to assess the use of competency documents in developing standards of practice, certification requirements, and programs for training and professional education.
  5. Survey a random sample of public library directors (of libraries with service populations of 25,000 or greater) to determine the extent to which competency statements are used in hiring or in planning for professional development.

 

 

Juried Papers 6

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 6

 Instant Messaging in Higher Education: On-Site and Online Classes

Wooseob Jeong
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

The purpose of this study is to listen to those students who participated in IM communication in class setting and based on their stories, to identify potentials and obstacles and to suggest optimal conditions for IM usage for classes. This research proved by stories from students directly that IM has a great benefit in class settings.
However, since there is known resistance in using IM, it is important to it clear to students beforehand that IM is for better communication with instructors.

Presentation slides: http://www.uwm.edu/~wjj8612/ALISE2006.ppt
Full paper: http://www.uwm.edu/~wjj8612/ALISE2006.doc

 

 Online asynchronous threaded discussions: Good enough to advance students through the proximal zone of Activity Theory?

Paula San Millan Maurino
Doctoral Student at Long Island University
Palmer School of Library and Information Studies
Assistant Professor at SUNY at Farmingdale

Research has shown that traditional college classrooms do not produce copious classroom discussion or participation and that interaction is largely teacher directed. Current distance education pedagogy promotes and encourages extensive student to student interaction. Little research has been done to evaluate the success of this promulgation in terms of quantity or quality.

This project involved researching student interaction and participation under the lens of Activity Theory and Social Computing. The research questions were: 1. How does online student-to-student interaction compare to in-class student to student interaction? 2. Are students satisfied with online classroom discussions? 3. Are online classroom discussions sufficient to promote the social/cultural learning emphasized in Activity Theory and the Social Computing paradigm?
The study was conducted at the State University of New York at Farmingdale. Research methods included faculty interviews, classroom observations, analysis of student course evaluation forms, and examination of online threaded discussions. Questions and responses within class discussions were evaluated using two models: (1) Engestrm’s Model A and Model B and (2) Ngeow and Kong’s four tier taxonomy of guided discussion, inquiry, reflection or exploration.
The results of the study showed that online classes generated more interaction and class discussion than traditional classrooms and that upper level classes produced more discussion and interaction than lower level classes. This increased interaction was attributed to a number of factors including mandatory participation requirements by teachers, efforts to transcend transactional distance confusion, compensation for shyness or oral speaking problems, additional preparation time, and the social culture developed in the online environment.

Interaction was mentioned frequently by students and faculty as an important component in the online environment and generally considered desirable. Threaded discussions were found to produce copious interactions, but were not without flaws. Some found them confusing and others wanted additional methods of interaction such as live chats and online forums. The online class discussions fostered social relationships among the students that provided a warm and nurturing environment. This environment encouraged students to speak of personal experiences and develop shared ideas. On the other hand, the environment did not seem to foster expansive learning. Students did not contradict each other or present contrasting views. There was little conflict. Responses did not normally rise to a higher level. This was attributed to the social culture of the class, the lack of teacher involvement in creating scaffolds, and the lack of utilization of reflective type questions.
Recommendations developed from this study call for additional techniques to be utilized beyond class discussions. Collaborative methods such as group research, peer tutoring, group projects and role playing should be added. Teachers need to become more involved as experts in classroom discussions.

 

 Active learning in a virtual classroom
Lilia Pavlovsky, PhD
Rutgers University

 

This case study examines how active learning is defined through social interaction within the context of an online classroom environment.  Social behaviors are identified, characterized and examined in relation to learning experiences.  The following questions are addressed:  1) What is the relationship between social context and active learning?  2)  How are these relationships instantiated in public discourse?  3) How does design affect learning behavior?  A content analysis of threaded discussions reveals that forms of talk in informal, socially oriented discourse are mirrored in more focused and complex interactions involving subject matter.  Learning culture is defined through social interaction and  information sharing on personal and professional levels.  Establishment of familiarity and trust leads to risk taking behaviors, higher idea generation and increased active learning processes.  Design and guidance facilitate community building, which, in turn, raises the level of active learning.

 

Juried Papers 7

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 7

 

 What Practitioners Have to Say about Preparing Subject Specialists
for Academic and Research Libraries

Diane L. Barlow and Patricia Fisher
College of Information Studies
University of Maryland

 

 

Changes in the demographics of the cohort of practicing librarians is a topic of considerable interest in the profession, with a particular interest focused on a projected shortage of librarians as today’s generation of professionals retires.  There is discussion of the situation as it might affect libraries of all types.  One type of librarian which may be difficult to replace in academic and research libraries is the subject specialist, especially the specialist whose expertise lies in various area studies and languages.

There are several aspects to the problem of a potential shortage of librarians with subject specialty expertise:  supply of and demand for subject specialists; recruiting individuals with advanced degrees into the information professions; facilitating advanced subject area study by practicing librarians; and devising the optimum educational program to prepare library and information studies (LIS) students for careers as subject specialists in academic and research libraries.

This paper is derived from an ongoing research project being conducted by faculty from two library and information studies schools to address questions related to the potential shortage of subject specialists for academic and research libraries. In keeping with the 2006 ALISE conference theme, this paper focuses on one part of the multifaceted project – curriculum design for preparing students with advanced degrees to become subject specialists in academic and research libraries.

The research question that will be addressed in this paper is quite straightforward:

“From the perspective of the professional librarian, what knowledge, skills, and attitudes do subject specialists in an academic or research library need?”

 

The research design for the study uses three data collection methods:

  • Survey.  Directors of all libraries that are members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) were asked to respond to a web-based survey in which they were asked about the importance of 20 aspects of educational preparation, e.g. administration, cataloging and bibliographical control, collection management, research methods, user needs.  Fifty-six responses to the survey were received for a response rate of 45.5%.  The data was analyzed using a standard statistical analysis software package.
  • Interviews.  Subject specialists within the responding libraries were interviewed to ascertain their opinions concerning the requisite knowledge and skills that subject specialists need in their professional positions.  The interview protocol elicited responses to the same set of 20 aspects of educational preparation used in the survey and included an additional question about enhancements and refinements to curricular design.   Twenty-five interviews were conducted.  The interviews were transcribed and analyzed.
  • Content Analysis.  Position descriptions for subject specialists in academic and research libraries and job advertisements for subject specialists from the 2004-2005 issues of American Libraries and the 2005 issues of the Chronicle of Higher Education were analyzed using the same set of aspects of educational preparation that was used in the survey and interviews as the basis for coding categories.  Fifty position descriptions and job advertisements were coded and analyzed.

The analysis of each of the data collection efforts is described individually, giving a profile of the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes from the professional perspective of the library directors (the survey data) and practicing subject specialists (the interview data). The analysis based on data from the position descriptions and job advertisements is seen as a distilled statement of qualifications in which high priority qualifications and experience are highlighted.  Results of the three separate data collection and analysis efforts are compared and contrasted.  Areas of agreement and disagreement are noted.

The conclusions relate the research findings to curricular and course design as it is commonly understood and practiced in LIS education today.

 

 What Do We Know About the Subject Specialists?
Qualities and Characteristics of the Advanced Degree Holders Who Are Likely to Become Subject Specialists in Academic and Research Libraries

Ming-Hsin Chiu, Ph.D. Student, SLIS
Louise S. Robbins, Professor and Director, SLIS,
Fang-Shu Ou, Master’s Student, Department of Statistics
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Librarians in academic and research libraries play an important role in facilitating the scholarly achievement of students and faculty at institutions of higher education. However, the changing demographics of librarianship, in particular academic and research librarianship, presents a great challenge to the profession. Research has indicated that the possible retirement of experienced librarians, along with a limited supply of new entrants to the profession with subject specialties to the profession, will result in a severe shortage; supply will not meet the demand for subject specialists.

According to the ARL meeting discussions in April 2003, there are few qualified applicants for subject specialist positions, and ALA-accredited schools are apparently not attracting people with appropriate credentials to obtain master’s degrees in LIS to move into these positions.

To begin to address this situation, several courses of action have been developed to ensure the supply will effectively meet the demand. The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) offers postdoctoral fellowship opportunities for humanities scholars, and focuses on building print and digital collections for the teaching and research programs in the fellow’s own subject discipline. ARL formed a Task Force on Special Collections to provide hands-on experience for recent Ph.D.s in collecting, organizing, maintaining, and preserving primary research materials, in response to the need of national and international scholarship. However, without adequate understanding of those qualified individuals who are likely to enter the field of academic and research librarianship and fill those and other subject specialist positions, appropriate strategies can’t be effectively developed to determine the level of need as well as to identify and recruit those qualified candidates to LIS.

The objective of this exploratory study is to answer the research question: What are the qualities and characteristics of the advanced degree holders pursuing a master’s degree in LIS? By gathering information from a national survey, this study identifies: the qualities and characteristics of the pool of LIS students with subject specialties available to become subject specialists in academic and research libraries; the students’ projected career paths; and the factors that attracted them to choose librarianship.

The survey to LIS students with advanced degrees in subject specialties was developed based on the review of literature in the aspects of library personnel and administration, subject specialists and subject knowledge, human resource management, and recruitment and career decision making. The survey was pilot-tested by a group of students of the target population, and revision was made based on the feedback. A Web link to the online survey was generated and sent to the 56 ALA-accredited LIS education programs deans/directors, along with a cover letter explaining the research intent, participation information, and benefits and risks associated with participating in the study. The deans/directors were requested to distribute the cover letter and the Web survey link to the student email listserv or discussion board of their programs, so that the LIS students who have already had or were concurrently pursuing an advanced degree in a subject field could self-identify and participate. The data were gathered on a national basis with participation from both doctoral research universities and master’s colleges and universities, therefore the results should be generalizable.

After data collection was completed, data analysis was conducted with the assistance of the online survey program and the statistical analysis software. In addition to the descriptive statistics that summarized the respondents’ answers to the survey questions, six correlation hypotheses were specifically tested to demonstrate whether and how strongly the pairs of characteristics were related, these correlation hypotheses included (1) The factors that attract the advanced degree holders to librarianship are related to the type of library work environment in which an individual is interested in working, (2) how an advanced degree holder values the importance of LIS education aspects is related to the type of library work an individual is most interested in, (3) an advanced degree holder’s subject specialty is related to the preference of type of library work environment, (4) an advanced degree holder’s subject field is related to the preference of type of library work, (5) an advanced degree holder’s highest degree is related to the preference of type of library work environment, and (6) an advanced degree holder’s highest degree is related to the preference of type of library work.

According to Winston (2001), the concept of recruitment theory “provides a worth-while basis for the development of recruitment strategies because there are similarities between those who are currently employed in a given profession and those who are likely candidates for recruitment into that profession” (p. 21). It is anticipated that the results of the study will generate understanding in identifying qualities and characteristics of the advanced degree holders and the factors that attracted them into librarianship, and in developing successful recruitment strategies to attract a diverse workforce and expertise into academic and research librarianship. The understanding and findings gained from the study will shed new light on the recruitment of subject specialists for academic and research libraries in response to the foreseen shortage, as well as the key challenges the library profession will face in searching for qualified individuals for academic and research librarianship. Although it was not the intention of this stage of the study to fully develop the recruitment plan that incorporated the findings, several recruitment strategies are recommended. Current subject specialist will also be interviewed, as another aspect of the study and a full recruitment plan will be developed in future research.

Reference:

Winston, M. D. (2001). Recruitment theory: Identification of those who are likely to be successful as leaders. Journal of Library Administration, 32(3/4), 19-34.

 

 Supporting Librarian Research: Penn State’s Experience

Joseph Fennewald
Penn State University - Hazleton

 

Penn State often appears among the top ten institutions in library research productivity (Budd & Seavey, 1990; Weller, Hurd, & Wibereley, 1999). Recently, for example, a Thomson-Scientific Report identified Penn State as the fourth most prolific institution for papers in “the field of library and information science” (‘Library & Information Science,’ 2005). Although institutional requirements and support are often credited for this accomplishment by administrators, this study explores the subjective experience of a diverse sample of PSU librarian researchers themselves.
Previous studies have speculated about research productivity among librarians. John M. Budd and Charles A. Seavey (1990) suggested that “individuals who are motivated to write and publish likely gravitate to [doctoral] institutions where such activity is expected and valued.” Mickey Zemon and Alice Harrison Bahr (1998), who surveyed librarians at undergraduate institutions, reported that active researchers in this setting published “to share their innovation and/or concerns and to achieve recognition.” In a study of research productivity across disciplines, Charles A. Schwartz (1991) found that the research often identifies “plausible factors” but common practices of effective institutional support have not emerged. He recommended that research study effective librarian productivity in the context of particular settings. This study follows Schwartz’s recommendation. It is anticipated that its findings will reaffirm the importance of those institutional supports commonly cited, as well as identify new ways in which research productivity can be enhanced. Although the emphasis is on PSU, the study should benefit other institutions where librarians conduct research. The study should also prove valuable to library schools as they prepare librarians to be research-practitioners.
Although previous studies have gathered information with self-administered questionnaires, no one has conducted personal interviews with research-practitioners. It was thought that interviews would not only confirm the influence of factors already reported but also uncover new ones. Likewise, an interview would allow a librarian to elaborate on why a factor is beneficial or harmful.
Eighty-five librarians at Penn State’s main campus and 21 campuses were provided with a description of the study and asked to participate. Seventy-seven agreed, suggesting a high level of interest. Four librarians were selected for pilot interviews based on their positions and publication record. From the remaining 73, a purposeful sample of 38 completed the one hour interviews on which this study is based. The respondents differed slightly in location, gender, and publications from the overall profile of Penn State librarians.
Interviews were intentionally informal. An interview guide was developed around questions about plausible factors influencing research productivity. Topics included were institutional expectations and support, professional mentors, motivation, educational background and academic achievement, and commitment to the profession. Librarians were encouraged to describe how they selected research topics, what steps they followed in conducting research and reporting their findings, what institutional resources were used, what difficulties they encountered, and what advice they would offer new librarians. The goal was to obtain narratives or accounts in the person’s own words rather than determine the frequency of certain factors that have been previously identified.
This study found that Penn State librarians, as expected, rely on formal institutional supports including conference travel funds, research grants, sabbaticals, release time, and a formal mentorship program. In addition, it also revealed an important ‘informal’ institutional support system among colleagues. Informal supports included flexible desk coverage schedules, suggestions for possible publications, co-authorships, leads to publication outlets, and requests from colleagues to contribute to special issues. Like the mentoring program, many of these informal activities in time may become part of the formal institutional support system.
Several librarians identified specific educational experiences as beneficial. Many described the value of writing intensive courses and those that taught students how to critique professional literature. Several referred to specific classes that emphasized the format for presenting research so that they now write following a “template” embedded after years of training. Except for those with doctoral degrees, most librarians who conduct social science research rely on others with training in surveys or statistical analysis. Interestingly, many who sought help from institutional research services lamented on “not knowing enough to ask the right questions” and believed that more training in social science research would have been helpful.
In general, the publications of the librarians studied here can be categorized as either institutional-based or disciplined-based. Almost all the librarians had published research describing library practices at Penn State. Although these are often described as “how-we-did-it-good” articles, they were important, especially for tenure track librarians as they endeavored to meet Penn State’s expectations. In addition, many of these publications were co-authored, providing research mentors to new librarians. For Penn State, the publication of research reporting an institutional-based project highlights work being done at the university. Although librarians are encouraged to “do your job and write about it,” several interviewees voiced concern about the quality of these publications. Recently, perhaps in response to this concern, teams undertaking new projects have been encouraged to identify what has previously been done. This written report often serves as the literature review in a future publication.
Although most librarians interviewed had institutional-based publications, fewer librarians had discipline-based publications. The latter can presumably be conducted at any institution. Librarians who accomplished this work often write in areas specific to their educational background or training. Some librarians described such work as the research they pursue when not “under the gun” for tenure. These projects were often viewed as being more academic.
The interviews provide valuable information on how librarians conduct research. Although institutional support is critical, one reason for Penn State’s accomplishments is its informal support system. The study also provides suggestions for library school educators on training that librarians need to be successful research-practitioners. Finally, it found that research designed to inform practice was most often conducted by librarians before they achieve tenure and lacks the prestige of disciplinary-based, or ‘pure’ research.

References

Budd, John M., and Charles A. Seavey, “Characteristics of Journal Authorship by Academic Librarians,” College and Research Libraries 51:5 (September 1990): 463-470.

“University Science Indicators: Library & Information Science: Most Prolific U. S. Universities, 1999 – 2003,” In-cites. Available: http://www.in-cites.com/research/2005/april_11_2005-1.html

Schwartz, Charles A., “Research Productivity and Publication Output: An Interdisciplinary Analysis,” College and Research Libraries 52:5 (September 1991): 414-424.

Seidman, I. E. Interviewing as Qualitative Research. New York: Teachers College Press, 1991.

Weller, Ann C., Julie M. Hurd, and Stephen E. Wiberley, Jr., “Publication Patterns of U.S. Academic Librarians from 1993 to 1997,” College and Research Libraries 60:4 (July 1999): 352-362.

Zemon, Mickey, and Alice Harrison Bahr, “An Analysis of Articles by College Librarians,” College and Research Libraries 59:5 (September 1998): 422-432.

 

 

Juried Papers 8

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 8

  1. Serving Our Students with Creative Teaching, Session II: Juried Papers 8

 

 Inquiry-Based Learning in LIS Education –
a Direct Connect to a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:  A Case Study

Muzhgan Nazarova, Ph.D. Candidate nazarova@uiuc.edu

Bertram Bruce, Professor

Ann Bishop, Associate Professor

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Based on a previous report on the Community Inquiry (CI) track as a part of curriculum at a Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) “Community of Inquiry: A Shift to Inquiry-based Learning in LIS Education”, this work explores the connections between inquiry-based learning (IBL) concepts in LIS education and the development of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).

Building on similarities between  John Dewey’s (1938) cycle of inquiry (ask, investigate, create, discuss, reflect) and Ernest Boyer’s (1990) four types of  scholarship  including the scholarship of discovery (traditional, basic research), the scholarship of integration (textbook writing, reviews of literature in the field), the scholarship of application (professional service, or outreach, which draws on scholarly expertise); scholarship of teaching, the authors take a new approach to a scholarship of teaching and learning in LIS education. Using  courses taught within the Community Inquiry Track as examples, the authors describe the importance of making the inquiry into student learning a key component in LIS education and increasing learning by fostering individual inquiry and developing a community that will support such an inquiry. 

Inquiry-based learning as an innovative method of instruction in LIS found its place in a field where dealing with inquiries on a daily basis is a major part of our work, providing more flexibility and developing and engaging in different communities of inquiry with people from all walks of life. “More than ever, librarians are partners with discipline faculty and take a vital role in instruction.  Rather than solely Librarians, we are also Instructor, Professor, Coordinator; we are teachers of information literacy.  Despite our training to become information-literate professionals, what are we taught about how to teach and impart skills, knowledge, and abilities to our students?...How can librarians be trained to become more effective teachers? A clear advantage for Library and Information Science students on their way to professional careers as academic librarians is the chance to teach at the college level.” (Meulemans & Brown, 2001).

Using a qualitative research methodology, series of surveys and interviews will be conducted among the students taking the CI courses as well the faculty members teaching them at GSLIS, UIUC in the Fall 2005 to define how inquiry-based teaching and learning methods foster SoTL in LIS education and contribute to preparation of LIS professionals to enter a profession that is “almost drowning in the sea of change” (Stuert, 1989).  Some of the survey questions will concentrate on a scholarship of application since community work/service and outreach have been integral parts of some of the CI classes as well as a recently launched school wide Community Informatics Initiative (CII) to promote the use of information and communications technologies to help achieve a community’s social, economic, political, and cultural goals.

Further in the paper the authors provide an overview of the SoTL program at UIUC - a member of AAHE/Carnegie Foundation Academy Campus Program and the Research University Consortium for the Advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (RUCASTL) working toward building the scholarship of teaching and learning as an integral part of a research university’s identity and mission.   A role of GSLIS in SoTL program on campus as well as collaboration with different departments in the area of SoTL will be described as well. Brief information about GSLIS graduate students participating at the first Inaugural Meeting of the International Society for SoTL. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:  Perspectives, Intersections, and Directions will be provided as well.

 

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 8

  1. Serving Our Students with Creative Teaching, Session II: Juried Papers 8

 

 Issues and Challenges of Integrating Service Learning in a Library Automation Course
Katherine Schilling katschil@iupui.edu,Indiana University at Indianapolis

 

Indiana University at Indianapolis has as one of its core values a commitment to civic engagement and service learning activities, characterizing them as ‘crucial campus responsibilities’.  The service learning component of civic engagement integrates theory and practice, with an emphasis on civic responsibility.  Students participate in active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning experiences that are directly linked to course-specific goals and objectives.  Faculty are encouraged and supported in their efforts to consciously instill this value in their students. 

With a mandate to educate information professionals who are also civic leaders, IUPUI SLIS has played a key role in campus-wide civic engagement activities, developing community partnerships, and promoting service learning opportunities.

IUPUI SLIS faculty met with representatives of library, museum, and archives communities who reported that libraries and information centers struggle with having enough technologically trained professionals to meet their needs.   People talked about resource shortages, primarily the need for project consultants with technology skills.  Even small systems projects routinely remain undone because of inadequate resources. 

When redesigning Library Automation (SLIS L526), the instructor found that course goals and objectives melded well with service learning, while providing students with a unique educational opportunity.  The course was restructured around service-based projects.  Acting in four to five person teams, students serve as consultants for libraries throughout the central and northern parts of the state, completing projects that relate to some aspect of current library technology. 

Since implementing the service learning curriculum, Library Automation participants have completed several projects, including the development of best practices and descriptive taxonomies for an historical photographs digital formatting project.  Students report that service learning helps to clarify career goals, contributes to stronger relationships with peers and faculty, and results in a more satisfying learning experience.

This paper depicts the Library Automation course, which focuses on developing basic analytical and problem-solving skills for technology-project management.  The School’s service learning philosophies and experiences are described, and the issues and challenges related to implementing a service learning course are discussed.

 

 Teaching and Learning Across Delivery Formats

Don A. Wicks and Richard E. Rubin
Kent State University

With LIS education now available through traditional classroom delivery as well as via a variety of online delivery mechanisms, it is important that educators not only evaluate the effectiveness of their instruction in general but also the potential influence of the delivery mode on learning.

In this study, the authors asked how three different modes of instruction used for a graduate level Library Science course impacted perceptions of learning. They wished to know if there were differences in learning preferences and learning outcomes among students who took the same course via different delivery methods. Those methods of delivery were videoconferencing (to a class of local students plus students at three remote sites), a traditional classroom setting, and via the web. The various delivery modes gave the researchers the unique opportunity of assessing similarities and differences in learning outcomes among the different formats. The instructor and the content remained the same, but the delivery mechanism differed.

The instructor used a survey questionnaire to collect data. This instrument included two parts: (a) general questions (demographic questions, questions about how they were taking the course, their prior experience with the three different modes of delivery, their preferred delivery mode, their career goal, and their learning style: visual, auditory, or tactile-kinesthetic); and (b) specific questions about the course (issues as work experience in collection development, the amount of work they put into the course compared to other courses, the amount of time spent on coursework, their sense of the level of discussion /interaction with other students in the course, instructional support, frequency of access to the instructor, their interest in working in collection management, whether the course had fallen below, met, or exceeded their expectations, and whether the course should be a required one).

Students (n=145) were also asked to rate their perceived knowledge (before and after taking the class) of fifteen topics covered in the course.

The paper reported frequencies and provides statistical analysis of potential relationships between such factors as effect of mode of delivery on class discussion, effect of mode of delivery on student expectations for the course, relationship of location of the student to learning style, access to instructor, and more.

Qualitative comments were also collected and analyzed. Proposals for future research were offered.

 

 

Juried Papers 9

CONCURRENT PROGRAMS AND JURIED PAPERS SESSION 9

 Tenure – The Moving Target
Susan Higgins, University of Southern Mississippi

Introduction

The scholarship of teaching and learning in library and information science education has as its foundation the reward of tenured jobs for contributing faculty. Ideally, research and practice have a reciprocal relationship and inform performance in the classroom.
In the same way, the perception of job security by faculty has professional and institutional attributes. For the institution, the demonstration of accountability is centered on the faculty tenure process. For the faculty member, in order for research to inform teaching and learning, a positive climate of reciprocity with the institution need exist. In the article “Challenges Facing Higher Education for the New Century - the Impact on Promotion and Tenure in LIS Education”, Dr. Elizabeth Pollicino reported that one aspect of this relationship is the granting of autonomy via tenure and that the opportunity to exercise personal professional autonomy is linked to job security: “It is essential that a faculty member strike the right balance between exercising personal professional authority and contributing as a citizen of both the institutional and disciplinary academic communities”. The purpose of this study is to examine how this balance came about for the directors of LIS programs and determine how tenure supported their teaching and research. The problem of lack of information of how tenure operates as a professional mainstay is significant because it becomes a barrier to the attainment of tenure; therefore, the objective of the proposed research is to clarify the experience of tenure through documentation of institutional requirements and the personal experience of the respondents.

Permission to conduct the study has been obtained from the University of Southern Mississippi Institutional Review Board Human Subjects Protection Review Committee. A pilot survey was sent to current and former directors of LIS programs who provided input and suggestions for improvement. A revised electronic survey will be emailed to the deans, chairs or directors of the ALA accredited LIS/IS institutions listed in the 2005 ALISE Institutional Members directory. The survey will pose the following research questions:

1. Did the tenure process inform your research and practice in LIS?
2. How did the tenure process inform your teaching and learning in LIS?
3. Was your commitment to teaching and research enhanced by the tenure process?

The survey will also include a 5 point generic checklist to rate the weighting of an item in tenure/promotion. The proposed categories are: 1) Research Publications – scholarly book or book chapter authorship, 2) Research Publications - peer-reviewed article authorship, 3) Conference Presentations, 4) Research Grant Applications, 5) Teaching Evaluations, 6) Teaching Load, 7) Student Mentoring/Advising, 8) Other Administrative Roles, and 9) Professional Service, which on this scale includes university/college service, departmental or disciplinary service, as well as community service

The survey will be followed by telephone interviews for participants who did not respond. The methodology is considered appropriate to review the perceptions of tenured faculty regarding the practical and theoretical underpinnings of the tenured process in library and information science education, and to note how these perceptions might emerge in all aspects of performance, including the classroom and curriculum development discussions. Intercoder reliability will be measured and consensus sought on themes emerging from the survey in an effort to clarify the current climate and inform the community of tenure-seeking faculty.

Exploratory findings of the pilot interviews suggest that tenured staff were motivated and committed to deliver the kind of performance that would achieve promotion, and the promotion process looked at performance (as measured by a point scale) on research, teaching, administration, and external relations. Commitment to teaching and research was a preliminary to rather than an enhancement of the promotion process.

References:

ALISE 2005 Membership Directory. Oak Ridge, Tennessee: ALISE, 2005.

Cronin, Blaise and La Barre, Kathryn. Mickey Mouse and Milton: book publishing in the Humanities. Learned Publishing (2004) 17, 85-98.

Estabrook, Leigh and Warner, Bijan. The Book as the Gold Standard for Tenure and Promotion in the Humanistic Disciplines. http://lrc.lis.uiuc.edu/reports/CICBook.html
Accessed April 27, 2005.

Johnson, Ryan. The Development of Criteria for the Inclusion of Digital Publications in the Tenure Process in Digital Scholarship in the Tenure, Promotion, and Review Process, edited by Deborah Lines Andersen. M.E.Sharpe: Armonk, NY.

Manning, Peter K. and Cullum-Swan, Betsy. “Narrative, Content, and Semiotic
Analysis” in Handbook of Qualitative Research, ed. Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S.
Lincoln. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994.

Neuendorf, Kimberly A. The Content Analysis Guidebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2002.

Pollicino, Elizabeth B. Challenges Facing Higher Education for the New Century: The Impact on Promotion and Tenure in LIS Education. http://www.alise.org/conferences/con))_Pollicino.htm
Accessed April 22, 2005. Permission received from the author to cite/quote.

Yarmonlinsky, Adam. Tenure: permanence and change - academic tenure.
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1254/is_n3_v28/ai_18371667
Accessed May 5, 2005

 Global access to Cross-cultural and Cross-lingual resources: Current Research Trends and Their Implications to LIS Curricula

Jung-ran Park, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Drexel University

We now live in a global information society across geographical, lingual and cultural boundaries made possible through rapidly advancing communication technologies; concomitantly, recognition of the necessity for knowledge organization and integration and accessibility of multicultural and multilingual resources has greatly increased (8th ISKO International Conference in 2004 [main theme-Knowledge Organization and the Global Information Society], JASIST special topic issue on Multilingual Information System [in print], Cataloging & Classification Quarterly vol. 37 (1/2) special topic issue on Knowledge Organization and Classification in International Information Retrieval). Owing to international digitization projects, access has recently opened up to medieval texts as well as images and primary sources housed in far-flung libraries and institutions, greatly furthering global access to multicultural resources. The technological revolution that brought forth the global information society has also spurred recognition of the necessity for international collaboration aimed at multicultural education and diversity. Linguistic and computational linguistic communities have collaborated in developing multilingual information resource discovery tools such as concept-based indexing, an example of which is Wordnet (Miller et al. 1990, Fellbaum 1998) and EuroWordnet (Vossen 1998), a bilingual online dictionary that is mostly utilized for cross-lingual information processing (Hovy et al. 1999). The Open Language Archives Community (OLAC) has also been engaged in archiving, disseminating and preserving language and culture related resources, including language engineering tools, through utilization of Dublin Core metadata (Park 2004, 2005). This increased activity centering on accessing resources across cultures and languages in a global context makes clear the need to addresses research needs in this area, in particular current trends, research gaps, and direction for future studies, together with implications for LIS curricula.

Toward this end, as a first step, an empirical study of current research trends in cross-cultural and cross-lingual information access is being conducted. This study limits its scope to focusing on knowledge organization studies in the area of cross-cultural and cross-lingual resource discovery. The goals of this ongoing study are addressed based on the following questions: 1) What are the current research trends in cross-lingual information organization and retrieval?; 2) What types of cross-lingual lexical tools (e.g., cataloging, metadata, thesauri, ontology) have been developed for global access to cross-cultural heritage?; 3) What types of international bibliographic control and standardization research have been conducted?; 4) What implications can be drawn for LIS curricula from current research in the area of cross-lingual information organization and access? To examine the above research questions, a qualitative content analysis has been conducted of journal articles that have been published between 2000 and 2005. The articles are categorized into the following areas: 1) cultural context; 2) language context; 3) research goals. The third research category is further analyzed into the following areas: developing cross-lingual lexical tools (e.g., multilingual thesauri); organizing/archiving cross-lingual and cross-cultural resources; data sharing (e.g., semantic interoperability); developing international digital library; international collaboration.
Results to date of this ongoing study suggest that drawbacks and hindrances in enhancing access to cross-cultural and cross-lingual resources are largely derived from the complexities and variation of linguistic structures across languages. Accordingly, there is a critical need to develop common guidelines for cross-linking of names (e.g., person, place, corporate body). Development of such interoperable cross-linking guidelines is conditioned by the examination of morpho-syntactic variation across language structures. Development of knowledge organization schemes for multilingual subject access is also hindered by the lack of common conceptual mapping criteria interoperable across languages and cultures. Identification of lexicalization patterns based on semantic and pragmatic linguistic analysis is critically needed to develop interoperable conceptual mapping guidelines across languages and cultures. Word segmentation and transliteration schemes dealing with non-Roman languages also play a part in hindering access to cross-lingual and cross-cultural resources. The goal of standardization of such transliteration schemes and development of mechanisms geared toward consistent word segmentation call for future research in these areas. The results of this ongoing study address implications to LIS curricula in relation to access to cross-lingual and cross-cultural resources in the global information society. The following curricula especially stand to benefit from the results of this ongoing study: knowledge organization, information retrieval, digital library, information resources in the humanities and social science and information system design. Multilingual knowledge organization schemes also have the potential to be adapted as tools for facilitating cross-cultural communication for information service and multicultural education.

 
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