Juried Paper Abstracts

 

Juried Paper Abstracts, presented during 9 sessions at the 2007 ALISE Annual Conference.

Juried Papers Session 1
Mon
Tu, Zimmerman
Connaway, Radford
Juried Papers Session 2
Newell
Dresang, Everhart
Kumasi-Johnson, Moeller
Juried Papers Session 3
Du, Heinrichs, Anghelescu, Utz
Kazmer, Brown
Sanders, McKeown
Juried Papers Session 4
Pierce
Mackey
Adkins, Esser, Velasquez
Juried Papers Session 5
Zach
Walster
Iyer
Juried Papers Session 6
Cheng, Ford
Hedman, Moring
Wertheimer
Juried Papers Session 7
Perrault
Olah
Ball
Juried Papers Session 8
Gaffney
Winston, Bahnaman
Burnett, Bonnici
Juried Papers Session 9
Montague, Brock
Black, Kelley
 

 

Juried Papers Session 1: Reflections on Virtual Reference
 
1.1 Seeing Ourselves through Users’ Eyes: Perceptions of Digital Reference Services

Lorri Mon, Assistant Professor
College of Information
Florida State University

Findings from digital reference assessment studies commonly show that the majority of users express themselves to be satisfied with their library chat and e-mail experiences and willing to return and use the service again. But are users’ answers to standard assessment questions fully conveying their experiences with digital reference services? Are users and librarians speaking the same language in questions asked in digital reference assessment? What problems do chat and e-mail users experience in the digital reference process, and how might software design, assessment procedures, and professional practice be experimentally modified in response to users’ suggestions and expressed needs?

The research questions in this study focused on understanding users’ perceptions of digital reference services, including how users described their perceptions of the interpersonal communication with the librarian, the expectations they expressed about digital reference services, and how users described outcomes of the process in meeting their information needs. Results of an exploratory qualitative case study with 33 users of an academic library chat and e-mail digital reference service are discussed. Twenty-two chat users and eleven e-mail users participated in face-to-face or telephone interviews in which they were asked standard types of assessment questions such as their satisfaction level and willingness to use the service again, as well as open-ended questions about their perceptions of their digital reference experience. Content analysis of user interviews, digital reference transcripts and institutional documents was utilized in examining how users described their perceptions of chat and e-mail question-answering services. Users’ interactions with librarians as shown in the chat and e-mail transcripts were explored as well as their descriptions of subsequent outcomes. In seeking to understand how users perceived and experienced chat and e-mail digital reference services, technical issues were revealed that ultimately resulted in changes being incorporated into the internationally-used chat software, and issues were raised about practice in areas including technical design issues and effectiveness of standard assessment questions in revealing users’ experiences. The results of this study suggest implications for reflective professional practice in the areas of new directions for the design of assessment questions, software features, and question intake interfaces.

 
1.2 Virtual Reference Services in LIS Curricula: Lessons from VRS Practitioners

 

 

Dr. Feili Tu
School of Library and Information Science
The University of South Carolina
Dr. Nancy P. Zimmerman
School of Library and Information Science
The University of South Carolina

Librarians are under pressure from users to deliver services 24/7. One of the ways to satisfy user demand is through the provision of Virtual Reference Services (VRS). However, many current practitioners lack the skills and knowledge to provide VRS. Additionally, integrating real-world library operations into the curriculum is one of the goals of library and information science (LIS) education. It is the LIS educators’ responsibility to help students understand that VRS is not a future trend but a current requirement, so training in VRS must exist in the present curriculum. Yet LIS educators, removed from real-world settings, can not often benefit from experiences of current practitioners in updating and revamping curricula. This research brings together the methods of the researcher with the wisdom and experiences of current practitioners to provide LIS educators with the information needed to develop effective instruction in the provision of VRS.

To define the knowledge and skill sets necessary for VRS training and education for LIS students and current practitioners, the researchers conducted three studies (2002, 2004, 2005) asking current librarian providers of VRS in different information environments to reflect on their VRS practice. These reflective practitioners, already providing VRS, were surveyed and asked to share VRS experiences, lessons-learned, and perceptions of the critical knowledge and skills necessary for the delivery of effective and ethical VRS. The 2002 study surveyed academic and public librarians providing adult VRS, the 2004 study surveyed school library media specialists and youth services librarians, and the 2005 study surveyed health information/medical librarians. The methodology is survey research design with both qualitative and quantitative methods used for data analysis.

Findings of the three studies identify the most essential knowledge and skills needed for the effective and ethical provision of VRS as defined by the three practitioner VRS provider groups and address and compare issues particular to the three different information environments. The question of challenges LIS educators face in producing graduates qualified to provide VRS is examined and teaching methods and course formats for traditional, distance education, and continuing education programs as suggested by the findings are recommended. Issues identified by the researchers and practitioners related to student learning and course content are discussed. These findings should prove significant in revamping the curricula of LIS education for both current and continuing education students for the effective and ethical provision of VRS in differing information environments.

 
1.3 Reflections of Reference Practice: Analyzing Virtual Reference Transcripts

 

 

Marie L. Radford
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Lynn Silipigni Connaway
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

Abstract coming soon


Juried Papers Session 2: Contemplating the K-12 World
 
2.1 Rethinking Information Literacy Learning Environments: Illuminating Critical Points of Concern and Expanding Possibilities for Information Educators

Terrance S. Newell
Assistant Professor
College of Information
Florida State University

The purpose of this study was to compare two k-12 information literacy learning approaches: 1) an integrated information literacy instructional approach, which is a collaborative, constructivist approach to information literacy that contextualizes information skills within ongoing classroom assignments and 2) an Immersive Information Literacy Approach (I2LA), which fuses cognitive constructivism, sociocultural constructivism, semiotic domain theory and immersive technology (e.g., virtual reality) to create environments within which students can develop information literacy through authentic experiences/interactions and communities of practice. The AASL/AECT (1998) visions on building partnerships for learning were used to construct the integrated learning environment. VILLAS, which is a 3D virtual reality environment for learning and assessing information literacy within an Immersive Information Literacy Approach (I2LA), was used in this study as the immersive environment for student learning. The specific aims of the study were to a) examine the effectiveness of the two teaching/learning approaches in respect to expanding students’ understanding of information problem-solving and b) to examine the information problem-solving, literacy level shifts (e.g., illiterate and critical) in students’ ability to recognize/explain information problem-solving social practices (e.g., task definition, evaluation/selection, organization/communication and information use) and to visualize how they would produce domain particular meanings within the social practices.

The study utilized both quantitative and qualitative research methods in exploring the specific aims. A two-group, pretest-posttest, randomized control design provided a direct analysis of learning approach effectiveness. Using this research strategy, the gains of learning groups from pretest to posttest were used to assess the effectiveness of the instructional models. A student interview strategy further explored the development of information problem-solving literacy within each learning model. Furthermore, an Activity Theory observational framework was used to record and describe broad patterns of dynamic activity within each learning environment.
The research findings show that the three methods employed in the study complemented each other. Since learning emerges from activity, the AT observational framework proved invaluable in understanding and explaining activity within the different learning environments. The repeated information literacy measure allowed for the interrogation of student gains and learning environment effectiveness. The pre-post interviews provided a deeper examination of the particularities and complexities of 4 students as they attempted to recognize and visualize social practices before and after the learning experiences.

The results of this study reveal that learning within different approaches is distinct, and that distinct approaches have the potential of constructing particular types of information literate learners. For example, the integrated learners in this study experienced significantly larger knowledge gains (T = -3.664, p = .00*) and the immersive students experienced significantly larger application gains (T = 3.873, p = .00*). The results also illuminate several critical points of reflection for information educators (e.g., the intended, unintended, stabilizing and transformative interaction/activity patterns within learning systems) and expand possibilities in the area of information instruction/assessment.

 
2.2 Preparing Reflective School Library Media Specialists using the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

 

 

Dr. Nancy Everhart, Associate Professor
College of Information
Florida State University
Dr. Eliza T. Dresang, Eliza Atkins Gleason Professor
College of Information
Florida State University

How do students in LIS courses evolve as reflective practitioners?
The intent of this paper is to provide an answer to this question through an evidence-based case study of how students can gain the skills and experience to become reflective practitioners within LIS courses that employ the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' (NBPTS) emphasis on professional reflection. One of the five core propositions upon which the standards of the NBPTS are based is "Teachers Think Systematically about Their Practice and Learn from Experience."

The scope of the study is content analyses of two distinct data sets -- reflective responses to various assignments and reflective blogs -- from the courses Leadership in Reading and Leadership in Technology offered during spring and summer semesters 2006 as part of a graduate LIS program. These courses were recently developed as part of a grant funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, Project LEAD: School Library Media Specialists for the 21st Century -- Leaders Educated to Make a Difference. The goal of this unique and completely online program at Florida State University, available nationwide, was to "develop graduate education opportunities focused on leadership for school library media specialists and integrating National Board Certification, the highest credential in the teaching profession."

The study draws upon the theoretical and research base developed by Donald A. Schon identified as Reflective Practitioner Theory as well as upon subsequent studies of reflective practice. Two major components of Reflective Practitioner Theory are Reflection-in-Action, or thinking on one’s feet, and Reflection-on-Action, or exploring why one acted as one did. The data drawn from the LIS courses are analyzed from both perspectives. The prescribed National Board process of describing, analyzing, and reflecting forms the pedagogical base. From the current study, various means by which students are introduced to and engaged in reflection, descriptions of peer coaching as well as instructor facilitation, and examples of individual student progress throughout the two semesters are documented and analyzed.

The significance of this research is not only that it is directly relevant to the ALISE conference theme, but also that the theoretical base is applied to a research topic and venue about which widespread interest exists and on which no previous research exists. Demand is coming from the field for leadership and NBPTS preparation. Thirty-five states, each with separate certification requirements, now accept this national certification, and all fifty states and more than 500 school districts across the nation have implemented policies and regulations to recruit, reward and retain NBC educators. It is extremely important for a curriculum related to a program such as the NBPTS certification that is rapidly gaining momentum to have a research base upon which those determining whether to adopt it can rely.

 
2.3 Stories We Tell: Culture, Race, and Youth Services in the LIS Curriculum

 

 

Kafi Kumasi-Johnson
School of Education
Indiana University
Robin Moeller
School of Education
Indiana University

The authors were approached by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Indiana University at Bloomington to develop and teach a section of an issues-based children’s and young adult literature seminar that would focus upon supporting children in multicultural settings. As instructors, the authors recognized the connection between their emerging understanding of multicultural education and the potential application for children’s’ and youth services in libraries. Ultimately, the authors designed a class that they felt would make students more aware and reflective of the importance of providing culturally relevant library services, collections, and environments. The purpose of this ALISE paper is to share the conceptual framework and outcomes of student learning of the course.

The conceptualization of this course is based upon the instructors’ backgrounds in Curriculum Studies and research interests in multicultural education. Aligned with Christine Bennett’s (2001) model for genres of research in multicultural education, the students in this course were provided an opportunity to further their sense of multicultural competence which includes ethnic identity development, prejudice reduction, and ethnic group culture. By analyzing students’ writing activities, the instructors were able to ascertain the extent to which students developed in the aforementioned focal areas. Additionally, the instructors were able to glean how the students’ expanded perspectives on multiculturalism might inform their future library practices.

This course was intended for graduate students with an interest in youth services. This effort is reflective of ALA’s Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs that specifies that LIS curricula should respond “to the needs of a rapidly changing multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual society including the needs of underserved groups” (Council of the American Library Association, 1992).

As was initially indicated to the instructors by the School of Library and Information Science administration, there exists a need to teach LIS students the necessity of making their resources, facilities, and practices reflective of a pluralistic society. Without formal education offered at the master’s level of coursework, students are prone to enter the library profession without an understanding of the importance of maintaining and promoting a multicultural environment. The following overarching questions guided this study: How do LIS students think about multiculturalism? How did these students feel multiculturalism might impact their future practices as librarians? How were these students’ conceptions of multiculturalism affected as a result of participating in this seminar?

References

Bennett, C. (2001). Genres of research in multicultural education.
Review of Educational Research, 71(2), 171-217.

Council of the American Library Association (1992). Standards for Accreditation in
Master’s Programs in Library and Information Services 1992. Retrieved 6 7, 2006, from

 

 

Juried Papers Session 3: Learning & Living Through Virtual Class Worlds
 
3.1 Applying Experiential Learning Theory in Distance Education: A Case Study

 

 

Yunfei Du
Assistant Professor
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University
John Heinrichs
Assistant Professor
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University
Hermina Anghelescu
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University
Jan Utz
Lecturer
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University

Currently asynchronous, text-based communication distance education models are practiced by many library and information science (LIS) programs (Barron, 2003). Recently the authors experimented with Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite equipment. It consists of a web server, a digital video capture system that allows transferring of the lectures onto the server to be viewed via the internet live or on demand. The current paper discusses the implementation of this new technique and makes connection between media-enhanced teaching method and the application of the Experiential Learning Theory (Kolb, 1984). The rationale of providing media-rich course content in distance learning is to enable students to access course lectures live or on demand from remote locations. The technology would simulate a classroom-like experience thus allowing students to go through a full learning process of feeling, watching, thinking, and doing as suggested by Experiential Learning Theory (ELT). The main purpose of this project is to examine the learning outcomes of rich media course content and evaluate how ELT may be adopted in LIS distance education on a larger scale.

Theoretical Background
Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) rooted back to John Dewey’s summary of four stages of developing experience (experience – data – ideas – solutions) that is continuous and goes to next cycle as learning continues. The concept of ELT explores the cyclical pattern of all learning from Experience through Reflection and Conceptualization to Action and on to further Experience. Hence, video-enhanced teaching techniques make it possible to simulate the onsite classrooms and may cover students’ different learning styles: diverging, assimilating, converging, and accommodating as suggested by ELP (Kolb, 1984).

Method
Since Fall 2005 and Winter 2006 semesters four LIS Program faculty members began extensive use of the Mediasite cart in their classes, ranging from information technology classes to library technical services. A total of 247 students participated in the survey, among them 108 students answered open-ended questions regard to the use of the system.

This study explores the following research questions: (1) How Experiential Learning Theory may be adopted in media-rich distance learning environment? (2) What learning styles best fit media-rich distance learning environment? (3) What can be implemented to improve the media-rich distance learning?

Using a qualitative research method, several questions were asked in the survey, covering why take courses in this format, how class lectures were viewed, how to improve the course, demographic information, and items regarding the students preferred way of learning in distance. The researchers will conduct content analysis on students’ qualitative feedback. In addition, descriptive statistics and analysis of variances (ANOVA) will also be reported.

 

References

Barron, D. (2003). Benchmarks in distance education: the LIS experience. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

 
3.2 Professional contributions and communications of graduates of online LIS programs

 

 

Michelle M. Kazmer
College of Information
Florida State University
Denise Brown
College of Information
Florida State University

Intent of study and relation to reflective practice
For the last decade, increasing numbers of students have earned master's degrees in library and information science (LIS) via online distance learning programs. Those students may have an advantage in becoming reflective professionals because unique opportunities of distance learning encourage them to scrutinize and reflect on practice while completing their course work (Kazmer, 2005; Schn, 1987). For the same reason, they may be poised for successful careers in which they contribute to and shape the LIS profession over time through reflective professional practice (Schn 1983).

LIS educators and employers must undertake longitudinal studies of the professional experiences, career paths and professional contributions of online program graduates to determine whether these graduates have successful careers and contribute to the LIS profession. This study identifies strengths and weaknesses of LIS distance graduates with respect to professional networking, professional contributions, and intra-profession communication.

Scope
This study examined 60 participants from two LIS programs, and serves as a pilot for a large-scale study comparing career outcomes and professional contributions of on-campus and online graduates. The results provide insight into the professional careers and contributions of online graduates and a questionnaire (available) that can be used to collect further data.

Research questions

  1. With whom do research participants (graduates of online LIS programs) interact for professional purposes?
  2. Using what media do research participants interact for professional purposes?
  3. For what professional purposes do research participants interact with others?
  4. What contributions do research participants make to the profession?
  5. How do the professional networks of research participants compare with their pre-professional networks while they were students?

Methods
Sixty participants completed an online questionnaire addressing: support networks during online learning; current professional networks; communication with other professionals; professional activity; work settings; and graduate programs. Participants were asked to name members of their professional networks for social network analysis. Fifteen participants were randomly selected for follow-up interviews to verify and refine the findings (Patton, 2002, p. 560). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, social network analysis, and content analysis.

Research base
Social network theory (Degenne & Fors, 1999; Haythornthwaite, 2002; Pickering & King, 1992; Wasserman & Faust, 1994; Wellman et al., 1996) and strength of weak ties (Granovetter, 1973; 1982) are used to understand and describe professional networking of LIS online graduates. To predict and evaluate professional communication, this research also draws on studies of computer-mediated communication among LIS professionals (Cromer & Johnson, 1994; Flynn, 2005; Ladner & Tillman, 1992; Levy & Foster, 1998; Roselle, 1999, 2001; Stover, 2000), and general studies of the frequency, purpose, and patterns of communication among LIS professionals (Bunge, 1982; Whitehall, Durbidge, & Meadows, 1989). Examinations of expectations for LIS education and its contribution to professional practice also inform this study (Clark & Gaughan, 1979; Kim & Kusak, 2005; Maggio & Blazek, 1990; White & Mort, 1990; Wiegand, 1986; Wynkoop, 2003).

Significance
The findings will help LIS educators improve the design of online programs and assess their ability to cultivate productive professionals with sustainable collegial ties. To perform their jobs and advance their careers, LIS professionals educated online and at a distance must develop long-term professional friendships and build interpersonal networks of knowledge. If the profession is to remain strong, distance students must be encouraged to develop interpersonal interactions that strengthen LIS professional associations, journals, and other vital activities.

 

References
Bunge, C. A. (1982). Strategies for updating knowledge of reference resources and techniques. RQ, 21, 228-232.
Clark, B. M., & Gaughan, T. M. (1979). Socialization of library school students: A framework for analysis of a current problem. Journal of Education for Librarianship, 19, 283-293.
Cromer, D. E., & Johnson, M. E. (1994). The impact of the Internet on communication among reference librarians. The Reference Librarian, 41/42, 139-157.
Degenne, A. & Fors, M. (1999). Introducing social networks. London: Sage.
Flynn, D. A. (2005). Seeking peer assistance: Use of e-mail to consult weak and latent ties. Library & Information Science Research, 27, 73-96.
Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78, 1360-1380.
Granovetter, M. (1982). The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited. In Marsden, P.V., & Lin, N. (Eds.) Social structure and network analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, pp. 105-130.
Haythornthwaite, C. (2002). Strong, weak and latent ties and the impact of new media. Information Society, 18, 385 - 401.
Kazmer, M. M. (2005). Community-embedded learning. Library Quarterly, 75, 190-212.
Kim, H. J., & Kusak, J. M. (2005). Distance education and the new MLS: The employer's perspective. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 46, 36-52.
Ladner, S. J., & Tillman, H. N. (1992). How special librarians really use the Internet. Canadian Library Journal, 49(3: June), 211-215.
Levy, P., & Foster, A. (1998). Communicating effectively in the networked organization: Using electronic mail in academic Libraries. Journal of Documentation, 54, 566-583.
Maggio, T. G., & Blazek, R. (1990). On-campus and off-campus programs of accredited library schools: A comparison of graduates. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 30, 315-329.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd. ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Pickering, J. M., & King, J. L. (1992). Hardwiring weak ties: Individual and institutional issues in computer-mediated communication. In Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on computer-supported cooperative work, New York, ACM Press, 356-361.
Roselle, A. (1999). Internet-related work activities and academic government documents librarians' professional relationships. Government Information Quarterly, 16, 149-168.
Roselle, A. (2001). The effects of electronic communication and the World Wide Web on US academic documents librarians' relationships. Journal of Government Information, 28, 149-169.
Schn, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.
Schn, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.
Stover, M. (2000). Reference librarians and the Internet: A qualitative study. Reference Service Review, 28, 39-46.
Wasserman, S. & Faust, K. (1994). Social network analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Wellman, B., Salaff, J., Dimitrova, D., Garton, L., Gulia, M., & Haythornthwaite, C. (1996). Computer networks as social networks: Collaborative work, telework, and virtual community. Annual Review of Sociology, 22, 213-238.
White, H. S., & Mort, S. L. (1990). The accredited library education program as preparation for professional library work. Library Quarterly, 60, 187-215.
Whitehall, T., Durbidge, L. G., & Meadows A. J. (1989). Communication between library practitioners. Library Review, 38, 7-33.
Wiegand, W. A. (1986). The socialization of library and information science students: Reflections on a century of formal education for librarianship. Library Trends, 34, 383-399.
Wynkoop, M. (2003). Hiring preferences in libraries: Perceptions of MLS graduates with online degrees. Unpublished survey results. Retrieved July 11, 2006, from http://www.camden.lib.nj.us/survey/results.htm.

 
3.3 Promoting Reflection through Action Learning in a 3D Virtual World

 

 

Robert L. Sanders
Appalachian State University
Lindy McKeown
University of Southern Queensland

An international cooperation between educators in Australia and the US has led to a reconceptualization of the teaching of a library science course at Appalachian State University. The pedagogy of Action Learning coupled with a 3D virtual learning environment immerses students in a social constructivist learning space that incorporates and supports reflection and interaction. During the online components of this program, opportunities afforded by the 3D world maximize social presence, while minimizing transactional distance between learners and instructors.

The intent of this study was to build a bridge between theory and practice by providing students with a tool set that promoted personal and social reflection, and created and scaffolded a community of practice. The Action Learning pedagogy was implemented in four sections of library science course titled, The School Media Program. Fifty graduate students participated in the course, each identifying a significant challenge or problem to address. Utilizing core learning episodes, reflective journals, and learning sets, each student developed an action learning plan to systematically explore, plan, act, and reflect. At the end of four weeks, students participated in a course ‘professional learning expo’ to share their findings with their colleagues.

A 3D virtual environment was used to support communication and collaboration among the students enrolled in the course. This virtual environment provided access to tools and resources necessary for the successful completion of the students’ action learning projects and, more importantly, offered an immersive learning space in which improved presence contributed to the students’ social construction of skills and knowledge.

Interviews, observations, and document analysis were used to collect and analyze data in order to answer the research question, “How can we bridge the gap between theory and practice in a university course while developing reflective professionals and lifelong learners?” These data provided a rich description of the students’ process of planning, acting, and reflecting, and how this process can be used to develop best practices, refine theory, and develop critical thinking skills.

This study is based on extensive research in the field of Action Learning (Dick, B; McKeown, L; Revans, R.), Action Research (Farmer, L., Kember, D., Parsons, R. & Brown, K.), virtual learning environments (Bronack, S. Reidl, R., Sanders, R.L., Tashner, J., Dickey, M.D.), social presence (Gunawardena, C., Biocca, F.), and Transactional Distance (Moore, M.G.). The findings of this study have significant implications for the teaching of library science as the pedagogy of Action Learning offers educators a powerful approach for engaging adult learners in a reflective process that involves collaborative problem-solving, strategic planning, and on-going professional growth.

Lindy McKeown, 2006 ISTE Outstanding ICT Leader of the Year, and Dr. Robert Sanders, MLS Program Coordinator at Appalachian State University, will offer an overview of the project components and the underpinning theories that inform decision making about the course design. They will discuss how this project is now being used in preparing reflective professionals to work in school libraries across North Carolina.


Juried Papers Session 4: When Users are Readers and What's Sex Got to do With It?
 
 4.1 “Let's Talk About Sex”: Professional Values, Disciplinary Research, and Young Adults’ Reproductive Health

Jennifer Burek Pierce
University of Iowa

Interest in providing library services to young people is flourishing. Witness statistics provided at the annual Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) business meeting in June 2006, which identified YALSA as the fifth largest division of ALA and the organization’s fastest growing unit. This burgeoning group of advocates for young people’s right to information and entertainment resources will certainly grapple with the sometimes sensitive issues of adolescent sexuality and reproductive health. These matters are represented in young adult collections, and they are frequently targeted by would-be censors. The profession has come to include young people in its freedom of information stance, sanctioning access to all materials regardless of the patron’s age – a notable shift from the early years when librarians were concerned about the impact of lurid or suggestive titles on impressionable young minds.

YALSA, VOYA, and a number of individual librarians have argued publicly for teens’ unfettered access to information, regardless of its nature, saying this serves teens’ best interests. These values have been offered to support retaining controversial material, notably that which has sexual content. What has been less evaluated, though, is how LIS professionals understand teens’ best interests and the basis for that understanding. A related consideration is how LIS best practices for supporting teens’ development compare to those of other professions concerned with adolescent well-being.

An ongoing concern in public health and allied fields is adolescent reproductive health, and a considerable body of research literature has been published on the connections between adolescent sexual and reproductive health and developmental outcomes. Notably, the aims of public health educators might be described as more conservative than the freedoms promoted through statements of professional values that inform library services to youth. How can librarians serving young adults balance their professional values concerning access to information and the right to read against the empirical research of other disciplines which suggests the need for some caution in the realm of adolescent sexuality?

This presentation reviews literature from medicine and public health regarding adolescent sexual and reproductive health for ideas and recommendations about supporting positive long-term outcomes for young adults. It demonstrates the empirical basis for concerns about adolescent sexual activity, with the aim of encouraging reflection on the norms of library service to young people. How can librarians support young people’s free access to library resources on such matters as sexual and reproductive health while also supporting developmental health aims? Discussion of other fields’ research on adolescent sexuality affords an opportunity for reflecting on the profession’s values and aims for serving a young constituency.

 
4.2 Changing Readers: A Challenge for Research and Pedagogy

Margaret Mackey
University of Alberta

Abstract coming soon

 
4.3 “Wasting Time on Romances”: Uncommon Ground in Reader Advisory Education and Professional Practice

 

 

Denice Adkins
School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri-Columbia
Linda Esser
School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri-Columbia
Diane Velasquez
School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri-Columbia
 

A 2005 study regarding attitudes of Missouri public librarians toward romance fiction and its readers suggests positive attitudes are related to education in reader advisory services. Results also indicate a dichotomy between what is taught in LIS programs and professional practice (Adkins, Esser & Velasquez, 2006). To further explore these findings, a broadly based mixed methods study is being conducted during 2006-2007 focusing on reader advisory education offered in LIS schools and its affects on public librarians’ attitudes toward readers and their texts.* Results of the Missouri study suggest that, while LIS programs teach professional attitudes toward readers and their texts, such knowledge does not ensure these attitudes will be reflected in professional practice.

This project utilized mixed methods of data collection and analyses to address two questions:

  • Is there a disconnect between what is taught regarding reader advisory service and the construction of professional practice?
  • Does romance fiction remain a marginalized reading choice that reflects negatively on its readers?

Statistical data was gathered through a survey of 1,015 public librarians from across the United States to collect regarding demographics, collections and reader advisory practices. The survey included open-ended questions to elicit respondents’ attitudes toward romance fiction and their perceptions of its readers. The survey data was analyzed for common themes across respondents’ comments. Document analysis of LIS programs’ catalogs were used to determine the kinds of reader advisory course content available to students.

Focus groups were conducted with public librarians at the ALA midwinter, and regional and state conferences to discuss questions about course work related to reader advisory, perceptions of readers based on reading preferences, and questions that emerged from survey responses and the LIS programs document analysis. Verbatim transcriptions of focus group discussions were analyzed and coded for emergent themes. Preliminary results parallel the Missouri study results.

*Funded by a grant from Romance Writers of America, Inc.

 

 

Juried Papers 5: Meeting the Niche Needs
 
 5.1 Preparing Information Professionals for Careers in Knowledge Management and Competitive Intelligence: How Do Current LIS Programs Meet the Challenge?

Lisl Zach
Louisiana State University

Abstract coming soon

 
5.2 Autoethnography as a Research Method For the Reflective Professional

Dr. Dian Walster
The Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University

Introduction
Autoethnography combines personal narrative with cultural analysis to provide in depth understandings of professional problems of practice. It is a research method that can be effectively used by reflective practitioners, researchers and students to explain social and cultural aspects of the LIS profession. This presentation will:

  • Describe autoethnography as a research method including techniques for data collection and analysis, strategies for writing and criteria for evaluating.
  • Provide examples of autoethnographies.
  • Discuss the potential contributions of this research method to the theory and research base of the LIS profession.

Scope and Research Method
Autoethnography, like ethnography, is both a research method and a research outcome. One uses autoethnographic methods to create an autoethnography. Field notes are written, interviews are carried out, appropriate materials are collected and observations are conducted. In addition, some autoethnographic writers use techniques for retrospective recall to inform their writing. This data pool is transformed into a personal narrative focusing on cultural and social questions.

Since autoethnography is an individual analysis of cultural information it is written in the first person. Straightforward language, the use of narrative structures and techniques and self reflection are the predominant writing strategies. A common criterion for “good” autoethnography is that it lets the reader into the thought processes and situation of the writer. The reaction of readers is an important consideration for writers of autoethnography.

Research Questions and Research Base
Autoethnography is particularly suited for use by LIS professionals and students to examine problems, issues and concerns in the work place. It focuses on gathering information from the environment, analyzing it through professional understandings and producing cultural insights.

Areas within LIS which are particularly suited to autoethnographic research include:

  • The social functioning of the LIS professional. e.g. communication issues such as virtual reference, bibliographic instruction, etc.
  • The culture of organizations within which LIS professionals work. e.g. the technical services department of a large public library, the corporate library and its relationship to the larger corporation, etc.
  • The ways libraries and other information agencies work within and across societies. e.g. similarities and differences in public library service cross-culturally, services to underserved populations, etc.

Significance
LIS professionals experience social and cultural events, problems and interactions daily. Autoethnography can used by practitioners, researchers and students to reflect on these cultural situations and through in depth analysis turn them into theoretical principles and research insights of substance for the LIS profession. Researchers in communications, sociology, anthropology, etc. (Ellis & Bochner, 2002) are using autoethnography to expand the knowledge base of their disciplines. LIS as a multi-disciplinary profession could benefit from this method in equally effective and productive ways.

Bochner, A.P. & Ellis, C., eds. (2002). Ethnographically speaking: Autoethnography, literature and aesthetics. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

 
5.3 Professionals in Transition: A Discussion of the Changing Roles and Needs in the Field of Visual Resources

 

 

Hemalata Iyer
Associate Professor
College of Computing and Information
University at Albany, SUNY
Emily Houk
Research Assistant
College of Computing and Information
University at Albany, SUNY

There is a critical need for higher education opportunities in the visual resources (VR) profession. This paper is derived from the ongoing research funded by the IMLS Librarians for the 21st Century grant: “Visual Resources Management: Determining Professional Competencies and Guidelines for Graduate Education” and reflects the changing role of the visual resources professionals and the skills required by them. With the advent of digital technologies, the visual resource professional has broken out of the traditional mold of the slide librarian and museum curator. These professionals are entering into a variety of environments, and claim a diverse range of job titles and responsibilities. The research seeks to assess the competencies and skills required in the field of visual resources in the 21st century. The results of the content analysis of VR related job announcements and a web-based survey of VR professionals will be discussed.

 

 

Juried Papers Session 6: Education, Practice & Identity in Context(s)
 
6.1 Investigating the gap between full-time educators’ and practitioners’ publications in
Library & Information Science

 

 

Yungrang Laura Cheng, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Science
Kent State University
Charlotte E. Ford, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Science
San Jose State University

The purpose of this study is to investigate the publication gap between LIS full-time educators and practitioners. Previous research has suggested a difference in the types and quantity of publications produced by educators and practitioners (Haddow & Klobas, 2004; Powell, Baker & Mika, 2002; Winston & Williams, 2003; Yerkey, 1993), and little collaboration between the two groups (Van Fleet, 1993; Winston & Williams, 2003). We extend this research by testing the hypothesis that educators and practitioners operate in very different circles when it comes to publications: not only do they publish different types of articles (research and non-research), but they also cite different types of works and authors. This study relates to the ALISE 2007 Annual Conference theme by documenting some of the differences in LIS educators’ and practitioners’ approach to both the consumption and production of research.

In order to further probe the gap between educators’ and practitioners’ publishing practices, a random sample of ten LIS journals currently included in the ISI Web of Knowledge was drawn. The articles published in these journals in 2005 are being examined to determine authors’ primary employment (full-time educator, practitioner, other); number of empirical research articles published by the two groups; and number of citations the two groups of authors included. A sample of cited articles drawn from each article is also being analyzed to document the types of articles (research, non-research) and occupation of the primary author (LIS educator, practitioner, other). Statistical analyses (chi square, t-test) will help determine whether there is a significant difference in the type of publications cited by researchers and practitioners, and in the authorship of these publications.

Gaining a clearer understanding of the different approaches that educators and practitioners take to research may give new insight into the gap between research and practice that has been a concern in the field for a number of years (Haddow & Klobas, 2004), and perhaps enable us to better bridge that gap.

Works cited:
Haddow, G. & Klobas, J.E. (2004). Communication of research to practice in library and information science: Closing the gap. Library & Information Science Research, 26, 29-43.
Powell, R.R., Baker, L.M. & Mika, J.J. (2002): Library and information science practitioners and research. Library & Information Science Research, 24 49-72.
Van Fleet, C. (1993). Evidence of communication among public libraries and library information science educators in public library journal literature. Library & Information Science Research, 15, 257-274.
Winston, M. & Williams, J.F. (2003). Collaborations between practitioners and teaching faculty: A study of research publication and citation patterns. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 44, 221-234.
Yerkey, A.N. (1993). Publishing in library and information science: Audience, subjects, affiliation, source and format. Library & Information Science Research, 15, 165-184

 
6.2 Learning Librarianship: Scandinavian LIS Students Looking for Professional Identities

 

 

Jenny Hedman
Doctoral Candidate
The Swedish Shool of Library and Information Science,
University College of Bors & Gothenburg University, Sweden
Camilla Moring
Doctoral Candidate
Royal School of Library and Information Science,
Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background
Librarianship is an occupation that originates from practice. Therefore library education has traditionally been strongly related to practice. Though during the last decades we have in the Scandinavian countries seen a development in library an information science (LIS) education toward a more academic and theoretical curriculum. This ‘academic turn’ affects the profession in many ways, but of particularly interest in this paper is how the formation of professional identity is influenced by the changed relationship between theory and practice in LIS education.

Aim and research questions
In our study we are aiming at investigating how professional identities are shaped. We address this aim by firstly putting together a theoretical framework, and secondly applying this on our empirical material. The research questions that have guided our study is:

  1. What are LIS students view on the relationship between theory and practice, and how do they experience learning in educational and occupational practice?
  2. How do LIS student’s learning experiences influence their development of professional identity?

Method
The paper present and apply a theoretical framework consisting of theories with focus on learning in professional settings, namely Donald Shn’s epistemology of practice, Etienne Wenger’s conception of social learning and communities of practice, and Steen Wackerhausen’s writings on professional knowledge and identity formation in educational and occupational practice. This theoretical framework provides us with an analytical tool for understanding learning and identity development as individual and social practice. Accordingly the framework is used for analysing focus group interviews with LIS students from three different educational LIS institutions in Sweden.

Results
Our results shows that shaping professional identities often is a matter of great ambiguity and uncertainty, sometimes characterized by a perceived disconnect between practical and theoretical knowledge contents, both within formal LIS education and between educational and occupational practices. Many of the interviewed students believe that the distressing uncertainty would be reduced if the gap between theory and practice were narrowed. This can be described as a wish for the option of learning in, what both Schn (2001), Wenger (2004) and Wackerhausen (2002) characterises as reflective practice.
The interviewed students use different strategies to cope with the perceived gap between theory and practice. While some continually asks for more practically oriented education, others try to balance the theoretical content with various forms of practice e.g. by getting a students job in a library. We have classified the students as respectively practice oriented and theoretically oriented students. In short, the practice oriented students primary professional interests focus on their ability to provide efficient and functional services to (public) library users. Among the theoretically oriented students it might instead be problems like how to keep up with LIS research, and how to develop and deliver information services in accordance to this, that arises. The students’ awareness of the symbolic value of the ‘academic turn’ in LIS education is often mentioned in their discussions. While practice oriented students tend to talk about it in a rhetoric manner, the theoretically oriented students approach academic LIS education first and foremost as a tool for reflective practice.

 
6.3 Library Science Education and East-West Relations: 40+ Years of Professional Education at the University of Hawaii

Andrew B. Wertheimer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of LIS
University of Hawai'i

The basic history appears straightforward -- library administrator and educator Ralph R. Shaw (1907-1972) established the Graduate School of Library Studies (GSLS) at the University of Hawai'i (UH) in 1965. Two years later, the American Library Association (ALA) accredited the school, which has since graduated several hundred practitioners in the United States and abroad. It would be easy to write a celebratory forty-year history based on this passage, as featured on the LIS Program website.

The school’s origins; however, go back at least a decade beforehand, and reflect the historical setting of Hawai'i, as the “Crossroads of the Pacific.” GSLIS was created in the same year that American combat troops landed in Vietnam, and five years after the establishment of the federally funded East-West Center (EWC) which is adjacent to UH’s Manoa campus. GSLS’s founding came only six years after Hawai’i became the 50th state and 72 years after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

This paper explores several questions surrounding the early years of the school within the setting of postwar Hawai'i’s history, and American foreign policy in Asia and the Pacific during the Cold War. It is based on triangulation of archival papers (ALA Archives, University of Hawai'i Archives), surveys and oral histories of emeriti faculty and alumni. The paper demonstrates the relevance of colonial and postcolonial thought to understanding issues of power and policy within the profession of librarianship, and those who educate them.

This paper builds on a 1980 paper by Former Dean Miles Jackson, and early general work on twentieth Century LIS education by Vann (1971), Davis (1974), Shera & Anderson (1975), White (1976), Stieg (1992), and others; the history of UH, including William Kwai-Fong Yap (1933), Robert M. Kamins and Robert E. Potter (1998); and David Yount (1996); as well as research on the EWC’s complex chronicle.

This paper also explores questions raised by ALISE 2007 keynote speaker William M. Sullivan’s Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America by examining parallel developments in the liberal arts, and professional programs in law, engineering, nursing, and medicine at Hawai'i’s only research university.

This paper also includes additional theoretical questions suggested by Winter (1988) on professionalism, and Pawley (1998) on class. It also raises questions on the school’s eventual impact on the librarianship and LIS education in Asia-Pacific, and the People of Hawai'i (including Native Hawaiians, or Kanaka Maoli, and Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Europeans-Americans).

 

 

Juried Papers Session 7: Tools & Techniques for Reflective Learning
 
7.1 Educators as Models and Mentors: Fostering Habits of Practice for Lifelong Learning Through Information Literacy

Anne Marie Perrault, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Science
University of South Carolina

Information literacy skills involve the ability to access, evaluate, and use information from multiple sources and are critical skills for teachers to develop in order to find resources and materials to support the inquiry and project-based learning called for in the curriculum reform efforts, such as science (Carr, 1998; Doyle, 1998; Bruce, 2002; Roberts & Foehr, 2001). Educators serve as models and mentors for their students in a world where the premium on information and the ability to find and use it continues to grow. If educators are to be successful in this role and find the teaching and learning materials they need from the vast and often unorganized collection of resources on the Internet, they must possess a mastery of information literacy skills and information seeking behaviors. This interactive repertoire of skills, knowledge, and dispositions (Marchionini, 1995) encompasses both fluid and adaptable habits of practice that educators can employ in their ever-changing learning environments.

Having brought to the table expertise in their respective disciplines, faculty from the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and the College of Education collaborated several years ago to develop an information literacy skills course. Recently, a four-year longitudinal study involving multi-case studies of preservice elementary education majors who go through this required information literacy skills courses was undertaken. Research questions include: How does a course focused on building teachers’ habits of practice, related to advanced information literacy skills and information seeking behaviors, influence their teaching and learning activities? How does a course of this nature influence future collaboration among library media specialists and teachers?

The information literacy course, taught by the School of Library and Information Science, was developed using the Backward Design Process (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998). Central to this planning process is the consideration of what should students know, understand, and be able to do by the end of a class, semester, or program. By building on prior knowledge, using inquiry-based learning experiences, and a constructivist learning approach in the course, students engage in, and develop, habits of practices around advanced information literacy and information seeking behaviors. These habits of practice are essential components for lifelong learning and potentially influence the ability of students to serve models and mentors for their own future students.

This paper will detail the study and outline the application of the Diffusion of Innovation theory (Rogers, 2003), specifically the category of research addressing the consequence of the innovation, in the design of the multi-case studies and its use as a framework for analysis.

Study findings are intended to inform graduate education and professional development for both teachers and library media specialists, as well as to expand and enrich collaborative opportunities among the two groups in order to meet the various approaches to learning by their students.

Works Cited
Bruce, C. (2002) Information Literacy as a Catalyst for Educational Change: A
Background Paper. White Paper prepared for UNESCO, the U.S. National
Commission on Libraries and Information Science, and the National Forum on Information Literacy, for use at the Information Literacy Meeting of Experts, Prague, The Czech Republic. Retrieved on 4/04/04 from http://www.nclis.gov/libinter/infolitconf&meet/papers/bruce-fullpaper.pdf.

Carr, J. (1998). Information literacy and teacher education: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education.
Doyle, C. S. (1994). Information literacy in an Information Society: A concept for the information age. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology.

Marchionini, G. (1995). Information seeking in electronic environments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Roberts, D. & Foehr, U. (2002). Literacies at the end of the twentieth century. Report for
the Pacific Bell/UCLA Initiative. Retrieved on August 10, 2004 from
http://www.newliteracies.gseis.ucla.edu/publications/index.html

Rogers, E. (2003). Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.

 
7.2 Reflective Practice in Archives Education: Journaling vs. Blogging

Judit Olah, Ph.D.,
Alan K. Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership,
University of Wyoming, Laramie

The presentation explores the applicability of blogging techniques to the “journaling” tool used traditionally in archives education at Queens College of the City University of New York. The reflective practice has been an important element and key component to archives education at the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS).

The journals required the recognition of everyday implications of theoretical problems discussed in class, asked to reflect both on the practical and the theoretical framework of a recognized problem, e.g. destruction of records, classification of records, privacy issues, intellectual ownership, etc. The practice allowed for raising questions about concepts discussed in class, whether it involved further clarification, or recognizing the existence of multiple or conflicting perspectives.

As the archives certificate program at GSLIS has been created in the framework of library and information science education, it is tasked to re-introduce key concepts on document acquisition, management and retrieval with the archival perspective.

Journaling allowed students to critically reflect on the new concepts that were introduced, and integrate those in the LIS framework.

While the practice demanded a substantial time commitment both from students and the educator, the consistently positive student feedback continued to validate the need for the practice. Journal comments were often directly addressed to the instructor, posing questions, even adding personal observations to material, that the students did not feel comfortable expressing in the class room setting.

The technique assisted the reflective practice of the educator as well as the students. While the instructor monitored progress, and could make adjustments in class discussion to respond to student feedback, the journals also served students as excellent tools for self-reflection, where they could view their own learning process, their level of comfort in using professional terminology, as well as getting increasingly sensitive to practical applications of archival theories that are so closely interwoven with today’s economic, financial and political events.

The presentation will overview current blogging practices and examine their applicability to the reflective practice.

Key factors to be covered are; in terms of content: 1. feedback to educator about concepts that are unclear or ambiguous to students in the class, 2. feedback to self, allowing a sense of reflection to student regarding his, her own progress, 3. progress in use of professional terminology 4. recognition of theoretical concepts in operational problems; In terms of communication: 1. a sense of intimacy between student and educator, that allowed for very personal expressions of individual thought processes without the threat of publicity, 2. confidence in privacy, 3. the extension of class discussions tailored to express individual concerns, 4. the facilitation of reflective practices of the educator in order to adjust class discussion in light of journal commentaries, 5. control over the final disposal of journals.

 
7.3 Information Policy and Reflective Professionals: An Experiment in Pedagogy

Mary Alice Ball, MALS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Science Indianapolis
Indiana University

The Seminar in Information Policies, Economics and the Law offered at the Indiana University School of Library and Information at Indianapolis introduces information policy concepts and issues relevant to library and information professionals. In the spring of 2006 the seminar was redesigned in order to better understand the impact of emerging technologies on information policy. One goal of this transformation was to create professionals who can reflect upon their work and its impact on society in a policy environment that continues to be driven by technological developments.

Many individuals believe that the libraries, especially public libraries, are an integral part of a democratic society. Policy issues surrounding libraries are especially daunting because of the increasing dependence of information resource production and delivery upon technology. Technological innovations destabilize traditional paradigms and operations and thereby force changes in related policies. Our values as library and information professionals provide a constancy that enables us to focus on our service mission as we adapt to a changing environment. Initial reading for the seminar grounds students in professional literature that articulates these values and places the work of librarianship within the context of broader society.

The class is conducted half online and half in-person and utilizes a wiki and a blog for formal and informal communication. Students begin the course with a reading list composed of citations pointing to traditionally and non-traditionally formatted materials. At the same time they are issued an iPod for use during the semester that contains webcasts, podcasts, and vidcasts (video podcasts) of course-related content. One assignment for the class is the creation of vidcasts on information policy topics. The vidcasts are made available via the Internet and intended as a contribution to the profession in Indiana and beyond in terms of education and advocacy. Students are also required to write a policy analysis paper as well as a short reflection paper.

Students investigate the realities of information ownership and access in a technologically sophisticated world, reading literature on current topics such as open access, copyright, and net neutrality. In reading, listening to, or viewing this literature they reflect not only upon the content itself but also the experience of being information consumers so that they better understand the expectations and frustrations of today’s library public. Seminar participants simultaneously assume the roles of information creators, disseminators and consumers as they read and discuss assigned lessons in order to better understand the need for policy reform. The class investigates policy agendas and stakeholders as they relate to the production, ownership, dissemination, and use of information, in both traditional and non-traditional formats.

This paper discusses the redesign of the seminar into a more experimental format that draws upon the work of Harrison Owen with Open Space Technology in order to create a classroom where students play a central role in setting the direction. It presents the challenges involved in teaching and learning in a dynamic technological environment that is often unfamiliar and uncomfortable, but one in which library professionals increasingly find they must operate.

 

 

Juried Papers Session 8: Balance in the Curriculum?
 
 8.1 Intellectual Freedom and LIS Education: Toward a Critical Pedagogy

Loretta Gaffney
Ph.D. student
GSLIS
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This paper investigates and evaluates pedagogical strategies for preparing future librarians to manage censorship controversies. Though the American Library Association has developed many resources to aid librarians, including the Library Bill of Rights and its Interpretations, intellectual freedom principles rely primarily upon individual librarians€™ professional judgment for concrete expression. Where LIS programs include an intellectual freedom component in their course offerings, the relationship between pedagogy and students€™ subsequent experiences with censorship once they enter the field deserves further exploration; moreover, an explicit discussion of intellectual freedom in terms of syllabus design and teaching strategies will only strengthen library education. How can LIS educators teach about intellectual freedom and censorship in a way that nurtures reflective practice and prepares future librarians to make difficult, sometimes spur-of-the-moment decisions in the field?

Using data archived from Intellectual Freedom and Library Services for Youth (an online graduate-level course I created and taught in 2005) and follow-up interviews with former students as a research base, the intent of this project is to develop a critical pedagogy of intellectual freedom by tracing the impact of LIS education on subsequent library practice. After analyzing course content, including readings, lectures, discussions, and assignments, as well as methods and teaching strategies employed, I seek feedback from former students in order to discover what aspects of the course were useful to them in the field, which were not, and what additional preparation might be desirable in similar LIS courses, or courses in which there is a discrete intellectual freedom/censorship component. The scope of the project is the course itself and related student feedback, both in the form of archived lectures, discussion logs, and bulletin boards, and interviews one year after the completion of the course.

My research questions include the following: what course design elements and teaching strategies are most effective for helping future librarians navigate censorship controversies? Is it useful to elicit library students€™ personal experiences with censorship and intellectual freedom in order to forge connections with concerned community members? How can we help future librarians read between the historical, cultural, and political lines of book challenges and other controversies? And finally, how can we make future librarians aware of the power of their decision-making, and the depth (and importance) of their institutional and community knowledge?

This paper is significant because it will help point to future directions for both librarianship and LIS education, as the profession navigates the path between intellectual freedom principles and library practice. It also demonstrates a cyclical, interactive model of LIS education by directly engaging former students after they become practitioners in order to inform future decisions about LIS course design and pedagogy. Finally, it addresses some issues and problems raised when teaching about professional ethics and principles before students have practical experience in the field from which to draw.

 
8.2 Ethics Education in the LIS Curriculum: Preparing Professionals for Practice

 

 

Mark Winston, MLS, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Stephen Bahnaman,
Masters of Theological Studies
MLIS Candidate
School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

At an organizational and societal level, there is evidence of a crisis in ethical leadership and decision making. Examples have been documented at all levels in corporations, as well as in higher education and non-profit organizations. Librarians and other information professionals face ethical issues, including ensuring accountability to users, parent organizations, and other funding sources, and fostering the ethical use of information by library patrons. Recent concerns around ethics in information services relate to plagiarism and other misconduct among K-12 and college students and the rise in ethically questionable “easy research” in the “culture of convenience” of our online environment. Research indicates that three-quarters of high school students admit to cheating (Winik, 2004). Additionally, “nearly 70 percent of students admit to cheating at some point during college,” according to the Center for Academic Integrity (Barr, 2000). Librarians can play a role in encouraging ethical scholarship. To shape the behavior of users, however, information professionals require academic preparation.

It has been noted that ethical decision making in organizations is becoming more difficult based on issues associated with the changing nature of competition and the need for individuals and organizations to be competitive. The research indicates that many individuals overestimate their own ethical abilities and lack academic preparation for ethical decision making. Educating professionals to exhibit reflective judgment is difficult because of the complexity of ethical choices and the extensive curricular redesign required for legitimate ethical instruction.

In light of the documented need for ethics education, universities have been changing their curricula. Educators in business schools, particularly, indicate the need to understand how to incorporate ethical principles into coursework. Educators also note a strong need to assess the impact ethical instruction has on graduates once they have moved into the professional world.

The importance of ethics education has also been highlighted in the library and information science literature. However, the LIS literature includes only limited research about ethical decision making. The discussion of ethics in library and information science has largely related to the importance of codes of ethics in defining professional values. However, the results of a recent study of the “Ethical Perspectives of Library and Information Science Graduate Students in the United States” (Jefferson and Contreras, 2005) indicate the complexity of the principles in professional codes when applied to practice.

The proposed presentation will be based on a meta-analysis of research related to ethics education in disciplines that focus on preparation for professional practice, such as business and its sub-disciplines, as well as social work, medicine, nursing, public health, education, journalism, and library and information science. The research measures the impact of ethical content on student learning, cognitive development, and ethical perception. In addition, the research addresses the design of ethics education, in order to provide an enhanced understanding of the potential of ethics education in preparing LIS graduates for their role as ethical custodians of information.

 
8.3 Formalizing Informal Approaches to Improve the Preparation of Professionals: The IRE Model

 

 

Laurie J. Bonnici, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
College of Information Science and Technology
Drexel University
Kathleen M. Burnett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
College of Information
Florida State University

Appropriate habits of mind may be cultivated formally and informally. The curriculum, which includes the theories, models, concepts and skills that a student is expected to learn, constitutes a formal approach. Just as important are those activities most closely associated with professional identity, which are usually cultivated informally and a-systematically. The Project Athena identification, recruitment and education model (IRE) can be adapted to guide systematic formalization of these activities into professional degree programs, thus increasing students’ perceptions of their value in meeting career objectives. In an era where participation in librarianship is declining, attention needs to be paid to such formalization so that culturally sensitive habits of mind are established and perpetuated.

In 2002, the U.S. government acknowledged that a growing shortage of information professionals was likely to have a serious effect on the nation’s ability to provide library services to its population. Student/faculty ratios in LIS were already higher than normal for graduate degree programs in most universities. Furthermore, the LIS professoriate was graying at a rate commensurate with that of the profession, and highly-competitive private sector opportunities for graduates were increasing. The ability of LIS programs to meet the challenge to recruit and educate sufficiently to meet the nation’s needs was therefore projected to degenerate.

Project Athena, funded through two IMLS grants, was designed to help meet these needs. It demonstrated that paying attention to recruitment factors, recruitment modeling, and instilling of appropriate habits of mind within the curriculum, could help the nation to address the impending shortage of faculty to educate future librarians.
The IRE model was conceptualized and tested in the context of LIS doctoral education, but can be easily adapted to LIS professional master’s education.

This paper will report on the demonstration and testing of three IRE model components, and suggest adaptations to the model for deployment in LIS professional master’s education. The three components include:

  • Identification: Winston's (1997) factors that cause individuals to accept recruitment into the library field and the American Library Association's criteria for selecting Spectrum Scholars were modified to establish the basis for the Project Athena recruitment model to proactively identify a diverse population of potential library student recruits.
  • Recruitment: To promote a continuous cycle of student applications for graduate work, a network recruitment model consisting of two webs of relationships: a web of recruitment that focuses on individual development and socialization and a web of institutions that focuses on establishing cooperative relationships between institutions and institution-types was developed.
  • Education: To formalize the informal education component promoting current standards of practice in libraries, Reference Group Theory was employed to serve as a guide in promoting habits of mind. Project Athena proactively reinforced socialization to the norms and values through role-modeling and mentoring as well as through formal processes of education.

Data was collected by survey, focus group interviews, and in-depth interviews. Analysis is currently in process, but indicates that few changes will be necessary to adapt the model for use with professional master’s programs.

 

 

Juried Papers Session 9: We Recruit!
 
9.1 LIS Access Midwest Program (LAMP): Developing a regional recruitment alliance for library and information science

 

 

Rae-Anne Montague
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Andr Brock Jr.
PhD Candidate
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This paper describes the newly formed LIS Access Midwest Program (LAMP). The goal of LAMP is to increase representation of members of statistically and historically underrepresented groups in the profession of librarianship through proactive recruitment, enrichment, and retention activities.

LAMP is premised on the observation that a significant portion of students who come to library and information science (LIS) graduate education have earlier experience working in libraries. The program involves early identification of prospective candidates from large populations of student workers (principally in academic libraries). These individuals are actively encouraged and supported to pursue graduate studies in LIS and subsequently move into professional positions. LIS schools and academic libraries at nine regional institutions--Dominican University, Kent State University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Wayne State University--are involved in this collaboration.

LAMP includes four major components. First, an intensive summer program in which potential LIS students, current students, faculty and professional mentors gather at a host institution (rotated annually among LAMP members) for a concentrated exploration of opportunities in LIS, including current challenges in graduate education and careers with particular emphasis on issues of concern to members of underrepresented groups. Second, student recruits participate in summer internship opportunities available through regional academic libraries. Third, LIS schools provide financial support for LAMP students to attend regional graduate programs. Finally, LIS faculty and library professionals involved in LAMP offer ongoing support for students as they move through the various stages of the program – transitioning through graduate study into professional positions.

This paper provides details and insights based on ‘lessons learned’ in establishing LAMP. Ideas shared will serve as a model for other individuals and groups interested in increasing professional diversity. The conference presentation will provide attendees an opportunity to question and consider ideas presented in the paper in greater depth. Those interested are also invited to explore the LAMP website—http://www.lisaccess.org.

 
9.2 Recruiting for a Reflective Profession

 

 

Fiona A. Black
School of Information Management
Dalhousie University
Elizabeth Kelley
School of Information Management
Dalhousie University

Preparing reflective LIS professionals is a key factor in meeting those employer demands evidenced in recent studies (8Rs Research Team 2005 and 2006). Achieving a reflective profession requires not only appropriate curricula but also the active recruitment of students who have personal attributes and competencies that fit well with that goal. Mid-career LIS professionals in North America were, in large measure, not recruited with that goal in mind; the field is now suffering from a severe lack of professionals willing to take leadership and senior management positions. Employers are looking to LIS programmes to help them deal with this dilemma. This paper presents the results of the first phase of a new study examining the role educators are playing in providing the kinds of reflective professionals required by employers.

Employers now refer less often to such attributes as ‘attention to detail’ and ‘knowledge of AACR2R’ and more often to a need for those with ‘leadership potential’, a ‘high tolerance for ambiguity’, ‘ethical behaviours’, ‘commitment to diversity’ and related personal competencies (Deschamps 2003). These are being required of entry-level professionals and they reflect a significant opportunity or threat depending on the outlook of educators. The situation indicates a need for a shift regarding the content of both LIS programme recruitment materials and elements of curricula. LIS educational endeavours
now require a new type of partnership between educators and employers.

Several research questions relate to this fundamental issue for our field: Graduate programmes place understandable emphasis on GPA rankings in order to offer places; however, do recruitment staff and materials make clear to applicants that a combination of academic ability and appropriate personal competencies is sought by employers? Are web-based recruitment materials for LIS programmes reflective of the latest trends in information work and do they refer clearly to the competencies sought by employers? Do the materials offer evidence that one role of the academy is to push the envelope in the information professions in all sectors? Are library professions placed within a perspective of information work in public, private and not-for-profit sectors?

This paper provides the results of the first phase of a study of U.S., Canadian, British, New Zealand and Australian schools of LIS regarding their recruitment practices as evidenced by a structured analysis of their websites. The second phase, currently underway, includes a web-based questionnaire, complemented by telephone interviews. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the website review form the core of the paper, with a concluding section suggesting strategies for development of joint human resource planning among educators and employers, in order to ensure the education and development of reflective professionals who will move the library/information fields forward.

8Rs Research Team (2005). The Future of Human Resources in Canadian Libraries. [Edmonton: The 8Rs Research Team].
8Rs Research Team (2006). Training Gaps Analysis. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association.
Deschamps, Ryan (2003). ‘In Reference to Management: Requirements for Management Skills in Entry-level Reference Positions.’ Unpublished MLIS paper, Dalhousie University.

 

 

 

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