Proposal Title

What Happens When You Assume: Identifying Graduate Student Information Literacy Support Needs

Start Date

16-3-2020 10:00 AM

End Date

16-3-2020 11:00 AM

Author(s) Bio

Geoff Johnson is the Graduate Teaching Learning Librarian at the Auraria Library, which serves The University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver, the first two of which have graduate programs. Geoff collaborates with graduate programs and faculty in a variety of disciplines to provide information literacy instruction. He also leads graduate student outreach in the form of participation in orientations and other events. He is interested in graduate student needs assessment and information literacy instruction and assessment. Abbie Basile is the Engineering & Physical Sciences Librarian at Old Dominion University. She regularly teaches graduate workshops and is a member of the campus’ Career Pathways Committee, which plans professional development events for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Abbie has over 15 years of experience as an academic librarian and previously held positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tidewater Community College, the University of Mary Washington, and the University of Michigan. Mandy is the Graduate Outreach and Digital Research Librarian at the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame. Mandy builds relationships with graduate students to encourage the use of the Libraries’ new and existing services and to strengthen research and scholarly output for students at all levels. Her work includes planning and implementing workshops, providing library instruction for students in the Writing and Rhetoric classes as well as in graduate seminars, and facilitating conversations between library leadership and student advisory panels. She is interested in connecting people to resources, how organizations work, mentoring, and leadership development. Matt Ogborn is in a relatively new role as the Graduate Instruction and Outreach Librarian at the Arizona State University (ASU) Library. He obtained his MLIS from Kent State University in 2003 but did not work in libraries until 2013, after a decade plus in K-12 textbook publishing. He is developing a graduate student workshop series and making connections to get library content both into classrooms and online for ASU’s 23,000 graduate students, who are pursuing 900 graduate degrees and 200 graduate certificates across four campuses in the Phoenix metropolitan area and online. Samantha Walsh is the Manager for Information & Education Services at the Levy Library at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She obtained her MLS from CUNY Queens College in May 2015 and is currently pursuing an MA in Literature, Language, and Theory. In her position at Levy Library, she works with medical students and students pursuing graduate degrees in the Biomedical Sciences, Public Health, and related fields. She is passionate about teaching research skills in a manner that will create adaptable, life-long learners.

Presenter Status

Academic Librarian

Keywords

information literacy; needs assessment

Presentation Type

50 minutes (Roundtable, Panel, Software Demo, etc.)

Description of Proposal

Graduate students are expected to conduct research at an advanced level, which includes a higher degree of field-specific knowledge and autonomy than many of them experienced as undergraduates. It stands to reason, then, that they need advanced information literacy and research skills. However, while it might be true that graduate students need these skills, discussions around information literacy instruction for graduate students often assume a baseline of literacy or research expertise that they may not actually have. Many graduate students need what could be considered more “introductory” support before they can get to their “advanced” objectives for a variety of reasons, and it’s important for graduate student-serving librarians to identify student needs in order to meet them where they are.

From a variety of viewpoints, contexts, and disciplinary perspectives, this panel will explore the following: ways to determine where graduate students are in terms of their information literacy skills; what their needs are, from both their own point of view and those of graduate-serving teaching faculty; and strategies for addressing those needs. Specifically, the panelists will touch on topics such as discipline-specific nuance, students returning for graduate degrees or certificates after a long hiatus, students with differing objectives for their graduate studies (e.g., going to school to be a scholar as opposed to getting a master’s degree to improve one’s professional prospects), and collaborations with graduate teaching faculty, among other things.

This will be a traditional panel discussion with a moderator, four panelists, and a list of questions to address and discuss, as opposed to the several miniature presentations panel format that is common at library conferences. There will be 35-40 minutes of discussion amongst the panelists and 10-15 minutes of Q&A, followed by an invitation to all conference attendees to find us and discuss these issues further.

What takeaways will attendees learn from your session?

We hope attendees engaged in information literacy instruction and conducting workshops will come away from our session wanting to ask more questions of and about the students they serve, as well as a desire to interrogate assumptions (their own and those of the teaching and research faculty with whom they collaborate) about the skills graduate students possess when they arrive on campus.

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Mar 16th, 10:00 AM Mar 16th, 11:00 AM

What Happens When You Assume: Identifying Graduate Student Information Literacy Support Needs

Graduate students are expected to conduct research at an advanced level, which includes a higher degree of field-specific knowledge and autonomy than many of them experienced as undergraduates. It stands to reason, then, that they need advanced information literacy and research skills. However, while it might be true that graduate students need these skills, discussions around information literacy instruction for graduate students often assume a baseline of literacy or research expertise that they may not actually have. Many graduate students need what could be considered more “introductory” support before they can get to their “advanced” objectives for a variety of reasons, and it’s important for graduate student-serving librarians to identify student needs in order to meet them where they are.

From a variety of viewpoints, contexts, and disciplinary perspectives, this panel will explore the following: ways to determine where graduate students are in terms of their information literacy skills; what their needs are, from both their own point of view and those of graduate-serving teaching faculty; and strategies for addressing those needs. Specifically, the panelists will touch on topics such as discipline-specific nuance, students returning for graduate degrees or certificates after a long hiatus, students with differing objectives for their graduate studies (e.g., going to school to be a scholar as opposed to getting a master’s degree to improve one’s professional prospects), and collaborations with graduate teaching faculty, among other things.

This will be a traditional panel discussion with a moderator, four panelists, and a list of questions to address and discuss, as opposed to the several miniature presentations panel format that is common at library conferences. There will be 35-40 minutes of discussion amongst the panelists and 10-15 minutes of Q&A, followed by an invitation to all conference attendees to find us and discuss these issues further.