NELIG Meeting Minutes - 1/7/2000

NEBIC Meeting, January 7, 2000

A Steering Committee meeting was held on January 7, 2000 at Goldfarb Library, Brandeis University from 10:00 am to 1:00pm. 

The Meeting was called to order by Nancy George, NEBIC Chair, who welcomed the unusually large group. Nancy asked those present to sign the attendance sheet not only so the board can see who attends but also so participants reading the minutes can then correspond with one another. 

The following people signed in:




Sandy Oelschleger 
Julie Whelan 
Dawn Thistle 
Judy Hildebrandt 
Judy Pinnolis 
John Blackwell 
Ann Schaffner 
Margaret Gardner 
Marcia Grimes 
Kendall Hobbs 
Denise Davis 
Patty Durisin 
Anna Litten 
Veronica Maher 
Daine Smith 
Mary MacDonald 
Esme DeVault 
Holly Nagib 
Nancy George 
Suzanne Lorimer 
Barbara Rockenbach 
Alan Solomon 
Rachel Sideman 
Mary Forkin 
Gregory Heuld 
Christine Drew 
Corinne Ebbs 
Kristina Worcester 
Eleanor Deady,CSJ 
Norma Gahl 
June Coughlan 
Linda Stern 
Maida Tilchen 
Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah
Ed Tallent 
Carolyn Boulay 
Nora Bird 
Nick Welchman 
Kathy Labadorf 
Mary Nicolini 
Karen Delorey 
Nancy "Sam" Utrtz 
Eileen Wittle 
Bob Kudlay 
Connie Cameron 

Tufts Veterinary School 
Mass. College of Pharmacy 
Assumption College 
Keene State College 
Roger Williams 
Bunker Hill C.C. 
Univ. of R.I. 
Wentworth Institute of Tech.
Salem State College 
Univ. of R.I. 
Westfield State 
Regis Kristina. 
Mass Bay C.C. 
Cambridge College 
Boston College 
Boston College 
Gateway Comm. College
Gateway Comm College 
Eastern Conn. State 
U of Conn, Storrs 
St. Anselm 
Notre Dame College 
Providence College 

Holly Nagib of Wentworth reported on the Web in BI program she hosted at WIT on 12/1/99. Her summary of the session with the urls for the presentations should soon be available on the NEBIC website: . The Web in BI sessions are a way to get people together to talk about BI on the local level. Regional meetings make commuting easier. So far Boston and Springfield MA have hosted Web in BI meetings. 

Mary MacDonald reported that she has been successfully working at the University of Rhode Island where URI is in the final steps of petitioning to have their information literacy course listed as a General Education option. She mentioned that URI has invited Cerise Oberman to speak on information literacy in the fall of 2000.

Reports from the NEBIC committees were given. Judy Pinnolis representing the web page committee stated that the aim of the NEBIC WebPages:, is to provide information and links to resources useful to instruction librarians. She also mentioned that the NEBIC Listserv (with instructions available at ) although relatively quiet is a good forum for instruction librarians to use to ask each other questions.

The program committee is planning the annual program for June 9. The theme is information literacy. The committee asked for volunteers to help with evaluating proposals, developing a web page for the program, developing handouts including a bibliography and providing refreshments. Nancy George stated that participants are welcome to start a committee on any topic they feel is important. You do not have to be a member of ACRL/NE in order to do this. 

Elections for NEBIC officers will be held in the spring.

Judy Pinnolis introduced Ann Schaffner, Associate University Librarian for Research Services, Instruction and Planning at Brandeis University. Ann made a presentation to the group titled, "Information Literacy and New Curriculum Design".This presentation is an extension of a paper Ann gave with Leslie Stebbins and Sally Wyman, (" Quality Undergraduate Education in a Research University -- The Role of Information Literacy") at the last national ACRL meeting (available at Much of the work being done at Brandeis is the result of a 3-year grant they received from the William and Flora Hewlett foundation. A web page describing this grant and elaborating on much of the content in Ms. Schaffner's presentation is available at . The purpose of the grant is to strengthen interdisciplinary teaching, and to teach students to evaluate information sources from different disciplines. Strategies employed include faculty teaching projects, faculty seminars, and information literacy projects. The faculty seminar series brings nationally known authorities on interdisciplinary teaching and information literacy to the Brandeis campus. 

Ann described recent reports on undergraduate education, particularly the Boyer Commission Report ( ). For background information, Ann suggested librarians read the Handbook of the Undergraduate Curriculum, A Comprehensive Guide to Purposes, Structures, Practices & Change by Gaff, Jerry G..; Ratcliff, James L., (Author). The Higher & Adult Education Ser., New York ; Jossey-Bass, Incorporated Publishers; November 1996.

Building on the recommendations from these reports, Brandeis launched two programs in the last four years. The first of these programs is the FLIP, Freshman Library Instruction Program, which is linked to the Writing Lab and the University Seminar. Components of FLIP include: 

  • a library tour lead by a writing lab instructor, 
  • a web-based take-home exercise, 
  • a 50 minute class session taught by two librarians to sections of
  • 17 students, hands-on student searching in 3 sources, and 
  • a discussion and evaluation of information retrieved. 

The pre-class take home exercise is administered over the web and submitted electronically so the librarian teaching the class can preview the students' work. The goals of FLIP are to bring students to the library; to introduce a librarian and library services, to describe the research process, and to introduce the evaluation of sources using critical thinking. As part of the Hewlett grant, librarians are evaluating the current FLIP program and revising it to include more evaluation content. The second Brandeis program is the Library Intensive Course program. This program is geared to upper level courses. Faculty must sign up in advance and librarians partner with particular faculty and courses. Librarians teach 1-- 3 customized classes in these courses. A listing of these courses is available at . Twice a year the faculty who participate in the Library Intensive Course program are invited to a luncheon. During these sessions, they see demonstrations of what other faculty/librarian teams are doing and participate in discussion of the program. The Hewlett grant has allowed Brandeis librarians to develop model projects as part of the library intensive program.

Ann Schaffner listed lessons for librarians learned from her work at Brandeis: 

  • Participate in the debate about undergraduate education
  • Publicize the role that library instruction 
  • can play in improving the undergraduate educational experience
  • Publicize the unique skills and talents of  librarians
  • Seize the opportunities -- $$$ --(apply for grants from foundations).

She concluded by emphasizing that this is a time of opportunity for academic librarians. Curriculum concerns are real and if librarians secure money from grants, then money speaks!

For additional background refer to Brandeis Libraries Instructional Support web page: The First year assignment is available at:
The web page supporting the class exercise is at:

A lengthy and lively discussion of the talk followed. Comments and questions included how this emphasis on instruction impacted library staffing, the current project by Leslie Stebbins assessing the FLIP program, and how Brandeis institutionalized the library intensive courses.  The definition of information literacy and questions of how to expand this concept beyond computer literacy followed. Wheaton College has a summer computer literacy program run by the IT department as part of student orientation. The usefulness of the pre-class assignment in the FLIP program was discussed. These assignments are tailored to require students to look for both books and journal articles and require the use of Boolean operators. Many students don't understand the concept of synonyms. Part of the effort is to convince student web surfers that they can find better resources in the library than they can find on the web. The comment was made that with the increasing use of electronic resources, the library tends to disappear from student thinking. It may also be more difficult for students to distinguish between scholarly and non-scholarly publications because the visual cues of the print media are not there. 

At Keene State College the library has integrated BI into a computer science course and using this to teach evaluation of web sites. At Springfield College the pairing of students in the computer lab helps students to teach each other. At Wheaton College, faculty and librarians have been discussing the terms computer fluency, information technology fluency, information literacy in an effort to decide what each of these terms means and how to integrate it into curriculum reform.  The ACRL standards encompass all of these. At URI the IT department will educate students on computer use while the library plans to take care of information literacy across the curriculum. At the Tuft Veterinary School the library will be teaching students both computer use and information literacy. They have just been given funds by the University to assess students' computer skills. At Wentworth Institute the administration has decided to no longer have computer labs. All the existing facilities will be computer classrooms and students will be expected to buy their own computers for word processing and other computer related homework. It was noted that when student printing is limited then library staff becomes much more involved in teaching computer skills to students. 

After a break, the meeting reconvened to discuss plans for the June 9 program. Esme DeVault and Holly Nagib, co-chairs of the Program committee, reported that a location is being negotiated. They expect to have arrangements finalized by the end of the month and said the meeting will take place in the Boston area. The Title for the program is "Information Literacy, Into the Curriculum Outside of the Library". The format will be keynote speaker, panel presentations with moderator, lunch, and second panel with moderator.

Volunteers staffed the following program committees:
Proposal review: Esme DeVault, Holly Nagib, Mary MacDonald,  Judy Hildebrandt,  Julie Whelan, Nancy George
Registration: Patty Dursin
Bibliography: Kathy Labadorf, Nick Welchman
Web page: Kendal Hobbes
Local arrangements: to be announced when location is finalized
Moderators: Anna Litton, Veronica Maher

The next NEBIC meeting will be scheduled in May.

Submitted with corrections: 
Julie Whelan 


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