NELIG Meeting Minutes - 8/18/2000

NEBIC Meeting, August 18, 2000

NEBIC Minutes
August 18, 2000
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester MA

Mary MacDonald, the new chair, started the meeting with introductions for all attending. (The names, email addresses and institutions are listed at the end of these minutes.)

Beth Lindsay, from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth gave a presentation on the information literacy program on that campus. Information Literacy began at UMD as an effort to meet the requirements of NEASC, the regional accrediting agency. The content was folded into the general education outcomes. Beth outlined which outcomes were also ACRL goals. A three tiered structure was developed. Tier one courses are introductory and cover basic competencies, tier two covers the research methods for a particular field and tier three includes evaluation of the literature of that field, citation style for that discipline and citation analysis. The librarians each have a specialized subject area and have developed a tiered instruction program for that area. The most highly developed are the business and Medical Lab Sciences programs. This last discipline includes a BI series of 3-4 sessions each of which are 3-4 hours long. For the librarians on campus, the reference and instruction functions were segmented. Beth handles the English and Language disciplines where she has encountered problems with faculty compliance and the necessity of training numerous teaching assistants from the English department. Beth can be contacted at Telephone508.999.8801 Her presentation can be viewed at

The following discussion began with comments on the necessity of looking at the terminology librarians are using. The consensus was that information literacy is not the best phrase to describe to students and faculty what we want to achieve. The group suggested other terms such as "resource based learning". What librarians hope to achieve is to train students to create new knowledge to become scholars and to learn the literature of their discipline. We need to teach students to make the connection between training in some of the mechanics of information literacy and scholarship. Finally discussion focused on assessment. How do we test to see if we are effective? Why ask questions if you can't do anything with the results? It was decided that assessment might be a NEBIC theme for the year.

In other business, Esme DeVault and Holly Nagib gave a report on the spring meeting. The meeting was held June 9 at Simmons College. 115 attended and the group made a profit on the proceeds. The theme was "Information Literacy into the Curriculum". When its move is complete, the program presentations will be linked to the NEBIC website. Videos of the program are available and can be borrowed through ILL from the Sheppard Library at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. LOEX has requested a copy of the previous NEBIC program on evaluation and a copy will be mailed to them.

The NEBIC website has been moved to Bates College where it will reside with the ACRL New England website ( The new url is Kendall Hobbs from Wesleyan maintains the website. It contains information on the NEBIC-L listserv.

Laurie Sabol, the ACRL/NE membership chair encouraged librarians to join. Members receive reduced rates for program attendance. The membership form is available on the web.

Mike Havener, Director of the GSLIS at URI announced that URI would be hosting a professional development program on October 27 and Cerise Oberman would speak on the theme of information literacy partnerships between libraries and their communities. Mike also wanted to publicize fellowships which are now available at URI. The GSLIS received one of ten grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. During the next two years, the $232,000 grant will fund 6 fellowships for masters level students. Titled Project PRISM, the project has three goals:
1. to increase ethnic diversity in LS
2. to focus on information literacy instruction especially with diverse populations
3. to give fellows the following opportunities work 10 hrs / week with the URI Reference Department librarians, to team teach in the Information Literacy Course, and to intern in public libraries.
Each fellow will receive full tuition, a $17,000 stipend, and paid attendance at the IFLA conference in Boston and the ALA annual meeting. More information is available at Mike urged librarians to help the school recruit outstanding candidates. 

Dawn Thistle announced that the fall ACRL program will be held at Holy Cross on November 17. The program does not have a title yet and the program committee is still making arrangements with speakers. However, the theme will be how we build communities in the library and over the Web. Plans call for a panel from various web sites outside the library world, both commercial and non-profit to discuss this topic. There will breakout sessions for the librarians to discuss how concepts can be applied to the realm of libraries.

Mary MacDonald brought up the question of a name change for NEBIC. This was a topic on the listserv last year, but was not resolved. Many people feel the term bibliographic instruction is outmoded. Some suggestions are to change our name so it is more in line with the other ACRL interest groups and to keep the acronym but just change what it stands for. Mary MacDonald and Julie Whelan agreed to post a selection of suggested names on the listserv and give the membership a chance to vote for what they like best.

Mary asked for volunteers to work with Kendall on maintaining the NEBIC web site.

Discussion then turned to possible topics for this year's program. Some of the suggestions were: 
* Assessment of instruction services
* Working with faculty - getting your foot in the door, showcasing successful collaboration
* Working with high level administration to boost faculty collaboration (this topic has been suggested before. At the last program, two administrators were in attendance.
* Disaster preparedness - what to do when the internet is down?
The group will look at program suggestions from last year's evaluations. Mary asked for program committee volunteers.

There was some discussion of the frustration felt by academic librarians in northern New England who are too far away to attend NEBIC meetings. Since the majority of the membership is in southern New England (over half of ACRL members are within route 495) it does not seem feasible to hold meetings in the northern areas. Ideas offered to ameliorate this isolation included a suggestion that these librarians organize small local gatherings (the web in BI motif used successfully in Springfield, and Boston); that these librarians organize their own larger programs such as the successful annual program at Dartmouth; and that they form alliances with Canadian librarians who are eager to collaborate. 

Finally, several attendees reported on their experiences at the Immersion programs this summer. One person described it as a transformative experience, "like grad school crammed into 4 days". The intensity of the program which meets 8-5 and then again in the evening was emphasized. The first track uses a modular approach to present learning theories and pedagogy techniques and assessment techniques. Track II is a case study approach where participants bring a problem from their own library and work towards leaving with an action plan addressing the issues involved. Esme DeVault who attended Track I in Ohio appreciated the opportunities to network and to reflect on her work. Anna Litton attended a Track II session. It is hoped that in the future Immersion programs will be offered in New England.

A librarian from Holyoke Community College attended a conference in New York on academic libraries reaching out their communities. As a result her library is starting an outreach program to their local public library.

Dawn asked people to send her ideas for the spring ACRL/NE program.

The meeting adjourned with plans for the next meeting to occur in November (probably November 10 at University of Massachusetts/Boston).


Name:  Email:  Institution: 
Mary MacDonald  URI
Jim Douglas  Nichols College
Peg Barrett  Keene State College
Peg Adlum  Umass Boston
Beth Lindsay  Umass Dartmouth
Mary Adams  Umass Dartmouth
Kendall Hobbs  khobbs  Wesleyan University
Jennifer Diffin  Daniel Webster College
Keith Martin  Daniel Webster College
Patty Durisin  Simmons College
Megan Fox  Simmons College
Nancy Dennis  Simmons College
Mike Havener  URI
Holly Nagib  Wentworth Institute of Technology
Esme DeVault  Wheelock College
Nancy George  Salem State College
Beverly Presley  Clark University
Chris Cox  WPI
Kathy Holmes  Lesley College
Anna Litten  Emerson College
Irene Walch  Clark University
Dawn Thistle  Assumption College
Laurie Sabol  Tufts University
Denise Davis  Simmons College
Vivienne Piroli  Simmons College
Patty Porcaro  Holy Cross
Nancy Dennis  Salem State College
Diane Smith  Bunker Hill Community College
Sara Baron  Umass Boston
Christine Drew  Babson College
Nick Welchman  Eastern Conn. State University


Submitted by
Julie Whelan Mass College of Pharmacy & Health Sci.



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