NELIG Meeting Minutes - 12/01/2000

NELIG Meeting, December 1, 2000


December 1, 2000
Healy Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

The meeting opened with a presentation by Anna Litten of Emerson College Library titled, "Information Literacy in the Research Lab". Anna described her innovations in teaching the critical thinking skills necessary for information literacy. She employs many student centered learning techniques. As such, her classes focus on the process of research rather than teaching the tools and mechanics. Some of the accompanying changes in teaching methodology include: the librarian as partner with the student (the guide on the side rather than the sage on the stage), the use of concept mapping to explore related concepts and synonyms, and alternate assignments such as annotated bibliographies. Key elements in this approach include working with the instructor to define goals and objectives, asking students what they want to learn and what does not make sense, and giving up preconceived ideas of order and importance. The opportunity to meet students in multiple sessions is important in guiding students during their progress in getting and working with information. Several attendees mentioned Inspiration Software as a helpful asset in the concept mapping, topic-brainstorming process. Librarians with experience using this software offered to send information on it to the NELIG listserv (for more information on the listserv visit Other comments included the changing role of academic librarians. Teaching is becoming the predominant part of their job while traditional activities such as staffing the reference desk or collection development are increasingly delegated to other library staff. In terms of teaching students where they are when they need it, a topic of discussion was either going to computer labs to teach students on an ad hoc basis there or else teaching the computer lab assistants. The group then took a break which included time devoted to informal networking. 

The next order of business was the report on the vote to change the group's name. Julie Whelan, Secretary, reported the tally of votes: 

  • ILIG Information Literacy Interest Group - 5 
  • RIIG Research and Instruction Group - 8
  • NELIG New England Library Instruction Group - 27

Mary MacDonald, Chair, said that she would forward the election results to the ACRL/NE Board for official recognition of the name change. (She did this and received confirmation from the board on 12/12/ 00.) 

Other announcements and news items discussed included the May 4-5 date for the LOEX conference which will be held in Ipsilanti Michigan. 

Dawn Thistle reported on the ACRL/NE fall program at Holy Cross. She said the spring conference is planned for April 26 at the Pequot Museum in Connecticut. ACRL/NE is currently soliciting ideas for speakers. Anyone with suggestions can contact Dawn at ACRL/NE has also started a new interest group for librarians and support staff who work in Access Services. Information on the first meeting to be held in January is available at the ACRL/NE website. In other news, ACRL/NE is planning to sponsor two listservs one for job opportunities and one for discussion. Andrew White at Bates is the current ACRL/NE webmaster and it is hoped a new person at Bates will take over this task after Andrew completes his duties. ACRL/NE has also instituted a new policy on refund requests for meetings and conferences. A complete refund will be provided up until the date that food is ordered for the program. Once food is ordered there will be no refunds given. The Preservation Interest Group is planning a conference on mold.

The next NELIG meeting was tentatively scheduled for February 9 with a snow date of February 16. The group is looking for a site for this meeting. Please let Mary MacDonald know if you could host the group at your institution. It was noted that the NELIG meetings have larger attendance when held in the Boston area, but they need to start later in the morning so that librarians traveling from other regions have time to make the trip.

Discussion of topics for the NELIG annual program was the next order of business. Some of the potential topics suggested were

  • Assessment -- How does library assessment fit into institutional assessment? In the Middle Atlantic States the accrediting agency requires information literacy standards. It was suggested we might get a speaker from this agency or from a college in this area.
  • Managing an instruction program -- training librarians to teach. This will be the theme of LOEX, so it was suggested that this might be a good program for next year when we could build on the content presented at that conference.
  • Should the head of reference be a manager rather than a librarian?
  • Teaching the 21st century student -- new ways of learning and the new ways of teaching required by today's students. Some potential presentation topics identified were media literacy, multitasking, ideas from the book, The Net Generation, retention issues, the screen vs. the page, scanning vs. reading. How does this impact teaching? The end of linear thinking. The students have trouble understanding hierarchical structure. How do these changes effect teaching methods, thinking, evaluation and assessment? 

Anna Litten agreed to chair the program committee. At this point the group broke into three smaller groups people who wanted to work on the program, a group interested in discussing assessment and a smaller group working on the NELIG website. Kendall Hobbs, the webmaster, agreed to redesign the website and update its content. He welcomes ideas and comments from NELIG members. The URL is



Name: Institution: Email:
Mary MacDonald URI- Kingston
Esme DeVault  Wheelock College
Vicki Litzinger  Pine Manor College
Sarah Woolf  Pine Manor College
Patty Durisin  Simmons College
Vivienne Piroli  Simmons College
Laura Saunders Simmons College
Megan Fox  Simmons College
Rachael Shea  Clark University
Veronica Maher  Roger Williams
Lori Stalteri  Merrimack College
Ed Bailey  Providence College
Peter Giordano Williams College
Janet Valeski  Quinnipiac Univ.
Linda Hawkes Quinnipiac Univ.
Anna Litten  Emerson
Linda Stern  Mass Bay Comm. Coll
Peg Barrett  Keene State College
Judy Hildebrandt  Keene State College
Mary Adams  U Mass Dartmouth
Beth Lindsay  U Mass Dartmouth
Kathy Labadorf  U Conn Storrs
Donna L Gulton  URI-GSLIS
Sara Baron  U Mass. Boston
Julie Whelan  Mass. Coll of Pharmacy
Marilyn Steinberg  Mass. Coll of Pharmacy
Christine Oka  Northeastern
Norma Gahl  Dean College
Nick Welchman  E. Conn. State
Eileen Whittle  Notre Dame College
Corinne Ebbs  Westfield State
Susan Gilroy  Harvard
Kendall Hobbs     Wesleyan U
Judith Pinnolis  Brandeis
Maureen Perry  Lewiston-Auburn C
Nancy George  Salem State


Respectfully submitted,
Julie Whelan, Secretary


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