NELIG Meeting - 2/9/2001

NELIG Meeting, February 9, 2001

NELIG Minutes
February 9, 2001
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences -- Worcester

Associate Dean, Dr. Ron DeBellis, welcomed the group to the MCP/HS Worcester campus. There were a few announcements: mention of the spring ACRL/NE meeting in Connecticut and the ongoing work on the NELIG web page.

Kendall Hobbs from Wesleyan gave a presentation on "Major-Focused Information Literacy Instruction" As Kendall explained, for a variety of reasons, the stage at which students begin studying in their recently selected majors can offer a prime opportunity for in-depth information literacy instruction. Kendall discussed some of the educational and psychological theories related to why this is an optimal time for literacy instruction. He particularly focused on the theories of William Perry (Perry, W.G. (1970). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years: A scheme. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.) as well as mentioning other theorists who have published on the development of learning styles in college students. Finally, he explained how the librarians at Wesleyan based on this theoretical foundation, are using major-related sources and topics for teaching general information literacy. Kendall described some of the ways his team works with faculty to incorporate this instruction into the curriculum for their department's majors. His PowerPoint slides will soon be available as a link from the NELIG web site, which he maintains.

A lively discussion followed Kendall's talk. Some of the topics were:

  • What do faculty want out of library instruction?
  • How can we get them to think beyond the "usual library talk" or let us share in creating the objectives for the class?

Some suggestions were:

  • To audit classes,
  • To develop 1/1 collaborations with faculty (many felt there is not enough time to do this, but others countered that this is the only effective way to bring about change),
  • To have students monitor their progress by keeping research journals,
  • To show students how to use PowerPoint: this disciplines them to only present the key, best information,
  • To plant a seed with a bit of new material in a traditional library talk and then watch as faculty ask for more,
  • To develop a list of pointed questions to ask faculty when they call to request a BI session,
  • To go to department meetings and give a presentation on what instruction the library can do for that department (again the theme of developing personal relationships with faculty, how to be effective but not offensive. Some said do not try to talk to a group: it has to be 1/1.)
  • To challenge faculty by making statements such as "here are some of the things you can do for your class,"
  • To get the faculty hooked on the library by appealing to their other information interests (travel guides, baseball books, publication guides) This technique has worked for groups of faculty previously burned by bad library experiences.
  • Develop rapport with the part-time faculty and the teaching assistants. Go into their classrooms.

On another topic, there was discussion about a staff development initiative at Yale. The program is an effort to develop common competencies for all library staff. The library staff has organized a series of workshops aimed at creating expert users within all library teams. These workshops are taught by library staff to other library staff. Rather than use WebComm software for these sessions, two instructors alternate teaching and roving the classroom to provide assistance.

At this point the group broke into three smaller groups: NELIG website development, assessment and program committee.

Website: Kendall Hobbs, the webmaster, has agreed to redesign the website and update its content. He welcomes ideas and comments from NELIG members. Others who joined his group at the meeting were Sue McMullen, Lynne Fors, Joan Reitz, and Vicki Litzinger. Plans for the website include providing links to the presentations given at NELIG meetings. Instead of trying to create a new listing of information literacy web sites, the group has decided to link to a few other well-developed compilations. There are also plans to offer an occasional column on a topic of interest to instruction librarians. The URL is:

Program Committee: Anna Litten reported that the program is set for Friday, June 1 at Brandeis College in Waltham, MA. Judy Pinnolis has done a great deal of work making arrangements for us at Brandeis. Anna has solicited presentations from readers of several listservs with the following announcement:

From Surfing to Research: Teaching and Learning from Generation Y" which will be held at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA on Friday, June 1, 2001. This one day program will focus on many aspects of library instruction for modern learners, such as: learning styles for visual thinkers; active learning techniques to use in the classroom; evaluation of library instruction programs; and other topics that relate to information literacy. Speakers and panel presenters will be allotted approximately 20 minutes, with ample time for questions and discussion following each presentation. If you are interested in presenting at NELIG's program, please submit a one-page proposal to Anna Litten at by March 9, 2001.

The program committee is hoping to find a keynote speaker from outside the library world who may broaden our perspective on the new generation of students and their particular learning issues. A number of people have made great suggestions on finding keynote speakers. Laura Lidano from Simmons has volunteered to help out with this, and Beth Lindsay has been roped in. The program committee will be handing out a bibliography of articles relating to this topic at the program. John Degon and Peter Giodano have volunteered to start collecting articles.

Assessment Working Group: This subgroup spent some time trying to decide on whether to focus on assessment of instruction or the broader issue of assessment of a library, its services, programs, etc. The group decided to at least start with the narrower focus of assessment of instruction and then broaden that to the larger topic at a later date if desired. The membership of two librarians from graduate schools of education (Carol Gordon, Boston University and Esme DeVault, Wheelock) brings a larger perspective to the topic. With these two as leaders, we plan to do some research on assessment in other disciplines such as education and business, and report back to each other at our next meeting on different methods which may not have been considered in the library arena. A proposed goal for the group would be to offer a presentation on the topic of assessment to a NELIG meeting during the next academic year. An informal email distribution list for the group has been started to foster the sharing of ideas.



Name:  Institution:  Email:
Mary MacDonald URI- Kingston
Esme DeVault  Wheelock College
Vicki Litzinger  Pine Manor College
Patty Durisin  Simmons College
Rachael Shea  Clark University
Irene Walch  Clark University 
Veronica Maher  Roger Williams
Ed Bailey  Providence College
Peter Giordano  Williams College
Anna Litten  Emerson 
Sarah Graham  Emerson 
Beth Lindsay  U Mass Dartmouth
Mary Adams  U Mass Dartmouth 
Julie Whelan  Mass. Coll of Pharmacy
Marilyn Steinberg  Mass Coll of Pharmacy
Rebecca Berg  Mass Coll of Pharmacy -W 
Sue McMullen  Roger Williams U
Nick Welchman  E. Conn. State
Melissa Behney  E. Conn State 
Kendall Hobbs  Wesleyan U
Judith Pinnolis  Brandeis
Leslie Homzie  Brandeis
Jacqueline Fitzpatrick  Wellesley
Lynne Fors  Yale
Jim Douglas  Trinity  (tba)
Ann Grandmaison  N. Essex Com. Coll.
Patty Pocaro  Holy Cross
John Degon  E. Conn State
Joan Reitz  W. Conn State
Gail Stuart  NECC
Carol Gordon  B.U.
Kathy Gehring  Conn. College
Beth Hansen  Conn. College
Ashley Hanson  Conn. College


Respectfully submitted,
Julie Whelan, Secretary


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