NELIG Meeting - 8/26/2005


Association of College and Research Libraries
New England Chapter
New England Library Instruction Interest Group
August 26, 2005
Eastern Connecticut State University
Willimantic, CT

After “coffee, conversation, and general schmoozing,” Sandra Rothenberg, Chair of NELIG, welcomed thirty-one attendees, from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.   Next Sandra introduced and thanked the meeting host, Susan Herzog for her efforts to arrange the meeting space and refreshments.   Susan, in turn, introduced Patricia Banach, Director of Library Services, who gave everyone a warm welcome.
Announcements from the NELIG Chair:

Kari Mofford of Wentworth Institute of Technology will be taking digital photos of the group’s meeting for posting on the ACRL/NEC website.

 The NELIG Steering Committee met at Rogers Williams University on August 5, 2005, to discuss meeting dates, locations, topics, and annual program planning for the 2005/2006 year.

Meeting Dates

  • December 2, 2005, location to be in New Hampshire.    The topic will be presenting a one-shot, 50-minute library instruction session. 
  • On March 17, 2006, NELIG and ITIG will sponsor a joint meeting at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.  The topic will be the influence of Google on library instruction and technology.

  • The Annual NELIG Program is scheduled for June 9, 2006.  The topic will be decided at the December 2, 2005, meeting.  The tentative location is Rogers Williams University in Bristol, RI.

Sandra invited recent Immersion or ACRL Minneapolis attendees to share their experiences with the group after the scheduled presentations.  

Active Learning: Involving Your Students in the Learning Process


  • Sandra Rothenberg, Reference/Instruction Librarian, Framingham State College
  • Nick Tomaiuolo, Associate Librarian, CCSU
  • Laura Robinson, Reference/Instructional Services Librarian, Nichols College
  • Susan Herzog, Information Literacy Librarian, ECSU

In the first presentation, Sandra described her collaboration with a faculty member to create an active learning session in a fun format.   “The Name That Source Game” helps students recognize various sources (for example, a book with one author, a database article, etc.)  and identify the citation format in the MLA or APA style guides.   The ultimate purpose of the game is to avoid plagiarism by using the correct citation format and to familiarize students with the various types of sources.   For further information, contact Sandra at

The next presentation, entitled “Active Learning: Involving Your Students in the Learning Process,” by Nick Tomaiuolo emphasized hands-on skills:  no theory, just results.  The sole objective of any student is to find articles.    Nick walks the students through the steps of going to the homepage, selecting a database, using advanced search, and suggesting a search topic with the AND connector and a variety of search arguments.  The students then retrieve their articles, review them, and email or print them.   Next the students are instructed to repeat the exercise.  The outcome is familiarity with the Library’s homepage and experience searching with various arguments and search forms.  The emphasis is on the end product.  Nick’s PowerPoint presentation is available at

Laura Robinson then gave a presentation entitled “Active Learning during ‘Library Week,’ in the First-Year Professional Development Seminar Classes at Nichols College.”    Laura has 75 minutes with each section of students, which allows time for a brief tour of the building and a discussion of some good search techniques, how to avoid plagiarism, and how to evaluate websites.  Students offer their ideas, which Laura supplements if necessary.  She then breaks them into groups to complete a mini research project.  The project has six parts.  Each student shows his/her completed part to Laura before going to the next part.  This allows them to interact with Laura while searching independently.  The project is worth 10 percent of the student’s grade for the course.  Laura emphasizes making the students feel that the librarians are approachable and showing the students that the library has many services and resources to offer.   For questions, contact

Susan Herzog gave the final presentation, entitled “First Year Program @ Eastern.”  Over the last four years, library instruction at Eastern has evolved from PowerPoint presentations to web-based active learning exercises.  The FYP Library class is an active learning lesson plan customized for each FYP cluster.  Clusters are learning communities consisting of two general education requirement (GER) classes plus a one credit FYR class.  During the library class, students get a brief overview of finding library materials in different formats.  Students are then divided into groups.  The groups need to find two to four library items relevant to their cluster.  Once the items are found, students discuss what items they found, how they located them, and what information they provide.  For more information and sample active learning exercises, go to

Open Discussion

Angie Locknar and Jennifer Hanson will co-chair this year’s annual program planning committee.  Angie distributed a signup sheet for participating on the program planning committee.  A possible topic may be “information literacy across the disciplines.”  A planning meeting will be scheduled in January 2006.

In an effort to increase participation from librarians in northern New England, the December 2, 2005, meeting will be held at Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, New Hampshire.   The topic will be presenting a one-shot, 50-minute library instruction session.  Christine Drew, WPI, and Sara Marks, Fitchburg State College, both volunteered to present at the December 2nd meeting.

Several attendees shared their recent experiences at ACRL Immersion 2005 (see    Some of the topics included presentation styles, learning styles, how to become an “authentic teacher,” and so forth. 

Loex of the West 2006 will be held in Hawaii.  For further information go to

Christine Drew shared her experiences talking with high school (HS) librarians recently at the annual NELIG conference and other recent programs. HS librarians are incorporating information literacy (IL) skills into the 9-12 curriculum (and prior) so many first year college students are coming in with outstanding IL skills.  At the other end of the spectrum, college alumni return to academic libraries to take advantage of research tools and resources not available at their place of employment. Corporate librarians could be tapped as a venue for gaining insight into what our students need in the workplace.

A suggestion was made for a future topic at a NELIG program or annual meeting which would cover this entire Information Literacy spectrum, perhaps starting from the secondary level to workplace skills, with parties from each group (HS librarians, students, academic librarians, corporate librarians, and alumni) represented.

Respectfully submitted,
Norma Gahl
NELIG Secretary


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