RSVP for 2019 LILAC Spring Training

Add to Your Methodology Toolkit: From Reflective to Participative Action
Friday, June 7th, 2019
12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
CUNY Central | 205 East 42nd Street | Room 818/819

RSVP by June 1st. Registration is required. Security needs all visitors names for entry into building.


Session 1 (1:10-1:55pm)

  • Mindful Movement and Breath Work for Everybody & Every Body – Anne Leonard

Abstract: Instruction librarians on the edge of burnout can use mindful movement and breath work to cope with classroom stresses and situations beyond their control, to bring themselves back from that edge and do their work with care, attention, and integrity. This workshop offers participants the chance to experience simple yet effective relaxation techniques in a classroom setting. Anne Leonard, who has completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification, will lead workshop participants (no previous experience required) through a few short movement and breath sequences they can practice for their own benefit as well as offer to students, to help everyone in the room settle in, focus their attention, and calm scattered energies in the room.

  • How Can We Do All This In One Session?” The Advantages of Multi-Shot Library Instruction – Derek Stadler (Combined with Socratic Method below)

Abstract: We, as librarians, often struggle with jamming library instruction into a one-hour session, and do not have time to scaffold the Framework’s core concepts into a whole that guides students in developing an understanding of information literacy principles. This presentation will highlight a multi-shot instruction strategy used in a partnership between a librarian and a Natural Sciences professor over three instruction sessions. The session will include a discussion with attendees: How can libraries and librarians be proactive in scheduling multiple sessions? Depending on discipline, what kinds of pedagogy should go in each session? 

  • Socratic Method – Bill Blick

Abstract: This presentation will be on socratic questioning, active listening, and conversational instruction with students in a classroom that is free (temporarily) of the restraints of technology. Conversation can be a laid-back and tech-free way to start any session.


  • Culturally Responsive Teaching through the Intersectionality of Collection Development and Information Literacy – Madeline Ruggiero (Combined with Google Forms below)

Abstract: As part of a research assignment, students were asked to choose research topics that reflected problems encountered by the protagonists of an assigned non-fiction story, who as undocumented youth confronted issues related to immigration and possible deportation. The predominantly Latino class found the story engaging and the situations and experiences relatable, and were eager to read and learn more. This session will address how the librarian sought out relevant books and incorporated them into the teaching session, pointed out bibliographies in these books as a useful tool for students’ research, and created a course libguide.

  • Google Forms: Differentiating Instruction, Condensing Feedback – Danielle Apfelbaum

Abstract: Google Forms is a free tool that provides a quick and easy way for students to submit their work and for instructors to collect session feedback. This presentation will show how to use Google Forms in information literacy (IL) sessions to differentiate activities, collect and display student work for comment, and collect survey data. Attendees will learn the technical aspects of differentiating library activities and condensing survey information, and will leave this session able to create differentiated activities using Google Forms and to collect semester- or year-long survey data organized by individual IL session within a single Google Sheets workbook.

Session 2 (2:05-2:50pm)

  • Active Learning in the Archives: Teaching Undergraduates about Digital Archives using Innovative Techniques – Jessica Wagner Webster

Abstract: In the course, “Digital Traces: Memory in an Online World,” undergraduates learn about digital archives, information literacy, electronic records, memory, and other challenging topics. This presentation will describe not only the course’s content and unique syllabus, but also the active learning techniques the instructor uses to help students with a variety of learning styles to comprehend how archival concepts influence and affect their day-to-day lives, and to showcase what they have learned.

  • Revisiting What You Already Know – Student Reflection Assessment – Michelle Toth

Abstract: There are many benefits to having students reflect on their learning experiences: it can help them to identify their strengths and weaknesses, reflect on ways they can continue improving, and to enable students to recognize how much they have learned. This session will introduce attendees to a student reflective activity that not only taps into these benefits for students, but is also a useful tool to assess learning outcomes. This sort of reflective first day/last day activity is ideally suited for multiple-session instruction, but could be adapted for one-shots.

  • All in Kahoot’s: Tools for Active Learning and Assessment – Jeffrey Delgado (Bomined with EXtending the Improving Your One-Shot below)

Abstract: In this interactive presentation, attendees will learn about Kahoot, a game-based learning educational technology, that can be used for information literacy sessions. It is freely accessible and fully customizable, and offers an innovative way to instantly engage students by using their favorite tools–cellphone and the internet! Kahoot is an ideal assessment tool, for not only the librarian but as a self-assessment tool for students. Attendees will learn how Kahoot collects data for librarians to use in assessing student learning, and discover the fun it can bring to the classroom while actively building relationships through competitive learning.

  • Extending and Improving Your One-Shot with Google Forms – Neera Mohess

Abstract: Attendees will learn about how a librarian has used Google Forms as a pre- and post-session evaluation tool. In the “pre” evaluation students described their topic, what they found challenging about the research process, and what they would like to understand by the end of the session, enabling the librarian to align her teaching more closely with student needs. In the “post” evaluation, students were asked to describe what (if any) research skills they had learned, what could be done to improve the session, and one thing they still wanted to know. Results were shared with the professor and students, and enabled the librarian to understand what students found valuable in the class and what could be improved upon, and provided an effective means to answer remaining questions about research, citation, and the library.

Session 3 (3:00-3:45pm)

  • MoneyBoss Workshops – Financial Literacy for Community College Students Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration – M. Anne O’Reilly
  • Abstract: MoneyBoss is a series of one-hour workshops which aim to strengthen students’ financial literacy, addressing a variety of topics, including how to start a small business, protect their identity, save and spend wisely, and manage their credit and debit accounts. The library has collaborated with the Business & Technology and Social Sciences/Economics departments to create monthly workshops and additional presentations, such as an accounting professor teaching students about the latest changes in tax reform, and an art professor sharing his struggles with managing student loan debt. Faculty have been able to engage students in and beyond their own classes, and the participating departments have learned from each other.


  • Using Instructional Scaffolding to Teach Scholarly and Popular Sources Mark Aaron Polger

Abstract: This presentation discusses a study on the use of instructional scaffolding in one two-hour lesson about scholarly and popular sources, within a 7.5 week Information Literacy course. The first group (N=73) received three scaffolding activities and was student-led. The control group (N=65) did not receive any scaffolding and was instructor-led. A comparison of students’ final exam responses illustrates that the group that the scaffolded group had a better understanding than the control group.

  • Baptism by Call Number – Paul Sager (Combined with Wikipedia Redux below)

Abstract: “Baptism by Call Number” is a brief exercise for freshmen as part of an introductory core course at Lehman College. Attendees will learn the rationale and basic process of this simple but valuable exercise that has students identify call numbers and then get their feet wet by using that information to find books in the stacks. The presenter will discuss practical considerations and a plan for assessing the value of this exercise both in the short term and through longitudinal observation into the future.

  • Wikipedia Redux: Using Wikipedia in One-Shots and Credit Courses – Monica Berger

Abstract: Wikipedia is a powerful bridge to introduce students to the library and a natural and flexible tool to probe different information literacy concepts. Starting students at this familiar place is a smart strategy. Wikipedia can be very useful for topic development and moving towards keywords, concept mapping, and citations. By segueing from Wikipedia to library encyclopedias, students begin to see explicit connections to the library. The “talk” tab provides an opportunity to discuss how Wikipedia works and challenges to traditional concepts of authority, and conversations about controversial topics on Wikipedia are always lively. In this presentation, attendees will learn about the process of designing Wikipedia-related activities for credit courses, which may include adding citations, data and/or photographs to a Wikipedia article, or using a rubric to evaluate a given article.


LILAC Spring Training Committee:
Haruko Yamauchi, co-chair
Daisy Domínguez, co-chair
Linda Miles
Julie Turley
Robin Brown

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about scalability. This is not a new idea for me, but it has certainly been popping up more in my mind and sticking around longer. Maybe it’s because every year the middle-of-March madness creeps up on me and nearly knocks me over–how is it, really, that I can have forgotten how frantic I’d be? So many email exchanges with instructors; so many reference shift swaps; so many last minute changes; so many lesson preps; so many worksheets! Yet it’s the same every semester: in the beginning, I’m doing systematic outreach to all the full-time and adjunct faculty teaching in my liaison areas–I want them to remember that the library exists, right? And that we’re here to support teaching and learning on campus? By about six weeks into the semester I’m almost secretly hoping they’ll forget my name because I fear I’ve already bitten off more than I can chew.

I haven’t yet figured out how to solve this dilemma, but I started poking around a little to learn more. Lorelei Rutledge and Sarah LeMire include a discussion about scalable models in a broader article addressing new ways to think about information literacy on campus (Broadening Boundaries: Opportunities for Information Literacy Instruction inside and outside the Classroom). For Rutledge and LeMire, it seems the main crux of the issue is about finding new and creative ways to infuse information literacy instruction into students’ academic lives, rather than strictly about relieving scheduling issues among teaching librarians. You see, the problem isn’t just that there isn’t enough time in the world to teach workshops for all the instructors who might want them, but also that our students would benefit from a greater degree of information literacy support, in general. Rutledge and LeMire call our attention to what they call “opportunities for microteaching on campus,” for instance by including “snippets of information literacy instruction” in large-scale campus outreach events, or becoming a mentor for student organizations or committees. They suggest teaming up with potential advocates among stakeholders on campus who could act as ambassadors and library boosters, working hand-in-hand with campus writing centers to prepare writing tutors to help their peers with research and information literacy challenges, working with the Center for Teaching and Learning on campus to help with faculty PD, and developing train-the-trainer programs to support instructors who might be interested in teaching their students information literacy skills and knowledge.

I’m really attracted to the latter idea: finding a way to better empower instructional faculty in the information literacy crusade–the old “turnkey” approach. One of the first formal train-the-trainer initiatives I became aware of is The University of Texas at Austin’s Information Literacy Toolkit (although the Texas toolkit may not have been the first such resource, as the IL Toolkit at the University of Minnesota has been around since at least the early 2000s; see Butler & Veldof, 2002). UTA’s Toolkit LibGuide provides openly licensed resources for faculty, including customizable assignments linked to related guides and tutorials, complete with instructions and example student work, in-class assessment activities, and narratives about sample courses and their implementation of IL assignments and assessments. The Toolkit also serves as a channel for informing instructors about how they can reach out for a consultation with a librarian, request a custom-designed research assignment for their students, or schedule a workshop with a librarian.

In March of 2018, Marielle McNeal from North Park University in Chicago facilitated a webinar on the train-the-trainer model for an Illinois consortium of academic and research libraries. What struck me as I read through McNeal’s outline was the idea that we might be missing something in our efforts to help our instructional colleagues if we focus primarily on trying to teach them better ways to design assignments or courses, and neglect some of the barriers faculty face when it comes to teaching information literacy. As she points out, our colleagues may not fully understand all the factors impacting students’ information literacy challenges, and are most likely not well versed in major IL concepts or familiar with best practices for teaching IL. Sometimes I simply lose sight of the fact that the faculty with whom I collaborate are content experts in their own disciplines, and not necessarily in mine.

There are a lot of fantastic ideas out there! But it’s clear that any scalability initiative has to be customized to the institutional and library context. When I read about building a network of boosters or coordinating with the writing center or launching an online toolkit, I have to wonder how taking all that on could possibly relieve the pressure I’m feeling right now. Obviously, to set up any kind of scalability initiative will take a concerted investment of time and attention and it’s probably not something to dive into without some strategic and collaborative thinking. This year, as I emerge from my mid-March frenzy, I plan to keep the issue on my radar. Maybe I can break the cycle. In any case, I’d love to hear about any experiences you’ve had working to address the scalability issue.

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2019 LILAC Spring Training Call for Proposals

Add to Your Methodology Toolkit: From Reflective to Participative Action
Friday, June 7th, 2019
12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
CUNY Central
205 East 42nd Street
Room 818/819

We are seeking proposals for 10-45-minute presentations, discussions, or workshops on how you use any of the following methodologies in your college-level instruction practice:

  • open pedagogy (project-based learning, etc. in an “open” environment)
  • active learning (gaming, concept mapping, group work, etc.)
  • reflective practices (journaling, etc.)
  • interdisciplinary (close collaboration with faculty instructors in other disciplines)
  • multi-shots
  • low tech/no tech orientations
  • mobile device-driven lessons
  • other ideas are welcome

Anticipated Event Format:

  1.     Welcome
  2.     Opening ice-breaker activity
  3.     10 minute break
  4.    Breakout sessions (10-45 minute, multiple concurrent sessions)
  5.     10 minute break
  6.     Session sharing and wrap-up

Please submit a description for a 10-45 minute breakout session using this form.

Deadline: April 5, 2019

Not sure about presenting? Register to attend the June 7th event here.

Registration is required. Security needs all visitors names for entry into building.

LILAC Spring Training Committee:
Haruko Yamauchi, co-chair
Daisy Domínguez, co-chair
Linda Miles
Julie Turley
Robin Brown

Posted in Spring Training | Comments Off on 2019 LILAC Spring Training Call for Proposals

Gaming for Info Lit Flow

This gallery contains 4 photos.

A few years ago Michael Waldman at Baruch Library was kind enough to recommend what he described as the least intimidating marathon training book, The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer, which introduced me to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow, as applied to … Continue reading

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Transferring skills from arts ed to info lit

This gallery contains 2 photos.

The last job I held before becoming a librarian was as a facilitator of arts programs, working 11 years for ArtsConnection, a non-profit that brought professional visual and performing (music, dance, theater) artists into public schools pre-K-12 throughout the five boroughs … Continue reading

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The Power of PowerPoint

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Alright, maybe it is not that powerful, but at least, useful. In my college days, professors’ lectures were mostly verbal and sometimes aided by a blackboard. The professor would either talk my head off throughout the whole lecture non-stop making … Continue reading

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Searching as strategic exploration: towards an embodied information literacy

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As instruction librarians, we know that the iterative, sometimes nonlinear, search process is an expert searcher’s ability; it comes only with practice and through experience. Yet novice researchers – undergraduate students – may not yet have had this experience and … Continue reading

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What does a librarian teach?

So what actually is the teaching role of the Library? When people find out that I am a faculty member at a CUNY school, the next question is “What do you teach?”  For me it is particularly poignent, because I … Continue reading

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A teaching librarian fails at summer vacation

It’s August and I’ve been reflecting on whether I’m making the most of the quiet summer months in our academic library. I’ll confess that I approach summer “break” with an aspirational attitude similar to the one that sparks New Year’s … Continue reading

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What New Things Can I Do?: The Roles and Strengths of Teaching Librarians (ACRL, 2017)

Taking a bit of time this summer to catch up on my professional reading, particularly as it relates to instruction, I once again happened across The Roles and Strengths of Teaching Librarians (approved by the ACRL Board of Directors, April … Continue reading

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