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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

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

Gaming for Info Lit Flow

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 long distance running. I learned that flow, an intense state when you’re fully engrossed in an activity, is usually attained when you challenge yourself to go beyond your skill level, but not so much that you’re intimidated (see graph).

X Y graph indicating how challenge level correlates to skill level.
Image: Oliverbeatson at English Wikipedia.

Flow makes me feel radiant! So I look for opportunities to achieve flow whenever I can, whether it’s in my personal or professional life, including my teaching. In fact, I’ve noticed that some of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had as a student were when I experienced flow in a fun and immersive environment through a creative assignment or a game of some sort – as part of a junior high school moot court defense team or as an adult learner when our teacher tested our class’s knowledge of a unit (on some rather dry material: intergovernmental legal documents) using a Jeopardy-style game complete with prizes! So, I have long believed in the power of gaming (table-top games, role-playing games, video games) for educational purposes.

And while I’m by no means immersed in the gaming world, I’m an advocate. A few years back, I was at a meeting where a student was demonstrating an online role-playing history game for a room of educators. I overheard one professor at my table privately question the educational merit of playing the game, which seemed to her to be a matter of mindless clicking to advance to another screen, with no intellectual rigor behind it. Sometimes when gaming is used in pedagogy, it’s frowned upon because there is an impression that it’s superficial or gimmicky. So I raised my hand and asked the student to explain whether players would need to have a foundation – to draw from a knowledge base – in order to make decisions about how to proceed in the game. He agreed that they did and explained how. The educator may not have been converted or even convinced, but I felt that gaming’s merit scored some points that day: games can enhance and foster learning by providing an engaging and relatable environment in which students can reflect on subject matter. And yes, games do provide opportunities for thoughtful, critical thinking.

In the fall of 2018, I used a mock trial role playing activity in my 3-credit freshman history course on the Conquest of Latin America. I hand selected student groups to represent five different defendants (Christopher Columbus, Columbus’s Men, The Crown, the Taínos, and the System of Empire) against the charge of the genocide of the Taíno population. What I thought would be a three-session activity turned into a four session one, and could have easily gone on for five or six. It was a remarkable experience for me. Some of the quiet students became very vocal during the mock trial and those who were typically talkative in class became even more impassioned. After one defense team stated their case, a student in the audience questioned them past the allotted class time. Some students with scheduling conflicts left, but about half the class intently and respectfully stayed behind until I had to cut the debate short because another class was scheduled to use our room. These markers of engagement made me feel that we had achieved “flow.”

One of the most enthusiastic students left an impression on me by telling me that she didn’t know whether I just had a keen eye for knowing which students would click, but she was very surprised that she wound up becoming fast friends with her teammates. While I’d like to take the credit, it was actually a lucky confluence: all the students were also registered in a second writing course, making them a learning community, so these friendships would have developed sooner or later as a matter of course. However, one thing is certain: this type of group work and role-playing game helped cement some of those relationships. So, I think another added benefit of gaming of any kind is that it can encourage dialogue and camaraderie.

Beyond all the intelligent, nuanced, incisive arguments and reasoning that went on during the course of those two weeks, I could tell that the students were also having fun. Students owned their personas and took pride in the arguments they would present. They created professional looking PowerPoints, used music, asked for audience participation, and they dressed up as King Ferdinand, Queen Isabella, and even the Pope! Playing makes learning more fun at any age and gaming is a great way to foster flow in our students’ academic lives as well as our own.

I was pleased, then, when I first came to CUNY and learned about The CUNY Games Network. I attended this year’s CUNY Games Conference 5.0 after a hiatus of a few years. It was a neat departure from the previous ones I’d attended, where the main presentation format was a panel or talk (the organizers had opted for this more participatory format before, but it was my first experience with it). I attended the “Redesign: Modifying Tabletop Games for Instruction” workshop run by Joe Bisz and Carolyn Stallard, where we played the games “Apples to Apples” and “Snake Oil” and later discussed their mechanics and how we could use these to enhance our own instruction. During our discussion, we brainstormed a possible modified version of “Snake Oil” for a history course: the cards could be different historical figures studied during the semester and the dealt cards could all include other historical figures or resources that could help the historical figure advance in the game. We did not work out the specifics, but it would be a great game to play at the end of each unit to help students reinforce their knowledge and help them become more conversant and confident with the subject matter.

My Snake Oil hand and other workshop resources at the CUNY Games Conference 5.0 in January 2019.
My Snake Oil hand and other workshop resources at the CUNY Games Conference 5.0 in January 2019.

In Bisz’s second workshop, we played his What’s Your Game Plan? A Game for Growing Ideas into Games, an actual table-top brainstorming card game available for purchase. We were asked to choose a lesson (normally, you would choose a lesson card in the course of the game) and we were then asked to create a game for this lesson using pre-selected cards that required us to use a specific game (Checkers, Jeopardy, Scrabble, etc.), mechanic (movement/sport, jumping, role play, etc.), and action (investigating, bluffing, trading, etc.). Each group at that workshop created the basic parameters of a game for different lessons in various disciplines.

My flow-like experience with the history course students and the brainstorming at these practical workshops renewed my interest in incorporating gaming into library instruction. If you feel that you can’t possibly incorporate a game into your library instruction because you don’t have the luxury of teaching a 3-credit class, you’ll be happy to note that librarians have shown that this is totally possible in a one-shot library class. City Tech Chief Librarian Maura Smale modified Bisz’s brainstorming game and Tiltfactor’s Grow a Game to come up with the open access Game On for Information Literacy, which has been used by CUNY librarians to create a game that could be used in one-shot classes learning MLA citation style. CUNY librarians have also created a rubric for different information literacy games that can help us as we create games of our own. Do you have or know of an info lit game that can be incorporated into a one-shot class that you’d like to share? Let me know (ddominguez@ccny.cuny.edu) and if there is enough interest, I can put together a gaming for into lit flow toolkit to share!

LILAC Spring Training RSVP

LILAC Spring Training: Up Your Game!
Practical Innovations Beyond Traditional Information Literacy

Friday, June 8th, 2018 | 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
CUNY Central | 205 East 42nd Street Room 818

The LILAC Spring Training is an afternoon filled with presentation pitches, a facilitated group activity, and more. Presentations, discussions, and workshops of various lengths will be divided into three tracks. During the first session, all participants will have the opportunity to sign up for an individual track after learning more from each presenter about their session.

RSVP is required by June 1st due to building security.

Space is limited.

Light Refreshments will be provided.


  • Using Google Docs and WordPress for Communication and Instruction
    Sarah Johnson and Mason Brown, Hunter College
  • Encouraging Student Engagement in the Library Classroom with PollEverywhere
    Emma Antobam-Ntekudzi, Bronx Community College
  • Not teaching OneSearch is No Longer an Option
    Marta Bladek and Maureen Richards, John Jay College
  • Using OneSearch: Librarians Need to Stop Worrying, Our Students Like It
    Anne O’Reilly, LaGuardia Community College


  • Strategies for Embedded Information Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners
    Clara Y. Tran, Stony Brook University, and Selrnsy Aytac, Long Island University
  • Dis/Information Nation: Voter Personas and Dis/Information Literacy in the 2016 Election and Beyond
    Iris Finkel, Hunter College and Lydia Willoughby, SUNY New Paltz

Evaluating Sources

  • Navigating between Trust and Doubt on the Internet
    Linda Miles and Haruko Yamauchi, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College
  • Understanding Fake News by Teaching with the Game Factitious
    Sharell L. Walker, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • What Do You Meme it’s Not Credible? Using Memes to Counter Misleading Information
    Christina Boyle, College of Staten Island

The Library Information Literacy Advisory Committee, LILAC, is the Library Discipline Council of the City University of New York. All librarians inside and outside of CUNY are welcome to attend the Spring Training.

LILAC Spring Training Committee:

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, co-chair
Daisy Domínguez, co-chair
Anne Leonard
Linda Miles
Robin Brown
Julie Turley
Jonathan Cope