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“Humor and information literacy” – Scott Sheidlower’s new book

York librarian Scott Sheidlower and co-author Joshua Vossler  provide advice and strategies on how to use humor to encourage student learning during librarian-led instruction sessions.     From a review in the Colorado Libraries journal:   “Vossler and Sheidlower focus on ways to make library instruction sessions interesting.  … Recommended for academic and school instruction librarians who are looking for a new way to breathe life into what can sometimes be a monotonous and repetitive presentation. “     Humor and information literacy was also selected for the “Books to check out” column of Computers in Libraries, in October 2011.

A longer review from John Drobnicki is in the York College library newsletter Passport Password for summer 2012, page 4.


Joshua Vossler and Scott Sheidlower. Humor and Information Literacy: Practical Techniques for Library Instruction. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2011.

VALUE rubrics at LaGuardia Community College

At LaGuardia Community College, faculty are using VALUE rubrics to assess student learning.  A modified VALUE rubric for information literacy was used to assess students’ research and information literacy competency.   Work from students with 25 credits or less and from students with 45 credits or more was examined, and the scores compared.  The observed increase demonstrated that “the college is effectively helping students to make gains in research and information literacy throughout the curriculum, cumulatively over time”  (Clark & Eynon, 2011, page 8).

Association of American Colleges and Universities. (n.d.).  VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education.  Available at http://www.aacu.org/value/

Clark, J. E. & Eynon, B. (2011).  Measuring student progress with E-portfolios.  Peer review, 13(4) & 14(1): 6-8.  Available at http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=71944246&site=ehost-live

VOILA tutorials at Hunter College Libraries

Hunter College Libraries’ VOILA tutorials were described in the April 2012 College and Research Libraries News (Blevens, 2012, pages 205).  VOILA (Virtual Orientation Information Literacy Assessment) features a virtual library tour, a video tutorial for finding what materials the library has, a tutorial on reading call numbers and a test to assess what has been learnt.  VOILA was developed by Hunter librarians and is available on the web at http://library.hunter.cuny.edu

Blevens, Cheryl. (2012). Catching up with information literacy assessment: resources for program evaluation.  College and Research Libraries News, 73(4): 202-206.  (Article will be available soon at this site:  http://crln.acrl.org/content/by/year/2012  )

Building Information Literacy into Research Assignments: Working with library resources in the classroom. By Jeffrey Kroessler.

Not so long ago, the classroom could function comfortably apart from the library. The library was the place where students went to conduct research for class assignments. That world has vanished.  Information Literacy across the curriculum is now the mandate, and it is more crucial than ever for classroom faculty and librarians to work together to assure that students have the best chance for successfully completing research assignments. At times, however, librarians are left at a loss. If the assignment cannot be completed with the library resources on hand – and honestly, we have a wealth of resources both in print and electronic formats, far more, in fact than almost any private institution – the student will leave defeated. How can we work to avoid that sour outcome?  (more…)

Skills That Transfer: Transliteracy and the Global Librarian (ACRL/NY 2011 Symposium)

Philosopher and librarian Lane Wilkinson was in town last week to present his thoughts on transliteracy at the ACRL/NY symposium.   Winkinson is on a mission to persuade us to teach students more transferable skills.  Students need transferable skills he argues, so as to be able to move more easily among diverse resources and interfaces.  We should teach not just how to search a database, but how that database works.  He encourages us to embrace three principles in designing our teaching practice:  (more…)

Critical Information Literacy: The Challenge of Practice

The 2011 LACUNY Instruction Committee Spring Event took place on April 22 at the CUNY Graduate Center. The invited speaker was James Elmborg, Associate Professor and Program Director of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. His presentation, “Critical Information Literacy: The Challenge of Practice,” was recorded and can be heard on the committee’s site.      (more…)