ANNUAL REPORT, 1998-1999 Mary Jane Petrowski, Chair

instruction section

1998-1999 Planning Committee
(Janet Brewer, H. Faye Christenberry, Shari C. Clifton, Jennifer L. Dorner, Mark E. Emmons, Susan Hoffman, Scott Mandernack, Carol A. Wright [chair], Tom Wright)


  1.    IS enhances the ability of academic and research librarians to collaborate with higher education professionals in improving higher education and preparing students for lifelong learning.

    The Think Tank III Task Force completed planning for the ACRL/IS Think Tank III to be held June 25, 1999, in New Orleans. Think Tank III will bring together six teams of academic librarians and distinguished educational technologists to expore developments in technology as they relate to information literacy and to establish an agenda of issues to be addressed with regard to technology and learning in academic libraries. [sd 1.1 and 1.2]

  2.    IS enhances the ability of academic and research librarians to provide excellent library instruction to their users.

    The Revision of the Model Statement Task Force began revising the current Model Statement published in Read This First: An Owner's Guide to the New Model Statement of Objectives for Academic Bibliographic Instruction (1991). The revision is being conducted in accordance with the 1998 Final Report of the Model Statement of Objectives Task Force with a targeted completion date of June 30, 2000. The Task Force is coordinating this revision with the work of the ACRL Task Force on Information Literacy Competency Standards. [sd 2.1]

    The Emerging Technologies in Instruction Committee continued to support the Internet Education Project web site and is investigating expanding its focus. This ongoing project provides a valuable means of resource sharing for instruction librarians around the country by providing easy access to exemplary instruction sites throughout the world. The committee worked to heighten awareness of this project among IS members and other interested organizations by periodically sending announcements and calls for submissions to various mailing groups and publications, and actively sought out quality submissions. This committee is also preparing a report that will provide an overview of current distance education technologies and their possible use in information literacy instruction. [sd 2.2]

    The Awards Committee selected RIO (, a program of Web-based tutorials designed to help students learn how to find and evaluate information at the University of Arizona, to receive the 1999 Innovation in Instruction Award. The Award recognizes achievement in the design and execution of library instruction activities. [sd 2.3]

    The Education for Library Instructors Committee collaborated with the Continuing Education Committee to develop a web-based directory of instruction courses in library schools (both accredited and non-accredited) now available on the Section web site as "Sponsors of Continuing Education Programs for Library Instruction". This directory will enable practitioners, outside groups, and potential librarians to identify local courses, continuing education programs, and distance education possibilities. This directory will also be useful to anyone wishing to analyze the state of the formal education opportunities for instruction librarians. [sd 2.2, 2.6]

    The Teaching Methods Committee developed two web publications this year: "Teaching and Learning Information Literacy Skills: Textbooks for Students and Instruction Librarians" and "Directory of Classroom Control Systems." The Committee is still working to revise "Evaluation Criteria for Good Web-Based Library Instruction" and sample tutorials list. [s.d 2.2]

    The Education for Library Instructors Committee has recommended that the 1992 Section publication, Learning to Teach: Workshops on Instruction be revised. A special task force will be formed after Annual 1999 to work on this project. [sd 2.2]

    The Learning to Teach Virtual Task Force is working to translate the content of the 1999 Learning to Teach Preconference held in April 1999 in Detroit into a web-based product. [sd 2.2]

    The Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee began work on an annotated bibliography of research on teaching diverse populations for the Section web site. [sd 2.4]

    The 9th ACRL Conference Task Force submitted a publication proposal to develop an article ("Information Literacy at a Distance: Critical Instruction Issues") based on their conference presentation in April. A task force will be formed after Annual 1999 to work on this publication. [sd sd 2.2]

  3.    IS promotes study, research, publication and other development opportunities for academic and research instruction librarians.

    The Research and Scholarship Committee, with assistance from the Continuing Education Committee, sponsored a Midwinter Discussion Forum, "Are They Learning What We're Teaching?". The forum was attended by 193 people and received good evaluations. [sd 3.3]

    The 9th ACRL Conference Task Force presented a panel session at the 9th ACRL National Conference on April 10, 1999, "Distance Learning/Connected Learning to Information Literacy: An Instruction Section Assessment of Critical Issues and Section Efforts," that was attended by 40 people and very well received. [sd 3.3]

    The "Learning to Teach Preconference" was offered for the third time by the Preconference Program Planning 1999 Task Force in Detroit on April 8, 1999, as part of the 9th ACRL National Conference. This event was attended by 94 participants. [sd 3.3]

    The Conference Program Planning 1999 Committee worked with the Distance Learning Section to co-sponsor a program for Annual Conference that will explore research implications of digital library use for library instruction and showcase innovative responses to the instructional needs of virtual academic library users, both distant and residential. The program, "Nothing But Net? Understanding the Digital Library User" will focus on research, theory, and innovative service to virtual patrons. [sd 3.4]

    The Preconference Program Planning 2000 Task Force proposal ("Library Instruction on the Web") to be held in Chicago next year was approved by ACRL. The preconference will focus on using Internet technology to deliver instruction, and will address issues connected with learning theory, distance education, information literacy, instructional design, and subject content. [sd 3.3]

    The Conference Program Planning 2000 Committee proposal, "Instruction for First Year Students," was submitted to ACRL for approval in April. [sd 3.3]

    The Awards Committee chose Mary Reichel, University Librarian at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, to receive the 1999 Miriam Dudley Instruction Librariarn Award. This award recognizes leadership and influence in academic library instruction. The Committee selected The Seven Faces of Information Literacy by Christine Bruce to receive the 1999 IS Publication Award which recognizes the outstanding publication of the year in library instruction. [sd 3.2]

    Effective May 1999, the Executive Committee mandated the publication of all conference program, Midwinter discussion forum, and preconference evaluations on the Section web site as a means of sharing continuing education needs assessment with all Section committees. [sd 3.5]

    The Emerging Technologies in Instruction Committee prepared a research report on webcasting companies, costs, and technology in support of the Section's 1999 Initiative Fund Partnering prospoal with ALISE. Webcasting would allow the Section to reach out to library school students who are not able to attend meetings in person, thereby making the organization more responsive to the needs of all IS members. [sd 3.4]

    The Education for Library Instructors Committee prepared the 1993 "Strategic Options for Professional Education (SOPE) Final Report" for publication the Section web site to facilitate the work of the ALA Congress on Professional Education. [sd. 3.2]

    The Continuing Education Committee and the Education for Library Instructors Committee also produced a web-based "Calendar of Continuing Education Programs for Library Instructors". This page was based on the merger of several pilot projects conducted this year: monitoring BI-L for continuing education activities, conferences, programs, etc of interest to all members, especially to those not able to attend annual conferences. The web directory of instruction-related workshops, conferences, institutes, etc. is designed to assist members in identifying professional development activities outside of the section and ALA. [3.3] They also investigated dissertations as indicators of research activity in library instruction to consider the possibility of recommending a new Instruction Section award in the area of research. This approach will be evaluated a as possible strategy for assessing research needs in instruction and current areas of scholarly development, and is very responsive to interests expressed by the instruction community. These efforts will assist in identifying and promoting instruction-related topics for study and research, and possibly provide opportunities for the section to promote research and scholarship in instruction. [sd 3.1, 3.2]

    The Local Arrangements Committees (Philadelphia & New Orleans) together with the Membership Committee worked to provide networking opportunities for new and experienced instruction librarians at the IS Dinner during the Midwinter and Annual conferences. Attendance at the Midwinter Dinner was 86; attendance at Annual will be about 100. [sd 3.3]

    The Executive Committee submitted a 1999 Initiative Fund Proposal, "Building a Research Database Using Retrospective Job Ads for Instruction Positions," which is intended to promote study, research and publication relevant to academic instruction librarians.

  4.    IS collaborates with professional organizations within and outside of ALA to promote mutual interests.

    The Executive Committee submitted a 1999 Initiative Fund Partnering Proposal, "Webcast 2000: An ALISE/IS Partnership Proposal to Link Professional Development Events with Library School curricula" to ACRL. The proposal seeks funding to determine if Internet technology can be used to integrate conference programming into library school curricula thereby extending the life of professional development efforts. [sd 4.3]

    The Executive Committee worked with ACRL and ALA Chapter Relations and Membership Relations Office to recognize instruction as a "principal area of work" on the ALA membership and membership renewal forms.

  5.    IS maintains a prominent planning and decision-making role to influence information policy at the national level.

    The Executive Committee appointed representatives for 1999 to the National Forum for Information Literacy and to the ACRL Institute for Information Literacy. [5.2]

  6.    IS ensures that its operating environment provides efficient use of resources and effective delivery of support services to its members and constituent units.

    The Awards Committee developed online Award nomination forms in order to streamline the nomination process and develop a richer and more diverse pool of candidates. [sd 6.3, 6.4]

    The Communication Committee selected a new Web Administrator for 1999-2001. At Annual the Committee will select a candidate to fill the new List Administrator position that was created to maintain listservs for any Section committee wishing to have one after Annual 1999. A survey of committee chairs earlier in the year revealed that large committees felt intra-committee communication would be improved by a listserv. ACRL does not provide this service at the Section committee level. The Web Administrator and Section Secretary developed an online minutes submission form to facilitate the distribution and publication of committee minutes. The Committee published Section committee rosters on the web for the first time thereby eliminating the costs associated with compiling a print directory. The web directory will be updated monthly by the List Administrator so that all members will have access to current contact information. The Newsletter Editor published two issues of the IS Newsletter in paper, PDF, and html versions. In hopes of eliminating problems associated with moving the Section web site every two years, the Committee researched ISPs and made a recommendation; the Committee also recommended registering a domain name for the Section. [Neither recommendation could be impelemented because of ALA Internet policies. The Section Chair will continue to work on this issue through the Section Council.] [sd 6.1, 6.3, 6.4]

    The Planning Committee implemented new web-based annual planning and evaluation procedures. The new procedures incorporate long- and short-term plans, progress reports, and annual reports of the Section's progress with respect to meeting the goals of both the ACRL and the Section's Strategic Plan. [sd 6.2]

    The Policy Committee was instrumental in revising Section bylaws to clarify how Section business is conducted at conference meetings and to remove confusing language regarding Section elections. The bylaws changes were approved by Section membership in the 1999 election. The Policy Committee also revised the "Conference and Preconference Program Planning Manual" and the "Resource Checklist for Instruction Section Committee Chairs" to assist new chairs in locating resources and documents. [sd 6.1, 6.2, 6.4]

    After a year-long study, the Executive Committee combined two committees (Continuing Education and Education for Library Instructors) into a new Education Committee effective immediately after Annual 1999. The Committee also developed several documents to guide future officers and committee chairs ("Tips for Section Chairs Scheduling ALA Conference Meetings," "Timetable for Incoming Chairs," and "Tips for Making Appointments") and revised existing reference documents ("Dudley Award Procedures," "Guidelines for Archival Record Retention," "Responsibilities of Section Officers.") Reassigned oversight responsibility for several key documents ("Publication Policies and Procedures Manual," "Tips for Taking Minutes," "Guidelines for Archival Record Retention") to members of the Executive Committee to facilitate timely revisions. To insure that all web documents are properly maintained and archived, the Executive Committee approved the preparation of a detailed inventory showing web page ownership, maintenance schedule, and archiving responsibility. [sd 6.2, 6.4]

    The Learning to Teach Virtual Task Force has submitted an article to C&RL News for July 1999 publication that assesses the feasibility of virtual committee work using course management software. The Executive Committee, Emerging Technologies in Instruction, and Think Tank III Task Force all used web-course software (WebCT) to facilitate the exchange, review, and editing of committee documents, drafts, and to organize simultaneous discussions of various issues.[sd 6.3]

    The Membership Committee followed up on the dropped-membership survey it conducted last year and is preparing a recommendation that addresses possibilities for conducting this survey on a regular cycle. This analysis will assist in developing and marketing membership services and resources, and will reveal trends in section membership. Membership also documented Section history by identifying, organizing, and transferring IS dinner photographs into the ALA Archives, as well as creating documentation for continued maintenance of related activities and responsibilities. The Committee also began work on executing its responsibilities more efficiently by documenting procedures, policies, and responsibilities for new member mailings, and for the creation and maintenance of the IS Brochure, including creation and maintenance of a web version. [sd 6.3, 6.4]

    June 1999


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