Instruction Section Newsletter

is bannerhorizontal line


Volume 14 Number , Spring 1997

horizontal line

Instruction Section Newsletter, This Issue:

  1. Instruction Section News
  2. ACRL Instruction Section 1997 Preconference
    • Learning to Teach: Workshops on Instruction
  3. ALA Annual Conference (June 28-July 1, 1997)

   Message from the IS Chair:
A Visual Symbol for the Instruction Section

The Section is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year! And in honor of the event, we have selected a logo to represent the Section. The new logo, which was overwhelmingly chosen by the Section at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Washington, D.C., is incorporated into the newsletter banner above. Further digital enhancements of the logo and banner are forthcoming.

is logo

In its simplicity, the IS logo has many ideas woven into its design that help to represent us, including personal interaction and a pathway of knowledge with no beginning or end. Choosing the logo was an exciting process, and because I have been involved in the process over the years, the IS Executive Committee asked me to write down the history of the logo for the newsletter.

I've long wished to have some kind of a visual identification mark for the Section. Beginning back in the 1980s, I began advocating for one, and eventually got some support for having a logo contest. We advertised for and received some entries, but nothing stood out as THE ONE...and besides, the Section was deep in a discussion over changing its name and felt that the time wasn't right to select a logo for an organization in transition. The name change idea moved forward over quite a few years, and eventually we came to a resolution and a new name. Soon after the name change, I was elected to the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect position, and it seemed inevitable that I should take up the quest for a logo once again.

As a Section, we discussed what we wanted, and what we didn't want. It was easier to define what we didn't want: a computer, a book, a tree of knowledge, or other symbols that seemed limiting. We stood for more than books and/or computers, and trees were beautiful but overused and not unique to our goals. Finally, we decided that what we had to work with was our section's acronym: IS.

Since we were focusing on letters, a lettering artist seemed a likely choice. We invited a calligrapher to sketch some designs. At Midwinter we looked them over, and Advisory members shared them with their committees. Some loved them, others didn't, but nothing had any kind of real support. Back to the drawing board.

One more time! I contacted a faculty member who teaches design and asked if he had a class that might work on the project. He invited me to come to his class and talk to his design students about who we were, what we did, and what we wanted. For me, this was an exciting exercise to talk to a group of students who knew nothing about instruction librarians and try to get them to understand what we did, what our goals were, and how we wanted to be portrayed or symbolized.

Two weeks later, I was invited back and the students presented their projects. They were beautiful and exciting. So much thought and concentration went into each one, and they were all wonderful representations of our mission. I knew the problem would now be how to decide on which one.

Should I limit what I shared with the Section to a handful, pre-selecting the ones the design professor had identified as the strong designs? That would have been the reasonable way to go, but they were all so wonderful, I wanted to share them all, and I did! First with Exec (everyone felt the same way; just the sheer fun of looking at them all was a treat) and then with Advisory. A cut-and-paste collage was made for chairs to share with their committees to provide feedback. I was delighted with the enthusiasm but worried that we could never come to a conclusion.

But I was wrong! In the end, when we looked over the responses from the committees and the individual members of the committees, we found an overwhelming agreement. One design stood out clearly from the others as a favorite of most of the committees and most of the individuals. We had a winner!

I was to return the designs to the students on February 19th, the day after I got back from ALA. As it turned out, I could only deliver them during class session, so I ended up telling the students about the enormous enthusiasm generated by all of their designs. They were all waiting on pins and needles to hear the results, so I announced the winner.

Jamie Prokell, a 22-year-old junior in the graphic design program at Penn State, was elated that we'd chosen his design. He told me later that he might not have shown his excitement at the time because he'd been up for two nights working on a major project, but that inside he was dancing up and down. He was especially pleased because he had put a lot of time and energy into his design, thinking about what I'd said and what we, as a group, stand for. I saw his sketches, pages of them, as he worked to come up with just the right idea, just the right shapes.

is logo

"I wanted to keep the mark ambiguous," said Jamie. "The hand-rendered letters were used to show the personal interaction, keeping it away from just computers. The 's' created by the shape of the negative space is representative of a pathway of knowledge. I gave it no beginning or end because I didn't want it to look limited." The proof that it isn't limited is that people see many things in the design. Several have identified the "i" as a figure of a person, and one committee member saw a person sitting at a computer. "So you can get out of it what you'd like. It becomes personal for each person," Jamie said.

Jamie also mentioned that this is his first design to be chosen for use, and that he now considers February 19th to be his lucky day and the real beginning of his graphic design career. He has worked his logo design into the banner for the IS Newsletter and the IS Web site, and he will also work with the Section on the brochure design funded by the current IS Initiative Grant. We wish Jamie well in his career and are delighted to be the recipient of his creative energies!

I hope you can all join us in San Francisco for our 20th-anniversary celebration dinner and our spectacular program!

--Loanne Snavely, Chair, Instruction Section

   Breivik to Receive Miriam Dudley Award in S.F.

Patricia Senn Breivik, Dean of University Libraries at Wayne State University in Detroit, has been chosen to receive the Instruction Section's Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award at ALA's annual conference this summer.

The Miriam Dudley award, first given by the Instruction Section in 1984, is designed to recognize and honor an individual librarian who has made an especially significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment.

Citing Breivik's passionate and articulate advocacy of the concept of information literacy and the role of librarians in achieving its aims, Esther Grassian, Chair of the Dudley Award Jury, described Breivik as being "primarily responsible for firmly establishing the importance of information literacy in the minds and hearts of instruction librarians."

According to Grassian, Breivik's enthusiastic and ongoing advocacy of information literacy and the value of librarian partnerships in creating institution-wide information literacy goals has also greatly influenced accrediting agencies, chancellors at large research universities, higher education listserv moderators, and faculty in a variety of disciplines.

"Patricia Breivik well deserves our thanks and recognition for her many efforts and great successes in this endeavor," Grassian said.

Breivik is author of several articles on information literacy and is co-author of the books, Information Literacy: Educating Children for the 21st Century and Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library. She has served as chair of several national information literacy groups, including the National Forum on Information Literacy and ALA's Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. She is also a past president of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Prior to her arrival at Wayne State University in 1990, Breivik worked in a wide variety of library administration and teaching positions at the University of Colorado at Denver, Columbia University, University of Wisconsin, Sangamon State University, Pratt Institute, and Brooklyn College. Breivik received her M.L.S. from Pratt (1969) and D.L.S. from Columbia (1974) and has been presented with distinguished alumni awards from both institutions.

In recognition of her contributions in the area of library instruction, Breivik will be presented with a $1000 cash award and an engraved plaque, donated by Mountainside Publishing Company, this June in San Francisco.

   Midwinter Discussion Forums Promote Exchange of Ideas

   Branch and Jennings Lead IS Forum on Diversity of Learning Styles

Approximately 80 librarians attended the late Sunday afternoon IS Midwinter discussion forum on "Learning Styles and Diverse Populations," co-sponsored by the Instruction for Diverse Populations and Continuing Education committees. Moderator Gerald Holmes introduced the two discussion starters, Katherine Branch, Director, Anne Arundel Community College, and Kriza Jennings, Consultant for Diversity and Minority Recruitment/Retention.

Branch gave an overview of the four learning styles described in Bernice McCarthy's book, The 4Mat System: Teaching to Learning Styles with Right/Left Mode Techniques:

  • Type 1 learners (imaginative, like discussion, teachers motivate) ask, "Why?";
  • Type 2 learners (analytical learners, information method, teacher teaches) ask, "What?";
  • Type 3 learners (common sense learner, coaching method, teacher facilitates) ask, "How does this work?"; and
  • Type 4 learners (dynamic learners, self-discovery method, teacher evaluates) ask, "What if?"

To illustrate teaching to different learner types, forum participants were provided with a green sheet that showed a circle with Type 1 learners in the upper right-hand quadrant and, moving clockwise, Types 2, 3, and 4 placed in successive quadrants. Thus, teachers need to teach "around the circle" to ensure that they reach all types of learners. After Branch finished there was a brief discussion about learning types and how the four main learner types have sub-types.

Jennings spoke about diversity of personality and learning styles. According to Jennings, people like to give and receive information in different ways. However, students often don't know their own learning styles, so tell them what style(s) you are teaching toward and find the elements that catch their attention. It is important to show patience and persistence&emdash;and to let go of perfection, avoid being overly critical of your own work, do follow-ups, let it be, accept that the agenda is big, learn from unsuccessful attempts, and try, try again. Relationships with faculty need to be fostered to help this endeavor, Jennings said.

The discussion that followed concerned learning styles, technology issues, teaching to various majors, and adult learners. The 16 types from the Myers-Briggs inventory of types were mentioned. Additional aspects to consider when teaching are emotional, psychological, social, physical, and environmental learning style differences. Working the whole circle was encouraged, but depending on the group, different amounts of time may need to be spent in each quadrant.

Two bibliographies created by the Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee were also distributed.

--Naomi Lederer, Member, Communication

   IS-ALISE Joint Discussion Identifies Necessary Skills for BI Librarians

What do advocacy, diplomacy, marketing, communication skills, adaptability, and flexibility have in common?

According to Joanne Euster, University Librarian, University of California Irvine and Loriene Roy, Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Texas-Austin, they all contribute to the making of an effective instruction librarian.

These were only a few of the mind-boggling array of skills that were suggested by facilitators Euster and Roy and the more than 30 participants at the Midwinter Meeting discussion forum, "Reinventing the Information Professional: Preparing Librarians for their Teaching Role in the 21st Century."

The forum, which was jointly sponsored by the IS Education for Library Instructors Committee and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), offered an opportunity for ALA Midwinter attendees to meet with ALISE Conference participants and exchange ideas about what skills are necessary for instruction librarians to have, and how and where to acquire these skills. Forum participants discussed the need for instruction librarians to possess a knowledge of how people learn and an understanding of cognitive psychology, computer science, literacy, presentation skills, educational design, and evaluation.

Roy described how she combines hands-on practical experience with theoretical discussions of educational and psychological issues relating to library instruction in the BI course she teaches at UT-Austin. Other forum participants, including forum moderator Joan Kaplowitz of UCLA, discussed ways these practical and theoretical components are handled in courses at their library schools. Methods of acquiring these skills via continuing education workshops and on-the-job training were also discussed.

Euster brought the perspective of a practitioner and long-time manager to the forum. She talked about what she looks for when hiring a new librarian. High on her list were qualities like problem solving and critical evaluation skills as well as an understanding of cognitive processes, especially in terms of transfer of knowledge.

Both Euster and Roy encouraged participants to look at the relationship between library literacy campaigns and the promotion of bibliographic instruction.

The forum ended with a discussion of core competencies for librarians, which would include some if not all of the skills mentioned during the course of the afternoon. As Euster pointed out, "the bottom line is that instruction in information skills is now at the level of importance that it should be considered a core competency in the education of librarians."

--Joan Kaplowitz, Chair, Education for Library Instructors

   Teaching Methods' Brainstorming Session Provides Great Ideas for Building Collaborative Partnerships
between Campus Librarians and Teaching Faculty

The following list of ideas for building and promoting collaborations with teaching faculty includes some of the many suggestions given at a Midwinter brainstorming session held by the IS Teaching Methods Committee on Sunday, February 15.

  • Create relationships that promote understanding of librarians' expertise
  • Approach teaching faculty to ease apprehension and promote understanding
  • Collaborate with teaching faculty on creating assignments
  • Get involved as a presenter in "learning to teach" workshops for teaching faculty
  • Get involved in campus planning of "freshman experience" classes
  • Attend teaching faculty meetings and new faculty orientations
  • Recognize where information literacy fits into the institution as a whole
  • Create and publicize an information literacy statement with goals
  • Seek partnerships with members of campus faculty library committee
  • Reach teaching faculty through campus centers for effective teaching and learning
  • Offer library instruction programs focused on specific course assignments
  • Offer workshops for teaching faculty prior to each semester
  • Create library instruction teams that include non-librarians from relevant campus units
  • Get involved in teaching university technology courses
  • Promote a campus-wide system that refers faculty with questions about teaching information technology to campus librarians
  • Keep an eye open for new courses and new opportunities developing on campus
  • Serve on campus-wide undergraduate curriculum committees
  • Employ public relations techniques!

--compiled and edited from information contributed by Gretchen McCord Hoffmann, Member, Teaching Methods Committee


ALA Annual Conference

1997 ala annual conference logo

Preliminary IS Meeting Schedule

Check conference program to verify times and locations!

FRIDAY, June 27, 1997

8:30 am - 5:00 pm
IS Preconference

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
IS 20th-Anniversary Dinner

SATURDAY, June 28, 1997

8:00 am - 9:00 am
Executive Committee

9:30 am - 11:00 am
Advisory Council

11:30 am - 12:30 pm
IS 97-98 Leadership Orientation

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
ACRL Board I
Conference Program Planning 1997
Emerging Technologies in Instruction
Instruction for Diverse Populations
Teaching Methods

4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
ALA Membership I (no-conflict time)

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
ALA Opening General Session (no-conflict time)

SUNDAY, June 29, 1997

9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Active Learning Sourcebook TF
Conference Program Planning 1998
Continuing Education
Education for Library Instructors
Glossary Project Task Force
IS Strategic Plan Task Force
Management of Instruction Services
Nominating 1998 (closed)

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
ALA Membership II (no-conflict time)

MONDAY, June 30, 1997

9:30 am - 11:00 am
Advisory Council

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
ACRL New Member/Board Luncheon

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
ACRL Membership Meeting/Awards

2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
"Imagining the Learning Library"
ACRL President's Program / IS Program / Showcase of Ideas

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

ACRL Reception
(Academic / Research Librarian of the Year Award)

TUESDAY, July 1, 1997

9:30 am - 11:00 am
Executive Committee

2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

   Imagine the Possibilities:
IS Program to Feature Disney Imagineers

The 1997 ACRL President's Program-IS Program, "Imagining the Learning Library," is scheduled for Monday, June 30, from 2-4:30 p.m., and will feature members of the Walt Disney Imagineering Team in conjunction with a design architect and a public services librarian.

Program speakers will share their thoughts on how to realize the ideal of the learning library, a library whose purpose or story lies in inviting exploration and in presenting openings for learning and research.

What would such a library offer, look like, and be? How can we shape services in ways that support the learning and research that lie at the heart of the academic and research library? How can our physical environments convey this mission? How do other buildings speak to our users? Answers to these and other questions will bring the concept of the learning library to life.

Following the major speaker presentations, a "Showcase of Ideas" will highlight some of the innovative ways academic librarians are making this vision of the library a reality.

ACRL co-sponsors of "Imagining the Learning Library" are the College Libraries, Community and Junior College Libraries, Education and Behavioral Sciences, Extended Campus Library Services, and Asian, African and Middle Eastern sections.

   New IS Members Invited to Lunch with ACRL Board

If you are a new member of IS, you are also a member of ACRL. All new members of IS are cordially invited to an ACRL luncheon on Monday, June 30, at 12:30 p.m. Members of the ACRL Board will be at the luncheon specifically to get acquainted with new members.

So come have a chat and lunch with the people who represent you and your interests in ALA. The luncheon is a great opportunity for new members to get connected with the ACRL leadership...and a nice way to lighten the burden a conference puts on your budget!

The luncheon will be held at the San Francisco Marriot, Yerba Buena 4-6. Please RSVP by June 20, 1997 to:

We hope to see you there!

   IS 20th-Anniversary Celebration Dinner

1997 ALA Annual Conference, San Francisco

Join us for a celebration of the Instruction Section's 20th anniversary! Our honored guests will include the 1997 winner of the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award and Miriam Dudley herself. We also hope that many of the past Section chairs and Dudley Award winners will be available to join us for this special occasion.

Space is limited, so don't wait to register. Reservations with payments will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis until our limit is reached, or until June 13, whichever comes first.


Friday, June 27, 1997


6:00-7:00pm Cash Bar and Reception
7:00-7:30pm Announcements & Presentation of IS Awards
7:30-9:00pm Buffet Dinner


Cafe Latte
4 Embarcadero Center
(Street Level, adjacent to Justin Herman Plaza)
San Francisco


$25.00, tax and gratuity included


Jeanne Fong
Phone: (510) 642-4345

Link to and print out the IS 20th-Anniversary Dinner registration form.

The Instruction Section Newsletter is published semi-annually by the Instruction Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago IL 60611, 312/280-2519. Editor, Keith E. Gresham, Norlin Library, Campus Box 184, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder CO 80309-0184, 303/492-6722, Fax: 303/492-1881, email: The Instruction Section Newsletter is sent to all IS members. Claims and address changes should be sent to the ALA address above. © 1997 ALA.



Please note that this electronic version of the Instruction Section Newsletter is currently under development and that the format of future issues is subject to revision and change.

Return to the Instruction Section home page.