CLS Innovation in College Librarianship Award

About the CLS Innovation in College Librarianship Award To recognize innovation in college librarianship. 

Administered by:

Association of College and Research Libraries logoCollege Libraries Section logo

2017 Winner(s)

Jennifer Hunter and Christina Riehman-Murphy

Reference and Instruction Librarians at Penn State-Abington

“The project was chosen because it represented a new model of instruction composed of two programs: Research Parties and TED Talk as Research Inspiration,” said award chair Leah Dunn, university librarian at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. “The program offers a more interactive model of instruction and promotes the library as an integral part of the college’s mission by helping them ‘forge their own success as productive, responsible, and discerning citizens of a global society.’ The nominees created low-tech, high-impact methods of relationship building that are easily replicated.”

Research Parties are drop-in, social research consultation sessions. Like the reference desk, librarians provide in-person help to students from different classes at different stages of the research process, but like the hands-on portion of instruction sessions, librarians help multiple students at once, acclimating some students to the databases and then helping others to brainstorm topics or with citations.

TED Talk as Research Inspiration blends a book-club-type environment with instruction. Students view a pre-recorded TED Talk, short lectures delivered by some of the world's most innovative speakers, and the librarians facilitate a discussion about the talk’s themes, and how students can approach the topic from various disciplinary viewpoints. The group then brainstorms how students might transform the topic of the TED Talk to a topic for their papers or projects.