RUSA Reference Services Section RSS User Education and Information Literacy 2008 Midwinter Highlights

COMMITTEE: User Education and Information Literacy Committee


CHAIRPERSON: Paul Victor Jr.

DATES: Saturday, January 12, 2008


MEMBERS PRESENT: Members present: Paul Victor (Chair), Nancy DuPree, Paula Smith, Irmia Allner, Erica Carlson Nicol

MEMBERS ABSENT: Members absent: Laurie Bridges, Susan J. Gardner, Nancy Huling, Rekeshah Spellman, Helen M. Subbio, Michael Ingram (intern), Corey M. Johnson (virtual member).

VISITORS: Visitors: Betsy Jayesuring, Steven Vest

OBJECTIVES: -To explore possibilities for holding future discussion sessions on Emerging Trends in User-Education/Information Literacy. -To gather articles & discuss how the information gathering process in different career fields (outside of libraries) relates to what we do in the reference interview (see meeting summary below). If we find useful techniques that the library field doesn't currently use, then we can examine ways to bring this information to the attention of the library field.

SUMMARY: Two important topics emerged from this meeting: 1. Emerging Trends in User-Education/Information Literacy: The group put forth suggestions for regular discussion sessions on relevant information literacy topics that would change from year to year. Ideas proposed included library anxiety as a barrier to patrons seeking help or learning library resources, Web 2.0, & the role of the parent in higher education today (i.e. helicopter parents). This last topic was of greatest interest to the group and warrants more discussion. Options for a future program will be explored. 2. Reference Interview/Information Gathering Members of the committee examined the information gathering process in different career fields (outside of libraries) and how it relates what we do in the reference interview (similarities & differences). Each committee member chose a different field to read articles and create a bibliography. The purpose of reading these articles, and the ensuing discussion, was to determine what other effective means of interviewing/information gathering are being used in these different field. Once these effective methods are identified, then how might the library field use these different methods of questioning or acting in order to make us more effective at helping patrons during the reference interview? Some interesting points were raised, but more discussion needs to be done virtually to get more input.

EVALUATION: Good ideas were presented by the members who were present at the midwinter meeting. But not enough members were present to reach any solid conclusions.

PROBLEMS: Not enough attendance at midwinter to effectively follow through with the agenda items/discussions. The committee needs to have more communication virtually in order to move forward with these topics.

RECOMMENDATIONS: None at this time.