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Special Interest Group Archive: Info Lit / HS to College Transition 11/04/2019

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The High School to College Transition SIG / Information Literacy Instruction SIG met on Monday, November 4, 2019. The meeting was convened by Tess Hartman-Cullen from SUNY Ulster and featured a live production of the "Beyond CRAAP" webinar, posted below.

Webinar recording

Notes from the meeting

The meeting began with the “Beyond CRAAP: An Updated Approach to Source Evaluation,” webinar presented by Mary Thill, Frank Lambert, and James Rosenzweig in which they presented the “WHY Method” of evaluation. Following the webinar, SIG participants and the webinar presenters discussed the approach and how it could be used in the high school or college setting.

The SIG convener explained how she attended a presentation at ALA about the WHY method. This method appealed to her as it was fresh, and did not directly discuss bias which can be challenging to address in the classroom.

Question: Where do the databases fit in?


  • Mary reports that she’s using CREDO reference a lot more heavily. Sometimes products we have don’t meet students’ needs. People on the web are savvy and create information that fills those gaps.
  • This has implications for the resources we are paying money for. It’s difficult to access information that one would need to evaluate a source through the databases. For example, the databases do not act as a portal to author credentials.  You can’t trust the source and the author just because it is an academic paper.

Question: I’m struggling with the issue of bias. I think everything does have bias or at least a point of view and it is important to address in the classroom. The participant gave an example of a holocaust denier website created by a history professor. Bias is important in this instance. This example demonstrates the need to read laterally. Perhaps lateral reading could be used in conjunction with WHY.


  • Detective work and research needs to be done in order to investigate those questions.
  • When a novice researcher is evaluating bias it’s hard for them to not reinforce their own biases. I would ask the student: Is this website self-published? How is this different than if this professor had put it through review?

Question: Have you thought of doing a pre and post assessment in order to assess the value impact of library instruction on students’ critical thinking skills?


  • That’s something we’d like to do. We would like to see how instruction impacts the sources students choose.

Question: How do you create the time if you have a 15min one-shot? How do you negotiate for that time?


  • What’s great about this method is it originally came from a taxonomy. So the professor’s students’ work can be assessed and that data can be used as an entrance point for dialogue. It can assess that professor’s students’ work and show them what your students are quoting. Negotiate time to teach pre-search vs researching.
  • Pop culture research papers are becoming more prevalent at these institutions. Did a google search on game of thrones and feminism and walked them through WHY in top 3 sources.

Question: Can you discuss how this can be used for assessment?


  • There are other ways to do assessment other than a satisfaction survey. Toying with idea to do an experiment with students – control group, one group gets a sheet of resources, and another group goes through an Information Literacy presentation. The students would then go and write papers. The grades of the three groups could be compared. 
  • In the process of refining tool. Constantly checking for rigor and validity so that by the time of publishing next paper we’ll have something librarians can just pick up and use to evaluate bibliographies and communicate your impact.
  • Drew attention to the charts shown in the presentation of categories of sources students used in English comp papers. These are courses that would be transferable, but students are doing vastly different work in the three different courses.

Question: I’ve been telling the students they need to know how to search databases because they need to use the databases in college. But I’d love to expand to talk about these concepts. What’s your advice?


  • I recognize the balancing act you’re in. I would get them thinking about how searching works. A google search: personalized results, swapping word order and how that impacts results, etc. Then discuss how the database searching is different.

Question: You mention “data talks.” Do we need to be doing more research, producing more data in our profession?


                -Consortium for academic and research libraries in Illinois is doing something called CARLI Counts in which member libraries are running different assessment projects. We should do more as a profession to leverage the data. And do more pre and post to really see the impact.

The presenters said they know a lot about what college freshman are using as sources in their papers, but are curious about high school students.

Response from SIG participants:

  • Students tend to click the first source they find.

The presenters are interested in doing some research on what students are doing on the high school level.

The webinar presenters signed off and the participants discussed how this could be applied in the classroom setting.

Next meeting date will likely be in June.

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