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Special Interest Group Archive: Information Literacy Instruction 1/14/2021

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.


The meeting was held on Thursday, January 14, 2021 via Zoom.


The state of everyone's campus:

SUNY Erie – computer labs are opening in February
STAC – has been always open. Februrary 1 is when students come back. Remote at first, and then classes start after two weeks. The library is open regular hours.
BARD – In person for academics, but the library buildings I being used as classroom space. They’re doing curbside, reference, and teaching remotely.
HS Orange – they have A/B weeks, they remain open as long as the teachers aren’t in quarantine. But they close when they’re out of teachers and subs.
New Paltz – they have been doing remote work because of staffing issues. They’re supposed to go back next week.


AF: in the fall she was embedded, and now she’s going to do that in the spring as well. There’s pressure to look busy in the light of budget cuts. They’re working on a diversity audit of the children’s section. Matching the authors to the ethnic makeup of the area based on the census – using the windows and mirrors theory.
SF: Information literacy work has been keeping them busy. They had 17 Zoom sessions over the spring. Feedback was good. She’s been creating videos so they can watch it on-demand. Students make appointments online if they need more help. They like to use chat for that.
PE: She has also been doing info lit, but also a lot of tech support for teachers who are working synchronous with “Zoomers” and “Roomers.” She became part of the tech support team and rolled out a placemat with QR codes with pdf’s on quick explainers. Making herself present with the teachers has been key.
JA: They’re all Google Classroom and they use Meet. She does her regular lessons in a meet. People are doing less research projects and that part of her work has been cut back. She’s doing a podcast to interview one teacher a week about what they’re reading. Losing the physical library space has been hard. Q: what are you using for digital books? A: they’re not used very highly. We have Sora and some that have been purchased over the years, but they still don’t get used, even after promotion. Kids want the print books. Q: Are you doing reserves and pickup? A: Yes, but it’s been hard to get going because the kids can’t go to the school. She’s looking at using buses to help with delivery.
AF: Run a report, separate out the children’s books. Look up each author and try to determine through information online what their gender & ethnicity are. Sometimes it’s clear and evident, and other times it’s a guess. She shared a spreadsheet with us on the breakdown of their collection and the fields she sued in an Excel document.
What does your information instruction look like, SF? : They have a freshman seminar class. The info lit is specific to the assignment. Students don’t always listen on Zoom. Her assessment survey had a lot of responses.
PE: As the high school librarian, she’s looking to embed herself into the 9th grade curriculum because she wants them to know at the very least a good Google search. Question to the college librarians: I need help knowing what exactly are the expectations of college-ready entrance as far as research? She wants to be sure about the expectations?
It’s the million dollar question! It’s hard to solve. AF: Two things that would make life easier: make sure students know how to find and recognize an author, when it was published, and how the publisher might have edited it. Help them understand bias. Not everyone is going to go to college, but just teaching everyone how to read an academic article would make a big difference.
SF: Have the students dig into a URL. All the professors require something different. One might just require internet resources, another might require peer review. You never know what you’re going to get with professors. But knowing how to evaluate resources is key
AM: Just knowing the difference about what kind of resources are out there helps. Digital natives think everything is on the internet.
AF: Doing wiki edit-a-thons helps to show them how tricky some information can be. It teaches them how knowledge is created, and how research can be complicated.
SF: Citations, a lot of freshman struggle with them. Just being able to know the right format and the purpose and when and why to cite things is important.
Is the CRAAP test still good? It has its flaws, but then it also works as training wheels to get freshman thinking about these things for the first time.
Walking a fine line – talking about current events when parents are listening in to the Zoom calls.


Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065