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EXPERI(M)ENT(I)AL: Developing Process-oriented, User-focused Methodologies in the Library: Lightning Round Presentations


Lightning Round Presenters and Abstracts

Gale Burrow and Adam Rosenkranz, Claremont Colleges. "Process Defines the Path: A Holistic Approach to Teaching the Research Process."

Abstract: In the digital age, it is becoming increasingly important to introduce students to original (or analog) primary sources. Students must learn how to “read” these sources and allow them to raise viable research questions, rather than first create research questions and then try to find supporting evidence. 

Since 2014, Special Collections librarians have partnered with subject librarians at the Claremont Colleges Library in offering a two-lab series that guides participants to experience research as a process, with research questions that are defined – and changed – as the scholar encounters different sources. The first lab requires students to interact with primary sources in Special Collections, determining what knowledge and understanding those sources offer and what questions they raise. In the second lab students use a range of digital tools to find related primary sources such as alternative editions and/or contemporaneous responses to the original document, and to research some of their questions in library catalogs, open source repositories, and scholarly journal databases. In each lab, a worksheet guides the process, students receive handouts identifying relevant resources and terminology, and there is time for questions and discussion.

The lab series was designed and piloted as two 3-hour labs for graduate students in Early Modern Studies. This presentation will describe the series, its customization for varying student audiences, and its approach to Information Literacy instruction, emphasizing process research across the full spectrum of digital and analog resources, and of scholarship as a continuing dialog among the scholar, primary sources, and secondary sources. 



Matthew Conner, University of California, Davis. "Library Instruction on Quantitative Data."

Abstract: It goes without saying that librarian instruction is mostly devoted to finding texts.  Statistics are the realm of the specialist.  But how is one to respond when a writing instructor asks for instruction on quantitative data because it is so ubiquitous?  This talk summarizes the session that was offered in response to this request.  It starts with source evaluation as a departure point then moves to relevant logical fallacies as a training in critical thinking and finishes with a more complex case of a figurative use of statistics which is somewhere between text and numbers.  The talk will cover what didn't work initially and what finally did.

Jennifer Dinalo, University of Southern California. "Conceptual Learning through Hands-on Teaching."

Abstract: Medical students at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California complete a Required Scholarly Project (RSP) over the course of the four years of medical school. This research project provides an opportunity to introduce the concept of research data management. Research data management is a complex topic that can seem overwhelming when first encountered. Mandates from funding institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and others are making research data management a critical part of the research process. In order to educate students about the basic principles, I have proposed an introduction to data management session for medical students. The learning objectives for this session are:

  1. Describe the research date life cycle
  2. Define different data types
  3. List three reasons data management is important
  4. Create a basic data capture form

The session will be built around hands-on exercises designed to illustrate the learning objectives, with minimal lecture. Students will be able to construct their understanding of research data management through the exercises and associated in-class discussion. Information and further reading materials will be cached on a Libguide developed specifically for the topic of research data management providing a resource for students to refer back to as they work through their RSPs. The conceptual understanding of a complex idea acquired through this learning session will empower students to be more confident in the development of their research project.

Kyra Folk-Farber, University of California, Santa Barbara. "Talking 'Bout the Next Generation of Musicians: Research-based Information Literacy Instruction."


Music students who are preparing for professional careers as performers engage in specialized activities using specialized materials. They therefore have particular information literacy needs, and filling those needs will not only assist them in their education, but will prepare them to participate in a professional community of practice. With these things in mind I have, over several years, been researching musicians' perceptions of and behaviors around copyright. 

Initial research examined the phenomenon of copyright’s function in relation to professional musicians’ needs for printed music. Results from this study drove development of a second inquiry employing REB-approved focus groups to identify graduate music students’ knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes around copyright and fair use regarding printed music. Data from this qualitative work were critical in informing the development of several instruction modules on copyright and fair use, including a session that will be incorporated into a for-credit graduate bibliography seminar for performance majors.

This presentation will focus on research-based information literacy curricula; I will describe my research methods and the ways in which the resultant data informed my instructional design. By examining certain information literacy needs that are largely overlooked in college- and graduate-level music education and by recommending methods to support those needs, I hope to ignite discussion about the possibility of applying research-based information literacy instruction across disciplines.

Jianye He, University of California, Berkeley. "WeChat: one popular social media app and scholarly communication."


Abstract: WeChat is a popular social media mobile app developed by Tencent in China. It was first released in 2011 and now it has been the most used communication tool by people in China and overseas. As of May 2016, WeChat has over a billion created accounts and 700 million active users. As subject librarian for Chinese studies, I find it a very useful tool for scholarly communication, especially outreach to faculty, students and other researchers. I created contacts for scholars (mostly Chinese scholars in Humanities & social science disciplines), graduate students, publishers, librarians and they keep me up-to-date about what's happening in China and in their research fields (such as newly excavated tombs or texts); bibliographies on specific Chinese studies topics; newly published scholarly books; critical book reviews, scholarly conference information, etc. Due to serious censorship in China, I was not able to check my emails or use other social media tools (such as facebook), but WeChat is available to use for easy communication. How to capture sensitive contents and digitally archive useful scholarly resources might be challenging, but interesting to explore in the future.


Lisa Junghahn, University of California, Irvine. "The Power of Lists for Teaching and Learning."

Abstract: Whether teaching a for-credit class or a one-stop workshop, learning is helped by non-threatening assessment and quick feedback. One easy and fun technique is having students make ordered lists, whether as individuals, in teams, or by using a technology, like Poll-Everywhere. This can be at the start of a class to determine what students know, or at the end to test learning. Lists do everything from checking basic comprehension to testing a student's ability to synthesize key information. Done well, students learn and have some laughs over what they know and what they should know.


Nina Mamikunian, University of California, Los Angeles. "Using Narrative Strategies to Help Students Learn Citation."

Abstract: When writing and reading citations, students can sometimes be confused as to the different elements that are included. Creating citations can be particularly troublesome, and students often rely (and are relieved by) various automated citation-creating tools. The citation is seen as busywork, irrelevant, and something they may get docked for if they don’t do it correctly. However, a narrative approach may help students understand why they must include citations beyond the “proving I didn’t plagiarize” reason. In their work, students are effectively contributing to and engaging in a scholarly discussion and the sources they cite are part of that conversation. By breaking down (and color coding) the elements of a citation, students can more easily identify the various elements. Those elements are then expanded. For example, the partial citation “Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.”  is expanded to “The author of this book is Harper Lee. The title of this book is To Kill a Mockingbird.” The citation elements are narrativized in order to be more easily read. The original form of the citation (with all of its rules of punctuation and italicization) can then be seen as shorthand for a lengthy paragraph that does indeed communicate information to the reader. Once students understand what they are actually writing and communicating in their citations, they are more willing to engage in the proper format.

Paige Mann, University of Redlands. "Facilitate Learning with Web Analytics."

Abstract: Web analytics, when configured properly, can help us understand what our users are actually doing on the library website whether they’re at home with their families, studying alone or with friends, or working during their lunch breaks. We can then take that knowledge and apply it to our instruction, use it in the conversations we have with faculty, and inform how we design our library websites and research guides as heuristic learning spaces. Specifically we can use web analytics to answer questions such as:

•             How are users searching? How might it differ across systems or interfaces?

•             How are they using (or not) options and features on the website?

•             How often do they get zero search results? What were they looking for? What did they click next?

Derek Quezada, Getty Research Institute. "Interactive Guide for Library Spaces and Resources."

Abstract: Reference librarians at the Getty Research Institute provide new researchers with a twice-weekly in-person tour and printed map to help orient them to library spaces and related resources and services. This has been the instruction model for well over decade but as our workloads increase we have been looking for new ways to streamline staff resources while providing the same (if not more) information to researchers.

As a result, we have recently developed an all-in-one digital solution through the creation of an interactive guide on an iPad. The interactive guide, which includes both text and photos, will allow researchers to become oriented quickly and intuitively to the library in a self-guided non-linear manner. This presentation will provide an overview of the project through its iterations, its contributions from MLIS graduate interns, and the collaboration amongst reference librarians.

Amanda Woodward, Woodbury University. "#PhotoChallenge: Using Instagram to Encourage Library Exploration."

Abstract: Library anxiety persists, even on small campuses like Woodbury University. In hopes of attracting students that may be hesitant to visit the library, I created a Instagram Photo Challenge for the library’s 2016 National Library Week festivities. The goal of the activity was to give students an opportunity to explore the library through a lens they were already comfortable with – creating a sharing images on Instagram. The challenge items were designed to guide students through the library building, emphasizing the library’s services, collections, and lore. I intentionally made the challenge accessible to new and frequent library users alike with the motive of exposing new students to the library in a non-threatening way, while allowing library lovers to spread their enthusiasm. Students were encouraged to share their photos on Instagram or direct message them to the library’s Instagram account. This had the added benefit of promoting our library social media. Currently, I am working on integrating the photo challenge into the University’s orientation activities as a fun way for students to familiarize themselves with the library. During my lightning round presentation, I plan to discuss the process of creating an Instagram photo challenge, the logistics of implementation, and my next steps (hint: SnapChat!).