Area 51 notes, Feb. 9, 2012

Present:  Mike Roy, Shel Sax, Terry Simpkins, Carol Peddie, Mary Backus, Doreen Bernier
Guests: Tim Spears, Brenda Ellis, Carrie Macfarlane

Tim Spears joined us this morning to for the final stop on the “listening tour” that he and Mike have been holding with LIS workgroups to discuss the outcome of the Staff Council survey.  As with the other workgroups within LIS, Tim asked questions about working conditions and morale within our area.  All information gained from these discussions are considered confidential to individual workgroups.

Brenda Ellis and Carrie Macfarlane then joined the meeting to update the group on the Infolit planning progress.

A research practice survey was given to first year seminar students to assess their research skills.  The department of Institutional Research assisted in identifying students to take the survey to ensure that we had a good mix.  They found that a good number of these students did in fact open the survey, but many closed after the first few questions.  Some of the findings showed:

  • students tend to surf the web to find information and choose to not ask a librarian
  • students think they know how to do research, but lack knowledge of basic concepts (e.g., many students think Time is a scholarly resource)
  • students don’t know how to cite sources
  • there is a lack of understanding of terms

Moving forward, Brenda and Carrie suggest that they either give the survey to first year seminar students again in the fall, but probably independently (i.e. not in conjunction with HEDS), or do it again in the spring with HEDS to see a cross section of data from other schools.  HEDS will need to be notified by February.  Brenda’s recommendation is to do it in the spring.

Brenda also recommends that a summary of the report, with a link to the larger report, be sent to the faculty by email and not posted on the blog.  Brenda and Mike will continue discussions.  This should also be presented to Academic Affairs.  The report should not be posted in the website.

Carrie explained that a list of technology and research skills all graduating students should have went to the faculty.  For intermediate and advanced skills, a plan is being created for two pilot programs involving Chemistry and History of Art and Architecture (HARC), to ensure students have these required skills.  The Chemistry department has signed off on the list of skills and target classes; plans for assessment are next on the to-do list.  HARC would prefer to teach skills in 1 course covering objects and analysis.  Next steps for HARC need to be discussed with the department.

Mike recommended that Carrie and Brenda ask to be added to a meeting agenda of the “Chairs” committee to discuss moving Infolit to all academic departments, and to meet with FLAC.

Brenda and Carrie are scheduled to present an update to LIS at the optional all LIS staff meeting on 2/17/12.

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen

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