Minutes of Friday February 5, 1999 Meeting
- Cassel (chair), Hoffman, Mulcahy, Scholz-Crane, Tipton (reporting).
- Still, Tate.
- The systemwide list of INFO workshops is up on the net. Bernice
Weinberg takes care of registration in New Brunswick. Info registration is
done locally in Newark and Camden.
Attendance at INFO workshops varies from campus to campus. Transfer
students as a potential audience remain a problem on every campus, since
they are difficult to track and not all of them take English composition.
- Upcoming discussion groups on instruction:
April 2 -- informal get together to discuss instruction. [This event has
been postponed since the meeting.]
March 11 -- NJ library association brown bag at Montclair State, 12: 30-2:30
- Tasks and priorities for the committee were reviewed.
- Database evaluation
Ann Scholz-Crane suggested that one way to get documentation in a timely
manner for new databases is to acquire documentation in electronic form
from vendors before acquiring the databases themselves. Then Rutgers
people can use or modify the text easily. We discussed the committee's
role in documentation, concluding that this committee should act as a
clearinghouse or editorial board for documents. We do not need to write
every one ourselves.
Although SACOPS is doing work on acquiring databases, we are also
interested in how databases are dropped. Sometimes useful databases seem
to disappear with insufficient warning or discussion.
Teaching hands-on classes has become difficult because the limited number
of licenses is insufficient for classroom training. The committee will
document database problems from an instructional point of view so that this
discussion can continue on another level.
When databases fail or are not available because of licensing restrictions
alternatives are sometimes acceptable and sometimes not. During the recent
downtime on IRIS some librarians used transparencies for demonstration,
some used the Emory University site, and some used Lehigh University. For
reference, some librarians substituted RLIN Eureka while others utilized
existing older card catalogs.
- The committee will be working with the training coordinator. Since the
training coordinator is exclusively for LIS training, we made note of the
lack of a training coordinator for library faculty. Perhaps we need to
survey practices in other research libraries regarding the need for faculty
SUNY received a grant to have 30 SUNY librarians trained in information
literacy. We discussed the need to take note of existing training
opportunities such as the ACRL immersion program next summer and LOEX so
that Rutgers librarians can be sent to these nationally-recognized events.
- Helen Hoffman is working to identify resources around Rutgers for
information literacy training-electronic classrooms, equipment, and
software. She will also take note of our resources for instructional
- Ann Scholz-Crane has been investigating teaching methodologies. She
looked at three levels of instruction: orientation, English composition,
and advanced, subject-based instruction.
Level 1: Orientation
The objective is to establish a comfort level with the library. The idea
of training students to train other students was discussed.
Level 2: English Composition
Although at this point the students have some definite assignment, which
focuses their attention, the issue of comfort level is still very
important. Many students are using the library for the first time.
On this level, we generally assume that some comfort level has been
established previously, and that students know the basics (IRIS and some
basic database, for example). Sometimes this is not the case, and we must
review the basics as we go deeper into subject material. This level of
instruction applies to advance undergraduates, graduate students, and
On all levels of instruction, the librarian-professor relationship is very
important so that research information is tied back into the total
educational experience. The librarian-student relationship is extremely
important on all levels of instruction, but most particularly on Level 1
and Level 2. The most advanced students benefit most from Web pages and
canned tutorials because they are independent and motivated. The least
advanced students require more human intervention to increase their comfort
level and quickly encourage, diagnose, correct, and suggest courses of
action before their frustration level overcomes their desire to move
- Kevin Mulcahy presented a draft of his report on designing and
implementing electronic instruction programs. The committee discussed a
number of issues related to this report.
Instruction programs must address the diversity of student population in
We need very simple, inexpensive authoring software if those of us who
teach also author instructional programs. Anything requiring too much
investment of time or money will not be completed successfully.
Our instructional programs should actually be presented in number of ways
to accommodate different learning levels and different learning styles: 1)
face-to-face classroom instruction is still an important component; 2)
onscreen tutorials need to be used when appropriate; 3) printed guides are
still useful in many teaching and reference situations; 4) distance
learning options need to be explored.
- Western Monmouth
Discussion of distance learning led into some of the issues at the Western
Monmouth campus. Many of the details related to library use and library
instruction at this site do not seem to have been worked out in advance.
The space we have been given for instruction is not really set up for the
purpose. There are issues with circulation, interlibrary loan, scheduling
of the room for instruction (apparently, librarians cannot schedule rooms
because they are not "teaching faculty"), travel arrangements and
reimbursement for travel. Western Monmouth students do not necessarily have
University identification cards or email accounts, and yet they are
expected to use the campus network during their learning experience.
Perhaps they should be required to visit a Rutgers campus before the
semester begins to obtain these items.
The committee suggested that a joint meeting be held between the
Instructional Services Committee and the Task Force on Distance Learning to
discuss some of these issues.
- Jeris Cassel will collect descriptions of instructional programs on
each campus and campus instructional statistics for analysis.