After looking over the WPA listserv for today there did not seem to be much conversation going on.....lots of job postings, upcoming conventions, and an abundance of "thanks you emails" to some man named Duane. All in all a pretty average day of discussion, until I came across a post having to do with first year writing classes and libraries.
This instantly cause my attention!! Who isn't confused every once in a while when it comes to libraries??
I know before entering college I looked like a chicken with their head cut off when it came to researching articles through the library data bases or even just trying to check out a book. I learned all of the "basic" library skills in say elementary school but never had to use them again until I entered college.
The question that this professor first asked that created this discussion was as follows:
I’m interested in learning about interesting/useful/awesome partnerships between FYC classes and libraries, especially when it comes to teaching information literacy skills. Do you know of any inspiring examples?
That’s a big bucket of a question, so here are some of the smaller buckets that I poured into it: If your library offers for-credit courses in info-lit, do any research-based assignments in FYC in any way acknowledge or connect to those library classes? Are there connections between the FYC-offering department and the library in any formal, curricular way, perhaps even in the course descriptions or catalog?
I’m less interested in small-scale, occasional things (“The librarian comes over once per semester and gives this great presentation!”) and more interested in formalized, curricular partnerships (“All students who take InfoLit 101 work on the same project in RHET 102!”), if that makes sense.
After this post came a wide variety of replies and points of view. Some professors gave their advise on how they choose to approach FYW courses and what type of material they cover. There was also a post from a man out of Southern University that was interesting. He had started up a hybrid "intro to library" course that students could take and learn more about research and how to navigate libraries that can be somewhat intimidating if you are not an expert. The only problem I had with this course was that it is not a requirement....that being said I feel that not many students would willingly take this course. If it had more of an appeal than being called "intro to libraries" (SNOOZEFEST) maybe it would be more of a hit.
In all, reading this thread of professors offering advice about a topic that is usually glanced over or students are "expected" to know really opened my eyes....I realized I was not the only freshman entering college with little or no knowledge having to do with research and academic journals. Just last semester in my 300 level English course we spend a class period listening to the librarian explain their whole research database!! There needs to be a happy medium between sitting through a course on libraries and waiting until senior year of college to "formally" teach students how to do research.
Heres a video of how I felt during my first research paper as a freshman and trying to navigate the library databases (dont let this be your students!!!)
This blog is a reactionary overview of the daily posts to the Writing Program Administrator's listserv. One day; one blogger; lots of reactions.