Written by Stephanie Whalen, Chair, Academy for Teaching Excellence & Associate Professor, English and Interdisciplinary Studies
On the tour of the library with the New Faculty course last week, Librarian Christine Kuffel introduced us to the library classroom in Building F, Room F220. Library classrooms in the old library were traditional rows where each student was seated at a computer, but this new room allows students to work together around tables with one keyboard, mouse, and large monitor per group. Christine explained to the New Faculty course that “there are projectors and screens at each end of the room so that when librarians are giving instruction, students can see from wherever they are sitting.”
She also summarized the options for library instruction sessions, “Library instruction can be as simple as requesting a librarian come to class and say hello so that students aren’t afraid of librarians anymore…hand out some bookmarks; they love it. Or, we can do something a little more thorough where we do a tour, talk about our databases and how to find articles and how to find books. We can do something very specific to an assignment you have.” Christine also provided an example of a faculty member who regularly schedules a library session. “We have one instructor who invites us to her class to show her students how to find a particular article they are required to read. Instead of handing the students the article, they learn how to locate the Library’s website, navigate the databases, and search for the specific article. These are skills that will benefit them in any class they take at Harper.”
Christine also explained the reasons for creating a classroom like this. “The instruction classroom in the old building was outdated. It didn’t allow the flexibility that’s popular with current trends in information literacy instruction. This new setup allows us to work with faculty to customize a library instruction session that will meet the needs of their instructional goals and ultimately benefit their students.”
For faculty who prefer the traditional library instruction classroom, we still have a classroom with rows facing forward and monitors for each student in Building F, Room F221.