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					DRAFT report

For the purpose of this report, ―Teaching and Learning‖ will mean teaching by library
staff and learning by students and faculty to become competent in finding, using and
evaluating information resources.
Teaching and Learning at UBC Library

UBC Library has always supported teaching and learning activities in the faculties
through its collections, catalogues and the provision of reference service from desks
throughout the library. Library tours, print handouts and presentations to classes about
library materials and services were later additions, as part of the library’s ―bibliographic
instruction‖ offerings.

By the mid-eighties, as information resources expanded to include electronic formats,
academic libraries moved toward the provision of instruction based on concepts about
information, rather than on physical locations or tools such as the card catalogue and
print indexes.

In the nineties librarians had become mindful of pedagogical practices that involved
combining conceptual-based teaching with assignment-anchored topics and of
assessing students as they achieved a number of standard skills: these came to embody
the Information Literacy initiative. Throughout North America and beyond, librarians
worked with faculty, instructors, administrators and students to establish information
literacy instruction as part of their institutions’ curricula.

UBC Library’s program of teaching and learning was consolidated into the ―Information
Connections‖ program of the late nineties (supported in large part for more than 7 years
by a Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund grant), with a modest attempt at
offering instruction at various levels. At the same time, initiatives by individual subject
librarians led to the routine inclusion of library instruction in many courses1, The
American and Canadian Library Associations adopted Information Literacy Competency
Standards for Higher Education in 1999. Information literacy was identified as a key
component of lifelong learning and as such was central to the mission of higher
education. (1999, ALA)(*** references to articles: higher ed. and faculty) Incorporating
information literacy across disciplines became a responsibility which was to be shared
by faculty and academic librarians. UBC Library has been committed to the Information
Competency Standards of the ACRL since ?2002 (Date of acceptance of
recommendations of TG 2.1) Critical factors for the success of teaching and learning

 [*** Suggested that this go to a footnote. But how about a number –
Nthousand students each year???most notably Biology 140 (1500 students) ,
Chemistry 121/123 (1400 students and English 112 (???), Education
310/311, Education 500 which together enroll ??? students. (??? sessions in
total, latest Annual Report)]
DRAFT Report


programs include a focus on user-centeredness, demonstrated leadership, strong
teaching collaboration, supportive information systems and technologies, and agility and
flexibility organization to be flexible, agile and change as a learning organization.

Critical Factors for Teaching and Learning Focus on User-Centeredness

User centeredness is an underlying theme and fundamental for teaching and learning
activities. Almost every activity that librarians endeavor to accomplish is in some way
related to user-centeredness. Although definitions of user-centeredness vary widely 1,2,3,4,
the broad acceptance of this approach to many aspects of librarianship reflects the
transition of the library from a place to an idea, from a building with a collection, to a
virtual and physical learning commons.
Given current users, how can the UBC Library meet their teaching and learning needs?
As an entity, the UBC library must focus on the way in which users access and use
information. (Nahl, 1999) We must provide tools and resources that allow flexibility so
librarians can anticipate, grow with, and adapt to the users’ changing needs, wants and
demands. It means being where users are (physically and virtually), [We need some citations here];
designing library tools that use terms that patrons understand, (Kupersmith) and
operating in the way users expect them to operate, ie with a Google-like simplicity. [We
need some citations here too that refer to metasearch tools].

Opportunities for UBC Library’s teaching and learning program to become more
responsive to students’ course requirements involves reorienting our planning process
so that user instructional and research needs drive the instructional, staff and project
plans for library activities. It means building in regular ―conversations‖ with our users
and acting on their answers. For example, ensure that there are student members on
library advisory committees and/or establish a separate library-wide ―Students’ advisory
committee to the Library‖ and make certain clinical, adjunct and sessional faculty are
represented. With questions on standard course evaluation forms about library
instruction and services and inclusion of user testing in the development phase of all
locally-controlled library systems, we have the opportunity to improve our teaching. With
such information in mind innovative programs could be designed to better serve students
and faculty where they are. This may involve participation in program/course
orientation sessions, service learning projects, LEAP portal (, and
interdisciplinary programs and institutes.

Challenges? We STILL need to say clearly how all the above contribute to teaching and

To act on answers we have already received in focus groups, and on surveys. For
example, users tell us they want the library to acquire course textbooks, have a one
card/id/password for all university services, and purchase more desktop and laptop


DRAFT Report


When teaching and learning is central to the library’s mission, then information literacy
needs are endorsed and re-affirmed both within and outside the library. As faculty
struggle to rethink and repackage teaching for the digital world, active leadership from
the library could make a significant and authentic contribution to the learning processes
of students and faculty by aligning our pedagogy with that of the faculties and being part
of problem-based, evidence-based, and multidisciplinary instruction. [From what is this
a quotation?] Proactive leadership from all levels of the Library would ensure that
teaching and learning programs are designed to educate faculty and students to be
critical consumers of information.

With strong library leadership, there would be opportunities to incorporate information
literacy as an institutional goal (Hutchins, Sommerville, ARL Leadership Workshop).
Faculty and librarians would have opportunities to partner to develop a shared definition
of information literacy that harmonizes with the University’s strategic vision and
endorsed by Senate. Library leadership would support participation of librarians in
campus programs and initiatives and establish mechanisms by which librarians are
automatically included as members of faculty/institute committees (Breivik and Gee
2006). Recruitment of library administrators who possess a progressive educational
vision for the Library and proven commitment to teaching and learning activities would
be essential.


The UBC Library Admininstration has endorsed the ALA *****, as per meeting with
Vanessa’s group***, but no person, unit or committee within the Library is charged with
leading or co-ordinating our information literacy activities. No member of the Library
admin has been assigned the task of promoting information literacy at the University-
wide level.Librarians are expected to teach and to liaise with faculty. Therefore,
provide access for librarians to training in educational theory, learning styles,
computer interface design, active teaching methods, negotiation skills, public
speaking and presentation skills, and ensure that librarians receive incentives
and rewards in increasing competencies in teaching and in their subject areas.

Teaching Collaboration
Successful information literacy programs begin with early collaboration and the
design of learning objectives that are fully integrated into the courses. Teaching
collaboration with individual faculty members is based on a strong relationship
where faculty perceive the instruction with the librarian as critical to the academic
enterprise ―[t]o produce socially engaged critical thinkers who are equipped not to be
better workers … but to engage in that ongoing curiosity and conversation that helps us
understand the world.‖ (Hutchins, ).


As undergraduate and graduate programs are reviewed, revised and re-designed for

DRAFT Report


online and mixed mode delivery there are many opportunities for collaborative planning
and teaching with faculty. Through First Year Experience courses2: Student Services,
Housing and Recruitment, the library has the opportunity to partner with several campus
units (such as TAG; IsoTL(Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning), Skylight,
Student Horizons in Education, Carl Wieman Science Education initiative, Writing
Centre). By enlisting the support of the Senate Teaching and Learning committee, the
library could formalize its contribution to curriculum development committees and partner
with faculty at the planning stages of new course/program/school development or
revision. As well an institution-wide policy could be developed that ensures that library &
information instruction is present in all credit courses -- perhaps beginning with online
courses. The library could create a database of learning objects to support online and
face-to-face courses and develop shared ownership of students’ competencies by
working with faculty on a range of collaborative activities, from assessment of
assignments to serving on graduate theses committees.****RSR.

you think of this going here?


At UBC, collaboration with faculty is generally ad hoc and based on the relationship each
subject liaison librarian is able to forge with individual faculty members.

With few exceptions, the *concepts* taught by the librarian form their own syllabus, and
library instruction is perceived as an intellectually trivial but helpful support of real
academic efforts.

While librarians have faculty status at UBC, they are perceived as lacking of credentials
and/or in-depth knowledge

When librarian and faculty workplaces are in different locations, it is challenge to form
collaborative relations, and ―shared understanding‖ [Christine Bruce, 2001] of students,
curriculum, assignments.

While most library instruction currently takes place in a particular class, the instruction is
not integrated into the course.

Librarians have had some success in establishing a presence in courses offered in
whole or in part on WebCT. Again, this has varied by relationship, with some faculties
assigning designer access to librarians as a matter of course, while others simply
overlook librarians and access to information altogether during the development and
delivery of a WebCT course.

  First Year Experience courses are compulsory, credit-bearing courses that introduce
students to post-secondary study. Typically FYE courses include some combination of
study skills, higher level critical thinking and information literacy instruction.

DRAFT Report


Librarians are expected to teach and to liaise with faculty. Therefore, provide access for
librarians to training in educational theory, learning styles, computer interface design,
active teaching methods, negotiation skills, public speaking and presentation skills, and
ensure that librarians receive incentives and rewards in increasing competencies in
teaching and in their subject areas.

Information Systems and Technology
Information systems and technology are recogized as critical in supporting teaching and
learning. (2000, ALA) A trend in many academic libraries is that of creating an
Information Commons—ares in libraries, where individualized teaching and support is
provided by library, computing centre, writing centre and student services staff.

As new ways to seek information evolve, the Library must be scanning the environment,
initiating, experimenting and testing new technologies for the delivery of information
services. The Library’s web page, online catalogue, ejournal and database list are the
subject and the vehicle of our teaching. In the wide-open information world, we need to
be considering both freely-available (e.g. Web 2.0) tools as well as proprietary software
developed for the library sector. (e.g. Federated searching tools).

The opportunity we have is to try to make access to our high quality resources just as
easy as access to Google by redesigning the UBC Library website, reducing user effort
and system complexity and by redirecting resources to improve the user experience of
our online catalogue and library web page. This would involve users in all phases of the
process and give greater emphases to electronic resources thereby employing more
staff to handle these resources. Develop Library (or university) portals that allow users
to personalized their information environment and focus on tools that allow for cross-
platform searching/federated searching. As such there would be multiple opportunities –
multiple formats, offerings, etc. - for students to learn info literacy.


We need to be freed from teaching about interface details. Too much instructional time is
required to train users on how to navigate the UBC library’s web site and associated
databases - at the expense of time that should be spent on conceptual issues.

    1. The catalogue of our holdings has one of the least intuitive search interfaces
       available from our website.
    2. The Library subscribes to several hundred bibiliographic and other databases
       which do not share software, field names, limits, etc.
    3. Our users expect simplicity and immediate reward and Amazon, Google and
       iTunes are the standards against which we are judged. JN will shorten(this is
       whatthe notes say, but I think it’s fine??) (University of California Library
       Bibliographic Services Task Group Report)

DRAFT Report


    4. There is a disjuncture between IT services and public service which is reflected
       in inappropriate timing, planned changes to public screen without announcement,
    5. Challenge: The way in which information systems and technology are designed,
       funded, maintained and integrated within the fabric of the university’s research
       and teaching program impact teaching and learning.
    6. Challenge: Lack of consistency in labs across campus. Lack of consistency of
       computers in library (access to Hotmail on library computers, etc.)
    7. Challenge/Opportunity: Need a Technology Plan and a Vision Connection with
       campus units (DE&T; ITServices etc.)

This paragraph needs to be considered in the context of other info about collaboration:
―Depending on the size of your library, a planning team might be made up of
administrators, IT personnel, reference librarians, and others, including those who
interact with patrons and understand what they want. Planning teams might also bring
on board stakeholders from outside the library, such as IT leaders in local schools,
colleges, and museums—this could also lead to new partnerships.‖ (Stephens, M.)

Flexibility/Change/Learning Organization:

To support teaching and learning, the Library needs to become a learning
organization itself.

A learning organization is one that is ―skilled at creating acquiring, and transferring
knowledge and modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights.
Flexibility . . . is a core value. . .‖ (Giesecke & McNeil, Library Trends v 53 no 1 Summer

Even the most radical call for change in the operation of libraries has not proposed that
libraries abandon their collections or attention to standards. This is a call to change, but
not to neglect our core values.

In order to be user-centred, Library staff who engage in teaching and learning have to be
free to work in a variety of settings, virtual and electronic, and to determine what those
settings will be on a term-to-term basis. Instead of centering our staff planning and
deployment around physical spaces, why not plan them around users? Why not begin by
asking ―How can we reach the most students this term, in a variety of
settings/formats/technologies?‖1 (and the same for faculty, etcl) In fact, why not ask our users where
they’d like us to be?

   1. The library is organized and administered around physical spaces. Insofar as
      library branches reflect the subject interests of our users, this is appropriate.
      However, it may not be the most efficient, effective or accessible way to deliver
      services to our users. We need to be prepared to examine how we do things!

DRAFT Report


    2. UBC Library Staff Training and Development (ST&D) unit has one staff member:
       a librarian who is also the head of one of the Library’s largest divisions.

    3. UBC Library ST&D is administratively unrelated to the Library’s human resources
       department, which carries no training responsibilities. While it is reasonable for
       branches to train new hires in the duties they will carry out at the branch, there is
       also a need for centralized planning for training that prepare for innovation staff
       for experimentation.

This final section needs work:

―Create an internal structure that is an instrument for innovation, not an end in itself.‖ p.

Sustaining Innovation, a study of 26 successful non-profit and government agencies,
attempted to find what the agencies had in common. As it turned out, they were all
―learning organizations‖, alert, responsive and open to change.

Leaders: not required to come up with the new ideas, but . . . must work to generate the
conditions that will advance a good idea to formal launch‖ (p.21)

Mission is a state of mind and an ongoing question rather than a precise set of words
that can be enshrined on the coffee room wall. (p41)

―Customer is not the right word for creating collaboration‖ 92 Partners, citizens (p. 93


Charlotte: Differing opinions amongst librarians

Different requirements for different disciplines, levels of students

Over-emphasis on use of term ―information literacy‖ could be counter-productive. (need
to start small and build on existing partnerships)Hutchins

Budget cuts (opportunity to market library service as support, not competition, for

DRAFT Report


Chem 121/123 =1400 students last academic year
English 112=approx 3400
Bio 140 = approx 1500

Final part:
Planning changes facing ubc library

I think that it’s the role of our committee to say something like:

A technology plan is a teaching and learning plan, insofar is it frees users from
arcane and arbitrary methods of finding information, and permits both users and
librarians-as-instructors to explore the areas of critical inquiry about information.

From Terms of Reference:

a summary and evaluation of planning choices to be made, including an identification of
the implication of choosing one course of action over others.


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