Happy Open Access Week!







In her article Writing on the Unpaywall , Barbara Fister provides a helpful update on the current state of open access publishing.

Also of interest to our CoLA colleagues is Humanities Commons an open access option for Humanities scholars and The Educator’s Guide to Humanities Commons that lists four Humanities Commons tools and resources that educators may find helpful.

The article Open Access and Students in Information Literacy Class: A Quest for Understanding  discusses ways to introduce undergraduate students to this new model of scholarly communication.

“Check, Please!”: Modules to Help Develop Digital Literacy Skills








If you follow this blog, you may recall last November’s post where we introduced the  work of IL expert Mike Caulfield  who encouraged us to rethink our approaches to teaching Information Literacy through his famous fact-checking “moves”.

Our COLA Dean Joseph Incandela recently brought to our attention a  new article (Getting Beyond the CRAAP Test: A Conversation with Mike Caulfield)  in which Mike Caulfield talks about his wonderful new project called Check, Please!  a three hour online module on source and fact-checking that can be dropped into any course or taken as a self-study experience.  The product is freely available to instructors and highly adaptable to any course.

Should we permit use of mobile devices in our classrooms?

Janet Forde, our colleague in Mesa, brought this blog post to my attention today.  Since the topic of banning laptops and cellphones in class was a topic of discussion in the  May Writing Program workshops, I thought some of you might find this information interesting and useful.   Materials also include research on the benefits of handwritten note-taking.

Assessing Ourselves

In the keynote address below, social-media researcher Danah Boyd argues that teaching good research practices is not enough.  We need to help our students explore the varying ways we make sense of the information we encounter – something we librarians will strive to incorporate in our instruction sessions this year.



Engaging with the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

Engaging with the ACRL Framework

In this presentation, Trudi Jacobson and Craig Gibson, co-chairs of the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force, identify the ideas underpinning the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, which creates new opportunities for collaboration on campuses around student engagement with the information ecosystem . The Framework promotes knowledge practices and habits of mind as learning goals, and emphasizes the evolving role of the student as creator as well as consumer of knowledge.   In this presentation the presenters identify principles for instructional design supporting the Framework, as well as assessment methods that address developmental aspects of learning the information literacy concepts and practices comprising the Framework.

“The Information Literacy User’s Guide”

Below is a link to an open source textbook edited this summer by  librarians working from several NYC-based campuses of the College of New Rochelle:


Scholarly communications librarian, Lucy Fazzino has this to say about the project:

“We tailored the text for the information literacy needs of the students at The College of New Rochelle in accordance with the Creative Commons License, CC-BY-NC-SA. Having this wonderful open educational resource available allowed us to create a text that was relevant for our student population.”


The Positive Contributions of Academic Libraries to Student Learning and Success

Report Cover

A new ACRL report provides compelling evidence for the contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success.  The report focuses on outcomes from projects conducted as part of the Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) program.   Synthesizing more than 60 individual project reports from the AiA work, the report identifies positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success in four key areas:

” 1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy instruction provided to students during their initial coursework helps them acquire a common set of competencies for their undergraduate studies.

2. Library use increases student success. The analysis of multiple data points (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online databases access, study room use, interlibrary loan) shows that students who use the library in some way achieve higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.

3. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, retention).

4. Information literacy instruction strengthens GenEd outcomes.  Several AiA projects document that libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement.”

Link to the full document.