Digital Texts and Reading Strategies

  • How can we help our students develop engaged reading skills of electronic texts?
  • What difference does it make that more and more students are doing their reading online?

This article on Digital Texts and Reading Strategies summarizes recent research on the unique features of digital texts, how people read differently online, and tools and strategies for helping students get the most out of digital texts, including essential tasks such as annotating, questioning, and summarizing.

You can also watch this short film that author Suzanne Julian made with her colleagues to further explore this topic and online reading tools.


Fake News and Information Literacy in Higher Education

Interesting podcast on fake news and Information Literacy in higher education.

Circulating Ideas

Guest host Troy Swanson chats with Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, an Associate Professor at the School of Information Sciences, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and author of Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era.

22167979633_1d10e9fe45_oDr. Nicole A. Cooke is an Associate Professor at the School of Information Sciences, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she is also the Program Director for the MS in Library and Information Science program. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior, critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship , and her latest book is Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era (ALA Editions, 2018).

troy-swansonTroy A. Swanson is Teaching & Learning Librarian and Library Department Chair at Moraine Valley Community College. Troy is the author or editor of several books and articles including co-editor of Not Just Where to Click:…

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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.



International Fact-Checking Day

This month we celebrated International Fact-Checking Day on April 2nd, but there is still time to benefit from all the wonderful online activities they offer on their website. 

Students might enjoy playing Fact-Check It!  a role-playing card game that stimulates critical thinking, fact-based dialogue and analytical skills. It takes place in the fictional country of Agritania, where the debate over an upcoming referendum to ban GMOs has been consumed by fake news and dubious claims. Students will operate in the newsroom of the Agritania Today and have to verify 25 different news items in order to inform the editorials that will come out on the day of the vote.

The  website also provides tip sheets, lesson plans, a reading list for everyday media consumers, an interactive quiz and more.


Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research

Academic Library Impact

Developed for ACRL by OCLC Research, this valuable resource investigates how libraries can increase student learning and success and effectively communicate their value to higher education stakeholders. The full report is freely available for download on the ACRL website.

A companion online tool, “Visualizing Academic Library Impact: The ACRL/OCLC Literature Analysis Dashboard” helps librarians and researchers filter the existing literature for studies most relevant to their research interests and visually explore the literature and other data in the form of charts and graphs.

ACRL is offering grants of up to $3,000 each for librarians to carry out new research in areas suggested by the report.

Tips and Strategies for Evaluating Fake News

Are you looking for some new information literacy assignment and activity ideas for the new semester?    Project CORA is an excellent open-access resource for Information Literacy lesson plans, handouts and activities.

Of timely interest might be Keepin’ It Real: Tips and Strategies for Evaluating Fake News.  It contains materials used at a Loyola Marymount  University workshop designed to help  students became more confident in their ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability of news reports, whether they come via print, television or the internet.

We’ve placed a link to these materials on the Additional Resources page of our Library’s Fake News Research Guide.

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Toolkit

The new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Toolkit is intended as a freely available professional development resource that can be used and adapted by both individuals and groups in order to foster understanding and use of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

The ACRL Framework Toolkit contains four modules:

  1. Finding Time to Engage the Framework,
  2. The Framework’s Structure,
  3. Foundations of the Framework, and
  4. Strategies for Using the Framework.

A fifth module, Collaboration and Conversations with the Framework, is currently in development.  Each module includes essential questions, learning outcomes, and active learning resources such as guided reading activities, discussion prompts, and lists of key readings.

The ACRL Framework Toolkit resources are designed to be used in a variety of ways:

  • for their individual professional development needs;
  • to form a community of practice with their colleagues around the Framework and information literacy; and
  • to develop workshops and professional development opportunities in their libraries and also for local, regional, and state-level events and conferences.

Looks like quite a valuable resource!