Libraries have been involved in service-learning for years through instruction for service-learning courses, displaying and archiving related course projects, and providing assistance in finding and conducting research necessary for community-based work. But it’s only recently been moving toward a more systematic and programmatic approach. One tool that can assist libraries is the Self-Assessment Rubric for Development of Service Learning Programs in Academic Libraries, developed by Katherine Kott.
As the editorial team prepares to relaunch the Service-learning Librarian blog, we reviewed the blog's purpose. We envision this blog as the hub of a wheel, connecting those in academic libraries supporting service-learning efforts on their campuses. Our work may look different in our various settings, but we can learn from each other. To use another metaphor, a tree as the blog's new graphic shows, library workers can and do support the growth and vitality of community engagement and impact.
Every once in awhile, I'll check around to see if there are any new examples of libraries or librarians partnering with service-learning projects in higher education. What I've noticed is that quite a few libraries provide a service-learning libguide (research guide, for you non-librarians...and even that may not make sense!). This seems to be the most popular example of library support for service-learning. In most cases, these are guides to support faculty for finding articles, books, etc.
Academic librarians: If you're going to the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) conference in April, I hope you'll consider attending the panel presentation: "From research to action: pairing information literacy and service-learning." I will be co-presenting with my friend and co-instructor, Dr. Sarah Twill, a Wright State Social Work professor, my friend and fellow service-learning enthusiast, Jennifer Nutefall, University Librarian at Santa Clara University, and Dr. Maggie Stevens, Executive Director of Indiana Campus Compact.
Let me begin this guest post with a short introduction. My name is Chris Sweet and I am the Information Literacy Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University (Central Illinois). I had been following Maureen's blog as well as her publications for some time prior to meeting her in-person at this year's LOEX Conference in Columbus, OH. Both of us have discovered a real passion for service-learning and have seen first-hand how adding information literacy elements to service-learning courses can create even stronger and more effective classes.
This morning, I read an article posted in the online American Libraries, called Community Reference: Making libraries indispensible in a new way by Colbe Galston, Elizabeth Kelsen Huber, Katherine Johnson, and Amy Long. It reminded me a lot of why I chose to explore service-learning as an option for my information literacy course 5 years ago. They highlight many of the same concepts in their endeavors to get out into the community that are vital to a successful academic service-learning relationships. The authors stress the importance of working as a partner, building relations
Those of you familiar with the service-learning literature have likely seen the name Dr.
Last week, hundreds of instruction librarians gathered in Columbus, Ohio for the biggest LOEX conference ever. I was thrilled that the planning committee included a presentation about service-learning in the program. Chris Sweet, Information Literacy Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University, presented a case study of a course with which he was involved at his institution. He was embedded in an environmental studies senior seminar that employed service-learning pedagogy. The students in the course iden
The new issue of LOEX Quarterly is out and part II of my article is published. It isn't posted in Wright State University's CORE (Campus Online Repository) yet, but it will be there soon. Check back here next week, perhaps: http://core.libraries.wright.edu/handle/2374.WSU/5843 Barry, M. (2011). Librarians as Partners in Service-Learning Courses (Part II). LOEX Quarterly: 38(2), Article 4.
I am very fortunate to have the opportunity this week to travel with the Social and Environmental Sustainability in Appalachia (UH 202-203) course to southeastern Ohio (Athens County). We are learning a ton and making lots of new friends as we complete social and environmental projects in the community.