The American Library Association Center for Civic Life is surveying libraries to determine what they are offering in terms of civic and community engagement. Some more information is available here. Please take the survey! It's important to offer some proof of how we are supporting and engaging with our communities.
Why service-learning? How did this come to be my "research agenda?" Service-learning provides meaningful opportunities for teaching and learning. And it's clearly growing in popularity, nationally. How do I know this? There are lots of signs, including all the research that indicates students retain what they learn better when it's applied to real-world issues through service-learning. But today, I'll focus on two of these signs.
Since it's so rare to hear about the librarians' role in a service-learning course, I contacted both the instructor, Barbara Wallace, and the librarian, Kathi Epperson, for the UC Clermont class I read (and posted) about last week.
About this time last year, I approached a friend, Craig This, who teaches a UVC 101 course (first-year seminar or FYS). I told him I'd like to try a service-learning research project with a UVC 101 class. He jumped at the opportunity and said "Sign me up!" I had already approached a community partner, Project READ, about the potential partnership, and they had also (enthusiastically!) agreed to accept students' research and service.
In October, Jennifer Nutefall & I will lead an ACRL Webcast, Service Learning and Information Literacy: Models for Engagement. Details are available here: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/events/elearning/courses/servicel...
Wright State University is graduating its very first citizen scholar this June. The citizen scholar program was designed by the WSU Office of Service Learning and supports WSU's mission to "engage in significant community service." Students in the program complete multiple service-learning courses throughout their college careers. You can read more about it if you click on the link above.
How could libraries become the community partner in a service-learning partnership? What kinds of projects could service-learners do WITH libraries? This is one of the questions that was discussed at the roundtable discussion about service-learning at the ACRL (Assoc. of College & Research Libraries) annual conference.