Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Loex of the West 2004

Loex of the West 2004 Early heads up on this conference. I attended it in 2000 when it was held in Montana. To this day, it is the best conference I have ever attended. Next year, it is being held in Idaho. If you are an instruction librarian at an institution with any travel money, this one is worth attending.

The following are themes that you can make a presentation proposal for:

"I. Students: Our Greatest Treasure

Students present us with a great diversity of learning styles, a variety of cultural identities and differing ethnic and economic backgrounds. How can we create an environment and improve our learning strategies to address the needs of diverse student populations? What is the role of faculty in collaboration? Examples may include library instruction services, library outreach programs, inter-campus liaisons, or community liaison relationships that reach diverse student bodies

II. Technology: A Gold Mine

Truly innovative technologies present instructional challenges and require new conceptual strategies for developing successful learning environments and curricula. How can librarians manage to effectively and efficiently teach faculty and students about new technological capabilities? Do we begin our instruction where the users are ( googleing ) and painstakingly lead them to our more complex and value added resources (databases)? In light of new and simpler search interfaces do we give up our hierarchical, structured, MARC records so that simple keyword searching finds everything they need? How does the capability to use a single search interface across multiple databases change and shape instruction strategies? Does one strategy have to exclude the other? What is happening with actual person-to-person contact as academic libraries turn more to electronic interfaces? Share how your institution has grappled with these issues and give some practical strategies.

III. Assessment: In Search of Quality

Knowing a treasure when you've got one isn t always easy. Without quality assessment practices, it is difficult to recognize good work and share accomplishments in a meaningful way. Student-centered assessment measures what and how a student is learning rather than what the teacher is teaching. How do libraries create an environment that fosters collaborative assessment? How are results communicated to campus administrators and decision-makers? Share examples and experiences of the effective implementation of assessment best practices. Also of interest are assessment techniques that accommodate educational, cultural and physical diversity. Papers may focus on one-shot bibliographic instruction, credit instruction, or program assessment.

IV. Information Literacy: Discovering Treasures

The definitions and standards of information literacy are well established. What creative and useful ways have standards been implemented in your programs? How can libraries actually implement a program that integrates performance standards when librarians so seldom see the end result of their instruction effort? Since library electronic resources have increased substantially, allowing more remote access to the library, has face-to-face contact in the library diminished? What impact does this have on reference and instruction? Instruction and course portfolios, electronic portfolios and instruction program portfolios can detail the evolution of library instruction services. Areas for integration, such as the recent concern over Internet plagiarism, provide avenues to bring information literacy standards into the college and university curriculum. What opportunities have you found for integration at your institution?

V. Round Table Discussions: Treasuring One Another

This is an opportunity to meet in a small group setting and explore a topic in-depth. Submit a one-page position paper on a topic and include pertinent ideas and discussion questions. The topic may be related to one of the conference theme tracks or the topic may be a library instruction issue that you find to be timely, complex and/or challenging. Think of the roundtables as issues forums and plan to engage from four to a dozen people in conversation and friendly discussion."