Thursday, October 09, 2003

Collaboration Between the Library and Business Faculty

Collaboration Between the Library and Business Faculty Working with faculty is important if the librarian is going to have a successful library instruction session with a group of students. The faculty member sets the tone for the instruction. Students will not take the librarian seriously if the faculty member is not supportive and energetic about the library instruction experience.

The blogged site of the day refers to relationships between librarians and business faculty. The beginning of the article reads:

Abstract: Collaboration between the library and the faculty of an undergraduate

Academic institution can be beneficial for business students. This article discusses the experiences of a business librarian and business faculty member who team-taught a course in business research. It covers some of the content and applications of that material in developing students' knowledge and skills in Information Literacy, and includes a limited list of search engines used and a short list of the required outside readings.


The importance of critical thinking skills in the undergraduate library experience has been well documented. One popular mode of evaluating critical thinking ability in business schools is to require a student research paper analyzing a company or industry. At Villa Julie College, a small comprehensive college in Maryland, business faculty have developed good working relationships with their librarians, and manage to do a creditable job of incorporating research assignments into course design plans.

When students first arrive on campus, they are typically given a brief orientation to the library and its resources, ranging from print materials to electronic. Students often then receive a library instruction session later in their schooling when they are given a research paper assignment. Since a single session may prove to be insufficient for students, library staff may spend considerable individual time with students as they struggle with the assignment, and there may be some disconnection between what the faculty member expects and what they receive.

An alternative model in which collaboration between the faculty member and the business librarian extends to team-teaching an entire course on research affords a number of advantages: 1) it removes the onus from the faculty member to spend hours updating his or her skills in business research, since this responsibility resides with the business librarian; 2) the faculty member can step into the role of coach as students work on improving their research and critical thinking skills in the context of the course subject matter; 3) critical thinking and research skills are reinforced throughout the undergraduate experience; and 4) students learn valuable skills that they can take with them into their first professional career experience.

Full article at: