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April 23, 2014 / Charlie McNabb

OLA Day 3: Book Talks and Info Lit

Last week, I had the tremendous pleasure of attending the 2014 Oregon Library Association annual conference in Salem. The three-day conference included keynote speakers, multiple sessions to choose from, exhibits, showcases, and plenty of opportunity for socializing at receptions and meals. On Friday, April 18, I attended two sessions and explored the exhibit hall.

Readers’ Advisory Training for Teen Librarians

Although I have a distinctly academic focus and am unlikely to ever be in a youth librarian position (though I’m not opposed to such a development), I am quite interested in young adult materials in connection with my LGBTQ readers’ advisory blog. So I decided to check out this fast-paced session headed by Grant High School librarian Paige Battle and two of her students. They gave a series of book talks on Alex Award winners and nominees. These are adult titles that have appeal for young adult readers that Paige and her students read and recommend for high schoolers.

The presenters and their table of literary delights

The presenters and their table of literary delights

The session was fun and engaging, and I enjoyed seeing the three present with such distinct personal flair. It was useful, too, to hear what types of books teens are into straight from the mouths of teens. I have to confess that I was frantically writing down titles as much for myself as for my readers’ advisory blog! The only thing that bothered me somewhat was the occasional identification of certain books as being “girl books” or “boy books.” Granted, I understand that many books have target demographics, but I found myself musing on how to talk about readership without resorting to gender essentialism.

The session ended with some fun trivia questions, and I won a book!

Focus the Conversations: Faculty Outreach for Embedded Information Literacy

Next, I moved on to a session on embedded information literacy presented by Portland Community College librarians Pam Kessinger and Kevin Moore. The two discussed strategies for collaborating with faculty to tailor information literacy instruction to specific courses.

Sometimes, information literacy learning objectives are not immediately obvious in syllabi, but course outcomes can be mapped to information literacy goals. We were given examples of course outcomes from biology classes and teamed up to identify info lit objectives. Words and phrases like evaluate, demonstrate familiarity, discover, identify, compare, and assess are all information literacy concepts that can be mapped from a biology (or any other) class to a library instruction session or resource.

The presenters also shared their research support framework, which incorporates Bloom’s Taxonomy, stages of critical thinking, students’ perspective, and skills/outcomes. Using this framework, one can fit courses to the learning progression to create a sequenced information literacy program. I was very excited about the framework and see so much potential for collaborating with faculty to create truly integrated instruction that supports the students’ information literacy developmental stage.

You can read Pam Kessinger’s recent article about the topic at http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/7.2.1807

Exhibits and Showcases

Besides all the fascinating sessions, there were also a few dozen booths with exhibitors and showcases. I had great fun wandering around, looking at posters, meeting people, and getting library swag (mostly chocolate, but also an adorable cat bag).

Collaborative Learning Techniques

Collaborative Learning Techniques

“Collaborative Learning Techniques,” a poster created by Emporia students Christina King, Brandon Cruz, and Rose Bosely, was obviously right up my alley!

Finding Myself in Books

Finding Myself in Books

“Finding Myself in Books: A Training for Childcare Providers,” a poster created by Emporia student Lora Lyn Worden, was a sensitive look at diverse representation in children’s books. We had a great chat about different types of diversity and gave each other some book recs.

Oregon Digital Newspaper Program

Oregon Digital Newspaper Program

The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program had a fabulous poster about their digitization initiative, and also had a historic newspaper on display.

Knights of Veritas

Knights of Veritas

The Knights of Veritas had gorgeous replicas that we were allowed to wield! What a neat idea to bring historical programming to libraries and schools.

The 2014 Oregon Library Association annual conference was an incredible experience for me. I learned so much, met so many friendly and smart library folk, and just swam in the delicious feeling of being in a building with so many like-minded nerds. I took home tons of ideas to implement in my own library practice. I’m excited to get my first post-MLIS job and borrow from the innovation of my peers and mentors!

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