- Envision a prototypical library (public, academic, school, or special).
- What are 3 major changes that have affected this type of library in the last 30 years?
- In what ways do you think that user needs prompted or contributed to these changes?
- How well do you think that user education supported patrons in adjusting and flourishing through these changes?
- Think of a specific information problem that a library user might present you with, something more complicated than a ready reference question.
- Discuss those steps you would go through to find the information you need.
- How would you know the information you received was accurate, complete, and balanced?
- If the information can be trusted, what knowledge, abilities, or additional considerations and perspectives must you bring to the information in order to reach a resolution?
- Read the ACRL’s Instructional Section Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/objectivesinformation.cfm
- Which of the competency standards and objectives were reflected in your information search process?
You have two options for fulfilling your first assignment:
- Option 1 - Visit a local library (academic, public, or special) that you do not normally use. Note any signage, brochures, information sessions, or other guides to the library. Use their catalog to locate materials. Browse the shelves. Visit the reference desk and ask them to explain to you how to use the online catalog to find a book. Write a brief statement explaining your experience. Was anything confusing or unclear? Did you become lost or misdirected in your search? Did the directions provided by the library (signs, hand-outs, help screens, etc.) assist you or hinder you in orienting yourself to the new environment?
- Option 2 – Visit an online library (academic, public, or special) that you have never used before. Note any user instructions or information that is apparent. Use their catalog to locate materials. Try browsing the catalog in at least 3 ways (by keyword, title, subject, call number, etc.). Utilize their “Ask a Librarian” service (or equivalent) and ask them how to locate an item in the online catalog. Write a brief statement explaining your experience. Was anything confusing or unclear? Did you become lost or misdirected in your search? Did the directions provided in your online experience assist you or hinder you in orienting yourself to the new environment?
***Suggested length for this assignment – 3 to 4 paragraphs.
Respond to the following in 300 to 400 words:
- Was it harder to get around in the library or on their website than you thought it would be?
- Did you feel comfortable asking for help (either in person or via email or chat)?
- Did you get the help you needed?
- Did you get any ideas from this experience? Things you would do the same or differently?
- How do you think your initial experience with this library affected your overall opinion of it?
- What can you take from this experience for future use?
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