A small Canadian conference focused on library instruction has proven its worth once again.
A few highlights from WILU 2012…
- Michael Eisenberg delivered the keynote and made a number of good points, including:
- The importance of teaching students the research process, not just the tools. (I agree.)
- The greatness of Wikipedia; he encouraged us all to engage our students and ourselves with improving the content and quality of information found there. (I agree.)
- He suggested libraries function more like the Apple Store. (I’m not sure if I agree with having to wear a hokey branded t-shirt on the job.) Something that did resonate with me, however, was his suggestion that academic libraries shift their services throughout the term to meet changing user needs.
- Collaborations can be meaningful and effective ways to engage library users.
- McGill has librarians and graduate students working together to engage graduate student researchers in developing their skills through workshops shaped to their needs. (I definitely wish I had something like that in grad school.)
- A number of institutions in Alberta (including RDC) are engaged in developing a cross-institution information literacy assessment tool. I appreciate the huge amount of work that has gone into this and look forward to learning more about uses and results from this project down the road.
- Having presented on our experiences at RDC organizing a “Human Learning library”, we’ve already heard from librarians elsewhere hoping to follow our lead and host their own event.
- MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are likely to become a new focus of mine. But I am still letting the ideas percolate and process. Stay tuned…
- Adria Vasil provided a closing keynote on living a greener, healthier existence at home and in the workplace. I usually complain about keynotes that aren’t directly relevant to a conference, but this was simply a great, highly motivating talk. Check out her blog: http://www.ecoholic.ca/
- I love food. The folks at MacEwan did a wonderful job catering this event, complete with a mashed potato bar and ice cream bar at the opening reception. (Yum!) WILU also includes dine-arounds each year where participants have the opportunity to journey to local restaurants for an evening. I went to Khazana, a beautiful Indian restaurant in downtown Edmonton, with a dozen other conference attendees, and everyone left with very happy, very full tummies.
As for my own conference session on teaching students about open access and developing “open literacy” skills, the slides are available here.