Hyperlinked Librarian

Archive for November 2019

Here is the first paragraph of my Director’s Brief introduction:

Adulting 101 classes are a current trend in academic libraries. In fact, many universities in Colorado have Adulting 101 classes, such as the University of Denver and the University of Colorado, Boulder (Brady, 2019). However, the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) Kraemer Family Library has yet to offer any such workshops on skills that could help students successfully transition into adult life. Part of UCCS’s vision is to “[provide] students with academically rigorous and life-enriching experiences in a vibrant university community” (Mission, Vision, & Values, n.d.). Adulting 101 classes have the potential to enrich students’ lives through gaining hands-on experience with skills that are necessary to thrive in adulthood. In addition, Adulting 101 classes can encourage students to visit the library and participate in library initiatives, which has the potential to build community on campus.

University of Derby (UK) Kirtley building classroom

Learning has changed. In the last decade alone, the concept of how people learn has evolved from lecture-based and solitary to facilitator-based and collaborative. Joan Lippencott (2015) best describes how the nature of learning has transformed by stating the following:

The trends in higher education reform that emphasize active learning and learning as a social process converge well with an increasing emphasis on the need for students to develop collaborative skills and the ability to communicate effectively and professionally in various media.

(para. 2)

There is a lot to unpack in Lippencott’s statement. Firstly, there is a clear shift in higher education toward “active learning and learning as a social process.” Gone are the days when the ideal format for learning was a professor lecturing while students passively consumed the information. While lecture formats are still valuable for content delivery, there is now more emphasis on applying the content through collaboration and various forms of media. Secondly, educators now see the immense value in learning through creatively utilizing new media in a collaborative way. This has taken the form of 3D printers in academic libraries for science and engineering majors as well as utilizing gamification and video technology. These two shifts have one clear idea in common: collaborative learning. Because collaboration is important in today’s workplaces, students are now being taught how to communicate effectively through collaborative group work.

Ohlone College (CA)

Now, if you’re anything like me, you might cringe at the idea of “group work” based on a bad experience or two in the past. However, I think that there is a right way and a wrong way for teachers and facilitators to go about group work. If you’ve taken INFO 203, you know that people may not intrinsically know how to be productive team members. In fact, the perceived “laziness” of a group member may actually be due to a lack in understanding in the assignment or simply being overwhelmed with the work/life balance. Because working on teams does not come naturally to every student, instructor-librarians who want to incorporate group work into their classes would serve their students well by first teaching students how to work effectively on teams. A good go-to for information on effective teamwork is Burce Tuckman’s (1965) 5 Statges of Team Development (yes, it still holds up despite the publishing date).

Teaching students about teamwork needn’t be as exhaustive as a class like INFO 203, but even a weeklong introduction on collaborating effectively on teams would be a huge benefit to students. After all, if collaborative learning is the new trajectory of “learning how to learn” then we must set students up for success rather than for failure when working together in groups.


Lippencott, J. (2015). The future for teaching and learning: Librarians’ deepening involvement in pedagogy and curriculum. Retrieved from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2015/02/26/the-future-for-teaching-and-learning/

Tuckman, B. (1965). The five stages of team development. Retrieved from https://toggl.com/stages-of-team-development/

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