Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blackboard Embedded Librarian Pilot Program

What is a Blackboard embedded librarian?
An embedded librarian partners with faculty members in the Blackboard environment as an instructor or course builder. One of the Gardner-Harvey librarians will assist with your class research endeavors. These research efforts may include links to library resources, methods of narrowing a topic, explaining how to identify search terms, or using RefWorks to manage bibliographic citations. Today’s students possess technology skills, but may feel uncertain when embarking on the “Research Voyage” alone. A knowledgeable, available navigator may be welcomed to address students’ questions and concerns. Through the Discussion Forum, Blog, Email, Announcements, Library Resources Button, or FAQ the librarian will interact with individuals or the class as a whole. In this way the librarian may comment on the student’s selected research topic, suggest relevant academic resources, and provide strategies of solving information problems, explain confusing concepts like intellectual property and plagiarism, administer online information literacy quizzes, and generally encourage academic scholarship among your students. You remain the subject expert but collaborate with a professional librarian versed in current academic research methods.

Why would I want an embedded librarian turning up in my Blackboard course?
Academic librarians are passionate about instructing students in information literacy. We want to develop these essential 21st century skills in your students so they become effective, efficient researchers. These skills are learned and cannot be assumed to be in place. Sometimes students survive on a slim set of research skills. When they encounter the semester term paper, the capstone project, or the graduate thesis, which all require subject specific resources and research strategies previously unknown, they falter. So many sources of information; so many questions… Enter the librarian, proposing this joint venture with you.

How long would this relationship last?

Gardner-Harvey librarians are willing to engage your students during the research component of your Blackboard course for several weeks or throughout the entire semester. If you prefer, we will assist at start-up only to spotcheck your research assignment from a research perspective, to build a library resources page customized to the course to include reference works, databases and collections, authoritative Web sites, supply controlled vocabulary and subject headings, links to screencasts teaching core skills we have created or endorse, and our contact information. You tell us which collaborative arrangement best fits your needs.
Contact us by December 15, 2008 to set this working relation in motion so as to be ready for the January 2009 Pilot Program.
Gardner-Harvey Library, Miami University Middletown
John Burke, Director burkejj@muohio.edu 73293
Beth Tumbleson, Assistant Director tumbleb@muohio.edu 73232
Sarah Frye, Public Services fryesm@muohio 73291

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