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Splitting from the somewhat unwieldy "2012 top ten trends in academic libraries" thread,
, I am wondering, what ARE some trends in reference and instruction? Do they lend themselves to trendiness?
June 6, 2012
Yo Joe. No, go slow.
I suppose I would have "Char Booth" and "assessment" in my word cloud. -
^^^definitely. I'd say "embedded librarianship" is moving out of "trend" status and into "mainstream." "Cephalonian Method" was big a few years back but is now on the wane. I'm trying to remember what seemed like the Next Big Thing from LOEX 2012. -
I think some people want to get academic libraries out of the reference and instruction business. -
^^^ Yup. For trends, even though I don't think it's super-new I've been reading more about flipping the classroom for library instruction. I'd also say a re-focus on foundational basics/information overload, based on what's come out of the excellent Project InfoLit work. Project InfoLit + ERIAL + others large studies I'm sure I'm forgetting might show a trend towards robust, large-scale info list research? -
Dunno if it counts as a trend, but I'm seeing less-yack-more-hack on getting reference out from behind the desk. I'm particularly fond of schemes that let patrons signal from a distance that they could do with assistance; those seem less intrusive for patrons and more workable for reference librarians than retail's walking-around model. -
Mobile devices in instruction is a trend on the rise. Also for instruction, librarians getting into the classrooms and team teaching for-credit courses in the disciplines rather than doing one-shots. A more embedded embedded model, if you will. Like RR, I see more of a paging style reference service as the new thing. -
I'm not sure I'd call this a new trend, maybe just something MPOW is struggling with, but staffing for time-shifts is a real area we need to focus on with reference. Like a lot of other universities, we have global reach, so how do we serve those folks who understandably want service during their business hours, even though it's 2am for us? Our undergrads have always needed 2am reference help, but I think there's been an informal understanding that 2am is not "normal business hours". What are "normal business hours" now? -
Not sure if I can articulate this, but the ACRL Value reports have been floating around in my head, and focusing on assessment of learning outcomes as a way to show lib value seems a (possibly not-so-new) trend in instruction. But the ACRL Value reports may also re-focus libraries on student services and engagement, which can provide a new/different way of assessing reference. Tie reference into Natl' Survey of Student Engagement and your advising and other student services folks like that. Maybe? -
*skims* This is great, thank you all for commenting. -
Reference - talk about removing ref desks - or eliminating the ref fortress, single service points (and new service models), triage at the desk, roving reference, offsite reference, etc. have all been around for years - and are always popping up again. We love to talk about this stuff. I'll add one trend to instruction (at least one I'd like to see get more attention) - integrating Proj Info Lit research findings into instruction and using those findings to inform faculty on how to best integrate instruction into their teaching and learning practices. See
I have been hearing "lose your reference desk" for at least ten years. Is it gaining much more traction now? I do like the idea of more evidence-based practice, but I'm not sure how that and the value thing intersects. It's kind of the old assessment debate: are we being properly curious or are we defending our position. The value talk seems terribly defensive to me. -
It is defensive; that doesn't mean it's not necessary, sadly. -
I think marketing and collaboration are the big ones I'm seeing. We're still doing a lot of one offs but as Catherine and Kaijsa said, we're in the classroom more. I think the move to lose the desk is finally gaining traction partially because we need to find staffing models that work with fewer staff members. -
We just hired a communications officer who's job is basically to tell the library's story on campus. I think she must've written this article:
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