3.8.2 Instruction of library use
The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.
Judgement of Compliance:
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) Lupton Library ensures patrons have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning resources through a combination of reference, instruction, and technology services. The majority of services are provided by the Reference and Instruction Department, comprised of 7 full-time tenured or tenure-track librarians and 1 full-time staff assistant, with additional contributions from all Library faculty.
Library instruction is a flagship service of the UTC Library that touches a wide swath of the student community. Instruction and Technology Services include course-specific instruction, a series of workshops, and 1 credit hour course. Course specific instruction is offered to English 1010/1020, USTU 1250, and upper division classes. In 2008-2009, over 6,000 students participated in course-specific instruction sessions with librarians. Eight years of instruction session data demonstrate a steady growth in course-specific instruction. Just over half of the instruction program course load is the mandatory freshman English Composition instruction sessions taught in both the Fall and Spring semesters. However, the instruction program includes a presence in a broad spectrum of other courses, departments and programs across the UTC curriculum as documented in the attached chart.
Freshman Seminar Instruction Program
USTU 1250 (First Year Studies: the UTC experience) is a typical first year experience course that orients new UTC students to academic life. The Library has played a role in this course, in varying forms, since its inception about ten years ago. In 2007, the Library was facing ever-increasing demand for instruction sessions at all levels and made the decision to convert the USTU125 library orientation program from a traditional class into an iPod-based (audio and video) “museum tour” experience that students could take on their own time. The tour includes stops throughout the library where students have to collect clues they use to solve a puzzle at the conclusion. They bring their solved puzzle to the Reference Desk and receive a prize along with instructions on how to take a 25-question follow-up quiz in Blackboard. Over 750 students from twenty-two sections of USTU125 participated in the iPod tour in 2009. Quiz results show that in the first semester of the program, students received an average grade of 85%, indicating they learned the majority of the content in the program. Feedback collected at the end of the term showed that over 80% of the participants also indicated they liked the iPod format and found it easy to use.
English 121 and 122 Instruction Programs
The cornerstones of the library instruction program are the previously mentioned mandatory sessions offered to all students enrolled in Freshman English Composition courses. The 2-part series requires one library instruction session in each semester. Each year, English 1010 and 1020 classes make up just over half of the total instruction course-load and guarantee the library instruction program reaches virtually all first year students at the university with a face-to-face class session. Library faculty communicate with each composition instructor to ensure the session is appropriate and well-timed in the schedule and helpful to the student in completing a specific assignment that requires library resources. Each session has outcomes centered on at least 2 of the ACRL Standards for Information Literacy. The 2 sessions offer unique content and concepts are not repeated across the lesson plans. Both active learning and multimedia tutorials play a significant role in the curriculum, a change implemented after several of our instruction faculty attended the ACRL Immersion program. The Library curriculum for each course references ACRL Standards. Post-test assessment after each session asks 3 focused multiple choice questions based on the concepts and skills taught in that session.
Upper Division Library Instruction
Instruction sessions taught at the 200 level and above cover a number of different disciplines. While English is again heavily represented in this portion of the instruction program, other disciplines make a strong showing as well, namely Business, Education and Nursing/Allied Health programs. A study of the current graduate and undergraduate UTC catalogs revealed that there are only 9 additional research methods courses taught at the upper division level that are not already participating in the instruction program.
Since 2006, the library has offered topical workshops twice a semester in partnership with the campus Student Success Center. Workshops consistently offered include term paper time savers, finding full text, citing your sources, and avoiding plagiarism. In addition to the aforementioned workshops, special topics are frequently added covering such topics as EndNote citation management software, newly acquired databases of interest, and advanced Google and Google Scholar. The attached chart documents workshop attendance for 2008-2009. By far the most popular (and requested) workshop addresses plagiarism. Faculty are eager for their students to attend, and students are motivated to attend in order to learn how to avoid a trip to the Honor Court.
Beyond Facebook (credit bearing course)
In addition to traditional library instruction, Lupton Library has initiated a for-credit course in participation with the University Studies program. USTU 1999, Beyond Facebook, is a one-credit, semester-long class in which freshman students are exposed to the new technologies and services commonly branded as ‘Web 2.0’. Through active engagement with social bookmarking, cloud computing, file-hosting, and services such as Google Docs, students gain experience with tools that can enhance their academic, professional, and personal lives. The library is uniquely situated to teach this course insofar as navigating the 21st century web requires more than technical computing skills. Evaluating sources, constructing search queries, and understanding digital copyright are core competencies on the internet, and the library instruction program is the established campus authority for teaching these concepts. The ‘Beyond Facebook’ course thus plays a dual role in both expanding the library instruction program outside of the library as well as reinforcing ACRL instructional standards across the curriculum. ‘Beyond Facebook’ was first offered in Fall 2009 and will be renewed indefinitely as a core part of the library instruction program.
Quantitative data on instructional programs is limited to the number of presentations. In 2008, the library held 41 instructional sessions per 1,000 FTE in 2008, which outranks all THEC peers except UNC at Wilmington, and places UTC 4th among the 21 institutions in the UT, THEC, and TBR systems.
Reference and Information Services
Reference / Information Desks
Reference and information services include traditional point of need reference and a one-on-one research consultation program. Traditional reference services are offered at the Reference and Information Desk, as well as through telephone, e-mail, and instant messaging. Reference assistance is available 79.5 hours per week during the Fall and Spring academic semesters via three staffed service points. The first-floor, primary reference desk is staffed solely by library faculty and equivalent professional staff and provides assistance ranging from item location to computing to advanced research methods. Library staff and student assistants are stationed at service points on the second and third floors to provide assistance with item location and directions.
Reference statistics indicate that services numbers are consistent since 2002, remaining within one standard deviation (σ=1,749) of the mean (13,587) excepting a significant drop in 2006-2007 due to a new assessment model that did not count directional questions. Since July 2007, reference statistics have been tracked by sampling two weeks out of each semester. In 2008-2009, 88% of all reference transactions occurred at the reference desk, with instant messaging accounting for 10% and telephone 2%. In January of 2010, a new instant messaging service, LibraryH3lp, was implemented with increased access to the chat client.
One-on-One Research Consultations
Traditional point of need reference services are augmented by an expanding program of one-on-one research consultations. Lupton Library continues to market access to these in-depth research assistance sessions and the recent upswing in consultations is evidence of an expanding service.
When compared to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) list of peer universities, the UT system, and the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system, the UTC Lupton Library reference services are near the average, with 63 reference transactions per 1,000 FTE students in 2008 compared to the peer average of 66.3 transactions; of these21 universities, UTC ranks 11th.
- Instruction Sessions Growth Data
- Instruction Sessions by Department
- ACRL Standards for Information Literacy
- English 1010/1020 Library Curriculum
- Assessment Data for English 121 and 122 (new course numbers 1010/1020)
- Upper Division Courses
- Workshop Attendance
- Peer Comparison, Library Instruction
- Reference Statistics, 2001-2009
- One-on-One Research Statistics, 2004-2009
- Peer Comparison, Reference per 1000 FTE