Yesterday, I had the honor and pleasure of presenting at ACRL New England’s Annual Conference. The theme for this year’s conference was “Leading the Charge” and the goal was to highlight the different projects out there that highlight how libraries are trying to adjust to the changing educational landscape. It goes without saying that we in the field of education are starting to see the disruption of our “industry” just as so many others have. Will libraries be able to ride the wave of change or will we get swamped and wash out? I don’t know the answer to that question, but based on some of the presentations there, I’d say that we at least have a fighting chance.
My talk, “Teaching Faculty to Embed Library Resources & Services into Online Classrooms,” (man, I need to work on my titles!) focused on the role that the Reference Librarians at Springfield College played in teaching our faculty how to use Moodle.
I felt good going into the talk and I think that it went over well. What I basically explained was that we saw the Moodle training as a vehicle for us to highlight various library resources and services that they could add to their online classes. Now, most of these people had heard of these things before, but we have the impression that they slip through the cracks and don’t get used. Since Moodle was going to be new for most people, that meant that they would have to reconsider their classes and how they might adapt them to the online environment. We wanted to reach out them while they were thinking about this and remind them that the library has a wealth of things that can enhance their classes.
As I said, I felt that it went well, but I was surprised at the number of people who wanted hard data that would quantify our success. I couldn’t give it. We only have anecdotal evidence. I don’t blame them for asking, because I know that there are some libraries where you have to be able to measure everything in order to justify the costs involved. I’m grateful that I work for a Director who is willing to let us do stuff “just because it feels right”. I’m sure that we should be more deliberate about getting data, but right now we’re happy to just keep chipping away at faculty one at a time.