LOEX: Why Does Google Sometimes Ask for Money?

"Leveraging the Economics of Information and Scholarly Communication Process to Enrich Instruction" was the rest of the title of this session presented by Kim Duckett and Scott Warren from NC State University. Their PowerPoint presentation (1.9MB) is available and you should read through the slides because I can't do them justice in this post.

Kim and Scott started with the argument that our students are not savvy enough to know when they have left our discovery tools to access paid content. Students have not made the connection yet, even though they probably have a similar mental model. Students normally don't consider how much money is spent to provide access to electronic journal articles. They go to the library web site and get access to the content for free (with few or little authentication barriers), so it's just like a lot of other content on the open web.

Strategies they have been using successfully with upper level classes…

Start with what students already know about the peer review process and build on their prior knowledge.  Challenge assumptions by asking:

  • Why don't researchers just use blogs?
  • Do all papers submitted get published?
  • Are all journals equal?
  • Do authors get royalties?
  • How much does it cost an author to publish?

Examples of sticker shock were used to further challenge assumptions about how much scholarly content actually costs. This naturally leads to a discussion about why publishers charge so much and why libraries provide access to expensive content. They discuss the various stakeholders in the publishing process: author, publisher, database vendor, and library.

Continued discussion of the invisible web follows, where the concept that Google doesn't make a distinction when indexing content if it is free or free. The crawlers are just discovering content and making a pointer to it available for retrieval. Finally, Scott and Kim were able to leverage the existing mental model of online shopping (buying airline tickets at Expedia or Travelocity) to help the student make the connection between discovery and access.

LOEX: Revamping a freshman seminar information literacy program

Amanda Izenstark and Mary MacDonald from the University of Rhode Island discussed how they revamped the library component of their university's First Year Seminar program. They have been doing FYS since 1995. FYS student mentors were not enthusiastic when bringing groups to the library. Content was stale. Librarians felt in a rut. They experienced a large number of cancellations. This prompted them to review their program and decided to make it more interactive for students. They also wanted to include a tutorial as part of program to focus on key information literacy concepts.

They used the backward design model from Making the most of understanding by deign and Debra Gilchrist's five questions (see their PowerPoint slides) to envision the revised program. Their new program included a pre-activity, library visit, and post-activity. They deemed the redesign a success, but decided to modify it based on student feedback. 

Detailed information can be found in their PowerPoint slides.

Information behavior of the researcher of the future

Every librarian and faculty member should read the CIBER briefing paper Information behaviour of the researcher of the future (2 MB PDF). CIBER conducted this research for the British Library and JISC . The report focuses on information seeking behavior of students born after 1993 (the Google Generation). The paper also ties in research from OCLC's Perceptions studies. You may also want to listen to presentation given and Q&A's when the paper was released on January 16, 2008.

Found via Stephen's Lighthouse