Library Service and Learning: Empowering Students, Inspiring Social Responsibility, and Building Community Connections

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Service and community-based learning is one of several high-impact educational practices identified by George Kuh and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and is increasingly seen as a vital part of the undergraduate experience. Classroom work is shifting to include more activities that are relevant to future careers, include action, and develop agency in students. Colleges and universities are actively promoting this work by including it in strategic plans, creating high impact practice-themed faculty development programs and initiatives, and offering grant funding to support their development.

Divided into three comprehensive sections—Library and Information Literacy Credit-Bearing Courses or Sponsors of Undergraduate Community-Based Research; Library Support for Courses with Applied Service-Based Projects in the Disciplines; and Library as Location for Student-Led Educational Outreach Events and Projects—Library Service and Learning is a collection of case studies written by librarians, university faculty, and students who have successfully employed service-based or experiential learning experiences for students in higher education. Chapters include classes or programs that have been taught by or developed in collaboration with librarians and examine information literacy-related outcomes, utilize library resources, and/or take place in library facilities. Each chapter describes activities, motivations, curriculum materials, and outcomes, and appendices include assignments, rubrics, and other materials that enable you to replicate and adapt the activity to your own needs.

Today’s students want to work in groups, apply what they learn to real-life problems, and work in environments that are relevant and participatory. The active teaching techniques in Library Service and Learning help build community, are relevant to students’ current lives and future career goals, and allow them to work together to solve real problems and shape their own successful and empowering learning.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Everybody Wins: Empowering Students and Enhancing Community Connections through Library Related Applied Learning Experiences

Part I. Library and Information Literacy Credit-Bearing Courses or Sponsors of Undergraduate Community Based Research

Chapter One. Research for Non-Profits, a Service Learning Class in Grantseeking Research
Alyssa Wright

Chapter Two. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Using Infographics to Visually Present Student Research
Dr. Terri Summey and Bethanie O’Dell

Chapter Three. Using Service-Learning Experiences to Engage Students in Information Literacy Classes
Breanne Kirsch and Lola Bradley

Chapter Four. In Service to Rutgers University Libraries’ Instruction Program: LIS Students Gain Instruction Experience through a Mutually Beneficial Collaboration
Leslin H. Charles

Chapter Five. Community Research Assignments for an Information Literacy Class
Theresa McDevitt

Chapter Six. Support for Student-Driven Projects: Library Mini-Grants and Service Learning
Amanda Peters

Part II. Library Support for Courses with Applied Service-Based Projects in the Disciplines

Chapter Seven. Moving Words: Building Community through Service-Learning in the Arts
Anne Marie Gruber, Angela Pratesi, and Angela Waseskuk

Chapter Eight. A Storied Tale: Melding Digital Storytelling, Service-learning, and Digital and Information Literacy Skills for Pre-Service Teachers
Heather Beirne

Chapter Nine. Public History Service Projects to Prepare Future Public Historians
Dr. Jeanine Mazak-Kahne and Theresa McDevitt

Chapter Ten. Fostering Community Engagement through Intentionality and Faculty-Librarian Partnerships
Tracy Lassiter, PhD and James Fisk, MLS

Chapter Eleven. Generating Buzz on Campus about Fair Trade through the Writing for Public Relations Course
Jen Jones, PhD and Amy Podoletz

Chapter Twelve. Integrating Library Research and Information Literacy into Archaeological Service-learning
Lara Homsey-Messer

Chapter Thirteen. How to Succeed in International Business (With a Lot of Trying)
Russell A. Hall and Mark Bestoso

Part III. Library as Location for Student-Led Educational Outreach Events and Projects

Chapter Fourteen. Putting Theory into Practice and Promoting Children’s Literacy through Service-Learning
Janet Pinkley

Chapter Fifteen. Promoting Scholarly Conversations through an Undergraduate Research Conference in the Library: A Communication Class Project
Jen Jones, PhD

Chapter Sixteen. Banned Books and Dangerous Fictions: Co-Creating an Annual Banned Books Read Out
Tanya Heflin

Chapter Seventeen. Facets of Fashion: Utilizing Library Display Windows to Apply Visual Merchandising Techniques
Janet A. Blood, PhD

Chapter Eighteen. The Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon for Critical Information Literacy and Public Service
Dr. Matthew A. Vetter and Cori Woods

Chapter Nineteen. Service-Learning in the Oral History Archives
Juliana M. Nykolaiszyn

Chapter Twenty. Privacy, Cybersecurity, and the Constitution: A Poster Session for Undergraduate American Government Students in the Library
Dr. Aleea L. Perry

Chapter Twenty-One. The ABCs of Nutrition and Literacy: Combining Children’s Books with Health Awareness in an Academic Service-Learning Project
Stephanie Taylor-Davis, PhD, RDN, LDN

Chapter Twenty-Two. More about Experiential and Service-Learning Experiences for Libraries and Information Literacy Instruction

Authors and Editors

Theresa McDevitt

Theresa McDevitt is the government information/outreach librarian at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she has served since 1986. She has taught a one-credit information literacy course with a service-learning element for the last five years. She is a co-director of the universities’ Reflective Practice faculty development group and has an MLS from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in American history from Kent State University.

Caleb P. Finegan

Caleb P. Finegan earned his BA (Spanish, 1988) and MA (Latin American Studies, 1993) from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. In 1999, he graduated with a doctoral degree (PhD) from the University of Florida with a concentration in colonial Latin American history. Dr. Finegan currently teaches courses (sometimes in honors) in Latin American history. He has been the Director of IUP’s Robert E. Cook Honors College since 2014. From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Finegan also worked as the university’s director of civic engagement and student leadership activities.