Research 101: Scholarship is a conversation

Lepine, Sierra.


University of Washington Libraries. (2016). “Research 101: Scholarship is a conversation.” Retrieved from

A short video produced for college students describing the concept of scholarship as conversation, including the need for citation of sources, utilizing bodies of scholarly works to direct, focus, and explore research topics, and including the student as a participant in the conversation – a producer as well as a consumer.

I frequently use this in research seminars with community college students to get them to try to think about the whole process of inquiry/scholarship – that it can (and should be) interesting, organic, self-driven, and produced in a continuous loop. I think students are not used to thinking of themselves as content producers when it comes to inquiry and learning, but I do think it’s important that they begin to – likewise, I like the implication that inquiry and research are not finite with an end and a beginning, but rather an ongoing conversation that most scholars will enter after it started, and that will continue long after most scholars have finished and published their papers. It’s continuous!

On Being in Libraries

Lepine, Sierra


Miller, K. (2018). “On Being in Libraries.” Educause Review. Retrieved from

Fascinating article talking about conducting renovation and rebuilding of physical library space with student inquiry in mind. Written by academic librarian at the University of Miami, discussing a recent project involving University library/librarians, University faculty, students, and educational community members in a conversation about modern student needs and desires regarding both physical library space and intellectual/research processes. Ultimately came up with plans for a Learning Commons area in the library, newly built and designed to cater specifically to 21st century students needs in regards to individualized learning, creative inquiry, learning by doing, community-based knowledge building, etc.


Not only did I appreciate the discussion about how design thinking and inquiry can be used in terms of lesson planning and teaching, but also in terms of how to actually design a physical space! I also liked that article ended with an acknowledgement that now students request more quiet space in library, and a rueful acceptance that, while community learning is in vogue, it is still library’s responsibility to provide quiet and contemplative learning spaces for students, too!

Working as a learning coach

Sutherland, Shannon


O’Neil, Judy A., & Lamm, Sharon L. (2000). Working as a Learning Coach Team in Action Learning. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, (87), 43-52.

I am the varsity tennis coach at my high school, so I am familiar with coaching. I have spent many hours reading about how best to guide my players towards their individual goals and our team goal. Learning through action is the way that I learn, but it is easy to forget that when I am in front of students in the classroom. I realize that the concept of a leaning coach is different from athletic coaching and this article helped me to understand how the two styles are similar and how they are different. The strategies that I can apply, such as modeling, guiding instead of lecturing, and repetition, can also be found in coaching tennis. The best way to learning the game is to play the game which is also true in the classroom. I found that this article explains the concept.


Enduring understandings–where are they in the library’s curriculum?

Sutherland, Shannon


Donham, J. (2010) Enduring understandings–where are they in the library’s curriculum?(FEATURE ARTICLE). Teacher Librarian, 38(1), 15-19.

Enduring understandings–where are they in the library’s curriculum? As I was pondering collection management in my high school library, I wondered where standards fit into the equation. Librarian teachers not only have to encourage students to read and acquire knowledge they need to justify their collections based on educational standards or educational goals. Measuring student outcomes based on educational goals. Based on Ralph Tyler’s (1949) educational theories, the author identifies three main sources of these learning goals: the student, society and those creating the standards. Common Core standards are based on society’s needs to “maintain America’s competitive edge.”

‘Teaching at the desk’

Goering, Patricia


Elmborg, J. K. (2002). Teaching at the desk: Toward a reference pedagogy. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 2(3): 455-464. doi:10.1353/pla.2002.0050

Elmborg describes how one-on-one interactions with students at the reference desk can model the writing conference and use socratic-style questioning to lead students to finding their own answers to reference questions, learning valuable information literacy skills in the process, instead of simply giving them the answer or a list of best sources.

As a teacher librarian, I found this source to be a practical tool to take advantage of reference questions as teachable moments.

Lamb, A. (2016). Crowdsourcing and the School Library. Teacher Librarian, 44(2), 56-60.  Retrieved from:
This article discusses the usage of Crowdsourcing in the Library and how this method can be used to teach information literacy skills to students.  Student can participate in activities that can use crowdsourcing in which they can real world information to organize information.  This can be done with interesting activities where students can group information and data in a fun and interesting way.
Schloman, B. F., & Gedeon, J. A. (2007). Creating TRAILS. Knowledge Quest, 35(5), 44-47.
It is often difficult to create assessments that are adequate when measuring the skills of students who are learning about information literacy  This article discusses the Trails Assessment which was created to help in the assessment of information literacy skills.  The Trails Assessment was created by Kent State University and is way to gauge a student’s grasp of information literacy. The assessment tool has is freely available resource that is standards based and available through the web. If a teacher uses this tool they can evaluate the skills of their students and what they need to teach them.

Exploiting Synergies Among Digital Repositories, Special Collections, and Online Community

Reyna, Lisa

IL – Media Literacy

Huwe, T. (2009). Exploiting synergies: among digital repositories, special collections, and online

community. Online, 33(2), 14-19.


Huwe elaborates on how only just a few years prior to the writing of this particular article, there were only a couple of leading research facilities (E.g. Library of Congress) capable of developing an online presence of high-quality digital library collections. Further discussion into the article depicts that today in current times, this ideal is no longer the case. Huwe speaks of the rise in development of digital collections not only emerging among research libraries, but also other organizations as well as various museums. Research libraries and librarians are evolving with the constant change of advancement in digital media technologies and are becoming familiar with open-source web development tools specialized in digitization, although most collections are of a smaller scale. 
Emphasis is expressed when referencing the importance of historical collections and how an online presence will not only benefit libraries and librarians, but also have the capacity to reach new scholars and experts trying to obtain rare materials within a searchable online environment. Huwe also ventures into the realm of social networking, blogs, and community websites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo, which are currently responsible for enabling managers of digital repositories to merge technologies utilizing web 2.0 applications, therefore symbolizing the effect of creating new synergies. I found this article to be quite interesting as Archivists and scholars now have the ability to be involved in newly developed trends surrounding the accessibility of historically valuable collections through the opportunity to take on leadership roles in scholarly communities.

Good Leaders Learn What Not to Do – Leading from the Library

Reyna, Lisa

ET – Government and Professions

Bell, S. (n.d.). Good Leaders Learn What Not to Do – Leading From the Library. Library Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from 


Leadership in the Academic Library Profession: Evaluation and Assessment of Leadership
In the article, “Good Leaders Learn What Not to Do”, Steven Bell mentions how Kouzes and Posner are responsible for the “ten truths of leadership” and how valuable an asset this information is to the working professional, but voices his opinion on the importance of learning what leaders should not do in the workplace as well. [2]
Truth 1: You Make a Difference
Truth 2: Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership
Truth 3: Values Drive Commitment
Truth 4: Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart
Truth 5: You Can’t Do It Alone
Truth 6: Trust Rules
Truth 7: Challenge Is the Crucible of Greatness
Truth 8: You Either Lead by Example or You Don’t Lead at All
Truth 9: The Best Leaders Are the Best Learners
Truth 10: Leadership Is an Affair of the Heart
The ten truths listed above are from Kouzes and Posner’s book, The Truth about Leadership, which each concept is featured in it’s own chapter. [1]
Steven Bell believes that by identifying the presence of ineffective leadership in libraries, this approach could also prove to be just as valuable to the overall success of professional leadership. Throughout this article, he refers to the effectiveness of how not to lead and focuses on another article written by Steve Staninger titled “Identifying the Presence of Ineffective Leadership in Libraries”. Staninger mentions the inability of leaders to treat their employees, as they would want to be treated themselves. Other instances of ineffective leadership include moral disengagement and micromanagement. When these instances arise within the workplace, the negativity can lead to damage of employee morale as well as fundamental damage to the organization itself. [2]
Although leadership can be expressed in many facets, academic librarianship possesses a need to conduct it in a highly professional manner, while working with internal as well as external stakeholders, such as librarians; library staff; administrators; students; faculty; non-library administrators and staff. [2]
I truly believe that all individuals placed within a leader/management role should possess a certain type of skillset and quality, which would allow them to be a positive role model as well as leader in the workplace. Staninger describes that ineffective leaders have a disregard for the importance and value that represents institutional culture by neglecting the consultation of employees who could be beneficial in the overall decision-making process in creating a better workplace. I also believe that there is truth to this theory. As an effective leader, he/she has to maintain a certain quality in order to achieve greatness. True leaders aspire to make a difference and when mistakes are made, they learn from them allowing themselves room for growth and wisdom when bestowing their knowledge onto others. True leaders also allow their employees the credit deserved when making a positive impact on the organization by acknowledgement and recognition.
As Steven Bell describes in his article, I too believe that it is always a better practice of knowing all aspects of management and leadership, even when it comes to researching the ways in which a leader could be ineffective in order to learn and determine which concepts and behaviors to avoid.
Additional Sources:
1. McKinney, M. (n.d.). Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: Ten Truths about Leadership. Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: Ten Truths about Leadership. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from

2. Staninger, S. (2011). Identifying the Presence of Ineffective Leadership in Libraries. Library Leadership & Management, 26(1), 1-7. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from