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.