By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

School of Information Studies (iSchool) Associate Professor Megan Oakleaf will be presenting two workshops, a poster, and appearing on two discussion panels for the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) biennial conference when it takes place in Oregon later this month.

The first workshop Oakleaf will lead addresses the type of hands-on questions and issues librarians are apt to face regarding the newly created Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Her workshop will walk participants through the new document, highlighting ways to assess the learning expressed by the Framework. It is titled, “Snapshot or Big Picture: Assessing Student Learning using the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education.” She will be assisted in that workshop by Syracuse University librarian and iSchool graduate student Steven Hoover, and Michelle Millet, library director at John Carroll University in Ohio.

The second workshop involves the topic of library value communication. Oakleaf will lead librarians in offering take-away ideas and hands-on tools to apply to their own institutions to communicate the value and impact of their libraries. It is called “Library Value Communication: Conceptualizing Impact Centering on Stakeholders, Crafting Messages, and Conveying the Story.”

Oakleaf also will participate in two panels during the conference. She is one of several panelists discussing the topic, “Getting Started With Academic Library Value: Strategies for Initiating Conversations, Expanding Thinking, and Taking Action.” Also participating will be two 2014 iSchool MLIS graduates, Erin Eldermire, of Cornell University; and Amanda Albert, of Kenasaw State University. Others on the panel are Michelle Millet; Liz Mengel; and Jeremy Buhler.

In a second panel, Oakleaf will be among a group discussing, “Putting the ‘Research’ in the Association of College and Research Libraries: 75 years of ‘College & Research Libraries’ and Other ACRL Research Programs.” She will be joined by panelists Denise Koufogiannakis; Scott Walter; James Neal; and John Budd.

The professor also will be part of a poster presentation entitled, “Closing the Assessment Loop: Lessons Learned About Managing the Information Literacy Assessment Cycle and Acting On Results.” She will be joined in presenting those results by librarians who worked with her on that project: Claire Holmes, Jenny Mills, and Ning Zou. The poster captures strategies for managing the information literacy assessment cycle and acting on assessment results. It illustrates lessons learned about closing the assessment loop, and on using the information literacy instruction assessment cycle to initiate programmatic change, improve instruction, expand and maintain collaborative partnerships.

The poster represents research from Oakleaf’s project, “Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills,” which was a recepient of a 2010 Institute of Museum and Library Services grant. The research initiative, completed last year, designed, developed, and tested rubrics that evaluate student learning and information literacy, along with faculty and librarian assessment skills.

Interacting with members of the profession who work in other fields and locations, and learning about current projects in the library profession are the parts of conferences that Dr. Oakleaf enjoys most, she said. “It provides opportunities to have a check-in with the profession. I enjoy the engagement and learning as much from the participants as I can. Whether you’re a librarian or you’re LIS faculty, you tend to be most aware of what’s going on in the institutions you interact with on a regular basis. But conferences let you interact nationally and internationally, and infuse what you learn into your research and your classes,” she said.

ACRL serves academic librarians who work in all different types of settings, and conference topics are focused on updates on issues facing practicing academic librarians and strategies for dealing with those issues in their roles.