Taking Information Literacy Where the Students Are... Online

Concurrent Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

What began as a library program to reach out to historically underserved students, evolved into an effort to build the library’s online learning presence.  Combining the concepts of service-oriented videos and videos to support student learning resulted in the development of this library’s first step into online learning.


Kaela Casey began her career in libraries as a student assistant at the Ventura College Library. After completing her B.A. in Art, she worked in several staff positions at the John Spoor Broome Library at California State University Channel Islands. Kaela is a 2009 ALA Spectrum Scholar and received her MLIS from San Jose State University in 2012. She is currently the Public and Electronic Services Librarian at the John Spoor Broome Library at California State University Channel Islands.

Extended Abstract

In the spring 2015 semester, the authors implemented the Partnerships to Achieve Student Success (PASS) Program to facilitate collaboration between the library and student support programs.  The program was successful in building partnerships between the library and the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Student Support Services (SSS), Promoting Achievement through Hope (PATH), Disability Resource Program (DRP), and the Veterans Center.  The authors used various strategies to reach out to students in these programs to help them gain awareness of library services and resources, and offer opportunities for students to get help with research and develop information literacy skills.  These attempts varied in their success, but did allow the authors to interact directly with students from each support program.  Through these interactions, the authors discovered that students encountered many barriers to their success.  These students understood the importance of utilizing library services and resources effectively, but were involved in extracurricular activities, had jobs, and had family commitments, which affected their ability to go to the library or attend an in-person library workshop.  These students expressed that if the library had a greater online presence, with an online library orientation or video tutorial series that they could view at their convenience, they would use it.

With this information, the authors hired a student assistant to develop scripts and record and edit library videos.  The first series of videos was intended to introduce basic library services such as activating student library cards and using the self-checkout machine.  Concurrently, one of the authors was given the opportunity to develop instructional videos for a fully-online course.  This was the first time a fully-online course had requested any library support, so the author had to quickly learn how to use the technology required and create content.  This development prompted the authors to realize that their initial project of creating library videos for student support programs could be expanded and have a greater impact across campus.

By the fall 2016 semester, the authors had a plan outlined to develop the library’s online learning presence.  The authors would collaborate with all instruction librarians and the campus Teaching and Learning Innovations department to develop the library’s online learning website and instructional videos.  The website would contain videos that guide students through the basics of library services and resources through more advanced information literacy topics.  The website and videos would be an easy point of access for all students and allow them to gain library and information literacy competency at their own pace.  Once the website and initial videos are established, the library online learning program would then grow as needed to support blended and online courses.  Librarians would reach out to faculty, especially those teaching online or through Extended Education, to collaborate on building custom course content that can be integrated into courses via the learning management system.  Librarians would also reach out to students and staff that oversee student support programs to see if the videos are meeting their needs and determine if there are any gaps in the information provided.  It is the hope of the authors that the library’s online learning program would meet the goals of both providing historically underserved students with opportunities to develop library and information literacy competency and providing tailored library support to blended and online courses.

In this session, the authors will discuss their experience with the evolution of this pilot project, their experiences with learning and training others on utilizing the necessary technology, and explore new possibilities for engaging students in information.  The presentation will identify the status and outcomes of the project including feedback from students and faculty, the challenges encountered, and will welcome new strategies for information literacy in an online environment.