Community and Collaboration: Embedding the Agriculture Librarian in a First-Year Residential College

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In 2012, the agriculture librarian worked with the residential college to embed information literacy instruction and programming within the learning community’s academic goals and objectives. The agriculture residential college is a living-learning community for first-year students with declared majors within the agricultural disciplines. A one-credit-hour course delivered by university librarians was adapted to address the information-seeking needs of students with agriculture-focused majors and delivered to the residential college students in the spring 2013 semester. The librarian became active as a faculty friend to the residential college and participated in social and supplemental instruction events such as visits to research experiment stations and other units within the research and cooperative extension offices, and held office hours in the learning community’s residential hall. The 2013-2014 agriculture residential college cohort is enrolled in the one-credit-hour course for the spring 2014 semester. The course has been significantly redesigned based on the teaching experiences of the agriculture librarian and student evaluation data. The redesign incorporates both flipped-classroom and project-based learning strategies. The collaboration between the agriculture librarian and the agriculture residential college has aligned the critical thinking goals and objectives of the residential college’s required courses and those of the instruction mission of the university’s libraries. As the university embarks upon a new program focusing on undergraduate research, the collaboration will prepare students to work with their professors on future research projects. The collaboration will also serve as a model to university librarian subject specialists who identify other residential colleges and learning communities that would benefit from embedded information literacy instruction.
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Contributed Papers #2: Information Literacy & Instruction
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Information Literacy; Agriculture; Libraries; Instruction; Collaboration
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