Global Library Perspectives, Information Literacy, Campus Outreach | Professional Reading, May 2019

A fascinating look at the kinds of “mind-set, skill sets” academic libraries and librarians need to excel in the 21st century; although containing useful elements, this work is limited by its basis in superseded learning theoriesoutreach librarians will appreciate the variety of institutions represented and the scope of activities described; an excellent resource for any library that serves graduate and professional students

Lo, Patrick & others. Conversations with Leading Academic and Research Library Directors: International Perspectives on Library Management. Chandos. (Information Professional). 2018.524p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780081027462. pap. $120; ebk. ISBN 9780081027479. PRO MEDIA
“What are the roles and the future for the survival of academic libraries and their librarians? In what ways should we continue to evolve as our world turns increasingly digital?” These are just two of the questions Lo (library, information & media science, Tsukuba Univ., Japan), Allan Cho (librarian, Univ. of British Columbia), Bradley Allard (reference & outreach librarian, Clark County P.L.), and Dickson Chiu (education, Univ. of Hong Kong) attempt to answer. Thirty academic librarians spanning 14 countries and territories participated in an in-depth investigation to determine the state of academic librarianship worldwide. Interviews each begin with librarians describing their professional training and educational background and discussing topics such as their professional specialties or their current role and areas of responsibilities. Interviewees then respond to specific, individually crafted questions, sharing their thoughts on academic librarianship, their leadership and managerial styles, how their intuitions are striving to meet patrons’ informational needs, the challenges facing libraries and library science students and professionals, and more.
VERDICT This is a fascinating look at the kinds of “mind-set, skill sets” academic libraries and librarians need to excel in the 21st century. For library science students and professionals seeking a worldwide perspective on the essential values of academic librarianship.—Susan E. Ketcham, Long Island Univ. Post Lib., Brookville, NY

Matamoros, Alex Berrio. Information Literacy for Today’s Diverse Students. Libraries Unlimited: Teacher Ideas. 2018. 160p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781440862076. pap. $75; ebk. ISBN 9781440862083. PRO MEDIA
Educational consultant Matamoros addresses instructors of full courses on information literacy, although he also includes a section on one-shot library sessions. The oppressively text-heavy layout feels incongruous, given the focus: customizing instruction for varied “learning styles” through differentiation, or giving students choices in how they take in content, complete processes, and demonstrate mastery via products. The author offers some critical perspective via research on how cultural values can, to some extent, impact notions around academic norms. However, omitting a discussion of the controversy around learning styles theory is problematic, given mounting recent evidence that learning styles, as we’ve previously understood them, do not exist and that self-identified learning preferences do not correlate meaningfully with performance. Theory aside, what remains is primarily a guide to adding multimedia content to lessons and assignments using audio, video, and slide formats and on how to move beyond lecture or demonstration-only classes. These tips and lists of tools will be useful to readers new to the basics of lesson planning or creating learning objects but are unlikely to satisfy even moderately experienced library instructors. Look instead for works on universal design for learning, a more recent theoretical approach that critiques and helpfully expands on the model of differentiated instruction.
VERDICT Although containing useful elements, this work is limited by its basis in superseded learning theories.—Miriam DesHarnais, Towson Univ., MD

Successful Campus Outreach for Academic Libraries: Building Community Through Collaboration. Rowman & Littlefield. 2018. 250p. ed. by Peggy Keeran & Carrie Forbes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781538113707. $95; pap. ISBN 9781538113714. $50; ebk. ISBN 9781538113721. PRO MEDIA
In recent years academic librarians have recognized that they can have a greater impact by connecting with new partners on campus and in the community. Editors Keeran (arts & humanities librarian, Univ. of Denver Libs.) and Forbes (associate dean, Univ. of Denver Libs.) have developed a theoretical overview of outreach and compiled a collection of case studies, mostly by academic librarians, that provide ideas and models for potential activities. Librarians are encouraged to identify service gaps and engage with campus and community colleagues to find solutions. Mandy Havert, digital research and outreach librarian at the University of Notre Dame, offers details on the well-received dissertation and thesis camp that the library cosponsors with the writing center and graduate school to help develop successful scholars. Several case studies focus on community outreach programs that include, for example, STEM programs with underrepresented populations and exhibits that highlight specific ethnic groups, such as exhibits on Islamic art and Jewish songwriters. Librarians are urged to seek opportunities to use their subject knowledge with students, faculty, and the community.
VERDICT Outreach librarians will appreciate the variety of institutions represented and the scope of activities described.—Judy Solberg, ­Sacramento, CA

Transforming LibrariesredstarTransforming Libraries To Serve Graduate Students. ACRL. 2018. 464p. ed. by Crystal Renfro & Cheryl Stiles. photos. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780838946060. pap. $88. PRO MEDIA
Across the profession, graduate and professional students have received much less attention than undergraduate students or instructors. Contributors here highlight the diversity of this group, noting that experiences, needs, and expectations will vary based on discipline, department, and degree. This diversity may present particular challenges in providing tailored and relevant support, services, and spaces. Editors Renfro (graduate engineering librarian) and Stiles (director, graduate library, both Kennesaw State Univ.) have put together a comprehensive overview on serving graduate students that honors and recognizes the diversity of this population while also offering concrete practices. Divided into four sections, chapters cover general outreach and space planning, teaching opportunities, the provision of publishing and networking resources, and research support. Some sections, such as those on planning spaces and services for graduate students, are more general, while others, including those on scaffolding research support or information literacy instruction for students in the arts, take a deep dive into a particular discipline.
VERDICT An excellent resource for any library that serves graduate and professional students.—Amanda Folk, Ohio State Univ. Libs.


These reviews were originally published in Library Journal's May 2019 issue

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