When approached by the editorial staff at ATG to organize a special issue, a number of topics starting running through our heads. “Media Use in the Classroom” was one of many themes considered, and ultimately a general consensus lead to the decision that this is a conversation worth having. The loose term “media,” and everything that falls under the umbrella of the word, has far-reaching effects throughout life as we know it. Mobile connectivity is on the rise, and face-to-face communication is becoming sparse; changing every component in the way we approach learning and instruction.
Once our theme was chosen, the question lingered: Who will we invite to author these articles? How many different perspectives could be offered and what sort of direction could this theme take? And, most importantly, is this topic of interest to librarians and educators alike?
To our delight, these questions were quickly answered — as we approached librarians and educators to author these insightful articles, we found that not only do they find this topic to be of great importance, but they are actively committed to using thoughtful and incisive methods in bringing media and all its many uses and forms into the education space — promoting student use for more productive and active learning in higher education spaces, and also figuring out how librarians and instructors can harness its power in (or sometimes outside of) the classroom.
Media is everywhere. Its infiltration into education spaces is only a natural progression and extension as more and more people interact, contribute, and consume in the “media” space. Online learning platforms, organizations, and social media sites are increasingly available, allowing for widespread connections and sharing of knowledge and experience. But this raises a multitude of interesting questions on moderation, filters, understanding data as we see it, its uses… and so on. In this age of innovation, educators are faced with a new set of challenges to captivate and engage today’s students, while imparting certain sets of information skills. Librarians, as information literacy specialists, are integral in this evolution of practical research skills and learning experiences.
This issue features articles encompassing a broad range of topics, challenges, and studies; examining how librarians are working in the education space, and actively engaging in and facilitating the use of media. Articles cover the relationship between faculty and librarians; how librarians can aid in the creation of effective instructional models; the development of information literacy and uses of video streaming or social media; as well as methods for integrating library resources into the physical classroom and also for distance learners.
These articles represent research and experience from a number of highly-respected professionals in the field who have contributed to a number of scholarly works published by IGI Global as well as numerous other international academic publishers.
Without further ado, we’re proud to present these selected articles for this month’s special issue:
“Multimodal Literacy and Why it Matters: A Brief Overview” authored by Samantha Hines, Head Librarian at Missoula College at the University of Montana, focuses widely on issues surrounding online library services, information literacy instruction, and library middle management. Her piece eloquently tackles an introduction to multimodal literacy: what it is and what it means for librarians and their users, how consumption of multimodal content affects “library land” (we love that term!), and how librarians can move forward and adapt discoverability of these resources in the library.
In “The Flipped Classroom and Media for Library Instruction,” Diane Fulkerson, Director of Information Commons and Assistant Librarian at the University of Florida Sarasota-Manatee, focuses on how new technologies provide librarians with opportunities to enhance their library instruction by incorporating media, and how the flipped classroom model offers the unique solution of pushing for review, self-learning, and discovery outside the classroom, while transforming the classroom into an active and reflective learning and meeting space.
Denise Garofalo, Systems and Catalog Services Librarian at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY, reviews information literacy instruction through the lens of the personal librarian pilot program for students in ENG 101 classes in her article, “Connecting with Students: Information Literacy and Personal Librarians.” With a short amount of time and a big amount of drive, the librarians at MSMC were able to assemble a unique experience for English 101 classes, and laid the ground work for future versions of the PL program as well as potential expansion. Her article offers practical reflection and thoughts for the coming years.
Ari Sigal, Reference and Instruction Librarian, and Staci Wilson, Director of Library Services, both from Catawba Valley Community College, continue the conversation of embedded librarianship in “Extending Our Reach: Enhanced Library Instruction in a Community College through Information Literacy Instruction and Embedded Librarianship.” Information literacy and library instruction have become so integral to the contribution of librarians, and especially so for those in academic settings, that they constitute a vital part of a librarian’s professional personae. There is also the consideration of accreditation when developing these types of programs, the need for appropriate assignments, and what is done in class or for distance education students.
In addition to a focus on information literacy and librarians situating themselves directly into the classroom, in“Patron-Driven Access to Streaming Video: Profile of Kanopy Streaming,” Assistant Professor Julie DeCesare of Providence College, provides a thoughtful assessment on the use and collection of video content in education. Her study admits that streaming video is one of the more complicated areas to collect in, but the breadth of content, flexibility of licensing, availability of user tools, and transparency of usage and statistics, although challenging, provide great reward.
And lastly, from the international perspective: “The Library’s Role in Social Networking Site Use in Education” is a terrific piece on the use of social media written by Professor Gorg Mallia, Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta, Malta. Traditionally, the library has been the constant referral point in anything related to education. To increase the use of human capital, how can libraries adopt media to become the “Library 2.0” and maintain its place as a resource for the classroom in a media-driven society? How can librarians become ‘education partners’ — working within the context of Web 2.0 applications, particularly SNS, to support formal educators and those who seek informal, independent learning?
Authors’ Note: We thank all of the September special issue authors for sharing their multi-dimensional perspectives on media and the librarian’s role in twenty-first century education, as well as all of this year’s special column contributors. — KS and LJ
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.