Maritime College are downright impressive. The library is located directly on Long Island Sound In a former 19th-century fort. The library, which formerly served as the college’s dining hall, brings to mind Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. In the entryway one can admire the archives, which address not only marine history in general, but the college’s history in particular. The latter has also been preserved by means of an oral history project involving audio recordings of alumnae, which the library has conducting for three years now.
Shafeek Fazal, Assistant Director, Head of Reference and Access Services, introduced us to the library’s stringent program on teaching information literacy. In the first week of study, all first-semester students attend an orientation session in the library. In the first year of study all students attend a session within their general introductory courses (English, Economics, etc.) that provides extensive information on the library’s collections and databases. In the second through fourth years of study the library works closely with the various departments to integrate into their seminars instruction on the library that is crafted to students’ needs. So it can happen that a student encounters the library in his or her second, third, and fourth years during the study of completely different subjects, becoming familiar with the relevant collections and acquiring the appropriate skills. In addition to this “real-life instruction” the library takes part in the distance learning courses within the college’s virtual learning environment, offering research guides and tutorials on its website. In addition, all students may take advantage of the counseling on research provided by the college’s librarians. These are conducted by the library’s various subject specialists – in order to work in the library one must either have acquired nautical knowledge or a second Master’s in a subject other than Library Science. All librarians are members of the academic faculty.
The library also makes great efforts in the area of performance measurement and analysis. As the librarians are part of the faculty, they also are subject to accreditation standards. Accordingly, the library must demonstrate that its courses deliver a verifiable advancement in knowledge. In addition to the customary collection of statistical data, the library, within the framework of its course offerings, administers to roughly one-fourth of the student body a pre-test as well as a post-test. The tests are evaluated by the library and cover research using the online catalogue, databases, and the Internet as well as the physical collections. Thus can be measured what the students knew before their instruction and in which areas they improved during the course of their studies. The library, of course, uses the test results in improving and adapting their own course offerings.
Friday, 28. September 2012
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