Dobb, Bushong to give library presentation on Capitol Hill

June 26 will find Executive Vice President Linda Dobb and Sara Bushong, head of the Curriculum Resource Center, at the Rayburn Office Building in Washington, D.C., for Library Day on the Hill.

“Our goal is to interact with members of Congress to show the value of libraries and of the different types of libraries,” Bushong said. “We hope to make them better informed about what libraries have to offer.

“We’ll be representing the Association of College and Research Libraries, the largest division of the American Library Association,” she added.

Their presentation, “Academic Librarians in Action,” will showcase a summer graduate class for K-12 teachers that was created three years ago by Bushong, who is also acting chair of archival collections and branches, and Colleen Boff, first-year experience librarian and acting chair of library teaching and learning. Titled Information Literacy for Teaching and Learning, the class trains regional cohorts of teachers to use Internet research databases, create WebQuests and teach their students to use Internet resources.

Bushong, Dobb and two other library staff members are teaching the four sections of the course this summer.

Educating teachers in Web skills is a protection against the downsizing that too frequently happens today. “When resources are tight, librarians are often the first to go,” Bushong said. “If schools don’t have a librarian, or not enough librarians to serve all their students, at least teachers will have the skills they need.”

The BGSU class has been a success, she said; the number of course sections offered has doubled from the original two sections and now enrolls upwards of 60 students a summer. “It’s been very, very popular,” Bushong said.

While learning and practicing Internet skills, class members create learning activities and WebQuests usable by others. Boff and Bushong post their students’ work on the University Libraries Web site, as well as on INFOhio, an information network for schools.

“We wanted the actual library skills to be embedded in the curriculum so they would be seamlessly connected to an essential question students have to answer,” Bushong said.

In addition to their display, Dobb and Bushong will offer handouts to passing legislators. “We want to emphasize the impact of libraries on people’s lives,” she explained.

June 4, 2007