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SCIL Works 2021

This is a past event
Notes and presentations are below

SCIL Works 2021

Unmute Your Mic: Student Engagement and Outreach in a Virtual World

'These are unprecedented times'.....a phrase we are hearing more every day. Many librarians and libraries are struggling with these 'unprecedented' changes and the shift to the online realm. Many are left with questions like: How should we navigate the world of online learning and a virtual library? How should we try to keep students engaged and continue to reach students in the virtual world? How can we unmute our mics and embrace the virtual environment?

Southern California Instruction Librarians (SCIL) will be hosting SCIL Works on Friday, January 15, 2021. This annual mini-conference offers librarians the opportunity to share their best practices, innovative pedagogy, and creative solutions with colleagues.

Friday, January 15, 2021, 9am-1pm

Registration is Free for CARL Members, Non-Members, and Students


  • 09:00 - 09:15: Welcome
  • 09:45 - 10:15: Research and Practice I
  • 10:15 - 10:45: Lightning Rounds
  • 10:45 - 11:15: Break
  • 11:15 - 12:15: Research and Practice II
  • 12:15 - 12:30: Closing remarks and evaluations


Research and Practice
(20 minutes followed by 5 minute Q&A)

Judy Opdahl
(CSU San Marcos)
Zoom + Slides Activity + Form Activity = Student Success

If you've asked yourself now how am I going to do that virtually and synchronously in Zoom? Learn how to re-invent and re-envision your in-class instruction to online using Google Slides and Google Forms. Specifically, this lesson was developed to teach freshmen students to locate humanities-based articles written on disabilities studies. However, the technologies could be adapted and used for your own courses and unique uses.

Unlike our campus's usual English classes whose paper topics revolve around the health and wellness of college students, and where an Academic Search Premier is the database of choice, this class simply isn't one of them. In this class students may NOT use social science articles which runs counter too much of the library instruction students may/have received. Synchronously, in Zoom students access a new course guide with active links for activities. Students link to Google Slide to participate as a group in a keywording exercise based on an example relevant to disabilities studies, next they were introduced to the make-up of science/social science articles versus humanities using an electronic handout, next students participate in an individual Google Form activity where students provide answers to questions asking them to evaluated between a portions of a given science/social science article and portions of a given humanities-based article. We review the answers in the zoom sessions. A benefit is I have a record of students who may be off track and I can follow-up with them post instruction. Post instruction feedback, "This has been by far the most successful students have been in finding sources that work for this assignment."

Robin Lang
(Point Loma Nazarene University)
Amplifying Diverse Voices in Library Instruction: Applying Critical Information Literacy Theory to a Class Discussion of the Deep Web

This presentation will explore critical librarianship in the virtual realm by applying critical information literacy theory to a discussion on privilege and diversity in scholarship, information access, and IL instruction (#critlib). The presentation will explore the praxis by which critical theory can improve our work as academic librarians by recommending approaches that increase student engagement during a standard one-shot. The presenter has incorporated critical information literacy theory during the one-shots she teaches both on Zoom and in-person in collaboration with her university's writing composition program. Resources covered in these one-shots include library collections and Google, including Google Scholar. Most students are not aware of the racism present in Google's search algorithm and that Google only accesses the surface web, the tip of the information iceberg. Google Scholar can be used as a portal into the deep web and library databases by bringing into its results sources that are trapped behind paywalls and passwords. Introducing library databases as part of the deep web gives databases an edginess and encourages further exploration of library resources; after this discussion students have remarked that they feel like "a secret agent" or "a spy" when they realize library databases are accessible only to a privileged few with university affiliation. The moment is ripe for discussing students' privilege and their realization that others are denied access to these same resources. The discussion of students' privilege is a natural segue into a discussion on privilege, scholarship and the necessity of seeking out sources created by underrepresented voices.

Laura Luiz
(Bakersfield College)
Fake News in the Era of Covid: Harnessing COVID Misinformation to Leverage Online Student Engagement

Ever struggle with linking the risks of fake news to students' personal lives? You're not alone! Time and lack of access are all reasons students distance themselves from news outside of academics. However, if there is one silver lining with COVID-19, it is that students are now aware of the immediate dangers of misinformation in their personal lives. This creates the perfect opportunity to address important concepts such as authority, data literacy and propaganda. All three have played a vital role in the misinformation surrounding the pandemic and are critical media literacy concepts. This workshop will focus on how these subjects can be approached in the online classroom using active-learning strategies that draw heavily upon students' personal experiences with the pandemic. Resources for tackling this topic in synchronous and asynchronous online environments will be provided.

No doubt about it, 2020 has been a grim year. For educators, the transition to online learning has been an arduous, emotionally taxing journey. However, despite this, teaching in the trenches this year has brought to light a creative way to engage students in fake news instruction. Teaching fake news and media literacy has been at the forefront of information literacy instruction in the last few years. Many instructors have found that while students immediately grasp why fake news is important to avoid for scholarly research, it's much more difficult for them to understand the consequences in their personal lives. In the face of the horrors of this new pandemic age, COVID-19 has provided students with a deep-rooted understanding of the immediate dangers of fake news. Using students' experiences this year with fake news provides a road map for instructors on how to engage students in media literacy instruction. This is why my proposal focuses on how the pandemic creates the perfect opportunity to address critical media literacy concepts using students' experiences as the driving force.

Heather Nisen & Mary-Michelle Moore
(UC Santa Barbara)
Everyone needs an escape: Building a virtual escape room experience for Welcome Week

For Fall 2020, our university decided to create a Season of Welcome and embrace the opportunity for loosely structured, asynchronous activities that would take the place of the regimented schedule of Week of Welcome fare. This new format gave us the chance to create something for our students to do at any time while still engaging with Welcome Week essentials (introduction to services, basic navigation of the building, etc.). We created "Escape the Library!," a virtual escape room experience. We incorporated campus student lore about library things that go bump in the night; gamification elements like puzzles and cryptograms; and multimedia pieces to help students learn more about their academic home away from home. The escape room was designed to help all students learn more about basic search elements, library services, and resources, navigate the building, and let returning students engage in some study space nostalgia. In this presentation, we will share: the steps we took to plan our escape room narrative and activities, how we moved our initial script into our primary tool (LibWizard), our approximate timeline and workload, and our list of embedded tools and puzzles. We will also present some of the challenges we encountered, what we'd do differently next time, and how we hope to use this and similar activities in future outreach endeavors.

Student surveys after we went to remote for Spring Quarter indicated that students were suffering from Zoom fatigue and did not necessarily want to use Zoom if they didn't have to for large gatherings. In response, we decided to try offering an asynchronous format. After investigating virtual escape rooms online, we decided to incorporate gamification elements to our learning outcomes for Welcome Week activities and created an online escape room to introduce students to library services, resources and to highlight some of the spaces in the library.

Lightning Rounds
(10 minutes each, Q&A during the break)

Hugh Burkhart
(University of San Diego)
First Year Instruction and the Remote Environment: Maintaining Connections, Continuing Engagement

In the middle of the third year of a successful partnership between the University Library and the First Year Writing (FYW) Program, the learning environment suddenly went remote due to COVID-19. Library sessions were rescheduled or canceled as faculty and staff adapted to the new reality. In Summer 2020, there was more time to plan for the Fall semester. To ensure incoming first year students had sufficient introduction to academic research and resources, the library developed an outreach plan for faculty teaching FYW and Living Learning and Transfer Learning Community (LLC and TLC) classes that would market instruction to FYW faculty and LLC/TLC faculty and circulate a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation for students, which included links to the library's website navigation video and tutorial, as well as a preventing plagiarism tutorial. Presentation outcomes were simple: teach students to distinguish between scholarly and non-scholarly sources, compose a keywords list, and identify relevant library resources and retrieve appropriate sources. A comparison of statistics for instruction and use of library resources such as guides and tutorials between Spring and Fall 2020 revealed an increase in instruction and resource use. While outreach and teaching efforts were not always ideal, key connections with faculty and students were maintained and more students were introduced to library research methods and tools. The hope is to further improve in 2021 with an eye to more robust instruction in the near future.

Kirsten Hansen & Nazia Islam
(The Claremont Colleges)
Like digital sticky notes: Using Padlet as an interactive tool in online teaching

Two Claremont Colleges librarians share how they use the online tool Padlet in their information literacy classes for brainstorming, concept mapping, and other online active learning activities. Padlet is an easy-to-use, freemium tool that allows students to post notes to a virtual board: if you miss using sticky note activities in your classroom, Padlet is an online equivalent that also allows for embedded images, links, video, and more. Padlet has the potential to promote equity in the classroom by allowing students to develop their thoughts and contribute anonymously, without the pressure of speaking up over Zoom or typing in chat with their name attached. Additionally, is a tool that has applications beyond the IL classroom: faculty members have expressed interest in using Padlet in their classrooms after learning about it in IL sessions and because it is a free tool, students and faculty can adopt for their own scholarship without subscribing to yet another service.

Ray Andrade
(Loyola Marymount University)
360 Technology for Virtual Library Engagement

Before the pandemic, Student Engagement Librarian, Ray Andrade created a virtual, interactive 360-degree library tour that has proven to be an invaluable virtual tool to engage current students, potential students and families, and colleagues in public libraries for diversity initiatives to introduce their support staff of color to careers in academic librarianship.

*The theme is "student engagement and outreach in a virtual world" and that is the essence of the proposed presentation: it would not only speak to conducting virtual outreach to the local and current student community, but it would also speak to leveraging 360 technology to 1.) partner with campus units such as Admissions and/or Parent Programming to highlight library resources, services, and outreach programming, and 2.) leveraging 360 technology for partnerships bridging academic and public libraries to help diversify the library profession. (Two years ago, The Los Angeles Public Library established the "Diversity and Inclusion Apprenticeship Program" and I've partnered with the program to introduce LAPL support staff of color who wish to pursue an MLIS to the world of academic libraries. Thanks to the 360 tour, we were able to transition to virtual programming for the annual library tour, in addition to a virtual panel featuring academic librarians.) I'd like to highlight how this virtual tool allows libraries to conduct outreach far beyond the library and far beyond a university.

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