Open SUNY Information Literacy Initiatives
- Jessica Clemens, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
- Katie DeRusso, SUNY Cobleksill
- Carleen Huxley, Jefferson Community College
- Alice Wilson, Monroe Community College
This project is the direct result of conversations about Open SUNY in the library community. On December 5, 2013 a group of more than 80 librarians and directors (joined by McKinsey Consulting) met at the Open SUNY Summit for SUNY Libraries with the objective of “clarifying the goals of SUNY Libraries related to the Open SUNY initiatives Council of Library Director’s Open SUNY initiatives.” The meeting resulted in a ranking of priorities for the library community in regard to Open SUNY. After the voting had finished, the portal idea was ranked #1 with 13 librarians from 12 institutions and 76 votes (each participant could cast up to five votes across 12 priorities) all wishing to help with the creation. The institutions included community colleges, comprehensive colleges, colleges of technology and university centers. While this project many only list a few principal investigators, there is definitely support from the entire SUNY library community to see momentum on this project.
Through this project faculty as well as librarians supporting Open SUNY information literacy instruction will have access to a central location for the sharing of best practices in information literacy content development as well as raw files for information literacy instructional material. We currently do not have an effective way to share content. As such we are re-creating the wheel several times over just to provide customized content that could have been adapted easily were we sharing raw files (which are often too large to email). To avoid this situation going forward, it will be essential to use a common set of criteria for creating content.
As a benefit of creating a central repository for information literacy instruction, this project will illuminate current information literacy practices across SUNY. Librarians at comprehensive colleges and university centers will be familiar with the instruction received at the community college level. Or, in regard to Open SUNY, students can receive similar information literacy instruction regardless of where they are enrolled. In effect, we will create a transparent experience across campuses and types of sessions. Once we are using similar content we can begin to assess of the effectiveness of information literacy content across campuses and the system as a whole. System-wide assessment of information literacy is also another outcome of the December 5th meeting.
The Open SUNY Information Literacy Portal provides faculty and librarians a central location for the sharing of best practices in information literacy-related content development as well as a database containing raw files of creative commons-licensed curated instructional materials including videos, online tutorials, lesson plans, assignments, and syllabi. By leveraging our collective talent, we hope to reduce duplication of effort and encourage an atmosphere of collaboration.