Collaboration is Key In Online Library Instruction
University of Maryland,
learning is becoming a staple in the American education system. Librarians are
realizing the importance of having a strong online presence and are beginning
to focus a significant amount of resources toward developing or redesigning online
library instruction courses. Because of this, more and more librarians are looking
for best practices and tips and tricks from other universities. The Association
of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) hosted The Not-So-Distant Librarian:
Online Library Instruction to Engage Students and Faculty on Fri-day afternoon.
The presenters, all from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC),
included Barb Mann, Megan Davis and Joe Rawson. They guided the participants in
conversation about creating instructional content, selecting delivery methods
and carrying out student assessments.
session began with group discussions about barriers in online instruction. One
attendee commented that a lot of students feel as if they will have an easy
time in an online course but find out that it is more difficult than a face-to-face
class. Another noted that we assume because students are part of the
technology generation, they will find the online classroom environment second
nature. Actually, we find that many of these students struggle with the technology.
Other sentiments regarding challenges with online instruction included issues
with how quickly online tutorials become outdated and poor retention rates.
brainstormed possible content that might be presented in an online library instruction
classroom. One idea consisted of a choose your own adventure type
research game where students pick which research method would be the
best for a given scenario. If they run into problems they have the option to go
back and select a more appropriate search process. This interactive method may
be one way to increase information retention in students.
Way to increase faculty buy-in, perform assessments and how to advertise were also discussed. According to Mann, UMUC uses grassroots methods to advertise their online library instruction services. They have used letters to provide professors with tips and tools on making the experience beneficial for the students and also have created assessment tools to help track learning outcomes. These statistics can be used to help sell future classes to more professors.
Author James Van Praagh captivates the audience during his session July 12, part of the Auditorium Speaker Series.
Harry Potter and the Fair Use War
Roger Rapoport of RDR Books began working with author Steve Vander Ark on a reference
work based on the Harry Potter Lexicon web-site he had no idea that he would soon
be embarking on his own adventure that would ultimately result in successfully
battling J. K. Rowling and Warner Brothers in federal court and creating Right
to Write, a foundation that helps others in the same predicament.
Rapoport, speaking at an ALA Wash-ington Office update session July 11, said his story began as these things often do with a letter asking him not to publish the book. When he did not respond, the heat was turned up. Rapoport has written that every day is Halloween for some intellectual property attorneys, who frighten writers and artists with the hypothetical specter of complex litigation and ultimately bankruptcy.
Rapoport noted that
the principle of fair use predates the first amendment, but added that the Copyright
Act passed in 1976 recognized for the first time the property right of copyright
holders in any derivative work. Now, thanks to Internet search engines,
he told how law firms easily find possible copyright violators, and then launch
an attack with cease-and-desist letters and emails. Sometimes these letters can
even go teenagers who have created fansites or blogs.
instead of giving up in the face of a demand from literary and corporate giants
(the most common response) Rapoport sought help and, thanks to some fundraising
and pro bono legal help, fought back. The judge found that with some additional
editing the fair use claims were valid and The Lexicon was published. Ironically,
the reference book that Rowling and Warner Brothers tried to stop immediately
drew immediate praise from his former adversaries, and has even been used on the
set of the latest Harry Potter movie as a fact-checking source.
just as in the Harry Potter series, sequels abound. In a decision two weeks ago
in the fair use case involving author J. D. Salinger, U.S. District Court Judge
Deborah Batts issued a permanent injunction against the U.S. publication of a
book that purports to update the story of Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of
Catcher in the Rye.
Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University points out thatthe learningjudge preliminary injunction is supposed to consider several factors, one of which program, is the public interest. In this decision, Judge Batts did not do that, and because managers its case where book has been banned in the United States, I believe it is extremely important that the public program take interest be considered, said Smith.
Rapoport pointed out that we managers, and respect copyright, but also believe in the fair use doctrine, which is widely misunderstood and, thanks to ALAs pioneering survey of the library com- D. Program munity that is going to take place later this year we are going to be able to develop a program so that patrons all over the country can get legal advice and support on any copyright question to protect .sjsu.edu their free speech rights.
For more information, visit http://www.righttowrite.org.
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