CARLI Research Subsidy Program: 2015-2016 Funded Projects

Title: Assessment of International Students: Their University and Library Experiences

Primary Researcher: Melissa Burel and Sarah Park

CARLI Member: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to understand the experience of international students on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and to discern how the library can support their information needs. International students are a growing population on the SIUE campus and within the state of Illinois, so the results of this investigation will apply to a large number of librarians who desire to meet the needs of this growing population. The study will take place over the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years and will solicit information from roughly 400 international students. Of these students, there is a relatively even graduate to undergraduate student ratio, with the majority of international students emanating from India and Turkey. The researchers will utilize a mixed-method approach to capture this information, including surveys, photo diaries, and interviews. The analysis of the data will be from a grounded-theory approach using Qualtrics survey software as well as hand coding. Recent literature indicates the necessity of libraries to be receptive to and understanding of the unique needs of international students. While the literature covers many specific aspects such as English language skills, plagiarism, acculturation, or bibliographic instruction, this study seeks to provide a broader understanding of international students.

Title: Assessment of Rural High School Students Information Literacy Skills: Does One Time Instruction Influence Post Test Scores

Primary Researcher: Daneen Richardson

CARLI Member: Western Illinois University

Abstract: This study addresses the gap between high school students' current information literacy (IL) skills and what they will need to know in college. Purpose: Positively impact the IL skills of our population through assessment and tailored instruction. Population: Rural high school students in high-poverty communities in West Central Illinois. Methodology: Administer pre-test to assess IL skills using the TRAILS assessment tool. Deliver instruction session targeting students' weak areas. Re-test to demonstrate improvement. Outcomes: Determine population's baseline IL skills. Design and implement effective instruction to improve skills. Benefits: Illinois librarians can learn from our targeted model of instruction, which uses data on students' skills to effectively meet students' needs.

Title: Practical Management for Librarians: The RISWS Approach for Effective Library Team Management

Primary Researcher: Rana Hutchinson Salzmann

CARLI Member: Meadville Lombard Theological School

Other Researchers:

  • Valerie Neylon, Richard J. Daley College, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Gabrielle Toth, Chicago State University

Abstract: The simple title of Rachel Singer Gordon’s 2005 book The Accidental Library Manager tells an important story. Many librarians are hired or promoted into management positions without the benefit of specific management training. Only one of the two ALA-accredited MLIS programs in Illinois requires completion of a management course. Middle-management librarians assume leadership positions because they are knowledgeable about the “stuff” of good librarianship (liaison work with department faculty, library instruction programs, etc.). Meanwhile, the how-to of good management practice is left to on-the-job happenstance. To address this gap, this project trains a small cohort of academic librarians in a practical, agnostic, hands-on system, Recording/Interpreting/Solving Workflow Solutions (RISWS). RISWS gives managers a regular stream of data from their employees about what they need and are accomplishing—so managers can manage people, not just projects, in a data-driven environment. By implementing RISWS in three libraries (Meadville Lombard Theological School, Richard J. Daley College, and one TBD), we will distill best practices and lessons to share with the Illinois library community via a conference presentation and a series of blog posts. Further, the cohort model will demonstrate the benefits of collaborative, reflective pedagogy in professional development as we learn and “do” RISWS in our libraries.

Title: Scholarship Policies and Attitudes at CCCU Colleges and Universities

Primary Researcher: Craighton Hippenhammer

CARLI Member: Olivet Nazarene University

Other Researcher:

  • Garrett Trott, Corban University

Abstract:  The proposed project will survey the conservative Protestant members of the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) to determine what their faculty scholarship policies are and their attitudes towards scholarship in general. CCCU institutions have traditionally emphasized teaching rather than research, but with scholars like Ernest Boyer attempting to widen the definition of scholarship within the academy, there has been a willingness to rethink scholarship. The goal will be to survey as many of the liberal arts CCCU members as we can contact, including the nine that are in Illinois.

This group of religious colleges and universities has never been surveyed as a group as to their faculty scholarship procedures and expectations, so it is important to establish a baseline which can be used to discover whether their scholarship policies and attitudes are in the process of changing. There is some evidence in the literature that that is the case, but the extent of change is unknown. The survey will include questions asked before in previous surveys such as Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered (1990) and feedback from individual disciplines such as Diamond and Adam’s “The Disciplines Speak (1995). There will also be questions pertinent to the Christian college venue and to their librarians.

Title: Unlocking Chicago’s History: A Guide to Conducting Research in Chicago City Government Records

Primary Researcher: Dave Green

CARLI Member: Northeastern Illinois University

Other Researcher:

  • Joshua Salzmann, Northeastern Illinois University

Abstract: A result of nearly two centuries of institutional transitions, the records of Chicago City government have been scattered among various institutions. Collections exist in city, state, and private repositories. In 1993, the closure of the Chicago Municipal Reference Library to the public only increased the difficulty of an already challenging task for researchers: determining what city records exist, where they are located, and how to access and interpret their information.

Today, institutions and various offices of the city government hold interrelated collections of city records. At a series of meetings in 2014 of archivists, librarians and researchers, the need for a comprehensive guide to conducting research in Chicago city government documents became clear. Researchers did not understand where to go for city documents, and archivists and librarians did not understand how their holdings related to collections at other repositories.

Through onsite visits and interviews with archivists and librarians, the Ronald Williams Library will create a guide to conducting research in Chicago city government documents across institutions. The guide has the potential to benefit the thousands of researchers, librarians, and archivists who try to navigate the disjointed and often undocumented landscape of Chicago’s city government records.