Joining the Connect.Ed blog (InfoSavvy)

You may or may not know that the library shares a blog with the Center for Technology Enhanced Learning  and the Center for Collaboration and Development.  Since that blog, Connect.Ed, serves the same audience that InfoSavvy does, I am joining the Connect.Ed family of bloggers.  Here is my first post.

Stay tuned for particulars on the transition away from InfoSavvy.  I plan to do what I have been doing, only on the new blog.  In the meantime thank you for your support!


Posted by on April 28th, 2016 Comments Off

World Book Night 2016 (InfoSavvy)

World Book Night 2016 logo

 Image from the World Book Night website

To honor World Book Night (April 23) let’s look at some different ebook platforms.  I’ll focus on ones the library uses.

Let’s start with SpringerLink.  Though it is technically a publisher’s platform extending beyond ebooks, SpringerLink provides access to many ebooks, particularly in the health sciences.  Without creating a special account you can print individual chapters.

The library also subscribes to the ebrary Academic Complete Ebooks Collection.  Again you don’t need an account to download selected pages, though an account allows you to highlight or annotate.

EBSCO has an Ebook Collection as well.  The interface resembles its interface for article databases (Think of Academic Search Complete.).

Let’s not forget CredoReference or the Gale Virtual Reference Library.  After all many of the entries come from reference books.

The Association of College & Research Libraries (2015, Information Creation as a Process section) describes how different products can suit different needs.  Different book formats have features that meet different needs.  Enjoy your favorite books in the format that you most enjoy!


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015).  Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from ACRL website :


Posted by on April 21st, 2016 Comments Off

National Poetry Month and info lit (InfoSavvy)

Orange Roses

Image from

For National Poetry Month 2016 I salute an underrated device, the epigraph, “a motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme” (Epigraph, 2011).  How do we attribute such a quote when performing a poem orally?

Hamilton College  (n.d.) offers tips on citing sources in oral presentations, yet a poetry reading is not an academic conference.  We could include the attribution in a chapbook or broadside, but such items change hands at some, not all, open mics.  When I read a poem with an epigraph, I name the author of the quote and sometimes give the title of the source (if it is not cumbersome).  I can give interested listeners fuller information afterward.

The point is to attribute the quote in a way appropriate to the setting. The ACRL Framework makes a similar point (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015, Information Creation as a Process section and Information has Value section).

An epigraph is not exclusive to poetry.  Still, its use in a poetry performance models how we solve an information problem.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015).  Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from

ACRL website :

Epigraph. (2011). In The American Heritage Dictionary of the English language. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from

Hamilton College, Department of Rhetoric and Communication, Oral Communication Center.  (n.d.). Using citations and avoiding plagiarism in oral presentations.  Retrieved


Posted by on April 14th, 2016 Comments Off

National Library Week 2016 (InfoSavvy)

Image from the American Library Association

National Library Week 2016 (April 10-16) has as its theme Libraries Transform.  The slogan raises an important question: whom or what do libraries transform?  I’ll focus on academic libraries or–more accurately–librarians.

At our best we librarians transform student perceptions about academic work.  We strive to make the research process less intimidating.  Increased confidence and competence can extend beyond the student’s college career.

We transform our own perceptions and skill sets, as we encounter new demands.  These demands come from new technologies, campus initiatives, and more.  Then we share the knowledge we gain.  In turn the people we inform can use that knowledge.  Soon the learning transforms the campus.

Though I present an ideal, this ideal is lifelong learning.   It is information literacy.  National Library Week keeps the ideal in mind.

Posted by on April 7th, 2016 Comments Off

InfoSavvy Spring Break 2016

Daffodil in front of a stone wall

Image from

I hope you had a safe, pleasant spring break.  I have been on vacation, too.  Stay tuned for a regular post this Thursday.

Posted by on April 4th, 2016 Comments Off

Resources for alumni 2016 (InfoSavvy)

Trail in a woodland park

Image from

Soon graduation will usher in another cohort of new alumni.  The Alumni Cards link outlines the library services still available to our graduates.  Let’s not forget the general USM Alumni page.


I’ll also leave our soon-to-be alums with the resources listed in:

Best free reference websites: Seventeenth annual list. (2015). Reference & User Services Quarterly, 55(1), 61-64.

This adds to a growing resource list developed over years of annual alumni posts, tagged as “alumni.”


Share the list with your students.  Use it yourselves.  I close with congratulations and best wishes to our graduates.

Posted by on March 24th, 2016 Comments Off

Information Literacy 101 Workshop (InfoSavvy)

Would you like to learn more about the ACRL Framework?  Partnered with the Center for Collaboration & Development, the library will be presenting a workshop, Information Literacy 101:

Date: Monday March 21, 2016

Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Place: Glickman Library 312

The workshop has been postponed.  Stay tuned for the new date.

Posted by on March 14th, 2016 Comments Off

Taking time to plan (InfoSavvy)

My two management courses shared one common piece of advice: take time to plan.  What does this maxim have to do with information literacy?

The ACRL Framework (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015) acknowledges “the time skills, time, and effort needed to produce knowledge” (Information Has Value: Dispositions section).  If knowledge takes time to create,  wouldn’t that time include the time to organize the information involved?

Most importantly the Framework (ACRL, 2015) describes research as iterative.  How many of us take the time to plan in some situations but still let ourselves get rushed in others?  Speaking for myself I fall into that trap.  When we learn the lesson yet again, we can apply it to yet another situation.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015).  Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from ACRL website :

Posted by on March 10th, 2016 Comments Off

Everyday information literacy (InfoSavvy)

Front loading washing machine

Image by Jorge Díaz from Santiago de Chile, Chile (flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Recently I bought my first new washer and dryer.  To quote Stebbins (2015) I found the research process “reflective, iterative, and most of all, messy” (para. 7).

I had to reflect on what I wanted from my machines–beyond simply units that  worked.  Did I want top-loaders or front-loaders?  What settings or cycles would I use most?  What bells and whistles didn’t matter?

The process was certainly iterative.  In store I saw certain models.  Then I read up on them and asked follow-up questions.  The answers to those questions led to more careful reading on my preferred models, and to final questions as I narrowed my choices.

Indeed the process was messy.  Information sources, human and otherwise, didn’t always agree with one another.  I had to factor in the timing of sales.  I had to learn new terminology (“automatic load balancing, for ex.) as well.

The experience was a good reminder of how everyday information use matters.  How do we build upon students’ lived experiences with information?  How do we use information in situations that are unfamiliar to us?


Stebbins, L. (2015, December 10). Markers of quality: The Role of librarians in everyday life information literacy [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Posted by on March 3rd, 2016 Comments Off

The Fourth Annual Savvies (InfoSavvy)

Glass star

Image from


Welcome to the fourth annual InfoSavvy Movie Awards!  As usual the credits come from IMDB.  Let’s get right to this year’s winners.

For outstanding movie:

The Social Network (2010): Dir. David Fincher; Written by Aaron Sorkin (screenplay) & Ben Mezrich (book); Starring  Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake.

Information literacy concerns the whole information ecosystem, and social networking is certainly part of the ecosystem.  Though the film is a fictionalized account, it sparks discussions of privacy and copyright as well.

Swades: We the people (2004): Dir. Ashutosh Gowariker; Written by M.G. Sathya, Ashutosh Gowariker, and others;   Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi,  Kishori Balal.

The film’s hero, a NASA scientist, returns to India and becomes part of the life in a remote village.  He encourages the villagers to define their own needs, instead of having the government define them.  This theme takes ACRL Standard 1 in an interesting direction.  By the way I know the couple on whom the movie is loosely based.

For noteworthy scene:

Dreamgirls (2006): Dir. Bill Condon; Written by Bill Condon (screenplay) & Tom Eyen (book); Starring Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy,  Jamie Foxx.

The song “One night only” starts slowly, juxtaposed with a funeral scene.  Then the tempo picks up, and the scene shifts to an album launch.  Packaged differently the same music and lyrics serve as dirge or party tune.  Likewise, information packaged differently can serve different purposes.

The Imitation Game (2014): Dir. Morten Tyldum; Written by Graham Moore & Andrew Hodges (book); Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode.

In the opening voiceover Alan Turing claims that he has the power because he has the knowledge.  Similarly Taylor (2005) notes the power dynamics of information in mystery novels.  The ACRL Framework (2015)  addresses issues of information and power.


For past winners check out my 2/21/13, 3/6/14, and 2/26/15 posts.  Enjoy the shows!


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Chicago, IL: Author.

Taylor, R.H. (2005). “It’s about who controls the information”: Mystery antagonists and information literacy. Clues, 24(1), 7-17. doi: 10.3200/CLUS.24.1.7-17

Posted by on February 25th, 2016 Comments Off