Friday, September 8, 2017


Welcome to another academic year here at BRCC! Over the summer your BRCC librarians have been hard at work making changes and bringing in new additions to improve your library experience. Some of these improvements will be highlighted here. But many others will need to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Why not stop by the Magnolia Library today?

The lights burn bright at BRCC!

      We start with a recent American Libraries Association (ALA) brief that discussed reasons to use the library. Of course there are many benefits and reasons for why one would want to stop by their library, but these are just a few examples of how the library can complement the learning taking place in your courses, the focus on success, and ultimately gain more completers for BRCC.


Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy instruction provided to students during their initial coursework helps them acquire a common set of competencies for their undergraduate studies. The assessment findings from numerous AiA projects that focused on information literacy initiatives for freshmen and new students underscore that students receiving this instruction perform better in their courses than students who do not.

Library use increases student success. Several AiA studies point to increased academic success when students use the library. The analysis of multiple data points (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online database access, study room use, interlibrary loan) shows that students who used the library in some way achieved higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.

 Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Academic library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, retention).

 Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Several AiA projects document that library instruction improves students’ achievement of institutional core competencies and general education outcomes. The project findings demonstrate different ways that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including effective identification and use of information, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and civic engagement.

Library research consultations boost student learning. One-on-one or small-group reference and research assistance with a librarian enhances academic success, as documented by such factors as student confidence, GPAs, and improved achievement on course assignments.

    If you frequently use our catalog to access material, you may notice a few improvements. Our results page now features pictures of the cover of the book that has been retrieved. This is particularly helpful if you have seen the book somewhere before, or have a vague recollection of what the book looks like. This feature can also help you locate the book, once you begin looking in the stacks.

A sample search result with the book covers displayed.
     Once you have selected a book from the results list, a larger picture is displayed. You will also have an opportunity to examine the details of the book by clicking on "A look inside" in blue text located at the top of the result page.

   After clicking on "A Look Inside," you will have the opportunity to read a brief summary, look at the table of contents, or read some of the author's notes.

   Through collaboration with LOUIS, the Louisiana Library Network, online access to the Complete SAGE Knowledge Collection was recently purchased with grant funding from the Board of Regents.  As a member of the LOUIS consortium, the BRCC Library will provide access to all titles in the SAGE eBook collection to students, faculty and staff for one year.  Access to the SAGE collection is provided as part of an evidence-based acquisitions program.  After the initial subscription to the collection expires on July 31, 2018, a portion of the funding from the Board of Regents grant will be allotted to LOUIS member institutions to purchase a limited number of eBook titles from the SAGE Knowledge Collection to own in perpetuity.  Priority for selection will be given to eBooks selected  for use as course materials.  The 4,900+ titles in the SAGE eBook collection are DRM-free. Users can print or download chapters from the eBooks, and each title can be accessed by an unlimited number of simultaneous users.  The database also includes a selection of educational videos.

SAGE Log in screen

You can access the SAGE Knowledge Collection by going to mybrcc.eduàQuick LinksàBRCC Library àOnline Databases à Scroll to eBook Databasesà SAGE eBooks

The SAGE Knowledge Collection can be accessed on or off campus by clicking on the SAGE eBooks link.  When you are off campus, you will need to login using your Lnumber (with a capital L) as your user ID and your 6-digit birthdate, in the format mmddyy, as your PIN.

For more information on the SAGE Knowledge Collection, contact Lauren McAdams: or call the Library Reference Desk at (225) 216-8555.  Please let us know if you are using any of the SAGE eBooks in your classes or if there are specific titles that you would like to recommend for purchase.

Work Cited:

Gallaway, Teri.  “LOUIS Provides SAGE Knowledge eBooks to All Members.” LOUIS Lagniappe, vol. 4, no. 1, 2017, pp. 12-13,  Accessed 7 September 2017.

    Another resource that has received updates is the Libguides. We have 75 total guides. Most of them are created for a specific course or program here at BRCC. The new guides are cleaner, crisper, and easier to navigate.

Screenshot of the OER Libguide

    Your liaison librarian provides updates to these pages, so if there is some information or content that you would like added, contact your liaison. As you browse, you are sure to find amazing resources. For example, a link to the British Library in the Art Libguide can connect you to the scanned copies of Leonado da Vinci's notebook.

Screenshot from the open access British Library of da Vinci notebook

    Your BRCC librarians have already begun conducting library orientations and bibliographic instruction sessions. We have visited classes Jackson, New Roads, Port Allen, ATC, Hooper, Frazier, and Acadian. We are always happy to assist your instruction through information literacy. Being information literate is an important key for college success. We can help your students succeed!

Librarian, Laddawan Kongchum visiting students at the Central site. 

    If you would like to schedule a librarian in your class contact the library reference desk at 216-8555, or Your liaison librarian would also be happy to speak with you.

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 2017

Good luck with final exams and wrapping up your Spring 2017 semester! The librarians at Magnolia Library continue to develop outreach projects, and to keep you up-to-date on current trends and thoughts in higher education. Continue reading this blog for updates and comments related to these themes and ideas.

On Friday, April 28, in celebration of the Week of the Young Child, the Baton Rouge Community College Magnolia Library, Library Club, CDYC program, and Graphic Design department collaborated with the Capital Area Head Start, to share books and reading with the children. The Week of the Young Child, Apr. 24-28, 2017, is an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers, and families.

Interim Dean Jacqueline L. Jones
reads to children

Library Interim Dean Jacqueline L. Jones has worked throughout the year with the children, sharing the book Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn.  At the culminating event on Friday, the delighted children listened to the story and excitedly participated during their favorite parts. After the reading, the children were each given their own copy of the book inside a backpack designed to look like Lola’s.  The backpacks were provided by the BRCC Library Club and printed by the BRCC Graphic Design Department.  Through an additional collaboration with First Book, one hundred books were donated to the families of the Head Start children.

Library student workers preparing bags for children

Interim Dean Jacqueline L. Jones reads to children

 OER Update

There is some new information on the growing topic of OER's. To keep you abreast of developing trends, your BRCC Librarians have included one of those developments in this blog. OER's are rapidly increasing in popularity. The state of New York has even announced a plan to invest $8 million in OER's for SUNY and CUNY colleges (announcement linked here).  Other states may follow similar plans, and you are sure to hear more about OER in the future. You are also encouraged to speak with you librarian liaison should you need more information on how OER is impacting your subject area.

A recent announcement on Inside Higher Ed described how Follet and Lumen are working with OER's.

Straumsheim, C. (2017, April)  Inside Higher Ed A New Channel For OER. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from

Open educational resources provider Lumen Learning has a new partner in its effort to get more faculty members to use alternatives to commercial textbooks: the college bookstore.
Lumen, a start-up based in Portland, Ore., said on Monday that it had teamed up with Follett, creating a new channel for its course content to reach more faculty members. Follett operates more than 1,200 physical and 1,600 virtual bookstores, and will feature Lumen’s content alongside commercial educational materials from more than 7,000 publishers.

Additionally, Follett is contributing a “significant” amount to Lumen’s new $3.75 million financing round (the company declined to give a specific figure).
In interviews with Inside Higher Ed, the two companies gave slightly different explanations about why the partnership makes sense.

Follett emphasized its “long history of putting students and faculty first,” comparing the partnership with Lumen to its early entries into the textbook rental and “inclusive access” markets.

“It’s important for Follett to put its money where its mouth is,” said Roe J. McFarlane, chief digital officer at Follett Higher Education. “If we care about affordability and accessibility, paying lip service to this is no longer acceptable to the marketplace.”
Follett isn’t “saying OER is going to save the day,” McFarlane continued. But the company has received a “phenomenal amount of feedback” from colleges where faculty members are looking for affordable alternatives to commercial textbooks, he said, and it is making an effort to address those concerns.

“We are saying it is an option for those that want to consider it, and it is a very affordable option,” McFarlane said. “We want to make sure that we have that span of offerings, should they wish to teach with these materials.”
Follett has existing relationships with OER providers, but the partnership with Lumen is the first deal Follett has signed with a provider to offer its OER courseware, McFarland said.

For Lumen, the partnership is an effort to address one of the major issues facing the growth of OER: discoverability. Most faculty members say they would be happy to assign free or low-cost course materials -- as long as they are high quality -- but that they have trouble finding the right content for their classes.

A 2016 survey by the Babson Survey Research Group, for example, found issues related to the availability and discoverability of OER as the top four barriers that faculty members said prevent them from assigning those course materials -- among them, the lack of a comprehensive catalog of OER or colleagues who could point them in the right direction.
Lumen’s catalog includes OER for 78 different courses. Since its launch in 2013, the start-up has gained a greater understanding of why some faculty members use OER and others don’t, said Kim Thanos, founder and CEO of Lumen.

“One of the obstacles is this challenge of how we get OER out of a side path in terms of faculty consideration, review and adoption, and start to move it more into the mainstream process that faculty use to consider and adopt learning resources,” Thanos said. By teaming up with Follett, she added, Lumen is able to put OER in front of many more faculty members by using infrastructure they are already familiar with -- Follett’s platform.

Despite lingering issues around discoverability, open resources have gained traction in higher education -- particularly in high-enrollment general education courses, which have been the focus of many OER initiatives. Many of those initiatives are taking place at the state level. Most recently, politicians in New York reached a budget deal that includes $8 million to expand OER use at the City University of New York and State University of New York systems.

Lumen has also seen growth. So far this academic year, the company has delivered content to more than 100,000 students, which it says adds up to about $10 million in savings compared to if those students had bought commercial textbooks. The company is expecting to generate $10 million in savings this fall alone, suggesting the growth will continue, Thanos said.

Lumen has previously worked by signing contracts with individual colleges and helping them begin OER initiatives on their campuses, charging students a $10-25 “course support fee.” Students will pay the same to access OER through Follett’s platform.
The company will continue to work with colleges and universities, Thanos said. She added, “We’re not looking to do a similar partnership with other bookstore providers,” suggesting the deal with Follett is somewhat of an exclusive one.

The $3.75 million investment more than doubles what Lumen has raised to date. Thanos said the start-up will use the funds to accelerate its own growth.

“This is not a next round leading toward many more rounds,” Thanos said. “We do believe we’re on a nice path toward being financially self-sustaining and being a healthy, growing company.”

Fake News and higher education

Another article from Inside Higher Ed examines post-truth and the first year experience. In light of the current climate that trivializes journalistic standards and integrity it is important that we at BRCC, provide our students with the tools needed to understand what an argument is and how it is useful to learning. Keep reading and commenting on this blog for more information related to this topic. 

Duffy, J. (2017, May)  Inside Higher Ed Post-Truth and First Year Writing. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from

Perhaps the greatest challenge to academe in the current political environment is the ascendancy of a “post-truth,” “alternative fact,” “fake news” culture, in which claims are detached from evidence and words do not necessarily bear any relation to reality. In the culture of post-truth, social institutions formerly seen as mainstays of objective information -- the judiciary, news media and, not least, the university -- are widely regarded with skepticism, if not hostility, and their adherence to fact-based argument dismissed as elitism. Indeed, the very concept of a fact may have already become a casualty of the post-truth era.

“There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts,” Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes declared on Diane Rehm’s NPR show in December. “And so Mr. Trump’s tweets amongst a certain crowd,” Hughes continued, “…are truth.” Hughes was widely reviled for her assertion, but she appears to have correctly assessed the temperature of the times.
How should those of us in academe respond? How do we prepare our students to respond?
I offer here a modest suggestion: support your local first-year writing program.
For much of its history, the first-year writing class has been an arena for teaching values and virtues like honesty, accountability, fair-mindedness and intellectual courage that serve as the foundations, indeed, the essence of academic argument. Moreover, the first-year writing class promotes those values in thousands of institutions across the nation, serving tens of thousands of students each semester by introducing them to principles of ethical argumentation. In so doing, the first-year writing class offers a robust defense against the post-truth culture and provides a model for constructive, fact-based public discourse.

Consider, for example, the teaching of argument in the first-year writing class. While by no means uniform in their approaches, first-year writing courses commonly teach argument as a social practice, a discursive relationship between reader and writer. For that relationship to thrive -- or to borrow Aristotle’s term, to flourish -- readers and writers must be confident in making certain assumptions about one another.
The first of these is mutual honesty. Readers must be confident that claims made by the writer are not intended to deceive or manipulate; you will not read much further in this essay if you conclude I am lying to you. The author, in turn, writes in the expectation, or at least the hope, that readers will not willfully distort the writer’s message but will offer a fair hearing of the argument.

Reader and writer may be skeptical of one another’s claims, and they may disagree vehemently about given policies. Yet if each enters the argument trusting in the basic honesty of the other, there is the possibility of dialogue between them. In the first year-writing class, accordingly, students are taught that successful arguments begin with relationships of trust grounded in expectations of honest exchange.
The honesty of claims, however, takes us only so far. Students in the first-year writing class learn that assertions made in an academic argument are but one part of a pairing, the first line of a couplet. When writers make an assertion, first-year writing students are told, they must supply evidence to support that claim. They must be accountable for the things they say and the language they use in saying it. “Accountability,” the philosopher Margaret Urban Walker has written, “means a presumption that someone can be called to answer, to stand before others for an examination of and judgment upon his or her behavior.” When students in the first-year writing course are taught to provide evidence appropriate to their claims, they are learning they will be called upon to answer, to stand before others, to provide the proofs by which their claims may be judged. They are learning something of the commitments that accountable writers make to their readers and themselves.

Nor do such commitments end with providing evidence. While the culture of post-truth seeks to quash competing truths, students in the first-year writing class learn that successful arguments include a healthy consideration of other views. To be credible in an academic argument, students learn in first-year writing courses, writers must attend to evidence and opinions that contradict their own.

What's more, they must do so equitably, generously and fearlessly -- always willing to be one of those, like Socrates in Plato’s Gorgias, “quite as ready to be refuted as to refute.” To acknowledge the views of other people in an essay -- the practice first-year writing teachers typically call the counterargument -- is more than simply a convention. Rather, it is the rhetorical expression of the virtues of fair-mindedness, respectfulness and intellectual courage -- the qualities so conspicuously absent in the culture of post-truth.
Finally, argument in the first-year writing class teaches practices of intellectual humility. Many people have noted how academics represent argument in the language of conflict and war. We attack others’ ideas. We gain and lose territory. We are victorious, or we are decisively defeated. This is the language of intellectual domination.

But argument can equally be understood as a practice of radical humility, in the sense that to argue is to submit ourselves to the judgment of others, offering up our ideas for scrutiny, criticism and rejection. Moreover, while argument in the first-year writing class is frequently taught as the practice of persuasion, it is just as often represented as a process of inquiry, exploration and the reconciliation of diverse views. Understood this way, argument functions not as a truncheon for dominating others but rather as an invitation to collaborate, to reason together and, perhaps, to find and inhabit common ground.

If the next four years of the current administration are anything like the first months -- and the president has provided no reason to think otherwise -- we can look forward to a rising tide of alternative facts. As those in the academic community -- including college presidents, provosts, trustees and deans -- consider how best to meet such challenges, one site that may stand as a model of principled resistance is the first-year writing class, where post-truth finds no purchase and the commitment to fact-based discourse is unwavering.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

APRIL 2017

OER Update

There have been many developments in OER across institutions of higher education in the State of Louisiana. Your BRCC library have been following the trends and here are a few examples: 

At UNO a first step was taken toward promoting OER last year during Open Education Week with the faculty-staff-student forum, in partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning and the First Year Experience Office, titled "Reimagining Textbooks." Faculty who incorporated OER into their classes spoke about the pedagogical benefits and the student and staff person (from First Year Experience) discussed the impact that textbook costs have on students. The outcomes of this forum were that ideas were shared and partnerships were established around this issue with some other units on campus.

At LSU, interest in OER is just getting started. Much of this interest was spurred on the LOUIS project and the funding to host an Open Textbook Workshop, where faculty received $200 for attendance and review of an open textbook. 

LSU Student Government has also gotten involved in OER adoption, and Student Government students are increasingly excited about OER's. In part, this is because some of LSU's Student Government leaders attended an SEC workshop in 2015 focused on advancing open access and OER's. SPARC was involved in coordinating that event. More recently, Student Government worked with the libraries to put together an OER week (occuring earlier in the semester). 

These are just some examples of what is happening around the state. If you would like to partner with your BRCC librarians in a similar idea, please let us know. We are continuing to promote OER's where we can, and we are currently working on a revised workshop. More details to follow soon. 

Not sure how to find OER and open textbooks to use for your courses? One new resource that can help is the LOUIS Find Textbooks tool, created by librarians from around the state, which matches courses from the state common course catalog with available OER and open textbooks: The Find Textbooks tool currently includes only resources from the Open Textbook Library and MERLOT, but is a good place to start if you are interested in finding OER to use for your courses. 

Reach out to your librarian

      Your BRCC librarians have been very active lately with all sorts of programming and educational opportunities. We participated in an open house event, partnered with Artsfest to bring in a children's book author, and in two weeks we will partnering with ALC in their LNAP event on May 2nd.

Dean Jones and Reference Librarian Peter Klubek set up
the library table at the Open House 2017.
Dean Jones meeting with prospective students at the
Open House 2017.

      These opportunities are always the perfect time to meet with you librarian liaison, discuss ideas, and learn more about what your BRCC library can do for you and your classes. Got an idea? Reach out and share it! The librarians are always interested in new ways to help.

Author Julia Cook kicking off Artsfest at her book talk sponsored
by BRCC Magnolia Library

Reference Librarian Kathy Seidel, student Vanessa White
Author Julia Cook, and Reference Librarian Peter Klubek
at the Julia Cook Author Talk.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 2017

This month, your BRCC Librarians have identified two new tools that you can use to find information related to your course. Both of these resources could be used to enhance your teaching and present your course material in a new and refreshed perspective. Finally, this month also includes a reminder about the upcoming book sale and a call to volunteer.

 What Works Clearinghouse is a new resource identified by your BRCC librarians. We have tested and played with this website and found some pretty useful information. It is particularly suited for research in the teaching/education related areas. 

The advantage of What Works Clearing House is that existing research is reviewed on topics like programs, products, and related policies within education. The stated goal of this clearinghouse is to make information available to educators in order to effectively make evidence-based decisions.   

Why not take a look and see what you can find?

 What Works Clearing House:

A recent article on Inside Higher Ed described a new feature available through JSTOR. The article by Barbara Fister is included below. 

By Barbara Fister

A quick note: I've been working with an intern to track some research down, but the keywords are slushy and the controlled vocabulary in the databases we're using just hasn't been cutting it. Mostly, we've been able to make some progress by seeing who is citing the articles that seem most relevant, but even that traditional citation-tracing method isn't producing quite as much as I hoped.

But then I happened on a nifty new tool today, the JSTOR Labs Text Analyzer, thanks to the kind of serendipty my Twitter community seems to promote. Basically, you upload a document (something you wrote, a text you're reading, an article PDF, a syllabus, even) and . . . something magical happens. The analyzer finds patterns in the text and looks for similar documents. The words used in the pattern appear on one side. There are sliders for how much you want to emphasize some concepts. There's a collection of keywords roughly sorted by type, and you choose which ones are most relevant to your interests or decide which ones aren't of interest. You can even add your own words.  If you want your results to emphasize current content, there's a checkbox for that. Results can be limited to the JSTOR content your library subscribes to, or you can search it all to see what you might want to obtain through interlibrary loan. It only surfaces JSTOR content, but that's a lot of good material.

Maybe it was the nature of the fuzzy, interdisciplinary topic I was trying (and failing) to capture through my usual methods, but this tool surfaced stuff I hadn't previously seen, and it was easy to scroll through and quickly browse and select the most promising results. The interface is clean and intuitive (which, I'm sorry to say, can't be said of library database interfaces generally speaking). I'll be playing with it and will see what my students think of it, but at first glance, all I can say is WOW. This is cool.

Now I need to explore the other projects that Alex Humphreys and the rest of the JSTOR Labs team have been up to. Fascinating stuff.

JSTOR Text analyzer:

If you are interested in volunteering at the book sale, e-mail Kathy Seidel at It’s great fun, and you get first dibs on the books!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 2017

Lately, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the idea of "Fake News." There are ways to determine the legitimacy of a news story, and librarians are here to help. Your BRCC librarians have composed a special guide that can be accessed by both students and faculty. The screen shot below illustrates what this guide looks like, and the kinds of information you can access while there.

BRCC Magnolia Library Fake News Libguide

A link to this guide can be found here.  It is important that we all understand how information, and news in particular, is transmitted. Please share this with your students.

The Baton Rouge Community College Magnolia Library will host a book talk and discussion with author and scholar, Thomas J. Durant, Jr., Ph.D, on his latest book, “A View from the Inside…Thirty-Six Years of Desegregation,” on Wed., Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Reading Room. The event is free and open to the public.
The Magnolia Library Book Talk is a 20 to 30 minute presentation, followed by a Q&A, refreshments and time for open discussion with the author.
When Thomas J. Durant, Jr., Ph.D. arrived on LSU’s campus in 1973 to begin work as a professor of sociology, desegregation was still a work in progress. The university had hired its first African-American faculty member only two years earlier. For the next 36 years, Dr. Durant was in a unique position to observe the effects of racial integration at the highest levels of education. 
“A View from the Inside…Thirty-Six Years of Desegregation” is based on documentation from the earliest days of LSU’s desegregation, and on Dr. Durant’s personal experience as a sociology professor for almost four decades. 
In the book, Dr. Durant provides a detailed account of his journey from a small racially segregated town in north Louisiana to a large predominately white university, where he became engaged in the racial desegregation movement, during his 36-year tenure as a professor. Based on personal observations, experiences, documents, and reports, the book reveals how desegregation policies, programs, and events, and the actions of African American students, faculty, and staff, shaped the course of desegregation, cultural diversity, race relations, and cultural transformation of the university.
“This book fills a gap in the history of desegregation of a historically white public university that has not, heretofore, been revealed,” said -Joyce Marie Jackson, Ph.D. - Director, African & African American Studies/Professor, Dept. of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University.

Thomas J. Durant, Jr., Ph.D. – emeritus professor of sociology at Louisiana State University – is an author, entrepreneur, scholar, speaker and a community volunteer. Preceding the aforementioned book, he has published three books: “Plantation Society and Race Relations: The Origins of Inequality,”  “Our Roots Run Deep: History of the River Road African American Museum,” and “The Charity Hospitals of Louisiana: A Story of Poverty, Politics, Public Health, and Public Interest.” He has also published numerous articles in various scholarly journals. A native of Mansfield, La., Dr. Durant now makes his home in Baton Rouge.

Your BRCC Magnolia librarians continue to provide quality services to all BRCC sites and activities. Recently Laddawan Kongchum made a visit to the Automotive Technology Center (ATC), and addressed BRCC courses at this location.

Librarian Laddawan Kongchum speaking to a class at ATC

There is a liaison librarian linked to your site. Please call the library if you are unsure about  your liaison contact (225-216-8555). We would be happy to help your courses at any of our 9 locations in any way that we can, including bibliographic instruction sessions, shuttling library resources and materials, or meeting with students one-on-one for library consultations.

In addition, the library is once again participating with the ALC for their Long Night Against Procrastination. The library will be open with extended hours, and librarians will be on hand to answer research questions or assist with finding library resources. 

Librarians Lauren McAdams, and Peter Klubek
assisting students during the Fall '16 LNAP

Friday, December 9, 2016

December 2016

Dr. Joshua Kim.
Director of Digital Learning Initiatives,


      Your BRCC Magnolia Library faculty librarians could not ask for a better spokesman. A recent article on Inside Higher Ed  by Joshua Kim, who is the Director of Digital Learning Initiatives at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, highlights the importance of teaching in teams and utilizing librarians in those teams. Kim emphasizes working with librarians in on-line learning, but what he discusses is applicable to all college learning models. Read the article below.

      Teaching is changing. What was once a solo pursuit has increasingly become a team sport.
I’m not talking about co-faculty taught courses. Rather, the team that I’m thinking about includes a mix of faculty and non-faculty educators. I’m here to make the case that a librarian is a key member of a course development and teaching team.

      First - before we talk about librarians - let’s talk about teaching teams. My experience with building a team of faculty and non-faculty educators to design and run courses comes out of online learning. I started my career as a faculty member, and for years I created, delivered, and evaluated my courses all on my own. Sometimes I would have teaching assistants, but mostly I was a solo operator. An educational sole proprietor. It wasn’t until I started to work on online programs - first as an online course faculty member, and then as someone managing an online program - that I was introduced to the team educational model. As a faculty member I started to work with an instructional designer. Later, I started working as an instructional designer - shifting my role from teaching the course to partnering with the professors to develop online courses that they would later teach.
Over the years I have been part of an effort to expand the membership, and the skills, of online course development and teaching teams.  We started to include media educators (visual instructional designers), assessment experts, developers (for simulations), and yes - librarians.
Recently, we have started to take the course team model developed (in my experience) for online learning to residential (and blended) courses.  This team model may not be appropriate for every course - but for larger enrollment introductory courses this team model works really well.

Let’s get back to librarians. There are 3 immediate and obvious reasons that a librarian should be included on every faculty / non-faculty educator course development and teaching team:

Reason 1 - Experience:  
      The reality is that librarians have been partnering with faculty on their teaching for decades. Long before the job of instructional designer was even created, librarians have been working with instructors on courses.  The role that academic librarians have been playing in course development and teaching is varied.  Sometimes, librarians worked with professors on developing the curriculum for the course.  Sometimes, the partnership was around assignments.  Often, a librarian worked with an instructor to design the research projects that the students would complete in the course - and would then spend time both in the classroom teaching research techniques - as well as working directly and intensively with the students in the class on their research projects. (More on this below). There are lots of ways that librarians have been partnering with faculty for decades on teaching.  The point is that librarians have a great deal of experience in this team model.  Librarians have strong relationships with individual faculty members.  Librarians enjoy the respect and esteem of their faculty colleagues.  New team members (the instructional designers, media educators, developers, etc.) can learn a great deal from the experience of our librarian colleagues in our efforts to improve the quality of our collaboration with faculty.

Reason 2 - Working Directly With Students:
      Librarians do something on course teams that instructional designers and media educators rarely do - they work directly with students. In my experience as an instructional designer I rarely had opportunities to develop deep educational relationships with the students who enrolled in the courses that I worked on. This is not true of librarians. A librarian will often work with the faculty member to design student assignments that require research - and then work intensively with the students in the class on their research projects.

      Many students report that their relationships with librarians, relationships developed in the context of doing research for their courses, is amongst the most important and formative of all their educational experiences. The opportunity to work closely with a librarian has many benefits for students. The librarian is usually not the person who is grading the student work. Rather, the only motivation of the librarian is to make the student as successful as possible. The librarian will take all the time that is necessary to make sure that the student has the tools, knowledge, materials, and confidence needs to succeed.

      Having a librarian on a course team is one way to connect the work of course development and teaching. A librarian is an educator who, along with the professor in the course, sees the whole course process through. They will learn first-hand how the course design translates into student learning. This knowledge can then be brought back into the process of course re-design, as a course is never really done.

Reason 3 - Content, Quality, and Open Educational Resources:
      The third reason that I want to call out as to why librarians are an essential team member for the creation / running of high quality (online and residential) courses is content.  Librarians have always played an essential role in partnering with faculty to  select, secure, procure, and make accessible (in every sense of the word) the content (articles, chapters, videos, datasets, etc.) that end up on the syllabus.  Librarians have always been a bridge between the teaching goals of the professor and the resources available through the institutional library that professors use to teach, and that students use to learn.  And of course, librarians have always worked directly with students on their class related assignments and research.

      What is different now is that in an age of information ubiquity, the opportunity to collaborate with an expert on information science (a librarian) is an essential ingredient if students are to create quality work.  In the age of Google, the value of a librarian has never been greater.  Students are good at finding information.  They are not good at judging the quality of the information that they find.  Learning how to evaluate the veracity of information is a hard-fought skill.  There is no better educator for this task than a librarian.

      The other area where librarians are becoming essential in the course development process is in fulfilling our growing commitment to utilize open educational resources.  We use open educational resources for many reasons.  We want to ensure that all of our students have access to the course materials.  We are concerned about the costs of course materials.  We think that learning how to do research is a lifelong skill, and we want to use materials in our teaching that is also accessible to learners once they graduate.  Librarians are the indispensable partner in the open educational resource revolution.  The extent in which we are committed to evolving our courses and programs to take advantage of open educational resources will determine the extent in which we invite librarians on to our course development and teaching teams.

      Can you help round out the story of how librarians are currently working - and should be working - with faculty and other non-faculty educators (instructional designers etc.) on course development and teaching teams? How have you seen the role of librarians change as teaching and learning has changed? Can you make an economic argument (productivity) in addition to a quality argument for investing in librarians as members of course teams? What do you see as the roadblocks and the challenges involved in integrating instructors, instructional designers, media educators, assessment experts, developers, and librarians into course development and teaching teams?
How do you make the case for librarians as educators - essential partners and collaborators in today’s high quality residential and online courses?

Kim, Joshua. Nov. 30, 2016. The Librarian on the Teaching Team. Retrieved December 1, 2016 from


      As the semester wraps up the library stands ready to help you with all of your research needs. We recently participated in the Long Night Against Procrastination (LNAP) put on by the ALC. We offered a "Research 101" at the LNAP event and were visited by 7 students at our workshop. Of course we were also on hand to answer questions on the fly during the library's extended hours for LNAP.

Librarians Lauren McAdams and Peter Klubek
leading the " Research 101" workshop
in the library. 
      We also set up an adult coloring station. Studies have shown that coloring reduces stress and increases relaxation. Adult coloring stations have appeared in libraries across the country. What better way to add to the experience at LNAP than by offering such a station at BRCC?

A student coloring during the LNAP event.

      Because final exams are a stressful time, we have extended the coloring station throughout the final exam period. Please enjoy the coloring as you de-stress.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 2016

      In support of the Board of Regents’ open educational resources (OER) initiative with Affordable Learning LOUISiana*, and with the help of the staff at LOUIS, the Magnolia Library is pleased to provide access to over 250 freely available eTextbooks from the Open Textbook Library.  These eTextbooks are discoverable through our online catalog search. 

      Through this search, you will find both electronic textbooks that BRCC was able to purchase through the Board of Regents initiative, and openly available textbooks that are part of the Open Textbook Library.  The advantage of having these open educational resources available through the library catalog search is that they are more easily found by students.  You can read more about the Open Textbook Library here:

To search the collection, click on the eTextbooks link to find the following screen:

A Keyword search for “Biology” yields the following results:

Clicking on the first title, and then to its Catalog Record, you will find the link to the book at the bottom of the record:

      It is important to note that the eTextbooks from the Open Textbook Library are not the textbooks currently being used in classes.  Right now these eTextbooks can serve as supplemental materials for your students.  If you are interested in creating an OER or using an existing one for your class, please contact us in the library.
If you are wondering what other libraries are doing to support affordable course content and open education resources, take a look at this SPEC Kit: SPEC Kit 351: Affordable Course Content and Open Educational Resources (July 2016)

*Affordable Learning LOUISiana, an initiative of LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, works on a national, state, and local level to develop partnerships between libraries and faculty to reduce student expenditures for required course materials. This is accomplished through promotion of open educational resources and by leveraging the cooperative abilities of the consortia. 

      The Mid-City Magnolia  Library will be open until 10:00PM on Tuesday, November 29 for Long Night Against Procrastination. Students who need help finding scholarly sources for their papers can speak to the librarian at the second floor reference desk for expert assistance in finding the authoritative sources that they need for their research.

      The library will also offer an adult coloring station for students who want to wind down and de-stress as they complete projects and prepare for finals. Coloring sheets, markers, and colored pencils will be provided.

Coloring Station held at the White Light Night 2015.

More information about Long Night Against Procrastination can be found in the Online Learning Center Libguide.

      In October, your BRCC library was very pleased to host a book talk with Clint Smith. Smith is a writer, teacher and Ph.D candidate at Harvard University. He is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and was named the 2013 Christine D. Sarbanes teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council.

      Smith is also a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, a Cave Canem Fellow, and his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Guardian, and Boston Review. His TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America have been collectively viewed more than five million times. His first full-length collection of poems, Counting Descent was published in September 2016 by Write Bloody Publishing.

    The event was very well attended, as Smith shared his experience and wisdom with our students. Our next visiting author will be our own Dr. Ikanga Tchomba as he discusses African Governance. Dr. Tchomba will host an open dialog on Nov. 10th at 6:00pm in the library reading room.

In memory of Shereen Marx

       The Baton Rouge Community College Magnolia Library is pleased to offer the Shereen Marx Book Award to an eligible student. The award is for a value of $300 to be used for the purchase of textbooks at the BRCC Bookstore for Spring 2017. The requirements for the award follow:

* Minimum 3.0 GPA overall for all courses taken through Fall semester 2016
* Minimum of 12 credit hours completed at BRCC
* Must be working towards a Technical Diploma, Certificate or Associate Degree from BRCC
* One letter of reference from a BRCC instructor
* Description of your plans for completing your program at BRCC and how you will use your diploma, certificate or degree

Please email to request a copy of the application to apply for this award. The deadline is Monday, December 19, 2016.

      The BRCC Library Club is once again participating in the Toys-For-Tots program.

 "Toys for Tots" in an initiative of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, whose goal is "to deliver, through a new toy a Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens."

This year the drive will be taken to all BRCC sites. Look for the festive collection box on your campus and please donate new, unwrapped toys. The BRCC toy drive will run from November 6 to December 4, 2016.

Look for the collection point on your BRCC site similar to the one pictured below at the Acadian site. 

Acadian Toys-for-Tots collection point

Associate Dean Jaqueline Jones reading to the
Head Start Students at the Acadian site.

      The Library has begun a weekly reading session at the Acadian site. Above is a photo of one of Jackie Jones's reading visits with 3-4 year olds at the Acadian Headstart. They have been reading the "Lola" series. So far they have read, Lola at the library and Lola loves stories by author, Ann McQuinn. Jones said that she plans to read the entire "Lola" series to the children over the next few weeks.

   Your BRCC librarians all participated in the 2016 Louisiana Book Festival held at Capitol Park.

This is a great way to raise awareness of BRCC and its programs in the community and city of Baton Rouge.

Logo and banner of the 2016 Louisiana Book Festival
Jackie Jones with Curious George at the Book Festival