Holy Names University Receives Selective Sparks! Grant to Develop Multimedia Information Literacy Instruction

The Paul J. Cushing Library at Holy Names University (HNU) is one of only 14 institutions nationwide to receive a 2013 Sparks! Ignition Grant for Libraries and Museums. The grant, which was awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the amount of $23,660, supports the development of multimedia recordings providing information literacy instruction.

Like many higher education institutions, HNU’s need for information literacy instruction on topics such as library research and proper citations, exceeds what the librarian staff is able to provide. This grant allows the library to extend the reach of face-to-face instruction through digital learning recordings that are created with lecture-capture software. The recordings will provide instruction to a broader group of students than previously served and will be available online.

University Librarian Karen Schneider and Librarian for Research and Digitization Nicole Branch say that the sometimes mundane but important skills covered in these recordings will help students learn critical skills that they need to be successful—leaving more classroom time for interactive dialogue. An additional advantage is that students will be able to watch the recordings as many times as needed to learn complex concepts.

“This is the first time face-to-face active learning and digital learning objects have been intentionally and programmatically aligned in an academic library setting,” Schneider and Branch said.

Schneider and Branch expect that the project—which began in August and will end July 30, 2014—will help them meet the unique learning needs of HNU’s student population. A significant number of HNU undergraduate students are the first in their families to attend college, and 92 percent of students are from California, where elementary and secondary school libraries are not mandated. However, they say that the project could benefit other higher education institutions.

“Highly visible success with lecture capture and information literacy instruction has the capability to impact student learning outcomes throughout higher education,” Schneider and Branch said. “Our project has the potential to provide a model for other institutions facing a similar challenge of integrating proven, forward-thinking instructional approaches in a limited capacity and timeframe.”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.

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