The University of West Georgia Ingram Library is the winner of the 2021 American Library Association Library Instruction Roundtable (ALA-LIRT) Innovation in Instruction Award. The award was in recognition of LibraryDen, an online asynchronous information literacy course, created by a small team from Ingram Library, led by Anne Barnhart.
In March 2020 when all USG schools moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries worked to critically examine how they could address the needs of students via online resources. While the University of West Georgia (UWG) had an existing array of offerings for students seeking real-time help, students needed more asynchronous online options besides the Library DIY tutorials that had been recently adapted for Ingram Library’s website. With that in mind, a small team from the library set out to fill the gap. They organized a subset of Library DIY content focusing on basic research skills and grouped it thematically into modules with self-assessments and module-level quizzes using the Desire2Learn LMS platform. Employees from various library departments wrote the assessment questions and student workers (who during COVID were dispersed across the globe – including one who was back home in Spain) were employed as testers to provide feedback on content flow, question clarity, and the amount of time necessary to complete the different sections. When these students finished testing LibraryDen, they also unanimously agreed on the utility of the course for UWG students. In less than 4 months, LibraryDen was being promoted to faculty and was piloted in several courses in the fall.
Assessment data from Fall 2020 show a mean increase of 11.99% in students’ scores from the pre-test to the post-test (the median was 13.59%). In Spring 2021 both the mean and median showed a 26% increase, demonstrating LibraryDen is a valuable pedagogical tool. Anonymous student feedback indicates that students also see the value in completing LibraryDen. 86.29% in Fall 2020 and 81.39% in Spring 2021 agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “LibraryDen is useful to me as a UWG student.” Furthermore 75.8% in Fall and 70.69% in Spring said they would recommend it to friends and classmates.
Ingram Library licensed LibraryDen with a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) in hopes that other libraries will build upon this work. Anne Barnhart, the project’s team leader, discussed the project when she received the award from ALA during 2021 annual conference. She is also in dialog with academic librarians in Mexico about collaborating on crowdsourcing linguistic and cultural translations of both LibraryDIY and LibraryDen to create a template for libraries throughout Latin America.
More about LibraryDen: https://libguides.westga.edu/LibraryDen