Faculty/Librarian Research and Instructional Partnerships
Professor of History Vicki Ruiz and two UCI research librarians participated in a recent panel to promote the value of faculty/librarian partnerships in research and teaching. Such collaborations are increasingly important as new technologies and the globalization of information alter research methods, pedagogical techniques, and the very nature of source documents.
Ruiz introduced the session, which was held at the conference of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, by summarizing the issues from her perspective as a history professor. She drew attention to the variety of ways in which collaborative partnerships with research librarians can help faculty realize their pedagogical goals. She was joined on the panel by Joan Ariel, Research Librarian for History, and Bill Landis, Manuscripts Librarian, as well as UCLA History Librarian Ellen Broidy.
Broidy set the stage by exploring theoretical issues raised by rapid, and occasionally unpredictable, changes in information technology, as well as aspects of library-based research that remain constant in the new environment. She examined the seeming ease with which students and scholars can access data and drew attention to how often this masks both the numerous hazards encountered on the “information superhighway” and inequities that abound across geographic borders in the “real” world.
Landis used UC’s Online Archive of California and UCI’s NEH-funded Southeast Asian Archive digital resource project to provide vivid examples of ongoing efforts to use information technologies to organize, digitize, and make accessible important primary resources. His paper mapped strategies for a range of faculty/librarian partnerships in conceptualization of digital resources, content selection, and usability testing in order to ensure the utility and success of such projects.
Ariel linked theory and praxis by focusing on partnerships to strengthen students’ skills in research, critical thinking, and analysis, thus rendering them information-literate lifelong learners. She highlighted potential areas of collaboration such as information-centered curriculum development, integration of information literacy into coursework, and assignments that challenge students to negotiate an ever-shifting global information landscape.