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Reference service proposal

A proposal to implement a research certificate program, created for a library school class on legal reference services

Caitlin Hunter

on 10 March 2016

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Transcript of Reference service proposal

Legal research certificate program Traditional
instruction sessions Certificate
programs Students attend a session.
Students may or may not practice the skills taught.
Students may or may not inform employers they attended. Students attend a session.
Students complete assignments based on the session.
Students who complete enough assignments earn a certificate to list on their resume.
Competition for students' time:

Competitors can often afford food and prizes our library cannot. Journals Clinics Student groups Guest lectures Internships LexisNexis Westlaw
Prospective employers have no way of knowing whether:

Students actually attended the sessions
Students actually learned anything from the sessions Have low attendance Traditional sessions: Traditional sessions: Librarians can’t be sure students actually learned anything either! Certificate programs: Traditional sessions: Don't reward students who attend Don't evaluate students Provide incentives to attend Students have an incentive to attend because they will receive a certificate that they can list on their resume. Certificate programs: Reward students who attend Prospective employers know that:
Students actually attended the sessions
Students know how to apply the legal research skills they learned Certificate programs: Require evaluation of students Evaluating students’ completed assignments allows librarians to determine how much students actually learned from the session and adjust future sessions accordingly. Students Encourages students to learn legal research skills
Rewards students for putting in the time to learn legal research skills
Improves students’ employment prospects
Provides students with the opportunity to put skills into practice and receive feedback by completing assignments
Introduces students to the librarians and the library resources Faculty Gives faculty confidence when selecting:
Research assistants
Clinic students

Reduces faculty workload:
Less time training RAs, clinic students, and law review and journal members
Less time training students to complete research papers, more time on substantive law Employers Gives employers confidence when selecting summer and permanent associates

Reduces need to train associates The library Demonstrates library’s value by:
Improving students’ job prospects
Reducing faculty and employer workloads
Increasing attendance
Increasing use of the library Other schools Schools offering certificate programs:

BU reports strong success:
Before: 10 students =
After: 30 students = Apply Certify Opt out Teach Legal reference librarians teach a series of instruction sessions on different legal research topics. Students complete and submit assignments related to each session they attend.

Students who attend and complete assignments for a specified number of sessions are awarded a certificate in legal research skills that they can list on their resume. Students can opt to attend sessions without completing the assignments, treating them as traditional instruction sessions. Published studies No published studies on the effectiveness of certificate programs found in LISTA or Hein Online

A publishing opportunity:
Track attendance before and after initiating the program
Publish the results
Publicize our library Boston University University of Denver
Texas Tech Cleveland-Marshall
University of La Verne Average attendance High attendance Challenges Technology Why LibGuides? Why Blackboard? Minimal challenges related to technology

Potentially challenging workload BUT Sessions can be taught and managed using technology that is free or already owned by our library:
Present with:

Manage with: Why not PowerPoint, Prezi, or others?
Introduces students to using LibGuides
Makes it more likely students will use LibGuides on other topics in the future
Provides students with a guide they can easily refer back to during jobs, clinics, and classes LibGuides Blackboard
CourseSites Our school already uses Blackboard
Easy and convenient for students
CourseSite is:
A free version of Blackboard
A good alternative if the school will not allow us to use Blackboard for a non-credit program Workload Workload will:
Depend on how much material we can adapt from previous instruction sessions.
Be heavy for the first certificate program as librarians adapt or develop LibGuides and assignments.
Decrease for subsequent certificate programs but will still require time to teach, grade assignments, and update previous sessions and add additional sessions as necessary. Choose topics Establish basics Market Plan the program Implement the program What do patrons want? What do patrons want? What can we provide? What students want to learn about
What professors want students to learn about
What alumni wish they had learned
What law firms wish their associates knew
Dual degrees
Course lists
Clinics Surveys
Topics covered by other programs We will consider: We will consider:
Number of reference librarians
Subject specialties of reference librarians
Existing materials from:
Traditional instructional sessions
For credit classes
Other institutions Create class names and descriptions
Schedule class times and rooms
Necessary before marketing can begin Advertise online Create brochures Recruit faculty Recruit
career services Create a program web page
Link the page on the library home page
Link the page on library social media accounts
Ask professors to link the page on their class websites Place at library front desk
Distribute during traditional and in-class instruction sessions
Give to faculty to distribute to their classes
Give to career services to place in their offices and distribute to students Lawyering process faculty
Faculty who supervise law review, journals, or clinics
Faculty who teach classes with a research paper or other strong research component
Faculty with research assistants Ask them to promote the program to students who visit them. Teach
Grade Agree on format How detailed will the LibGuides be?
How long will the assignments take to complete?
Will students be allowed to collaborate on the assignments? Consider
alternatives Select
a certificate Create Assign responsibility for each sessions to a reference librarian
Create LibGuides and assignments A physical certificate?
Notation on the website?
Notation on students’ transcripts? Decide whether and how to create alternatives for students who cannot physically attend the sessions. Challenges of a certificate program Implementing and marketing What is a certificate program? How certificate programs work Traditional vs. certificate programs Why should we create a
certificate program? A reference service proposal Need Benefits Track record Conclusion A certificate program will enhance the library's value to students, faculty, and employers.
Although it will involve an increase in workload, it is well worth the time commitment. We will consider:
Full transcript