During the 2008 academic year, a class of upper-year undergraduate students in the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University began approaching the research help desk with high-level research questions; some could be answered with the help of "traditional" resources and others through highly specialized data sets. It became apparent that the library's data specialist and the liaison librarian to Labour Studies were also receiving questions from these students by way of referrals from research help staff, recommendations from faculty, and through student word-of-mouth. Nearly every student needed referral to expert help. By engaging in conversations with various stakeholders inside and outside of the library, a unique collaboration has begun among a liaison librarian, data specialist, and faculty in the School of Labour Studies. This poster will discuss the 21st Century Fluencies program at McMaster University Library and illustrate how this particular project aims to utilize and build upon specific fluencies (e.g. information fluency, numeracy and visual fluency) for the 4th year Labour Studies course, Research and Field Experience. In this project, the data specialist and the liaison librarian work closely together and draw upon their particular areas of expertise to provide in-class sessions, one-on-one research consultations, and extra support to students in the course. The poster will highlight initial successes and challenges of the collaboration as well as plans for the future.
Shepley, Susan E. and Jadon, Vivek, "Building bridges, building fluencies" (2010). McMaster University Libraries Publications. Paper 19.