Friday, February 13, 2009

A New Course for the District

At its February 12 meeting the TUHSD Board of Trustees approved a new course which will be offered next year at Redwood. The course, called Advanced Library Research, will offer students an introduction to college-level research skills. While we teach students at Redwood, and throughout the Tam District, how to use information efficiently and effectively through class projects in a number of different subject areas, this course will allow students to go beyond the basics of research and explore the world of academic libraries. The course will be an independent study course, taught partially face-to-face and partially online. Students will be expected to work with partners or in teams to complete various projects using all kinds of library resources. As the course of study states: “Many college librarians and professors report that students are not prepared to undertake college-level research when they reach post-secondary institutions of learning.”

We think that we can help students make the transition to college a little less traumatic by providing them with the ability to determine the nature and extent of information they need; access needed information effectively and efficiently; evaluate information critically; use information individually and in a group to accomplish a specific purpose; and understand ethical, legal, and socio-economic issues surrounding information and use information ethically and legally.

A little story. When I went to graduate school to begin my library science degree I had to take a prerequisite course about basic library research since I’d never worked in a library before. It was the best course I took in library school and I wondered why I hadn’t had the opportunity to take such a course as an undergrad—it was really eye opening to find out about all the resources I hadn’t known about but could have used. Even though that was long before the World Wide Web was developed, the same conditions apply today. As a result of the Internet the world of information has gotten infinitely larger and more complicated so having a guided tour of all kinds of resources is even more essential than it was in 1974!

Eventually we would like to have the course available across the District to all students but for the time being it will be offered at Redwood only. Encourage your sons and daughters to talk to the librarian, Tom Kaun, about the course and sign up for it during course enrolment time.