Impact of Library Instruction: Interview with Jackie Herbers

Q. What caused you to initially approach the library with a request for library instruction?

A. My freshman composition courses all align with the core curriculum’s information fluency outcome. As a result, my students are required to learn how to find, evaluate and integrate college-level sources into their essays. In order to get started in this area, it’s important for them to learn about all the library has to offer, so I take my students to the library every semester.

Q. What is a favorite or surprising thing that you learned in an instruction session?

A. My favorite tool that I learned to use during a library instruction session is most definitely Refworks. I was not aware that the library offered this service until a few semesters ago when I brought my ENGL 103 class in on a regular library orientation day. That day, I followed along with the presentation and opened my own account right along with my students. It has become an essential tool for me.

Q. What is the difference between pre- and post-instruction when it comes to student work?

A. I have noticed that before students receive instruction, they often feel confident that they know how to find good sources. However, after library instruction, they realize how much they did not know about doing actual college-level research in an academic library. I’d say that overall, my students have greatly benefited from library instruction sessions.

Q. What library resource or resources are the students most likely to benefit from during the course of their college career?

A. Most of the time, students will have a number of weeks to do research and collect sources, so they need to have a place to organize those sources, and that is Refworks. They also need to have access to every possible source, even if Viterbo doesn’t own a copy, and that’s when interlibrary loan is important. In addition, I think they appreciate understanding how to open and search in many databases, especially databases related to their particular disciplines. 

Q. Any favorite books you’d like to share?       

  • A. Feed by M.T. Anderson
  • The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Ways with Words by Shirley Brice Heath
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Paul, Women and Wives by Craig S. Keener
  • On Writing by Stephen King