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Education for Bibliographic Instruction Committee at Midwinter

The recently established Bibliographic Instruction Section set an ambitious agenda of priorities and projects at the Midwinter Meeting. Building on the foundation established by the Bibliographic Instruction Task Force, the section s five standing committees met for the first time in January to begin the work of the section. The following represent only the highlights of areas to be pursued in instruction and are noted to give some idea of the intent of the section.

The Steering Committee, chaired by Mimi Dudley, submitted an application for the J. Morris Jones Award in which Project LOEX (Library Orientation/Instruction Exchange) has requested to become an agency of ALA as Project LOEX, the ACRL Bibliographic Instruction Clearinghouse for Bibliographic Instruction. Project LOEX, located at Eastern Michigan University, has become a vital link between instruction programs and currently has 1,600 members. It has been financed from its conception by funds from the Council on Library Resources which come to an end in June 1978. The J. Morris Jones Award would enable LOEX to continue to provide this valuable service while the Bibliographic Instruction Section studies it and prepares a recommendation to the ACRL Board regarding the advisability of incorporating it into ACRL.

The Conference Planning Committee has been active since the last Annual Conference in Detroit preparing a program for this June’s meeting. The program entitled “The Politics of Library Instruction’’ will be held Tuesday, June 27, 1978, from 2 to 6 p.m. The program will feature a panel consisting of university administrators, library administrators, and faculty members involved in instruction. Following the panel discussion, there will be round table discussions by librarians from similar types and sizes of libraries followed by a question and discussion session.

The Education for Bibliographic Instruction Committee is pursuing its charge, “To explore, encourage, and foster the development and expansion of the study of bibliographic instruction in library schools,” by surveying the extent of bibliographic instruction as it now exists. This state of the art will be published and used as a basis for encouraging cooperation between librarians and library schools by identifying the need for bibliographic instruction in library school curricula and identifying resource people available to this end.

The Research Committee developed a plan to identify research in progress through increased awareness of the importance of informing the profession of ongoing research through existing agencies like Project LOEX rather than establishing an independent research clearinghouse. Other organizations in ALA with interests in research will be approached to aid the committee and appropriate agencies in this endeavor. The identification of areas where research is needed and the encouragement, coordination, and promotion of these efforts will be based on the ACRL Guidelines for Bibliographic Instruction and is being pursued by the Research Committee.

The Committee on Cooperation has the twofold task of working in the area of clearinghouses on all levels and promoting the importance of bibliographic instruction with appropriate groups in the profession and nonlibrary professional organizations. The committee divided into subcommittees to pursue the charges. Additional information will be gathered on clearinghouses to be used as a basis for future projects, such as the networking of clearinghouses, the continuation of Project LOEX, identifying areas needing additional clearinghouse services, standards, procedures, and funding of clearinghouse services. The second subcommittee will identify nonlibrary organizations that currently require bibliography courses for accredidation and develop a plan of action to promote bibliographic instruction in those that do not.

The Continuing Education Committee is interested in developing a model program that can be taken into the “field.” They will develop guidelines and strategies for all aspects of instruction programs in the form of a “kit” that could be used on any level, along with a nationwide directory of resource people who would be called upon in conjunction with the program. By giving both the essential elements and the steps to follow in establishing or improving an instruction program, many institutions will be better equipped to implement instruction in their college or university communities. Presently, the committee plans to present the program as a preconference at the Annual Convention in Dallas in 1979.

The Policy and Planning Committee is continuing the work of the Bibliographic Instruction Task force and plans to prepare a comprehensive document on bibliographic instruction that will include a glossary, the guidelines that have been approved by ACRL, organizational considerations such as facilities and staffing, statements of goals and objectives, timetables for implementation, teaching methods and techniques, and a bibliography. Other planned projects include a directory of available consultants and a document articulating the responsibilities of various types of libraries in developing library use skills in their users and the relationship between the efforts of all libraries.

This agenda indicates the interest and enthusiasm for instruction in the profession, and the section extends thanks to all those who have helped get the Bibliographic Instruction Section off to such a good start.

The membership meeting for the section will be held before the program begins on June 27; the new officers will be introduced and the bylaws will be approved.—Carolyn Dusenbury (Univ. of Utah), Acting Secretary, ACRL Bibliographic Instruction Section.

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