Research and Instruction Services Subcommittee – 2016 Meeting

The Research and Instruction Services Subcommittee met on May 4, 2016 at 4 p.m. EDT via GotoMeeting. In attendance were D Ryan Lynch (co-chair), Bronwen Maxson (co-chair), Michelle Guittar, Alison Hicks, Jade Madrid, Tracey North, Mary Raple, Michael Scott, Alyson Williams,  and David Woken.

The group started with a discussion about the differences between instruction and reference demands at their different settings, and also challenges facing many of them.

Common challenges included undergraduate research, finding English-language primary sources for undergraduates and non-Latin Americanist graduate students (such as those from the CIA, Wikileaks, Soviet and Chinese resources, translated memoirs and letters, FBIS, Duke UP’s “studies reader” series) as well as strategies for scheduling consultations.

The group also talked about how they navigate sessions in English, Spanish, and other languages. Many took the lead from faculty. For some undergraduate courses, participants noted that faculty often want the session to be conducted in English so students are sure to understand. David Woken mentioned that one challenge is that many resources are English-centric and even in Spanish, he will have to use some English, but that can also be an interesting point of discussion.

Jade Madrid commented that students are often more engaged when she speaks in Spanish.

Tracey North reminded that HLAS and the LC catalog have Spanish interfaces.

The Subcommittee turned to a discussion about trying to revive the old repository. In the past, they had discussed abandoning the old Wiki and encouraging members to contribute research and instruction tools to the Institutional Repository.

The subcommittee continues to believe that this can be an important resource, but that members need to participate actively. They also need to define the scope, which the committee was unable to do in this meeting.

The current subcommittee thinks that the Wiki (under a new name) might actually be a better platform, as it allows the subcommittee to better define metadata, organize resources into folders by theme or format, and remove outdated tools.

The committee also discussed the overlap between resources curated by the RIS Subcommittee and Michael Scott’s proposal for an online tutorial collection to the the Electronic Resources Subcommittee. The co-chairs and participants in RIS want to work with Electronic Resources on this, but felt that this is a separate resource aimed at creating tools that could be embedded by other librarians, whereas the RIS wiki would contain examples and ideas for SALALM members and others.

Tracey North commented that LoC is initiating an effort to start making 2-3 tutorials per year, but that it might be some time before tutorials about HLAS come out.

The subcommittee returned to the Wiki. Tracey encouraged the subcommittee to encourage members to aim at one submission per year to create a vibrant resource and discussion.

Ryan Lynch read an announcement from Kaydee McCann regarding progress on back volumes of HLAS on HLAS Online. Progress continues on transferring pre-1989 volumes to the new platform. LoC continues to encourage us to point users to this platform.