2007 Reaffirmation Teams
3.8.2 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) provides the users of the University Libraries with regular and timely instruction in the use of the libraries and their various collections. The University Libraries consist of the Eugene McDermott Library (the main library facility) , the Callier Library  at the Callier Center for Communications Disorders, and a small satellite facility called MC2 in the School of Management building  . As documented in UT Dallas’ web-based assessment tool, AT6, the McDermott Library’s mission “is to provide user-focused quality services and collections in support of the educational and research needs of students, faculty, and staff of The University of Texas at Dallas through maximum access to relevant, authoritative, and scholarly resources. We are dedicated to maintaining a congenial atmosphere for the Library community and will endeavor to advance the lifelong educational needs of our diverse clientele .” The instruction program, carried out by professional librarians and paraprofessionals, is incorporated within a number of instruction services including service desk assistance, orientations and tours, personal sessions with a librarian, online tutorials, and classroom presentations offered at the request of the faculty member to coincide with a particular assignment (often a research paper or team project). The librarians base the instruction program on the information literacy guidelines provided by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) . The McDermott library, where the majority of on-site library instruction takes place, is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Each semester during finals’ week, the McDermott Library is open 24 hours per day.
Physical access to McDermott Library and Callier Library has been enhanced for users who have physical challenges by providing entry ramps, electronic doors, modified furniture, and personal assistance upon request. The Accessibility Office (MC 2.216) houses adaptive technology for use by visually impaired UT Dallas students, faculty, and staff. The hardware includes a computer, Optelec ClearView 700, Braille Blazer printer, and a scanner. Software includes Open Book, Jaws, Magic, Duxbury for Windows, and Dragon Naturally Speaking. .
In support of the collections, the library provides services and equipment to make optimal use of the materials and to teach its customers how to use the collections and information available in other resources. The services include reference, circulation, library instruction and tours, media, interlibrary loan, and data services.Information Literacy
The Information Literacy Program involves teaching students, faculty, and staff to find, evaluate, and use the library’s information resources more efficiently and effectively  . Librarians introduce users to how the library is organized and what services are available. The librarians teach research strategies which enable users to improve their navigation of information resources including the Internet.
The librarians contact faculty members about the benefits of library instruction and encourage participation in the program . Many faculty members see the benefits of the program, particularly in disciplines that require research papers, and have included library instruction into the requirements for specific courses  . Information regarding the Information Literacy Program is located on the library’s website .
One of the strategic goals of the program  is for each student to receive library instruction during the student’s first year and again when taking required courses for a degree. The first year experience (included in Rhetoric 1101 and Rhetoric 1302) provides students with a tour of the library to introduce various services and a classroom session on how to use the library catalog, locate journal articles, and use a periodical database. Once a student selects a major field of study, the goal is to have a librarian demonstrate how to use the major bibliographic resources within a subject. Each student should be exposed to advanced research strategies such as completing a literature review or conducting a legislative history. Students in all disciplines are encouraged to meet with the librarians for a personal session involving a particular assignment.
Another strategic goal of the information literacy program is to develop a required course for all students. Students would learn to analyze and evaluate information critically. Currently, the library is collecting statistics to document the benefits of instruction including the administration of pre-tests in various undergraduate and graduate classes.
Orientation sessions and tours complement the formal instruction program. In these sessions and tours, the librarians promote the services and resources offered in-house and from remote locations.
The library has also developed online tutorials to connect with students who have missed other instruction opportunities. These tutorials are of particular importance for those students taking distance education classes. A librarian recently completed the tutorial to determine differences between scholarly journals and popular magazines . When librarians receive multiple questions concerning how to use or find specific information, new tutorials are created. The success of the tutorial project will be judged on the basis of how often they are consulted and a counter has been added to each tutorial to help librarians determine how often the tutorial is used. Additional tutorials, such as the Texas Information Literacy Tutorial and specific tutorials for the School of Management, plus numerous other guides, are available on the library’s “Get Help” website .
The Information Literacy program is assessed along with the libraries’ other services in UT Dallas’ web-based assessment tool, AT6. The Information Literacy Program continues to grow in popularity based on its annual statistics . During 2004-05, librarians conducted 198 classes totaling over 328 hours. Preparation time for the instruction was nearly 603 hours. Over 8,400 students attended classes. In addition, the staff provided 44 orientations and 74 research sessions. During 2005-06, librarians conducted 332 classes, an increase of 68% and over 9,200 students, faculty, and staff attended the sessions, an increase of nearly 10%. Librarians spent 460 hours in the classroom, an increase of 40%. The time spent in preparing for the sessions decreased by 17% and was largely due to the number of identical sessions of Rhetoric 1101 and Rhetoric 1302 . In addition to classes, the staff conducted 36 orientations, 25 tours, and 57 research sessions with individuals .
The recent LibQual surveys, however, indicate that some disciplines such as engineering and computer science are not yet fully engaged in the process  ; therefore ongoing efforts such as “Librarians on the Loose” are being used to increase information literacy. “Librarians on the Loose” is an innovative program designed to reach students who may not otherwise be regular visitors of McDermott Library and to promote library services to these students. Developed by the reference staff of McDermott Library, this program began in January 2004 and has been a success. Twice per week during the fall and spring semesters and once per week during the summer, librarians go “on the loose” setting up temporary booths around campus. By taking advantage of wireless internet technology, librarians are able to access and demonstrate databases to students while “on the Loose .”
In April 2007, McDermott Library won the Texas Library Association’s 11th Highsmith Library Award for creating a successful marketing program named “Call! Click! Come In!” which involved a promotional blitz in the form of bookmarks, posters, campus newspaper advertisements and campus flyers. The campaign directed students to the library for assistance and instruction .
Finally, the McDermott Friends of the Library, a group of community members, faculty, students, staff, and alumni, enrich the intellectual and cultural life of the community by promoting special events and exhibits . Some of the major events include author receptions, speakers, and other educational programs. The library’s Events News webpage includes complete information about the programs sponsored by the Friends of the Library .Information Services
The library provides a number of services to support and instruct its customers and maximize their success in locating, using, and evaluating the information they seek.
In addition to traditional checkout services facilitated by its Voyager ILS, the Circulation Services Department also provides assistance to customers in locating and recalling items. Whenever possible, the library alerts patrons that requested items are available and that checked out items are soon due for renewal. Circulation Services staff is responsible for providing an inventory of the locations of the collections and the timely re-shelving of all items used by patrons so that they can be easily located.
Moreover, UT Dallas students, faculty, and staff are eligible to obtain a card at the circulation desk that will enable them to borrow materials in the collections of other Texas libraries that participate along with UT Dallas in the statewide TexShare Card Program. Equipment for the copying of print and microform materials is available in the Library Copy Center adjacent to the reference materials and journal collections. In addition, the Library Copy Center maintains equipment to digitize microform and print resources. Color copying and scanning equipment are also provided.Reference Services
Reference librarians assist library patrons in locating and using resources more effectively. The UT Dallas community and campus visitors are provided informational items, both in person  and on the web , to help patrons with how to get started with their research strategies, how to use particular resources, how to use Interlibrary Loan Services, or how to schedule an appointment with a librarian. The librarians provide assistance at a service desk 86 hours per week.
The McDermott Library Liaison Program works with UT Dallas’ seven schools to assist with the research needs of faculty and students . A librarian is assigned to each school or program to improve the library’s outreach and assistance to faculty. The goals of liaison program are to involve faculty as much as possible in managing the library’s collection, identify and communicate regularly regarding curriculum-specific library materials and services, facilitate faculty and student access to all library collections and services, and provide general and tailored instruction sessions to faculty, research staff, classes, student groups, and individuals.
A satellite facility (MC2) in support of the School of Management is open ten hours per week. In addition, the Library supports The University of Texas System (UT System) reference chat project, Ask a UT System Librarian . Librarians from across six campuses work to answer questions online. The aforementioned “Librarians on the Loose” enables the librarians to set up a laptop using wireless technology and to conduct reference service in non-traditional places such as the bookstore, the student union, or classroom spaces. The librarians have recently developed a new instant messaging initiative called “IM a McDermott Librarian.” The service is driven by the Meebo messaging program, a single in-browser instant messaging program which supports multiple IM services, including Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, and Jabber .Distance Learning
The library and learning resources available for students taking distance learning courses are detailed on the McDermott Library’s webpage . Students have access to the library’s electronic databases, electronic course reserves, electronic books, electronic journals, and governmental documents. They also have access to RefWorks, a citation manager, and they can either contact the Distance Librarian or individual librarians. They can also participate in the UT System’s “Ask a Librarian” chat reference service. For those UT Dallas students taking distance learning courses hosted by UT System TeleCampus (UTTC), the UTTC provides additional reference support . One of the library’s objectives for 2006-07 is to increase the number of tutorials available for distance education students (as well as to improve a number of other educational services) ; the library is assessing its progress toward achieving its objectives using AT6 .
Interlibrary Loan Services has established a new service called Faculty E-Delivery  to provide more materials from the collection electronically to faculty members. Faculty members can request items that are available only on microfiche or paper, and Interlibrary Loan will digitize the article and e-mail it to the requestor. Creation of a full document delivery service for faculty is one of the objectives cited in the Library Strategic Plan . Since its introduction, 423 articles have been delivered. With this new service, UT Dallas faculty members have desktop access to most articles they require for research. Interlibrary Loan staff began supplying articles from selected electronic journals whose licensing allows for interlibrary loan. In just three months since beginning this service, 634 more articles were distributed than the same time last year without additional staff.
The increase in the usage of the instruction programs and services is documented in AT6.Learning Resources
According to its mission statement, “The UT Dallas Learning Resource Center, utilizing a variety of approaches, strives to teach skills, strategies, and knowledge to enable all students of diverse populations to become independent and successful learners. Students are the central focus of all its programs. The utilization and management of equipment, facilities, staff, and financial resources all focus on student retention and student success. The Learning Resource Center works in partnership with the university’s faculty, staff, and administrators to address the learning needs, academic performance, and retention of students so as to support the university’s overall mission .” Located on the first floor of the McDermott Library, the Learning Resource Center (LRC) offers mathematics tutoring, writing tutoring, math labs, graduate test prep reviews. The LRC closely tracks participation in these activities . The LRC also runs the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program. SI is an academic support program  that provides academic assistance to students in historically difficult classes. The SI sessions help with content mastery and with learning and study strategies that are applicable to all subject areas. SI sessions are facilitated by a trained SI leader who has taken the same course, done well, and then who during the semester attends classes, takes notes, and re-reads all assigned materials in preparation to conduct the SI sessions three times a week. This program has proven to be successful  .
The LRC can be accessed six days a week for most of its services and occasionally specific services are also offered on Sunday. The hours of operation for the office and services can be accessed online . The hours and locations for SI are available online during the current semester  (times and locations change every semester). A review of the times and places of SI sessions is available in the supporting documents . Although not as many students frequent the LRC in the evening, the LRC is open to provide access to those students who are on campus only during the evening hours.Academic Computing
Learning Management Systems have been employed at UT Dallas since 2002 for both WebCT and Blackboard systems. WebCT is the enterprise level service, consisting of a load-balancing clustered system and supported as a primary service by systems administration. The vice president and chief information officer has recently established an eLearning team to enhance UT Dallas’ online learning environment , and the team’s progress is being monitored using AT6 . Faculty training on the use of WebCT is a priority of the eLearning group which has one primary and one secondary trainer offering 20 classes per semester . Student training for WebCT consists of periodic orientation sessions based upon faculty requests and websites devoted to providing instruction in the use of the technologies on The University of Texas System TeleCampus (UTTC) and UT Dallas distance learning website  .
Students and faculty have technical support available to them through the university Help Desk services, either by phone, e-mail, online chat, or walk-in. Hours of operation vary by service but all are available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday-Friday  . Additionally, Information Services has created an educational FAQ database to help people find the answers to question about UT Dallas . The database allows users to ask questions if the answers are not already supplied and in return receive answers. Those individuals taking distance learning courses have full access to the Help Desk and to other academic computing services to ensure that the courses are successful.
Classroom technologies are provided in support of instructional efforts by the university’s Media Services group . A standard configuration for smart classrooms is being adopted across campus as the need for room changes occurs. These classrooms are remotely monitored, have consistent user interfaces, and provide more readily available service than the older delivery system of Media Services. Media Services also supports live webcasts and maintains a webcast archive .