Librarian/Faculty Partnerships and Library Technology Resources Integrated into the Ethnic Studies Curriculum

By Mary Wrighten and Laurie A. Rodgers

Mary G. Wrighten

Multicultural Services Librarian

Jerome Library, Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, Ohio 43403



Dr. Laurie A. Rodgers

Instructor, Ethnic Studies Department

Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, Ohio 43403





“Course-related instruction is the most effective approach to meeting the objectives of library instruction, thereby making faculty-librarian collaboration all the more significant.” (Farber, 1999, p. 231). This observation has been demonstrated by the collaborative efforts of an Ethnic Studies librarian and instructor through the development and integration of library technology--class web pages—into course curriculum. In the process of creating this technology, there are certain things for which one may and may not expect class web pages to do. Class web pages can be an efficient and effective tool in the assignment completion process, provide learning opportunities through several formats and media, present extended learning opportunities that are initiated by the teacher. Class web pages cannot be a substitute for the teacher or librarian be effective or efficient unless they are integrated into the curriculum, be effective or efficient if their utility does not complement the course’s learning objectives.



I. Introduction

            Course-integrated library instruction or Bibliographic instruction (BI) refers to “library instruction that is incorporated into the regular academic program.” (Kirk, 1974, p. 84) It is considered to be the most effective approach to meeting library instruction but is highly dependent upon librarian-faculty collaboration for its success. This paper will examine how one librarian-faculty partnership at Bowling Green University Library integrated library technology into course curriculum through the creation and use of class web pages.

What is Bibliographic Instruction? Despite wide variation, all BI programs share three common characteristics. (Carlson and Miller, 1984) The first characteristic is integration with the curriculum such that “instruction is given as part of subject-specific classes in the curriculum.” (Carlson and Miller, 1984, p. 484) The second characteristic is faculty involvement. Bibliographic instruction that is integrated in subject-specific classes requires extensive cooperation and collaboration between librarians and faculty. The third characteristic is group instruction whereby “lectures are given by librarians to groups of students in a class and not individual students,” however, this does not preclude small-group instruction or individual assistance. (Carlson and Miller, 1984, p. 484) Of the three traits shared by BI programs, perhaps, faculty commitment and involvement is most significant. (Carlson and Miller, 1984)


II. The Importance of Librarian-Faculty Partnerships in BI

Faculty commitment to and involvement in BI is critical to the success of such programs. (Carlson & Miller, 1984; Farber, 1999; Gilbert, 2001; Gwinn, 1978; Ivey, 1994; Kirk, 1974; Lederer, 2000; Meldrem, Johnson, & Spradling, 2001; Nesbitt, 1997; Smith, 2001) “Librarians must work extensively with and have the cooperation of the faculty who teach these classes. (Carlson & Miller, 1984, p. 484) “The most sensible, most practical relationship is a cooperative one, in which teaching faculty work with librarians.” (Farber, 1999, p. 2) Unfortunately, academic faculty tend not to recognize that librarians play a legitimate role in the educating of students and research which usually results in a lack of much needed cooperation and support. (Ivey, 1994)

            According to Gilbert (2001), faculty-librarian collaboration must be a “symbiotic mutually beneficial relationship existing before it can even be called a ‘partnership.’” (p. 76) A partnership should consist of librarian involvement in curricular discussions as well as active instructor involvement in discussion regarding library service provisions (Gilbert, 2001; Meldrem, Johnson, & Spradling, 2001) Several constant factors that affect this relationship include the number of academic librarians, the strength or weakness of the collection, the size of the institution, the faculty, the student body, and the library faculty. (Ivey, 1994)

            It should be noted that tensions in this relationship may arise as faculty and librarians clash due to the roles they play, competing ends, and character differences. (Ivey, 1994) One scholar (Maurice Marchant, 1969) traced conflict between faculty and librarians to “anything that diminished faculty’s control over students.” (Ivey, 1994, p. 69) Another source of frustration is the inability of faculty to easily differentiate between librarians and support staff. (Ivey, 1994) Furthermore, faculty view librarians only in a service role and focus more on which journals and monographs are not being provided by the library.

Interactions between librarians and administrators do not fare much better. (Ivey, 1994) Too often, administrators think about libraries and not librarians. Relations between administrators and librarians are frequently described as distant, ineffective, and frustrating. Some suggestions for improving faculty-librarian relationships include “increased dialogue between faculty and librarians, increased knowledge by librarians; serving on curriculum committees; working in tandem with university departments seeking new approaches to common problems of limited resources and heavy workloads, and librarians and faculty teaching courses in information literacy.” (Ivey, 1994, p. 70)

            In summary, a successful if not ideal cooperative faculty-librarian relationship is one in which “both the teacher’s objectives and the librarian’s are not only achieved but are mutually reinforcing—the teacher’s objectives being those that help students attain a better understanding of the course’s subject matter, and the librarian’s objectives being those that enhance the student’s ability to find and evaluate information.” (Farber, 1999, p. 5)

III. Integrating Learning Outcomes

            One of the first steps taken in the process of integrating the class web pages into the curriculum was to examine the learning outcomes that had been established for the courses. Three categories of outcomes were considered—University, Knowledge domains (General Education-Cultural Diversity), and Course-specific.

            The University outcomes represent the strategy for achieving the institutional mission of Bowling Green State University (BGSU). As a four-year, Midwestern public institution with an enrollment of over 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students combined, BGSU “aspires to be the premier learning community in Ohio, and one of the best in the nation. Through the interdependence of teaching, learning, scholarship and service we will create an environment grounded in intellectual discovery and guided by rational discourse and civility.” (University Vision and Core Values) Specific University learning outcomes were initially developed by separate offices and subsequently coordinated to ensure goal alignment. The aligned learning outcomes are listed below:

1. Investigate and Connect / Analysis and Integration

2. Write and Present / Communication

3. Participate and Lead / Interaction

(University Learning Outcomes)

            Knowledge domains, which describe knowledge and skills unique to respective disciplines, form an additional component of University outcomes. Although housed in different departments, all three of the classes used in this project are general education courses that meet the institution’s cultural diversity requirements, and therefore the goals attached to these courses must be considered. General education courses in cultural diversity should:

1. Investigate the ways in which ethnic cultures have shaped American political, social, economic, and cultural life and identifies issues and problems from the perspectives of diverse cultures

2. Foster critical inquiry into the problems engendered, the challenges presented and the positive possibilities inherent in a multicultural democracy

3. Foster an understanding of the concepts of race and ethnicity

(University General Education Curriculum-Cultural Diversity in the United States)

In addition to University and general education requirements, each class is expected to satisfy course-specific outcomes as identified by their respective departments or programs. The first course included in this project is offered by the American Culture Studies Program and is titled ACS 250 Cultural Pluralism in the United States. This class is described as an “interdisciplinary exploration of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexual orientation in the United States, emphasizing imaginative expressive forms, such as fiction, poetry, film and the visual arts.” (BGSU Course Descriptions) Students completing this course should be able to:

1. Think in an interdisciplinary way, drawing on holistic, critical and connective models of analysis.

2. Communicate orally and in writing about the cultural contexts of human expression and behavior.

3. Discuss the multicultural and pluralistic nature of American culture and the diversity of our national cultural heritage.

4. Investigate relationships among theories of culture and various cultural traditions.

(University General Education Curriculum-Cultural Diversity in the United States)

The other two classes in the project are offered by the Ethnic Studies Department. ETHN 101 Introduction to Ethnic Studies gives an “introduction to the discipline of ethnic studies, including methods and approaches to studying major ethnic groups in the United States.” (BGSU Course Descriptions) It is also described as focusing on the “social relations of ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Its survey includes studies of the historical development and construction of race relations within America, social policy, and conceptions of race, class, and ethnicity.” Learning objectives for this course are to:

1. Develop an understanding of race and ethnicity as social constructions in the United States.

2. Apply the concepts of prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping to racial and ethnic population groups.

3. Develop an understanding of the importance of ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity as defining forces in American history.

4. Critically engage key issues such as immigration, affirmative action, and racism in the formation of social policy in the U.S.

5. Understand the U.S. multicultural experience in its global and diasporic context.

6. Develop critical skills of analysis, problem solving, communication, and interpretation in a variety of educational formats (such as written papers/exams, group activity, individual presentations, etc).

(L. A. Rodgers, personal communication, April 10, 2003)

The second course offered by the department is ETHN 120 Introduction to Black Studies. It introduces students to the “dominant perspectives about the Black/African American experience in the United States with special emphasis upon contemporary issues confronting Black Americans” (J. Taylor, personal communication, March 2001) and has six objectives:

1. The student will be able to describe the current social, educational, political, and economic status of Black Americans.

2. The student will be able to analyze contemporary issues affecting Black Americans and show their relationship to historical events.

3. The student will be able to demonstrate the ability to critically analyze, explain, and make an informed opinion of selected controversial issues.

4. The student will be able to demonstrate his/her general knowledge of a selected topic relevant to the Black experience in America.

5. The student will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the causes and effects of the modern Civil Rights Movement on the American society.

6. The student will be able to discuss the impact of race on Black-White relations, public policy, education, and the economy.

(J. Taylor, personal communication, March 2001)

            Assignments in these classes are designed to help students acquire the knowledge and skills outlined by the learning outcomes. Class web pages were created to facilitate these objectives. This was accomplished through the collaborative efforts of the authors of this article, a subject librarian and an ethnic studies instructor. The following sections will provide separate librarian and faculty perspectives that describe how the class web pages were incorporated into the course curriculum.


IV. Librarian and Faculty Perspectives on the Incorporation and Use of Class Web Pages into Course Curriculum

The Librarian Perspective (Mary’s Wrighten’s view):

The class web pages (CWPs) are a worthwhile project. As a subject librarian and liaison to a department I need to connect to that unit’s faculty in order to give them the best support and service. Therefore, I need to have knowledge of the course’s learning outcomes because they provide the foundation for the content of the class web pages. Moreover, the content is more likely to encompass multiple course sections since all sections of a given course must satisfy certain institutional learning outcomes. It is also helpful for me to know or at least be aware of the specializations, and research and teaching interests of the faculty assigned to my subject department.

The basic structure has been to introduce faculty to the use of CWPs for the course and inform them of how the use of the class web pages can accomplish three specific goals:

1. To help faculty and students achieve the course learning outcomes through the use of library resources by making them aware of and providing access to resources that support these courses.

2. To inform faculty and students that use of the resources at the class web page can help them to complete assignments and projects which include access to resources and information on issues from the perspective of the under represented groups and people of color.

3. To help the students better understand the course content and achieve the learning outcomes of the course by providing these resources.

CWPs comprise a small part of the resources in the library’s collection that support course curriculum in the department. They were designed in cooperation with faculty teaching these courses to ensure these resources support what is being included in the syllabus, such as research assignments, papers, and projects. But, there is an interconnectedness that’s necessary for CWPs to work. The faculty needs to encourage their students to use the resources found at the web site. This is accomplished by incorporating CWP resources into the syllabus as well as informing the librarian of any content changes made to the course and syllabus.

A few faculty members have found the CWPs to be an efficient tool for accessing resources that may not fit into the electronic reserves category. Some faculty members have expressed frustration (as have some students) when students did not use the CWPs. In tasks where students did not use CWPs, faculty reported that the assignments lacked understanding and inclusion of the perspective of people of color and other underrepresented groups.

We also found that students are more likely to use the resources found at the class web pages when the librarian gives an introduction to the class web pages. 'The instructor must give up precious class time for this purpose but the librarian gets to meet the class and inform the students of her availability to provide both academic support and services to them. In my interactions with them, students have acknowledged that class web pages are effective in helping them to efficiently complete their assignments, papers, and projects. Even more importantly, CWPs allow students to access sources that present the perspective of people of color and other underrepresented groups.

I would do this project again because CWPs help me to make library resources for this subject area more readily available to both students and faculty. Information and access to information has quadrupled with the evolution of the World Wide Web and librarians have mastered the ability to access this information. CWPs are one of many tools that librarians use to help faculty and students navigate this vast amount of information.

As one form of course-related library instruction provided by librarians at BGSU, class web pages may be used throughout a term in classes with specific and/or complex needs and in courses for which multiple sections are frequently offered. Three courses—ACS 250 Cultural Pluralism in the United States, ETHN 101 Introduction to Ethnic Studies, and ETHN 120 Introduction to Black Studies—fit this description. These courses have specific learning objectives intended to satisfy certain university cultural diversity requirements. In addition, multiple sections of these courses are offered each academic term. The sections may contain as many as 35 students each and are taught by different instructors—graduate students, full and part-time instructors, as well as regular faculty. These attributes make it very difficult to provide consistent library instruction for all course sections. (Lederer, 2000; Meldrem, Johnson, and Spradling, 2001) Class web pages are a useful and convenient tool that may be used to facilitate library research and learning by students given these conditions. In addition to fulfilling students’ course-specific needs, the librarian and instructor participating in the project wanted to make both the faculty and students aware and encourage use of our growing collection in the areas of cultural diversity and ethnic studies. The access that was provided through OhioLINK to resources in this area was growing as well and the need to create a central point of access for information and materials in our print and electronic formats, gave greater impetus for this class web page.

The ACS 250 and ETHN 101 courses share the same class web page. This web page is divided into several parts. (See Figure 1) First, reference books create awareness of the overall subject and general collection in this area. Second, the indexes/abstracts in this subject area list resources in print and electronic format with direct links. Third, the web sites give a brief annotation and link directly to each web site listed. Of lesser importance are two other parts—Additional Research Assistance and Research Aids. Additional Research Assistance includes direct links to information that provides help to some specific research questions. Research Aids are sources of information from our collection in various forms and formats—print and electronic format, reference books, indexes and abstracts, internet resources and terms for that specific subject area/topic of the research aid. Each class web page also includes direct links to the library and OhioLINK Catalogs.

The main goal/intent of this class web page is for students to use it as a vital and efficient tool for completing class assignments and projects. Review and revision of the class web pages are made prior to the fall and spring semesters unless otherwise necessary. Both the faculty and the students are encouraged to give input to the content and design of the class web pages.

A class web page was also created for ETHN 120 Introduction to Black Studies. The ETHN 120 web page borrows its basic format from the ACS 250/ETHN 101 page but includes some alterations and additions. Changes were made to the original format to better reflect orientation to the ETHN 120 course content. The Indexes and Abstracts section includes more print indexes and a list of direct links to all of the library’s research databases and electronic journals. A new section—Black Studies Web sites—was added that provides 15 direct links to relevant topics. Other parts that were also added include Web Sites for Debate Topics, Searching the World Wide Web, Evaluating Web Sources, and Citing Electronic Documents. As a result of these changes the web page has increased in size from two to five pages.

For some sections of ETHN 120, this web page is incorporated into the syllabus, thereby requiring a more flexible collaboration with faculty concerning its content. This incorporation also makes it necessary to introduce the class web page to the class at the beginning of the semester in a library session. This session serves the dual purposes of exposing students to the class web pages as well as introducing the students to the librarian, the person most familiar with both the course and the library resources.  These web pages were designed to assist students in their completion of certain class assignments. One assignment was to research the history and current status of African American/Black organizations. Information on these organizations was located on websites from the Civil Rights Museum, the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, and the National Urban League among others and links to these sites were added to the class web page.

A library user education session was conducted to inform students of these resources. The Ethnic Studies librarian demonstrated to students how to research both the mainstream and African American perspectives and gain information by using web sites, print and electronic resources (accessible through electronic journals and research databases). Students were also made aware of newspapers and magazine articles found in the Ethnic NewsWatch Database and the African American Publications found in the Black Quest Power Resource Links, which has a direct link to African American newspapers in the United States. Information at these web sites are mostly full text, therefore students can immediately do critical thinking in evaluating a source or the information presented.

Another web site of particular interest was the How Race is Lived in America series that appeared in the New York Times during the summer of 2000. This series provided students with the latest version of an educational web site. The articles were current and included a variety of formats for one site. In addition to the web-based articles themselves, the site provided direct links to related web sites for further information. Interviews with individuals and visuals from the series make this version far more informative than the print version. The web site includes a variety of formats such as the print/text of the articles, the visuals/images related to the articles, and audio versions of the reader’s opinion responses. There are biographies for the authors of each of the articles, which generate further interest.

The web site “How Race is Lived in America” is a good example of a web site that works for education because it does a good job of integrating the various formats of the web site for learning.  Two other web sites that use several aspects of the web learning formats for students are the Multimedia Scrapbook, which has links to a variety of media and content types (photographs, stories, facts, quotations, and sound clips), and Web Quest, which provides students with various perspectives of current topics. The How Race is Lived in America site was also added to the ACS 250/ETHN 101 web page and both faculty and students have found it to be an invaluable source of information on current race issues in America.

The Group Debate Project is another assignment for which the class web pages were used. The class was divided into groups. Each group was responsible for researching the issues of the debate topic and argue a “yes” or “no” position of pre-determined topics such as racism, hate crimes, capital punishment, transracial adoption, and racial profiling. Instructions for using the class web page to research these debate topics were also delivered in a library user education session. In this way, the class web pages supplied a central point of access to resources for this assignment.












Figure 1



library user education


Boolean Operators
Database Guides
Evaluating Print Sources
Evaluating Web Sources
Periodicals v. Journals
Primary Sources
Research Aids
Word v. Subject

These are references that may help.

Dates and Decades
LLR Multicultural Affairs
MAC Art Contest

BGSU Libraries Catalog
OhioLINK Central Catalog

ACS 250 & ETHN 101
Cultural & Ethnic Diversity


Reference Books


Web Sites

Debate Topics Web Sites

ACS 250: Exploring Ethnic Groups (Dr. McQuarie's class)




Figure 2




library instruction

Additional Research Assistance

Boole an Operators
Dat abase Guides
Evaluatin g Print Sources
Evaluat ing Web Sources
Periodic als v. Journals
Primary Sources
Res earch Aids
Truncatio n
Word v. Subject


















ETHN 120
Introduction to Black Studies

Reference Books | Finding Books | Indexes/Abstracts | Black Studies Web Sites
Web Sites for Debate Topics | Research Aids | Searching the WWW | Evaluating Web Sources | Citing Electronic Documents


Reference Books

These are reference books that may provide information on the various concerns, issues, and topics in Black Studies. There are many more in the Reference Area, just browse in the vicinity of the books listed below.

African - American Atlas:
Black History and Culture - An Illustrated Reference

REF E185.A79 1998
Black Literature Criticism
REF PS153.N5B556 4Vols.
Black Demographic Data, 1790 - 1860:
A Sourcebook

REF E185.18.C73 1997
Civil Rights Movement
REF E185.61.L519 1998
Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America
REF E185.61.E544 1998 3Vols.
Historical Statistics of Black America
REF E185.H543 1995 2Vols.
Identities and Issures in Literature
REF PS153.M56I34 1997 3Vols.

Notable Black American Men
REF E185.86.N68 1998
Masterplots II: African American
Literature Series 3Vols.

REF PS152.N5M2645 1994
Pan-African chronology II : A Comprehensive
Reference to the Black Quest for Freedom in
Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia, 1865 - 1915

REF E185.2.J46 1998
Racial and Ethinic Diversity: Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Whites
REF E184.A1R78 1998
Sacred Fire: The QBR 100 Essential Black Books
REF E185.S22 1999



Finding Books

BGSU Libraries Catalog / OhioLINK Central Catalog
Holdings of our libraries here and also access to OhioLINK's
vast network of library collections around Ohio.





Index to Periodicals By and About Blacks. 1950 - 1994

Index Area A13.O4

Sage Family Studies Abstracts. 1979 to Present

Index Area Q546.S23

Sage Race Relations Abstracts. 1975 to Present

Index Area T1501.S23

Social Work Research and Abstracts. 1965 to Present

Index Area HV1.A2

See also:

Ethnic NewsWatch
Research Databases
Electronic Journals


Black Studies Web Sites


Black Studies: Historical Text Archive: African American History

Sites pertaining to the history of African Americans.

Center for Afroamerican and African Studies

The Center utilizes multidisciplinary approaches to the comparative study of people of African descent living in Africa and the Americas.

University of Maryland Diversity Database

A comprehensive resource index of multicultural and cultural divesity resources.

Multicultural Pavilion: Cultural Diversity: Multicultural Resources

General resources for minority groups and diverse language populations.

The Ohio State University Libraries Black Studies Library Website

Civil Rights Museum

Congressional Black Caucus

African American Women Health Information

African American Health Issues and Information

Against Their Will: North Carolina's Sterilization Program

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

National Urban League

African American Literature Book Club (AALBC)

Association for the Study of African American Life and History

Black Quest Power Resource Links

Black History Hotlist

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

How Race Is Lived in America

A series of articles from the New York Times. The series focused on racial issues and identity.


Web Sites for Debate Topics


Jim Crow Museum

American Pictures: racism, oppression

Racism, race and the Law

ACLU American Civil Liberties Union

New York Times article series: How Race is Lived in America


Civil Rights Museum

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

National Urban League

Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report

Race and Ethnicity Resources, American Studies Web

Balch Institute For Ethnic Studies, Philadelphia,PA

The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., USA

Measuring Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in America

Divorce and the Family in America

The Breakdown of the Family-The Consequences for Children and American Society

Divorce Reform: An Idea Whose Time is Coming


The Madness of the American Family

Children's Defense Fund

Women's Employment and Care of Children in the United States

Readers' Guide to Adoption-Related Literature: Transracial Adoption

Multiethnic Placement Act and Interethnic Placement Provisions

Administration for Children and Families

Adoption and the African-American Child: A Guide for Parents

Barriers to Same Race Placement

Selected Articles on Transracial/Transcultural Adoption
The Death Penalty in the United States

Sources of Death Penalty Statistics

Executions by race of defendants executed:

Race of death row inmates:

The Debate: Death Penalty

Organizations and Sites, Pro and Con

Racial Disparities in Federal Death Penalty Prosecution, 1988-1994

The Death Penalty in Black and White: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides

Faculty Attitudes Toward Regulating Speech on College Campuses

Academic Freedom VS. Civil Rights

War of Words: Speech Codes at Colleges and Universities in the United States

Hate Crimes, 1995

Research Aids

These are research aids that will give information, research assistance and links to resources for specific cultural and ethnic diversity groups.

Black Studies
Cultural Diversity

Searching the World Wide Web

Search Engines

Reference Sources on the Web Search Engines Page
List of some of the more common search engines on the Web.

Sites to compare search engines and also some tips for searching.
Tips on Popular Search Engines
Evaluation of Selected Internet Search Tools
Web Search Tools Features
The Search is Over
Windweaver's Search Guide

Evaluating Web Sources

You must be very careful when using documents found on the Web for research. Check out Evaluating Web Pages for tips on how to evaluate a web site.

Citing Electronic Documents

It's very important to cite sources used in a project, and electronic documents, like web pages, are no different. Citation guides for APA and MLA are below. Click on the other link for guides on additional style formats.

Citation Styles(MLA and APA)
Other Citation Styles Sites




Any questions? Contact Mary Wrighten (


01-01-12/ Pagemaster / Disclaimer












            Faculty Perspective (Laurie’s Rodger’s view):

My partnership experience confirmed many of the main points discussed earlier in this article. Many of the students have limited knowledge of library resources so class web pages (CWPs) helped to increase their awareness of those resources and strengthen their research skills in addition to completing their assignments. This limited knowledge of library resources may be one reason why students didn’t seem to remember that they could use CWPs as a resource. Therefore, it is very important that the instructor constantly redirect students to the web pages when they are first introduced and continue to remind them until they remember to use them on their own.

Since this collaboration initially focused on creating the CWPs and then getting students to use them, there was little formal attention given (e.g. a survey) to assessment. Therefore, we have no student comments on record to use as examples. However, it seems that the students must find the CWPs satisfactory since they do use the CWPs once they remember that they are available. Also, assignments completed by students who use the CWPs tend to be of better quality than by those who do not. Furthermore, students seem to have a better library research experience when they use the CWPs. I also noticed that students seemed less frustrated when searching for appropriate material. Internet searches can yield literally thousands of hits which can cause a student to feel overwhelmed. CWPs seem to alleviate this burden.

As an instructor, CWPs helped my teaching because they serve as a sort of personal library. They are an excellent resource to which I can turn to do research—for classes or projects—or to quickly look something etc. which saves time as well. In addition, CWPs are flexible in that they can be fairly quickly and easily updated or changed.

Commitment from and inclusion of all participants in such a collaboration is crucial to its success. We were fortunate in that our relationship was not strictly professional but a friendship as well. I think this helps us to better avoid personality clashes and makes us more willing to listen and cooperate. Friendship or no, the importance of communicating, especially listening, can not be overemphasized.

Overall, I would say that this project was very worthwhile and we continue to work together on the CWPs. The structure of our partnership works very well and I don’t think that I would change it. At the time of our initial collaboration, I received this teaching assignment unexpectedly, which meant that there was little time to plan ahead. Continued use of the CWPS requires that we still meet, although less time is needed for planning now that the CWPs are up and running. But with respect to future projects, I would definitely allow more time for advance planning.

Finally, this librarian-faculty collaboration has been very rewarding and productive. It has lead to other projects and partnerships, all of which are thriving. In fact, we have taken steps to increase awareness of the usefulness of CWPs within my department and to establish similar collaborations between the faculty and librarians. We are also currently conducting an assessment survey of student satisfaction with the CWPs and hope that the results will further assist us in providing CWPs that are a truly valuable library resource tool. I would definitely recommend that other faculty and librarians form their own collaborative relationships.

When the librarian-faculty partnership first came into being, the semester had already begun and planning for the course had been completed. As a result, circumstances made it prudent to integrate library instruction into the curriculum, which focused on the use of reference tools that are particularly helpful to a specific assignment. Two separate assignments—Debate and Reading Cards—were chosen for integration of library instruction into the course. Both assignments are given out to students taking the ETHN 101 Introduction to Ethnic Studies and ETHN 120 Introduction to Black Studies courses. The debate requires students to research controversial issues for analysis and discussion within the discipline. Some debate topics are used with both ETHN 101 and 120 while others are used for only one course. An instruction sheet is provided that explains the assignment, reports the point distribution for grades, provides a format and structure that may be used as a guide in organizing the paper and presentation, and delineates the criteria that must be satisfied in order to receive a passing grade. Students should be able to demonstrate a cumulative understanding of the concepts and theories presented throughout the term and their application to a given debate topic.

Alignment of this debate project with learning outcomes is apparent on the instruction sheet (See Figure 3). Overall, the debate assignment requires students to fulfill the general education cultural diversity objectives previously listed. In preparing and presenting the assignment, students demonstrate the abilities outlined by the course objectives. Finally, each section of the instruction outline addresses particular University learning objectives.

Although less in-depth in terms of time needed for completion, the Reading Cards incorporate objectives similar to the Debate. Students examine newsworthy events and apply various theories during a class discussion. Again, the instruction sheet illustrates the desired learning outcomes of the assignment (See Figure 4). Corresponding institutional, library user, and course objectives are displayed with each assignment instruction sheet.


Figure 3



Introduction to Black Studies Debate




Associated Learning Outcomes


General Education-Cultural Diversity Objectives

ETHN 120 Course Objectives

(These objectives apply to the overall assignment)




I. The Debate





Investigate and Connect

   A. The Issue

     1. Identified the issue, its origin, and


     2. Identified which social group(s) (along

         the lines of race, class, gender, etc.)

         would be most directly affected and how

     3. Introduced and defended the group’s

         position (For/Yes or Against/No) on the




Analysis and Integration

   B. The Arguments FOR (Yes) /AGAINST

        (No) the issue

     1. Clearly identified and explained

         arguments supporting or opposing the


     2. Provided satisfactory evidence to

         substantiate claims


Investigate and Connect
Participate and Lead
Analysis and Integration

   C. The Response

     1. Sufficiently addressed criticisms

         presented by the opposing argument


     2. Provided satisfactory evidence to

         substantiate claims



Investigate and Connect
Participate and Lead
Analysis and Integration

   D. The Recommendations

     1. Presented realistic recommendations or

         alternatives for change or improvement

     2. Discussed the advantages/disadvantages

         of the recommendations



Write and Present

II. The Presentation


   A. Overall presentation was clear, easy to

        understand and follow

   B. Speakers explained concepts clearly and


   C. Speakers used appropriate language,

        vocal tone, and eye contact

   D. Speaker provided reasonable answers to




Write and Present


III. The Report


   A. Overall appearance of report was


   B. Contained few or no typing errors

   C. Used correct grammar

   D. Used correct spelling







Figure 4



Introduction to Ethnic Studies Reading Cards


Associated Learning Outcomes



Investigate and Connect




Write and Present



Analysis and Integration






1. Summary:

·          Brief description of current event, stating

    the significant points.

·          What racial/cultural issues were

    addressed in the article or report?


2. Appraisal:

·          Give your reactions to the article/report.


3. Impact:

·          How does this impact racial/cultural

    relations in the US? Globally?


4. Questions:

·          List some questions that were generated

    from reading this article.

V. Conclusion

“Course-related instruction is the most effective approach to meeting the objectives of library instruction, thereby making faculty-librarian collaboration all the more significant.” (Farber, 1999, p. 231). This observation has been demonstrated by the collaborative efforts of an Ethnic Studies librarian and instructor through the development and integration of library technology--class web pages—into course curriculum.

In the process of creating this technology, it should be noted that there are certain things that one may expect class web pages to do. First, class web pages can be an efficient and effective tool in the assignment completion process. Second, class web pages can be the tool that provides learning opportunities through several formats and media. Third, class web pages can be the tool that provides extended learning opportunities that are initiated by the teacher.

In contrast, there are also things which one may not expect class web pages to do. First, class web pages cannot be a substitute for the teacher or librarian. Second, class web pages cannot be effective or efficient unless they are integrated into the curriculum. Finally, class web pages cannot be effective or efficient if their utility does not complement the course’s learning objectives. Having successfully designed and implemented this research tool, we will now begin to focus on the evaluation and assessment of these efforts as part of our future research.




BGSU Course Descriptions. Retrieved April 03, 2003 from Office of Registration and Records Web site:

            Carlson, David, and Miller, Ruth, H. (November 1984). Librarians and teaching faculty: Partners in bibliographic instruction. College and Research Libraries, 45(6), p. 483-491.

Farber, Evan (1999). Faculty-librarian cooperation: A personal retrospective. RSR: Reference Services Review 27(3) p. 229-234.

            Gwinn, Nancy, E. (September 1978). The faculty-library connection. Change, 10(8), p. 19-21.

            History and setting of the University. Retrieved April 03, 2003 from BGSU Undergraduate Catalog 2003-2004 Web site: University12.html

            Ivey, Robert, T. (January 1994). Teaching faculty perceptions of academic librarians at Memphis State University. College and Research Libraries, 55(1), p. 69-82.

            Lederer, Naomi. (2000). New form(at): Using the Web to teach research and critical thinking skills. RSR: Reference Services Review, 28(2), p. 130-153.

            Meldrem, Joyce A., Johnson, Carolyn, and Spradling, Carol. (2001). Navigating knowledge together: Faculty-Librarian partnerships in web-based learning. In Barbara I. Dewey’s (ed.) Library User Education: Powerful learning, powerful partnerships. p. 30-36. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press:

            Nesbitt, Renee. (1997). Faculty-Librarian partnerships. Education Libraries, 21(1-2), pp. 5-10.

University General Education Curriculum-Cultural Diversity in the United States. Retrieved April 03, 2003 from BGSU Undergraduate Catalog 2003-2004 Web site:

University Learning Outcomes. Retrieved April 03, 2003 from BGSU Undergraduate Catalog 2003-2004 Web site: policies20.html

University Vision and Core Values. Retrieved April 08, 2003 from BGSU Undergraduate Catalog 2003-2004 Web site: