Librarian-Instructor Partnerships: Empowering Students to Share Their Research with the Community


  • Maoria Kirker George Mason University
  • Kerry Folan George Mason University



student writing, assessment, critical thinking, creativity, reflective practice, composition, community-based learning, experiential learning, inquiry-based assignments, undergraduates


In the fall of 2015 a George Mason University librarian and a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) in the English department, designed an extensive collaboration for a Composition 101 research project. Through this collaboration, not only did studentsââ¬â¢ research skills improve, but students also reported feeling empowered to reach out to the librarian directly to make appointments; to use the library independently (a resource most of them had not yet utilized in their time at Mason); and to approach librarians they did not know personally. Students designed a creative solution to a community problem, framed as a ââ¬Åproposal for change.ââ¬Â For extra credit, students had the option to ââ¬Ågo publicââ¬Â with their proposal, sending it to the community member with the ability to implement the suggested change, indicating a sense of pride and confidence in their work.


This presentation will outline the logistics of the instructor/librarian collaboration; identify the elements to change in the future; and offer suggestions for instructors trying to form a similar partnership. Additionally, it will offer three perspectives on the success of the collaboration: the instructorââ¬â¢s, the librarianââ¬â¢s, and the studentsââ¬â¢, which were collected through written surveys and oral interviews. This session will appeal to GTAs, course coordinators, FYC instructors, gen-ed faculty, and librarians. At the conclusion of the session, the audience will have insight into the pros and cons of the ââ¬Åproposal for changeââ¬Â assignment design, student reactions to this co-teaching strategy, and strategies for building a similar partnership in their own classroom.





2:45pm-3:25pm Mini-Workshops, Panels, & Roundtables