Posted 9:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 5, 2022
Library and history faculty collaborate in published book chapter
By Teri Holford (she/her/hers)
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) recently published a book titled, “Embracing Change: Alternatives to Traditional Research Writing Assignments.” The book’s premise is to provide successful case studies of initiatives across the country where collaborative and alternative approaches to research and writing for undergraduates are featured.
Murphy Library faculty members, Laura Godden and Teri Holford, along with UWL history faculty, Patricia Stovey and Tiffany Trimmer, co-wrote a featured chapter called “Friendly Finding Aid: A Collaborative Way to Build Primary Source Research Foundations.” Based on their shared approach to co-teaching a foundational course in historiography and methodology, HIS 200, the chapter describes the Friendly Finding Aid (FFA) project, its intentions, its implementation and student experiences. The chapter shows how the intentional design of the FFA assignment benefits both UWL history students and Murphy Library’s Special Collections and Area Research Center by weaving student learning objectives from both the HIS 200 curriculum with the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy, a set of student learning objectives developed by the joint task force including the ACRL, the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Rare Book and Manuscript Section (RBMS), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA). Approved by the ACRL Board of Directors in 2018, the set of guidelines was also approved by the Society of American Archivists Council the same year.
In the chapter, the authors argue that the FFA assignment challenges traditional undergraduate assumptions of what a research class can look like. The FFA, a user-friendly, archival-resource guide, is at the heart of the semester. This assignment, ultimately designed for use by regional 6th through 12th-grade students participating in the National History Day competition, intentionally fosters active, in-depth partnerships between disciplinary faculty, librarians and archivists that enhance undergraduate information literacy (IL) instruction. The chapter demonstrates how collaboration, sound pedagogy and creative yet pragmatic coursework can enrich student learning, instructor teaching and collaboration between professors, librarians and archivists because everyone involved benefits from each other’s varying expertise. Student experience and feedback, featured in the chapter, shows that the FFA assignment results in undergraduates who are more resourceful, imaginative, have a greater sense of pedagogical perspective and ultimately become more mature scholars.
“Embracing Change: Alternatives to Traditional Research Writing Assignments” is available as both an ebook and a physical book through Murphy Library.
Godden, Laura, Teri Holford, Patricia Stovey, and Tiffany Trimmer. “Friendly Finding Aid: A Collaborative Way to Build Primary Source Research Foundations.” In Embracing Change: Alternatives to Traditional Research Writing Assignments, editors Silke Higgins and Ngoc-Yen Tran, 111-130. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), 2022.