Design Thinking @ Your Library, a SI2016 Recap

Librarians are, by our very nature, selfless creatures. We think about our users constantly, in just about every area of our work. From collection development to research instruction, web design to furniture and paint colors. But do we really know them and understand the full spectrum of their needs?

Enter Design Thinking @ Your Library, the 2016 AISL Summer Institute.

This June, 36 librarians came together from the four corners of the United States, representing Lower, Middle, and Upper Division libraries, all with a single mission: to learn how to “do” Design Thinking and to return to our schools ready to tackle challenges, great and small.

My background in Design Thinking is varied. Three years ago I participated in an awesome Leadership & Design Design Thinking workshop here at Emma Willard. We designed around the downtown Troy revitalization effort. This spring, I took an ALA course that applied DT to information literacy instruction.  I have read about it and watched videos on it. I was on a committee at school where we used it to study the effectiveness of blended learning in our classrooms. There have been some awesome Independent Idea blog posts in the past that dealt with the DT in the library, but in the vein of all the other awesome posts of late where bloggers admit their limitations,

I still couldn’t quite wrap my mind around how it would work, from start to finish, in the library world. There, I said it.

The Summer Institute changed all of that.

We started with an opening cocktail party where we mingled and got to know one another. We enjoyed delicious food and drink but then…it was time to get down to business. We split up into teams for a quick, fun Marshmallow Design Challenge.

Photo Jun 21, 7 37 57 PM (1)Many a group has attempted this challenge before, from Kindergartners to PhDs , engineers to corporate executives. Who do you think is the most successful? The engineers? Think again! It’s the little ones! Why? Because they are completely open minded. They jump right in and start building. Adults plan, contemplate the “what ifs”, and basically eat up their 18 minutes. Kids aren’t afraid to fail. They build. It falls down. They try again. If you need a great team building activity for a faculty meeting, this is a great one.

Photo Jun 22, 2 04 45 PM

Highlights of the SI included a fantastic keynote by Steven Bell giving us a birds eye view, or WHY Design Thinking works in tackling our “wicked problems”. Two of my amazing colleagues, science teachers and experienced design thinkers, then stepped in to teach us HOW to do it. We practiced as a group designing around my nemesis: a rickety wooden book cart circa 1960-somethin’, that hurts me, literally, falling over when I least expect it, bruising my shins. My assistant and I explained our many problems with the cart, the group interviewed us further to practice the empathy stage of the DT process, then everyone broke into teams to determine what they thought the “real” problem was (ie: was it a physical cart issue or a process issue?). That was an interesting conversation in and of itself! Their prototypes were AMAZING, and included, among other features, a student-led shelving system, fancy carts with huge tires, device charging stations so that we can listen to music while we shelve, flat, adjustable shelves to accommodate oversize books and a laptop for doing inventory, among other things. Designs shared via Twitter were picked up by Demco. How cool is that? I digress…

The final part of the conference was the one that my colleagues and I were most anxious about. How could we divide such a diverse group into balanced teams, around shared challenges in varied divisions, in a way that made sense and provided them with real, applicable, takeaways from the SI?

On the fly, we asked them to take a piece of paper, write their division at the top, their challenge as a headline, and at the bottom, which “track” of the SI their challenge fell under: Research, Physical Space, Maker, or simply “Other”.

You know what? IT TOTALLY WORKED.

Rather than tell you about their intriguing challenges, their thoughtful “What If…” statements, their design horizons, and their prototypes, why don’t you check it out on your own in this SI Libguide I created? While you’re there, feel free to visit the presentations, see the recommended reading, and download the free DT Toolkit provided by IDEO.

How can we ensure that we are creating the spaces, programs, and lessons that our community needs, both now and in the future? We do what we do best: we observe, we question, we listen, we invite other perspectives to the table, we think outside the box, we take risks, we try things! Whether we realize it or not, the skill set emphasized in design thinking is very much what we as librarians do best.

SI Participants, feel free to share your reflections below. If anyone has questions or if you would like to discuss the experience further, please let me know!

SI2017 will be here before you know it! It will be hosted by Caroline Bartels at the Horace Mann School in NYC focusing on One Book One School. More info to come as planning progresses.

I wish you all an excellent start to the ’16-’17 school year!

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An Answer to David Wee’s “I Have No Idea What I Am Doing…”

By CD McLean (Berkeley Preparatory School)

Background:

This post is my first in a couple of years.  They don’t have a login for me yet, so the top bit says Christina, but don’t blame her if you disagree with anything in the post! Blame me (CD McLean).  I was in a bit of a quandary about what to write in my first back to blogging post. What would be the most interesting subject? What would capture AISL librarians’ attention? I thought about doing one on collaboration as I have a big collaboration project coming up with our new personal librarian program kicking off in the upper school this school year.  Then I thought, why not go topical?  Perhaps an entry on plagiarism might be thing since we had the speech kerfuffle at the Republican National Convention; we could look at the ins and outs of plagiarism and how to examine it in the classroom.  In the end though, I fell back on the tried and true for intriguing: David Wee. As most of you are whenever he posts, I was enthralled by David Wee’s post on “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING…”.  And I heard his call for comments and thought, “I will answer the call.”  Also, I frequently stand in the middle of the library staring out at the students and think “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING…” 😎

What does it mean to be “information literate?”

 A good question, but I think perhaps the question needs to be “what does it mean to be information literate to librarians and to administrators and to department chairs? (And perhaps should we check those people to see if THEY are information literate?) Wesleyan University defines information literacy as “ a crucial skill in the pursuit of knowledge. It involves recognizing when information is needed and being able to efficiently locate, accurately evaluate, effectively use, and clearly communicate information in various formats.” However, the American Library Association (ALA) defines it as “… a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.””

Student Looking for Book on Library Shelves (photo from wikimedia).

The difference between the two: the university librarians added the clear communication. What do you think of these two definitions? Are they enough? Is the added clear communication enough for your students? Or do you need something more?

A third definition comes from the Association of American School Librarians (AASL) and AASL has taken a more skills-based approach at the definition. Consequently, it is a bit more detailed. Their definition comes from their Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. While AASL does say that the definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changed” (meaning: Hey everybody, this is tough!”), I think that the closest they come to a definition that we can use is on the right hand side of their pamphlet where they define the skills for the 21st-century learner. 

Cover of the front page of AASL’s 21st-Century Learner Pamphlet (via AASL website).

Learners use skills, resources and tools to: 

  1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge. 
  2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge. 
  3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society. 
  4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

So, out of the three definitions, which one do you prefer? All in all, I like the AASL definition best.  IMO, it is more comprehensive. It allows for us to teach ethics (plagiarism, copyright), that the other two definitions leave out. And I really like number 4: Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.  Every year I wrack my brain for how I can help students achieve this.  This year it is my goal is to create research projects that help students pursue personal and aesthetic growth.  I’ll keep you posted.  What are your goals for the new school year related to information literacy?

What does it mean to be “college ready?”

Short bad answer: a diploma.  Real librarian answer: Well, that’s the rub, isn’t it? At several of our conferences, we have had panels of lovely college librarians tell us what they are looking for in their  college freshmen.  I think the part of the problem lies with us.  Are we passing on the information we receive?  By passing on, I mean, adding this info to our scope and sequence?  Do we go back and talk with department chairs and then redesign projects?  We are certainly not the only people responsible for making our graduates college ready, but I think we do bear responsibility for making them information literate and able to research at the college level. We are part of the team.  We need to help our team be the best it can be and part of that responsibility is passing on information about how we can redesign or look at projects differently so that our students can be better able to succeed in college. 

One group activity that we all might do is a quick survey of our own graduates and then share that information with the list (or, share it with me and I will compile it for my next post mcleacd@berkeleyprep.org put in the subject heading graduate survey).  The end goal of the task would be to take the results and then publish them in an NAIS, AASL or another publication so that we are disseminating the information discovered.  This survey is something I did with my former students. It was quick and dirty, essentially, I asked them to send me research assignments that they had been given.  I also asked them to tell me whether they felt that they had been adequately prepared by the library department.  I also asked about how they conducted their own research in college and what resources they used, if they felt there was something we should have taught them, but didn’t, if there was something that we did teach them that they were thankful for.  On the whole, they said, we did a great job on the humanities side, but we needed more upper level science writing/research assignments because that was what they were encountering in school and they didn’t know how to do it.  In particular, one graduate spoke of a free science database (the PDB) that they were using for a science research project. Because of this info, I was able to go to the Upper Division Director and ask about the state of research in the Upper Division.  The library had been off the curriculum committee for two years.  I think it is because of this that we have been reinstated for this coming school year.  If any of you remember my talk from the Tampa conference, energetic persistence is my first game plan. If that doesn’t work, then having an elephant’s memory does.  I never forget what I have asked for and I ask for it year after year until I get it.

Are colleges truly doing a good job of preparing young adults to be thoughtful and productive citizens?  

IDK.  I think it depends on the college and the student.  If that is the mission of the school, then yes, but for the majority, no.  

If no, do we continue to build PK-12 curriculum around helping students be “college ready” or do we bravely go where other schools have not?

I think this all comes back to your school’s mission statement.  Ours is that we put students into the world who make a positive difference.  So from a Berkeley Prep perspective, we are invested in making sure that our graduates have a solid character and service learning foundation.  My school has added a director of community service and she has done amazing things with our students.  Or rather, I should say, she has been able to spotlight the amazing things our students have been doing.  Our Global Scholars Program is doing more community service oriented items.  Even in the library, where we did fundraising in the past, we have kicked it up a notch and have embarked on a major community service learning project with middle division that we hope will connect with upper division in time.  Our student library proctors are leading the charge on this effort and will be mentors to the 8th graders. 

How much of my collection should be eBooks vs. print vs. databases vs. audiobooks?

OMGosh.  I have nightmares about this question.  I also have tours that come through the library with tour guides who say, “One day print…” you know how that sentence ends!  We will be renovating our library in the Spring and it will be all packed up and we will be completely electronic for at least five months, perhaps more.  So, we are facing this question of purchasing more databases for this year to use. The question being, what if we like them?  Do we keep them?  What does that do to my budget?  

A very tiny survey of Battle of the Books students from several Bay area schools showed that the majority of them preferred print books to electronic or audio, but we are still putting our money on Overdrive and audiobooks. I think this is a “If you have them, they will use them” situation. Our entire collection isn’t electronic, but it’s a slow slide.

What platforms should I use to host my eBooks and audiobooks? 

IMO whatever works for your situation. Currently, we use Overdrive for fiction and audiobooks because they have a consortium price that is amazing; they have collections for both lower and middle and upper; and when we did the original research, we liked them best.  So, most of our kids are trained on this device.  Our public libraries use this platform as well.  

How many eBook and audiobook platforms is too many?

I was going to say not more than one.  But then I realized that we have Overdrive for fiction and for reference eBooks, we have Gale, Ebsco, and so on and so on.  We also have ACLS Humanities Ebooks, which is a completely separate platform and we have onesies out in the Destiny collection from other sources.  So, in an effort not to be a hypocrite, you should have lots!

Should I have my own “library research process” like Big6 or ISP or should we be aiming to contextualize library skills/concepts/tasks into a broader framework like Design Thinking?  

Please let me know on this one.  We don’t have my own library research process.  But we are working with history to come up with one that is similar to Guided Inquiry for this year so that we can have a process that follows our scope and sequence. Lower Division has committed to Guided Inquiry.  I feel like Guided Inquiry is the closest one that will allow me to design projects that achieve that #4 skill AASL talks about (see above definition).

Is it okay to rip the DVD of our legal copy of Supersize Me so students can view it within Vialogues on our Moodle site? Guidelines don’t count. I want someone to tell me yes or no and if they’re wrong, they get fired or sued instead of me.

Look.  If people can’t even tell if there is one monkey making three faces or three monkeys making one face, then how can we really know the answer to anything? 42.  Either way, I’m not going to answer that question or David’s.

Is the return on investment for EBSCO Discovery worth it by measurably getting many more student eyeballs on my expensive database content or is it still a not-quite-ready-for-prime-time thing that everybody is excited about and signing on for until two years from now when we’ll all want to move on to something else that is still not-quite-ready-for-prime-time?

We aren’t going there…bleeding edge and all that…

I know library research skills are necessary and important for students’ future success, but how do I get teachers to believe what I believe?

Energetic persistence and an elephant’s memory (“Why, Martha, are you still doing that luau project in March?  I have just the thing for you!  If you come by tomorrow, when I have your favorite snack in my office, we can chat about it.”)

Why do we have to change libraries into “Learning Commons” rather just calling them libraries and adding/evolving the functionality and work that happens within a “library?” (Modern hospitals seem to still be called “hospitals” without the messy historical baggage associated with the fact that physicians used to use leeches to suck blood from sick people. Things change, people, move on!).  

I’m a librarian and I work in a library. End of story.

Is coffee bad for me or is it good? What about salt? Butter? I’m a librarian. If I can’t figure out what to eat or not eat, how am I supposed to teach students in a health class what sources of information are to be believed?  

Coffee good. Coffee with chicory, better! I’ll stop there. And I want coffee in the LIBRARY…;-)

MLA 8 has landed. Should I stay with MLA 7 for this year or make the jump in August?

Now you might look at my comment on bleeding edge and have bet that I would arguing sticking with MLA 7 for this year.  You would be wrong.  MLA 8 is out.  The books are out.  Whether the English department likes it or not, MLA 8 is here to stay.  One way that you can make yourself indispensable to your English department is to point out that you and your library staff has MLA 8 books and are all trained on MLA 8.  Additionally, you would be OVERJOYED  to give them all a brief primer on how to teach the new MLA 8 style to their students.  MLA 8 is not bleeding edge, it is concrete, here to stay, in your face, deal with it, change.  Be the happy, helpful librarian that those overwhelmed teachers need to help them deal with that one more thing they didn’t want to learn! 

Easybib Schools got murdered. Easybib Scholar didn’t look worth the cost difference for my school needs so we planned to migrate to NoodleTools, but now Easybibwhatever it is called now is, supposedly, free. Go or stay?

I am biased.  We have been a Noodletools house for 14 years.  In those 14 years we have had exceptional service and service that has grown from not just a works cited generator, but a research platform for students. I have gone from one or two history teachers, to a committed history department.  It connects with Google docs, allows for notecards, outlines and also allows for all of those to be printed as well.  Everything is electronic, paperless and allows for teachers to grade online, at the bank while waiting in line for a teller (which my US History teacher tells me he does). Photos can be saved, colors can be used, everything can be moved around and shifted according to the neatness or messiness of your process.  We happen to love it.  We have complaints at the beginning of the process from those complainer kids, but when it comes to the end and they put their notecards together and they see what they have and realize that their paper is all there, they are converts. Amazing converts. My answer is go.  We love it.  And it will be updated to MLA 8. 

What am I not doing that I should be doing? I don’t know what I don’t know…

You are way ahead of the game, Mr. Wee.  Because you are a seeker of knowledge, you may be in the  13.5% of people who are early adopters or you may be in the early majority, two key early adopter groups from the bell curve for the adoption of technology chart that explains the innovation adoption lifecycle.  Or we could look at the more humorous and more likely scenario of the Pencil Metaphor put out by Australian teachers.  

The Pencil Metaphor: I believe Mr. Wee is one of the Sharp Ones.

Personalizing the Library/Research Experience

I dare say that if we all shared our independent school mission statements,  a theme would emerge offering assurance of a deeply personalized educational experience. We tend to promise smaller class sizes, world class faculty, group and individual advisory programs, a multitude of electives, practicums, and then there are the capstone programs, the plethora of PE options, and team sports.

We as librarians strive to know our kids’ names, their interests, and their reading  preferences so that we can be ready to suggest their next favorite book. We ask for syllabi, we interview teachers about upcoming assignments, we lurk on the school’s LMS to anticipate potential collaborations. [Dave admitted to snooping through cabinets. I will admit to snooping through syllabi. There, I said it.]

We have to know what research topics our teachers are assigning and/or what our kids are interested in so that we can develop the best print + digital collections and so that we can tailor research lessons for the group and their grade level. I’m preaching to the choir, right? Our sincere effort at deep personalization is in many ways these families’ return on investment.

My assistant and I have been discussing ways to deepen our library program’s personalization for the ’16-’17 school year. After reading and discussing The Personal Librarian: Enhancing the Student Experience for the #AISL16LA Board Book social, and then coming home to explore the concept of the embedded librarian, we have decided to pilot two programs starting this summer.

PROGRAM 1: Personal Librarians

Our school serves grades 9-12. My assistant and I will divide the incoming 9th grade class, not alphabetically, but by history class. We will reach out to said students via email (or emailed Youtube video?) this  summer and we’ll introduce ourselves, tell them a little bit about our families (pets, hobbies, strange and unusual tricks?!?!), our roles on campus, and we’ll introduce ourselves as their personal librarian and explain what this means.
[What it means for us: we will reach out to them quarterly, suggest some resources that could help in an upcoming assignment, tell them about some new books we have in the library that they might like to check out before an upcoming break, and we’ll remind them that we’re available for 1:1 appointments any time that they need us. No pressure, no requirements, only demonstrating that we know their names, we’re familiar with their assignments, and we’re hoping to make their lives easier.]

This isn’t really a new idea, is it? It’s just a marketing technique. A marketing technique that we mentioned recently during an admissions speed dating event with prospective parents. Parents whose eyes absolutely lit up when they heard about it. They wanted their own personal librarian! “Why can’t we all have personal librarians?!”, they asked. {Please know that I pointed them in the direction of their local public libraries in that moment.} Anyway, it went over really well. Admissions loves it. It’s another layer of personalization and it’s coming from the LIBRARY. To quote my  kids’ favorite mindless Disney Channel show, “Bam! What?!“.

Oh em gee, this Personal Librarian has pet prairie dogs. Reason no. 1,926,823 why librarians are the most interesting people ever. My intro will NOT be this interesting. However, I’m sort of loving the Youtube intro idea.

PROGRAM  2: Embedded librarians

We are meeting this week with the 9th grade history teachers to discuss just how embedded we might be. Everyone agrees that the one and done research lesson is not working for any of us. We can’t fit all that we need to fit into a single class period, we’re talking like auctioneers, our girls’ eyes are glazing over, and teachers aren’t seeing discernible improvements in their students’ processes or products. We can do better! What we’re proposing is this:

My assistant and I will divide the freshman history courses and we will go with the classes for which we are the girls’ personal librarians. We want to know their names, we want them to know that we are real, non-scary, non-shooshy people. In short, we want to build relationships and trust with our students and we find that that rapport is more easily obtained by regular face to face interaction.  Our school operates on an 8 day rotation with 50 minute periods. Each course gets one grab block per week, giving them a 75 minute meeting. We will use the weekly 9th grade history grab block to work with the girls on research skills, breaking our research lessons into 15 minute “mini-lessons”.

I want to use those mini lessons in two ways: one, to introduce them to the research process slowly and with repetition;  to our library catalog, our physical tools, and to teach them about our digital resources, as well as those critical web evaluation skills. Secondly, I  want to target source literacy.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was totally inspired by Nora Murphy’s #AISL16LA talk about the need for source literacy. I see us creating 15 minute source ‘petting zoo’ opportunities for our freshmen. I’m making notes as we speak on sources that I feel we could introduce in those 15 minute sessions, and homework we could assign to cement search processes of each. Off-hand I can think of print magazines (scholarly & popular) that we could expose the girls to, trade publications,  digital repositories: LOC, PBS, NPR, museum collections, NYPL, the National Archives, etc.

With all of this time spent in the classroom, I feel like we can use bigger chunks of time in the weeks leading up to research projects, quilting the skills together. Asking better questions. Anticipating relevant sources. Building keywords. Mining data. Employing advanced search techniques in the physical and digital worlds. Note taking. Paraphrasing. Citation.

If you could use the comments below, I’m interested in hearing what else you think might be appropriate to include in the information literacy/source petting zoo. Are you already doing the personalized or embedded thing? If so, how’s it working for you?

We’re thinking of proposing a session at NOLA to engage in a conversation about personalizing library services.  If you are employing either of the strategies we’re piloting, or if you’re doing something completely different, and might like to apply to co-present, please let me know!

Wishing you all the best as you leave APs and slide into finals. Happy spring, ya’ll!

 

Barriers to Access

If it is possible for one’s PD cup to run over, mine is. In the past two weeks, I have been to two amazing conferences. First,  NEAISL at the lovely Milton Academy for a one day, action packed conference. Just a few days later, I headed to Los Angeles for the annual AISL conference, where I found myself surrounded, once again, by world class librarians from across the US and Canada, visiting beautiful, innovative library spaces in and around LA. My next thousand blog posts could be reflections on the new ideas that I have come home with, consider yourself warned.

What I thought I  might attempt in this first reflection piece is to identify a common theme that ran through both conferences. It’s about access to information.

NEAISL & Ebsco’s Discovery Service

NEAISL proved that our regional EBSCO rep has been very, very busy of late. Most of us are either-mid trial, in our first year or two with the product, and a few of us are well seasoned, early adopters of the technology.  I don’t refer to EDS here in the ‘to have or not to have’ context, Alyssa did an excellent job in sharing the pros and cons of the program in an earlier post. I do want to share a catchy quote that I heard at NEAISL though. One librarian observed, “Our students don’t care which database their information came from. They only want to access the information quickly, to find valid results that are easy to cite,  rich and varied enough to make their teacher happy, then they’re moving on.” Truth. So yes, I do like Discovery. That isn’t the point of this post, though. The point is ACCESS, with or without Discovery.

Jenny Barrows of the Hopkins School said,  “our students will never find our best materials if we have crappy records”. She and her colleagues believe that our shelves can practically sparkle with a quality, well honed collection, but the reality is that our students are still going through the computer to search for sources. Like all the time. They do not browse. They WILL NOT find our books if they are badly cataloged.

She and her team of 3  began a descriptive catalog project, hoping to increase access points. Read all about it and learn the steps it takes to implement in your own library here.

In essence, bad cataloging blocks our students’ access to information. This is going to take some time, but we need to be as diligent in weeding our records as we are in weeding our shelves. 

Welcome to Katie’s Summer Project Numero Uno. Good times! 

Speaking of cataloging/barriers to access, Liz Gray just shared this thought provoking article via Facebook. Do you check to make sure that your records are politically correct and not potentially offensive to your community?

On a semi-related note, do you think about teenagers’ natural language searching  or do you stick with standardized subject headings?

AISL16 & Access: Source Illiteracy as block to access

How can we access that which we are not aware of?

The next ‘access issue’ that I want to address is one that I thought long and hard about after attending what was easily one of the best conference sessions I have ever experienced. It was given by Nora Murphy of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, and is taken from an article that will soon be published in KQ…be on the lookout! Note: Nora is one of my new librarian sHeros. Check out her amazing library website.

Nora did not present the material as an access-issue, per se. I’m taking liberties with that part, but just go with it for a moment. I think hope that it will make sense in the end.

frog   axolotl

 

 

 

Nora began her presentation by showing us an image of a frog and an axolotl. Frogs are the publications that we are familiar with–magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals, etc. (Note: not all of our kids know that these frogs are frogs.) Axolotls are things that resemble frogs, but really aren’t–they could include trade journals, government documents, blogs, and social media.

We as adults and professionals observe, categorize, ask questions. Our students aren’t typically this savvy (or simply have no exposure from which to draw).

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

From the Virtual Library. Used with permission via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Nora argues that we are missing a piece between location & selection of sources.

<——-Source Literacy goes here. This gap gets in the way of research in a serious way.

Source literacy requires knowledge of source types. What it is, where it exists, what it contains, who creates it, and why. Like anything we teach, we have to expose kids repeatedly to sources or they will forget. Nora suggests that we systematically create a bank of knowledge for them to draw on in the future.

She is all about the Source Bank.

Here’s an example she gave:

9th health class asks, “Why isn’t everything in the grocery store organic?”. What sources do you imagine will have relevant information on this topic? They think of some newspapers, a magazine or two, but really they don’t know much and aren’t able to predict what kinds of sources would have good information on farming, the food industry, or current trends.

How do we expand their source literacy beyond basic, standard publications?

Here’s another idea for a US History class. Convince their teachers that kids MUST know what an oral history is. It’s critical. Invite the teacher(s) to plan with you, to co-teach, co-assess—a unit, a year long goal, over next 3 years we will x, y, and z, whatever fits your school culture, but knowing that the repetition of a concept is what it takes to place it into long term memory.

9th Create assignment, what is an oral history? Characteristics? Do something with it.

10th grade: Studying the impact of religious, cultural, or racial persecution.

Explore sources that contain oral histories:

  • Holocaust Museum
  • Documents of the American South
  • LOC Civil Rights Project

Create a Digital Sourcebank. She likes Trello because it allows students to annotate (how they used a source, what they thought of it at the time, etc.

Nora is piloting Trello with a few of her students. She showed us an example of a students’ work exploring the China/Tibet Relationship. The student had created columns in her source bank which included: Preliminary/Informal sources (idea generation), Core sources (print and digital), Necessary Bias—she needs to consider, but knows it represents a particular point of view (HOW GREAT IS THAT REALIZATION?!), and finally, Visual Texts. Notice: the student is categorizing her own sources.

The benefit of the source bank being formed early in the research process is that it allows for source assessment EARLY ON, not when the bibliography is turned in.

There are so many wonderful, free resources out there, but if our students haven’t had exposure to a lot of different kinds of publications, frogs and axolotls alike, how can they possibly generate the kind of sophisticated, open source, research that could lead them to relevant results?

If we do not make source knowledge a priority, then aren’t we ourselves, a sort of human barrier to our students’ access?

I’ve hit you with a lot of information here. What are your thoughts? Please comment below. And please, if someone’s comment resonates with you, chime in! The more we can discuss, the better.

Google Drive, redux

Way back in the fall of 2014 when Independent Ideas was a newborn blog, my first post was Why I’m Drinking the “Google Drive” Kool Aid  As I finish January “research season” with my freshmen and am full force into Sophomore World History projects, Google Drive has been on my mind. We’ve tweaked our use of Drive over the past two years. We’re now spending less time mandating that everything be done in the same (exacting) format, and instead are focusing on freeing ourselves up to answer individual questions as students work independently in class and at home.Drive LogoWe’ve given each student a research partner who is his first responder for basic technology assistance and general questions. (This time of year we have a lot of students missing days for sports championships and Model Congress-type competitions, so partners were tasked primarily with keeping each other up-to-date and answering questions like, “Is there a rubric for the outline?”) Some students chose to share their project folders with their partner, and those who did so benefited from the extra set of eyes on their work. The Google Drive cloud-based platform has proven important not only for the ability to share work, but also for the ability to switch between devices. We’ve learned that the iPad is not the ideal (litotes, anyone?) device for writing a research paper with Chicago-style footnotes.

Basically, beware, the mobile interface sometimes eats your footnotes.File TypeWe have a class set of computers in the library, and students switch back and forth between PC and iPad depending on whether they are working on steps like note-taking and writing or steps like formatting footnoting and creating a bibliography. We want students to know that the format is standardized and is important, but we don’t want them spending time stressing about a hanging indent.Sample FileWith 80 9th graders this year and a month timeline for the freshman paper process, the teacher and I split up the classes in terms of commenting on individual assignments. We have a modified draft where we pick a few favorite topics (and a few students we specifically want to shepherd along), and then we each take the remainder of the students in two of the periods. Google Drive has shortkeys for commenting, and copy/paste has been my friend for many common concerns. We make sure to leave a trail so that we are supporting each other and providing the same feedback. We sometimes ask struggling students to respond so we know that they are reading our comments and making changes. I have my account set up so that anytime a comment is added or someone responds to one of my comments, I receive an email. These link right back to the document and provide context. “Is this too vague?” now refers to a sentence and not to the paper as a whole. I feel like feedback is targeted. In this particular project, two of the top freshmen worked diligently on their papers on their own asking for feedback electronically on an almost daily basis. Their final papers were much better because we were able to give them the individual support that they craved as they reached sticking points in the process.CommentsThe visibility and sharing are helpful for our internal coordination as well as for other supportive resources. As we plan our trip to the public library, we give the librarians at the Central Library viewing access to our topic/thesis/is this student on track spreadsheet that we update daily. They pull materials and run database searches on each subject. I can’t praise their reference department there too highly! Students working with tutors and with our Center for Academic Success staff share their folders so that the individuals working with them can use our comments to guide their work. Students have been known to share their files with other History and English teachers, especially during the revision process.Add ArticleAnother change over the last two years involves file types. On those occasions when I serendipitously come across the perfect article for a student’s research while working with another student, I’ll drop a file into her folder. These unpredictable surprises can’t help but lead to a little dopamine spike and maybe more time spent working on research. (On a related note, here’s how we talk about the compulsive desire for technology with our students.) We play around each year with requirements for notes, and for the past two years we stuck with this wording. “We encourage you to take notes in Google Drive so we can see what you’re working on and accelerate you to the next step. However, if you’re someone who learns better with paper notes, listen up. At the end of each class period, take a picture of your notes from the day and upload them.” The vast majority take notes in Drive, though a few students in each class thank us profusely for letting them work with paper and pen. Moving beyond photos, let’s talk about extra credit. Almost every student will admit that teachers recommend that they should read their papers aloud to themselves as they revise. But they don’t. We’ve taken to offering one optional extra credit point to freshmen who record themselves reading the first three paragraphs of their essay and then record a 30-60 second reflection of the experience. They upload the audio to Google Drive, and we check that it’s complete. The feedback is pretty consistent.

“My paper didn’t sound like I thought it did.”

“I hate my voice.”

“I have a lot of work to do over the next week.”

By now you’ve probably figured out our secret plan; the extra credit is just a gateway point to more time spent revising and a better final product.Multiple FilesAs this has been a relatively glowing review of Google Drive thus far, it’s time for the two caveats. Students are terrible at remembering to make their files Google Drive files and often upload Pages, Word, or pdf documents. This means that we can’t offer feedback, and we make them resubmit. These are often the same students who create files outside of the folders shared with us, who then wonder why we haven’t reviewed their work. I don’t know why these are the one sticking points, but it’s been consistent for a few students each year.

We’re not paperless yet, but we’re closer. More importantly, for us it’s been a collaboration miracle, letting us work more efficiently as one unit. Any other thoughts on Google Drive? Suggestions for projects or collaborations, particularly for schools that are Google for Education schools?

Passive Collaboration…aka “a foot in the door”

Collaboration is a buzzword these days. I’m all for collaboration. How can you be against collaboration? However, you may be familiar with what I have taken to calling “passive collaboration.” Some of the blog posts over the past few months have dealt with the difficulty of reaching every student. We all have students and teachers who recognize the value of libraries more than others. Teachers have a surefire way to access students and motivate them; I do not. While I’ve had success approaching teachers with my ideas, I’ve had greater success when teachers approach me and tell me the lessons that they are planning. Then I work with them and add in the research and information literacy components that I’ve been dreaming about. I feel like it’s in keeping with the “yes and” rule of improve theater. How can I build on your ideas?

“Oh, you want your entire class to research the biography of William Shakespeare without using Wikipedia?” How interesting. Yes and….while they’re in the library, can we use that time to compare different types of encyclopedias and see how that influences the information included in each entry? Or perhaps we can discuss why we don’t have firm dates for much of Shakespeare’s life and brainstorm the reasons scholars think they know what they do? Or I’ve found that most students have never heard of the “authorship question” regarding Shakespeare’s works, so I would love to hear their reactions to this short video and learn how that changes their understanding of Shakespeare’s legacy. Which sounds best to you, and which dates were you hoping to come to the library by the way? Let’s get you on the calendar!”

I’m a planner by nature—I think most librarians are—so this does not come naturally to me. But I’ve learned that there is a playfulness that comes with this level of adaptability, and it ultimately leads directly to more time with students, my favorite part of the job. One example that jumps to mind from this past semester is when a teacher asked me to come to a middle school Humanities class to hear each student present on a current events article of his or her choosing from the news. There were a few on global health and economics, but most were on immigration and refugees. As we started to compare the information in various newspapers and different countries’ responses to immigration, the teacher invited me (in front of the class) to come back every Monday to continue to analyze immigration reporting in newspapers around the globe. It ended up being a lot of fun, and student feedback last week indicated that they felt they had a much more nuanced understanding of immigration in December than in September. A separate example? When I was asked to help World History students provide feedback to student work from a sister school in Japan, it turned into a multiday lesson on how to write reviews and give feedback electronically, using our own town as an example. The time flew by. And I’ll be working with that teacher again in February on a longer project. A foot in the door….

I’m not saying that librarians should take a backseat to teachers, but I’m living in a world where doing so gives me so many more opportunities to collaborate. Think about the adage, “restrictions breed creativity.” Right now, enjoy the winter break, and when you come back to school, refreshed, in January, make it your resolution to go with the flow and try something new that a teacher presents to you!

More “un-fancy” things…

Each year, our 8th graders spend a week in Boston and are required to complete a month-long research project studying a topic that relates in some way to the trip. Because the librarian before me was incredibly organized, I have files for each project dating back to the early 2000s. For years, the final product was a five-page historical report, with many intermediary steps such as 40 notecards, a page outline, and a full MLA bibliography. In recent years, however, the project has been amorphously shape-shifting, as we’ve experimented with modernizing the assessment. David Wee just shared his experiences with teaching note-taking in the 21st century, and I feel the need to do the same with research projects.

This week has been a librarian’s dream….well, if you’re a librarian Energizer Bunny supplied with chocolate-covered espresso beans. Our 8th grade has four sections, and all week is collaborative interdisciplinary chaos. Students are being given two class periods in which to work with three educators —the History teacher, the English teacher, and me— on hand at all times to assist. As someone with a flexible schedule, it’s phenomenal to have the gift of time and the opportunity to work individually with students.

Thinking back to old-school quality research skills, here are some other ways that the project seems to be working well:

    • In the past, topics were limited to history and the topics necessitated that students write reports:
      • Lowell Mill Girls
      • Samuel Adams
      • James Fennimore Cooper
      • Wampanoag Indians
      • Boston Massacre
    • Now, all the 8th grade teachers are working collaboratively via GoogleDocs to develop analytical questions across subject areas. It’s not possible to simply “wiki-up” the answer:
      • How did depictions of the Battle of Bunker Hill differ from the American and British perspectives?
      • What characteristics best describe the Sons of Liberty and how did they go about seeking change in the colonies?
      • How did harnessing water power change the energy budget of Revolutionary times?
      • How have the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park played a role in Boston’s history and identity?
      • How have burial traditions changed from Revolutionary times?
    • These topics are more comparative and often ask the students to answer a how/why question without the stress of coming up with their own thesis statement. Middle school students benefit from learning what goes into analytical research questions so that they are more comfortable developing their own questions in future projects.
    • Students are able to choose their own topics from a list of 75 instead of picking a topic randomly out of a paper bag. I consider this a huge win for the kids! There’s more buy-in from students who are invested in learning more about topics they’ve chosen themselves.
    • By giving students 300 minutes of unstructured class time after returning from Boston, we’re helping them learn time management. We are able to monitor student progress on a minute-by-minute basis, eliminating the black box surrounding student work that’s sent home.
    • In a somewhat ironic librarian move, I requested that we get rid of the requirement for a “printed book source” and instead offer a range of source choices, of which each student must choose at least three. This means that students are able to choose the sources that best fit their individual topics rather than trying to pigeonhole a source that doesn’t quite work just to meet an arbitrary requirement. (In case you’re interested, the possible sources include the following: book, reputable website, primary source, EBSCO database source, Encyclopedia Britannica article, newspaper article, magazine article, informational brochure, and educational video.)
    • I’m a fan of choice; however, there is one additional source that is a requirement for each student. Since we wanted the students to pay attention during the Boston trip and to take advantage of the expertise of docents at each site, they were required to submit three interview questions to their advisor ahead of time and to interview one expert while in Boston. This lets them practice speaking with an adult in a “professional” setting and gives them direct answers to their questions. I love it!

And here’s the twist. While it might seem like all is well and good, I do have questions about the project in its current form. It is difficult if not impossible to create a project that will engage every student and will build skills for future endeavors. Here are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself:

    • I requested that we broaden the list of possible sources. Therefore, I want to say that giving students the latitude to choose the best sources for their individual topics has been an unmitigated success. It isn’t true. Some students are confused by the different choices and feel like they don’t know where to search for their topics. They turn exclusively to their trusty friend Google. On a case-by-case basis, this is easy to solve, but it doesn’t address the quiet students who want to remain under the radar. When should we be teaching students the best types of sources for individual projects, separate from evaluating sources of a particular type on a particular topic?
    • Whenever you give students the latitude to work independently in a classroom setting, some use the time more wisely than others. For every student who diligently uses every minute, there is another who has gotten off track with cat videos. Then there are the aforementioned quiet students who assert “I have everything I need” whenever you stop by. However, my most urgent question is about the students who stick by the teacher needing constant approval without advancing independently. How do you balance your time with students during unstructured class time?
    • Next up would be the iPads themselves. I have already spent 4 ½ periods today answering bibliography questions. Some of our digital natives don’t know how to italicize, double space, indent, or otherwise meet the requirements of MLA style. And the mobile versions of websites can hide the publication information that you need to cite a source correctly. Do you foresee a major change in specific formatting requirements in the coming years?
    • The format of this project has shifted from a paper to a: “Product: The way you demonstrate your expertise is up to you.  Product should involve creativity or analysis. How can you most effectively and engagingly show your findings?  What skills do you have and how can you utilize them?” This comes shortly in the project description after the Product Objective, which I wholeheartedly support! “Use research to demonstrate expertise on your topic through analysis or creativity.” Again, I struggle with the balance between too much and too little freedom. Many students have chosen to write a five paragraph essay because it is a more familiar format to them. Others are designing posters or padlets. One girl is creating a comic book, and a few are writing a series of letters, such as between a mill girl and a miner and a doctor to his patients. I see some students spending more time on research and others on aesthetics. Some formats make it easier to demonstrate expertise in a subject. I also wonder how to keep grading fair across formats. Is a three minute video comparable to a five paragraph essay or a poster? And do we have teachers have the expertise in each format to gauge the quality of the student’s research as well as the quality of a particular format?
    • Writing takes practice. And that practice must be supported with feedback and revisions. And that takes time. And students don’t necessarily enjoy it. And it can be time consuming for all involved. Does that mean that it isn’t worthwhile? I will be working with the English and History department chairs to determine the approximate number of pages that students have written historically compared with the current year. Our upper class teachers have expressed concern that our students’ writing is not as strong as it used to be. If this is a direct result of fewer writing assignments, is that something we need to address or should we focus more on assignments that demonstrate greater digital literacy?
    • I have been working to align research expectations over the Middle and High school years. My ideal would include two research-based projects in each grade, one with a creative output and one with a written output. The projects could be split across disciplines and would give students the opportunity to practice the research process. We are getting there but aren’t there quite yet. Does anyone have a model they could share?

Just like Dave’s note-taking conclusion, I have no one-size-fits-all solution. There is a team of smart dedicated teachers who want to teach the research process in an approachable and engaging way, and this iteration is a work in progress.

How Do You Throw Like a Girl?

This summer our history department chair shared a collaborative document of resources for teaching Social Justice and Multicultural Understanding. I was immediately drawn to the link for Spike Lee’s short documentary, Throw Like a Girl about Mo’Ne Davis. In the summer of 2014, Mo’Ne became the first girl to ever pitch a shutout in the Little League World series. She was the first American girl to play in the Little League World Series since 2004. Even if you never plan to use the film in the classroom, I emphatically encourage everyone to watch the 16 minute profile of this incredibly talented, eloquent, and humble young role model!

Embedded in the document shared by our department chair were resources for utilizing the many links in the classroom. I scoured the internet for other ideas and found the Philadelphia Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League’s unit for teaching about gender stereotypes along with this film.

This idea for a new unit to share with my Fifth Grade students also got me thinking about ways in which I could creatively incorporate the theme of our school’s core values which we were rolling-out for this academic year. The core values are: Be Brave, Authentic, Compassionate, Curious, and Spirited. I had created resource lists of books in our library catalog for our teachers to use that showcase a core value within the theme of each book. And after researching more about Mo’Ne Davis, it was clear that she illustrated each of the core values in all that she has accomplished and embodies. In the film there are many references to Mo’Ne’s attendance at an independent school in Philadelphia, which is a great connection for our girls as well.

We began the unit by drawing pictures of baseball players. You can see from the students work below that not all of them chose to illustrate a male player! We displayed the pictures which were anonymous and then captured the commonalities and differences in our drawn characterizations of the players. This activity helped situate our current understanding and where we had areas to grow our learning.

IMG_0738IMG_0740The Fifth Grade students complete a capstone research project at the end of the year which culminates in a five-minute speech for the Lower School. I am fully integrated in this project, and work with the homeroom teachers to prepare the students for their research. As part of this unit on Mo’Ne Davis I sought to actively incorporate the skills students will use later in the year. To that end, I selected articles from the New York Times, CNN, and Time magazine to read and summarize for the class. Resources used for the Fifth Grade speech process typically include multiple formats and this lesson gave students exposure to the news articles most students would use as a source in their speech project. By sharing my rationale for using news articles to learn more about Mo’Ne Davis, I was thrilled to see the students understand my logic and dive in to the readings!

We discussed vocabulary related to the readings and used throughout the film such as stereotype, gender, discrimination, and role model. Our discussions were spirited and we will conclude the unit by viewing Spike Lee’s film: Throw Like a Girl, along with the video: #Likeagirl. The final step in our learning is to throw a baseball and see if we can “throw like a girl” and approximate this young athlete’s incredible speed and location!

The dreaded ‘web evaluation checklist’

As crocuses emerge from the frozen ground, I too reappear in mid-February after a month and a half of focused freshmen research. The freshmen research project is a keystone of 9th grade, the Western Civ teacher and I co-teach every day and every step, four classes a day Monday through Friday. The research is broken into daily tasks, and success in each task is valued as much as success in the final paper.

Website evaluation is one of these tasks. In 9th grade, students are confident in their web searching abilities. They are also, perhaps, overconfident in their ability to evaluate their sites as worthy of inclusion in their research. Thus, the dreaded ‘web evaluation checklist.’ We have adapted the checklist used by the University of Maryland Libraries: http://www.lib.umd.edu/binaries/content/assets/public/usereducation/evaluating-web-sites-checklist-form.pdf

We first spend a class searching for topics together and reflecting on what we find. We go over authority, accuracy, currency, bias, and coverage. Students are taught to “think about clues that will let them know if a website is good to cite in an academic research paper.” We try to frame our discussion using that specific vocabulary and students get that different levels of evaluation are needed for different purposes.

A pdf means it’s true.

If it’s a soldier’s account, that means it’s unbiased because he was there.20150206_093018

Thus, the web evaluation checklists. There’s no sugar-coating this. The kids hate the checklists. The only selling point is that their completion leads to a A on one of their daily assignments. However, the following year, when teachers are stricter about citing websites, students frequently return to the library to say that they are relieved that they know what they need to evaluate on the page before they begin to take notes.20150209_170047

The sheet can be completed by a diligent student in about two minutes, it’s mainly checkmarks, and the format forces students to click out of their specific page. Sections include: authority and accuracy; purpose and content; currency; and design, organization, and ease of use. Students finish with a one-sentence analysis stating why they think the site is good for research.20150213_105153

While it may seem surprising, we have purposely reverted to paper for the checklists. This serves three purposes. It keeps websites from being the easiest research option since they now involve an extra step that subscription databases do not. It also makes students consider the url and all relevant information because they have to rewrite it, which is more time intensive than copying and pasting. Finally, it gives us a visual for students who like to Google individually for each piece of information that they need. There are always a few students who search for single pieces of evidence, find one source for each, and ultimately end up with 15 sources for a 1700 word paper. When they hand in a stack of sheets, we have a conversation about actually saving time by finding three to five quality sources that will meet almost all of their information needs.20150213_083130

Reading student analysis of websites help me notice what students value most and what I need to address when teaching website evaluation. The most common weakness is found when I see this answer or one of its variants.20150213_105139

Just because information is needed does not mean it is accurate or authoritative or credible. Sometimes, students are surprisingly honest in their answers as they reconcile their need for a particular piece of information and their distrust of a particular site.20150213_105105

There’s a lot on the web, and the sites that often show up first on results pages are not always the ones that are best for research purposes. We teach better search strategies, and in grade 9, we also force web evaluation. It’s a strategy that meets our needs by requiring students to stop and reflect. It’s one part of our digital citizenship curriculum in middle and upper school. Now I’m curious to hear from you. What lessons have worked well in teaching students about using websites for academic purposes? How do you keep students from limiting themselves to the commercial sites that populate the first page of search results?

Citation Theory – A recap

Thanks for all for your help last week as I prepared a block class on citation theory for our three AP Language classes. It was surprisingly the most fun that I have had with a class all year because it wasn’t just a crunch of time to answer panicked questions about individual sources. I think that I learned as much from the students as they learned from me. We opened with 5 minutes of writing reflection on the following questions.

1. With what documentation styles are you familiar?

2. What are the important parts of any citation?

3. Why are there different standardized citation styles?

4. What challenges have you faced with documentation?

We split our libraries at grade seven, so I’ve been working with some of these Juniors for the past 4 1/2 years. Each year there is a research project that contains some sort of citation component. Loosely speaking, here are the four biggest research assignments they should have completed:

7th grade History – Native American history and culture presentation – Modified MLA

8th grade History/English – Boston, Early America, and the Industrial Revolution presentation and paper – MLA

9th grade History – Western Civilizations research paper with thesis – Chicago

10th grade History – World History research paper with thesis – Chicago

And now we come to 11th grade…

Students’ answers to these open-ended questions made me realize that the one-shot sessions that we’ve done in previous years have taught them how to follow directions well. This is a good first step but it isn’t enough in a college preparatory school. I love Debbie Abilock’s description of our role in “adding friction” to the process. In discussion, students focused almost exclusively on the anti-plagiarism component of citations. Both the teacher and I stressed that this was the reason we needed to discuss the least, especially in an AP class. He used the analogy of a science experiment, where the purpose of the lab report is to allow others to recreate your experiment to see if they reach the same conclusions. I come from a slightly different angle, most enjoying seeing how students use the ideas of others. Where are they summarizing, where are they synthesizing, and most interestingly, where are they using source data to draw different conclusions? You could see the students’ engagement increase we treated them like rising scholars whose ideas are worth considering, rather than children on the verge of stealing someone else’s work. For the first time, I felt like students “bought into” the idea of citations. Since the AP curriculum only mandates that you teach students skill with a citation style but doesn’t specify which one, we all had a frank discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of MLA and Chicago. Students thought carefully about which was more appropriate for their paper, a synthesis on citizenship using the ideas of Plato, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, and an additional primary source and secondary piece of criticism. Making this decision individually certainly added friction to the research process. The teacher and I spoke honestly about our frustrations with all style guides in the digital age. Students accessed Plato’s “Crito” on a pdf hosted by MIT’s Internet Classics Archives site, where they had to consider the translator and had no stable page numbers. “The Declaration of Independence” is located on the National Archives site. It neither follows the standards for a government document nor for a website. We all hypothesized ways that style guides might continue to evolve as more documents are either born digital or accessed digitally. I think it’s important that students aren’t just completing citations by rote, but thinking about the reasoning behind them, and this kind of critical discussion opens the possibility for that.

As I go into underclassmen research season this winter, I’m going to think carefully about how I present citations. For starters, we will talk openly about online citations generators and the differences between web-based ones like easybib and eturabian compared with automatic generators in our online subscription databases. This is a classic example of a time when technology should  assist thought, not supplant it. It is not important for students to memorize style rules, nor should they blindly follow the instructions of an online citation generator. I don’t mind if they use one to help them get the right format, but they need to read it over afterwards to see if it makes sense. (Real example: If you see this and only this, you should backtrack! “L.” Etter from a Birmingham Jail. Web. October 27, 2014.) The ultimate goal is that students won’t be stressed out by citations but will know where to go for assistance. This leaves the bulk of their brain power for reading, search, analysis and writing.

When I’m preparing for a class, I tend to take notes as I read and consider how to present a subject. If you want to know the gist of everything I read and see notes for further learning on citations and style guides, open the following document on Google Drive. There’s some surprising trivia in there!
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzHAd969884zQ040OUJ5ejdRazg/view?usp=sharing

I hope you’re given the opportunity to “just talk” about citations at some point in the future. These three classes impacted the way that I’ll be teaching citations in the future and gave the kids a chance to think about them as more than a completion task for an individual assignment. As a bonus for the library, about a third of the students came to see me individually to talk about their specific needs for their papers. One-on-one time with students is generally the most effective time with them, and this is a higher-than-average rate of return for the invitation. Please share below if you have had a lesson on citations that worked particularly well. If you’d like to continue the conversation, I’d love to hear from you!