Engaging Faculty Empathy and Creativity into Collaborations
Librarians support students outside the classroom and swoop in like super heroes for “one-shots” to get students "information literate." Consequently, we often imagine (and publish) all the conversations we’d like to have with faculty versus the ones we’re actually having; in other words, “we know how to help students with their research, so why won’t you stop, collaborate, and listen!” To expand instruction beyond the traditional “one-shot” model and collaborate with faculty in creative ways, I piloted a workshop titled “Faculty Research Freestyle: Developing Your Unique Research Freestyle to Share with Students.” The workshop was a response to two critical questions I wanted to ask faculty: When was the last time you honestly put yourself in the role of your student navigating a research assignment for the first time? Furthermore, have you ever reflected on your research process as a means to finding your unique style of teaching information literacy skills? The description publicized was less aggressive of course, although it started with this invitation to think about research anew: “When thinking of freestyle, we often think of improvised dance, off-the-cuff lyricism, and intuitive creation. Research is also worthy of inventive possibilities!” The foundation to all this “freestyling” was engaging faculty to empathize with students, while playfully gaining the confidence to create their own mini-one shots. For this session librarians will create and share other models of faculty engagement designed around empathy, as well as explore strategies to be more empathic questioners/listeners in the collaborative process.