Putting Information Literacy into Action at AIP Consortium Libraries
Mary Ochs, Director,
Mann Library, Cornell University,

Since April 2011, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Library Director, Ajay Srivastava, and Cornell University’s Albert R. Mann Library Director, Mary Ochs, have been developing a plan to help support libraries in the institutions involved in the AIP consortium. The plan focuses on sharing expertise in managing digital information resources – an important academic stronghold for Mann Library – in order to expand active cyber literacy skills widely in the higher education, research, extension and agricultural communities.

Step one was taken in December 2011, when librarians from Mann Library conferred with some sixty-five counterparts from India and Africa in a two-day workshop on information literacy and related skills at BHU. The workshop, ‘Strengthening the Academic Library to Enhance Agriculture Education,’ focused on e-resource collection, development, digitization of library collections, information literacy, library public computing and support for e-learning. The participants listened to the lectures and then discussed in small groups topics ranging from integrating information literacy in one’s university curriculum to how tablet computers or mobile devices could impact the use of e-resources.

In May 2012, a group of librarians from BHU, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology (SVPUA&T) and Assam Agricultural University (AAU) will travel to Cornell for five weeks of intensive hands-on experience of the concepts discussed at the December training. The Indian librarians will gain first-hand experience of how the Cornell libraries deliver information literacy workshops in classrooms and on the Web, offer services like laptop lending and poster printing to faculty and staff, manage their electronic database and journal subscriptions, and digitize archival collections like the Hive and the Honeybee (bees.library.cornell.edu) and Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (chla.library.cornell.edu).  By the end of their trip, the group should have a set of concrete action plans they can take back with them and institute at their home universities.

For more information about the December workshop and the AIP consortium, please refer to the full Cornell Chronicle article at http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Jan12/eLibesIndia.html.

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