Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's Get Sticky!

a.k.a. Natalee's LOEX entry #1

Making Information Literacy "Stick": Finding SUCCESS in Library Instruction
presented by Dunstan McNutt (SUNY Delhi)

Based on the ideas & concepts in Chip & Dan Heath's Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (2007).

The best & most memorable ideas are:

Simple
Unexpected
Concrete
Credible
Emotional
Stories
(Stick!)

The Curse of Knowledge: Once we know something, we find it really difficult to remember what it was like not to know it.

Simple
  • Core & compact.
  • "Proverbs: a short sentence with a long education"
Unexpected
  • Break a pattern & create a mystery.
  • Gap theory of curiosity: highlight a knowledge gap.
Concrete
  • Use imagery
  • Avoid/remove abstraction; make it real.
  • Illustrate key information skills
  • Telling someone, "Don't accept drinks from a stranger," vs. 'Kidney Heist' story/urban legend.
  • Velcro theory of memory: the more hooks the better = sticks better in the brain "loops."
Credible
  • External credibility--cite authorities. (Anti-authorities can be more effective - ?)
  • Internal credibility: Details and stats on a human scale. Numbers don't stick.
    • ex. BBs in a bucket to illustrate nuclear warheads:
      • 1 = Hiroshima
      • 5 = nuclear sub
      • 300,000 = worldwide.
Emotional
  • Make people care
    • 3 million children affected by food shortage vs. 1 child's story
  • Make people act
    • WIIFY: What's In It For You
    • Appeal to people's sense of identity
How do we get students invested in the goals of information literacy? ...

Stories
  • As simulation - tell people how to act
    • Stories act as "flight simulators for the brain"
  • As inspiration - give people energy/motivation to act
    • Subway's "Jarrod" story of weight loss
Sticky ideas from Critical Information Literacy:
  • Curse of Knowledge - flattening the hierarchy
  • Emotional topics
  • Stories can highlight gaps & stimulate information needs

Dunstan's Wiki on this session/topic.

Also, here's Dunstan's Library Instruction follow-up eval form, just FYI. I don't know the inner-workings of Google spreadsheet-hosted forms/surveys, but I wonder if it's easier for students to access than Angel quizzes?

Finally, I found an article online the other day that, while not specific to library instruction, speaks to the idea of of "stickiness" in the library. Specifically, the author offers suggestions for how to go back to that point of "not knowing" to experience what a patron or student who is not well-versed in library lingo or "the way things are done around here," might experience the library: How to See the Library with Fresh Eyes

Thursday, June 10, 2010

3 words - Lifesize cardboard cutouts

I'm telling you, colleagues, this is the wave of the future. If you can't make it to homecoming, maybe Cardboard You could!

I met Lee at LOEX back in May at her session on library promotion and Lee's got a lifesize cardboard cutout of herself that has been sort of "adopted" by her business students. Fantastic!

Cardboard Lee is regularly kidnapped, shows up at school wide events, promotes NON library events and occasionally attends classes. Granted, Cardboard Lee was initially an in house promotion for drop in library sessions but wow, kidnapped Cardboard Lee is doing better library promotion then most flesh and blood librarians (myself included)!

As much as I would love a for all of us to be represented in cardboard form, I know this might be a bit out of our budgetary range. I had heard rumors when Natalee and I first started of possible Librarian trading cards... could we revisit this idea?

I'd love to hear about your creative promotion ideas.. even the ones that didn't work. Who knows, maybe it's time to revisit some of them!

-Rachel