Browsing Library Faculty and Staff by Author "Kerico, Juliet"
Discovering buried treasure: Teaching strategies for the aging populationFrey, Susan; Kerico, Juliet (2010-05-13)Traditionally community engagement for academic libraries translates as outreach to the academic community. But what are the possibilities when an academic library extends outreach to people not normally defined as university stakeholders? At Indiana State University (ISU), we learned that extending outreach to an untapped population can reap unexpected gains. For the past two years ISU instruction librarians have traveled to a local retirement community to teach computer skills as part of ISU’s Bites & Bytes Program. The initial goal of the program was to benefit the community-at-large by providing these adult learners with therapeutic activity and a social outlet. But we soon realized that these students did not behave like our pupils in the university community. We had to learn to teach to a new population of learners, and because of this our new students were teaching us as much – if not more – than we were teaching them. After networking with experts on campus who work with elders, we learned that our Bites & Bytes students were adopting learning behaviors typical of their age group – behaviors that we were unfamiliar with. So we began to learn, and in so doing we adopted teaching techniques that addressed their unique learning styles. We also began to incorporate some of these newly acquired techniques into our upper division library instruction classes. And realizing that this outreach program could offer our university students opportunity for growth, we then partnered with faculty to open up Bites & Bytes as a field site for students enrolled in a freshman social work course. In this presentation we will trace the evolution of a library community outreach initiative that grew to become part of the university curriculum, review pedagogical approaches that work with elder adult learners, and relate how some of these approaches can be employed to teach undergraduates.