New Challenges‒New Opportunities: Transitioning Programmatic Library Instruction Online

Poster Description: This session explores how programmatic library instruction for an introductory-level college writing course evolved to support instructors and students during the pandemic. A multi-pronged approach led to the development of online learning objects and new approaches as services evolved to support synchronous and asynchronous online learning environments.

Poster: View slides as a PDF.

Presenter Name: Alicia G. Vaandering, University of Rhode Island

Presenter Bio: Alicia Vaandering is the Student Success Librarian at the University of Rhode Island where she supports student learning particularly for undergraduate first-year, international, first generation, and transfer students. Her research interests include library history, collaborations with academic services, and information literacy instruction. Contact at

4 replies on “New Challenges‒New Opportunities: Transitioning Programmatic Library Instruction Online”

Thanks for the additional context provided through audio and video! When the pandemic began in March 2020, where was the library in terms of working with this program? I’m wondering if you had to pivot mid-semester, and if so, how did the team handle it?

Hi Lisa! That’s a fantastic question, and I have to admit that I have limited in-depth knowledge here because I just joined URI full-time in June 2020. However, from what I have heard from my colleagues, they’d actually kind of lucked out and wrapped up all the WRT instruction right before everything went remote, so they didn’t have to pivot mid-semester. When I started my position in June, I was so excited to have a couple months to figure out fall instruction with the WRT department. What I didn’t know at the time is that the WRT department faculty wouldn’t be back until mid-August since they’re on an academic year schedule (unlike librarians who are on a full-year schedule), so we ended up having to do some quick pivots prior to the start of the semester when some of my initial ideas (like creating an online module in our LMS) didn’t pan out.

Thank you for sharing your work. For your drop-in sessions, did you do any specific follow up or ask students questions about why they came to the session, or followed up with students in the class who chose not to take advantage of it? We’ve been trying to figure out a way to engage our students more with drop in consultations and I’ve been wondering if trying to figure out a peer-tutor system may be more successful or if it’s just an advertising problem.

That’s a great question, Mary-Michelle! We didn’t do a follow up. I think if we move forward with this model (we’ll have to see what fall instruction looks like!), I’d do an anonymous survey that gave the students an opportunity to share their email address for a follow up. We did have relatively low attendance for the drop-ins, although we did a little better in spring semester than we did in fall.