Title

Reading, Writing, Serving: An Academic Library’s Goal to Connect Student Learning and Community Service

Start Date

10-8-2018 2:20 PM

End Date

10-8-2018 3:15 PM

Description

The Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library serves as Saint Leo University’s academic and informational hub, but a recent program goal charged library faculty to identify opportunities to combine student learning with community service. At this library, personnel includes faculty librarians, as well as two faculty writing instructors, one of whom strove to achieve the aforementioned goal by incorporating a service-learning component into his introductory creative writing course.

Throughout spring 2018, these creative writing students studied precepts of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, all the while collaborating with three community partners: an elementary school, a middle school, and a nearby monastery. At each location, students contextualized course content by teaching young people how to write in various genres or, in the case of the monastery, by practicing an important research skill when interviewing the nuns about their personal histories.

This case study examines the program’s strengths and weaknesses. Students’ reflection journals suggest that the program benefitted not only their community partners, but the students themselves. This initial program has already led to plans for similar programming sponsored by the library. Should attendees wish to replicate these activities at their home institutions, they will receive a program overview and copies of program materials.

Short bio of the presenter(s)

John David Harding teaches writing and research as a faculty member in the Cannon Memorial Library at Saint Leo University. His creative work includes publications in fiction, poetry, and visual art. He coedits Lightning Key Review and Florida English.

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Aug 10th, 2:20 PM Aug 10th, 3:15 PM

Reading, Writing, Serving: An Academic Library’s Goal to Connect Student Learning and Community Service

The Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library serves as Saint Leo University’s academic and informational hub, but a recent program goal charged library faculty to identify opportunities to combine student learning with community service. At this library, personnel includes faculty librarians, as well as two faculty writing instructors, one of whom strove to achieve the aforementioned goal by incorporating a service-learning component into his introductory creative writing course.

Throughout spring 2018, these creative writing students studied precepts of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, all the while collaborating with three community partners: an elementary school, a middle school, and a nearby monastery. At each location, students contextualized course content by teaching young people how to write in various genres or, in the case of the monastery, by practicing an important research skill when interviewing the nuns about their personal histories.

This case study examines the program’s strengths and weaknesses. Students’ reflection journals suggest that the program benefitted not only their community partners, but the students themselves. This initial program has already led to plans for similar programming sponsored by the library. Should attendees wish to replicate these activities at their home institutions, they will receive a program overview and copies of program materials.