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Library & Learning

A collection of essays on engaging student curiosity and critical thinking, with regards to research and use of library tools and materials.  We offer strategies for navigating through controversial developments in information access, pedagogical approaches to competencies in information use, and an academic view of intellectual engagement. Writers include PCC librarians and occasional guest authors from the library staff or PCC faculty.

Desire 2 Learn Research Support
By: Robin Shapiro
Library & Learning, June 2013

Students in online classes, especially those who take classes exclusively online, may not be aware of the support offered to them through the library. They may never pass the library, physically or metaphorically, and not take advantage of the selection...

Student in chair using laptop
eBooks and Student Learning
By: Roberta Richards
Library & Learning, December 2012

The tide of e-ink is rising. E-readers, tablets and other mobile devices have become constant student companions. eBooks are now the hottest sellers at Amazon and other book distributors. Textbook and academic book publishers are likewise making a...

Student reading eBook on iPad
Can Instruction go Viral? Making Videos that Stick.
By: Sara Seely
Library & Learning, August 2012

I’m really not the forwarding type, but I just can’t help myself sometimes. Viral videos are my weak point and once in a while I’m compelled to send a video that passes through my inbox or social stream (Example:...

Tell a good story
The Real Thing: Photos, Letters and Primary Sources
By: Tony Greiner
Library & Learning, May 2012

My first, and perhaps best, job in a library was working as a page for the Minnesota Historical Society Library. The MHS Library is a closed-stack, non-circulating collection, so if you want to look at something in the collection, you had to come in and...

Dr. Amo DeBernardis (PCC President 1961-1979)
Research Through the Travel Experience
By: Alan Cordle
Library & Learning, May 2012

I'd been to Canada once in the mid '80s, as a surly teen on a long drive with parents. My father was on business and I thought of it a burden rather than my first international trip. Other than that, my travel experience was quite limited until 1996 when...

Alan Cordle
Parlay and Protocol
By: Pam Kessinger
Library & Learning, September 2011

When a student faces disruptive knowledge gaps or misunderstood hypotheses, perhaps he or she could be afforded a "right of parlay" (Surowiecki ), to buy a brief stretch of time to think and catch up. The student could request staying the course with...

Cartoon talking about the right of parlay
Peer-reviewed Articles
By: Stephanie Debner
Library & Learning, June 2011

One of the most common requests that the PCC librarians receive at the research help desk is for help finding peer-reviewed articles or determining if the article in hand or on the screen is, in fact, peer-reviewed. We have learned that the requirement...

monster holding broken peer-reviewed sign
Why Do We Keep That Old Stuff?
By: Tony Greiner
Library & Learning, April 2011

Ah children, civilization has never seen a time without libraries, but millennia have passed without computers, and if things were no better then than they are now, they were no worse. In those days of ink and paper, those skilled in the ancient arts of...

Boy with head down on book
Metaliteracy
By: Stephanie Debner
Library & Learning, February 2011

In the January 2011 issue of College & Research Libraries, Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson make the argument that metaliteracy is a framework that can unite the various competencies and literacies (visual (...

boy studying in library with headphones
Student Engagement Techniques
By: Roberta Richards
Library & Learning, January 2011

Engaging students in the college classroom has gotten tougher. This reality has inspired a new book by Elizabeth Barkley, award-winning community...

Student Engagement Techniques
The Art of Browsing
By: Pam Kessinger
Library & Learning, November 2010

“No thanks, I’m just browsing” is the phrase I love to imagine hearing library users say, as if they were perusing the books like they would the...

Beach grass with sunset in sky
This is Your Brain
By: Stephanie Debner
Library & Learning, September 2010

While Nicholas Carr’s 2008 essay "Is Google Making Us Stupid...

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
Etymology, Ethology, but not Entomology
By: Pam Kessinger
Library & Learning, June 2010

Pondering the derivations of some words, specifically, why...

Metaphors Dictionary
Learning Styles Research Stirs Debate
By: Pam Kessinger
Library & Learning, May 2010

A recent study by Harold Pasher et. al., “Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence,” was heralded on The Chronicle of Higher Education website with the blaring headline “Matching Teaching Style to Learning Style May Not Help Students.” David Glenn did a...

Human head showing electricity in brain
Databases - They Are Not Just For Articles
By: Robin Shapiro
Library & Learning, March 2010

Have you seen what our databases can do now? We have databases...

Circular galaxy in space
Resources for Strategies on Learner-Centered Instruction
By: Greg Kaminski
Library & Learning, February 2010

The concept of learner-centered instruction has been around a long time. Back in my former days as an ESL instructor it always seemed to be the natural thing to strive for, to engage students in ways of actively using the language with the goal of more...

Learner-Centered Teaching
Learning Assessment
By: Pam Kessinger
Library & Learning, December 2009

To support the leadership of Portland Community College, History Instructor Sylvia Gray, and the Learning Assessment Council...

Promoting integrated and transformative assessment
Reading the Newspaper
By: Tony Greiner
Library & Learning, November 2009

There is a long practice in the US of denigrating the local paper. When I lived in Richmond, Virginia, the two dailies were the Times-Dispatch and the News-Leader....

Laptop with the Oregonian Newspaper displaying on the screen
Leaners or Lifters?
By: Pam Kessinger
Library & Learning, October 2009

The title of this article could easily be misread in a couple of ways, with the first word as "learners" or "leaders" instead of "leaners." In the former, the pejorative (or secondary) term seems to be "lifter". We easily recognize the value of learners...

The Courage to Teach