Liaisons work to build a community of practice around information literacy and its related technologies. This involves participating in an ongoing reflective practice which invites the wider university, profession, and community to join that reflection. It is our hope that, by sharing our scholarship and our assessment projects, we offer engaging entry points to the conversation.
We also showcase the outstanding research of our students and faculty in order to bring together Loyola's diverse activities in this arena. In doing so, we suggest the synergy possible in discovering shared questions, concerns, methods, literature, data, theories, applications, and other approaches, while still honoring what makes each of us unique as researchers.
In particular, we recognize students for their research endeavors each year. The Monroe Library Student Research Competition (MLSRC) is our annual research competition for students of all levels, from freshman to graduate. Each spring we select as many as four recipients to recognize for their outstanding research completed during the previous calendar year. Winners receive a cash prize and recognition in several outlets, including the library's newsfeed.
Have you been working on a research project that uses the library's wide array of resources in interesting or novel ways?
The Monroe Library Student Research Competition recognizes and rewards students who make exemplary use of the collections, resources, and services of the J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library throughout the research process in order to produce an academic or creative work. You can view information about past winners. The committee is especially eager to receive submissions representing the range of Loyola's academic programs and their approaches to research. Creative or innovative work in any format or discipline is eligible.
- $200 for a freshman/sophomore research project
- $200 for a junior/senior research project
- $200 for a senior capstone/thesis project
- $200 for a graduate student research project
To be eligible to win, individual or team applicants must:
- Have completed their research project for a credit course at Loyola during the past calendar year (spring, summer, or fall semester). Research projects include, but are not limited to, papers. Creative or innovative works in any format or discipline are encouraged.
- Agree to contribute to publicity related to the award.
Collaborative projects are encouraged. If a team project applies, all team members must contribute toward the application. If a team project wins, the award will be split equally among members.
Congratulations to our scholars!
The Monroe Library is pleased to announce the three winners of the Monroe Library Student Research Competition. This year saw a sweep of the competition by students working in the field of history who conducted research on projects that all focus on social justice. The winning pieces were distinguished by the variety of appropriate sources they used, as well as the sophistication and complexity with which those sources were integrated into each author’s original work.
Let’s hear more about the research projects and their authors, all of which were written during the 2021 calendar year.
The winner in the Freshman/Sophomore category is first-year History major Andrea Norwood, for the paper, “A Changing Identity: Loyola’s LGBT+ Organization Over the Years (1991-2012).” Written for Prof. Allison Edgren’s class, The Historian’s Craft, this paper traces the history of LGBT+ organizations on Loyola’s campus over a twenty-year period.
Norwood’s research was conducted using digitized archival sources, including The Maroon and The Wolf, which can be found on the Monroe Library’s Special Collections and Archives website. She notes: “I had never based my research extensively on primary sources before, so the process of looking into an archive was completely new to me,” making the sophisticated synthesis of her findings all the more notable.
The winner in the Junior/Senior category is junior Molly Sullivan, whose paper, “An Analysis on How We Got Here: The Explosion of COVID-19 Conspiracies,” was written for Prof. Mark Fernandez’s class, American Conspiracies. In it, Sullivan, a double major in Sociology and Spanish, looks at the spread of disinformation during the pandemic and its negative social impact.
Especially intriguing was her resourceful use of existing data to identify patterns that describe the spread of disinformation via social media. Focusing her analysis on the scapegoating of marginalized groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, she explains the impulses motivating individuals who spread conspiracy theories: “Overwhelmed by skepticism and fear, sharing false claims disguised as knowledge allows individuals to take back some options in daily life.”
The winner in the senior capstone project category is honors History major Analene McCullough. Her senior thesis, written with the support of faculty advisor Prof. Mark Fernandez, is entitled “The Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground: Transition to Violence.”
McCullough conducts thorough research, synthesizing a range of materials -- especially primary sources -- into a very readable narrative. This is impressive and crucial work in telling a story that has, as she notes, mostly been shared in fragments. And, as she argues, this is a story that is unusually relevant in today's political climate.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
(New Orleans, La. , March 25, 2021) - The Loyola University New Orleans Student Peace Initiative will host the annual Student Peace Conference from March 28 to April 1. This year’s theme is “Navigating a Fragmented World: Concurring and Dissenting Opinions.”
Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré is this year’s keynote speaker and will discuss the path forward from the threat to democracy following the attack on the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The conference will also include eight student panels and three film screenings. Dr. Bahman Maghsoudlou, a prominent film scholar, author, critic, director and guest of Middle East Peace Studies program and the Women’s Resource Center, will be at the screenings of both of his films, “Razor’s Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses” and “Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments.”
“Our student panels tackle topics including climate change, inclusion and exclusion, and nationalism while bringing to the forefront some of the most difficult-to-talk-about issues that plague our ever-divided globe,” said Loyola student and conference chair Joseph Pitre.
The Student Peace Conference is supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History, the Women’s Resource Center, the Middle East Peace Studies program and the Patrick G. O’ Keefe Distinguished Professorship in History.
The full schedule is below, and guests can also follow along virtually via the following links. All of the events will be held in Monroe Library Multimedia Room 2 unless otherwise stated.
Monday, March 28, 2022
4:30 PM CST
Public Link: https://loyno.zoom.us/j/94848064148
6:00 PM CST
“Opening Arguments: A Keynote with Lieutenant General Russel L. Honore”
Public Link: https://loyno.zoom.us/j/94584163800
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
12:30 PM CST
“Corporate Killers: Ecocide”
2:00 PM CST
“An Ethical Dilemma: Neglected and Restricted Access to Water”
7:00 PM CST
“City of a Million Dreams”
Wednesday March 30, 2022
12:30 PM CST
“Communal Activism for a Greener World”
4:30 PM CST
“Sexual Politics: Discrimination around the Globe”
Thursday, March 31, 2022
12:30 PM CST
“Reduce, Reuse, Resolution”
2:30 PM CST
“Regional Perspectives of Inclusion and Exclusion”
6:00 PM CST
“Razor’s Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses”
Monroe Library Multimedia Room 2
Friday, April 1, 2022
12:30 PM CST
“Iran Darroudi: Painter of Ethereal Moments”
Monroe Library Multimedia Room 2
2:30 PM CST
“Plant the Seed: Individual Measures for Environmental Action”
Elmwood Nationally Recognized for Research in Information Literacy Pedagogy
After a career teaching English and American Studies at the college-level, Assistant Professor Victoria Elmwood began her second career as a librarian at Loyola by contributing meaningfully to information literacy instruction at the Monroe Library. She has focused on best practices and methods for teaching source evaluation, and her latest scholarly research centers on the increasingly high-stakes question of how to determine the integrity of a source. Published in the December 2020 issue of top-quartile journal Communications in Information Literacy, “The Journalistic Approach: Evaluating Web Sources in an Age of Mass Disinformation” outlines a new approach to teaching students of all ages how to make these kinds of assessments. And then people started taking notice.
It came first in an email from Serbian librarian Anđelija Lazić, who requested permission to translate the article for republication in Korak Biblioteke (The Step of the Library). And as of August 25, 2021, the article has been downloaded 495 times. This not-too-shabby number of downloads in just eight months was no doubt influenced by the article’s recognition this past June by the Association of College and Research Libraries’s Instruction Section as one of 2020’s top publications on information literacy. The article focuses on an approach to teaching source evaluation that ensures a deep, qualitative assessment as opposed to the shallower read that results from a checklist-based method. Though the eponymous journalistic approach is more time-consuming than the checklist method, the article notes, users can expect to become more adept at applying this method with practice.
Elmwood says she was both surprised and delighted by the recognition. “I see so many students who think Google is all they need to get good information, but I have to remind them that sometimes you get what you pay for,” she explains. At the same time, Elmwood notes, “Even sources from library databases can use a layer of evaluation.”
Her peers at the Monroe Library also value the journalistic approach. Elmwood’s method of source evaluation, which grows out of several earlier critiques of the checklist model, has been integrated into the library’s new suite of information literacy modules for use in First Year Seminars. Indeed, information literacy is included as one of the three key learning objectives for the course, which is in the Loyola Core. Regarding the new push for teaching information literacy to incoming freshmen, Jason Ezell, the library’s Interim Dean of Research, Teaching, and Assessment says, “By adopting Victoria’s journalistic approach to teaching source evaluation, we demonstrate how crucial information literacy is to our Jesuit mission.” He goes on to say, “We give them the tools for acting justly in an increasingly complicated information environment by teaching all our students to engage information complexly and meaningfully.”
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