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Show & Tell

Show & Tell is our online instruction series

Amanda Dinscore & Debbie Gonzalez - A Library and Social Work Collaboration to Support Research-Informed Practice

November 29, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm  Eastern

A Library and Social Work Collaboration to Support Research-Informed Practice
Amanda Dinscore, MS, MLIS (She/Her), Associate Librarian at Cal Poly Humboldt University Library
Debbie Gonzalez, DSW, MSW (She/Her), Assistant Professor at Cal Poly Humboldt Department of Social Work

Social work programs in higher education prioritize the use of empirically sound research to inform practice decisions. As university students, prospective social workers have a wealth of research available to them, as well as librarians to help them find, evaluate, and use it. However, access to most of this research ends once the student graduates - at a time when this information is needed to inform their practice.

This presentation will describe an effort to address this challenge at Cal Poly Humboldt, where a librarian and social work faculty member conducted surveys and co-taught a series of workshops with students in their final semester of the Bachelor of Social Work program. Students learned how to find and evaluate non-paywalled information sources, understand and challenge information privilege and traditional scholarly publishing models, and expand their understanding of authority. Additionally, students applied what they learned to locate both scholarly, open access research and non-scholarly information sources related to their practicum experience. An open pedagogy approach was then used to support the student-led creation of an online repository of these resources, the Humboldt Social Work Knowledge Commons, which includes annotations evaluating their usefulness to the communities they serve.

This presentation will provide both academic librarians and social work educators with a model for empowering future social workers with the skills and knowledge they need to engage their communities with research-informed practice, acknowledge non-traditional sources of authority, and challenge structures that perpetuate information privilege. It will also share what was learned from pre- and post- instruction surveys to better understand how students address gaps in their professional knowledge, how they use the scholarly literature, and their understanding of open access.


Email: Amanda Dinscore and Debbie Gonzalez