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Faculty members publish book for instructional librarians

Faculty members publish book for instructional librarians

Jessica Oberlin, Mary Broussard and Dr. Rachel Hickoff-Cresko and their "Snapshots of Reality" book.

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Three Lycoming College faculty members recently published a book titled "Snapshots of Reality: A Practice Guide to Formative Assessment in Library Instruction." The book was written by Jessica Oberlin, assistant professor and instructional services librarian and coordinator of access services; Mary Broussard, associate professor and instructional services librarian and coordinator of reference and Web services; and Dr. Rachel Hickoff-Cresko, assistant professor of education. The Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) published the book and it is available for purchase from the American Library Association (ALA) store and on Amazon.

Oberlin, Broussard and Dr. Hickoff-Cresko designed this book for instructional librarians. It focuses on the idea that classroom-based assessment does not have to take away from instruction time, nor does it have to be an overwhelmingly complicated task. Snapshots of Reality explores the adaptation of formative assessment, evaluating students during a lesson to gather information to improve teaching and learning, into something that works for the one-shot library lessons and instructor-librarian collaborations. It also includes 48 FAST (Formative Assessment Snapshot Technique) ideas and a guided planning template to help librarians seamlessly bring formative assessment into the library classroom.

Broussard began researching assessment in game-based learning and became interested in formative assessment. She found lots of information about it in the education literature, but nothing about it in the library literature. The information she found needed to be translated into the library instruction classroom, which sparked her interest in writing something comprehensive. Dr. Hickoff-Cresko offered to help, bringing an enormous amount of knowledge regarding formative assessment and its theoretical roots. Oberlin has a formal background in education and previously served as a school librarian, so she brought additional expertise to the book as well.

“Collaborative writing means having someone to talk things out with during the ‘get it on paper’ stage,” said Broussard. “Individually, none of us had the background to take on a project like this, so we used combined our knowledge and experiences."

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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