Mabee appoints new information literacy librarian

Erin Wiltz

Mabee Library has a new face: Keith Rocci is the library’s new information literacy librarian. Rocci has three master’s degrees, including a masters of library science, masters of educational technology and a masters in educational leadership, and he has an undergraduate degree in sociology. Rocci was interviewed for the position in November and started working Dec. 1.

“I think every student should be involved in an information literacy course or structured program early on in their Washburn experience,” said Rocci.

The general education committee is thinking about integrating the Association of College and Resource Libraries standards into the general education program. Washburn already has a library research information course where it teaches students how to use the library databases, course IS 170. In the course, students examine many aspects of research and do a lot of practical exercises in locating research materials in the library and the Internet.

“We are look toward expanding the library’s presence in more offerings in students to learning how to research, and I think all student should take a informational resource course,” said Rocci.

Studies show that the student’s knowledge of literacy research and how to use the library increase the rate the student’s success. Rocci plans, implements and evaluates the library’s information literacy program. When a Washburn professor wants to take a class to Mabee Library they have an organized approach in teaching certain aspects of the library. They break it up into 10 areas, including how to research on the Internet, how to use a catalog research platform and even how to use the microfilm. Mabee Library supports many faculty members in their research endeavors. Many schools have switched to a structured information literacy program because resources have increased.

“I remember when I was getting interviewed when Dr. Bearman said that no student ever graduated without a library, and I think that the library is becoming the heart of the campus,” said Rocci. “It’s a learning commons.”

Students taking an informational research course learn skills that will help them in the workforce. When employers ask for information, the students will know how to look up information in the best way possible. Washburn is encouraging the majority of the fall freshman to enroll in the IS 170 course to learn how to use the informational resources.

“I came from the University of Arizona which is a large institution,” said Rocci. “Washburn University’s campus is incredible in the fact that it is a learning-based community and my personal goal is to become a part of that community.”