A Course on International Textiles Trade + an Art Librarian = Yet to be Determined

A brief introduction: I am the Interim Head of the Fine Arts Library at Indiana University in Bloomington. My liaison duties include studio, art history, and apparel merchandising and interior design, as well as the curators and staff of the IU Art Museum.

I recently was asked to contribute to a project that IU Libraries started in 2011 that awards grants to professors for integrating information literacy into their courses. We have been calling these Information Fluency Grants – basically, the prof gets $1500 and the library gets to work closely with instructor to redesign the syllabus, learning outcomes, and the structure of assignments. A good deal for everyone, right? The professor gets research money, and we librarians get an exciting opportunity to structure information literacy and research-oriented assignments right in the course itself.

In addition to the professor, these partnerships include the subject librarian (me) and a librarian in the Teaching and Learning Department. The class is called International Textiles and Apparel Trade. My role as the subject librarian is to provide expertise on Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. However, this class has little to do with apparel, fashion, or design – rather, the content is more to do with international trade and economics. As a librarian with a background strictly in fine arts and art history, this is a little daunting.

So far my fellow librarian in the Teaching and Learning department and I have looked at the grant proposal, syllabus, pre- and post-assessment quiz, and final research assignment. As the class is offered twice a semester, I was able to catch one final class before the semester wrapped up, enabling me to get a snapshot of the kinds of information and the vocabulary commonly used in this field. We are meeting with the professor next week to discuss next steps.

More to come about this project! But in the meanwhile, I’d love to hear your comments!

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