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Agents of Change: Librarians Innovating in the FYE Space

Friday, February 16th from 1:00-2:00 PM ET

As more schools adopt First Year Experience (FYE) initiatives to improve student outcomes, libraries are being asked to play a deeper role in fostering the skills and relationships these new students need to succeed. At Credo we recognize innovative librarians in this space have the opportunity to set a course for their own institutions and establish the strategies and best practices that will inform libraries across the country as they build their own programs.

The Inaugural FYE Innovation Award Winners are Laura Kohl of Bryant University and the Waidner-Spahr Library of Dickinson College. Laura and Chris Bombaro of Dickinson College will join first year student success librarian Raymond Pun of Fresno State to discuss how they’ve been able to make a positive impact on first year students at their institutions. Laura was selected for her leadership in developing Bryant’s FYE program, which led to a cultural shift that elevated the library’s role and placed information literacy at the forefront of the school’s desired outcomes. The Waidner-Spahr Library stood out in their strong collaborative efforts, established assessment practices, and proven record at improving learning outcomes. In this webinar, they will share how they effectively brought other campus stakeholders onboard with their visions, how they demonstrated the value of information literacy in the FYE to administrators, faculty, and students, and how your school can replicate the success of their programs.   


Laura Kohl Head Shot.jpegLaura Kohl
Associate Director of Library Services

Bryant University

Laura is the co-author of “Establishing Credibility in the Information Jungle: Blogs, Microblogs, and the CRAAP Test.” In Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Evaluating Computer-Mediated Communication (2013) and “Moving from Local to Global via the Integrated Library System: Cost-Savings, ILS Management, Teams, and End-Users.” In Library Technology Funding, Planning, and Deployment (2017). She works closely with the Centers for Student Success and the Office of Faculty Development and Innovation to collaborate on programming for students and instructional partnership opportunities for librarians and faculty.  Her recent projects include overseeing the ePortfolio initiative in Bryant’s first-year Gateway Curriculum and co-creation of an online summer bridge course for incoming first-year students to Bryant University.  Laura received a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design from UMASS Boston, a M.L.I.S. from the University of Rhode Island, and a B.A. in Anthropology from Boston University. Her areas of interest include library marketing and assessment, incorporating information literacy and evaluation of social media into the curriculum, and integrating instructional technologies and library services into the first year experience.  

Chris Bombaro head shot.jpgChristine Bombaro
Associate Director for Information Literacy and Research Services
Dickinson College

Chris currently directs the library’s active information literacy program, reference services, and the assessment thereof. Chris is the author of the textbook Finding History: Research Methods and Resources for Students and Scholars (2012).  Her work on research pedagogy also has been featured in journals such as The History Teacher and Reference Services Review, as well as in books such as Practical Pedagogy for Library Instructors and The Role of the Library in the First College Year.  Chris presents regularly at information literacy conferences and workshops.  She graduated from Dickinson College with a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary teaching certification, and from Drexel University with a master’s degree in library science.


ray pun headshot.jpgRay Pun
First Year Student Success Librarian
California State University, Fresno

Ray coordinates the first year information literacy program and first year library experience on campus. In his career, Ray has worked as a research librarian at NYPL and at NYU Shanghai. An active member of ALA, ACRL, SLA and IFLA, he has also published and presented extensively in the areas of public and academic librarianship and community engagement. Ray is currently an ALA Councilor-at-Large, and part of the Executive Board in the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). His co-edited publications include Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Moving to Another Type of Library and Bridging Worlds: Emerging Models and Practices of U.S. Academic Libraries Around the Globe. Most recently, he is the co-editor of The First-Year Experience Cookbook (ACRL 2017) with Meggan Houlihan. 

About the FYE Innovation Awards:
The FYE Innovation Awards are sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and Credo to recognize libraries and librarians finding novel approaches to impacting first year students. The inaugural awards will be presented at the 2018 Personal Librarian & FYE Library Conference in Cleveland, OH hosted by the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University. Subsequent awards will be presented at ACRL and the Personal Librarian & FYE conference, which occur on alternating years. Winners receive a $1,500 cash prize and a memorial plaque.