Focusing on Students: Librarians and Writing Tutors Working Together

How to Cite

Zisser, M., Moberg, B., & Borgström, A. M. (2016). Focusing on Students: Librarians and Writing Tutors Working Together. Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education, 8(1).


The aim of this presentation is to highlight and reflect on the advantages of collaboration between librarians and writing tutors, as well as to give three examples of fruitful collaboration at the Karolinska Institutet University Library. Librarians and writing tutors have different competencies and can help students with different aspects of their work. This specialization is however not obvious to students, which may lead to them approaching the wrong person, or focusing on tangible and specific details instead of the big picture.

Collaboration between librarians and writing tutors has many advantages, both for students and staff. Firstly, it enables an overall view of the student’s working process and a contextualization of their work in a way that each group cannot achieve on their own. When the students understand the context of their assignments and theses, they are able to assume greater responsibility for their work, act more independently, and develop their critical thinking. Secondly, collaboration leads to a development of the staff’s competencies as we learn from each other, but we also get a deeper and more nuanced understanding of each other’s competencies, and can therefore plan teaching in a more efficient way.

During our presentation, we will present and reflect on three activities on which we have collaborated: a lecture which addresses all the aspects of writing a thesis: searching, collecting, writing, and sharing; a seminar which aims to deepen the understanding for why and how sources are used, as well as how they are indicated in the text; and an online self-correcting test which highlights all aspects of thesis writing.

The collaboration has been successful and motivated us to find new areas of collaboration. The next planned step is to offer students joint appointments with librarians and writing tutors to discuss their assignments.

Copyright (c) 2016 Miritt Zisser, Bodil Moberg, Anna M Borgström

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