Special Report: 9 Insights to Boost Primary Source Instruction

Sponsored by JSTOR, a nonprofit service of ITHAKA
Recorded on 11/14/2023

Posted in Primary Sources and Special Collections

Join this free, one-hour JSTOR + Choice-ACRL webinar to learn how librarians and faculty can align and collaborate to address barriers to teaching with digitized primary sources with insights from a new report.


Forty-five percent of surveyed librarians rate their efforts of collaborating with teaching faculty on the use of digitized primary resources as low or extremely low. Yet, Stephanie Kaplan, a professor of art history at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) finds, “The most successful we’ve been is when we make time to meet, and I have learned to trust the librarians.”  

As online education evolves in the wake of the pandemic and digitized and born-digital primary source resources increase in number, there is a growing recognition of the need for innovative digital primary source instruction. 

To help, Choice and JSTOR partnered to examine the current state of digital primary source instruction and research challenges faced by librarians and faculty instructors. The literature review, survey data analysis, and practitioner interviews culminated into a research report, Teaching and Learning with Digital Primary Sources: Nine insights into awareness, literacy, and collaboration between librarians, faculty, and students.

The report will be released through a co-sponsored webinar with Choice-ACRL on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Moderated by Choice’s editorial director, the event will:

  • Explore three of nine literature and survey insights from the report
  • Examine two of four best practices from practitioner interviewees
  • Discuss how digital platform partners, like the nonprofit JSTOR, can help

In addition to walking away with actionable insights, attendees will be the first to receive full access to the report!


  • Image of Michaela Ullmann

    Michaela Ullmann

    Head of Instruction and AssessmentUniversity of Southern California (USC) Libraries

    Michaela Ullmann is the Head of Instruction and Assessment at the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology from University of Bonn (Germany), and a Master of Library and Information Sciences degree from San José State University. In her current role, Michaela leads USC Libraries’ Teaching & Learning Department, ensuring university-wide integration of information literacy into the curriculum.

    From October 2006 to February 2023, Michaela oversaw the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, home to Lion Feuchtwanger’s invaluable 30,000 volume rare book collection, as well as papers by German-speaking intellectuals and artists who fled Nazi-Germany and came to Los Angeles in the 1930s and early 1940s. In her additional role as Instruction Coordinator for Special Collections, she lead her department’s instruction program, designed and facilitated primary source instruction in a wide range of subject areas with consideration to Critical Librarianship, and collaborated closely with instructors on developing assignments and tools to further students’ critical engagement with rare books and archives.

    Michaela has developed the teaching platform Primary Source Literacy at USC Libraries & Beyond to assist students, faculty, and other librarians with primary source literacy instruction.

  • Image of Virginia Seymour, MSIS

    Virginia Seymour, MSIS

    Head Librarian, Research and InstructionSavannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Libraries

    Virginia Seymour, Head Librarian, leads a team of instruction, archives, and digital collections specialists at Savannah College of Art and Design. Her JSTOR Daily column, Learning to Look, connects students and enthusiasts alike with key visual literacy concepts. Virginia is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Image of Michael Vath

    Michael Vath

    Director of ProductJSTOR, a nonprofit service of ITHAKA

    Michael Vath is the Director of Product at ITHAKA. He leads product teams on a mission to deliver experiences on the JSTOR platform that improve and advance research and learning. Michael’s career in software product management spans 20 years, and prior to joining ITHAKA he worked on a variety of B2B and B2C products in advertising, print, and digital media.

    Michael is incredibly passionate about delivering great software product experiences to users, and has spent his career learning from and working with some of the best thought leaders and coaches in the field. He mentors other product professionals, inside and outside of ITHAKA, has served as a mentor for incubating startups, and has devoted time to organizing and speaking at a variety of conferences and working groups on modern, user-centered product management practices.

    Michael graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Mathematics, and holds a MS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan.

  • Image of Bill Mickey (Moderator)

    Bill Mickey (Moderator)

    Editorial DirectorChoice, a publishing division of the ALA/ACRL

    Bill Mickey is the editorial director of Choice, a publishing unit of the Association of College and Research Libraries (a division of the American Library Association). He directs editorial operations across Choice’s media portfolio which includes a monthly print journal, an online database, a website, e-newsletters, webinars, market research, and award-winning podcasts.

All Choice webinars offer Zoom’s auto-generated AI captioning. If you have any questions, please contact: scofer@ala.org.


JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve access to knowledge and education for people around the world. As a nonprofit that believes in the power of knowledge to change the world for the better, JSTOR partners with libraries, museums, and publishers to reduce costs, extend access, and preserve scholarship for the future as affordably and sustainably as possible.