Posts Tagged With: library

Random Bits

This book:

 

. . .is amazing.
Could possibly go into my favorite books of all time list. I’m not kidding.

-Found out tonight that my fellow evening librarian also loves theatre. We spent like, two straight hours talking about Angels in America (dude, it’s been a year since we saw that already), Bea Arthur, and Kander & Ebb, among many, many other things. How have I been at this job since January without knowing?? haha

-I’m the “personal librarian” to several honor students, one of whom is really awesome and has taken some of my suggestions as well as put a lot of his own work in and his capstone paper is coming along great. The other one I’ve been working with has been infinitely more of a challenge. Although it’s not my place to tell someone they shouldn’t do a particular topic, I *did* warn him that there weren’t likely to be any scholarly sources on his choice (about recent lockouts in major sports organizations). Well, he apparently is pushing along with it and surprise! isn’t finding scholarly sources. He has contacted the library for two days straight and has been helped by three other people besides me– what he wants DOES NOT EXIST. And this is when the job gets frustrating. I think sometimes students consider us to be “just librarians,” when often times we have a better idea of the sources that exist for a certain topic than their professors do!

-I want to go trail riding this Saturday but I think it’s supposed to rain. Meh.

-Yes, I went to the beach between being at URI and Bryant today. Also managed to burn both my shoulders since I didn’t believe it was sunny enough out to warrant sunscreen.

-Oh! I have been telling some colleagues at the URI library about my interest in maybe getting an Animal Science BS and I got some interesting replies from people. Perhaps I’ll get into that tomorrow.

-Bought my cap and gown today– wish I could just fast forward to May 19th already!

-My brain is kinda fried (perhaps literally. . it’s a thousand degrees here at my parents’ condo) so sorry if this entry is less than entertaining. I’ll try to do make up for it tomorrow, although I really need to be finishing up my proto-proposal that’s due on Saturday.

Now, off to read more Microbiology!

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Almost Perfect

Chances are you’re coming to this from Facebook, so I apologize for the redundancy. BUT– I was “officially” offered the lecturer position for next Fall! The class is available on e-campus and I already have 6 students (these classes always fill up though because it’s an alternative gen ed to the COM 100 class which requires giving a speech. . .and most kids want to avoid that). There’s also a possibility I’ll get some ref desk hours on top of this, so between my two jobs, I’ll be making the equivalent of a real salary, lol. Also, not bad for someone who still hasn’t graduated yet! :p

My other “win” this week was with the honor student I’m working with at one of my jobs. All the librarians get assigned several honor students, to act as their “personal librarian” throughout the course of their capstone project/paper. I’ve met with a few people, but seeing as this is a two-part course, most of the students are still trying to solidify their topic– and some are not quite prepared for even that step. But I had a great meeting with a student earlier in the week who was not only very interested in his topic, but willing to listen to suggestions (when his first choice was just NOT working– some students are stubborn even if there is NO scholarly information available. . .really frustrating), and has continued to keep me updated with the sources he’s been finding and information he’s been focusing on. During a time when it seems like 90% of college students are indifferent to everything, it’s nice to come across someone who does care. Plus, this is the kind of thing I hoped to do as a librarian– help people with their research. And I mean really help them, not just “here’s how you search JSTOR.”

 

I do have to begin working on my final, final projects but I managed to get Part II started. It’s definitely not as easy to write as Part I but it’s so, so important to get Randi and Whisky’s relationship cemented. . .so I can demolish it later on, haha. I was inspired to work on Part IV the other day (which is when shit gets REAL) and oh my god, cannot WAIT to get there. Again, my original writing isn’t awful but once those chapters are updated. . .wow. You really do need to be a sadist to write but hey, it makes for interesting stories. :p

I might write more later, don’t know. What I *do* know is it’s almost lunch time, and we’re going to the amazing new Thai restaurant on campus. Tofu pad thai, you are mine!

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Don’t Even.

I got to hear my “favorite phrase” yesterday at the reference desk:
“The paper’s already done, I just need some sources.”
AUGH!
Please, repeat after me: AAAUUUGGGHHH!!!

This makes me die a little inside not only as a librarian but as someone who’s done legit research and, you know, generally cares about the intellectual future of the world.  ~_~

I wasn’t helping this particular student, my coworker had her, but still I cringed. This situation doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does. . .it’s like “Why didn’t you just come to the library and find some sources in the first place??” Trying to find references *after* the paper is written is asking for problems. What if nothing’s been written that agrees with what you’ve said? Yes, there’s millions and millions of articles in our databases and online, but sometimes you’d be surprised at what information is NOT out there. Many times I’ve gone to help a student find sources on X topic, something that sounds like it’ll be easy to find research on, and ended up wanting to throw things in frustration after twenty minutes of fruitless searching. (On the other hand, there have been times when someone’s topic made me O_O yet finding sources was ridiculously easy. . .you can never tell.)

But yeah. If you’re in college, please for the love of all things holy, DO NOT DO THIS. Get your sources before you even open a new Word document. . .at least then the tricky part will be over and your librarian will be much happier to help you if something weird *does* come up.

* * * *

I’m gonna actually write a story related post tomorrow (or whenever the next time I write is) since I’m forging ahead with Part II. I think I said before that I’d like to attend the Summer Writing Conference at URI this year, attempt to do some networking ::barf:: and whatnot so it would be great if I had a slightly larger chunk finished.

K, I’m at work. . .I should probably be doing library related stuff since last week was my time for slacking off. :p

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I Need to Brag

now, because I just do NOT have a good feeling about my comprehensive exam tomorrow– aka the test I need to pass to get my degree. Everyone I’ve talked to is like “eh, you’ll be fine,” but that’s what everyone told me before I failed my first driving test too. v_v I think part of what I’m worried about is that there wasn’t even a real way to study for this test. These questions can cover ANY aspect of librarianship– from collection development to designing info lit courses for under-served populations to cataloging issues. It’s 3 essays;  you must pick from one of two questions for each of the 3 sections, so you do have *some* choice.  Old questions have been posted online and yeah, I took a gander. Some were not bad but there were a few that made me O_o;;;

So. Tomorrow. 9am. Wish me luck. ::cry::

Okay, now for the bragging!

Switching my focus from archives and preservation to academic libraries and info lit was the best possible move. I never wanted to become a teacher, in fact I was a little unhappy when I found out that is a HUGE part of being an academic librarian, but apparently it’s where my talents lie.

– For my info lit class last semester, I am the only person the professor has ever given a perfect score after observing my lesson. . .and she’s been teaching for like 15 years.

-Last year, I was the only grad student asked to teach several of the 2 hour long info lit classes that occur during the summer. The kids were asked to rate the class at the end, and apparently several students gave good feedback about me specifically. And I heard from someone who read the feedback that out of the 5 or so people teaching the classes, I was the only one who was singled out like that.

-I ran yesterday’s LIB 120 class from beginning to end– it was the main project of my Professional Field Experience. I wrote the lecture, I created the activities, I guided the discussion, I even created a 4 minute video on the subject (more on that later). Was I nervous? A little, just because I knew that the class’ normal professor, who is also my PFE “mentor,” would be watching and evaluating everything. Mind you, she *knows* her stuff when it comes to information literacy instruction. First of all, she’s the head of URI’s ILI department;  secondly, she’s co-written several books and scholarly articles on the subject; lastly, she’s run a national program called “Immersion” which is a VERY big deal in the academic library world. Just to be accepted into the program is an ordeal– you must already be an instructor whose made significant contributions to the field at your institution. I looked at the application once and even that was concerning, lol. Plus like I said, she has not only been through this program, she has LED it.

After class we chatted in her office about how things went. She asked for my opinion first, and though I felt the class went well overall, of course I pointed out several things that I thought could have been better. To my surprise, her response was, “Well I thought the whole thing was great!” She read all of her notes to me and the only things she pointed out were very minor, and weren’t even technically corrections, just suggestions. So, awesome.

-About the video I mentioned above. I made a video for Bryant last semester using Camtasia software– it’s a very simple video editing software to learn and I was coming from zero experience. For whatever reason I felt like making one to go along with yesterday’s Web Evaluation class. When I showed it to my mentor she was thrilled by it and immediately asked if she could forward the link to the other LIB 120 teachers! Naturally I said she could. A few librarians emailed me back some compliments on it, including one guy we’ll call L. L is a nice enough guy, but he’s NOT quick to praise student work. Apparently he liked my video so much that he decided to show it in his own LIB 120 section. Again, my mentor was like, “Um, he is never impressed by anything so. . .wow.” Honestly, I think the video I did for Bryant is better! If you’d like to see what all the supposed fuss is about, here’s the link.

-I received applause at the end of the last three classes I’ve taught. Applause. For the record, normally the students cannot wait for the library class to end and as soon as you finish talking, they immediately pick up their stuff and march out of the room silently. I don’t know. I try to throw in humor when I can, I’m not afraid to be self-deprecating and I’m quite animated. . .no hiding behind the computer for me! It comes naturally to me; having been on stages of various sizes since I was about 5 might have something to do with it, but no matter what, it’s a trend I hope will continue. Happy students = attentive students = students who might have actually learned something! lol

-And finally, I’ve been given my own entire section of LIB 120 for the Summer, which is partly why I’m doing my PFE in it right now. As if that’s not awesome enough, there’s about a 95% chance I’ll also be teaching a class in the Fall semester, too. I’m quite honored about that because not many recent graduates get asked to return as lecturers. . . more often as reference desk staff.

Okay, that’s enough of that. I actually feel bad for writing this entry, but I guess it’s acceptable to have a self-esteem spike once in awhile, lol. I’ll let you know how comps go and then I’ve got some other things up my sleeve worth discussing. Now– onto other random things instead of doing library related stuff!

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