Month: January 2014

Rubrics for evaluating resources

When I started teaching library instruction classes, I stuck to the ubiquitous CRAAP model for evaluating resources. Then I learned about BEAM and switched to that acronym for a while. Then I discovered the Edited/Peer-Review/Self-Published x Static/Syndicated/Dynamic grid and kept that discussion alive for as long as I could. Now I use them all (sometimes in very quick succession) and try to convey the more essential idea: it’s your job as the student-writer to tell me why this supports your argument. By placing the ball in their court, the game suddenly becomes interesting.

New to me at least

I will say that one of the most difficult aspects of this new job is the constant task shifting. Whereas before I was single-tasking most of the day, now I shift repeatedly between preparing instruction sessions, working the reference desk, collection development, locating possible furniture purchases, preparing research proposals, exporting/importing statistical data, creating subject guides, reviewing tutorials, meetings, faculty tours, brainstorming sessions for new services, supervising employees (including student workers), working on professional projects outside of work, scheduling conference trips, and helping out an occasional drop-in student with the CMS.

And that’s just what I did today.

Found a wooden book in the stacks

Whither the college degree?

(via @agwieckowski) While reports of any thing’s death are always greatly exaggerated, the demise of the college degree, at least in the estimation of employers, does worry me. I’m not surprised that it could come to this. IHE’s created a market for alternative forms of accreditation the minute they started using graduate hireability as a rubric for success. However, should IHE’s find ways to illustrate the benefits of a degree that go deeper than employable skills and can successfully market those benefits, they just might stick around to see the 22nd century. I’m still putting money into a college fund for Aletheia.

Find the win in everything

We’re piloting a new series of information literacy workshops at MPOW this month. To my knowledge, these type of non-course-specific sessions have not been offered for some years (perhaps ever… the institutional memory is relatively short-term due to the youngish nature of the staff). That said, it was not a huge surprise when only one person showed up to the first session… but that one person was riveted. If I could get an entire class of students like her, I would never leave the classroom. Well, I guess you could say I DID have a class-full. 😉

The 3rd law

I spend hours trying to connect users to information resources. As a public services librarian, most of my week is spent in front of a classroom or working one-on-one with students trying to connect them to the resources they need for their assignments. Every reader his or her book. But how often do I give time and attention to the third law of library science? One of my goals for this semester is to spend more time finding the right users for some of our resources. Because books want to be loved. And I’m a biblio-match-maker.

Sometimes it’s what you don’t expect

So I’ve been working on a series of workshops for the brief, one-month semester we have at MPOW called JTerm. Three workshops. One each week. Two sessions each. The first is a refresher course on finding library resources, the second on evaluating sources, and the final on citation managers and plagiarism. I’m uber-excited about these but am fully aware that I may be teaching to an almost-empty classroom (based on sign-ups thus far). However, the interest from faculty for future, customized sessions generated by the announcement of the workshops is a win that trumps no shows.

The first day of the new semester deserves a nice pair of shoes.

Standards, anyone?

Is anyone else anxiously awaiting the draft report of the new information literacy standards from ACRL? I’ve probably checked the website 20 times in the past month. Seriously.

The latest issue of Communications in Information Literacy devoted an entire issue to changing standards. Notably, the articles discuss two concepts essential to understanding the new standards (we are told): metaliteracy and threshold concepts.

It’s been over a decade since the standards were first published. A decade from now in all likelihood we will be in the same place, but between now and then is a good time to reenergize the discussion.