Monday, October 29, 2012

Author Visit - Wonder of Words Festival

Author Stephen Lovely came to Grand View as part of the Wonder of Words Festival. He read from his book Irreplaceable and from an as-of-yet untitled work in progress.  Here are a few images from the evening.


Student Shadow Day

A little while back I got a Facebook message from a former Dorian Summer Music Camp camper of mine. She is currently a student at Luther College and is starting to think about the possibility of pursuing library school to become a librarian (she hasn't yet decided on which flavor: public, academic, archives, school, etc.).  Because she's awesome and on the ball, she has begun to ask about different schools, specializations, opportunities, etc. This week she came in and shadowed me for a day to see what we do here at Grand View and to ask questions and gather resources.

Our day began with a tour of the library and of campus.  We talked a little about the makeup of the student body, the role the library and librarians play in classes (especially the embedded classes), and some of the institution history.  Then, from 9:30-10:50, Sarah observed Dan Chibnall working with a 200 level religion class that was visiting the library for a one-shot session.  They were learning to research using the Anchor Bible Dictionary and other library resources.  After that we headed over to another computer lab on campus where I taught a Core Seminar I class about presentation skills and software. Students were broken down into groups of 2 or 3 and each group was assigned a different presentation medium: PowerPoint, Prezi, or Google Presentations (part of the Google Drive Applications). They were to answer a series of questions about their software and then present back to the class, demonstrating how to use the features.

After class, Sarah and I headed out to lunch at Thai Flavors to talk about ways to gain experience, test the waters in different areas of librarianship, graduate school possibilities, specialization possibilities, networking and conferences, internships, and anything else that might have popped into our heads. It was great to share ideas and help Sarah start to think about different possibilities to begin to explore.

In the afternoon, Sarah observed me teaching another first-year Core Seminar I class, this time covering web quality.  We spent the first chunk of class working on an activity that (hopefully) drove home the idea that where you get your information is important.  Tracking information back to a quality resource is important, especially when writing papers or researching for school projects. Then students found two websites related to their paper topics and evaluated them using a quality-control checklist.

After class I had hoped to take Sarah on a tour of the parts of campus we weren't able to cover in our morning tour (it began to rain during our morning jaunt), but instead we spent the time looking at resources, library school lists, and brainstorming ways Sarah could get her foot in the door to gain experience early. All in all, it was a great day!

As I prepared for the day, I wanted to emphasize the teaching aspect of librarianship (as it is a key part of librarians' roles, especially in a small, liberal arts institution), and give her an idea of what a typical day was like. This included having her observe different librarians in different instruction settings.  I would have liked to have shown her some time on the Reference Desk, but schedules didn't align to make that happen.  I also didn't want to overwhelm her with resources, but I did want to give her an idea of where to look to prepare herself for the library school application and selection process.  Also, I emphasized the importance of experience--If she can gain experience as an undergraduate, she will be more likely to be hired in student jobs in graduate school, which will help her as she moves forward and applies for full-time, professional positions.  Here are some of the links I shared:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lib & Learn - October 2012

Here's the October edition of the Grand View University library newsletter. Enjoy!
Student Newsletter - October2012