Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Silly Photo Highlights

I just got an email from a colleague with highlights of this morning's photo shoot for the Vision for Iowa School Libraries video.  They have a storyline all mapped out, and I just did what they told me to do. Here's the result:

Yep, I work with some great (and crazy) folks! I can't wait to see the actual video! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Internship in Perspective

This morning I received an email from a close friend/my former internship supervisor. She is preparing a libguide for UD library internships and wanted any suggestions for the page and a short quote.  It's hard for me to keep it short when talking about my internship experience, but I tried. Though it has been 2 years, it certainly doesn't feel like it. I still feel so blessed to have landed in Dubuque with such wonderful people to help guide me and am so thankful to be able to call them all friends! Here's what I sent:

I would recommend an internship experience at University of Dubuque’s Charles C. Myers Library to anyone interested in information, service, learning, teaching, or librarianship. My time in Dubuque helped me to develop as a librarian and as a professional. I was provided a wide range of opportunities at UD that I would not have had anywhere else, including the honor of presenting at both national and state conferences. This abundance of opportunities and realistic experience played a huge part in my immediate employment upon completion of graduate school. My internship experience connected me with an active network of library professionals (some of the most involved in the state) who have remained close friends. There’s something special happening in the Charles C. Myers Library at UD and I am so thankful to have been a part of it during my internship!   

Friday, May 17, 2013

April and May 2013

I realized I'm a bit behind on posting lately, so here's the "Reader's Digest" version of what I've been up to in April and May.

At the start of April I attended IPAL at Drake. Sometimes conferences can be hit & miss, but this year's IPAL felt practical and relevant.  Not only that, but I felt more connected and open with colleagues from other institutions about sharing ideas, successes, failures, and encouragement. You can find more information about what the iLOVE group discussed during IPAL here: Instruction Ideas & Ask the Masses

After IPAL I spent a few evenings covering a colleague's evening Computers & Information Literacy course wherein we covered the following topics:

  • Creating a Safe and Powerful Online Presence: Socially, Academically, and Professionally 
  • Visual Literacy: Using PowerPoint & Prezi to Communicate Your Ideas

It was a good experience, but also a nice reminder that scheduling myself to work late three nights/week isn't something I want to take on right now. It's fine when I know I'm staying for a specific project that has a definite stopping-point or is something I can take home with me and work on in my pajamas, but different when it is a regularly scheduled thing and I'm in full-on teacher mode all day and all night.

We also had another Library After Hours event featuring Lori Hanson Howe and Dr. Ellen Strachota. They shared their experiences from their recent travels to Rwanda working with Art of Conservation, an organization dedicated to using education and conservation to assist Rwandan children in gaining life skills and building a future for them and their communities using sustainable growth methods. Lori and Ellen also shared their experiences working with the children of Rwanda, their participation in a gorilla trek, and highlights from a three day safari they took into Kenya. Their presentation was followed by a reception.



This semester I've been serving as a mentor for an English/Theatre student for her senior capstone project.  During finals week the mentors attended the class's poster presentations. What a cool project! The students had to write a pretty intense research/analysis paper and then present on it. I could not have been more proud of my mentee! She knew her stuff inside and out, was articulate, had a well-written final paper, and did it all while being super-involved with various play performances, student organizations, and the rest of life! I am so proud of her!

We're also experiencing some changes around campus, one of which particularly impacts the library: dining services.  Our contract is switching to a new company, and with that change so changes the library coffee shop. Out with Starbucks products and in with and Einstein Bros Bagels.  Right now we don't really know what changes to the physical space will be made, but we're looking forward to seeing what comes of it.

As a library staff we've been working on reviewing, revisiting, and revising our Core Seminar I (freshman course) assessments and modules that we teach. That has been quite the process and is something we will continue to revise as we gain more experience with the new curriculum.

GV celebrated commencement at the end of April and I again volunteered to help usher.  It's always so rewarding to see the new grads so excited and proud and their family members just as excited and proud.

And then I took a quick trip to California. It was awesome. Here's a peek:

The week I returned from California was also the same week as ILA/ACRL held at Simpson College in Indianola. My colleague, Dan, and I presented a session that wasn't exactly the "typical" session.  I'm a big fan of practical ideas, things you can take home with you, things that feel relevant, and things that promote collaboration and brainstorming. Here is our session description (and, yes, it sounds a little info-mercial-y, but I embrace it):

"Calling all who teach library instruction sessions! Have you ever wanted a session that consisted entirely of instruction ideas? Do you want information literacy instruction strategies to add to your bag of tricks or teaching tool-kit? Have you ever been asked to teach a class and wondered 'how in the heck am I supposed to teach THAT?' Then this is the session for you! Not necessarily what one would think of as a 'typical conference presentation,' this session is one that will get you interacting with other participants from around the state. Participants will work together to share ideas and tackle instruction questions as you work with others to think outside the box, generate new ideas and ways of approaching information literacy, and leave with practical ideas. Attendees will be grouped together to brainstorm lesson ideas for a given prompt, then decide on an approach and develop a basic lesson plan outline.  Groups will share their initial brainstorming ideas and discuss why they chose the approach they used for their outline.  The brainstorming ideas and lesson plan outlines will then be compiled and electronically distributed to attendees shortly after the presentation so attendees can modify and apply the shared ideas at their own institutions."

The good news: we all survived this wacky experiment. The even better news: I think it actually worked! Folks shared their ideas, recommended resources, and had great conversations! Here are the lesson plans that were developed by the various groups:

Lately I've been catching up with the folks in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning on campus to start planning faculty development calendars, sessions, newsletters, and themes.  I've also been meeting with faculty to help plan library instruction for their summer courses, and this week was the Summer Reading Program Kickoff Open House! Despite the construction around campus (see photo below) we still had a great turnout for the open house, wonderful conversations, and some folks even brought books to share! I have some pretty wonderful colleagues around this campus and I'm looking forward to getting to better know them throughout the summer!