August 30, 2010

Writing a Teaching Philosophy

Posted in Instruction, Interviewing, Professional Success at 6:32 pm by melissaautumn

Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education has a good article by James M. Lang on how to write a memorable teaching philosophy.

Those of you going into academic librarianship may especially want to take note of this article, since the application and/or tenure processes can require a statement of your teaching philosophy or your philosophy of librarianship (and this article could easily be adapted for help with the latter).

August 26, 2010

Recommended Reading – Creating Online Tutorials

Posted in Instruction at 10:17 pm by melissaautumn

Oops, I wrote myself a note to recommend this article, then promptly misplaced the note for a period of months. But, I think the article is still useful, even if I’m a little behind in bringing this to your attention.

If you are interested in the creation of online tutorials for teaching information literacy or providing just-in-time instruction for patrons, this article features a helpful grid of software programs and their features, as well as a discussion on selecting software appropriate for your needs.

Slebodnik, Maribeth and Catherine Fraser Riehle. “Creating Online Tutorials at Your Libraries: Software Choices and Practical Implications.” Reference and User Services Quarterly 49 (2009): 33-.

Get it free here.

August 25, 2010

LA area internship

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:56 pm by melissaautumn

Former students – if you have taken reference, live in the LA area and are interested in a fall internship at an academic library, email me. A former colleague suddenly has an opening. It is at a great school and you’d learn a lot.

August 22, 2010

Keeping Up with Forum Posting

Posted in School Success at 4:40 pm by melissaautumn

All of my courses require students to contribute to discussions in course forums. I firmly believe these discussions push us all to engage more deeply and critically with the course materials and are an essential part of the learning process. Forum discussions are also an opportunity for students to direct some of the course content – while I might have primary control over what we cover in the weekly lessons, students get to start and develop forum threads on the issues that are most interesting to them.

In my opinion, forum posting is easy points – either you do it or you don’t. When students keep up with forum posting, they rarely post such drivel that they lose points (you all care enough about libraries to have something interesting to say). If student lose points for participation, it is because they just did not post.

Since not keeping up with forum postings is enough to drop you an entire letter grade in many courses, including mine, here are a few ideas for keeping up with forum posts:

  • My best advice, which I got from a student, is to add “forum post” to your to do list for the week. This makes posting something you have to consciously do and check off. If you are taking multiple classes, you could organize your efforts around posting in each class on a particular day of the week (Monday post for course 1, Tuesday post for course 2, etc.).
  • Post immediately after doing the week’s reading for a class when ideas
    and questions are still fresh in your mind.
  • Only read forums when you are relaxed and have enough time to write responses. If I read forums late at night, I’ll be too tired to respond to students – I simply don’t want to write. Therefore, I try to set aside time every morning or afternoon just to read forums and respond. Your “peak time” may be different than mine, but the point is to allow yourself enough time to engage with course discussions in a meaningful, professionally satisfying way.

August 19, 2010

Working with Student Affairs

Posted in Resources at 7:58 pm by melissaautumn

As the library director at Marymount, I worked extensively with colleagues in Student Affairs. This work was one of the highlights of my eight years at Marymount – my colleagues were smart, professional, and always student-centered. In addition, they came from diverse educational backgrounds and possessed an incredible array of experiences and skills (this is probably one reason why they remind me so much of librarians!).

One of the things that has struck me for many years is how much librarians and student affairs professionals have in common, particularly when it comes to assessment. Like librarians, student affairs professionals are often called upon to assess the impact of their programs on student learning, yet lack the structure of formal courses where one can assign, collect and analyze assignments for evidence of learning.

Scott Walter’s, “Building a Seamless Environment for Information Literacy,” in Communications in Information Literacy addresses how librarians can learn from student affairs as we think about our own assessment efforts. It is worth a read!

And, if you are interested in more on academic librarians working with student affairs, keep a lookout: Lisa Hinchliffe and I recently taught a professional development course via ACRL on how librarians can collaborate with student affairs, which was great fun, and we’re working on an edited volume on library/student affairs collaborations.

August 5, 2010

ACRL Conference Scholarships

Posted in Professional Success, Resources at 11:54 am by melissaautumn

ACRL is offering 80 scholarships for its 2011 conference. The conference will be held March 30 – April 2 in Philadelphia. This is a great conference (if you cannot attend in person, they also offer a virtual option).

August 3, 2010

PrePrints from College and Research Libraries

Posted in Resources at 9:54 am by melissaautumn

Yesterday in class my students asked about options for accessing professional readings post-graduation when they no longer have access to the university’s online resources. I mentioned open-access journals and preprints as two sources for articles. So, it is a nice coincidence that this morning’s ACRL Update highlights the following:

College and Research Libraries, the academic journal of the Association of College and Research Libraries, provides free access to preprints of accepted articles. The site includes an RSS option so you can be notified when new content is available.