Libraries and Librarianship

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Hey friends – I have an opportunity to pitch a new class and am looking for some ideas.

Here are the basics:

  • Summer class
  • Online
  • Lower-division undergraduate
  • in the School of Information
  • Asynchronous, hosted in Canvas, but a few chat sessions/google hangouts in small groups over the semester
  • Readings/viewings/listenings, I’m sure I’ll make a few jing videos
  • I’m not sure if I want to do a final paper or project –  I need to clarify my learning objectives first (you can help with this)

I want to teach it like I taught my FYS at my old place which used the guise of Women in Sitcoms to teach:

  • Database searching
  • Effective use of the libraries (LibGuides, keywords)
  • Citations

all that good library stuff


  • feminist theory
  • critical media studies
  • categories of race/class/gender/sexuality and their representation in US culture
  • US history
  • how to be good at this whole college things
  • awareness of campus resources

I have doubts that the sitcom class will fly under the INF title, and I’d need to beef it up from 1 credit to 3 credits. I don’t want to just do the library 101 without a hook topic though – I’m still working on that part. I also have the general model I used for the 9 billion one-shots I did – my menu of things that I adapted for class session time and topics. My concern is, that I’ll just repeat the stuff I’ve done (even though I think a good amount of it was useful) without pushing myself.


What I’d love to hear from you – if you were doing a semester-long class under the INF umbrella what concepts would you definitely include in your curriculum? Is there something you teach in your current one-shots or classes that you think I should include?

Hit me up in the comments, friends!


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that’s currently wearing me out.

I spend my fall semesters teaching information literacy classes, presenting at orientations, co-facilitating in-library training, trying to get through the lunch line at the grill in under 45 minutes, and making sure the faculty in my department have what they need to teach and conduct their research. It’s incredibly busy, and more than that, it’s very scheduled. I am a captive of my calendar. I only do things when something beeps at me (cell phone, iPad, laptop) – often they all beep at once.

Spring is completely different. The lines are shorter, there are fewer classes, I get to work with faculty who are planning ahead for next year giving us ample time to find rare materials (and find funds for them), we’re recovering from our 11 days of winter, it actually rains and things are less crispy and brown. In spring I focus on professional development, I travel to conferences, I actually get to READ things, and I work on articles. On paper, it seems fantastic, and please, don’t get me wrong, I am *incredibly* appreciative to be a part of an organization that values professional development and gives me time off and funds to go to conferences. I know I’m incredibly lucky. And writing? That’s what academics do, right? The professors you see in movies? The ones surrounded by stacks of paper and piles of books. They constantly-disheveled folks that fall asleep on the cool pages of a 500-page tome or curled up on the tiny, dusty couch in their office. (scene cuts to the neglected spouse, kid, dog, garden, etc. back home). It’s glamourous, right? Well, glamourous if you grew up longing for a life surrounded by dark wood shelving, tweed, and elbow patches. It’s this beautiful picture of sacrificing sleep, a healthy diet, and love for the pursuit of knowledge. Right? Right?!

This isn't even that bad.
All my giant books are at home.

Well . . . sure. I still believe a lot of those things, but it feels worse that it appears on screen. I am completely worn out right now. I just got back from a conference a week ago and am heading off to another in 9 days, then another 3 weeks after that, and another 3 weeks after that. Again, it’s really awesome, but I could use some more reflection time, a lot more sleep, and more catch-up time – people don’t stop emailing me when I’m at conference. I’ve learned tons of new things and met cool new people at conferences in the past three months. I love meeting people who are passionate about student success, and this last conference (First-Year Experience) was a mecca for those folks. So basically I’m just a little whiny because I worked late, then stayed up late editing, then got up early. I am mostly done with prep for the next conference (SXSW Interactive) and should be done with travel arrangements for the one after that by the end of this week. Then I’ll have a little break, right? Right? I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll feel 100 times better after I take a nap and have a sandwich. I won’t write an update here though, because I’ll be writing articles like a champ . . . maybe.

This about sums it up. I feel the same way about running.

“I don’t like to write, but I love to have written.” Michael Kanin

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