library instruction

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First day of school.
Buses on time.
Five instruction requests so far.
Lost my glasses.
Listening to Willie,
Coffee in hand.

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Hey folks! I’m here to discuss what you school and academic librarians already know – summer is over. Well, I guess everyone knows this, because librarians are good at reading calendars. I’m sure you public librarians are ready to have the kids back in school during the day – you know, so they can come busting through your door at 3:30 with backpacks and secret bags of Cheetos.

Cheetos, every librarian's dream.

Classes start here on Monday, and I’ve spent part of my week reflecting on the summer. When I started my position in January I made a list of stuff I wanted to do over the summer, and I did it. It feels pretty awesome. Now I’m working on making those experiences into publishable articles with broad applications for other instruction and outreach librarians. The fun part is that all the writing hits right when the instruction schedule picks back up. Today I talked to 30 new grad student instructors for the Intro Comp and Rhetoric class I work with. In the past seven days I have encouraged 210 people to sign up for library instruction sessions. If 1/5 of them do, I’m going to be mind-numbingly, body-breakingly busy. That’s the fun part of outreach, if it works you have more work to do, but I’m committed to spreading the good word of the library across campus. Who knew that my summers in youth theater and experience as a camp counselor would be such a big part of my career?!

In addition to instruction sessions and trying to get something published, this fall I’m working on a research project with a few colleagues (which I guess also falls under the category of trying to get something published – but it’s not in the writing stage yet), trying out a new assessment method (new to us), migrating boatloads of webpages to a new format, working on some new online tutorials with a very talented colleague, scheduling visits with at least seven groups from four different area high schools (including a few all-day sessions), trying a new way to collaborate with the University Writing Center, weaning my dog off his kennel, sleeping regularly, hosting weekly events for my alumni group, and keeping the pep.

It’s going to be a great semester!

*The subject was inspired by the song Summertime from Porgy & Bess.

Although, this is actually the song I had in my head at the time – which was also mildly inspired by P&B. Although it’s 99% safe for work, but it hints at profanity.

I can’t have a list of Summertimes and not include this one. I could live in this song.

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