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Being Pushy Pays Off

So, I’m not very pushy. I look around at what other libloggers can accomplish because they seem to have no fear, and I realize that I will probably never be that fearless leader of the profession. (“Probably”… who am I kidding…) But today I was pushy in my own little tiny way, and it seems to have worked.

There’s always a backstory… On Monday I visited French 243 (a class on “culture with a small ‘c’” in France). They have to find French language sources in order to write a paper on some aspect of French culture. A week from Monday they have an annotated bibliography due, and a research proposal. Well, when the professor and I planned this research assignment, she was really worried about having an entire class period without her students hearing French, and I’m not good enough with my 10-year-old French to compensate. So we decided that I’d get a very short amount of time in class, just for a basic intro and so that the students would have seen my face (which is probably the single most important factor in students coming to see me later), and then we’d have the students come see me for the more advanced stuff.

Well, this week is passing quickly, and I’d only seen one student. So today I went where no librarian (from my school) has ever gone before. I co-opted the class’ news forum in Moodle (which is normally used by the professor to make class announcements, and which immediately spams all the class participants’ email accounts with the messages written there) and wrote this note:

fren243-00-s07 -> Forums -> News forum -> La bibliothèque et tes recherche
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La bibliothèque et votre recherche
by Iris Jastram – Thursday, April 5 2007, 03:56 PM
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Bonjour mes amis!

Ok, so I thought I could write this in French, but realized it would take me way too long, and you’d all be in stitches over my less-than-wonderful grammar.

I just wanted to remind you that I’m available to teach you different search tools (like the newspaper search I told you about), to work through research strategies with you, or to help you think about your bibliographies, but time is running out quickly. (Wow, that sounds like a car commercial! If you come see me in the next week, I won’t charge you interest.) :) Time is especially short if you wanted to interlibrary loan anything. You’ll want to get those requests in sometime in the next two or three days (no kidding) if you want to be able to read them before including them on your bibliography.

I’m here tomorrow (Friday) and next Tuesday through Friday before your bibliographies and proposals are due. That’s 5 days. And my schedule tends to fill up pretty quickly once the week starts. In fact, I only have a couple of hours left this Friday. Remember, you can always see my most up-to-date availability here:
http://people.carleton.edu/~ijastram/schedule.htm

If I don’t hear from you, I hope that means you’re finding everything you need without any trouble. Research can be really fun when you get on the trail of a good topic and the process itself doesn’t get in your way.

Best,
Iris – votre amical, et seulement parfois ridicule, bibliothécaire

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This is a copy of a message posted on the fren243-00-s07 website.

And it’s worked. In the last 20 minutes I’ve made appointments with 5 more students for early next week, leaving only 12 students that I haven’t heard from. And the appointments are coming in by email and my MeeboMe widget all at once. Sure makes first-come-first-serve a challenge. :) I guess I should be careful what I wish for…

[Update: Fixed stupid French grammar mistake, and there are probably still some. See, I told you I wasn't good at this French stuff.]

2 thoughts on “Being Pushy Pays Off

  1. Well, I hope the grammatical errors make them notice my note rather than snicker at me. We’ll call it deliberate attention-grabbing rather than 10-years-dusty college French. But I’m now up to half the class scheduled for appointments!

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