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I’m Fine, Thanks

Ok, my last post was quite a downer, written in the heat of frustration. I stand my assertion that we need clearer terminology and selection processes, but like many other frustrations, this will not rule my life.

No, and my scary class tomorrow won’t rule my life either because, get this, it’s now two classes! Now I’ll do the part on finding foreign language and English language articles and books (including ILL and finding full text) tomorrow (in 45 minutes). Then next Friday I’ll teach proper citation (in-text, annotated, and regular bibliographies) for 20 minutes. This is instead of doing everything in 40 minutes! I’m SO pleased.

So for tonight I’ll sit back and figure out how to squeezing tomorrow’s class into 45 minutes. I think this will involve a handout that lays out how to get to the foreign language holdings in 4 databases and two catalogs (ours and WorldCat). It will also include an online guide. But beyond that, we’ll see.

(See, I told you I’d have things prioritized by tonight.)

Published inRandom ThoughtsTeaching and Learning


  1. Julian Julian

    Sometimes, the frustration can help us learn. It often brings out that magic moment when something just… clicks.

    The fact that your class was split into two classes can’t be that bad. It means that the service the library provides is so good, that it’s worth having more (in both quality and quantity). It makes me wish I had more such bibliographic instruction sessions back in college. (I hope that’s the term still used. I haven’t heard anyone mention “bibliographic instruction” in four years.)

  2. Steve Lawson Steve Lawson

    Rock on. And remember, the class doesn’t have to be drop-dead gorgeous, it just has to be helpful. I think messy classes can be OK, because it helps to show that research is messy and unpredictable.

  3. Iris Iris

    Ohhh, messy hardly begins to describe it. And I’m breaking all my cardinal rules: I’ll be handing out a sheet chalk full of words (on both sides), and I’ll be speaking at a speed approximating that of light. I also will probably not get around to coming up with good example searches (which is bad when you’re teaching searching in foreign languages you don’t personally know), or to building them an online research guide. I just wish it weren’t my first time teaching for this particular department, or this particular professor.

    And Julian, the term “bibliographic instruction” is kind of out of vogue at the moment. People think it implies too much force-feeding of “how to” steps and too little evaluation and thought. Though in this case “bibliographic instruction” exactly what I’m doing, even though I’m calling it a “library session.” (Which really doesn’t make any sense at all, since it’s not going to be in the library or a full class session, but it’s what I always call them.)

    Ahh, terminology. Gotta love it.

  4. Julian Julian

    Now I feel kind of bad for not knowing that bibliographic instruction has been transformed into information literacy. I should have known that a long time ago, but I had to look that up. Oh well… I guess these are things that us technical services people don’t always keep up with. I hope I didn’t set R&I work back several years by mentioning BI.

  5. Iris Iris

    No worries, Julian. As I said, BI is EXACTLY what I did today. No IL was involved. None. Bwa-ha-ha.

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