in which I attempt to be a rockstar teacher librarian :)

Posts tagged ‘511 fall’

Bird After Dark.

So this weekend, because I wasn’t at NYLA like many of my peers, I volunteered to help with the library lock-in on campus. What did I know about the event before volunteering? That it was held in the library, supposed to be fun, and went into the wee hours of the morning.

Well, all of those expectations turned out to be true! Undergraduate students signed up in teams of two to participate. Part of the event was a type of scavenger hunt where they were required to find answers to questions using *only* library resources – print or online. The other part involved playing skill games. I had the pleasure of running a game called “A Bit Dicey”. The student had 60 seconds to hold a popsicle stick in their mouth and stack six dice, vertically, on the popsicle stick. If they could keep them standing for at least 3 seconds, they got a sticker and “won” that game. I probably had one of the easiest games, judging by how many stickers I handed out (and for the record, I tested and did mange to do it myself). There were a variety of strategies employed… but on the whole, entertaining.

In between the two sessions of answer-finding and game-playing, we had breaks for food, caffeine (read: diet Coke, noms), sugar (read: Reese’s), and more games. The video game company that produces Just Dance 3 had brought equipment to set that up, and students played that during break. They had raffle tickets and students were winning a number of different prizes that had been donated to the event.

The event went from about 9:30 til after 1 AM. We stuck around and cleaned up the chaos that was the first floor of Bird Library. We, the volunteers, managed to snag a few of the extra swag bags. And then we ventured out into the incredibly chilly evening – well, it was morning – and left the library locked behind us.

I’m glad I ended up volunteering. I had my qualms (see also: chaotically caffeinated undergrads) and I did have to deal with someone who wanted to steal my dice (I got them back though! Nothing like straight-up asking “hey, did you steal one of my dice?”) but I also got to work with some of my fellow library students and some of the library staff at Bird. And most importantly, we took the whole idea that the library is a quiet space full of individuals and flipped it on its head, if only for a night.

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New Librarianship requires New Librarians.

I got into an email conversation this week that went something like this.

“I’m a teacher and I want to be a school librarian. What classes do I need?”
“It’s a 37-credit hour program; you’ll earn your MLIS and NYS certification.”
“No, no, no, I’m already a teacher. I shouldn’t have to take that many classes.”

A few days later, I got into a conversation while in the learning commons about the idea of a learning commons.

“Oh, are you a student here?”
“Yes, I’m in the Master’s of Library and Information Science program here at SU.”
“Oh, so you can explain to me why it’s not quiet in here?”
“Ah, yes, I can. It’s a learning commons. Conversation is encouraged, collaboration among students, and you’re surrounded by great resources to use as well!”
“Hmph. I don’t see anyone studying or using resources. I just hear noise.”
“Well, the other five floors of Bird Library, as far as I know, are quiet floors, if that’s what you want…”
shocking: she didn’t move from her place on the “loud” floor.

And this got me thinking. We know what the ideas and concepts and theories behind “new librarianship” are. But to look at us… you wouldn’t necessarily think “new librarian!” (well, at least in the “not-using-old-standards” way. you might think “new to the field”.) So… I decided to do a very high-tech, super-resourceful Google Image search.

Librarians:

This is what the general populace thinks of when they think “librarian”.

I tried Google-Image searching cool librarian, awesome librarian, hip librarian, badass librarian… and the results were less than impressive. I did find these gems, though:

So…apparently it’s hip/awesome/cool to be…old-fashioned. Huh. Go figure.

All this to say…

WE are the face of librarianship. And as time progresses, we will be what people think of – we’ll be the new results on a google image search page (dear goodness, I hope so, anyway. Enough stereotypical clipart already.) So… what will be the mental image of a librarianship once we’ve successfully integrated all our fantastical plans and innovative (drink!) ideas? Just something to consider…

And as a closing – to be totally stereotypical librarian – this pictures makes me think one thing: WANT.

on web design.

Random, but we’ve got an interesting discussion going on in 605 on how to evaluate teh internetz and use it as a resource. A key comment that’s brought up on a regular basis is web design – opinions vary as to “If it looks good, I’m more likely to believe it” to “If it looks good, they might be putting up a sham front.” Like I said – opinions vary.

I remember posting something on facebook a year or two back – a statement of frustration that “if your website is poorly designed, I’m not giving you my business. I don’t have time to click around searching for everything I need.” Oddly enough – or not – this frustration came about when I was undertaking a search for graduate schools in library and information science. Go figure. And you know what? Students don’t want to have to take a class in internet research to learn how to use your website. And if you don’t make that information easy to find, I’m not going to spend the next ten minutes of my life searching for it. You should want to give me that information. It’s in your best interests.

So, web designers…colleges and universities…places that have an informative website that they want other people to actually read… more information isn’t necessarily more helpful. In fact, I would argue (based purely on anecdotes and personal opinion) that simple is better – even in this age of superfast internet.

And I suppose that’s all I have for you tonight. Keep searching, my friends!