Day four of Library Day in the Life (round 6)
I started the day off with two workshops, back to back. I got on the wrong bus on the way to work so I was about 5 minutes late for the workshop. I did call the reference desk to tell the staff there to let the prof know, but I’m not sure the message was relayed. When I got to the library’s lab there was no prof. One student said that he went off to do his own work. Wow. I have never encountered this before and now twice in two weeks I have had professors just not show up for the library workshop with their class. I know I was a few minutes late, but that would’ve been even more reason for a professor to stick around. Anyway, the class still went fairly well. They were a quiet, attentive group.
The second workshop today was for another section of the ECE course I’ve been teaching all week. It was the repeat prof from Tuesday – the one who is also a coordinator. It was another good session. This time for the activity, instead of handing out articles I found, we looked at the articles they had brought to class that most of them found via Google and discussed whether they were scholarly or not. Another thing about this class is that the stereotype was finally broken and there were a couple young men in the class! I love seeing people in non-traditional roles.
After the workshops, I went to my office for a couple of hours. I was called out to help one student who remembered me from a workshop I gave last week. He wanted help on finding information on “commercial infrastructure” for a Canadian company. Then, I worked primarily on the exercises that I used in my third workshop of the day. I wanted to create a third one, but figured I wouldn’t have time in the class to get the students to do it. This last workshop of the day was for a course that’s required by degree students in business programs. This year the libraries have rolled out its curriculum mapping project. That is, librarians here have looked at the entire curriculum for the degree programs and decided which common courses should receive a library workshop, what content and when. So, the students who just started in September should have 6 library workshops throughout their academic years here. Librarians hope that this cuts down on students either not ever seeing a librarian or hearing the same things over and over again. Being integrated with the curriculum means the students should get the info they need as they need it. Today’s class was a research course. I went over what a literature review was, had them go into an article database, and then showed them three other databases they could use for industry profiles and market research. I had the students complete a pre-library questionnaire so that I could understand what they already knew and hear what they wanted so that’s why I played down the article databases and tried to show the market research more. The students were a mix – some really not paying attention, others completing work from another class, but there were some who were also engaged and interested in learning more.
Back to my office for 30 minutes. Office-mate was there and she said she wished I mentioned her these last couple of posts 😉 We also chatted about the activity reports we both have to do for our manager. The manager sent us both different examples but that’s because I’m a librarian and office-mate is a library technician (though she’s also studying for her MLIS online). I took a short break to register for PodCamp Toronto. I turned to my coworker and asked if she was a geek. No really, I did. “Are you a geek?” When she replied affirmatively, I sent her the link to PodCamp as well. I’ve been to the Montreal one twice, so we’ll see how Toronto compares 🙂
Two people were sick today so I covered the reference desk from 4 to 5. It seems to me the Learning Centre kept sending students our way even when it was a Learning Centre question. I tried helping one student find out if there was any sort of English conversation club, but all the links were old/dead so I ended up just advising her to visit International Student Services. I helped another woman who was using the library for the first time look up a couple of books on autism. Another fellow wanted clarification on MLA and citing stuff he got from the web. It was tricky to help him though without concrete examples (he handed an assignment in last week) so I reviewed the MLA guide we have online and then told him to come back again when he’s actually working on his next assignment. I also looked up for him how to book an appointment with the Learning Centre (its online, which I didn’t know before). One of my last patrons of the night greeted me with a jolly “Hi, Jennifer!” I recognized him from my morning workshop (and he reminded me he was in the workshop too). He wanted help finding a book for a title he had. Turns out it was a textbook which we keep on reserve so I told him how he’d go about borrowing it. Then my office mate took over as I was starting to help another patron look up his textbooks. And that was it!