Each week, as I prepare for the next and consider the discussion, I will write about my own experiences and reflections about library and information science. It is my sincere hope that this blog will create a rapport between us.
Here are my reflections as I prepare this class. I have not taught this
particular class before but have always wanted to. To me, Foundations is
the opportunity to turn you ON to being a librarian. I've been one my entire
professional career. I've worked behind a reference desk in busy and slow
libraries, from busy New York Public Library reference desks to sleepy South Dakota. I've
traveled in the field as a consultant working with libraries of all shapes and
sizes, from small corners set aside in police stations (without a unique phone
number), to bustling academic libraries, and everywhere in between. I am a
free-lance researcher who travels to archives, record centers, historical
societies, and libraries digging up interesting and esoteric information for
clients, and for myself. I am a consultant to libraries helping them understand
preservation and longevity issues, establish mission statements and collection
development policies, and recover from a disaster or mold infection. I'm in my
public library several days a week picking up books to read, to fondle, and to
look at. I use reference databases and Google, read journals and newspapers
(electronic and paper), and talk to my friends about good reading, good
authors, and great books I am listening to. I talk to colleagues about trends I
see in libraries, problems I've encountered, and trends that don't seem to work
on the user side of things. It's really important to be able to
understand what your users experience. I am an active, engaged, a passionate
librarian, who believes in what I do and teach and want you to feel just as
passionate in the beginning, middle and end of your careers.
For the past 5-1/2 years, I've been working on my PhD in history, to complement
my MLS and my MA in history. I just graduated in December. That means you
have my undivided attention, except for my other students, and my life,
and..... The PhD provides even greater opportunities to teach which I love to
do. Stop by my office and I'll tell you all about my experience as a graduate
student. Now here's me as the professor.
Just as your reflective journals are an opportunity to share with me what you
learn, this blog is a chance to share what I'm learning this semester. So
let's learn together and grow together. Let me turn you on to the amazing world
of cultural institutions, which encompasses libraries, information centers,
archives, historical societies, record centers, museums, and so much more.
While you keep me grounded as to your needs during this course, I will poke and
prod, and even cajole, you into thinking about what a library, or cultural
institution, is and why it is the cornerstone of our society.
It's my first time teaching online. I am most concerned that I won't get to
meet most of you. I may even pass you in the hallways in Kent and Columbus and
not know you are taking my class. So stop me and say hi, introduce yourself,
and let's get to know one another. To me the best part about teaching, the part
that makes me come back year after year, is the students and the rapport we
develop during the semester. This blog is my attempt to build that bond that
makes a class great.
I am going to make short podcasts every week. I'll make at least two, one about
the topic, assignments that are due, and problems encountered the previous
week, and so forth. A second will be about issues to focus upon, my take on the
subject for the week, and potential discussion topics and questions to provoke
'conversation'. In my quest to make this an interactive virtual class, I
decided to be a talking head rather than a disembodied voice. At least you'll
know I'm alive and around. I'll try not to lecture, but to talk about why the
'readings' are important. Let me know how I'm doing and if you like this
My office door is always open. I guess since this is a virtual class, it means
that if my green light is on my kent.edu account, I'm around and working on
something. You can open a chat with me. If I'm busy, I'll ask you
to schedule time to chat or try to answer your question. If you want to just
talk, then please ask if I am busy. If my red light is on, I'm trying to
work undisturbed. E-mail is always an option, just don't expect an answer
in the middle of the night. I'm usually on the computer by 7am and definitely
off by 7pm.
I do have physical, in person, office hours on Tuesdays. I am teaching my other
course on that day, so I extended my office hours an hour before and after the
course. Feel free to stop in if I'm in that city (512 Library Kent or in the State Library SLIS office in Columbus), or try the
Google Chat option. You can always make an appointment to 'see' me. If
you want to SKYPE, that's fine with me, just let me know so I can turn it
on. My skype is always off unless requested.
When I say my door is always open, I mean it. I'm happy to talk about course
issues and questions, about your career goals. You do have an official
adviser, so I'll hand out advice as requested.
Enough about me for now. check out my 'podcasts' and my continuing comments each week.