I agree with so many of the faculty in this video. You learn a lot from the students, and it is a pleasure to see the light bulb go off. When the student has reached a level of understanding that astonishes them. It is the greatest reward.
2010 Faculty Development Week:
It is official I am in love with library instruction. Those close to me in my personal life suggested I teach. I knew I was not cut out to be a school teacher!
When I talk about library resources I get all giddy! The first time I was scheduled to do a library class I was so excited. I did my hair, picked my outfit out, and left 2 hours early to get to work. Of course, my car broke down, and I never made it. 😦
I did not give up, and there were no obstacles for the next library class. I was so excited!
Today, I visited my first virtual classroom and it went well. I taught students how to find resources for their business law. The professor was even excited we had e-books! I am feeling really good right now.
I have applied for 65-70 jobs at academic, public, and special libraries. I have applied to work at for-profit schools, too. Half of my job interviews have been with for-profit schools like Kaplan University.
It took me some time to warm up to the idea of applying to for-profit schools. They get so much bad press, and you never hear the success stories. I recently watched Frontline’s College, Inc., which does not depict a rosy picture. I personally do not know anyone who has attended a for-profit school. So, I am really relying on what I hear about these schools, and what turns up in my research. I read several comments and postings on blogs from students at for-profit colleges discussing their experiences. I decided the students were having the same experiences as students at public and private universities.
Tuition increases, struggling to pay for school, taking out$100,000 in student loans, struggling to find a job in their chosen field after graduation, and changes in curriculum and requirements in their field. I think higher education is too expensive all around whether you go to a for-profit, private, or public institution. Honestly, when I was a college student some of the people I went to school with were not prepared. They chose to go to a private institution, and did not know how to write a basic essay. Enrolling more students, and making more money is a goal for almost every institution of higher learning.
I think some student grievances with for-profit schools might be valid. For example, getting stuck with loans they did not want, or nursing students suing over lack of accreditation. There was a similar case at Virginia Western Community College. I saw a television special where nursing graduates from a for-profit school never stepped foot in a hospital. Of course, I do not know what was on their mind not questioning why they never went to a hospital as part as part of their training.
Despite all the bad press there are librarians out there that need jobs. You get to a point where you stop being choosy, and need to pay your bills. If you are really willing you can have an impact on students. This goes for all institutions of higher learning. I believe helping students find authoritative information, providing them with the skills to do ethical research, and teaching them to do research on their own is the most important part of my job. Image from: lakelandlocal.com
It is usually dead on Fridays, but it was buzzing around the reference and circulation desk. People had questions about today’s workshops. They wanted to know when the next workshops were going to be held because they had to go to class.
Two young men were walk-ins for citation writing workshop. The older gentlemen that attended the PowerPoint workshop wanted to take me to lunch. He was very grateful. I told him the library has not done a workshop since the early ’90s. I was worried no one would show up. He reassured me he needed the help, and was happy I had the workshops.
I had this horrible feeling last night as I was preparing for my workshops, that not one student would sign up. I dreaded looking at the sign up sheet this morning.
I know some of the students need help writing citations and creating PowerPoint presentations. Wednesday I spent an hour helping a young lady create 3 slides. There are only a few classes if any held on Friday. So, I was hoping I would get the people really struggling, or have assignments due today.
My worries were set aside when I saw that one person signed up for the PowerPoint 2007 workshop, and two people for the APA and MLA style writing workshop. Fridays are really dead, and the reference desk is slow. I had one tour of the library so far. Working part-time I have few responsibilities, and these workshops will keep me busy, help the students, and give me more experience. I am really happy they signed up. Lets see if they show up on this rainy day!
The recent news of the national search for new Presidents for six of the City Colleges of Chicago has led me to think about many issues. Four goals for student success have been injected into the new job description of the Presidents of the City Colleges of Chicago. Those four goals are:
- “Increasing the number of students who earn college credentials of value.”
- “Increasing the rate of transfer to bachelor’s degree programs following CCC graduation.”
- “Significantly improving outcomes for students requiring remediation.”
- “Increasing the number and share of ABE/GED/ESL students who advance to and succeed in college-level courses.”
After receiving this news in my inbox I began to think about how I could improve student success. As a librarian and an Adjunct faculty member of the City Colleges of Chicago it is my responsibility to make sure our students succeed as well.
I interact with students ever time I come to work. I help them with their assignments, teach them how to use library resources such as databases, and try to motivate them. I am beginning to think I can do more. I sit at the reference desk and I do classroom instruction when requested by faculty members. Why don’t we do workshops? Workshops about writing citations and bibliographies, teaching students how to use new technologies such as social media, how to do research on the internet, or use Microsoft Office. I help students on an individual basis, but making it known to all students I am here to help.
Okay, just spoke to Head of Reference and it is on. The workshop idea has been well received. I am thinking workshops at the end of my shift would be more beneficial students. Students will be getting off of work, or out of class.
My second instruction session went fine. It did not go as well as the first. The instructor was sitting in the back of the room on a computer. Some the students were talking. We were in the computer lab. So, I walked up and down the aisles to make sure they were following me. We searched the library catalog, I showed them subject headings, and we searched the Literature Resource Center database. The class was English 101. I created a blog, and discussed the more relevant databases we subscribe to at Wright. Here is the blog I created http://libraryorientation.wordpress.com/recommended-databases/. We discussed e-books, and how to search the library catalog for them. I showed them how to find full-text and scholarly journal articles in the databases. I gave them a library tour. They were really into the New York Times on microfilm dating back to 1851. One student wanted to take a look. They have an assignment where they have to print out a page from our set.
What made this session strange is the instructor’s insistence that I show the students reference books. Of course, I kept publicize our electronic databases which contain encyclopedias such as Gale Virtual Reference Library. She did not like this. So, I pulled books of the shelf. I showed them encyclopedias about religion, Chicago history, you name it! She wanted the students to make a list of 25 random reference books. I asked if she wanted me to help them search the library catalog to find item in the computer lab. She said she wanted them to walk up and down the aisles. I really lost the students when I started to pull books off the shelf.
During this instruction session the students were talking to their neighbors. So, I have decided to break the students into groups. They will search for books and articles. I created a library exercise on my library orientation blog. Hopefully, this works out the next time. I will let you know how it goes.
Image from: http://callitaweasel.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/bored-students.jpg?w=280&h=210