Practicum Day Nine: Instruction and Toolkit

One thing I learned from this week is to write everything down that day. I usually do but on Tuesday I managed to not write anything I did at my practicum and now I couldn’t tell you anything I did that day. Other than I had doughnuts…which is awesome in it’s self but not library related (although it probably could be).

But on with the good stuff: Thursday started off quite busy. When I come in I’m usually the first person in the reference section as the student workers close reference at 1am and the staff doesn’t start coming in til after 8 (I’m usually there a quarter till 8). So I “open” up reference, usually there’s one or two students studying in a corner or a table. This morning I had students waiting to be helped. The first person I help was a student who was having trouble with the databases. Her paper was due at 5pm. She was stressed. She was finding material, the computer said we had full text options. But when she clicked on the link it didn’t take her to the full text. Turns out the full text option was for books in the catalog. Well she didn’t want books, so I showed her how to use the article filters as well as narrow her search terms. She was less stressed when she wandered off. The second student wasn’t as stressed and I was able to show them how to use the catalog, database, journal search options to help figure out a research topic. After I got off the reference desk I met with the Instruction and Outreach librarian. We made official my plans to co-teach with him starting the second session (their semesters are broken up in sessions.) We reviewed his old syllabus and talked about what we wanted to change, add, or subtract. Talked about which classes I would like to teach, how we would do the assignments and projects. Then we talked about what he does and his journey. After that I went up to special collections/archive for a tour and meet the staff up there. I also got to see a dSpace and Archivist’s Toolkit demo. Before I left we made plans to have me do some hours there to process a collection.

By the time I left on Thursday I was exhausted and excited. I never thought I would be so ready to step in front of a class but I am. I think that has to do with everyone’s kind words about my ability. (So thank you all!). And the ability to work on an actual archival collection (a small one of course) is like a 5 lb bag of cherries on a 10 ft. cake.

Every time I am introduced to a new technology or software I am amazed at the things that are possible. But each day I go to practicum I’m thankful that I took Dr. Hersberger’s advice and take on a practicum, I’ve learned so much just watching librarians in the field.


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