Practicum: Day 15 and 16: Instruction and Special Collection

Another busy week and I have the bags under my eyes to prove it. Tuesday I found myself on the reference desk solo. Unlike Spring Break however I wasn’t bombarded with telephone and chat questions but in person requests for help. Paper season is officially in effect. Most of the questions resulted in ILL requests. Which meant I got a lot of exposure to their ILL set up. After lunch I had the co-instruction class which included going over finding reference materials as suppose to general sources. After class I had another one on one meeting with the Science Liaison Librarian. Then I headed up to Special Collections to start working on an inventory project that has me working directly with their special collection, which is really (for the most part) a guy’s personal library that he donated in whole. I’m going through each book and seeing if shows up in the catalog. Surprisingly almost every other book is not showing up. Which is a major problem as he has some awesome texts that could help a lot of researchers. His library covered many areas. But no one knew they had theses titles.

Thursday was a big day that started again on the reference desk as usual but after lunch I officially entered the world of instruction as I had my first chance to teach a class. It was Zotero and how to use it for their first assignment. It went faster than I thought and the fact that I was able to stay calm and not freak out before or after is a big success for me. The librarian that I’m co-teaching with said I did a wonderful job and am on track to becoming an excellent instructor. I had one student stay behind so I could help them some as they aren’t comfortable with technology. I ended the day again back in special collection talking with the librarians about how so many books could have been left off. I was sure to mention that it could have been just that one section as the titles are common and they show up others places and maybe people were confused and thought they had covered that one.

Even though physically I’m near the end of my energy pool I still have a lot of excitement about the things to come. Just recapping my week shows how much I’ve done and how far I’ve come since January. Taking on the reference desk alone and not thinking twice about it. Prepping for a class and ignoring the rabid butterflies attacking my spleen. Talking to professionals and giving my thoughts on a project as if I’d been doing that kind of thing for years are all new and excitedly different things for me.

I learned a lot this week, just like the other weeks but I think the biggest lesson came from teaching the class. And that would be to plan on teaching 1/3 of what you’ve plan to teach. I managed to get through most of it and show them how to use it for the first assignment which is due next week. But none of the fun, great, features that it holds. I teach another class next week.

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