Practicum Week: Day 17 and 18

Graduation is almost one month away and everything is starting to blur together. I think I’m going to slammed with writing papers. So blog posting might become even more scarce around here. I will however get the post up about how the conference went last week. Just got to find the time. It turned out great though!

Tuesday

Me at work in Special Collections

Tuesday saw me conducting my first official Personal Research session with a Jr. for help with finding sources on a term paper for a HIS 300 level course. They originally wanted to find sources for the Inquisition during the Italian Renaissance. The problem being that the Inquisition started after the Italian Renaissance so coming in to the meeting I had a feeling they hadn’t done any preliminary research. At first it was hard to get the student to narrow down on a topic. So I asked my supervisor for some tips. I had gone from the inquisition point of view and she suggested I go with the Renaissance. Which proved to be a better starting point, we can narrow it down to the church’s role during the Italian renaissance with their argument being how that role leads to the inquisition. I can help them find the section of books that would be most helpful as well as showed them how to get primary resources in a language they don’t how to read (also known as reading the citations). After lunch I went to my class were we had them complete assignment one. That involved them finding a reference material and a book from the main stacks that was pertinent to their group’s research topic. They also had to write a citation for both using MLA. We told them last Thursday to try and find a book to bring to class to cut down on searching time; I think only one did. In the end I had to offer help on telling the difference between the reference materials they were finding. By the end of the day I was really feeling like I had made some major contributions to my librarianistic (I don’t think that’s a word) future.

Thursday

Thursday I had another Personal Research session that went better as the student had done some searching before hand. Not to mention the paper was shorter and for a 100 level course. So we were able to narrow down to a topic and find a couple of articles that would lead to enough sources to write the paper. I explained how to do use the research guides and the databases. Most of the librarians were away at the ACRL conference including the librarian who co-instructs with me. That meant I had to lead the class alone. And it went great if I do say so myself. The whole class showed up and I think I got the message across. The class was on Finding Scholarly Journals. There were no questions at the end so I can only hope they got it.

This week was another great week at feeling comfortable sharing information. I think most of my apprehension came from knowing that the students were in essence depending on me to show them how navigate the world of information. But every time they that little light of understanding and they take that little breath that signals them relaxing and knowing they are going to be able to write that paper makes me feel all warm inside.

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