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August 18, 2006

Geared up for Fall

Earlier this week I wrote up a long, navel-gazing post that I saved as a draft because I was interrupted writing it. Now I don't think I'll post it at all...instead, I'd rather tell you about my week, because it's been pretty exciting for me.

Next week school begins, so this week is all the orientations and workshops for faculty and students. Monday and Tuesday I organized "Introduction to the Library" faculty workshops at the Music Library. While we didn't have a huge group, there was a mix of experienced and new faculty, and I can happily say that everybody learned something new. It's always exciting to show a library service or resource and have a professor say "I didn't know that! That's spectacular!"

I also realized why I need to have business cards, as I was asked on the spot by at least one professor to teach a library instruction session for one of their classes. Luckily, I had my phone, so I was able to check my calendar and schedule her in on the spot.

Wednesday, I went to the new faculty orientation, which was very inspiring. It was a lot of fun to meet faculty from all departments, listen to the pep talks given by the university president, and other faculty, and talk about the vision for the University. I am really excited by the direction that this institution is going, and I can whole-heartedly get behind it. The only downside was when our president said "Libraries make me shudder." Our new branch campus library is called an "Information Commons" - and that's okay, but really wish someone would let him know that libraries are still cool, still relevant, and we're not all sticks-in-the-mud. If he would challenge US the way he's challenging other colleges in the University, and give US the same benchmarks, I think he'd be pleasantly surprised on how we'd flourish.

Last night I stayed late helping to man a library table at the incoming freshman "passport" - freshmen and their families were going around learning about the university, clubs, organizations, etc. We handed out pamphlets, magnets advertising our 24/7 reference service, pens and candy, and I'm happy to say we completely ran out of everything! The best part was many students exclaimed "Libraries! I love libraries!" as they came to our table, collected magnets, and signed up for the library e-newsletter (though the possibility of winning a free Starbucks card may have had something to do with that enthusiasm). I talked to one undergrad who said she wanted to be a librarian and was sorry to hear there was no library science undergrad degree...once again, I wished I'd had my card so I could have given it to her - instead I had to write down my contact info so she can contact me for more information on library careers. We also referred several students to apply for library student positions, and one immediately asked how to get on the student advisory board!

Today, I get to attend a Music Faculty meeting and reception - and I'm going to bring my business cards! Hopefully, I can coax more of them to attend a library workshop later in the semester, and schedule more library instruction sessions with their classes!

It's good to be a librarian! I love fall semester!

1 comment:

  1. Very, very cool.

    Yes, the free Starbucks card probably has something to do with it, but think about it this way: you might get them at first with the free schwag but they'll come back for the library later.

    It does my little heart good to hear that some new students love the library. Though no doubt we have different experiences with it, there's hope for the next generation. Okay, that did sound really old.

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