Office Hours

As we plan to vacate our building, we were hoping to find each of the liaison librarians an office in the departments they work with. However, space is so tight on our campus that we were only able to achieve this goal with one librarian.

This post at ACRLog provides insight from librarians around the country who have tried holding office hours in their departments and I will be sending around this post because we are thinking about doing this as a compromise solution. According to the post and the comments, the librarians in question actually had very few official appointments during their posted office hours, but they felt that the informal contact they had with the students and faculty from their departments was a distinct advantage.

In addition to holding physical office hours, what online solutions come to mind to simulate office hours? Has anyone tried IM or chat with their departments, for example?



Library School Curriculum Comment

This morning, I read the comment below from Jesse Ephraim, Youth Services Librarian at Southlake Public Library in Southlake, TX on the NGC4LIB listserv. I agree with the comment and would add a couple of points.

First, librarianship is not only the humanities and computer/information sciences. It could also encompass a “merger” of the sciences and information sciences. In the Parade magazine this weekend, I read an article about legislation that is pending (I can’t remember if it is state level or federal) to train neutral information providers to educate physicians about new drugs. This is an effort to counteract the current practice of drug company representatives providing physicians with their main source of information about new prescription drugs. To me that sounds like a librarianesque type of job. The growing field of Bioinformatics is another example of the type of work librarians could be more involved in.

Secondly, I would like to see another parallel emphasis in library school curriculum which is that of pedagogy and assessment. It is becoming increasingly important, on our campus at least, for librarians to be highly knowledgeable regarding such things as problem based learning, instructional technology methodology, and assessment.

From the NGC4LIB listserv, 8/25/08: “We need to change our MLS programs to require students to develop professional level skills in information management and theory, database design and management, SQL, basic coding, serious web development (not FrontPage and clip art), metadata development and management, etc. Our field is (or should be) a merger of the humanities and computer/information sciences. If we want to be seen as serious information professionals, we need to actually BE serious information professionals.” Jesse Ephraim

McCain is Saved from Librarian Fashion Faux Pas

I guess you can’t have it all. According to Technorati links about the Carol Kreck video clip, where she is shown defending her right to free speech on public property in Denver at an open McCain town hall meeting, she is a both a “Democracy Superhero” as well as an “affront to fashion conscious Americans“. You go girl!

In all seriousness, take a look at the comments about this clip on YouTube. Some of the comments are so rude you can’t take them seriously. But of the serious comments, I have to say that the Kreck supporters were more on target. For example, one obvious McCain supporter comments “Refusing to put a sign away was apparently a violation of the rules of the townhall meeting. That is why she was asked to put it away. She refused and was then asked to leave. She refused and was then trespassing. If she wasn’t allowed to be there and refused to leave, then that is trespassing. She should have put the sign away and then sought to ask hardball questions to McCain. That would have been the smart thing to do“. Are you kidding me? If her sign had said McCain for America (or something like that) she would also have been asked to leave? Uh huh.

Office Hours

As we contemplate our upcoming relocation and remodel, we are attempting to find spaces around campus for our faculty and staff. One obvious solution has been that the subject liaisons could have offices in the building where their faculty and student constituents are located. I was interested to read this post on the ACRLog about an experience with this. It seems there could be some benefit to this arrangement.

Hoping we can avoid janitor’s closets –


OCLC Buys EZProxy

In case you hadn’t heard, OCLC has bought EZProxy: . I’m probably the last one in the world to find out. Read more about it at the Library 2.0 blog which, incidentally, is going away. I’m so sad. This was one of my favorite blogs.

Library Remodel – Latest

Hi Everyone,

We are making some progress in planning our remodel. As we move through the process, we will be sharing all the information we have with you via our website:

Incidentally, our website itself will be changing in early July. You can check out the beta site at Look in the top right hand corner for the latest information about the remodel!

For now, I can tell you that:

1. We are close to hiring the Project Manager who will then help with all the rest of the planning. (Thank goodness)

2. We are planning to vacate the building by December if all goes well.

3. We will likely have to store the print collection off-site and will be looking for your input about how best to minimize the inconvenience this may cause.

4. We should move back into the new space in spring 2011!

Here we go!


Alice Robison Keynote Address at CALC2008

On Friday, I attended the 3rd Colorado Academic Library Consortium Summit (CALC2008) in Denver. Our morning keynote speaker, Alice Robison, is a post-doctoral fellow at MIT, researching gaming and learning theory. Her talk was very engaging. What I most enjoyed about it was that it was not, strictly speaking, about libraries. It was interesting to hear an outside perspective. She talked about how various structural features of games contribute to learning. For example, games provide participants with lots of visual stimuli, the goals of the game are made clear from the beginning, instant feedback is provided, and gamers enjoy the ability to learn by doing (and failing). My two biggest light bulb reactions to her talk were:

1) It’s ok to fail and that we should expect students to fail the first time we give them a new task; they will learn by repeating the task until they get it right.

2) “Cheats” are not only fun in gaming but they are encouraged.

My colleagues and I talked about the idea that the library itself might be viewed as a “game” and that if we applied the above criteria, students might be more engaged in the research process. Imagine that you walk in to the library to work on a project. There are lots of visual signs to make it clear where you should start. Your instructor has made it clear what your goals are for research. The environment is non-threatening, so you don’t mind starting from scratch and learning as you go. The process is fun (or at least mentally challenging <gr>). Finally, you figure out that there is a “cheat” you can use. It’s the librarian. He or she will actually tell you where to look, so you can move to the next level!

Have fun!