Bring Your Classes to You!
posted November 23, 2013 2:39 PM by Maggie Davidov
I get a lot of sass from classmates when I talk about my work. Yes, I happen to work at the greatest library on the planet. Yes, my boss is the most incredible mentor and knitter in the continental U.S. Yes, I am rather lucky to be surrounded by a library with unlimited resources. No, you cannot have my job. Still, it has been a year of ogling the wondrous resources at my disposal and I have begun to ask myself: What I am bringing to this incredible community ? Tentatively I have begun to propose small programs and evaluations to my director. And do you know what happened? She was thrilled! Now, I am NOT saying I am God's gift to programming in the library. However, I have begun to use my projects and papers from Simmons as springboards for ideas to bring to my director. Why is that, you might ask?
Simply put, it is because every professor I have ever taken a class with at Simmons has only ever assigned practical assignments to use in the real world of library excellence. They want this education to be marketable when I start look for jobs. I say three cheers for the GSLIS faculty. Huzzah for Rex Krajewski who helped me become familiar with the reference interview and working productively with patrons in LIS 407. Hooray for Naresh Agarwal who enabled everyone in the class to educate each other about the many online additions easily added to a library's website in LIS 488. Three cheers for Melanie Kimball who empowered me to reach out to reluctant teen readers through booktalking in LIS 412. Hip hip for Mary Wilkins Jordan who inspired me to create my own evaluation of my school's bibliographic instruction class. Yay for Vivienne Piroli who taught me the benefits of teaching information literacy as the guide on the side as opposed to the sage on the stage in LIS 408. A round of applause for Danny Joudrey and Kyong Eun Oh for opening my eyes in LIS 415 so when I'm teaching my students how to use the catalog I'm showing them every relevant part of a record. And a standing ovation for Melanie Kimball for reminding me why I came to library school in the first place in LIS 423. I have begun a storytelling program in my library. I have also been asked to tell stories in foreign language classes and Middle Eastern studies classes.
Every single one of these teachers pushed me to apply my knowledge outside the classroom. I did this and failed many times. However, I also succeeded a couple of times too. Success and failure inside and outside the classroom is incredibly important. It's frightening: failing. But I promise it will only get better.