I don’t know about you, but there are certain experiences that make my brain wake up (more than it already is) and flip cartwheels. If it could make a sound, it would probably sound something like, “Squeeee!!”
As I go through my residency, I love finding those connections that get my brain excited, because I can file them away for later use, maybe for when I’m developing my capstone project or trying to figure out what to do with my life after this residency is over. Here are a few samplings of things that got me excited over the past month:
Brainstorming for classroom instruction/exposure to cool librarian job duties
My undergraduate degree was in education and I spent some time in the elementary classroom, before transitioning to library science. When I initially started exploring the LibSci field, it was suggested to me that I might want to consider looking into education librarianship. I admit, I kind of pooh-poohed the idea, because I couldn’t recall ever working with a librarian during my undergraduate career. I wasn’t sure what an Education Librarian would do. I later circled around to the idea as a possibility, but still didn’t consider it seriously until recently. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about what the librarians here do in the course of their normal job duties.
At Cook Library, there is a team of Education Librarians. Each librarian has a different focus within the education curriculum (K-12 education, art education/educational technology, and special education).
Perk #1 of education librarianship: children’s books. I’ve always loved children’s/juvenile literature. During my once upon a time, when I wanted to be a reading teacher, working with the literature was a huge bonus. Also, I love facilitating kids’ discoveries of new materials. Education librarians can be in charge of maintaining collections for academic libraries (education curriculum labs and the like). They also may, like my colleague, teach teachers how to locate and utilize developmentally appropriate literature for the classroom. I spent some time earlier this week brainstorming with my colleague about how best to introduce center concepts while also training teachers-to-be about cross curricular connections. Tell me that doesn’t sound fun!
Perk #2 of education librarianship: teaching teachers how to teach information literacy. I’ve missed teaching. In chatting with another colleague about her instruction schedule, she was able to share how her role as a librarian fits into the educational technology program. Teachers have the opportunity to introduce research skills during the K-12 experience, particularly with more expectations being placed on technology integration in the classroom. Next week, I’ll be observing one of her classes in which student teachers develop lesson plans that incorporate information literacy for K-12 instruction.
Perk #3 of education librarianship: being in education. When I finished my undergraduate degree, one of my professors wanted me to go on and get my Master’s degree (which I did) in Reading Education (which I didn’t). I still love reading education and emergent literacy, so it would be very cool to work with future educators and get to play a part in their education. And, of course, the education background has been hugely helpful in shaping my professional experiences to date. Look, Dr. S., I didn’t waste my degree 🙂
Library assessment and strategic planning
I’ve started working with the assessment committee at Cook Library…within the last few weeks, so, shhh, don’t ask me any hard questions. In talking/brainstorming with the committee chair, I remembered how much I enjoy strategic planning and organizing ideas and concepts. This is particularly true when charts, brain maps, and sticky notes are involved. I’m excited to explore more of academic library assessment in the coming months. Making those connections between library value and measurable services is so important.
To be continued….Part 2