Jason Puckett With great power comes great bibliography.


Adventures in Library Instruction episode 37

I got busy this week and forgot to post over here, but we recorded a new Adventures in Library Instruction episode last week. Cate Hirschbiel from  Lesley University and the Art Institute of Boston joined us for a discussion of how best to help the last-minute student researcher, among other stuff!


Online Zotero workshop July

This July I'm teaching  my online Zotero continuing education class for Simmons College School of LIS. It's a four-week class that requires no previous experience. We cover not just the how-to stuff, but best practices for teaching and supporting Zotero in libraries. And you get a free ebook copy of my Zotero guide as the textbook!

It's been a fun and interesting class on previous go-rounds. I'm pretty sure this is the only time this year I'll be teaching this particular class, so if you're interested please check it out.


Zotero workshop video

When I teach Zotero workshops, I'm often asked by people who can't attend whether the session will be archived in some way to watch later. The answer is now yes -- we recorded my last workshop and posted it on Youtube.

After seeing the initial video, I identified several places where it wasn't clear what I was doing on the screen. I recorded some very short (ten or fifteen second) screencasts to drop in, and our instructional designer edited them into a finished product.

I'd like to thank our library's instructional designer Cynthia Kennedy, who did all the editing and production work, and Mat Munson at GSU's Multimedia Communication Services department who filmed the session.


Continuing ed classes: Zotero and Instruction Boot Camp

I'm teaching two classes for Simmons College's Continuing Education program in the next few months.

February 2012: Zotero: Using and Supporting the Research Power Tool: This is my four-week class on Zotero. We'll cover the basics of installing and using Zotero, all the way up through best practices for supporting and teaching Zotero in your library. (And you get the e-edition of my book along with the course.)

May 1-June 11 2012: Instruction Librarian Boot Camp: We just expanded this course to six weeks based on students' requests to make it longer! This is a great class for new LIS grads looking for your first instruction librarian jobs, or seasoned instructors looking to improve your skills. We cover learning outcomes, technology tools, active learning, and assessment. I'm co-teaching this class with my GSU colleague Sarah Steiner.


Instruction Librarian Boot Camp online course

I'm co-teaching a new online course for the LIS Continuing Education program at Simmons College. In November, my GSU colleague Sarah Steiner and I are teaching:

Instruction Librarian Boot Camp

Location: Online
$250 (Simmons GSLIS Alumni Price $200)
November 1 - November 30, 2011 - PDPs: 15

Whether you’re a new instruction librarian learning the ropes or a seasoned instructor seeking some new skills, this workshop will help you to become a more adept and learner-centered instructor. Learn skills and tools that you can apply to any teaching situation, from one-shot sessions to semester-long courses.

Contents will include an overview of technological and active learning tools that you can use to make your instruction more engaging and memorable, and techniques that will help you to direct, assess, and meaningfully reflect upon your teaching.

Participants will learn how to accomplish the following activities in their library instruction sessions through a combination of reading, discussion, and the construction of individual examples. Participants are welcome to use their own upcoming instruction sessions as the basis for their assignments.

Week 1: Create and use learning outcomes

Week 2: Select and use engaging technology tools

Week 3: Construct active learning classroom activities

Week 4: Design and conduct assessments

Registration is now open! (We're not sure what we're doing about Thanksgiving break. We'll either extend class a couple of days into December or just try to compress the material. We'll let students know the first week of class.)


Evolution of a library session

"Printing Press" by Thomas Hawk

This is the third semester I've taught an information literacy session for a GSU class on the history of journalism. As the librarian for the communication department (which includes journalism) it falls under my area -- but it isn't really a journalism class in the usual sense; it's a history class whose topic happens to be journalism. It's a very research oriented course. Depending on who's teaching, topics can range from 19th-century journalists to late 20th-century subjects.

This presents some unique challenges for the students and for me. Their assignment is a 20-page paper on their topic of choice, using a mix of secondary and primary sources. This is a senior-level undergrad class, usually all journalism majors, who have had no training in doing historical primary source research. ...Neither have I, really.

So I got some help. The first thing I did when my colleague Jill Anderson, our new history librarian, came to GSU was ask her to co-teach with me. Over the last three semesters, we've evolved from:

  • Me teaching solo and doing lots of individual consultations (they gave me a box of chocolate at the end of the semester).
  • Me co-teaching with Jill. Her knowledge of primary source research has been an immeasurable help, and I think the students have really zeroed in on that. Still doing lots of individual consultations. Jill gets at least as many consultation requests as I do; I think she's probably doing more than 50% of the work for this class. Zotero has been a big hit with these classes, and the professor asked me for a longer segment about it during class.
  • Co-teaching again, and trying an experiment to cut down on the number of individual consultations, just because we don't have time to keep up with them all. We made up the phrase "research labs" and we held what essentially amounts to open office hours in a classroom. We fire up the projector, students show up and ask us their research questions, and we help. These are somewhat poorly attended which means we're basically doing more one on one consultations.
  • During the interim semester break, we had a lunch meeting with the two professors who are teaching this course -- that's right, two sections simultaneously this semester, totalling about fifty students. We fine-tuned our game plan, defined some boundaries about what we can and can't do for students (questions about "is this a good topic" get referred back to the professor, for example).  One professor offered up two class sessions, timed near key due dates, for the research labs, and attendance at the first lab shot way up since it was during their regular class time. We're encouraging students to email us specific questions, and we're making sure they send us their questions before we agree to meet with them one on one. Often we can help via email and don't need to put aside an hour for an in-person meeting.
  • My plans for the next research lab are to conduct it more like a class, or a group discussion. Previous labs have consisted of me and Jill circulating through the room giving individual help, and so many of the students are asking similar questions I think they'll benefit from group discussion and hearing each others' questions.

This class has been such a great experience of faculty-librarian collaboration, strategizing and fine-tuning and improving our teaching and support plans, that Jill and I are talking about writing an article about it next year. I've found at least one article about what we're calling research labs:

Jacklin, M., & Bordonaro, K. (2008). Innovations in Practice: Drop-In Clinics for Environmental Studies Students. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library & Information Practice & Research, 3(2), 1-7. Retrieved from Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts database.

More as developments warrant.


Online class: They’re Googling You

I mentioned this back in February: I'm co-teaching "They're Googling You: Online Identity for LIS Professionals," an online continuing education class for librarians and other LIS professionals. It's a four-week class running through the month of May.

More info on the Simmons site, and you can register here. My co-instructor is the awesome Beth Gallaway. I hope you can join us.


I’m a teaching wimp too

Catherine Pellegrino has a great post over at Spurious Tuples called "Why I’m a teaching wimp" about teaching fatigue that pretty well sums up how I feel this semester:

“What do you mean, only three preps per week?” you’re probably howling. “I do three preps per day some terms.  What a total wimp!”

Yep, I admit it.  But here’s the thing:  every class I teach is the first day of class.

I did ten classes in January and eight in February, so I'm right there with you, Catherine. Spring break is coming wooo!

Link: "Why I’m a teaching wimp"

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Simmons workshop on online identity

For a couple of years now my friend Beth Gallaway has been asking me to submit a proposal with her for a Simmons College LIS continuing education class. We finally did it this year, and I'm pleased to say we're co-teaching an online workshop together this spring:

They're Googling You: Online Identity for LIS Professionals

May 1 - 31, 2010

Should you separate your professional online identity from the personal, and if so, how? Self-promotion and branding is becoming increasingly important as library professionals face dwindling traditional employment opportunities, due to layoffs, downsizing, budget cuts, and library closings. On a more positive note, library staff wishing to contribute back to the profession may want to hone a professional identity that makes one marketable for teaching and training purposes, conference speaking or consulting. Developing a professional online identity for either purpose may be a challenging and rewarding endeavor.

More info on the Simmons site, and you can register here. If you've never set up a blog or personal website, you'll learn how -- if you have, we'll talk about how to use it and how to augment it. Topics will include privacy, professional development, personal branding, and technology how-to.


Games in Libraries podcast July 2009

I'm on the Games in Libraries podcast this month, talking about my gaming and virtual worlds exhibit and how it contributed to my instruction work in unexpected ways. Enjoy!