Take a Class with Rule Number One!

Kevin and I are really excited to share that we’ll be teaching an online class for RUSA for the first time. The class, “Learner-Centered Reference and Instruction: Science, Psychology, and Inclusive Pedagogy,” will be held from April 6-May 17. We’re having a blast putting together the syllabus and learning about Moodle, and hope that you’ll join us! The description is after the jump, and you can read more about the course at the RUSA site. Please let us know if you have any questions!

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FSU, Killin’ It

From a recent job ad:

The FSU Libraries are committed to evidence-based librarianship. Through a rigorous program of study and assessment we are redesigning library services to meet the diverse needs of Florida State University and expanding our services to support exceptional undergraduate education…

This is what I like to see.

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Filed under Bibliographic Instruction is Dead, Education, Library Instruction, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, The Library Game

Friday Quote

I believe that a good facilitator of learning should spend the majority of preparation time in making resources available to the young people with whom he or she works. To a large extent with all children, but outstandingly with bright children, it is not necessary to teach them, but they do need resources to feed their interests. It takes a great deal of imagination, thought, and work to provide such opportunities.

-Carl Rogers

Rogers FTL

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How to Deal with Assholes

Readers, it’s not every day a man gets to live out his dreams, fulfill his destiny, and have a chance to do the one thing he was put on this earth to do. But I’m delighted to share with you that such a day has come for me, and that day is today. For today, 33 years of absolute incredulity at the mystery and manners governing the human race have come to fruition with the publication via Ethos Review of my short essay “How to Deal with Assholes.”

I think the following excerpt will make it clear enough the extent of the gift Ethos Review and your humble author have bestowed upon you this morning:

Back when I was a teaching assistant, an elder pedagogue gave me the idea of breaking the ice with my class on the first day by having students state an interesting fact about themselves. The exercise produced the usual array of answers: I have a twin; basketball is my favorite sport; if you look at my left foot under a microscope in the right kind of light it’s a couple millimeters bigger than my right; and so forth. There’s an inherent unfairness to the exercise, of course, insofar as I don’t ever recall actually sharing any interesting fact about myself as the teacher of the course. So, in the spirit of coming clean, and breaking the ice with Ethos readers worldwide, I’d like to take the occasion to share with you a fact about myself I’ve been withholding from the general public all these years: I’m reallylike, preternaturallybothered by assholes.

I would tell you I’ve spent more time than anyone else thinking about assholes, but I’m afraid that would not really be so. No, we must bestow that particular honor, I suspect, to philosopher Aaron James, whose book Assholes: A Theory, was published in 2012, and which I recently had occasion to interlibrary loan.  Nevertheless, I think I’d not be saying too much if I dared to say that I spend more time than your average person thinking about dealing with assholes. It’s just what I seem to like to do. In fact, I suspect that were you to boil down my conversations with my therapist to one central complaint, you’d do pretty well with, “But dude, there’s so many assholes! What am I supposed to do?”

This is actually a bit less ridiculous than it sounds. On James’s analysis, the asshole’s ability to make us question ourselves is actually central to their very enterprise. He writes that “[t]he asshole is deeply bothersome because we find it difficult to even understand what a good, constructive response would be, let alone to produce it on the spot.” This is particularly concerning because an informal longitudinal study of human life I’ve personally conducted over the past thirty-three years reveals assholish behavior everywhere. These results have been widely corroborated. In fact, one writer has noted, “[e]ncountering assholes is part of the human condition” itself. This renders assholes not merely an incidental problem, but a deep philosophical and psychological one: we can’t satisfactorily answer what philosopher Bernard Williams called Socrates’ question—“How should one live?”—without a meaningful understanding of how to deal with assholes.

I want you to know, reader, that the fact of my coming from such humble beginnings, that I managed to plow through the Buffalo snow and come out the other side to deliver you such an impeccable solution to an earth shattering problem astonishes even me. But alas – I walk among you, on two feet and Billy Reid loafers made in Italy, designed in the South, and cared for by Preston, like any other man. So don’t be intimidated – and read the rest of my essay , including its foolproof solution for reconciling ourselves to a world of assholes, via Ethos.

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Filed under On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel

Friday Quote

Knowledge is important, but only if we’re being kind and gentle with ourselves as we work to discover who we are.

-Brene Brown

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, Quotes, The Library Game

Friday Quote

Perfection is not something I admire.

-Saul Leiter

saul-leiter-footprints-1950

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What I Think of This Whole Annoying IL Framework/Threshold Concepts Debate

A friend just pointed out this piece by Jacob Berg on “Scholarship as Conversation: The Response to the Framework for Information Literacy,” both because they thought it was a nice piece, also because it cites a paper I wrote with my esteemed co-blogger, Dani Brecher, on the importance of education training for instruction librarians.

I’ve been thinking of writing a short post on what I think of this debate,  because I don’t want to give the wrong impression of my views. I’ve said a few things on the blog about not particularly liking the new framework, and people have interpreted it in the wrong way. Jacob’s piece inspired this post in part because something he says helps me articulate my actual feelings about the whole thing. So here it is, in case anyone on this planet cares, the official views of Kevin Michael Klipfel, Rule Number One blogger, former philosopher, current instruction librarian,   Carolina-basketball-fanatic, prepped-out-punk-rocker, loafer lover-extraordinaire, on this whole annoying IL framework/Threshold Concepts debate.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, The Library Game