It’s hard to believe, but last week marked my one year anniversary of playing that full-time library game. It’s been a good year, and it’s gone by incredibly fast, so it seems like a good moment to pause and reflect on the semi-steep learning curve of being a new librarian.
Category Archives: Posts by Dani Brecher
Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!
I didn’t start running because somebody asked me to become a runner. Just like I didn’t become a novelist because someone asked me to. One day, out of the blue, I wanted to write a novel. And one day, out of the blue, I started to run-simply because I wanted to. I’ve always done whatever I felt like doing in life. People may try to stop me, and convince me I’m wrong, but I won’t change.
– Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Progressive, holistic education, “engaged pedagogy” is more demanding than conventional critical or feminist pedagogy. For, unlike these two teaching practices, it emphasizes well-being. That means that teachers must be actively involved committed to a process of self-actualization that promotes their own well-being if they are to teach in a manner that empowers students.
-bell hooks, Teaching to Trangress
“Programming for Librarians.” “Social Media for Librarians.” “Pedagogy for Librarians.”
I’m on (too) many listservs, so advertisements for classes like these cross my inbox on the daily: Courses where someone (usually a librarian, but not always) offers to interpret a subject for librarians, teaching us what we need to know about a given subject within our library context. These type of courses seem like they’re pretty popular, are absolutely a time-saver, and are a great way for librarians to get exposed to new ideas and incorporate them into their work. But I worry that these courses might also stifle creativity.
Kevin and I had the pleasure of presenting some of our thoughts on teaching and librarianship yesterday at LOEX 2014. If you missed our presentation, “How Do Our Students Learn?: A Cognitive Psychological Model for Information Literacy Instruction,” our slide deck and handout are below.
This work by Dani Brecher and Kevin Michael Klipfel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
As I have been cagily alluding to for the past few months, we’ve been piloting a Google Glass loan program at the Claremont Colleges Library since the early part of this year. Today, my terrific supervisor and colleague Char Booth and I published a piece in College & Research Libraries News about our project, the response to Glass from faculty and students, and implications for technological access via loaning programs like ours. Though we don’t always agree about the future and utility of Glass (I’ll let you guess who comes down on what side), it’s been an intriguing and fun several months, and writing the article with Char was a joy.
I’ve seen several blogs which suggest the same use case for Glass in the classroom: Have students wear Glass to record their experiences in class, on field trips, and throughout their day. The site I’ve linked to suggests that these videos could then be rewatched by students so that they can think critically about their experiences, analyzing why they make certain choices by revisiting those moments over and over. But what if a teacher asked a student to record their experience in class, and then the teacher viewed that student’s experience? Glass, I would argue, provides serious opportunities for empathic teaching.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at LibTech 2014, a truly excellent conference at Macalaster that I cannot recommend highly enough. Even a horrible cough couldn’t ruin this conference! Great sessions, nice people, pretty snow-covered campus, and the closing reception features all foods-on-a-stick and (root) beer: You should go next year. And, in the meantime, I highly recommend watching the keynotes by Mita Williams and Barbara Fister–relevant to librarians who work directly with tech, and not.
My session was “Infographic DIY: Online Tools for Teaching and Library Advocacy,” an interactive workshop that presented a brief intro to infographics, how we might use them in library contexts, and a whirlwind tour of six freemium, online infographic creators. You can walk through the session in the accompanying LibGuide, which also includes a handy comparison chart of the six online tools. My introductory slide deck is also there, and below.
In just a few hours, I’ll be heading out to LibTech 2014 in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I’ll be giving a presentation on infographics on Thursday afternoon, and I will post my materials here after. If you’ll be at LibTech too, I hope you will say “hi”!
Things I’m looking forward to at LibTech: Barbara Fister’s keynote, a root beer reception, and learning about all the cool technology projects that librarians across the country are working on!