Instruction and outreach at the public library
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  • 1. Instruction and Outreach at the Public Library Nicolette Warisse Sosulski Business Librarian, Portage District Library Staff Reference Librarian, OCLC Questionpoint
  • 2. About Me—How Did I Get Here?       MLIS 2004 iSchool, University of Washington Business Librarian Portage District Library December 2005 to present. Also manage Reference and Database Collections public library chat reference internship with 24/7 (now QuestionPoint) March 2004-June 2004, hired as staff librarian June 2004 Day job business librarian in a public library, where I field academic reference questions each day as well as those by members of the general public Database Trainer, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services Chair, MLA Economic Development Community of Practice
  • 3. Research Instruction-Chat  You might think you are doing straight reference. Fasten your seatbelts, you are in for a rough night. You are a public library. You figure K-12 reports on countries, endangered species, controversial issues…maybe a few genealogy questions. Where are you located. You are down with that…BUT
  • 4. Internet Instruction-Chat You get a community college student, returning scholar, or first or second year university student who has blown off their Intro to Libraries at their college library, has a research paper due tomorrow, and has never heard of a database… They are your cardholder even though they need to be at a completely different library. Or they are at a for-profit online degree-granting institution that does not teach research. They are writing a paper for sociology on patterns of abuse—you think…
  • 5. “I need to write my papr for sociology on the bk Bastard out of Carolina and wy she had to be abused becuz it was the south and so you had to have a man so the mother had to do hir hare so she culd be staying pretty for her huzband to kepe him so she did not have time for a job so she had to bak up her man to keep a howse in the south and she let hir dauter be abused and there are no scholarly artilkes on google on that becuz I have ben loking for 6 dayz and it is due in 4 hrs HELP”
  • 6. Research Instruction-Chat 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. This is what a database is Database articles get you better grades than Google (motivation) Your school has them but only you can get into them—I can’t. Type exactly what I tell you to and this is why (or copy and paste because they do not spell well) Your Norton Internet Security is set high so it may be blocking you out Start out with fewer search terms, like abuse, family, society. Next time do a little preliminary research before handing in your paper topic. Everything is not in the one database. That is why we buy more. CQ is not good for psychology or health.
  • 7. Research Instruction-Chat This is totally on the fly because  it is Sunday night  Nobody has done their homework  In a second window you have a 6th grader who is telling you that the NASA site you sent her pictures of Pluto from “sux” because the planet is purple and planets are not purple, they are brown (space cameras have violet filters to make craters stand out).  In your third window you are dealing with a patron who is asking you “what source one would recommend for a sociology paper on peer pressure on the internet, as well as what databases and websites would provide statistics? Since the patron is using the word “source” and is from Martin Luther King library in San Jose, you know that the LIS students are doing their “have an internet reference experience” assignment again.
  • 8. Research Instruction: FTF Planned and executed On the fly      Home Schoolers Invited talks to classes at high schools, especially at advanced level. Beginning of the school year featured class MOTIVATION: MOM, DAD, OR TEACHER  A local community college student comes in on a federal holiday Monday when her school is closed with an assignment due Tuesday. A mom going back to school for a Master’s in Psych who wants to do her research upstairs while the fifth grader does her report on Zaire down in the youth department. You get to explain to her why you do not have a lot on Jungian archetypes, and how to use her college library from the public computers. She also did not go to library orientation.
  • 9. Research Instruction: FTF Planned and executed  See Intro to Research Powerpoint On the fly  Reprise of chat ref BI
  • 10. Entrepreneurs about to write business plans  SCORE, and the Small Business and Technology Development Center of Michigan (SBTDC) refer or require an intro to business research course as part of the coaching curriculum for new businesses that they counsel. Independent people thinking of starting a business or nonprofit come too—Business Plans require data. Teaching this also requires expectation management.
  • 11. “I need to know how many people in my three county region are divorced, or single, have $20,000 of disposable income a month, and own disobedient dogs that need to be trained.” “I want to know how much money is spent on pharmaceuticals , cosmeceuticals, and nutriceuticals aimed at reducing the appearance of aging each year by people in the Midwest.” “I need to know a nonprofit that I can start to help people so that they can live their dreams, and I need to find what grants I can get to start.” “I need to know how many affluent sufferers from gluten intolerance would be willing to pay for gourmet cooked –to-order meals in a 20 mile radius from this kitchen address.” See Power point on Business Research Essentials.
  • 12. With these two types of BI, teaching not only what you have but what neighboring universities and colleges have is paramount. You also really need to explain that not everything is on the web if you [the librarian] only do your job.
  • 13. Jobseeking and Finance Kids  Motivation: Parents, Teachers (may get class credit), and snacks. Keep them guessing with weird pictures, odd facts, and occasional near cusses. See “Get a Job” Powerpoint Grownups  Motivation: Fear, however this group is much less likely to want to sit through a conventional class, even if they need it. Guerilla Instruction
  • 14. Guerilla Instruction: It’s not a Class, It’s a Discussion Group http://library.morningstar.com/tracki ng/note.aspx? id=372924#MrktForLibraries
  • 15. Guerilla Instruction: It’s not a class--it’s a review session RESUME HACKS Friday, January 7th 11:00 AM Age Group: ADULTS You have looked over some resume books, you have your resume together, and you don’t think you need a class—but it would be good to get somebody else’s opinion on this. We can help! On the first Friday, take your lunch hour and come in. Bring your resume and we will look it over. Let us catch the errors, rather than a potential employer. No registration required.
  • 16. Guerilla Instruction: Fries-withthat Librarianship Establish yourself as the goddess of golden information nuggets— with every transaction give them one more thing. “Did you know that you can click on ‘cited by’ and all kinds of related articles will show up?”
  • 17. Fries     When they ask for a GED book, teach them Learning Express Library database. When they ask for a resume book, show them the interview videos. When they ask the order of a series by Nora Roberts, show them www.fantasticfiction.com. When they look for a medical book because “they have the thyroid”, show them www.medlineplus.com
  • 18. Computer Instruction  Seniors Classes can be less effective—many seniors tend to be full of fear and need one-on-ones. They also will not tell you if they are on the wrong screen in a class and then will be really upset by the end of class. If you are doing this in a lab, grab some people to be “lab rats” and circle around to make sure people are on the right page. Or draft the NHS or a scout troop to tutor.  Jobseekers Much more likely to deal with a class situation but still the lab rats are a good idea—these people will be checking their email and losing their places sometimes. Plan for time for very particular questions pertaining to their situation.
  • 19. I have just one word for you… screenshots!  You will be teaching the internet, or databases, or overall research strategy using google scholar. The internet will go down at least once. The likelihood of it happening is directly proportionate to the impatience of your class.