Friday, March 5, 2010

This week in reference

We are close to the half-way point for this semester. Teachers are asking for class orientations. Mostly this is done for English 101 or 102 classes, but any teacher may ask for help. Next week is orientation for legal literature. Sometimes teachers frustrate us and never ask for help. They give mis-information or confusing information to their students about what is available in the library and we have to figure out how to best help their students.

Three years ago one of these teachers told her classes, "Don't use the Internet!!!" We had to tell the students that use of the periodical data bases gives the same articles as found in the print versions. I am pleased to report that after three years, this teacher finally came to the library in the fall of 2009 and asked for help. In the past two weeks I have done 4 orientations for her English 102 classes. She is now working with the librarians to get the students the information they need for their class. The English classes teach the students about research and analysis that transfers to the other subjects.

There are a few questions that I have about students. These questions are for your amusement; they are half-serious. 1) In the computer lab the temperature gets warm even in the winter. At times I remove my suit coat because of the heat. Why do some students keep on their coats while others dress as if it is summer? 2) Common courtesy should indicate to the students to put away their phones and turn them off. Why did one student need two requests to turn off her phone? The phone rang twice within a five minute period. 3) Why does the student I asked to help with presenting sites on the big screen need to send text messages during the presentation? 4) Why is one person so willing to pay the cost of a text message and another complains about losing 10 cents because of a printing error on their part? (The printer did what the student requested, but not what was wanted.) 5) Why can students standing 10 feet from a sign written in 4 inch letters still not notice?

We are asking students to fill out surveys about the library experience. One student thanked me by name for helping her understand how to do the research for her paper. At least one person listened this week and documented it.

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