Besides lots of practice for the Book Cart Drill Team (we zombified shirts yesterday, get excited to see) the past few weeks have been mostly working at the Reference Desk and observing classroom sessions lead by other reference librarians. The desk has become more interesting as the semester goes on, and a lot harder. Students and faculty are asking me questions that I do not quite have the answer to yet, which is very challenging but I also like. I learn something myself trying to answer their questions, and it makes me feel smart when I do find information for them. They are usually really grateful too, which makes working at the desk even more fun. Also being a student while doing this internship is interesting as well. Sometimes my friends come to ask for help at the desk which is kind of odd but enjoyable. In terms of my own work, this internship is helping me a great deal. I have a better understanding of where to look for material for my courses, and all of my research assignments are a little more manageable than they used to be.
Speaking of learning, sitting in on classroom sessions has been enlightening as well. I now have a greater understanding of RefWorks, Inter Library Loan, and a lot of English resources I did not know exsisted. Which is sad since I'm an English major, and graduating this year. Another plus about this internship! Observing this aspect of the library is also interesting to me since I entered Gettysburg thinking I wanted to become an English teacher and get a degree in secondary education. That is until it came time to sign up for the first education class and plan out the rest of my college career. I'll admit it, I chickened out. I worried that I would get bored with teaching after a short period of time and then wouldn't know what else to do so I never tried it. The fact that librarians also are responsible for teaching information sessions brings everything full circle for me, but allows me to experience an aspect of academics I was unwilling to attempt before. Teaching is scary, but observing these librarians it also seems fun, and more importantly it provides us with the skills to communicate about what the library can offer and the best ways to research materials. Which is especially important since I want to work at an academic library. This is something I need to learn to do.
It is also interesting to note that the librarians I have observed have differences in teaching style as well, similar to any other teacher. What they highlight seems based on what they seem most important and the basic skills needed before beginning the research process. It makes me wonder what I would highlight in a lesson plan and also how I approach research, for other people and for myself.
Next up catalouging! And I am working on a research guide for the library, Research 101! I'll update you soon!
Oh! Here's a link to the current Research 101 guide on the library website. Comments, suggestions? What do you think is helpful, and what is confusing? What would you like to see changed? Thanks!