Tag Archives: academic experience

Making students care about IL: Mission Impossible?

*A cross-posting from the Re:Generations blog*

With the Winter semester in full-force, I’ve been doing the usual information-literacy tour. We usually show students some key library resources, give them a little virtual tour of our LibGuides, and then hone in on a few tools and resources we think are going to be useful for their work in that class. This isn’t a perfect model for teaching, but it seems to hold the attention of most of the class, and then often have a question or two. Continue reading


Sing it, Robbie Williams! (A post about Millennium)

Recently I figured out one of the most empowering things on my office computer. I know you’re thinking the same thing: usage statistics reports. I KNOW.

Perhaps you, like me, are not on the cataloguing side of things because perhaps you, like me, didn’t do so well in Intro to Cataloguing class and swore off cataloguing forever. If this is the case, and you do collections development, I would encourage you to befriend your Friendly Neighbourhood Cataloguing Librarian and ask about getting some usage statistics reports generated for your perusal. Those Cataloguing people — they really know things. Things that I know nothing about. How did I actually go to school with these people? It’s like they have a different degree than me.

My library uses Millennium as their ILS — hence the blog title  — but maybe your library uses a different product (there’s a nice list of ILS products here). I have been forced to learn several modules within Millennium and I have to say: It’s really quite a nice program. Bravo, Innovative Interfaces. I must admit to having wasted an entire afternoon playing around with the module that generates reports. It is FUN! And INSIGHTFUL.

Continue reading

Sunny days, ohhh, sunny, sunny, sunny days…

Man, is it ever IMPOSSIBLE for me to post on this blog during the summer months. I did a bunch of stuff — went to CLA, attended the FIAA AGM, moved to Ottawa, started a new job — but didn’t bother reporting on anything here. It’s almost like hot sunny weather is not conducive to sitting inside on a computer. Huh.

Aaaanyway, Ottawa is great so far! I’m moved into a little sunny apartment that’s about a 15 minute walk from work — joyous, since York was about an hour by transit. It’s really interesting to observe how different things can be from one university library system to the next. Particularly with regard to organizational structure and budgeting decisions during what has become a verrrry difficult time financially for Ontario’s universities. It sucks to go through budget cuts, but it’s an interesting lesson for a newbie.

My job tasks remain quite similar, but of course I’m still on an enormous learning curve. It’s going to stay interesting for sure, but will probably not be nearly as terrifying as last year, when I knew nothing. One year under your belt makes a huge difference (Librarians with 25+ years — you can chuckle now. Go ahead — chuckle away at my naivety).

That’s about all I can report on so far… Lots of introductory stuff last week and getting signed-up for the right stuff (workshops, collections platforms, French classes…).

I don’t know when I’ll be reporting back… Perhaps we can say that I’m going to go on a small hiatus until the new school year? It’s difficult to find blogging time when there are so many patios to go sit on. I’m sure you understand.

YouTube: More than just cats.

Sometimes people put videos on YouTube that are so divine, and so delightfully brilliant, that they merit some honourable mention. No, I’m not talking about that video of the kid who just got back from the dentist. Or the ninja cat.

I’m talking about videos created by academic educators — librarians among them — that explain really complex scholarly concepts in clear and succinct 5 minute (or so) videos. They’re from a variety of places, and have a variety of approaches, but the common thread is that they are amazing teaching tools. Watching them has actually made me a better instructional librarian, and I even played one in a class I taught because I though the creators did such a fantastic job of relaying key information literacy concepts.

Continue reading


Brief note:

As a part of my Re:Generations work, I’m trying to get content created for the Canadian Academic Libraries Network, which is sponsored by CACUL (Canadian Association of College and University Libraries). It’s supported by this program called Ning, which is actually sort of a cool way to display your webpages, integrate things like blogs, events, announcements, etc. into a nicely formatted interface, and create a virtual space for communities. Communities such as Canadian academic librarians.

Anyway, we’ve been working away at this little corner of the interwebs, seeing if it fits the needs of CACUL, and when I went to visit the homepage today, there was a whole bunch of new activity! People have begun joining and creating their own little groups. Yay! It’s warms the cockles of my heart when things like this get buy-in. If you’re interested in this type of stuff, check it out!

Video Killed the Radio Star.

Adobe CaptivateI get to make some Adobe Captivate videos at work and it is fun! I feel like Steven Spielberg. I sit in my office with my headphones on, murmuring, “Highlight Box goes her to underscore the name of the webpage.” And people look through the doorway and think I’m doing complex technical things. I’ve switched my office chair to a director’s chair and have taken to wearing a beret. The students mock me, but I think they’re just jealous of my genius?!

Continue reading

O.A., eh oh.

As I’ve mentioned before, I was Managing Editor of the Faculty of Information Quarterly at school, but in my new capacity as an academic library, I serve on the York University Libraries’ Scholarly Communications Committee. All of a sudden, instead of just complaining about the inherent evil of journal vendors, I actually have to learn about tangible issues! Ah crap!Journals

One of the movements sweeping the world of academic publishing is the Open Access movement. I didn’t realllly get it until I attended some sessions on the topic at the CLA Annual Conference. And then had to explain it to non-librarians (the true test of knowledge).

I had to sum up my job to parents, and in doing so, found myself explaining in the simplest terms possible, the whole “Open Access” movement. I told them this:

Continue reading