It’s interesting (and sad) how I seem to post entries on this blog about once a year.  I can hardly call myself a blogger.  😦  But once again, I will try to spur myself on to remain committed to posting.

The writers group meeting that I just attended will hopefully help toward keeping myself disciplined.  A small group of like-minded and equally busy librarians will try to build in some accountability among us so that we can all achieve our goals of slowly but surely producing good pieces of writing – for professional purposes mainly, but perhaps some creative writing will seep into our efforts.  That would be a big plus for me!

So, one of my three goals before next week’s meeting is to publish a blog post (after almost a year’s hiatus).  Here I am!

I can’t explain why I don’t add to this blog more frequently.  The original goal was to write short pieces that track my daily/weekly activities working collaboratively with classroom faculty, mostly in terms of teaching.  That should be an easy and enjoyable task.  And I certainly have lots that I can add.  But as usual, I think I build these tasks up in my mind so that they soon become so insurmountable, that I give up entirely rather than contributing just a little.  Such is the story of my life!

As I have done in the past, here are a few topics on my mind that I hope to write about in the near future.

  • The disappointment over an Anthropology course that E.K. and I had big plans for that was recently cancelled due to low enrollment
  • A growing working relationship with the new chair of our ANTH Dept, including course and assignment development, teaching and the purchase of new books
  • Helping the ANTH Dept with assessment endeavors related to information literacy which has lead to new faculty interest in greater teaching collaborations
  • Working with J.A. toward his plans for an interdisciplinary food project
  • A recent conference presentation that highlighted the teaching collaboration between C.R. and me
  • With C.R. moving to a new institution, plans to continue our collaboration for future presentations and publications
  • Forging new relationships and collaborative projects with faculty in the Foreign Languages
  • Working with E.K. to finally write articles on our work over the past few years
  • The newest RYSAG camp – preparations for and implementation during the last two weeks of July
  • Plans toward a COCID/SUNY CPD sponsored conference that will encourage collaborative presentations between classroom faculty and librarians
  • Participation on and activities toward our library’s new Scholarly Communications Team

And the list goes on . . . Wow, I guess I better start writing!  🙂


I was able to take a break from preparing a committee presentation yesterday to focus attention on another conference session on IL assessment.  Rudy Leon (SUNY Potsdam) has outdone herself with conference presentations and has arranged for 2 separate, but connected, panel sessions on assessment techniques.  The first will focus on program assessment, and a colleague of mine will report on Milne Library’s experience with SAILS.  Not sure if Bonnie will also talk about assessment techniques used for our campus’ required freshman writing course.  At present, all sections of INTD 105 are required to bring their class to the library for at least one visit.  This is the only FULL program where we can target a specific cohort of students and know what level of instruction they’re getting and what they “should” know before moving on to other subject-specific courses.  The system is not perfect, however.  Some students won’t take INTD 105 until their spring semester and could possibly be involved in heavy course-integrated library instruction before taking INTD 105 (but in most cases, will not even enter the library until the spring semester).  In other cases, some professors do not bring their INTD 105 class into the library, despite the requirement.  If professors opt for that one-time visit, the focus is typically on a basic introduction to the library’s services and resources.  We’ve been fortunate to have many professors request multiple sessions.  So, we see all sorts of instruction levels that our freshmen receive.  It has been a real chore to boil down the bare minimum of what every student should get, as far as research skills, if we assume that every student will be involved in at least a 50-minute library instruction session.  Then, we worked together to revise our assessment tool, making questions correlate to those bare minimum skills, using practical, real-life examples.  There hasn’t been any talk of administering the survey to our incoming freshmen at summer orientation.  I hope that we can get this done since we have no information thus far on what skills our students come into Geneseo with.  It’s great to know what they have captured after a library session, but it’s possible that some students come to college with that knowledge already engrained.  It all depends on the level of resources and instruction provided by the individual high schools.

The second panel session (ah, yes, back to my original thought of SUNYLA 2008) will focus on assessment at the classroom teaching level.  My portion of the presentation is a little bit of a hybrid since the assessment is done at the classroom level but in an attempt to have all Anthropology majors up to speed on the research skills needed to become scholars within their field.  The cumulative list of assessment techniques date back to Fall 2003, with new ideas popping up every semester.  Kintz and I have certainly accumulated a whole packet of different tools, some that have worked better than others.  I’m pleased with the 2 slide powerpoint presentation that I worked up and the structure of what I plan to say.  Now, I just need to have a good idea of how I’m going to say what I want to say.  All within 15 minutes.  I think I can do it.  Not so sure I can get my husband to stay up and listen to a rough rehearsal.

With Ellen’s retirement – although I’m so happy that she’s staying on to teach one class in the fall – I’ll have to work closely with ANTH faculty to keep the program alive.  Baby steps.  The real-life proof of what the professors have been seeing as far as the quality of student work far outweighs any statistics we can throw at them, but still I wonder if the casual statistics we’ve been keeping are worth much.  Ellen and I would really like to publish a paper but our “methodology” has been so back and forth, again based on whatever we pulled together each semester.  In total, we have some pretty good tools, qualitative and some quantitative data, but is it too scattered?

Ellen Kintz and her sister were in the library today.  Linda left for home today and Ellen is off to Mexico next week.  I showed her the French publication and she suggests we write it up in our campus e-publication geared toward faculty.  I shall do that.  It won’t be but a few lines and it will bring to light the work that Ellen, I and various ANTH students have been doing.  Geesh, if I’m going to write this up, I could also write up the presentations we’ve done with Tom recently and I could write about the LOEX presentation with Susan.  And I could even write up something about this blog.  If LOEX highlighted anything in my mind, it’s that we at Milne Library rarely publish all the great things going on in this library, especially as it relates to the greater campus community.  We definitely tend to present at conferences, but no publications.  Our Director could write an entire book on what he’s been able to accomplish within his 12 or so years at SUNY Geneseo.  But no time for writing.  We must carve out time to write and publish.  Otherwise, we’ll remain the best kept secret in upstate NY.  🙂