IM Reference

I just finished my first conversation with a reference staff member at Drexel via IM! I needed to find a required journal and was thrown off by the interface they provided me with. I went right to my comfort zone – InfoTrac because that’s what we have at work and I know how to use it – but turns out that even though it said my journal was in there – it wasn’t! So I opened up IM and asked the librarian. Now that I think back I guess a complaint would be that he/she didn’t provide a name so I can’t tell you who helped me – for now we’re going to assume it was a “she” – based on statistics.

Anyway, she walked me through each step in the process and when I hit a bump she came up with a way to help me. She also introduced me to ProQuest which is way prettier than InfoTrac! I found both of my journal articles and am ready to sit down and do some reading.

IM Reference is totally handy!! I love it!

Oh Boy… Oh Boy… Oh Boy…

Yep – that’s what’s going through my head as I click from class to class in Blackboard (a program I’ve never used before).

I don’t know what I was thinking!! I’m a hands-on learner and now I have to totally re-teach myself in personal time management and organization. So far, I’ve read 2 syllabi – I can’t find the third yet and I think I can handle the class workload. One class grades 50% on online discussions -that’s what I do best!! Another has an instructor who wouldn’t give grades if he didn’t have to (that’s the attitude!) – he understands that we all learn differently and that’s so important in an instructor (I remind you of my post about Teach Beyond Your Reach and the learning styles quiz).

Anyway – I took the day off of work today so I could get a handle on all of this – so I better get back to figuring it all out. One thing that would make this all easier would be if all of the instructors provided their info in the same way – then I might be able to find what I’m looking for just a little bit more easily.

First Day

Today is my first day of school – never thought I’d have to say that again! I already have they syllabus for one class and am just waiting for 8am when blackboard is open for students to log in.

You will probably notice a decline in my posting – and a shift in the topics I discuss – starting today – but I’ll try to keep up with what everyone else is writing!!

Well I’m off to read through my lectures for that one class I have the syllabus for – in case you’re curious, here’s my class list again:

  • Info Resources & Services I (INFO-510-902)
  • Intro Info System Analysis (INFO-503-901)
  • Prof/Soc Aspcts Info Svcs (INFO-520-900)

If you’re in one of my sections email me or feel free to post here.

Back to School Roundup

Just in time for me (I start classes on Monday) – Lifehacker has a list of Back to School essentials:

Koha in Library School

Just learned something else new from Chris at Koha. I mentioned that I’d like to be able to test Koha for a class in library school – and he mentioned that the U of Buffalo has a class that does just that.

The Koha@buffalo Project is for Master of Library Science students to participate the global open source activities. In the participation, students will become familiar with the increasingly popular LAMP, Linux/Apache/MySQL/Perl, technologies.

How neat is that??!!

Registered

I am all registered for my first term at Drexel. Can you believe that registration opened at 7am this morning for new masters students and at 7:38 when I registered 5 sessions I wanted were already filled.

Why didn’t I register sooner? Well I was up this morning at 4am (lots going on at home to keep my mind working) and I actually considered coming in to work late so that when registration opened at 7am I would be in front of my computer instead of underground in the subway – yep at 7am I’m on my way to work, I registered as soon as my computer turned on this morning.

Maybe more than you needed to know – but there you go.

I still got all of the classes I wanted/needed so I’m a happy camper. Classes start September 25th!

Choosing Classes

Well that wasn’t an easy task.

I had a list of about 25 classes I wanted to take and I only need 12. I want to finish in 1 year (3 classes a term) so I had to narrow my list because of class offerings. I then narrowed my list based on classes I probably didn’t need (Database Management II). I was a bit disappointed to take a few of those classes off of my list.

Content Representation and Scholarly & Professional Communication were 2 classes I really wanted that don’t seem to be offered anymore – or at least not in the 2006-2007 school year. Public Library Service is only offered in the fall and has prerequisites and Academic Library Service isn’t offered online at all. Lastly, Tech Process in Libraries is only offered in the Spring but has a prerequisite that is also only offered in the Spring.

So what am I taking – here’s my initial plan (we’ll see if it changes once classes start).

Fall

  • Intro to Info System Analysis
  • Info Resources & Services I
  • Prof/Soc Aspects of Info Services

Winter:

  • Info Resources & Services II
  • Action Research & Statistics
  • Digital Libraries

Spring:

  • Cognition & Info Retrieval
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cataloging & Classification I

Summer:

  • Managing Information Orgs (640)
  • Information Services in Orgs (643)
  • Library Automation (664)

What do you think? I took a lot of advice from comments here and emails I received. Unfortunately several people told me to avoid a certain instructor and I had no choice – I had to take one class taught by him/her – let’s hope it’s not too bad.

The only term that’s semi-set-in-stone is Fall – I have to register next week. The others may change once I meet my advisor.

Distance Learning

As you know I will start my Masters program with Drexel Online in just 2 months! I was interested in what this online learning experience was going to be like so I’m reading Teach Beyond Your Reach by Robin Neidorf. Since the book is geared toward teachers (not students) there are a few sections I’ve found myself skimming over (like the creating content chapters), but for the most part this has been a very educational experience in and of itself.

Robin has actually made me a little more nervous about taking classes online. Why? Because she explains how to be a great distance teacher – which is making me think of all of the things my teachers could do wrong to be bad distance teachers. I know it’s silly – but that’s me :)

Anyway, if you teach at a distance (online, teleconferencing, etc) I hope you read this book and get some great tips from it – I especially hope that my professors at Drexel have read it – we’ll see soon enough.

Savvy vs Un-savvy

The Torn Librarian has a great post about the “schism” that is deepening between those in the professional library world who are tech savvy and those who aren’t.

What is this you ask? Well, the savvy are the people that are comfortable and/or enthusiastic about technology and its implementation in the library (Wikis, Blogs, RSS feeds, Chat Reference, etc…). The un-savvy are the ones that demand an entire row of shelving so that they can still have physical access to the National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints.

He goes on to blame about the lack of professionals speaking to students and the need for a change in what students are taught – to which there were many great replies – but no one seemed to mention that the training of current students isn’t the only problem. The problem also lies with the lack of training after graduation. Lawyers, Teachers and Insurance Salespeople have to continue their education – why don’t we?

There should be continuing education courses for librarians so that they are forced to learn the new technology. I’m a strong believer that if training was available – and required – that we’d see less of a divide, because the other reason there is a schism is because some people don’t feel they can jump in on a discussion (or jump on a bandwagon) if they don’t understand the technology involved.