Thursday, February 28, 2008

Badass Librarian, At Your Service

Today I taught a mixed-bag class of repeat English class offenders. And I had the most fabulous time teaching them how to evaluate information sources, break their topics into keywords, and e-mail themselves their articles - complete with MLA-style citation - to their Gmail accounts (because we all know that our university e-mail is not to be trusted). The usual fare, but I made it extremely informal - they'd already been through the library session once, the last time they took the class.

Among others, one topic that came up when discussing the importance of scholarly articles' bibliographies included: the G-Spot and recent reports that some women don't have it. (comment from student: "Aw, hell no, I'd want to see that bitch's citation for sure! You can't go sayin' that with no data.")

These are the days when I love my frickin' job.

Now I am left to wonder it means, that I am apparently in tune with the academically challenged demographic, and that my followers (fanboiz & fangrrlz?) can come from all walks. I never considered that my strength before, since I generally identify better with the nerd demographic, but I think I may be able to do a lot of good for the largely not-so-juvenile delinquents. Perhaps I am too rowdy a librarian for my own good, but by Ranganathan, they can all do some decent research now!


PinkAndChocolateBrown said...

Well, you know some people we know in the educational field say you have to get DOWN to the level of the poor wittle disadvantaged students.

Of course what some people fail to realize is that condescension stinks.

So perhaps you've just hit the right balance of credibility and not being a total condescending ass, and they respond to it.

Colleen said...

Condescending profs suck.

And it's not that the kids aren't smart enough to pass, they just don't care or see why this particular class is important. Happily, the G-Spot is apparently an interesting enough topic they care about that it was a great example for talkign about authority of sources and other boring crap like that. So yeah, it's likely still boring, but now they understand the importance of checking sources and the different types of info that are available.

Seriously. Maybe if librarians understood that everything - even database training - boils down to sex, there wouldn't be such hullabaloo about the demise of libraries.

PinkAndChocolateBrown said...

Absolutely. And just to be clear, I was definitely not implying that the students weren't smart. Just that some people might make the assumption that they weren't and thus that things had to be dumbed down.

Also? I am much more efficient when looking up something like the G-spot than I am looking for Slosson's 1910-ish summary of Yale's student culture.

Colleen said...

"Also? I am much more efficient when looking up something like the G-spot than I am looking for Slosson's 1910-ish summary of Yale's student culture."

This is true for all of us. And I do make sure to inform them that not all of their research will be so interesting, but getting a foot in the door and waking them up is key.

J said...

Based on my experience... comparing google and psycinfo search results for "spanking" is also an effective teaching tool. Students in those early childhood development classes leave knowing a little more about S&M than they might have anticipated.

Colleen said...

That is an *excellent* exercise. I may steal that from you sometime in the future *grin*

Virginia said...

I think its because you convey that you ARE having fun and that makes you eminently more "connectable" for the academically challenged.

Colleen said... nerdtasticness is actually infectious, if you make it look fun and incorporate sex.

This may have serious implications for how I deal with instruction from now on *grin*

Bayou Librarian said...

That student's comment is priceless. Love it! You sound like an awesome library instructor. I'd sit in on your class any day. ;-)