Showing posts from 2015

The Research Project: Scaffolding & Exploring Information as a Freedom & Justice Issue

The research paper. It's funny--I have my FJS students read Barbara Fister's article on "Why the Research Paper isn't Working," but they still have to write a paper for me. It's an upper-level class, after all, and for the first iteration of this course, the research paper is how I'm scaffolding in information literacy as well as keeping students well on track to completing a larger project as they consider concepts throughout the course.

Back on topic: for my FJS 340 course, my students are required to work on a research paper. Essentially, they get to explore any conflict or issue of interest to them that involves questions of freedom and justice, but they must explore their conflict from an information perspective (which is our focus for the class). I leave the subject matter wide open for a reason--the course I teach is an upper-level general education course, multidisciplinary and international in scope. I want students to choose a topic of interest t…

Serendipitous Syllabus Overload, and Having Students Help Build a Course


In practice here at CSUCI Broome Library, we are all teaching librarians. when I schedule information literacy sessions, all librarians are up for grabs for me--my Head of Public Services and Outreach, Head of Unique Collections and Scholarly Communication, my Collections & Technical Services Coordinator, my Electronic Resources Librarian, my Original Cataloging Librarian, even my dean/AVP. Everybody's on deck when there's an instruction need, and with over 120 information literacy sessions scheduled this fall alone, everybody bats, and everybody bats big. In addition to the many information literacy sessions we teach, many of us also teach semester-long classes.

Before I talk about teaching my credit course this semester, some important background. Here at CSUCI, the librarians (who have tenure-track faculty status) regularly teach and co-teach credit courses in disciplines where we're qualified, in addition to classes actually certified under the LIB…

Riding the Wrecking Ball, Or, Fall Semester: 2015

This semester has been a grueling one--it started with a bang, and is just now beginning to let up. And by 'let up,' I mean it's just now that I can start getting to my long to-do list of things I was hoping to accomplish this semester that fall just outside my primary duties of coordinating and scheduling instruction. That list includes reflecting on my teaching,

Summer 2015

Summer was a wild one, with some rough health issues, then a week away at PhD camp for the Mythological Studies degree, then the first week of August in Seattle for the ACRL Immersion program, then coming back to welcoming the new faculty, developing the syllabus for my new class, and scheduling library instruction.

September: All Information Literacy Instruction, All the Time

In September, I taught 27 instruction sessions across all manner of subjects (including Anthropology, Art, Business, Education, English, Environmental Science & Resource Management, Communication, Psychology, Political Science, …

An Outreach Role Hitting Close to Home: Disability Resource Programs and the PASS Program

Two of my energetic colleagues, Janet and Kaela, have been doing serious inroads with outreach to various student services offices on our campus. They titled the effort the PASS program, or Library Partnerships to Achieve Student Success. They set up a website here, and have built relationships with a number of offices on campus that directly serve student populations who may have special needs that the Library can help with.

Now that they have done the hard work of building relationships with university staff in those areas, and developed some outreach materials, programming, and reference hours, they asked for folks interested n helping them continue the program. I was very excited to volunteer to be our liaison to the Disability Resource Programs office, and I'm looking forward to helping in this area for a few reasons, not the least of which is that I identify with the student population.

If you're a Facebook follower of mine, you may know that I'm suffering from one of …

The Big Hairy Deal: Research Ethics , Roles of IRBs, and Responsibilities of Chairs/Coauthors in Light of Lacour and Green,

You don't even have to have your finger on the pulse of academic news to have heard about the Lacour and Green research debacle. It's been bouncing around in my brain since it's related to the way we maneuver in a world of information, and it is relevant to my work as a librarian and as a researcher. In a drama-filled nerdly nutshell (with links to further reading for the details), the situation:

Brief Unofficial Timeline of the Study, and Discovery of Possible Misconduct

an important study on persuasion coauthored by a UCLA political science graduate student (Lacour) and a big-name political scientist at Columbia University (Green) was published in (and then retracted from) the peer-reviewed journal Science;
the large-N study indicated that attitudes about same-sex marriage could be significantly changed long-term by brief exposure to someone who was gay;
because this would be huge news, it was picked up by NPR's This American Life;
because the conclusions go against most …

Meditations on Tackling a Large Research Agenda as a Tenure-Track Faculty Member

I've been thinking more about research agendas and large-scale research projects lately. I'll readily admit (as will my CV) that most of my research before the dissertation consisted of one-off sorts of things. A lit review here, a best practices there, presentations on bits and pieces of my work that all together paint a decent picture of the sorts of things I was working on as a professional academic librarian. But they were never coherently planned as something to present as a set, or to build upon each other. My dissertation is truly the first time I've articulated a large, multi-stage, likely multi-publication research agenda for a particular phenomenon.

My dissertation project itself can, I think, be carved neatly into three separate articles to articulate the research succinctly. The first part, on the relationship between academic library department experience and perceived leadership skill development, was published in The Journal of Academic Librarianship. Another…

Looking at Summer 2015

Things on my librarian brain:

Our library team is working on our MOU (Memo of Understanding) in response to the program review we recently had (where outside folks come in and evaluate us). [Side note: in my previous life as an Access Services manager, an MOU was the first step in the disciplinary process of an employee. Not so with this MOU, this is just a normal response with a 2 and 5 year plan to address each item where needs were noted.]
Sort of related to the above, the 2015 ACRL Immersion Program has begun! Though I won't head to Seattle until the beginning of August, the Moodle course is up and running, our readings and pre-assignments have been posted. I'm hoping to leverage the Immersion program to inform how we want our information literacy program to evolve for a growing campus with semistatic resources.
A "freemium " model of peer-review, where authors could pay for faster review of their articles, was pretty much unanimously shot down as privileging moneye…

Some Thoughts on Academic Disciplines: A Meditation on Methodology, My Entry Into the Humanities, and Experiencing a "Pedagogy of Discomfort"

Those of you who know me know that I'm a perpetual student, addicted to lifelong learning (and the pieces of paper that certify I accomplished something). In September 2014, I started work on the Ph.D. in Mythological Studies, with an emphasis in depth psychology. As I finish the readings for the first session of my third semester in my latest academic endeavor, I find myself thinking about the different ways of knowing in academic disciplines.

I've had a lot of experience as a student. (I remarked to a class the other day that I've been doing homework for 30 of my 35 years. And then I nearly cried. They looked a mixture of horrified and awed.) At the undergraduate level, I overloaded my schedule each term (requiring the Dean of Students' signature) and did significant work in international relations and political science, economics, Spanish, and foreign language study (Spanish, Italian, French, German, Ancient Greek, and Japanese). At the Master's level, I've s…

The Teaching Librarian: FJS 340 and Teaching Full-Credit Courses

To my great delight, I've been invited to teach in the Freedom and Justice Studies minor in Fall 2015. I'll be teaching the three-credit upper-division interdisciplinary general education course FJS 340: Exploring Freedom and Justice on Thursday afternoons in fall 2015. The course description as it appears in the catalog is:
Starting from philosophical understandings of identity, community, and democracy the course focuses on themes such as slavery and emancipation; migration, exile, and diaspora; violence and reconciliation. Using an interdisciplinary lens that engages fields as wide-ranging as economics and literature, students will engage in trans-historical, cross-cultural exploration of freedom and justice and the various ways different peoples have attempted to put them into practice. Students will engage tools to analyze the relationship between these concepts and the structure of identity and its material effects.
Effectively the course chooses a wicked problem and explo…

Spring 2015 Faculty Accomplishments Celebration

Each spring semester, the CSUCI Broome Library throws the gala of the year, the Faculty Accomplishments Celebration.

The Library hosts the faculty accomplishments database, where you can go ogle our faculty and their work. The celebration is a chance for faculty to get together and see what each other are working on, and discuss interests over delicious foodstuffs. Not only does the library host the shindig, but the planning happens months in advance. This was my first chance to attend, as a newbie, and what a wonderful time it was! The library hands out awards, celebrity-roast-style, such as the Golden Bookend, the Golden Clicker, and the Golden Key to the Library, with concomitant descriptions for why each faculty member won. There was much laughter, and it was just the point in the semester where I think we all needed that to lift our spirits. We played Cards against Faculty (a slightly more PC-version of Cards Against Humanity) as well as mad libs where nouns and verbs were removed…

Barreling Toward the End of My First CSUCI Spring Semester

In order of importance, the things going on as the semester careens to a close:

On the library front:

Finals are coming, finals are coming! Students are feeling the pressure, which means we at the library do, too. ALL OF THE PRINTING.  On an admittedly less-than-superior printing setup. And the last papers of the semester, so we're seeing some hail-Marys at the reference desk;
This will be my first finals where I take lead on the end of semester feedback. We set up "graffiti" boards with giant post-it's on whiteboards asking what we're doing right, and what we can improve, and collect all that information. We also have a student survey, and a faculty survey. My colleagues all tabulate and organize the data, and we'll see what we can do to improve for next finals season;
The 24-hour library. The week before and the week of finals, we stretch the library and its staff to 24 hours for our students. Thank goodness for the folks who work the overnight! I'm picking…

What's In A Name? Academia, Name Changes, and My Experience

Today I read a piece that hit close to home. The Chronicle of Higher Education published a piece by Andrea N. Geurin-Eagleman on dealing with academia, divorce, and name changes. The article does a good job of relating the concerns of many female academics I've talked to--namely, that changing your name may effectively erase all of the name recognition we've been building in our fields since we started out into the hallowed halls of higher ed.

Fabulous Husband and I are approaching our second wedding anniversary at the end of this month. Both before and after our actual wedding, we talked long and hard about what we wanted to do with our names. Our conversations covered a lot of territory, and these are some of the facets of the issue that came up:

I already had a significant number of publications under my maiden name, and was concerned about the academia/continuity-of-recognition factor;
We were both over 30 years old when we married, so each of us had significant years behind …