Teaching

Whether it is in one-on-one, small group, or larger classroom settings, teaching is an integral part of my work. The following are some of my focus areas as a university instructor.


UNDERGRADUATE WRITING & RESEARCH

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COMMUNICATION & MEDIA

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INFORMATION LITERACY / RESEARCH SKILLS

You can call it information literacy, research skills, bibliographic instruction, or whatever you like. The bottom line is that I help people identify the information they need to answer the questions they have, and then teach them how to find that information. I may also begin by helping them to articulate their questions more clearly, or end by suggesting appropriate ways in which to use the information they find.

In a digital world where information and data abounds, finding information might sound like second nature. Isn’t everything “just a click away”? Well, what might you be clicking? Where would you click next after you made that first click? What words would you type into the search box before you click? How can you tell if the information you get back is reliable and accurate? If the information has a bias, how do you understand that bias more completely and how do you then use that information? What do you do if the information you get back is not what you were looking for?

I have taught information literacy to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and California State University San Marcos. These classroom instruction sessions typically featured interactive demonstrations of online search tools, strategies for identifying the best keywords for a research topic, outstanding print reference sources, hands-on learning activities, and opportunities for students to receive individual assistance from me. Outside the classroom, I held numerous individual, custom-tailored consultations each day with students, faculty, and staff to assist them with their specific research and information needs. These consultations typically happened in person, but frequently also took place in online chat, email, and on the phone. In addition, I created online learning pages, tools, and video tutorials to assist with the finer points of navigating library resources.

As a librarian, the question I get most often from new acquaintances is: Doesn’t everybody just use Google now? Sure they do. But librarians use it better.