Peer Research Advisor Projects

If you’ve ever asked at the library for help with formatting a citation, finding the full text of an article, or operating the microfilm machine, you’ve likely interacted with a student Peer Research Advisor (PRA). These students work a combined total of 74 hours a week at the Information Desk answering questions such as these. A PRA may be the first person you see as you walk in the library doors, but you may not know they do other work for the library in addition to answering your questions. … [Read more...]

MOOCs and Libraries: An Update

Back in October, I wrote about my involvement with DavidsonX.  At the time, the DavidsonX team had just started working on Davidson’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC):  Medicinal Chemistry, taught by Erland Stevens.  I’m happy to report that the course went live on Monday.  (It’s not too late to register; remember, it’s free!) Since my last post, I’ve learned a lot about the role of libraries in MOOCs.  I’ve done some webinars and joined the edX library committee.  The best teacher, of … [Read more...]

What has happened to reference?

I’m starting a new series in the blog posts I write:  What’s happened to reference?  I started my career in 1982 as a reference librarian, and I’ve been doing at least some reference shifts pretty much ever since.  I love working with students, helping them find information for their projects and develop their information literacy skills.  But it’s inescapable that reference has really changed, and I want to ponder some reasons for that. Most academic libraries have seen declining numbers of … [Read more...]

Library Davidson 101

Each year, incoming first-year students at Davidson College take a series of courses called Davidson 101. In 2012, the program went online for the first time and included a survey and short assignment. This academic year, the Information Literacy team decided to revamp the program and develop our own survey instead of using a proprietary one. The new survey and assignment were designed to efficiently assess student research attitudes, experiences, and skills. We believe the changes were … [Read more...]

Closing Music

It’s 4:45 pm on the day before Fall Break. The frantic pace of the preceding week has slowed and most students have already left campus. In the library, the former flurry of activity is now only evident in the crinkled papers and empty coffee cups strewn on tables. Computer screens are dark and the hum of the printers has grown silent. A new, unanticipated sound begins to drift through the air and past the ears of the few students who still remain, signaling the library is closing in 15 minutes. … [Read more...]