So, what in the wide, wide world of sports does that mean? Well I'll tell ya pilgrim. It means teaching what a library does and what to do with the library. And it's not shine it up real nice, turn is sideways...I digress. That's what I get, and you now get, when I write while I'm at Starbucks getting all hopped up on latte train. Back to some semblance of normalcy, what I teach, essentially, is how to do research, more specifically , how to find the sources that you need for your research and how to pick and choose the right sources to use. That's how I view it, my job is to teach you to do your research without needing me.
That can't be too hard, right? Au contrair mon frere! It's not that the teaching part hard, for me anyway since I have a teaching background so other librarians might disagree. What the tricky part is, is getting through to the students, especially the younger ones, that what I am trying to teach them is important and that they really don't know how to do this stuff. I guess this is the lament of all educators, especially nowadays, impressing the importance of education in general to the students with educators under attack and the shift in educational thinking that the purpose of education is to get a good paying job. Now, I feel myself stepping up to the soapbox so I'll refrain and leave those musings for another post.
So back to issue at hand. Essentially I see what I do as important, and maybe a bit more if I do say so myself, as the content classes that the students take. They need to develop critical thinking skills and need to know how to find quality information. Not just information but information that is relevant to their needs, reputable and accurate, how to do this in an efficient manner and to use the information properly. Let's face it, with No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, these skills aren't being focused on and valued so I see students come to university totally unprepared in this area. It's not being covered and I doubt the university professor is going to cover it in class so this is where I come in. Hopefully, the professor will schedule with me some time for their class but professors are reluctant to take away class time from their content to teach this skills.
So what do we do? To quote from a fave movie of mine, "We're in a tight spot". At all levels we need to impress the importance of being information literate, or transliterate if you want to use that FOTM term. And of course on my end, we as librarian/educators need to continue to teach the library in whichever role the job asks of us.
More than just my two cents this time, you got a nickels worth.