Missed Teaching Moment



Wished I had this visual today when we were explaining what card catalogs are to new students.


“Usually I was not so moralistic, believing as I still do that it was my duty to teach the curriculum and not to pontificate, to inspire debates, not weigh in with verdicts. I did on one or two occasions tell my students they were living in a society that valued people of their age, region, and class primarily as cannon fodder, cheap labor, and gullible consumers, and that education could give them some of the weapons necessary to fight back.”

-Garret Keizer, “Getting Schooled: The re-education of an American teacher,” Haper’s Magazine September/2011

I am so fired up to teach after reading this essay! Helping students achieve information fluency is one of the reasons why I became a librarian, to watch students’ worlds get larger and more complicated, and watching them grapple with all of life’s ambiguities.

Class of 2015 Mindset

“The same radical privacy that I seek in books, my mind’s way of eating its lunch alone, is what turns their stomachs. I learn of two girls in my class who got through Ethan Frome by reading along to each other over Skype, not unlike George Gibbs and Emily Webb chatting between their upstairs bedroom windows, just with different kinds of windows. They are acutely social creatures, these kids, and it is a slow learner indeed who fails to grasp that fact even as he prattles on about building a more social democracy.”

-Garret Keizer, “Getting Schooled: the re-education of an American teacher,” Harper’s Magazine/September 2011

Something to keep in mind as we turn we approach a new school year, get to know our new students and begin the exciting work of teaching and learning, for the students AND the instructors. Seriously, I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. I don’t mean that like the aphorism it might appear.

Hanging out in Northampton with my pals, eating taco salad, drinking beer and lemonade, gossiping about our cats and shop talking about higher ed.


Enjoy some LCD Catsystem.

We all weather storms in different ways. Some might want to watch various news channels and freak out with family over the phone, others (read: me), will cope with the hurricane by mucking around  LibGuides, monitoring Twitter (I luv you growl notifications in OS 10.6!), streaming 89.3 the Current, and reading the stack of periodicals so I be on trend and select quality goods from my college’s social science collection. Yeah, internetz, I get paid to buy stuff which translates in library speak to this: I am the social sciences selector; I do collection development.

Anyways, here I am spending my last weekend in Connecticut waiting out Irene.

Stay safe, friends.

Found this lamp today. It might be as old as the college; clearly they don’t make lamps like they used to.

Day 3: reading, editing, meeting, emailing, annotating, researching & acclimating.

Hey, I have an office! With a window! And a door!

I am unpacking my box and I am starting to put stuff away and make sense of my new space, my computer, meeting people, and orienting myself. I am really happy to be here!

memory work

“If archivists are no longer commonly depicted as antiquarians stopped over old ledgers in dusty basements, they are not generally acknowledged as people consciously construction social memory to meet or reflect contemporary neds, values, and assumptions-or as the professionals who control the past by deciding which stories and storytellers (i.e., records creators) of that past will be remembered and be retold in the future.”

-Terry Cook, Controlling the Past: Documenting Society and Institutions. 

I take memory work very seriously; it’s one of my research interests and something I hope to continue thinking about in my new job, but obviously in a different context. I’ve been studying memory/history  on and off for almost ten years and these questions never get old for me. NEVER. 


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