Does your research (or lack there of) influence your instruction?

Man Wearing Black and White Stripe Shirt Looking at White Printer Papers on the Wall

This thought popped into my head today and I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on this.  Bear with me while I give you a bit of my background.

I work at a small college where all the librarians, including me, have multiple roles: subject liaisons, collection development in multiple formats, reference desk shifts, committee work in the library and on campus, as well as instruction.  The degree to which we engage in these things can vary based on the roles we were hired into and/or how our positions have developed and changed over time.  Needless to say, we all have plenty to do.  My current position focuses primarily on electronic resources and systems, but I am also expected to take reference shifts and teach the occasional instruction session.  Some of my colleagues here, to their credit and their respective roles, teach much more.  I do take my teaching seriously, and even graduated from the ACRL Immersion Program a few years back.  Another piece to this is that for tenure, which I have had for several years now, we were not required to publish.  Instead, we are required to be involved in the library profession on local, state-wide, and/or national committees that sustain and support the efforts of all librarians.  This is a responsibility I take seriously and have not reduced upon being granted tenure.

Given this context,  here is my question: As a library research instructor, is my ability to teach the research process hampered in any way(s) by the fact that I do not do regular research (and subsequently writing & publishing), and have not since I graduated from library school in 2006?  Because I am not an active researcher, could that, in any way, limit my understanding of the challenges that undergraduate, graduate, and faculty researchers struggle with?  If the answer is yes, and I worry that it might be the case, do other librarians who teach research sessions worry that this is true?

On the flip side of this, if I worked to become come a regular researcher and writer would it have a positive influence on my instruction?  How would it influence the way that I teach?  Or change the way that I teach?

My head is full of questions now.  I would love to hear what other library instructors think on this.  Is this a crazy idea or is there some substance to this?  And is there any easy way to remedy this issue, if there is a need for one?  Could I fold research in with all the work that I already do?

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Blog revival?

Free stock photo of books, vintage, light bulb, old

Hello!  I am here this morning blowing the cobwebs off this blog.  Yes, it has been a long time.  The thing is, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with this site and, honestly, I still don’t really.  So, it will remain a huge work in progress (WIP).  I am here because feel the need to provide a space to share my thoughts about libraries, librarianship, the future of libraries (including those who share similar values to library profession) and provide a venue for others to come and share as well (yes, guest posts will happen).

I started working in libraries about 12 years ago, graduated from Simmons College in 2006, and my mind is blown by the amount of changes that have occurred since then.  This site will be a venue for thinking about, talking about, and sharing ideas about where the library profession has been, where it is, and where it might be/is going.  I believe the only thing that is certain right now is that change is a constant.  And depending on what kind of change we are facing today it has a pretty big impact on a lot of us.

So like I stated before, this blog will be a place that remain in constant development.  Its ‘shape’ will form over time with what is shared, discussed, questioned, rehashed, etc.  I have a lot of ideas, questions, and concerns about libraries, but I don’t assume I have the answers.  Maybe they will be figured out here, but me or by others.

If you are interested, you are more than welcome to come by or stick around, just listen or join in the conversations.  We have a lot to talk about and many brilliant librarians with many brilliant ideas to share.

[And for now, I will leave my old posts up as a reflection of the evolutionary nature of this site.]

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Holy Metaliteracy Batman!

So there I was, checking my email and saw one from Twitter suggesting some people to follow, based upon my recent decision to follow Librarian Wardrobe (@LibWardrobe).  So I jumped out to Twitter to see who these folks are and decided to follow one of them John Jackson (@johnxlibris) and then found another that he follows, Chaucer Doth Tweet (@LeVostreGC) and decided to follow that one (yes, this is revealing a bit of my nerdiness but it makes me laugh).  And then I went back to my home page on Twitter to see some recent posts and retweeted a call for writers from The Fetch (@thefetch), because someone I know might be looking for a writing gig, and a link to an article tweeted by @lbraun2000! and retweeted by one of the people I have been following, Kate (@itsjustkate).  It was to an article on Slate.com about eavesdropping on the train.  Read it.  It is a good article.  Now the article itself I found interesting for many reasons: the issue of people carelessly discussing non-public matters in such a public place, the idea that eavesdropping is ok, the idea that retweeting someone else’s publicly overheard business is ok and the fact that men were publicly expressing extremely biased opinions about a female co-worker in public (despite the fact that basic biology proves that it is purely dumb luck that they were even born male themselves, thus making their comments not only wrong and out-of-place in the 21st century but also totally ridiculous).  But I won’t get into any of that further here.  What struck me the most about this article was the metaliteracy skills of the author, Amy Webb.  She was able to scan the ticket stubs of fellow passengers for their names, quickly found their profiles on social media sites, even found a satellite image of one of their homes, turned around and tweeted about them and eventually wrote an article for Slate.com about her eavesdropping practices and the similar practices of others.  I would say this is a wonderful example of someone who is really adept at metaliteracy and makes a living using those skills.  Quite impressive.  This is truly metaliteracy at work.  Bravo Amy!