When I was learning to code, I started to recognize a pattern. I’d work and work and get 80% of the way to functional code. Then, I’d run into a problem I couldn’t work my way around. I knew what I needed the code to do. I knew what needed to happen afterwards. I didn’t know how to overcome the obstacle. I’d stew and research. I’d go back over the code and re-read the textbook over and over. Nothing worked. Then, I’d complain to a friend, explain what the problem was and how I couldn’t do fix it, and suddenly, before the friend could make any steps to help, the answer would appear fully formed inside my own head. Telling someone else I had a problem was integral to my ability to solve it myself, even when the other person did absolutely nothing besides listen.
In that vein, thank you for listening to me complain about teaching citation. I have found a solution, or at least an approach I can make my own. The seed comes from Iris Jastram at Pegasus Librarian. Her approach to the goals of citation is one that I use when I teach citation, namely that the least interesting reason to cite is to avoid plagiarism. We talk about this in class, but I love her approach to getting students active with citation, and I will definitely be trying it out.
I read a lot of blogs in order to keep my head in the librarian game, but a relatively small portion of those blogs deal with the work of librarianship rather than the ideas in librarianship. The ideas are incredibly important, but without the everyday work the ideas mean nothing. I want to see more blogs that talk about successes and failures on the ground in libraries. Here are a few that buoy me:
- Pegasus Librarian. Obviously.
- A recent, delightful discovery: Formerly Freelance Librarian.
- Hi Miss Julie! Not about academic libraries but still useful.
- Two Year Talk. Based in community college learning.
- Not about teaching but definitely based on the ground: Librarian Design Share.
- The Unquiet Librarian. School library focused but lots to say about librarianship based in practice.