Friday, September 16, 2011

Ode to Instruction

Because I serve on staff at the University Library, I usually think of library instruction as a service we offer at the library. Recently, however, I experienced library instruction as a service offered to me as a graduate student in a research class.

On the first day of class, as our professor described our formidable research assignment, I felt a distinct pang of anxiety. Never before had I been assigned a paper of this magnitude. I inwardly fixated on questions like "How do I do this?" and "Where do I start?" Minutes later, under the expert guidance of Harold Goss, my anxieties dissipated. I enjoyed the relief of knowing that I had the tools I needed for my research paper, coupled with the mild amusement that I still have much to learn even after years of library service. Harold patiently demonstrated the capabilities of Multi-Search to our class and reassured us that the reference librarians were here to help us. By the end of our instruction session, I knew how to sift through all the Library’s holdings to find what I needed, and the research paper seemed much less intimidating to me. To be honest, it's starting to look rather friendly.

I am delighted to report that the University Library has met my needs as a student. This has broadened my perspective and deepened my satisfaction as a library staff member. I commend all those responsible for the instruction program here at Samford and recommend it to any faculty members who may not have considered it for their own classes.

1 comment:

bscoyne said...

Great post Bradley! The services of the Library staff [including yourself] are excellent!I could not do the vast amount of research or the quality of research needed to perform my duties as research associate to the Dean without the Davis Library Staff. Thank you so much - all the library staff - for your wonderful work, service attitude and expertise! B. Coyne, Ph.D. [Divinity]