Friday, October 11, 2013

There is no verb for what I do

Librarians need to hire one of those PR firms that comes up with product names. One of the good ones, that is. There are too many things we do that don't have names or those names refer to jobs that are lost in a fog of time and history.

What exactly do I do at the Reference Desk? I'm not necessarily referring, though I do that sometimes. I answer a lot of questions, but the "Answer Desk" doesn't really sound right--though it does sound better than Reference Desk, come to think of it.

BI is now a sexual preference, not bibliographic instruction--which no one outside the library really understood even when it was still biblio-based. Library instruction is at least more accurate and understandable, even if I'm often instructing on things beyond the library these days (web search technique, information ethics, etc.)

We talk about information literacy and technological fluency on this campus. So students should be more competent with technology than with information, is that it?

I tell students that what we call "databases" really means "searchable collections of online stuff."

At a former job, we replaced the link to the library catalog with a link that said, "Books and more" because students were telling us they didn't know what a library catalog was (someplace you order books?) So we immediately got a dozen calls asking what we had done with the library catalog!

Those handy "peer reviewed" check boxes in databases get you articles from journals that publish peer reviewed articles. But the articles are not guaranteed to be peer reviewed because those journals also publish news, opinions, and just plain not-peer-reviewed articles. (A colleague asked students what a peer reviewed article was. They suggested a blog post with comments, because that's what they might do with their "peers." Were they wrong?)

A journal can be a periodical, or a serial, but some things called "journal" are actually newspapers, which are also periodicals (and serials).

A student was looking at the library map and asked me if she could get help with MS Word from "Technical Services."  And, are technical services more technical than public services these days?

The thing that really got me, however, was when I sat down to write my philosophy statement for my promotion file. The teaching faculty generally call it their "Teaching Philosophy". But, THERE IS NO VERB FOR WHAT I DO.


Blogger Rebecca Hedreen said...

"Librarianate" has been suggested!

4:10 PM, October 11, 2013  

Post a Comment

<< Home