Teaching What I Know

I’m “stretching,” as they say in motivational presentations. I’m going “outside the box.” I’m teaching a weekly Reference Services class in the LIT department of my local community college without benefit of any experience in a formal academic setting.

Although I’ve taken many face-2-face and online courses, I’ve never thought much about the prep that has to go into presenting 54 class hours. I have an assigned textbook, and the learning outcomes are already established. My job is to divide the work into weekly segments, create and grade relevant assignments, upload additional supplemental readings, draft quizzes, arrange for guest lecturers and field trips, and do this while holding down my regular 40-hour/week job at the public library.

I’ve never thought about dividing up the work I do into discrete segments for students who will graduate with a Library Technician degree. It’s like trying to draft written instructions for getting dressed, or brushing your teeth. My work is something I do without thinking; creating sequential lessons for teaching the work I do is challenging.

I am looking forward to this new part of my life. Demand for library technicians is growing, as librarians pursue other aspects of service – particularly in public libraries. Here’s my chance to make sure my students have a realistic understanding of the profession, a marketable skill set and an awareness of all the different kinds of libraries they may choose to work in after graduation. Depending on funding, of course.

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