How To Teach a Library Science Class (or at least pass one)

A step-by-step guide to being a library science professor

1) Decide on a title for your class using a random amalgamation of these words: information, human, knowledge, database, metadata, seminar, user(s), design, administration, interaction, critical, studies, scholarly, communication, academic, information science, crucial

2) Create a course description by using more of the above words. Create long, buzzword-ridden terms for simple concepts, and then further confuse by referring to them only in unexplained acronyms. Example:
Anomalous State of Knowledge (ASK)

3) Create a personal website and a page on either Blackboard, Sakai, or Moodle classroom management systems. Find out which management system other professors are using this semester and avoid it. Include copies of syllabus and assignments in both places as well as in a printed hand out on the first day. Each of these syllabi/assignment descriptions/schedules should be subtly different, especially in terms of: due dates, page lengths, room numbers, required reading.

4) Introduce each class with a PowerPoint presentation. Take at least the first fifteen minutes to fiddle with the computer/projector. Fill your presentation with confusing and unlabeled graphs and diagrams that supposedly explain key concepts from the readings. Stress the importance of understanding these diagrams but never fully explain them.

5) Tell one rambling story from your job experience as a librarian. Make sure it is completely outdated, romanticized in your head, or at least totally fabricated. End it with dire warnings about the future of the profession and how everyone sitting in class will NEVER find a job EVER, particularly not one they like.

6) Break the class up into random groups to discuss the reading for the next hour. Attempt to group students so that they are with those they have the least in common with (e.g. one music librarian, one elementary school librarian, one digital archivist and one confused business school grad student).

7) Wander around amongst the groups and offer them “Just something to think about” using as many buzzwords as possible

8.) Bring everyone back together to decide upon the point of the reading

9) The point will be: “It really depends on the community you’re serving”.

10) Ramble for precisely five minutes after class is supposed to be over so that everyone JUST misses the bus.

I could TOTALLY do this for a living if this whole librarian gig doesn’t happen. As my professors are trying stridently as a group to assure me it won’t.

2 responses to “How To Teach a Library Science Class (or at least pass one)”

  1. mom Ladd says:

    Kinda Sad blog today Tricia.
    On a happier note, your play is being performed this Thursday night at 7pm. Dad and I will attend.

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