At the Ref Desk (9/16/20): Worst thing about chat reference : the number of times you get cut off. Sucks. [more...]
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Reference

Doh-Doh Librarian

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 11/5/20 (7:29pm)

So I wake up and look at the clock. Holy sh*t -- it's 6 o'clock! That's the start of my evening shift for chat reference! I rush into my workroom, turn on the computer, hook up to the library web-service page. Whew, that was close! Funny thing is, nobody else is hooked in. Huh? Usually at least someone from the earlier shift hangs around till you get settled. So where is everyone? I check out the time at the bottom of the computer screen. Just a couple minutes past 6 -- that's not bad! Then I notice something else: it's am at the moment -- not pm. Opps!

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1st Reference Session of the School Year

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 9/9/20 (10:47pm)

First reference session (chat) of the school year! [Note: public access to library not yet possible. Everything done remotely from home.]

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After Reference, Take a Dip!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 8/26/20 (7:51pm)

Things to do immediately after your library shift (chat reference in my case): Hit the beach!

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Current Cites for July 2020 (Final)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/1/20 (3:08am)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for July 2020 is out! You can find the issue here...

The issue is noteworthy for a couple of reasons: first that well-known library star Roy Tennant was ending his decade-long record as editor. My contribution was the featuring of two articles, one a snapshot of life as librarians in this age of COVID-19 and the other an interesting review of information literacy from the 1970s till now.

In addition, I'll be joining Roy in concluding my decade-long contribution. More and more my interests and activities are in library reference. Less tech and more public service -- that's the ticket! So bye-bye Current Cites! It's been a good -- very good -- run!

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The Value of Library Reference : You Decide

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 4/28/20 (5:51pm)

It’s 8:30pm on a Tuesday evening. Student contacts Reference Desk saying he/she is looking for ‘research’ articles on effects of poverty on success in education. Instructor wants list of articles from student by class tomorrow.

Student Worker Solution:

  1. Sends link to Research Guide for Education
  2. Says ‘good evening’.

Reference Librarian Solution:

  1. Explains that there are several databases -- some focused on education, some focused on social science
  2. Steps through how to access these databases by pointing to library’s home page and link to ‘Research Guides’ -- where databases are arranged by subject
  3. In background does quickie search through standard databases, sizing up the lay of the land and then recommends to student strategies/pathways that appear most promising
  4. And oh yeah: Explains how to identify ‘research’ articles through a number of characteristics
  5. Says ‘good evening’.

Observation : Both responses did in fact answer the student’s question. So what’s the diff?

Our Current Predicament (Academic Library Edition)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 4/2/20 (9:55am)

Digitization in an Emergency: Fair Use/Fair Dealing and How Libraries Are Adapting to the Pandemic (Ryan Clough, ARL Blog):

“Like every other major institution operating during the coronavirus pandemic, research libraries are confronting sudden and radical shifts in their daily realities. Foremost among these challenges is the near-total loss of access to paper books and other physical library holdings. As of today, nearly every ARL member in the United States and Canada has closed its brick-and-mortar facilities and discontinued or severely limited access to print collections.... This emergency is truly unprecedented in modern times, even during times of war.”

More here...

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Home Rule

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 3/23/20 (2:12pm)

We got the notice last week that the university (library included) would shut down. Students had to move out of dorms. Instructors had to reconfigure their classes -- not just for next quarter (Spring 2020) but for finals happening that very week. For the foreseeable future, we'll be handling library questions from home using email and IM (instant message). At the moment it's all about what to do with borrowed materials and when will the library reopen.

Schools across the country (not to mention world) are experiencing the same. I have absolutely the greatest sympathy for both our students and faculty. This is something none of us will ever forget.

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Current Cites for Feb. 2020

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 3/1/20 (11:58am)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for Feb. 2020 is out! You can find the issue here...

Wrote about an interesting study that looked at the characteristics of transfer students at the undergrad level. Rang a bell.

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Snack time at the RefDesk

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 2/25/20 (6:54pm)

People at work were kind enough to bring in some munchies.

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Remembering the Spectator - Issue no. 105 (6/30/1711)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 5/9/19 (4:50pm)

Talking to a student last week, I tried to remember the quote (and the source of the quote): "I spell like a gentleman and not like a ..." Finally found it: [LINK].

P.S. Initial Google search (with auto-correct) came up with, "I smell like a gentleman..." Ah, no.

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