LOEX 2012 – The RIBS Recipe

I led an interactive workshop at LOEX 2012 in Columbus, OH on May 5th. We learned about Bolman & Deal’s Four Frames of Leadership and then we built a “plate” of goals for growing and improving individual instruction programs in each of the four frames.

The slides are posted HERE complete with all of my speakers notes.

I also used a “menu” style handout to help participants choose which aspects of their program they wish to develop or improve within each frame.

The third component was the paper plate that participants decorated with “foods” representing their goals.

You can take a look at photos of some of the plates HERE.

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CALA Meeting – Using Humor in Library Instruction

I’m presenting a short session on using humor in library instruction at tonight’s Chattanooga Area Library Association. I only have 6 slides and they are all pictures, so I’ll write out some brief talking points here so the presentation on Slideshare has some context.

Laughter in the best medicine:
Laughing reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, improves breathing and produces endorphins. Humor will help both you and your students relax. Encourage it, embrace it; it’s good for you both inside and outside the classroom.

Humor is an icebreaker:
Humor breaks down barriers in the classroom. It removes the distance between instructor and student and creates an environment where students feel comfortable and will contribute.

Humor anchors learning:
Studies have shown students are more likely to remember material when it is presented with humor. Something silly or ridiculous generates a “stickiness” factor in your brain and you’ll more likely remember it later.

Never be afraid to poke fun at yourself:
Use librarian cliches, make fun of having to “shush” people, let them see your exasperation with database interfaces. It humanizes us to students and actually makes us more accessible to them.

Know your popular culture:
Most undergraduate students live in a different world form the one we live in. Knowing a little bit about what they are watching, reading and talking about allows you to incorporate entertainment value into your classroom content. Mine your student workers or the neighbor’s teenage kids for ideas. Gather intel to make your humor all that much more “relatable” to your students.

Make it a game:
Incorporating games into instruction changes the flavor and feel of the classroom drastically. Place students in teams and have them compete against each other. Time them. Cheer them on. Give rewards (candy) to students or teams who get the correct answer first.

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So we won this award…

I work in a fantastic little library with a truly inspiring and interesting mix of people. Not only are my colleagues outrageously talented, our merry little band is fortunate to be led by a Dean who thinks progressively, fosters creativity and lets us strike out and try new ways of doing things. Over the course of last summer, a team of 8 people from different departments around our library got together and brainstormed an idea for a video game to test student’s knowledge of “library geography”, i.e. where things are located. One of our faculty members was actually taking a game design course, so she lent her programming chops to the actual game design process, which is NO small task I might add. The rest of us took on all sorts of supporting roles and in the end what came together was pretty special. I’ll let you read the award write-up below for the rest of the story, but suffice it to say that these people I work with are good, REALLY good.

ACRL President’s Program Innovation Award

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Going home

I took my daughters to New Orleans for their spring break. We spent several days prowling around my old neighborhood, visiting places that were part of my daily life as a kid. We made a photo album on Facebook with a set of pictures we took. It was a lovely vacation, and a really nice chance to share my own childhood with my two dear daughters.

The Place Where I Come From – Photo Album on Facebook

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