Peer Review in Library School – helpful or headache?

04/03/2011 § 35 Comments

Disclaimer: I am discussing the very last class, also last required, of my MLIS degree.  I may speak with a tad of “senioritis.”

One of the required courses in my MLIS program is Evaluation of Information Services.  I have been kind of dreading this course because I knew it would be very theory heavy and I’m kind of a more practical person when it comes to my learning style [I think we will be discussing more of theory vs practice very soon on this blog].  However, I understand that grad school should and is about challenging yourself.  And, well, a requirement is a requirement.

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Theory Vs. Practice: Separating What’s Important

28/01/2011 § 11 Comments

Please welcome our first guest Hacker, Lauren Gibaldi! 

Lauren Gibaldi is in her second to last semester at Florida State University’s School of Library and Information Sciences. She’s aiming to become a youth services librarian within a public library, and hopes to create information literacy programs for kids and young adults. She’s a strong supporter of intellectual freedom, and loves supporting banned books. Read her blog, or her other blog, and follow @laurengibaldi on Twitter.
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Library school overwhelms us with information, deciding what’s necessary for life-long careers in the field. Yet, as I navigate through each semester, I’ve started to mentally note which elements learned will help me post graduation, and which will fall to the wayside, getting forgotten in the abyss that is my mind.

Let me back up.

Before I became I library student, I was a high school English teacher. Before becoming a teacher, I was an English and Education college student (note: English AND Education, not English Education – the former is much more helpful in the long run). I learned Piaget’s theories, and Erikson’s stages. I learned how to look inside the mind of a child and debate his or her maturity levels. Educational theorists were the definitive answer when dealing with children.

And then I started teaching. And everything I learned quickly disappeared. When I looked at my darling 16 year olds, I didn’t think which cognitive level they were at; instead, I thought “What can I do to get them to work.” (Or, more accurately, “What can I do to stop them from throwing the furniture.” Seriously). The literature read only went so far – it was my patience and understanding that got me through the year. It was my knowledge of the subject taught, and my willingness to work with each student one-on-one. Never in the year did I think “Okay, what would Piaget think.”

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