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Adjunct Librarian Training: Library Instruction - Overview

Resource for adjunct librarians

Collaborating with Teaching Faculty

I send out an email to all full-time and part-time DTC faculty at the beginning of each semester.  Besides mentioning the opportunity for instruction in various formats – intro, express (maybe 1 or 2 databases pertaining to their assignment, 10 -15 minutes), or the full deal (where the instruction can be tailored to the assignment), I also ask them to send recommendations for the collection or to let me know if they are working on any projects (dissertations) and I can keep an eye out for materials or assist with literature searches.  Faculty either come by the library, email, or call to schedule orientations...it’s always a struggle to meet adjunct faculty...I think I will create a flyer this year to slip under office doors, in case they don’t read email. On another note,  I am working with Dr. Sam Ertenberg on a program for Professional Development to discuss what faculty would like librarians to know and what librarians would like faculty to know.  We  hope to call it “The Tall and the Short of It.”  For those of you who don’t know Dr. Ertenberg, she is about 6’2” and yours truly is 5’2”. J  Please send me your suggestions on what you wish faculty knew about librarians and the library.  I will be promoting all of you and the wonderful work you do.

Do you send a greeting at the beginning of the term? I used to, it is something I might revisit. I am presenting at what the Health Sciences call their "Common Orientation for new students in the health programs. It's a 5 min introduction in the Auditorium. Sometimes they have me provide a workshop as well.

Do you attend faculty meetings? I typically attend Program manager meetings, School of meetings and other campus meetings. I have just retired from Faculty Senate and passed the baton to Melonee Slocum. Every year we try to participate in AdjunctPalooza as well as other faculty oriented activities. 

How do you establish a collegial and collaborative relationship with your faculty?  Typically there is always a correspondence in process for a health program regarding Reserves, Accreditation, Lib Guides, Self Studies, etc. While ADN library orientations have dropped, other programs reach out to me on a regular basis. Many schedule orientations right before or during the first week of classes. For the Liberal Arts, it is much more sporadic, however I do have some regulars for orientations. We feature different disciplines in our book displays, Read posters, etc.  

Finally we are revamping our Academic Discussions speaker series for our 10th Anniversary this year and are in the process of planning a kick-off event for the fall. We are going to reach out to faculty to be our featured speakers.

Here is the email that I sent out to all the professors that were teaching at South this summer in SLS, ENC, HUM, and IDS classes. I've gotten a nice response, including two instructors that we've never worked with before (I'm even going to Mayport for a library orientation next week).  

Good afternoon!  As summer semester gets underway, I wanted to remind everyone that we would love to have your students come to the library for an orientation/instruction session. We can tailor your session to meet the needs of any assignment, and can accommodate a wide range of class lengths and meeting times, including evenings. To request your session, simply click this link and enter your course information and desired meeting time: http://fscj.libsurveys.com/orientation.  If your schedule does not allow for a class visit to the library, one of our librarians will be happy to come to your classroom for an abbreviated introduction to the resources they need. While we love to have you in the library, we know that time is precious, especially in the summer. Additionally, your students can make appointments for one-on-one reference instruction outside of class time: http://libcal.fscj.edu/appointments/. Best wishes for a great summer term!

Prepare and Present Orientations

Health Sciences- includes access procedures, catalog demonstration, databases related to their course/discipline/assignment, and demonstration of Program LibGuides. I point out citation access, DOIs, how to find systematic reviews, quantitative research, evidence-based etc.

Liberal Arts- includes access procedures, catalog demonstration, databases related to their course discipline/ assignment, Gen-Ed libguide, citation, and if there is time I talk about website evaluation. Many of the LA faculty are coming in with more specific requests as far as what they want demonstrated to their students. I keep a notebook of notes and reference points that I share with the adjuncts if they are going in my place. 

SLS- typically ask for Information literacy (basics) and a brief tour/orientation. I just had one ask for a scavenger hunt (luckily I found one in my files that still applied).

We have a library orientation outline in Dropbox that I generally follow. Some of our instructors want us to focus only on databases and online materials. Often we are asked to show resources that lend themselves to argumentative writing or speeches. I open with general information about our location--hours, labs, student ID, Accudemia, Pay for Print. Then I start with a demonstration of a basic search for various items within our LINCCWeb interface, which is like one-stop shopping. I also show them how to narrow their results, troubleshoot with Borrower ID and PIN, how to put an item on hold, and use e-shelf and My Account. Next, I demonstrate how to search within databases that lend themselves to argument-style writing. We had/have the subject area News and Current Events, so I demonstrate how to search Newsbank (Florida's Newspapers), Issues and Controversies, and Opposing Viewpoints. I also usually show them Films on Demand and Research Companion, using the Databases A-Z tab. Within those databases, I show them common features, such as print, save, permalink, and cite. I finish with showing them online resources to help them format their papers correctly, such as our Libguides for APA and MLA, and Purdue OWL. Then I show them our Kent LLC Libguide where they can refer back to general information about our location.

  1. Stop often and pose questions to students.
  2. Praise students if a correct answer is given.
  3. Ask professor for any special areas needed to be covered before the class starts. Email the instructor in advance if possible!
  4. SLOW DOWN
  5. Smile!!

Basic Beginning Library Orientations

Here are a few general guidelines that will make your library orientations easier and more interactive.  

As soon as you know you have an orientation scheduled, contact the faculty member whose class you will be addressing

  • Thank him/her for the opportunity to share our resources
  • Ask if there is a topic or a research paper on which to focus 
  • Ask if there are databases that he/she wants demonstrated

At the orientation

  • Make eye contact and smile to show them that you are friendly and not threatening (or boring!)
  • Introduce yourself and share something fun about you (e.g., I jumped out of an airplane; I visited Alaska)

Ask a few questions:

  • Who has visited the library?
  • Who has used our databases?
  • When you hear "library," what do you think?
  • Do you know what a library database is?
  • Have you used any of ours?
  • Which ones?