Category Archives: Reading/Viewing Resources

Excuses, Excuses

Falling over my own shadow

This week didn’t go quite according to plan.  Thursday morning saw me flying gracelessly accidentemergencyn_2276103bthrough the air and landing awkwardly on one hand and the opposite knee, as I was walking along the side of my workplace. I survived work (because I didn’t want to take time off), took a choir practice, spent four hours in A&E, and walked home at 2 am with my hand in a splint.  Somewhat sleep-deprived, I got through Friday at work and did spend some time over the weekend revising my not-yet-complete project proposal, but not as much as I hoped.  All I can face now is to reread the instructions for the project proposal and familiarize myself with exactly what’s needed under each remaining heading.

Inspired by a TED talk: Nancy Duarte

I have, however, watched an interested TED talk by the author of one of our new library books that I catalogued on Friday.  Nancy Duarte’s The Secret Structure of Great Talks might not be of much relevance to e-resource interventions, but it is certainly informative as regards delivering inspirational presentations, so it it was time well-spent.  (I watched it three times!)  The basic message seems to be, contrasting “how it is now” with “how it will be with my great idea”, and ending up with “the bliss”, ie positive high-note to finish on.  I’ve been pondering how to incorporate this into the talk I’m booked to give at the University of Oxford next month.  The talk is virtually written, but I’ll be revising it! I always try to write my talks sufficiently early to be able to put them aside then revisit them a few days later, and I still have to put a PowerPoint together.

New book-stock for Education students

I’ll list my new cataloguing below – it might be useful to someone!  I ordered one of the books on Amazon for myself, as it looked so interesting, but I can’t go buying them all, so I might just borrow the Duarte book tomorrow!

Did you know, the homepage of our catalogue has a link to our latest books:- click the link at the bottom of the pink square:-

  • Catmull, Edwin, Creativity, Inc: overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration (2014)
  • Cron, Lisa, Wired for story: the writer’s guide to using brain science to hook readers from the very first sentence (2012)
  • Duarte, Nancy, Resonate: present visual stories that transform audiences (2010)
  • Gilbert, Elizabeth, Big magic: creative living beyond fear (2015)
  • Griffith, Andy, Engaging Learners (2012)
  • Griffith, Andy, Teaching Backwards (2014)


Project Reading, and ResearchGate

Ah, the weekend! I sit in a chaotic dining room (which doubles up as my office), while things sit in relocated heaps because three different parts of the house are being decorated!  It’s hard to concentrate on anything (and my PGCert is just one of the things I should be concentrating on this weekend), but I can just about manage to blog, and read in between interruptions.  It’s either that or the ironing!

Credit-Bearing Instruction

So, checking my emails I discover that a librarian from Canada has responded to my ResearchGate conversation about user education.  William Badke is at Trinity Western University Canada, and he is in  favour of credit-bearing instruction.  Now, when I did my own PhD at the University of Glasgow, we all had to pass a library/IT module, but it wasn’t exactly credit-bearing. Satisfactory completion was just essential.  I was exempt from much of it, being a subject librarian myself at another institution.

Graduate Attributes: What should a Graduate “Look” Like? (Not Literally!)

In my own job, I give irregular seminars to students at any level if their teachers request this. As I’ve mentioned before, I find it’s best given at point of need, eg when an essay or project has to be handed in!  However, although training is kind of compulsory if we’re attending a scheduled lecture or seminar, there’s no compulsion in the sense that credits have to be earned or a “library training” box ticked as part of the students’ studies.  In our own situation, we’re quite proud of the amount we are now involved in teaching compared to how things were even three or four years ago.  Prior to the redesign of our Bachelors’ degrees, I did encounter one comment that students ‘didn’t want to be trained in information science’ – after all, they’re at a conservatoire.  Nonetheless, degree-level study, or study towards a degree, demands degree-level (or heading for degree-level) information handling skills. Not as a librarian, but with the aim of becoming a competent information-seeking graduate. I’ve been attending programme committee meetings this week, and one thing that resonated with me was that programme designers and educationalists know what they want a typical graduate from our institution to ‘look like’; however, from the students’ point of view, they want to be performers, and to that end they want to spend most of their time performing.  They don’t yet see the need for acquiring the kind of graduate attributes that will, actually, turn out to be useful.

Networking by Social Media

But back to William in Canada – he has just shared with me his own website for library teaching resources, which is very generous of him. And I see he has also published a book on the subject.  So, that’s two more things to go on my reading list – the website and the book! Maybe we could even consider getting the book, if it suits the Conservatoire context.  I am really grateful for the generosity of fellow-researchers and librarians on ResearchGate.  I’m getting so much useful discussion, not to mention recommendations for reading or websites to visit.  (And in my day-to-day work as a librarian, last week I contacted a professor in a totally different discipline to ask about a paper she had listed but not yet uploaded, because one of our students couldn’t access it by any other means.  This week, she kindly uploaded it!  The research scene is so very different from pre-internet days – it’s great!

So, here are Williams’s resources:-

Badke, William, Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog, 5th Edition (iUniverse, 2014) – it’s available as paperback on Amazon

Badke, William, Teaching Resources (used at Trinity Western University, Canada) [website, accessed 2017.01.14]

I’ll add these to the reading list I compiled earlier this week, and to my full Resources page.

Another Night for Reading

Today was a research day.  I have almost written the first draft of my next paper. I’m a guest speaker, so it has to be good!  I’m a bit surprised to find I wrote just under 3,000 words, so that’s quite a decent output for one office day.

But tonight I must get back to my PGCert reading. I’ve annotated four of the items I have set aside to read. The links to my blogposts are inserted so that it will be easy to refer back to them later.

Here’s the list.  Some hope of getting through it all!  Two articles, by Tinto, were added just as I read the Bowskill item. And later, I added the two Badke references. (At some point I will need to stop collecting and just get on with reading – after all, I have a project proposal to complete soon!)

  1. Badke, William, Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog, 5th Edition (iUniverse, 2014) – it’s available as paperback on Amazon

  2. Badke, William, Teaching Resources (used at Trinity Western University, Canada) [website, accessed 2017.01.14]

  3. Bowskill, Nicholas, Student-generated induction: a social identity approach. A Staff development guide.  (Nicholas Bowskill, 2013) [Started and blogged about briefly – to continue]  I have now read enough of this book – basically a script for a workshop on induction using this approach.  The link to my notes is an earlier blogpost, ‘Project Planning’, dated 25th August 2016, which I’ve just extended:-
  4. Brabazon, Tara, ‘Press learning: the potential of podcasting through pause, record, play and stop’, Knowledge Management & E-Learning vol.8 no.3, Sept 2016, 430-443 [have read, blogged, intend to reread]  I blogged briefly about this on 16th September,  ‘Can’t you do a podcast?’:-
  5. El Hakim, Yaz, et al, ‘The impact of RefME on the student experience’, report on research by University of Greenwich and Sheffield Hallam University, 2016, 11 pp. I now see that I did blog about RefME – ‘When a tweet provokes thought’, 18th December:-  and I remember my frustration. I truly do think RefME has a lot of potential, but if I can’t scan ISBNs on my phone, can’t search for typed ISBNs, and can’t get a response to either helpdesk calls or tweeted appeals for help, then I am not going to recommend it.  I like Mendeley. I trust it.  I believe Zotero is equally good. I’m sorry, RefME – I won’t be recommending you.  It’s a shame.
  6. Fabri, Marc, ‘Thinking with a new purpose: lessons learned from teaching design thinking skills to creative technology students’, Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015, 32-43 [have read, intend to reread, full citation probably on Mendeley but too late to find just now!]
  7. George, Sarah, and Tasnim Munshi, Making Students Eat Their Greens: Information Skills for Chemistry Students (Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Fall 2016)
  8. Library Impact Data Project, Focus Group Write-Up blogged by Graham Stone, December 20, 2012, reporting observations by Martin Philip at the University of Huddersfield [to read properly]
  9. Macfarlane, Eric, Who cares about education? … Going in the wrong direction (s.l. : New Generation Publishing, 2016) [recommended in a blog by Evelyn Glennie – purchased last week]
  10. Maxymuk, John, ‘Online communities’, The Bottom Line, vol.20 iss.1, 2007, 54-57 [to read]
  11. Maynard, Sally, and Emily Cheyne, ‘Can electronic textbooks help children to learn?’, The Electronic Library, Vol.23 iss 1, pp.72-81 [hyperlink is available – to insert later.  Still to read this]
  12. Moon, Jennifer, A Handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice (London: RoutledgeFalmer, 2004) [Bought, not yet read]
  13. Salmon, Gilly, Etivities: the key to active online learning (London: RoutledgeFalmer, 2003, 2004) [To read]
  14. Sheridan, Mark, and Charles Byrne, ‘Transformations and cultural change in Scottish music education: historical perspectives and contemporary solutions’, paper presented at 32nd World Conference International Society for Music Education, Glasgow, July 2016 [have read, intend to reread]
  15. Shirley, Rachel, ‘”Not an ogre”: adult music learners and their teachers: a corpus-based discourse analysis, poster session.  This is unrelated to library instruction, but I like the suggestion that a student’s comments about their teacher or their teacher’s observations might reveal underlying anxieties. Worth bearing in mind.

And more Reading for me!

I’ve just got an email about the latest SCONUL Focus issue.  It looks highly relevant, so I’m posting the text of the email here to remind myself to follow up!  Admittedly, it’s more about librarianship as a profession, than librarians as teachers. Nonetheless, it’ll be great for up-to-date commentary on the profession of academic librarianship.  It’s a bit of a blurred line when it comes to librarians sharing expertise with researchers – but still teaching of a kind!

“The new issue of SCONUL Focus, with staff / professional development as a key theme can now be accessed via the SCONUL website. See

Amongst a wide range of articles you may be interested to read about the following:

  •  A selection of views from academics teaching at library schools about the skills that librarians of the future will need;
  • An illustration of some of the ways in which academic librarians are developing new support models to meet the needs of researchers engaging with research data management and open access;
  • A case study of how one service is encouraging “knowledge exchange” between their staff to ensure that information learned from training and attendance at events is shared across the service, as well as general information about current projects.

The SCONUL Focus editorial team is currently gathering submissions for issues 68 and 69 to be published during 2017. They will be themed around support for teaching and research respectively.  Guidance for authors and a list of key contacts are available on the web page for anyone who would be interested in contributing.

Literature Review? More a Reading Record!

I’ve already blogged about what I’ve read recently. Not nearly as much as I should have read, I must admit.  However, what I’ve read, has been relevant, and is listed in full bibliographical detail on my Resources page:-

  • Bowskill – Student-generated induction (noted 25 August 2016)
  • Brabazon – Press Learning (noted 16 September 2016)
  • Smalle – Better Engagement = Better Results (noted 26 July and 24 September)
  • Starak – What is a Podcast? (noted 16 September)

I’ve been getting a lot of migraines recently, which has meant I’m even further behind than I thought I’d be with regard to my project.  However, I have logged a few relevant “critical incidents”, and must just try to catch up with myself in the near future!