May 30, 2008

Q+A for Several Assignments

Posted in Assignments tagged , , at 8:09 am by maf

We have pioneers in this class – people who are working fast and ahead. With the busy summers many of you have planned, this is understandable. As I deal with some of their questions below, you shouldn’t feel guilty if your priorities have been something else – but notice the questions. In many cases, they point to little problems in the assignments or clarifications that need to be made.

Access Enabler question:

Our group needs clarification … Do we have to do the actual lesson/handouts that we discuss as being our solution, or just describe what we would do?

Answer: I apologize that the assignment is quite unclear on this point. What I would like is a “middle way”: a). thoroughly describe your solution; and b). develop just enough of the solution package (or lesson, or tool, or resource) to give us a clear idea and a small sample. This might be a single piece of the package, or a list of lesson plan steps, or an excerpt. You may decide it’s easiest and most appropriate to provide the entire resource, especially if it’s compact. In the case of lesson or unit planning, I do not expect to see everything down to the last word of the handout or test for students. If you are uncertain how much to hand in, ask me.

Bibliography Question:

I chose to do this assignment on my own. Since two parts of the Rubric under “reflection” deal with group participation and process, what should I do to earn these 2 points?

Answer: I’m sorry I missed this aspect of the assignment. Simply mark this section “NA.” You will more than make up for the points by doing the assignment alone!

And finally for today, a more philosophical, general question:

On MARC records: How often are we actually going to do anything with them except download them from our vendor and import them into our circulation system?

Answer: Hardly ever, if ever. But you may make small edits on a frequent basis; most often, your software will make this very easy.

You will find a lot of variation in the SLMSs you talk to – many think MARC knowledge is crucial, while others are wary of MARC records and reluctant to tamper with them. I don’t want you to be afraid of MARC – you should feel confident about editing if necessary. And you will always have the text and other authorities to consult. The goal for now is to empower you for when you need this skill in the future. We all need to “know our way around,” and some of you will be more interested in this technical stuff than others. That’s where we’re going in this class.

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May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Progress

Posted in Updates at 9:18 am by maf

I hope you all had a marvelous holiday, and I hope (for many of you) that your school years ended well.

Here, I’ve been working like mad on the other class, a chapter that’s due for submission this week, and continuing post-tornado cleanup. It’s a busy time!

A few updates for you:

  • Syllabus is now complete. (I reserve the right to make minor changes, but there will be no big new additions.)
  • After a few days of discussion among those it will affect most, I adopted an Absentee Giveback policy and tied it into the syllabus. Since this is the first semester I’ve tried this, I’m willing to see how it works out. To me, it seems a reasonable way to solve the dilemma of those who have unavoidable date conflicts in a required, offered-once-per-year class.
  • I added dropboxes for the KR assignment, so now there are separate dropboxes for each of the 3 chapters.
  • I added a “stub” file for Mortimer. You are safe to look at this, but it’s definitely incomplete. Once I’ve created all of the assignments for my other class, I will come back to this one. And, if you have any great ideas for designing this, I’ll be happy to hear them!

Beware of Summer Strain. Educators are accustomed to having some relaxation time during the summer – but for graduate students, it’s possible to over-commit and end up with little or no “off” time. I hope this hasn’t happened to you. The pace of summer classes is very fast – I wish you all well in keeping up with it.

May 22, 2008

New baby; KR and Bib questions; class notes

Posted in Updates tagged , , , at 11:44 am by maf

Several updates today!

First a big congratulations to Earl and family on the birth of London Rose, May 21, at 12:20pm. “Mom is good and big sister is excited,” says Dad.

A big shoutout to Kristie Michalowski for receiving the national Intellectual Freedom Award! This is a Really Big Deal. (Remember, she came and presented to EDIT 6340, and judging from your reflections, made quite an impression about the importance of good Selection Policies and following careful procedures.) Read about it at the GLMA Blog (which you really should be reading anyway).

Notes from class are shaping up. Thank you to the notetakers! Send your Gmail ID or email address to Christa to gain access through GoogleDocs.

Finally, two questions about the KR Assignment and this pertains to the Bibliography as well:

I have used Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) because I have not been able to locate a copy of Sears, so I have been using the online LCSH resource. Through the reading, I do understand that Sears is most used in schools, but because I have not been able to locate that resource is it acceptable to use LCSH for the assignments since I can access that online?

My answer:
If you have a choice, go with Sears. LCSH are ok if you don’t have access to Sears; once you get to the point of knowing the LCSH heading, translating to Sears is pretty easy, if that ever becomes necessary. Most school libraries will, unfortunately, probably have a mixture due to vendor preference for one or the other. Theoretically, we prefer Sears for schools and in a perfect world we would be consistent throughout the catalog. That level of perfection, I’ll wager, is very rare and probably not a high priority for most SLMSs.

KR Question:

I have started the text exercises, and have one question. For the “answer” to the items we create, do we just need to show ONE answer? It seems that there could be multiple answers that would work. Do we need to include multiple answers?

My answer:

Generally speaking, if there is more than one answer, I would say “one possible answer is:…” and just develop the one, but also say that multiple answers are possible. Make sure your one answer completely answers the question, of course.

May 20, 2008

Updates: Tuesday, May 20

Posted in Updates tagged , at 9:38 am by maf

I am thrilled to have my phone service back. (Outside, my cable and phone wires look patched together with duct tape, but things are working! Don’t hesitate to call if you feel the need.)

Quick notes:

  • I uploaded all of you into WebCT/6380. Check to see if you have access. I updated my contact info on the homepage there. The gradebook is not yet revised.
  • Nancy Andrews’ service project proposal went up on the Menu yesterday. (She is another one of our tried and true mentor alums. If you live near Athens, this is a good choice, but of course I think all of them are.)
  • As you read and work through your assignments, please send your questions. I will use this blog as one way of assisting you with them – although I will never reveal who asked the question, unless you wish. I have one of these queued up for the next day or two.
  • Finally, I worked a lot on your Order projects today from last semester. No output yet, but you will start seeing your feedback, team by team in the coming days.

Internships: Advice for 9-to-5’ers

Posted in Internship tagged at 8:12 am by maf

As Cohort 7 moves into Year 2, the internship begins to be a topic of interest. Since this blog “belongs” to C7, our internship topics will be addressed here. (If you’d like to see blogposts that were relevant to Cohort 6’s internship, visit their blog.)

Today we have a guest post from Beth B., recent C6 Alum. She took me up on a challenge to the group: “Remember how uncertain you were at first that you could get those 100 endless hours scheduled? I need people who survived this to assure the next cohort that it can be done.” Beth works a traditional 9-5 job, and I think this group has the greatest level of challenge in getting internship hours in. She writes:

I work an 8am-5pm job, and I was pretty worried about how I would fit in time for 100+ hours of in-school time for an internship. I suspect everyone has personal challenges during the internship. I procrastinated. (I didn’t miss any of the contract deadlines, though, and that’s important!) I took three other classes during the same semester. I didn’t share with anyone at my job what I was working on. Many of these “challenges” were of my own making; you probably have others that you might or might not be able to control.
Somehow everything came together, though, and I ended the spring semester with a great internship experience and LOTS of extra hours.
These are a few things that worked for me.

  • I built up as much personal leave as I could in advance, and I took this leave to go to the school for my internship days. My mentor and I sat down in December and planned all the days I would come to the school. We planned on 16 days (2 full weeks and 3 half-weeks) through January-April. I thought this would give me enough hours; it actually ended up being enough and extra.
  • I went to the school early and stayed until my mentor left each day. Since I was taking leave to be there, I figured I might as well make the most of it. 🙂
  • Think about evening events when the students might be at the school, too. We had Book Fair during two PTA evenings, which gave me the opportunity to interact with students AND their parents.
  • The time I spent on collaborative planning (planning and preparing for the actual lesson, after the initial meeting with the teacher) could take place in the evenings/weekends and didn’t require time off from my day job.

Those few months were pretty hectic, juggling the internship, other classes, and my regular job. It was worth it (and I’m not just saying that because of post-graduation euphoria!) The internship is one of the most valuable parts of the SLM program, and the benefits make any temporary worries or stresses fade away. Hang in there, watch the deadlines, and enjoy it!

Beth B.

beth@alumni.mercer.edu

May 19, 2008

Welcome to Cataloging

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:28 am by maf

Thank you all for a great class on Saturday.  I’m sorry it was so much of me talking.

For the summer, the main focus of this blog will be EDIT 6380.  I encourage all members of Cohort 7 to “keep watching” in case you’re not in the class and something comes across that pertains to the group.  Also, if you’re not an official member of C7, then I hope you will enjoy hanging out with us for awhile.

Today, I’ve done some class follow-up.  Not all of it, but a good deal.

I updated the Agenda to reflect what we really did.  I’m awaiting the notes to be finalized and will link them in as soon as I get them.  (If you are a notetaker, please don’t feel obligated to produce perfectly polished notes. They should be clean enough for understanding but we are tolerant of a booboo or two.  Efficiency more important than perfection for this task.)

I updated the syllabus with decisions we made regarding deadlines.

I added our two major due dates (6/23 and 7/21) to GCal/SLM. (Go to Google Calendar and search for SLM – it’s public.)

I added the blog subscription options to 6380 Home.  I highly recommend that you subscribe either through a Reader (RSS) or through email – I will use this blog as the primary group-push communication tool.

Lastly, I worked through a few of the individual issues for class members – not all of them yet.

I hope to put in a full week of work – although when the chainsaw crews show up, or the insurance guy shows up, I have to drop everything and pay attention!  Still, I hope to make a lot of progress. Let me know if I am overlooking something urgent.

May 8, 2008

Grading update and a bit about 6380

Posted in Updates at 9:57 am by maf

I know you’re getting antsy about grades; be assured that progress is taking place behind the scenes.

Remember that I had 3 classes to grade, 2 dissertations, syllabi due tomorrow, and a class to plan for next week – all of this going on simultaneously. Plus, these projects are huge. Deadlines and priorities rule!

I will likely need at least til Monday to get grades finalized.

Course evals: we have 24 of 27 done. Thank you! Still hoping for 100%. Last day will be May 12.

On another note, because I had to turn in the syllabi so early, you can view the preliminary EDIT 6380 syllabus here. Note: I am tweaking assignments, so don’t do any of them yet! If you’re just dying to get a head start, you are safe to begin reading either textbook (from the front) and doing the exercises. This early activity, however, is not required or expected. It’s ok with me if you show up unread on the first day of class. If I were you, I’d enjoy a little time off. There will be much more info coming next week about the Cataloging class.

Thank you for your patience!

May 6, 2008

Tuesday Updates

Posted in Updates at 8:17 am by maf

If I haven’t told you before, Lisa’s budgeting information can now be found connected to the Content page in the Budget area.

Course evals: we are up to 81%!  Thanks to all who have done this.  Not sure if you have?  There is now a check-off area in the Gradebook (it says done/not done).  It’s very easy to think you have done this when maybe you forgot to click “submit” or something.

May 5, 2008

Quick Monday Update

Posted in Updates at 8:32 am by maf

The grading crush is on!  All assistants are finished with preliminary grading and now the “pile” is in my hands.

This will not go quickly.

In the meantime, don’t forget to do your Course Eval – so far 19 of 27 have – 70%.  That’s great, and thanks to the 19.  But I want 100%!   And remember, I can only see who has participated, not what was said, and so there is no grading conflict.

May 2, 2008

You’re finished! Well, almost

Posted in Updates tagged at 8:04 am by maf

I have lots of updates for you over the next few days.  I’ll start with the most critical today.

  • Holly’s baby is here! Audrey arrived on April 30 at 11:23am, weighed 9 pounds 7 ounces, and is 22 inches long. Congratulations!
  • Do the course eval! It’s open now.  So far, 15% have already completed it.  I will bug you about this often until we get to 100%.
  • All Order projects came in. We’ll contact you if a file can’t be opened, etc.  The team is already hard at work.  We will work on determining course grades first; I will go back with a fine tooth comb a bit later to determine the definitive scores.
  • We are nearly done with your field experiences (which were, on the whole, excellent!) and hope to post grades over the weekend.
  • I’ve started working on the Cataloging class.  In a few days I’ll start communicating with you about that, in case you want a head start.

And now, some words from Beth:

About Internships: I have read all the contracts I have received and responded to them.  All Gwinnett interns, I compiled a list tonight and responded “got it!” to everyone’s message board who posted for Gwinnett.  Grading the finishers (from Cohort 6), understandably, has to take precedence for about the next week.  If there are real time issues (and there are a couple of you in this situation) I will still be on the lookout.

Please send me an email through WebCT with your e-permissions if you have not done so.  (I hardly ever check that email, so please don’t use it for any other reason, but will check it over the next few days.)