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IST 612 – Day One

July 27, 2009

Today was our first day of IST 612 – Youth Services. From the syllabus, it appeared that this course was going to be a lot of work. That notion was confirmed today, as our instructor Barbara Wall went over the syllabus and assignments. The good news is that she is giving us an extra week to complete them, so that was a relief.

By far the coolest thing about this class is having a practicing teacher librarian as an instructor. Rather than dealing with the theoretical and esoteric, she is actually giving us a realistic account of how she spends her day, what goes into collection development, and some good resources to get material from. Aside from the websites, book titles, and authors that I am taking note of, she has left me with two important thoughts.

The first is to “look for teachable moments and be ready for them”. She cited an opportunity that she recently had to instruct her students about violence, all because she took a fall in a parking lot. Children will ask questions and give feedback, and when you see that opportunity you just have to seize on it. She has modeled that behavior for us today, and answered questions and talked about issues that were not necessarily on the agenda for today. That leads me to the second takeaway from today’s class – you have to “be adaptable”. Of course you have to stick to some type of lesson plan and have a general idea of where you’re going, but you also have to be adaptable and give your patrons/students what they are looking for.

I was still pretty tired today from last week, but at least the migraine I suffered from this weekend is gone. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s class.

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