Friday, June 20, 2008

Catching Up as Summer Begins

I've been off work since last Friday but visited the library twice this week for some final tasks.

Yesterday I found out from my principal that we may have a new part-time library specialist working in the library. It's complicated and since nothing is final (or even announced) I can't go into detail at this time. Suffice it to say that change may be coming to the BCL.

It's been very hot this week so I'm blogging downstairs in my bedroom at home this evening because it's cooler here than up in my office.

In an earlier post I mentioned that I was working on a new course (tentatively called Advanced Library Research). I know it's not a very sexy title but it is a work in progress. I got the approval of our Instructional Council to continue developing the course so I'm forging ahead.

I met early this week with Joan Risch at the College of Marin because I had been told by one of our graduates that she was teaching a course at COM on information literacy. It was a fruitful meeting and she gave me some interesting websites to look at especially the OASIS research tutorial produced by the librarians at SF State. She has her student complete specific parts of the tutorial before she quizzes them or provides her own assignments to them.

I think I have found a primary text for the class along with several supporting texts for reference. The primary text is the 3rd edition of Research Strategies: Finding Your Way through the Information Fog by William Badke. I was able to get a copy of the 2nd edition from UC Berkeley and was very impressed by the style and tone of the book--it's practical, down-to-earth, and covers almost all the topics I want to cover in the course. When I discovered the 3rd edition had just been published I overnighted it from Amazon and it arrived today. It's a manageable 212 pages and only costs $18.95. The author is a librarian at Trinity Western University, Langley, BC.

Other texts I've reviewed and will certainly be consulting and directing my students to are:
Basic Library Skills (5th ed.) by Carolyn Wolf; The College Student's Research Companion (5th ed.) Arlene Rodda Quaratiello; and The Facts on File Guide to Research by Jeff Lenburg.

The Badke book is quite up-to-date--it mentions the Amazon Kindle--and has an accompanying website which will help keep the book current. I was just checking the site this evening and found out about Readius, a new e-book reader.

In case you haven't heard about Readius, which is only available in Europe currently, here's a YouTube video about this neat new hybrid--when's it coming here!?

I'd love to hear from others who have developed or are thinking of developing an advanced research course at the high school level.

Another, concurrent project I'm working on is a wiki for the International Baccalaureate Extended Essay. Next week I will be in Montezuma, New Mexico on the campus of the United World College for a week-long workshop about the IB program and the librarian's role in the program. I hope to post a few messages from New Mexico while I'm there. I'm hoping the new research course will blend nicely into the extended essay program of IB. I know that in many schools the librarian is the extended essay coordinator and I think that makes a lot of sense.

Any Extended Essay folks out there in library-land?

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