Friday, December 10, 2004

Library Instruction Ideas for Science and Technology: A Baker's Dozen. This is a collection of teaching tips for library instruction in the sciences. It is by Locknar, Angie; Baysinger, Grace & Meszaros, Rosemary L. It appeared in Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Fall 1997. It does not read like an article but is instead thirteen tips.

From the site:

1. When creating handouts, don't limit yourself to what the vendor gives you or what you can create using word processing programs on your PC. Use a combination of both! I recently created handouts for Cambridge Scientific Abstracts' new web-based databases. Carnegie Mellon subscribed only to Materials Science and the Environment package. The vendor gave me a few copies of brochures containing descriptions of these databases, as well as a few general searching brochures. I photocopied sections of CSA's brochures that I thought would be most informative for my patrons, then cut and pasted the sections onto a printed Microsoft Word document that listed the available databases and our customized URL to access these databases. When photocopied onto colored paper, I had a great new handout specifically created with my users in mind, but without duplicating the efforts of the CSA staff.

2. The Library Instruction Task Force at Carnegie Mellon created packets of general information about the libraries and the library catalog to hand out to students going through orientation sessions. These packets consisted of a folder filled with service guides and pamphlets. I used these packets as a stepping stone to reaching new faculty members in my subject areas. Each folder had a place for a business card in which my card was inserted. I also added more subject specific handouts, such as the CSA handout previously mentioned, for the subject areas that would interest the faculty member. I created a quick "blurb" for several of our CD ROM products and included this as well. Finally, I attached a letter explaining to the new faculty who I was and what I could do for them as their liaison (book ordering, teach class sessions on using the library, etc.) and inviting them to visit the library. These packets were sent to each new faculty member. Of the 5 I sent out, 2 faculty members made a point to meet me and learn more about the resources mentioned in their packets.

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