Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The new semester begins...

Spring ’06 semester is underway with the faculty’s return to campus today. I was asked by Dr. Leann Ellis, Vice President for Academic Affairs on Thursday to speak this morning during the announcements. The following captures what I said.

Welcome, library lovers and fellow users.

I’d like to introduce my collaborator: beside me, handling the technology is Judy Bastin, our reference librarian here in El Dorado, also working evenings in Andover and as adjunct faculty this semester again, also.

When I attended the Mountain Plains Library Association’s Institute this fall, I enjoyed a week of classes in Ghost Ranch, NM. The Cottonwoods were golden, the stars brilliant, the hiking strenuous; and the workshop was pretty fair, too.

One of the best moments came as we were instructed to find a learning partner in the room. There were some awkward “chosen last on the playground’ feelings, but in the end, we all had a partner. Then, as we shared our reactions to what we’d been learning with each other, the light dawned. Everyone shared, everyone had a story – and therefore, everyone was able to process the content and learn something during these moments which happened 2-3 times a day.

So I’d like you to take a moment, and turn to a learning partner. I want to share the thrill of this collaborative learning with you with a tiny exercise. In the next one minute, please take thirty seconds each to reflect on what you are reading at home or work, and why it’s important to you….


Wasn’t that cool? Active and collaborative learning… it’ll be hard to stop sharing…



Reading is fundamental to what we do, and I’m pleased to report that our circulation of library materials is up. We have it all – books, magazines, e-books, video in DVD or VHS, music – for you to check out. Our One Book One community Book this year is “Touching Spirit Bear.”

Our database use, so important for research, is up over 25% this year. Google’s not the only thing our college students use… after adding “Opposing Viewpoints” to our database lineup, we’ve recorded over 200,000 searches this year! Which leads me to an offer – let us be your learning partners in the work of database research. We’ll each learn what’s available and find the joys of successful academic preparation. How? Call us for a classroom session, attend our workshops, or visit with us anytime.

Meanwhile, you’ll notice some laptops in the lobby today. I hope you enjoy our “Library in the Lobby.” Check your email, talk to a librarian, come and visit. We’ll be here this morning, tomorrow and also in Andover on Thursday. And you know where we are the rest of the time…

Looking forward to seeing you in the library,

Thanks.

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