It’s Teaching Season at the Library!

The months of August, September, and October are some of the busiest of the year for academic librarians on the public services side of the house. We teach, you see, and this is the busiest of the busy teaching season.

If you had told me while I was in library school that teaching would be such a huge part of my job, I’m not sure I would have believed it; which makes it no surprise to find that my faculty colleagues, and indeed my family and friends, are usually surprised that teaching is really what I do (for a goodly portion of each semester). The conversation goes something like this:

  • Friend/Family/Faculty: What are you up to?
  • Me: Getting ready to teach a class (or two or three) tomorrow.
  • F/F/F: Really? What are you teaching?
  • Me: A composition class, and then a sociology class, and then…
  • F/F/F: Wait…what?! You teach sociology?
  • Me: Oh, no, I am doing a “one-shot” to teach the students how to find and use research resources.
  • F/F/F: Oh, you’re showing students how to use the library…how to check out books, tour, etc. Oh…right.
  • Me: Well, sort of…

And then I usually leave it at that, because yes…I am teaching students how to use the library, but also how to think through their topics, how to generate research questions, how to discover and use keywords that will work in library databases that don’t function like Google and why students need to think about those keywords because they could play a major role in why certain topics seem to only have articles on “one side” of the issue and why there really isn’t “one side” and the “other side” to most issues and…you get the picture. So, no, I’m not just showing students how to use the library, but I’m helping them learn how to learn, think about how to think, and give themselves the power and control that they need to find and use information that is going to help them create knowledge in order to help them build a better world. Amen!

Librarians teach, and we teach important stuff that is not just about how to check out a book…(which is still kind of important depending on who you’re talking to). If you’d like an idea of what librarians teach, please take a look at one of our fundamental documents, The ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. You’ll get the idea.

If I seem a little excited about this, well, that’s because I am. Teaching has become my favorite part of my job, and if you had told me that when I was in library school, I *really* wouldn’t have believed you. Here’s someone else who is excited to teach, and if you haven’t seen this before, please let it inspire you…(and please be warned that there is a little colorful language):

Taylor Mali, “What Teachers Make

…and the illustrated version from Zen Pencils 

Resources, Services, Tips

Do you have a tablet?

If you have a tablet, our library has a new way for you to keep up with your professional literature. It’s called Browzine, and it lets you browse the table of contents of some of your favorite journals from your tablet (iPad, Android, Kindle Fire HD). 

You will need to download the Browzine App and then set it up to work with our CSU Subscriptions. For more information, check out this guide:

For a nice overview of this service, complete with pictures, please see this article from The Chronicle, “Browzine: Academic Journals on Your Tablet.”


The Good News about Library Fair Use

This time of year, faculty are getting their reading materials together for their classes and putting them on reserve at the library. Questions about fair use may arise, but luckily we have experienced staff who can help, and a handy infographic on Library Fair Use from the Association of Research Libraries. 

Resources, Services, Tips

Do you have a library card?

A Poudre River Public Library District card, that is. If not, we’ve got a quick and easy way for our CSU faculty, staff, and students to get one. Just stop by Morgan Library right here at CSU!

Complete instructions are here: 

The public library has access to some amazing online content, including many popular e-books, audiobooks, and even movies. Check out their Downloadable Library page for more information. If your pursuits are more pragmatic, they have a wealth of online databases on their e-Resources page that can help you with everything from doing genealogical research to creating a business plan. One of the databases that a lot of the CSU community uses is their access to electronic back issues of the Fort Collins’ Coloradoan. Check it out! 

Resources, Services, Tips

Ordering books right from the catalog

Did you know that you can order a book to add to the Libraries’ collection right from our catalog? We load records into our catalog from selected academic publishers for books that we don’t yet own. That means you can help us select books for our collection with just a few keystrokes. Here’s how it works: 

1) Search the catalog for a specific title or topic. In the results, you may run across a record for a book that looks like this: 

catalog record with link to order book

2) Click on the link that says “This book is available for the library to purchase in print.”

3) Fill in your CSU eID and password, complete a quick form, and voilà! 

If you didn’t find the book you would like in our collection, you can suggest that we purchase it by using this form. Please get in touch if you have any questions.