Friday, 18 February 2011

Don't make it easy for them!

I'm catching up with some posts at last! Been too busy with teaching lately (we did have to see 400 students in groups of 8 over 3 days...) but enough of excuses!

Don't make it easy for them was a little article on ACRLog by Andy Burkhardt of Champlain College, Vermont.
He says :
"I love customer service in libraries. I love improving our systems and services so they are more user-friendly. I love helping students with their research and answering their questions. But I don’t want to make things easy for students. If I did, I wouldn’t be giving them what they want: an education."

Then he goes into the old quandary : are we there to guide or do the work for them?
I understand this only too well because in a few moments I have to e-maila student about books on outsourcing. He seems to expect me to recommend an exact book and if there are no books with that subject keyword or title, we have failed. So do I take the easy way out and go search through dozens of book indexes or spend as long explaining how to do it in an e-mail? I shall do the latter but as Andy says "it's hard work" and "If my job is starting to seem easy, I’m doing something wrong."

Pic is of our learning space in the 70s. So they used to work in groups then too!

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