This week, our chat reference service launched at 7 universities. While libraries co-operate well, they have a hard time staffing the service in the evening and on weekends. We thus rely on a hoard of really good interns, library school students and recent graduates of the MISt program.
Last week we trained them. In some ways, interns need less training. For one thing, they’re younger than a lot of the librarians at universities, which means their ‘chat competency’ (ability to feel out the situation for the right tone, to respond quickly, to ‘get’ the nineteen year old on the other end) tends to be higher. Also, because they’ve been in school so recently, they’ve been forced to go through the RUSA guidelines for providing reference service, and they have (in my experience) more empathy for scattered students on a deadline.
But they probably aren’t providing reference instruction and research support on a regular basis, so we brought them all to the iSchool for a day of training on a variety of topics.
I ran a session on finding resources. I WISH I’d gotten more instruction on how to search as an iSchool student. I still don’t feel particularly competent, and even planning a one-hour overview took a LOT of time, despite the many platforms I had to cover.
You know what, in particular, I needed help with? Despite working with and around vendors all day every day?
Distinguishing between a platform and a database! So I made these diagrams, mostly as a reference for myself:
And then I decided they were dumb/insufficient, and cut them from my mega-dull (but very short!) powerpoint.
So now they are going to live here. I’m not even sure they’re right, to be honest. Who teaches these things? What the heck?