Monday, April 28, 2008

Discontented bratty behavior

One week left in the spring term, one weekend left in the spring term, and four days of finals left in the spring term; time left until my brain explodes can not be calculated in terms. Though in all fairness, the state of my brain really has no bearing on the students, their haphazard completion of work, or even their end of term neediness. That's why I'm there.

I have been reading a lot lately about librarian burn out. Professionals who have so many responsibilities due to budget cuts, disinterest, and perhaps even a bit of management ennui, that they are running from the library in droves. Not to that point yet, I can say I understand what is driving this discourse. My professional discontent, no surprise here, is web page based. Weeks of meetings have extended into months of discussion. All along the new library web page has made only negotiable progress. For the last two weeks we have been discussing what topics go under the heading "find" on the new page.

Yes, for the last two weeks.

Understandably, each suggestion is followed by discussion of its potential pertinence to the category. Understandably, vocabulary should be evaluated from both a user and librarian perspective. But two weeks of discussion to determine if we use article, journal, periodical, or magazine to describe the serials collection borders on ridiculous. Quite frankly students do not care how we arrive at the decision. As librarians we need to make a vocabulary decision, define it in simple terms, use it consistently throughout the web site and during instruction sessions, and build upon it moving towards information literacy standards. Informed users make better research decisions. It is not that hard; subscribe to the KISS theory, keep it simple stupid. That groundwork, in my personal opinion, is the basis for the aforementioned bratty behavior. I am not particularly proud of it, but it is what it is (obviously I am not very loquacious this evening).

Moving on ...

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