Reflections on Summer #1

I have a note on my desk to remind me to reflect on my experiences and problems and construct my own understanding.  Time and time again I remind myself that reflection is an important part of the learning process; I need to be mindful of my successes and failures and in my day-to-day activities.  The following text is a bit jumbled, as it is my reflection on my first summer employed by a university.  I think this is representative of my experience.  I’ve discovered that summer is a time to work on many projects in rapid succession.

Other academic librarians that I met had told me that the summer is a time to recoup after a long year.  I imagined that my summer would be spent accomplishing a big project (didn’t happen…).  It didn’t occur to me that I would teach for the entire summer.  Yes, it isn’t quite as busy, but the ACCESS classes that I serve go through the summer – so there wasn’t a break.

I did finish a few marketing projects.  I have become more fluid in Adobe Illustrator, so these kinds of projects don’t take me nearly as long as my first design project.

We met as a group of librarians and started trying to identify learning outcomes across the EN-103 classes. This type of project needs to be developed in the summer and then implemented in the fall.  We still have yet to establish a plan for implementation.  Hopefully that occurs in the next week or two.

I utilized LibWizard, a new Springshare tool, for the first time this summer and developed a few quizzes with embedded tutorials.  Students and faculty have responded well to the interactive aspect of these tutorials.  I also implemented a new library space in Blackboard  utilizing the Springshare LTI. Embedded services and resources are more user-friendly, right?  Great interest in this application across campus as well.

Thus far, my entire experience as an academic librarian has been at break-neck speed.  The clear difference I see between my summer and school year schedules is in my priorities.  When students and faculty are on campus my priority is providing great service.  When the library is empty and my inbox isn’t raining e-mails I am able to focus on library improvements and developing new resources.  It’s an interesting and engaging cycle.

Author: Jess Denke

Assessment and Outreach Librarian at Muhlenberg College

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