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WPA-Denver: Working with Librarians

posted: 8.5.08 by archived

The first session I attended at Denver included a presentation by Sara Jameson, the current acting WPA at Oregon State University. I have a special place in my heart for OSU because I grew up on that university (my pops taught there for 30+ years). Anyway, I was excited to see Sara’s presentation not just because she works at OSU, but also because she’s worked extensively with Michael Faris, a queer comp colleague of mine. This was a great way to start off the conference.

While Sara had a bunch of great material and ideas, the one that resonated most deeply with me was her ongoing collaboration with Anne-Marie Deitering. This is one example of their work: a piece about embedding information literacy in FYC. As I see it, this kind of collaboration across disciplines and departments is exactly what we, as compositionists, should be doing.

Given the current pace for tech development, the flurry of new online tools, and the overwhelming tides of information, there is no way we can be experts at everything. Therefore, it behooves us to not just work with people to get things done; collaboration, in and of itself, seems like one of the best and most efficient ways to harness our own unique skill sets with others and work toward a common project.

As a side note, it has been my experience that librarians can be some of the coolest, quirkiest, and most interesting folks around (outside of comp, of course 🙂 ). Compositionists work with texts. Librarians work with texts. If we share our perspectives, means of categorizing (please do not hit me with theories about categorization! Please!), and tools for organizing, perhaps we can better crystalize our own understandings and pass on the best, most efficient tools to our students so that they can achieve the success they construct for themselves.

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Categories: Adjunct Advice, Gregory Zobel, Professional Development & Service
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2 Responses to “WPA-Denver: Working with Librarians”

  1. Sara J Says:

    Thanks, Greg – I’m glad you liked the presentation – especially as it contained a screen shot from your blog on how we can try to keep being as tech savvy as possible. We need constant collaboration with colleagues to keep on the cusp. Now I’m trying to turn the presentation into an article – has to have all the slides, though, so I’m thinking a web platform is best. Any thoughts?

    And what library resources do you have in No. Calif? Can you inspire them to collaborate the way we do? Really, it’s Anne-Marie’s work that makes this possible. Have you read her blog? Info-Fetishist”
    You could read the article she and I collaborated on:
    Step-by-step (I think that’s the link.
    Let me know what you think. You could use the same methods in your teaching.

    Sara

  2. Gregory Zobel Says:

    Sara,

    Have you thought about Kairos? Maybe check out some of there stuff. Also, check out the TechRhet list hosted at Interversity. Good stuff there, and perhaps the veterans there can offer more useful publication advice.

    I’ve planned to review your step-by-step piece again this week, and I look forward to using parts of it (at least) in class. I’ll let you know!

    Best,
    gz