Friday, November 2, 2007

All School Day Review (Fall 2007)

All School Day was this past weekend, and we had a bunch of fun, learned some new things, and went home with too much stuff!
Some students were unable to attend because of distance or prior commitments, so we'll try to give you all an idea of what the speakers had to say.

First up we had Walter Betts, TCU systems librarian and TWU adjunct professor, speaking on the Future of Librarianship. He showed us part of an old video from 1947 called The Librarian that explains the librarian profession to potential new librarians. This film is available in the Prelinger Archives at, and may be viewed below.

Betts recommended we look at the Prelinger Collection, if we had not already, as a source of public domain, goofy educational videos created from (approximately) the 1940s to the 1970s. Betts also showed us the trailer to the recent film The Hollywood Librarian.

Betts went on to speak about an experiment/study he conducted on a class of his where he had his cataloging students participate in a reference interview as the patron. Although many students had rarely or never participated as the patron in a reference interview, they were reluctant to do so because they felt that as library students, they did not need professionals. Results showed that the students greatly benefited by using a librarian for help because doing so led them to useful sources they would not have otherwise know to use. Even librarians should use other librarians for help when they are researching a collection they are unfamiliar with, since the librarian that is familiar with the collection, will almost always be able to share ideas and resources that would otherwise be missed.

Betts believes that librarians remain relevant, but they must serve patron needs and make their resources and core services known. Librarians provide remote access to databases, Interlibrary Loan services, instruction in ESL and GED, supply computers and Internet connections, and provide quiet study areas. There is a great future for librarians.

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