I've been teaching at the iSchool since the summer term of 2004. I was first an adjunct instructor and then, starting in the 2007-2008 academic year, a full-time teaching professor. I come from a practitioner background, having over twenty years of professional experience working in specialized, research, and academic libraries. My main research interests include ethical issues within librarianship and library services to humanists and social scientists. I teach a variety of courses within the M.S. (LIS) program.
My approach to teaching is two-pronged. First, students are presented with a variety of hands-on, practical learning experiences because it is by actually doing a given activity that we truly learn it. Students in my classes have opportunities to improve their database search skills, explore both print and electronic reference tools, and create their own practical, service-oriented tools such as pathfinders, wiki entries, and subject guides. Second, students will gain an understanding of the “why” behind what we do, as well as the “what” and the “how.” We can have the best technical skills in the world, but unless we understand the theory and philosophy behind what we practice, an important part of our foundation is missing. To this end, students are presented with readings and case studies which illuminate the core principles of librarianship and encourage them to engage critically with current developments and controversies within the field.
Graduate school is also an excellent venue for learning other critical skills which are valuable in the workplace. Students have the opportunity to practice and improve upon the following abilities: communication (both oral and written); reading comprehension; time management; the meeting of deadlines; and critical thinking. Students are asked to perform work independently and in small groups, to foster both a sense of individual responsibility and the ability to work collaboratively as part of a team. All students are encouraged to strive toward the highest level of excellence they are capable of achieving.