Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back to School

Classes at library school started back up this week. I've had one Monday, a class on Humanities Research. The professor is kind of, well, an odd duck. A lot of students don't like him. HIs lectures are free-wheeling stream of consciousness, often diverging completely from the topic at hand. He also frequently works in references to himself for no reason at all---his ties to French Royalty, his published books, his friendship with big name critics. When I was buying my textbooks Monday morning, I ran into someone I know who expressed great sympathies for my taking a class with him.

I took a class of his last spring, though, and I really like him. I find him entertaining, he really cares about the students and he does know a lot. The work he gives, although sometimes tedious, really pushes the students to learn how to use a variety of sources: databases, standard print reference sources and even old, rare (and hard to find) volumes. I also really appreciate his point of view that librarians need to keep informed of the subject area they work in, and not just know how to look up information. For example, along with the three library science text books we're also reading Jacques Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence, a book that examines western culture from 1500 A.D. to the present day.

My other class is on Thursdays, and is on College and University Libraries. I'm mostly taking that for career reasons. Although I'm working in a public library now, I don't know where the jobs will be when I'm done. I felt like I needed some exposure to how Academic Libraries work before I graduate, and with so many colleges in the area I hope it will help with my job search I've heard mixed things about the professor. That he's kind of dry, but really knows the material and that he gives challenging but fair assignments. We'll see how it goes. All in all, I'm looking forward to the semester.


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