Today’s postcard comes from Nonye Okechukwu, Head Librarian at the Lagos Business School (part of the Pan-Atlantic University), in Nigeria.
For me as an academic Librarian, ‘teaching’ is an integral part of my functions. The teaching could be scheduled (as in the welcome sessions for new intakes) or spontaneous ( as in the case of helping an information seeker or in discharging the functions in the role of a reference Librarian, taking groups on hands-on-training during the Library Happy Hours.) Whatever the occasion, the Librarian had better not be caught napping in this regard as this often draws the line between excellent customer service and the old traditional library disposition of waiting until specifically asked.
Academic librarians are often called “the teachers’ teacher” because we engage the faculty, Researcher, etc (users/information seeker) to gain greater insight into their information needs so as to inform the‘apt’ information to be given the user at the right time.
This function had exposed me to other area of wider teaching and training for my entire institution such as referencing styles, navigation of databases (both online & in-house), writing of the quarterly newsletters, the list goes on. The evergreen fact is that information seekers, whatever manner of information it may be, has the knack of thinking that ‘the Librarian should know’. So a huge responsibility of proper referrals (in the event of not knowing that particular piece of information at that time) is placed on her shoulders.
For me it’s been a life-long exhilarating experience of sharing ideas: I learn (from their questions and inputs) as I teach.
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