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AUTHOR AND WEBMASTER
October 8, 2001
Yeah, some understanding of Dewey is important. And, OK, so is OPAC operation. But aren't we jumping the gun a little here? What basics should librarians teach before attempting Bibliographic Instruction, let alone the principles of Information Literacy?
LESSON 1: DOORS
Doors are for entering and leaving the building. They are not conversation pits or bag storage areas.
Although the lintel makes a good swing-bar, it is not designed for this purpose. Some doors open and close automatically - this is to allow you to enter and leave, not for the amusement of the indolent.
- Identify a door
- Demonstrate the use of a door
- Locate doors on a map of the library
- Draw a door
- Make a model of a door
|Practice walking straight through a doorway without hesitating or leaving anything in your wake.
LESSON 2: CHAIRS
Chairs are a type of furniture designed for sitting purposes. It is unwise to stand on them, because they sometimes fall sideways or backwards. Most chairs in libraries have 4 legs, which should be kept in contact with the floor.
You should not throw chairs, as they lack the aerodynamics of aircraft. They are also have more projecting parts than a ball, and are therefore slightly dangerous when airborne.
Although chairs make a convenient depository for used chewing gum, this will present a hazard to your health, particularly if you are caught.
- Identify a chair in a group of other furniture
- Demonstrate the use of a chair
- Describe different types of chairs
- Label a diagram of a chair
|Practice sitting on a chair without attaching anything to the underside, or attempting to launch it into space.
LESSON 3: TABLES
Tables are designed to hold reading and writing tools, such as books, pens, and paper. Feet should be placed on the floor, unless you are going to use them for writing purposes.
Some people confuse tables, chairs and floors. Chairs are for sitting on, not tables. Feet should be on the floor, not the chairs or on tables.
Tables do make good platforms for performances. Unfortunately, the library cannot supply sufficient improvised stages for everyone. Therefore, in the interests of fairness to all, libraries do not permit you to stand on tables except in times of flood.
- Locate a table in the library
- Demonstrate placement of feet under the table
- Sythesize the combined use of a chair (from previous lesson) with the use of a table
- Describe consequences of improper table use (may be written or by oral presentation)
Practice sitting in a chair at a table. Advanced students may attempt this while either reading or writing.
LESSON 4: SHELVES
Library shelves are designed for book storage. Gaps between groups of books are quite normal in a library. There is no need for you to fill these gaps with books from other shelves, or with food scraps.
Rows of shelves are arranged in libraries in a particular order. Librarians like it this way. Changing this arrangement can make librarians very sad, if not downright angry.
The rows of shelves are placed in groups called bays. In a library, the word bay doesn't refer to the generation of animal noises.
Bays are placed in groups called runs. The word run doesn't refer to library user movement through the library. Fast movement should be restricted to eyes, as this is less distracting for other library users, and causes less damage to both people and equipment.
- Indicate location of a shelf
- Take ONE book off a shelf
- Replace book on shelf in SAME position
- Drill and practice: WALKING past shelf
Practice looking at things on shelves, without putting anything on them that wasn't there before. Do not practice this in a library WITHOUT supervision until you have mastered this exercise at home.
LESSON 5: BOOKS
Books are made of paper, which may not be very robust.
The pages of a book are glued, stapled or sown together, and may not be very robust.
On the outside of library books are a number of stickers (barcodes and spine labels), which may not be very robust.
The books are purchased, processed, and administered by the librarians, who may not be very robust.
- Locate a dictionary
- Look up the word robust
- Construct a draft letter to the library staff for previous, current and future damage to library books
Locate and return all overdue library books. Insert letter of apology for damage to book. Attach an appropriate amount of money for replacement of the book, together with a monetary compensation for previous, current and future "pain and suffering" caused to library staff.
NEXT SET OF LESSONS:
|Newspapers, Journals and Magazines
|Videos as Information Sources
|Photocopiers, Scanners and Buttocks
|Librarians are People Too
|What Your Parents Didn't Tell You About Libraries