Awesome Library Day In The Life

I decided last minute to do Library Day in the Life this time around. It all started this morning when I was at the gym. As I was working out I was listening to Steve Thomas’s most recent Circulating Ideas podcast featuring Bobbi Newman. I’ve really been enjoying these podcasts and liked listening to Bobbi talk about this grassroots project. It inspired me to share my day, especially since it was particularly awesome.

After working out and showering I got into the office, answered some emails, and did some much needed organizing of my desk and reading area (as you can see from the papers strewn about on my floor).

mess on the floor

I then spent the morning at the reference desk. I chatted with our director about spring/summer planning and staff retreats that are always really productive. I also got a video uploaded to our YouTube channel about annotated bibliographies (related to an assignment that our students will be working on soon).

I also was able to help a couple people on some really interesting questions. One was a student who wanted help brainstorming ideas for a capstone project on ethics in marketing. I was thinking about issues like privacy and filter bubbles, but we hit on to the idea of stereotyping and gender in marketing. I was thinking of a misogynistic commercial for Dr Pepper 10 that especially annoyed me and all the questions that marketing of that nature raised. I also was able to help someone who was looking for historical and primary material related to Samuel de Champlain and records of his journeys. I referred him to the bibliography of the newish book Champlain’s Dream and ultimately found digitized copies of Champlain’s work and works related to him from the Champlain Society (pretty awesome).

The best part of the day though was when I left the desk and headed over to our Emergent Media Center on campus and joined a group of faculty, staff, grad students, and undergrads who came together for a Design for America brainstorming meeting. “Design for America teaches human centered design to young adults and collaborating community partners through extra-curricular, university based, student led design studios.” These studios bring together folks from all disciplines to create real solutions to real problems in their communities. Champlain students want to bring a DFA studio to our college and this was a big step in that process.

Design for America brainstorming

The brainstorming session involved thinking about a specific scenario, taking time on our own to come up with solutions and then brainstorm as a four person team to solve a problem. We got to write, draw, use blocks, and mold clay to creatively come up with solutions to our problem. It was an awesome start to the process and I’m going to continue working on the team. We have a month to agree on a problem, design a solution, briefly test our design, and create a video about it. As the librarian in the group I’ve agreed to start working on the research aspect of the problem.

Projects like this are undoubtedly one of the most valuable things I can do in my job. They allow me to connect and build relationships with other faculty members, staff, and grad & undergrad students and bring my expertise to things that we are all working on.

The day ended by running back to the office late, picking up my CSA, and catching the bus home. Luckily it’s almost the weekend…

Andy Burkhardt

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