Thursday, October 30, 2008

The More Things Change...

Yesterday I spoke to a class of incipient librarians at Syracuse University. "Introduction to the Library and Information Profession" is the introductory course in the Master's Degree program in the Information School. It was great fun and there was a lively Q&A discussion. They were mainly interested in my day-to-day activities, but we also talked about ethics, problem patrons, fund raising and a host of other topics. I told them that when I took this course I was brand new to librarianship, but most of my classmates were working librarians. In the first class, I was worried when they started using library jargon such as OCLC, union catalogs, ILS, etc. I frantically wrote these down so I could look them up later. When last night's class was over, one of the students approached me and said, "I want you to see my notebook." There, at the top of the first page were the notes he'd taken back in September. The very first sentence read, "What is OCLC?" We both had a good laugh about that. (For the non-librarians, OCLC stands for the Online Library Computer Center, a nonprofit computer library service and research organization that provides bibliographic, abstract and full-text information. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the OCLC Online Union Catalog. Still not sure what it is? You'll have to take the course.)


At 11:57 AM, Blogger StephZ said...

Hi Dave,
In one of my first library classes, the instructor told us that his image of OCLC was the Borden milk cow, and that he had always thought it was "Oh see, Elsie"


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