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Katie Fraser's blog and website

I'm an academic librarian, working in the UK Higher Educational sector, supporting academics and students. Prior to this, I was a researcher, working with social and learning technologies.

My interests include the application of emerging and traditional technologies, research support in libraries, learning spaces, evidence-based practice and the professional development of library and information workers.

You can find out more about more about me from the links to the left. Note that the views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other individual or organisation.

Library Day in the Life — Day 1 — 24/01/11

January 24th, 2011


Leicester's New Walk in snow

Leicester's New Walk in snow

This is my third set of posts as part of the Library Day in the Life project, although it’s the sixth round of the project as a whole, which aims to record typical (and atypical) days of library workers around the world. You can find all of my posts within this project under the librarydayinthelife tag. For those new to this blog, I am an academic librarian, providing scientific subject support at a UK university.

A slightly strange day for me: usually I work on Tuesday, Wednesday and on Friday morning, but this week I moved my Friday morning to Monday afternoon so I could attend a talk in Leicester’s new ‘Intrepid Researcher’ series.

As usual on a half day, one event sucks away all time except that I have to wade through my emails and ‘must do’ work items, sorting out immediate problems – such as a workshop arranged for a day I’m not in next week. Then I headed off for the talk.

The seminar was Ray Land, talking about the educational implications of ‘Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge’ (more on Threshold Concepts here). It’s a topic I know a little about as I produced an annotated bibliography and short literature review on it in an exercise during my MA Librarianship course. I was particularly interested in attending because I’m reflecting on my teaching in my chartership, and because most of the sessions I am teaching this year are new to me, so I’m curious to identify topics students struggle with (find ‘troublesome’. Jo Webb informs me that Moria Bent has looked into applying this theory in the context of information literacy, as evidenced by a brief mention in their joint presentation together here – I’ll update if I can find anything with more detail. Critical analysis is one idea Ray mentioned which I have particularly identified students struggling with in my classes.

Often my days (especially my half days!) offer little chance for reflection, so I always try to take the chance to go to a session like this, which offers some structured space to think about how I do what I do. However, it meant that this, a little constructive chat with other attendees, and email checking was practically the sum of my day!

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