Instructional Services Librarian and Coordinator of Reference and Assessment
Lycoming College – Williamsport, PA
EasyBib subscriber since: August 2012
You never know where life can take you, and that was certainly the case for Mary. As a French and German major, she had hoped to work with international non-profit organizations, but was unable to find a job that fit. Librarianship wasn’t even on her mind until a fateful trip to a friend’s college alma malter. “I saw a sign for the library school [on campus] and right then and there said, ‘That’s what I want to do.'” She enrolled at that school–Indiana University–and earned her Master’s in Library Science.
Since then Mary has found her niche as as a librarian at Lycoming College. “I love the intellectual challenges that happen everyday and I enjoy working with students. We have a lot fun and there is opportunity for creativity. For example, yesterday we dressed up as Charlie’s Angels for a marketing poster. A theater student came in to do our faces and there’s nothing quite like being in the make-up chair when the provost walks through! Thankfully, he has a sense of humor.”
Mary is also busy presenting and publishing on topics such as plagiarism prevention and gaming in library instruction. Her current article, “Using Games to Make Formative Assessment Fun in an Academic Library,” will be printed within the next few months in The Journal of Academic Librarianship, one of the biggest journals for academic librarians. I caught up with Mary to learn a little more about formative assessment and her experiences with EasyBib.
What is formative assessment?
They are “in-the-process-of-learning” assessments, not like tests which happen at the end. Formative assessments are usually little, frequent and informal but happen while students are still learning and the teacher is still teaching.
The easiest example of formative assessment is a discussion. When you facilitate a discussion in class you get a sense of where there’s a problem and it can be immediately addressed, or if students are more advanced, the lesson can move on to another topic. This is especially important for librarians who can use this to inform how they teach unfamiliar students as a class progresses.
I understand that EasyBib helped you write your journal article.
It was instrumental in wrapping my brain around how to organize the information, and using the Notebook feature helped get my notes into outline format. It also saved me on the bibliography. The Journal of Academic Librarianship used Chicago-style endnotes for a long time. After my article was approved, I received an email saying it needed to be reformatted for APA and parenthetical citations. I nearly died. But I had everything in EasyBib, so it made the bibliography a little easier to edit.
I’m also using EasyBib to help with other projects and am loving the share feature. I led a webinar and was trying to think of a way to share recommended readings and the resources I cited in my presentation. EasyBib let me set those aside, then just provide a short link in my presentation. In addition, I am now beginning a book manuscript and have been tracking my readings in EasyBib. I have been able to share what I’ve done so far with my co-authors, who have started adding additional resources.
Has EasyBib helped your students, as well?
We’ve only had OCLC-EasyBib Library Edition since last August, so awareness of our EasyBib subscription is building up slowly. There was a freshman composition class last semester where the professor required the use of EasyBib. I came in and showed the students how EasyBib worked and they took off with it! Students figured things out without additional instruction.
This professor was actually raving about EasyBib the other day at a faculty gathering that focused on sharing tips for becoming better teachers, stating that students invest in fine-tuning citations instead of spending all the time on how to do them in the first place. Now she has more time to teach students when citations belong in their papers, critical thinking skills, and have them focus on the bigger picture. She said the bibliographies have never looked so good.
I’ve also shown EasyBib to the writing center tutors. These are excellent students and once I got to the Notebook feature they got really excited. I’ve heard the tutors now choose to use EasyBib for their own research and are starting to suggest it to students.
Did you use EasyBib as a student, too, or when did you first hear about it?
I heard about EasyBib from librarian friend. I don’t know how it popped into her head but we were in the vendor room at the ALA annual conference in Anaheim and she grabbed my arm and said, “You have to go meet these people. It’s the coolest software ever.”
A huge thanks to Mary for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat about life, librarianship, and EasyBib. If you’d like to be featured as part of EasyBib’s Customer Profile series, please fill out this form. We are looking for librarians from all types of schools and locations. We’d love to hear from you!
Wendy Ikemoto is a Library Marketing and Outreach Associate at EasyBib. Harking back to her public librarian roots, Wendy is sometimes seen volunteering at and skipping about the local children’s library. Find more library and EasyBib news you can use on the EasyBib Librarians Facebook page.