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Aug 28 2020 - 03:30 PM
Sound of Summer: Education Program 2020

Cousin to the cricket, the cicadas sing in late August in waves among the gingkos. Using their tymbals, they defy even the the most beautiful bluejay, heard, but unseen as of yet in an otherwise quiet, tree-lined street these past summer months. Steady chorus rising, then falling, from the underground they have come, to begin new life in their last few weeks of the season, truly an unprecedented one in New York City. Their chorus is the lovely and sure sign of summer, reminding me of childhood on the shores of Lake Michigan, professional life in the East, and emergence into a new Autumn at Teachers College. We are burrowing out of our shuttered city apartments, called toward safe campus return and the start of a new academic year, and we can marvel at an insect that sets the tone by giving a soothing voice to every tomorrow.

This summer the Gottesman Libraries Education Program focused on remote offerings, placing an emphasis on instructional opportunities, self-directed learning, and curated collections to encourage reading and usage of digital resources.

Beginning in late May we delivered numerous online workshops:

  • Summer Welcome for New Student Orientation (May 21 and May 26), to meet and greet students new to Teachers College
  • Researching from Home: Research A-Z (May 28, July 9), on the basics of research tools and strategies
  • Lit Review (June 10), on how to conduct a through search of the literature for a given topic
  • Show Me the Money (June 16), with tools and tips for grant seeking and writing
  • Children's Literature (June 25), covering resources held and ways of finding them
  • Zotero (June 18, July 2), with advice on using this popular citation management software
  • Mendeley (June 30, July 16), with advice on this alternative citation management tool
  • Special Education (July 22), covering resources in the field and in observance of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Cited Searching (July 28), for scholarly leads on authors, titles, and topics
  • Copyright (August 10), for help in understanding basic copyright law, fair usage, and application to education

Each month we highlighted databases to support College events and happenings; month-long observances; or trends in education: Alumni Resources (May, online commencement and lifelong learning), Gender and Education (June, in observance of Pride Month), On Diversity (July, recognizing the importance of racial justice, and Remote Learning (August, to inform current thinking and practice).

Designed by Trisha Barton, Staff Picks were curated monthly to reflect themes of special interest by Library Associates: Isolationist Thinking = Singular Thinking, by Raz Robinson, in response to the global pandemic; Endless Summer, by Annette Mims, thinking of the season; and Visibility on the History of Disability, by Lauren Young, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of ADA.

Everett Cafe online book exhibits related to current affairs, education, and learning environments: Classics of the Harlem Renaissance; Hearing Hoofbeats: On the History and Politics of Pandemics; and Teaching Antiracism, also curated by library staff and designed by Carlie Zhang.

Addressing Today in History, we posted news displays to the Library Blog on a variety of topics relevant to the programs and offerings of the College and/or in keeping with a lighter summer theme. In May we featured Florence Nightingale, American Red Cross, Aaron Douglas; in June, National Doughnut Day, Eulalie Spence, Statue of Liberty, Bicycle Is Patented; July, Battle of Gettysburg, Scopes Trial, Kenneth Bancroft Clark, First Moon Walk, ADA; and August, TC Race Relations Symposium, and Left-Handers Day. These displays complimented blog posts for the transitioned "Daily News from Around the World", drawn from Newseum and typically displayed as front pages in Everett Cafe.

Looking beyond the Education Program, we also addressed needs in library services and resources. We:

  • Adjusted summer hours and scheduling to reflect demand
  • Facilitated book returns to Whittier Hall of Residence, as well as by mail, in coordination with Safety and Security, and TC Residential Life
  • Published a copyright statement, including materials for Course Reserves, in collaboration with faculty and College Counsel
  • Compiled team planning documents for Collection Assessment; Design; Research and Information Services; and Library Technology
  • Submitted a short term, 3-5 year archives plan
  • Implemented a new digital born project, TC COVID 19 Community Archive, with a call for submissions
  • Surveyed needs with Facilities in the basement and subbasement, as per archives, historical, and framed art collections
  • Compiled the 2019-20 Myers Foundation report and addressed 2020-21 plans for acquisitions, conservation, and exhibitions, in coordination with Development and External Affairs
  • Coordinated with the TC Working Group on phased reopening plans for the library and high impact library services (paging and pick up, digital delivery)
  • Continued planning with TC IT and faculty for 2021 implementation of Exlibris products (new integrated library system)
  • Collaborated on a virtual orientation to the Gottesman Libraries for Student Affairs / New Student Orientation
  • Improved the library website, particularly top search, FAQ/ Knowledge Base entries, and made new pages for library services
  • Addressed 2019-20 performance appraisals

P.S. A species dating back a mere 40-200 million years, did you know that the cicada's late life wings represent a feat of natural engineering -- perfectly designed to repel water, kill bacteria, and self clean? Harkening back to school as the country still grapples with pandemic, the ancient insect goes even farther in one's estimation...