“Aren’t you bored?”: a short dialogue from a local library conference

Written by: Rachel Minkin

Primary Source: Information Literary Resources

“I don’t know HOW you do what you do, Rachel. Aren’t you bored? You teach the same class 30 times a semester…”

I stopped her right there. Librarians need to be stopped every now and again.

“Colleague,” I began (I didn’t really call her colleague, she has a real name), “I provide library instruction to 30 First Year Writing classes each semester, and yes, there are duplicates in the bunch. Maybe several sections of one course number, a similar assignment across all the sections.. but in no way are those 30 classes the same. I never teach the same class twice.”

I was warming up.

“In fact, within my 30 sessions of First Year Writing, about the ONLY thing they have in common is that they’re first year writing students! My students are from all over Michigan, all over the US, all over the world. My students are from high schools that didn’t teach any writing and high schools that not only taught writing and inquiry, but did so in more than one language. Their instructors are TAs from other departments, fixed-term and fully tenured faculty, each with their own teaching nuances, each with their own take on the standardized assignments. My students are bored and excited and laconic and chatty…”

She stopped me right there. Librarians need to be stopped every now and again.

“Next session starts in 5 minutes. We better run.”

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Rachel Minkin
Rachel M. Minkin is an Information Literacy Librarian, responsible for leading information literacy sessions for the first-year students taking Tier One Writing class in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures. Prior to beginning at Michigan State in August 2011, Rachel was a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Lansing Community College (Lansing, MI) and the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA).