I teach, you know…

So I do teach quite a bit as an instruction librarian in the sciences, and sometimes things just don’t go right.

So Tuesday I got 20 minutes during an engineering class to introduce some of our indexing tools. The room setup wasnt fabulous; I like to go point to the screen, then go click on links and whatnot, and generally wander around. This room setup had me with the screen behind me beyond many cords on the floor and sideways to my little laptop, who was sitting on a table about thigh level. I couldnt really see well what was going on.

I’m going on and on about this and that, and I begin by pulling up Scifinder Scholar to demo some of it’s finer features (this is something I don’t use very often, as it technically belongs to the chemistry librarian, which I am not). Scifinder is special in that it requires software hosted on your machine that connects to the ACS database in order to allow for the drawing of chemical structures. I go to my applications folder and initiate the software, talking while it’s loading about our concurrent users limit. I glance behind me at the screen and click on the highlighted blue button to continue, talk a bit more, and turn around and the software is gone. I say, “Hmm, interesting” and reload it, talk some more. I go through the same process, and click on the same blue button, resulting in a titter of laughter from the class (which should have been my first warning sign). Yes, the software is gone again. This time I ask outloud and mostly to myself, “Well, now were did it go? Why did that happen?” Suggested from a third row student, “You’re clicking Decline instead of Accept.” Ooooooooh, Duh. Well, at least our brilliant Mudders read….

So I go on, successfully clicking the right damned button this time.

We move on. I pull up the keyword feature and input my selected term, “biodiesel,” suggested by the audience. 3 results. From a major term, I should’ve had way more. I begin to talk about how to think creatively about keyword synonyms to maximize search variables, and I ask the students, “Now what would you do?” Suggested from a first row student, “Well, I’d spell the keyword right in the first place.”

Note to self – pay more attention, and practice spelling keywords BEFORE the session so I sort of look like I know what I’m doing… *LOL*

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