The Instruction and Outreach Department manages and coordinates library research instruction for students, faculty and staff through course-related workshops, outreach activities, personal consultations, research guides and other instructional materials.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Practicing Gratitude

Thanksgiving has put me in mind of the great benefits of practicing gratitude. As a recent blog post noted:

Did you know that human brains are hard-wired to scout for trouble? Back in caveman days, or even the wild wild west, continuously scanning your surroundings for trouble was a useful way for us to be hard-wired, since danger and life-threatening situations loomed around every corner.
But now that we live in the [comparatively] safer 21st century, this negativity-seeking hard-wire insures that we emphasize the troubles and worries in our life, rather than focusing on the good things. And while there are always plenty of bad things that go on in the world, there are also abundant good things.....if we remember to slow down long enough to pay attention.

So let me enumerate what I’m grateful for, library instruction wise, this year:

Duke's I&O staff:  I’ve got the best instruction staff around (no contest), and I’m grateful to Emily Daly and field experience students Alex Gallin and Jake Vaccaro for contributing to the success of the library’s instruction program.  We have had terrific field experience students and think the world of the UNC SILS program. Thanks, Stephanie Peterson and Jeff Pomerantz!

Support of library administration:  Lynne O’Brien is a wonderful boss; reporting to Lynne enables us to work closely with our Center for Instructional Technology colleagues (here's to you, CIT folks!).  That has given us a better understanding of teaching and learning at Duke.  We appreciate how the library’s Executive Group demonstrates interest and support for instruction.

Climate of innovation: Amazing and innovative things happen here at Duke, due in no small part to an organizational climate that encourages and values experimentation.  Interesting and important changes can happen quickly here, and our users benefit.

Library staff who do instruction at Duke:  My colleagues across the library value instruction,  and demonstrate a commitment to providing interesting and informative instruction to library users.  The 30+ library staff who deliver instruction here deserve a lot of praise for their efforts -- thank you!

The larger instruction community:  We’re fortunate to be located in an area where we have many talented library colleagues across the TRLN institutions and regionally.  The Duke Libraries provide encouragement and support for us to be involved nationally and internationally, so we can learn from others and share the good work that happens here.

As I look forward to celebrating two years at the Duke Libraries, I have a lot of reasons to practice gratitude.

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