Georgia Tech Library Tours Promote Writing and Communication Success in ENGL1101/1102 and LCC3403

Georgia Tech Library's Main Entrance

Georgia Tech Library’s Rotunda Entrance

Last Friday, I brought my ENGL1101 (College Writing I) and LCC3403 (Technical Communication) students to the Georgia Tech Library for a tour of the facilities and services (and archives for LCC3403).

I believe that libraries are an incredibly important part of one’s on-going learning, personal development, and professional distinction. Libraries aggregate knowledge for its readers through books, journals, databases, and other media. Libraries make it possible for readers to build connections between sources of knowledge, visualize relationships between books on the shelf or articles in a database, and discover things chaotically, serendipitously, and orderly. Libraries, in their own right, are a university for the self-motivated, curiosity-fueled learner. It is the kind of place where people like Ray Bradbury earn a cap and gown.

For these reasons, I am a firm believer in taking my students to the library early each semester and reminding them of its virtues and possibilities throughout the semester. I tell my students that the library is one place where you can grow beyond your peers and become part of a larger conversation in your field of study (or in other domains of knowledge that might enrich their success in untold ways). Furthermore, the Library is the embodiment of interdisciplinarity, because it unites all the disciplines’ collected knowledge in one place for all students and faculty.

Practically, I encourage them to use the library early and often so that they won’t think that it is difficult or hard later on when it might count a lot more in their studies.

Librarian Sherri Brown

Librarian Sherri Brown

With the help of Sherri Brown, the reference and subject librarian for the School of Literature, Media, and Communication and the Writing and Communication Program, I easily reserved a time for each tour and she coordinated with the other librarians and staff to pull off a well-orchestrated, hour-long tour.

Inside the Rotunda

Inside the Rotunda

We began in the rotunda entrance of the Library for a brief introduction to the library and its computing resources.

Learning about the Multimedia Studio

Learning about the Multimedia Studio

Then, we walked downstairs into the basement to visit the Multimedia Studio and its terrific wide-format plotter.

First Floor East Commons near the Science Fiction Collection

First Floor East Commons near the Science Fiction Collection

We stopped by the first floor, east to see the circulating Science Fiction collection before going upstairs to the second floor, east to see the periodicals and microfiche area.

Second Floor East and Periodicals and Microfiche

Second Floor East and Periodicals and Microfiche

Then, Justin Ellis, Library Associate in charge of Gadgets talked with my students about the many technologies from cameras to laptops to tablets that can be checked out for fun or study (or both).

Justin Ellis

Justin Ellis

Gadgets, like books, are a technology to be circulated via the Library.

Gadgets, like books, are a technology to be circulated via the Library.

My LCC3403 students had a special treat on their tour, because we visited the Georgia Tech Archives where Jody Thompson, the Head of Archives, introduced institute-oriented holdings (e.g., the Technique or planning reports) and how to search them. They will be using the Archives as part of their final project to propose and implement a technical communication solution to a problem that they identify around campus.

Head of Archives Jody Thompson

Head of Archives Jody Thompson

Learning about the Archives

Learning about the Archives

Many thanks to Sherri, Justin, and Jody for helping my students navigate and use Georgia Tech’s incredible Library!

CFP: CCCC 2011 Session: “Contesting This Space, Contesting This Knowledge: A Session on Conferences”

Andrew Pilsch and I went to Georgia Tech together before he went off to Penn State, and I went across the pond to the University of Liverpool and then back again to Kent State. During that time, Andrew has been, I think, methodically forming a humanities vanguard to critique, challenge, and shake up the academy to the aid of graduate students such as ourselves. Maybe he’s doing all of those things, or none of those things. I don’t mean to write a manifesto for his work, but he has posted a brilliant session cfp for CCCC 2011 on “Contesting This Space, Contesting This Knowledge: A Session on Conferences.” I’ve included his cfp below. Please email Andrew if you’re interested in taking part in what I believe will be a fantastic discussion. I have a feeling that Andrew’s work here will lead to constructive rethinking of the conference perhaps through his own plans or by getting others to reflect on what it is we do by conferencing in big and small ways. Just check out his calculations on the collective distance of all CCCC 2010 participants on his Twitter feed here to get a hint of what he’s working on.

CCCC 2011 Session: “Contesting This Space, Contesting This Knowledge: A Session on Conferences” (4/30)

full name / name of organization:
Andrew Pilsch / Pennsylvania State University
contact email:
atp128@psu.edu
cfp categories:
rhetoric_and_composition

A session on the rhetoric of the academic conference.

Once again, several hundred of us will be descending on a major metropolis to give a paper, meet up with old friends, and find out what’s new in the many fields that operate under the banner of CCCC. All the while, though, many of us may do so without thinking about the nature of professional conferences and their roles in our personal and professional lives.

This proposed session seeks to question the nature of the academic conference and the kinds of knowledges that get produced within such spaces. Additionally, papers should in some way analyze the rhetoric surrounding conferences (the way we talk about them, the way we write for them, the way they talk about themselves, etc.). That said, any aspect of conference-going would be welcome as a topic, including but not limited to:

  • The conference paper as knowledge artifact
  • Literacy and writing practices embodied within the conference presentation
  • Performance in the conference paper
  • Technology of/in presentations (Powerpoint, websites, etc.)
  • The oral/written divide in conference presentation
  • The role of the conference in the professional lives of scholars
  • The economic implications of conference-going
  • Rethinking the nature of the conference in light of the various, current “crises” in academic life
  • The logistics of conference organization
  • The physical spaces of conferences (social and professional)
  • Conferences and the social life of the mind

Please email proposals of at most 250 words by April 30th if you would be interested in participating in this session.

Original cfp available here.