I work at a predominantly undergraduate institution where all the librarians have to be generalists at least part of the time. As a result, some of the instruction I do falls outside of the sciences, and some of my additional projects aren’t directly related to the departments I serve.
For example, this week I will be teaching a one-shot session for a first year writing seminar. The overall topic for this seminar is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. A couple of weeks ago I taught a session to some local high school students who were looking for information on contemporary poets.
Back in library school, I took a class on “reference sources in the humanities”. While the actual reference sources covered haven’t been especially useful to me, the insights into the research culture of the humanities was very helpful. Did you know that books are much more important to scholarship in the humanities than they are in the sciences?
While I get nervous when students come to the reference desk looking for poetry information in the same way some of my colleagues probably get nervous when a student comes to the desk looking for NMR spectra, I have the skills to help most of them find the resources they need.
And when they have in-depth, senior-thesis, primary-sources-in-history types of questions, we have a well established research consultation service at my library so that I can refer them to one of my amazingly capable colleagues for the help they need.