Alice Schreyer

L-10: Introduction to Special Collections Librarianship

17-21 July 2006


1)   How useful were the pre-course readings?

1: They were extremely helpful. 2: Pre-course readings were useful to the understanding of the courses. 3: Very useful, very practical, and realistic in the amount of materials we were assigned to comprehend and manage before the class. 4: They were a helpful introduction to topics we discussed throughout the week. The background really helped make in-class discussions more interesting. 5: Moderately useful. 6: I enjoyed the readings, and they were very relevant to the work I do now. We didn’t specifically discuss each reading in class. 8: The readings were related, but I thought that some of the materials in the course reader could have been included in the pre-reading list. 9: Useful -- very basic. 10: The pre-course readings were helpful. 11: Very, although we were provided with the same readings in our course packet (with additional articles/materials). 12. Very helpful and good background.


2)   Were the course syllabus and other materials distributed in class useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?

1: Yes. 2: They will be still useful in the future. 3: Yes, I will be returning to them again and again. 4: They were a helpful guide during class and I know I will refer to them again. 5: Yes. Syllabus and materials were well chosen for the course. I anticipate making significant use of them in the future. 6-7: Yes. 8: Yes, useful during and after. 9: Yes. There was a nice mix of current print and online resources. 10: The course packet will be very helpful in the future and were in class, particularly the bibliography. 11: Yes. 12. The material in the booklet will be very useful when I return to work.


3)   What aspects of the course content were of the greatest interest or relevance for your purposes? Was the intellectual level of the course appropriate?

1: I tend to think myopically regarding special collections. I appreciated that this class opened up other issues, which I also need to consider. I especially appreciated the time Christian Dupont took to speak to our class. 2: It gave me basic knowledge on special collections organization. The intellectual level of the course was appropriate. 3: Everything in this class proved to be much more helpful and enlightening than anything I learned in library school. I feel more confident in my knowledge of Special Collections and more optimistic in my career goals. 4: Increasing access to special collections is an interest of mine. I’m very happy with what I learned regarding the many issues surrounding this topic, with many helpful strategies. 5: I found the discussion addressing the distribution of special collections material most useful. 6: Discussions about security of materials were useful. The mystery books exercise was at just the right level for me and gives me courage to pick up other similar books and learn more. 7: The scope was excellent -- a true overview. The intellectual level was also excellent. No question was too simple or basic to receive a detailed response. The classroom atmosphere was challenging, but not intimidating. 8: Generally all content was relevant and useful. Intellectual level was good. Also, I really appreciated having a current head of special collections teaching the course. She brought a great deal of professional insight to the course. 9: Yes, the intellectual level was appropriate. Yes -- very good as a general introduction. 10: Everything was interesting and relevant to my future pursuits. 11: Intellectual level was spot on, greatest interest were the “labs” where we handled books (mystery book exercise). 12. Preparation of presentations were helpful as we can use them when we return to work. Intellectual level was appropriate. A wonderful overview.


4)   If your course had field trips (including visits to the Dome Room, the McGregor Room, the hand printing presses in the Stettinius Gallery, the Etext Center, UVa’s Albert and Shirley Small Library, or RBS’s Lower Tibet), were they effective?

1:Yes. 2: The time devoted to other field trips was well spent. 3: The time could not have been better spent. 4: We actually had SC visit us, and it was a great opportunity to see UVa’s collections. 5: Yes. 6: We didn’t do any field trips -- a change of setting would have been nice. 7: Yes. We visited SC which was my first visit to such a department. Also, the small SC state-of-the-art was fascinating. 9: Actually -- they came to us, and it was time well spent. 10: Yes, we toured the library and the SC staff brought some treasures to our class for us to see. The time was very well spent. 11: We weren’t able to go on two tours listed in the syllabus because of time constraints. 12. Yes. The SC presentation was a wonderful experience.


5)   What did you like best about the course?

1: N/A. All. 2: Participation of everyone who attended the seminary. The presentations. 3: The courses gave me a chance to meet many people of various background and interest. The instructors are amazing and talented people, but also they are caring people. AS was especially interested in her students’ growth; she is a fascinating mentor. 4: The format of active discussion, sharing experiences, and even the presentation! 5: Two things -- the leader was excellent, and the students came from highly varied backgrounds, which enriched all of our discussions. 6: AS’s enthusiasm and encouragement! 7: AS! And the humor, intelligence, and generosity of the other folks in the course. 8: The scope of the course’s content was well delivered, and AS did a great job directing and organizing the content. 9: Overall depth of materials and the nice mix of students attending, with such varied backgrounds. 10: The diversity of people attending. I learned just as much from them as from AS. At library school, my professors had little practical experience working as librarians; here it seemed I had ten experienced teachers while I felt like the only student. 11: Working with the books! 12. The professor AS made the class entertaining and informative.


6)   How could the course have been improved?

2: If it could last...longer. 4: I honestly can’t think of anything! 5: I’m not sure that it could be improved. The teacher and students accomplished admirably what they set out to do. 6: I would have liked to talk a little more about manuscripts processing details and practicalities. Presentation preparation was stressful -- expectations could have been made a little clearer. 7: Add some “how-to” regarding exhibitions, if time permits– both physical/online -- practicalities. 8: See comments in question one regarding pre-course readings. 9: I don’t have any suggestions here...ask me in ten years. 10: I can’t imagine how. The course was great. 11: More time spent with materials, if possible, but the week is so packed, it seems a major impossibility. 12. Course is perfect now.                                          


7)   We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by UVa’s Special Collections. If relevant, what suggestions do you have for the improved classroom handling of such materials used in your course this week?

2: I believe that the materials used in my course were carefully handled. 4: I thought this was handled quite well. We all knew the rules and followed them respectfully. It is fantastic that such a teaching collection is made available. 5: As far as I can tell, the materials were handled appropriately. 6: No ink pens on the tabletops. 7: None. 10: None. I think everything was handled well. 12: I think everyone was careful with the materials.


8)   If you attended the Sunday and/or Monday night lectures, were they worth attending?

1: Yes. 2: Yes, they were worth attending. 4: I attended both lectures and was glad I did. It was nice to have TB’s introduction, as well as the information provided in Monday’s lecture. 5: Yes. Both were. 6:Not really, but I liked sitting in the Rotunda. The sound was screechy at the Sunday night lecture. 7: Sunday -- did not attend. Monday -- yes, but I felt guilty since we do not retain our newspapers. 8-11: Yes. 12. Yes. I really enjoyed the Monday night lecture. It was a great talk.

9) If you attended evening activities, was the time profitably spent?

1: Yes. 2: I lost the first video. What I saw was very interesting. 3: Yes, even if some of the movies are older, they still are informational and relevant. 4: Movie Night was interesting. 5: Did not attend. 6: I loved the twenty minute introduction I got to the Linotype machine. 10: Yes. 11: Yes, but I was expecting to be able to handle books and see “3-D Carter”. 12. First two movies were informative.


10) Did you get your money’s worth? Any final thoughts?

1: Yes. 2: I believe yes. I recommend the course. I learnt many things which I believe are going to help in the future. 4: I definitely feel that I got my money’s worth. The content and structure of the course was at a great intellectual level. I appreciated the diversity of the class as well as AS’s expertise. 5: Certainly -- the experience was well worth the expense involved. Bring your own hangers, if you’re staying in one of the Lawn Rooms! 6: Come with discussion topics in mind because there is room for it during class. 7: Many times over. I would recommend this course to any librarian because its concepts are applicable widely. AS is a talented instructor and excels at involving her students, personally, from the “get-go”.. 8: Yes. If a current MIS student took this course, it would be best that they have their basic requirements completed and also have had a basic cataloguing course, or be most of the way through it. 9: I absolutely got my money’s worth. In future years get plenty of rest before you get here, you will need it. 10: Even though I received a scholarship, I would have paid for the course and felt justly compensated. 12: I definitely got my money’s worth. A great deal for the amount of information you learn during the week.

Number of respondents: 12


Leave                       Tuition                    Housing                   Travel

Institution                 Institution                 Institution                 Institution

gave me leave            paid tuition               paid housing              paid travel

75%                            58%                            75%                            66%

I took vaca-                I paid tui-                  I paid for my              I paid my own

tion time                    tion myself                 own housing              travel

8%                              33%                            17%                            25%

N/A: self-                   N/A: Self-                   N/A: stayed                N/A: lived

employed, re-             employed,                  with friends               nearby

tired, or had              retired, or                  or lived at

summers off              scholarship                home

17%                            8%                              8%                              8%

There were two rare book librarians (17%), two archivist/manuscript librarians (17%), four general librarians with some rare book duties (33%), one full-time student (8%), one part-time student (8%), one conservator/binder/preservation librarian (8%), and one law librarian (8%).