Personal Librarian Interview

Decent Essays
For this project, I interviewed Dr. Sonya Gaither, director of the Hightower Library at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia. The challenge Dr. Gaither wanted to focus on was changing procedures within the library that have not been updated in years, specifically how the librarians on her staff conduct appointments with students seeking research assistance through the Personal Librarian Program.
Currently, the librarian conducting the appointment does the bulk of the work, while the student participates very little. As a result, students do not learn evaluation skills or research techniques, and librarians are kept busy for thirty minutes to an hour as they identify specific sources for students. This, consequentially, leads to crowds of students, who have made appointments or walked in with a question, waiting to work with the librarian. When asked how these appointments would ideally be handled, Dr. Gaither said that they should be between fifteen and thirty minutes and that the student should be the one in front of the computer while the librarian shows them how to find sources relevant to their topic, but does not actually
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Personal Librarian appointments are most popular with freshmen and sophomores, though some professors require students to make an appointment for each research paper they turn in during the semester which puts appointment slots in high demand. The library staff is comprised of Dr. Gaither, two part-time assistants, and four full time librarians, all four of whom are conducting the appointments in the same manner. When asked why they allowed students to sit idly as they did all of the work in PLP sessions, one librarian claimed that that was how a previous director instructed the librarians to conduct appointments, saying that the goal was to get students in and out quickly by simply giving them what they
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