One of the instruction sessions I did with my supervisor was a rotating workshop-styled session. Students, once divided into small teams of 4-5 people, rotated through four different stations within the library which were run by myself and other music librarians. Over the course of the session students would earn “clues” to use in the final session where students, upon correctly answering a final challenge question, could win a bag of candy for their team. A different library resource and strategy was highlighted at each of these stations, including searching IUCAT, using the RILM database, and finding facsimiles, critical editions, and librettos. Students earn their “clue” notecards by completing objectives that were tailored to each station.
The librarian decided to facilitate the session this way because though the course did not have a research paper as a final project, the instructor still wanted to students to be familiar with the researching possibilities of the Cook Music Library. Therefore the learning objectives were less focused on researching strategies, and more focused on all that the music library has to offer students.
My specific station was designed to highlight IUCAT as a means for locating opera librettos in different library locations. The first space I led the students was to the CD’s, where they looked for opera libretto within the CD liner notes. Next, we sought out the printed opera libretti within books, and finally we visited several reference materials. Besides just locating libretti, my students and I also discussed each resource and considered why someone might want to use one kind of resource over another.
Overall, the class was very successful, and each team seemed to really engage in the activities. The greatest difficulty was in time management and making sure the rotations didn’t find behind schedule – the students ended up having barely any time leftover for the final challenge where they used their clues to vie for candy. Despite this difficulty, I was glad for the chance to do some more individual instructing rather than fulfilling a supporting role.