Talk with Colleen Boff — Collaborations Across Campus

Guest Faculty Member: Colleen Boff

“Cheesy Advice”

Rejections — you will experience a lot of it, you can use your frustration to fuel determination

Importance of picking something to write about that you are passionate about — spin your passion into something you can publish

First Year Experience — luckily, a wide open field and still is. Connected with a woman outside her field, had a bunch of mutual questions. Approached a (non-library) funding agency and did a nationwide survey. Published in Reference Services Review — first of its kind, gets cited out. Presented (separately) at Loex West and East — opted out of publishing in the proceedings because wanted to publish elsewhere. Remember that is an option.

10 years later, approached by ACRL to redo the survey. More elaborate methodology, a new partner, a much larger enterprise.

Common Reading Experience — started a few years after she got here. Not a lot published on this in the literature (lead role for librarians in Common Read program). Wanted an ACRL panel — got rejected, but turned it into a journal article instead. Cold calling sometimes works really well, but it can be really be challenging.

Pre-planning? Did that make any difference with unknown collaborators? Maybe would have prevented some bad experiences.

Q: did you weed people out? Or did it depend on who responded? A: Tenure-track librarians were more interested and reliable.

Q: Did you ask for writing samples, etc.? A: No, not really. Knew some people’s work, and wasn’t in a position (like book editor) to ask. Is a leap of faith to work with people.

Other, non-FYE experiences: At one point, did a lot of work with College of Ed. Brand new faculty member in Intervention Services — she was publication-hungry too. Got grant money to develop collaborations across campus. One session done for this faculty member, had a good session. $1000 each for this grant, but she was more interested in the publication opportunity.  EDIS 440 — capstone class, how to mine the literature to find teaching strategies to teach fractions, etc.

Between her skills and her recruiting some other faculty to create a database: ISOD. Used students to mine literature, built the database with citations. LOEX Presentations — LOEX really likes if you can bring non-librarians with you — really well-received, a lot of questions were asked. Depended on grant seed funding.

Graduate Course taught and developed with Sara Bushong — Teacher/Practitioners. Lots of research opportunities there.

Q to Susannah — thought about research opportunities out of teaching? A: Maybe the online part — not done online a lot.

Q: Was the FYE position posted that way, or were you hired and then given a charge? Posted as a FYE job. Has to tweak the job a lot, because what BGSU does for FY students changes all the time.

Minefields with crafting own position as untenured faculty member?  “Let me get back to you on that” — buy time, keep your supervisor informed when asked to do something big.

Untapped in the literature — this sort of “learning community” — online learning community; community of practice for academic librarian literature.

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