Working with K-12 students

  • At times you might find chat overwhelmed by a barrage of similar student requests. We commonly refer to this as a ‘class bomb’ – where an entire class is logging into Answerland at the same time (usually at the behest of their instructor) and asking questions. If you ever find yourself in the middle of a ‘class bomb,’ don’t panic! You only have to pick up one patron at a time. If you want to pick up more than one, use this script: “It looks like several people from your class have similar questions. We are sorry, but we can’t help you all at once. You may continue to wait, or try us again later.” You can also use the IM feature within chat to give a fellow librarian a shout-out for help.
  • Use OSLIS. Not only does it have databases, but also information literacy tips and tutorials and citation makers.
  • Don’t hesitate to report inappropriate behavior to the Answerland Coordinator. We have had success reaching out to teachers and media specialists who are grateful for the heads up and can remind students about online etiquette.
  • Watch “K thnx, working with teens online,” a presentation by Susan Smallsreed (MCL) and Ian Duncanson (Beaverton City Library) at OVRS. They have good insight into what is going on inside teens’ heads and what it means for serving them online.
  • Read “Do You Have Prince Albert in a Can? Or, When Bored Tweens Use Chat Reference” by Nicollette Sosulski. She illustrates a great way to handle pranking teens.