I gave my first solo library instruction session today. Afterwards I was left feeling like my incoherent babbling had bored the students to sleep. So, I officially deemed it a learning experience and created a list called "What I learned from my first solo library instruction session and what I need to improve on". For you reading enjoyment:
1. Slow down girl! (Yes, they want to get out early. But WHO CARES?)
2. Practice runs might be more effective if you practice while actually using the library catalog and database... instead of just going through the talking part while driving to and from work. (Ooops, my bad. It's been a busy week!)
3. Practice using the outline you've created. No amount of multi-colored highlighting will keep you from losing your place if you haven't done that.
4. Repeat common terms to self over and over so you can't screw them up during the presentation. The Library Catalog is not "that thing you use to find books. *blank expressions* You know? That thing?" (okay, so I lie, I wasn't that bad. It's a funny thought though.)
5. It is inevitable that someone will fall asleep. Try not to feel too depressed during the presentation (you can cuss the person out later in the privacy of your office. Unless of course, your office, like mine, leads out into the reference area. Then at least be sure to shut the door before letting loose with a stream of unfriendly language).
6. Keep trying to think of ways to make the presentation more interesting. It's not hopeless! It can be interesting! (Keep reciting this one until convinced).
7. You can only improve (at least, I hope it's not possible to get any worse!)
Yes, a learning experience. Officially.