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Meet David Oberhelman, unCOILed 2011 Presenter!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hello! We are going to lead up to the workshop by reintroducing all of our wonderful unCOILed Presenters.  Preregistration is now open, so let us know if you plan to attend this exciting event on back-to-basics instruction.

The Ethos, Logos, and Pathos of Library Instruction, or How to Engage your BI Audience Persuasively

I will draw upon speech and communications concepts and techniques for public speaking and give tips on how to apply them to a library instructional setting.  This talk will cover methods to break the ice, keep the class’s attention, engage a class during demonstrations, and how to use effective persuasive speaking techniques to convince students of the need to master information literacy skills and help them see the connections between effective research skills and academic success.

A little bit about David:

David Oberhelman is a professor in the Humanities-Social Sciences Reference Division of the Oklahoma State University Library where he coordinates the for-credit information literacy course for undergraduates.  He has been past chair of COIL, past president of OK-ACRL, and currently is active in several ACRL national sections, especially the Literatures in English Section (for which he will serve as member-at-large next year) and the Instruction Section.  He came to librarianship after teaching English on the faculty at Texas Tech University, and has been a classroom instructor since 1988 when he began as a teaching assistant at the University of California, Irvine.  In addition to having spent many years in front of classes, David was an avid debater and competitor in speech (forensics) tournaments from the tenth grade through his senior year in college, and in those competitions he learned many of the valuable public speaking theories and techniques that have helped him through his teaching career.  When not busy being a librarian, David entertains himself by reading fantasy and science fiction, and he is trying to teach information literacy concepts to cats—not very successfully so far.

We asked David a few Questions:

1.  What made you want to present at this years unCOILed Workshop?

The idea of a “back to basics” COIL workshop theme was very appealing to me since as much as we use technology for enhancing the instruction experience, it is still important to focus on the interpersonal dimensions of instruction.  I especially thought it would be interesting to talk with COILers about the public speaking aspects of face-to-face library instruction after having presented on online instruction in previous years.

2.  How long have you been a librarian?

I came to the OSU Library in 1997 after many years of graduate school and then faculty teaching positions in English, so librarianship is a second career for me, but still in the same ballpark as my first as a university-level educator.

3.  What is your favorite thing about instruction?

The interactive part of instruction—the give-and-take between the librarian and the students as well as the instructor—is what I value the most about live class sessions.   The most successful instruction sessions are the ones in which the students become active participants whose feedback can help me shape the session to be more productive and informative for all.  I love coming out of a BI having learned something myself in addition to hopefully having given the students new ideas on how to find and evaluate information.

Thanks, David!!  We’re looking forward to your presentation on July 22nd, at unCOILed: Get Schooled!

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