The Biking Librarian Promotes Resources Throughout the Community

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By Sally Robertson, Librarian, Nashville State Community College

I am a bike commuting librarian at Nashville State Community College in Nashville, TN.  My passion job is what I do. I love helping people find the information they need. I am a member of the Tennessee Library Association and a part of the Sustain Round Table of ALA. A bike is sustainable transportation and also a great way to tell Tennessee citizens about TEL. I commute to my job by train and bike. Sometimes when I ride through neighborhoods I will stop and chat with people, always telling them about all the great free resources Tennesseans have access to in TEL, and handing out TEL and database bookmarks!

Some of the reasons I like to promote the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) resources so much are that they are:

  • Free to everyone on the state.
  • They are very easy to use.
  • There is a database for all ages and abilities.
  • The Gale databases are some of my favorite to show people because they are so user friendly.
  • I love to show Topic Finder and the new browse by discipline feature as a way to find a topic idea.
  • Topic Finder is a great way to brainstorm on what keywords to use when you begin to do a search on a topic and find our topics too.
  • I volunteer with a Boy Scout troop and when I am teaching the Reading merit badge I always show the boys TEL and especially the Research In Context database designed for middle school students. I also point out to the the Boys Life magazine is indexed and full text. Part of earning the badge is learning about how to use a library and, of course, reading books.
  • When students are stumped on finding a topic idea I always show them the Opposing Viewpoints In Context database. It is so easy to browse the topics on the main page.
  • The Gale databases also include a lot of videos, and if you use the advanced search feature you can limit your search by “content type.”
  • My slogan that I like to tell people is “Don’t Google it, TEL it.”

My passion is being a librarian. I love promoting books and databases. I’m a librarian at Nashville State Community College. I love telling students how the Gale databases through TEL are a good “Plan B” for when they can’t get to the databases through the NSCC library website. If their student numbers do not work.

Just yesterday I was telling a student who is taking an online course in French about the PowerSpeak Languages database for learning a language available through TEL. She really liked the fact that she could hear the pronunciation of the words.
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