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Julie Grob's picture

Quick poll: How many classes does your Spec Coll teach per semester?

How many classes does your department teach per semester?

Please count one-shots, two-shots, and classes where Spec Coll is a significant part of a library intro class, but not tours, workshops, or K-12.

Anne Bahde's picture

Hi Julie,

In an average semester, my department teaches somewhere around 15-30 classes if you count all of the kinds you specified. It depends on whether there is a particularly relevant class using special collections materials--those can tend to come back more than twice. And it depends on whether we're accomodating a very large class--those split up into smaller groups, but I count each as a separate class, because they are often scheduled separately, and sometimes require different content.

It also depends on whether we're fully staffed, or affected by hours cuts due to budget difficulties, like this semester. That number will decrease this semester, because we are simply not here as much as we were the last couple of semesters (due to furlough and decreased Reading Room hours).



David Pavelich's picture

Julie -

Our statistics on this have increased yearly in the past four years. Our autumn quarter is certainly our busiest quarter, which averages between 30 and 40 courses. Our spring quarter is least busy, averaging about 15 to 20 courses.

This quarter (end of September until yesterday) we've hosted 40 classes and library instruction sessions,and two of these classes met here quarter-long.

We also hosted 1 K-12 class and 4 outreach events. And three classes used our collections for assignments.

We're hoping to recuperate during the holidays.

All best,

David Pavelich

University of Chicago


Jeffrey Makala's picture

We see between 50-60 classes in a year, roughly divided between the fall and spring semesters, with a small handful of classes coming in in the two summer sessions.



Joel Kovarsky's picture

I am trying to get some numbers from our head of instruction and outreach here at the Univ. of Virginia, but one thing occurs to me as I watch people post. How much do these numbers mean without knowing staffing levels, particularly the number of people specifically available to teach these classes.

   Best,     Joel

Jeffrey Makala's picture

I don't know if one can even generalize staffing by library type (ARL vs. Oberlin group, e.g.) since there's so much variation in each of our shops.

In my case, I do 4/5 of them, and my Director takes a few that are of particular interest or avocation. I never turn anyone down with a request, but I sometimes have to try to reschedule a class visit. We're about to move into a new building with 3 classrooms (there's essentially one space now), so soon we'll be able to both teach semester classes, host individual class visits, and conduct other simultaneous programming with a bit more ease.


M. Catherine Coker's picture

Roughly divided fairly between the Fall and Spring semesters. About ten to twelve of these are regularly scheduled classes that come in as part of a yearly scheduled lecture or assignment. This past year we've picked up several professors who now plan to visit us regularly--about twelve sessions, largely in Literature and History, who want their students to see particular books and documents. The rest are one-shots from classes who built in talk & gawks on a whim from related exhibits or because something else grabbed their interest, or because they want their students to "know [we] exist."

Mattie Taormina (non-member)'s picture

We have two primary people who teach classes (The rare books curator and myself) but there are also a few curators and the university archivist from time to time. From Fall 2008 to Fall 2009, our total stats for classes looked like this:


Total Classes     137
Total Students     1802
Total Items paged     2430
M. Catherine Coker's picture

Most groups are met by myself and Todd Samuelson, our Outreach Curator. Our 2009 stats show we met with 1205 patrons in 108 groups.

Chellammal Vaidyanathan's picture

Our department teaches 60-65 classes in a year.