I have my syllabus!! If you checked in last week, you’ll notice I mentioned a class on the last line. To my dismay, my professor commented that class was canceled due to lack of enrollment. I knew at that point in time there were only 8 people registered for the class and assumed that work, like some other unis, had a minimum of ten limit.  Fortunately, he was thinking of the intermediate course and we’re still on!

Starting on May 28 (well, 29th, since the university is closed for Memorial Day), I’ll be in MPHE 494: Introduction to Quantitative Data Analysis.

If you’d told me I would take this class five years ago, I would have probably said an interesting idea, though perhaps not very helpful at the time. If you’d said it during undergrad I doubt I would have believed you. But as the years have progressed, I find myself increasingly interested in data, data management, databases, data access–all of those things and data analysis is certainly a part of it.

I haven’t been in a formal class since finishing my master’s program in 2005. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years already. I really never intended to go this long without taking more classes but life has a way of happening at a shockingly fast rate.  Also, this has allowed me to forget just what a sticker shock textbooks come with. Our required text is Statistical Methods for Psychology (Howell, 8th ed) and no, I can’t borrow it from work (we don’t own it-I checked) or ILL it.

I did include taking this class as one of my goals for the next quarter/annual review period. It’s something that has direct relevance to my work, will help me be a better medical librarian, and as such I think it deserves including. I have to look at the licensing and decide if I want to download SPSS at work or at home or if I can get a license that will allow me to install it on two computers. We do have it on the machines in my building but it’s not on my work machine as memory serves–note to self, check that tomorrow–so it might be easier/better to put it on a home machine and then use the work machines as needed if I’m staying late.

This is also something I talked about at Computers in Libraries when talking about what librarians may need to do to get themselves prepared to support researchers using data more thoroughly. Certainly I think this will affect the longer presentation I’ll be giving this fall at LITA forum about self-education. While I know this isn’t technically 100% self-ed, it’s something I’ve sought out for myself, not something mandated by work.

It also means getting to be even more efficient with my time.  Because spare time has been so abundant to date.

Question for the readers: Are you taking any classes this summer? What are you doing towards your continuing education?