Author Archives: sfarneframingham

Shin Freedman Teaches in China


Teaching graduate Information and Library Science students as a Fulbright Scholar at a prestigious Chinese University was an enlightening experience from which I have just returned from a semester long teaching assignment.  After all the excitement of being selected as a Fulbright Scholar to China, I was full of apprehension as to the teaching experience itself. What would be an appropriate approach for teaching in my discipline?  During a semester-long teaching assignment, I learned more about myself through the role of “foreign expert” and about my students who were Chinese Information Science and Archival Management majors: how they learn and how they may become information professionals in an emerging global higher education market.

I covered topics on plagiarism, ethical use of information, citation management, research processes, database search strategies, and access to knowledge in digital information.  In addition to the teaching activities, I engaged in public lectures, seminars, and roundtable discussions on the following subjects: collegiality, mentorship, academic librarianship and professional identity, library leadership and workplace civility. I also enjoyed lecturing in a number of Chinese universities from Beijing to Nanjing to Chongqing and including traveling to Korea, all in one semester.

Being an academic librarian from a medium size comprehensive university in the USA and going to a major research-based Chinese top 10 university was an extraordinary transformation of myself as a teacher.  Developing my professional identity as an educator was something for which I had strived for a long time.  At last, I was going to have the chance to practice my lifelong dream in China in the fall of 2016 along with seven other Fulbright Scholars who arrived in China to teach and conduct research.

During the first class meeting, I reviewed the syllabus and my expectations. However it was not until the third class after I re-emphasized that I expected the students to participate as part of their grade that my students’ responses gradually became more participative. Eventually, they began to openly question and respond to one another in the class.  They were also required to write reflective journals throughout the entire semester which was another unusual practice for them.   Students’ opinions became more expressive and clearer as time passed.  They sought out each’s opinions and advice in and out of the classroom.

As the semester progressed and the students became not only more participative, but delightfully outspoken. I often rewarded them with clear verbal praise, or a high five, or a hug. This open praise was also something quite outside their comfort zone and it took them a while to get used to it. On one occasion, one of my students did such a good job that I gave her a hug after class. After a while, other students earned a hug and waited patiently for their reward. After the final class of the semester, all my students lined up and demanded to be hugged and would not let me leave until they had received their well-deserved reward. I took this as a clear sign that they had gotten the message that I wanted them to take responsibility for their learning and that I was looking forward to the day when I would welcome them to join me as professional colleagues in our newly formed global connection.

–Shin Freedman, Head of Scholarly Resources & Collections for the Henry Whittemore Library



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Library Summer Hours

Summer Hours started at the Library this week:


  • Monday through Thursday 8am-10pm
  • Friday 8am to 5pm

After August 17th, the library will be open 8-5 Monday through Friday, no weekends, until fall classes start on September 6.

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Summer Library Jobs

Interested in working at the Whittemore Library this summer? Coverage is needed from May 22 through September, both days and evenings.  Contact Lori Wolfe  as soon as possible for an application.

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Providing Context for the Challenger Collection

The Framingham State University Digital Commons Repository recently made available a collection of images, ephemera, and documents related to the Challenger STS-51L mission and January 28, 1986 disaster available.
A research guide has been created to highlight and provide context to the collection. In addition to items from the collection the research guide includes additional primary and secondary sources. The guide was created for students, educators, or anyone interested in learning more about the Challenger STS-51L mission and disaster, the Teacher in Space Program, or Christa McAuliffe.
The Challenger STS-51L research guide can be found at:
The Challenger STS-51L Collection in the Framingham State University Digital Commons Repository can be found at:
A three part series of blog posts details the creation of the Challenger STS-51L collection:

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Money $mart Week (April 22 thru 29)

Money $mart Week (Saturday April 22nd – Saturday April 29th, 2017) is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers to better manage their personal finances.
For more information, check out the library’s online Personal Finance Library Guide:
Subjects covered include:  getting the most for your money, budgeting, banking, college loans, cell phone contracts, credit cards, job hunting, and more!

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FSU Latinos and Baseball Community Collecting Event

If you love baseball, you are going to love this event!
Framingham State University is hosting a community collecting event to scan/photograph personal, baseball-related artifacts. In addition, attendees will shake hands with Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Luis Tiant, view wonderful Boston Red Sox artifacts and learn their history from the Red Sox curator, and meet with representatives from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
For more information, please view our guide: If you have any questions, contact Millie Gonzalez at

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On The Research Trail

Trail, Mountain, Hiking, Mountain Road, Rural Road

When working on a research project, save yourself a lot of time and aggravation with one simple step.  Keep track of your research trail.  What is a research trail?  Think back to the story of Hansel and Gretel, and those pebbles they dropped on the ground to find the way back home.

Instead of pebbles, make notes, either on your computer or in a notebook, of the sources you have searched.  And also keep track of the search terms you have used.  This trail or log will make sure you do not repeat the same searches, and also, if you meet with a librarian or your professor for a research consultation, you can show exactly what you have completed, and the sources you have already located.  The trail notes can also help build your bibliography and footnotes later, when you are drafting your paper.

So, save yourself time, and be sure to make a trail of your research!



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