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Tutor profile: Katharine P.

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Katharine P.
Lifelong librarian and reader's advisor
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Questions

Subject: Study Skills

TutorMe
Question:

Since there are many approaches to study skills, and not all will work for you, make an outline of your personal study plan, including goals, priorities, strategies, strengths and weaknesses, time management, obstacles, and outcomes desired.

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Katharine P.
Answer:

My Trip to Cuba [Personal Goal] I. Learn Spanish (after 5 years in high school) a. Listen to the music of Cuba [Memorization] b. Use the library access to Rosetta stone c. Listen to Spanish radio II. Learn the History and Geography of Cuba a. Go to travel sites on the Internet i. https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/cuba ii. https://expertvagabond.com/cuba-travel-guide-tips/ iii. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/cuba iv. https://www.roughguides.com/destinations/central-america-and-the-caribbean/cuba/ b. Use the public library for travel guide c. Read novels about life inside Cuba III. Save money [This is a priority] a. Have the Credit Union put $ aside monthly b. Stop buying things you can make c. No more shopping on the internet d. Find out about money exchange IV. Obstacles a. Start talking to spouse about short trip with travel guide b. Physical activity i. Start walking more ii. Lose weight iii. The right clothes and shoes iv. Learn salsa dancing [Set the right environment…do it when home alone!] c. CoVid 19 ??? V. VISUALIZE a. At the beach b. In the bars c. Fishing on a boat d. Homage to Ché Guevara

Subject: Library and Information Science

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Question:

Can the human work of reader's advisory be replaced by artificial intelligence and modernized crowd sourcing? Why or why not?

Inactive
Katharine P.
Answer:

Corporations, publications, individuals and their blogs have tried to assist readers who are “looking for a good book to read” with algorithms and readalikes ever since the computer entered the library space. Help beyond best book lists, award winners, and genre-specific lists is manifested in cyberspace by several approaches. Gnooks, gnooks.com, asks for three favorite authors and uses them to generate a list of other authors, and the user is asked to respond with Like, Don’t Like, and Don’t Know for each one. This site also powers the literature-map.com, a set of dynamic relational images of authors showing what authors are most like others using visual distance. Another readers’ advisory effort is Whichbook.net. This tool uses a personal approach by offering a sliding scale of feelings such as happy, funny, safe, sexy to supply a list of possible matches. Novelist.com comes closer to the readalike model, and provides similar titles by author or title. A reader can also search for a book by appeal characteristics defined as tone, pace, writing style, etc. While these are useful tools for the work of readers’ advisory, a critical component is absent from the conversation, and that is the reader. Is it the right book for the right person at the right time? Often a student or casual reader is unable to articulate what she/he is looking for and a series of questions, or inputs are not going to reach the nuanced needs of this reader. Sometimes it’s not novels at all, but poetry, or philosophy that will reach this reader. The codification of elements in a book will not always reach the person. As librarians know, while everyone reads the same book, we each interact with it a different way. I advocate for a hybrid approach, and use tools alongside the patron to create the conversation and attain satisfaction.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children are each credited with launching a political and literary movement still reverberating today. What are the similarities and differences between these two works? Will the literature of Black Lives Matter have a similar impact?

Inactive
Katharine P.
Answer:

To answer this question I would first make the easy comparisons: Nigeria vs India, the effect of colonialism, the time frame, myth and magic in both, and the work both authors continued with after their most famous books. I would then discuss the diaspora of African and Indian authors and the explosion of new voices on the literary scene. To compare this with contemporary BLM material, I might have to look at early work by authors such as James Baldwin and Zora Neale Hurston, and wonder whether the popular material today, as evidenced by the NY Times bestseller list, will have the same lasting impact, and when we might witness it over time. Slavery and colonialism may be found together, but they are not the same.

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