Hi! My name is Barb Eshbach and I’m the Head Librarian at the Penn State York campus. I started at Penn State York on April Fool’s Day in 2009 as the Reference and Instruction Librarian, becoming the Head Librarian in July 2013. My hobbies include:
- Thinking (this may seem an odd hobby, but I spend a lot of enjoyable time just thinking!)
I used to quilt, but haven’t done that for years. I remember listing my hobbies on my very first resume and, upon proofreading, noticed that I forgot the “l” in quilting. I could just imagine a potential employer looking at that and thinking, “We don’t want anyone working for us who’s hobby is quitting – especially someone who can’t even spell it correctly.”
My research interests include:
- The role of the library in the First-Year Experience
- The role of games in teaching and learning
Since I also enjoy researching, I’ve listed some research articles about each of my interests. I often tell students during library instruction that you can find research about almost anything, but I must admit, I was surprised that I actually found articles for each of my interests!
“Mothers’ Complex Talk when Sharing Books with their Toddlers: Book Genre Matters”
I love children’s books and, even though my children are now adults, I still love to read and look at picture books. I was never a fan of wordless picture books, though, so this article was especially interesting to me as the researchers discovered that children are exposed to richer language when parents “read” a wordless book to them.
“The Relationship between Age and Baseball Pitching Kinematics in Professional Baseball Pitchers”
Baseball is really the only sport I know enough about to thoroughly enjoy it. While there are many things I love about the game, including scorekeeping, I chose an article about pitching, since my younger son is a minor-league baseball pitcher.
“Reproductive Failure of a Human-Tolerant Species, the American Kestrel, Is Associated with Stress and Human Disturbance”
The American Kestrel is my favorite bird of prey. It’s a beautiful, small bird that I occassionally see on my drive to work, hovering over the median strip, or perched on a signpost. If you’re not familiar with the bird, you probably won’t even notice it. I know kestrels are tolerant of human activity, because you don’t need to go out into the woods to see them, but this study shows that, over time, the stress of their environment may lead to population declines.
When I first started birding, I assumed you could only identify a bird if you were close enough to match it up to the picture in the field guide. Over time, you realize you can identify birds by the way they fly, and in the case of the kestrel, by the way they hover.
“Instruction-in-Interaction: The Teaching and Learning of a Manual Skill”
I must admit, I didn’t think I was going to be able to find a scholary, peer-reviewed, journal article about crocheting, but I did! This article reminded me of what I recently learned about adaptive learning technology – learning is enhanced by instruction that continually adapts to the learner’s progess.
“Thinking of Experience, Experiencing Thinking”
Surprisingly, many of the scholarly journal articles I found on this subject were simply titled “Thinking.” The article cited above was interesting in that it questioned whether thinking is “inner talking” or “inner reading,” or maybe, for some people, neither, but rather a visual experience. While it’s easy to realize that not everyone thinks like you (meaning that you have different opinions and ideas about things), it’s harder to realize that not everyone thinks in the same way that you do (meaning that the experience of thinking is not the same for everyone). Think about that.
I was a stamp collector when I was little (because I wanted to be like my dad!) and, when I have time, I’d like to include images of postage stamps, representing all my interests.