April 21, 2005
Professor Benjamin Turner is one of the newest members of the University Libraries' Faculty. He has worked as a professional librarian for the past 5 years, beginning his career at Queens Borough Public Library before coming to St. John’s. Prof. Turner received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Concordia University and holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of British Columbia. His subject specialty is Government and Politics.
As a member of the University Libraries faculty on the Queens Campus, Professor Turner’s main responsibility is instruction. During the Fall and Spring semesters he offers face-to-face instruction to hundreds of students in both the Discover New Yorks classes and in subject-specific courses at the request of the instructor. Throughout the year he offers workshops on such topics as term paper research, database searching, and avoiding plagarism. In addition to in-person classes, Prof. Turner is developing an instructional website that teaches Information Literacy skills using an interactive software package which is being previewed in three sections of Discover New York this semester.
Professor Turner is also one of the University Libraries’ ‘purveyors of information’ at the Reference Desk. He regularly offers both online and in-person reference assistance to the St. John’s community. He is actively engaged in professional research as well, concentrating in the areas of active learning techniques in information literacy and natural language searching in periodical databases. He has recently published a review of the Questionpoint software for the Journal of Library & Information Science in Distance Learning (Vol. 1, Issue I, 2004).
In his spare time, Prof. Turner studies acting, which he has done for the last 5 years. Currently he is studying with Austin Pendleton at the Herbert Berghof Studio in Manhattan. He has been involved in off-off-Broadway theatre in New York City for the past 3 years, and has recently acted in a short film called “The Pure Contradiction” by Jan Wilm. His next project is a play called “Titanic Voices”, a dramatization of actual first-hand accounts of survivors of the Titanic disaster. Prof. Turner’s experience as an actor has allowed him to gain experience in oration and public speaking, which have enhanced his skills as an instructor, as well as providing him with a enriching creative outlet.