Month: April 2014

What comes next for me?

This is a bittersweet moment. My last blog for SI 643. This wont be my last blog post ever, I’ve grown to like blogging and will continue to use this one for library and life related blogs.

Today the class finished the webinars! We’ve come a long way and I really enjoyed all of the workshops I participated in. My team will be doing our webinar over since the first try was very rough. But I’m feeling a little more confident about it this second time around. Stay tuned for updates on that.

For this weeks reading focused on continuing our path towards professional development. In my opinion a professional should never stop seeking new information. And organizations should make it as easy as possible for its empolyees to attend professional workshops and conferences. I will always do my best to stay current with matters of the library professional and digital humanities.  There’s a really interesting point that comes up in the Semadini (2010) article about an example of professional development for teachers, which is the idea that the teacher have a choice of what areas they want to improve in then they become experts in that area. These experts then act as mentors to help those who chose a different area. I really like that idea. It sounds a lot like the ‘t-shape people’ theory we discussed in SI 500. Let face it, we cant be an expert in all things, there aren’t enough hours in the day, nor would i even want to know everything about everything because that sounds overwhelming. But if as a team we each become experts in a certain area, then we can use the knowledge of others to broaden our own understanding and teach other some of what we know. Its a create community model that really benefits everyone. As long as everyone has the same level of interest in leanring and sharing their won knowledge, everyone wins.

I almost fell over laughing at the honesty the Blower and Reed article ‘The C’s of Our Sea Change: Plans for Training Staff, from Core Competencies to LEARNING 2.0’.

“Out-of-order signs get placed on PCs because workers don’t know the passwords.” (Blower & Reed 2007)

Just yesterday I was at when I note a ‘Out-of-order’ sign on a PC and was told the screen wouldn’t turn on. It took me all of 2 seconds to realize the monitor cord what not connected to the computer. So I just plug in back in and wala the computer was fix. No technical skills necessary but for someone reason someone else decided it was an issue best left foe the professional from SITES. Issue like this are pretty common and I’ve even used a “I don’t know why its not working, sorry” excuse at work once or twice. In the information science field, we need to adapt quick and keep up. Constant change is the nature of this profession. We need to embrace it. I don’t think  Mlibrary offers any  core competency programs for its part-time/temporary staff, but they should so that simple issue can be address and bigger issue are more noticeable.

Kristin article also focused on the concepts discussed in the Blower and Reed article. I really like to point she makes about the sense of “play and experimentation” associated with her experience. Most people absorb more information when it’s done in a relax and fun environment, much like this course. Sure, I’m receiving a grade for this class, but this course never really felt stressful or as overwhelming as many of my other courses this semester. I actually looked forward to attending class because it was a friendly environment, I guess that’s what happens when you get a room full of future librarian together! I will miss this class, I enjoyed each week and have gained so much.

Til next time…Shhhhh

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Webinars

Its webinar week. I was nervous about doing it for a number of reasons. Honestly I don’t like webinar, I get that they are great way to allow people to attend workshops without having to spend money or travel. But there’s way to much going on. Blackboard requires you to do took much multitasking and its not very accessible.  Its too much work and you get very little out of it. Literately every thing that could go wrong did. But I’m very proud of my teammates because we managed to get it all together and not have it be too obvious to the participants. We decided to do our webinar on the needs of poor and homeless people and the ways in which library can serve them.

Wealth in the Walls of your Library: Library Resources for Poor and Homeless people

People experiencing poverty and/or homelessness rely on safe public community spaces, such as shelters and libraries, for their basic needs and other invaluable resources. According to the American Library Association, this population “constitute a significant portion of users in many libraries today and this population                                        provides libraries with an important opportunity to change lives. The purpose of the webinar is to highlight ways in which libraries can increase support and resources for this under-served population.

We got some good feedback on our content and delivery (thanks guys). But I’m glad its over.

The other teams that presented on Thursday did a very nice job. Here’s the tittles of the other webinars:

Serving Patrons Who’ve Served Time: Programs for incarcerated people and former offenders

Those who are currently incarcerated or have recently been released constitute a large portion of American citizens, and they stand to benefit from library services more than most. This webinar will explore opportunities to serve this largely ignored population, including outreach, job search-related programs, and programs to help former offenders reenter their communities.

Meeting Tribal Needs: A Cross-Country Exploration of Library Service to Native Americans

Do you have a Native American community in your area? Want to learn more about how you might serve this diverse group? Join us as we look at useful examples of how libraries serve tribal needs and discuss ways in which you might get involved – from membership organizations to partnership opportunities

Millennials: Get in my library!

Generation Y, millennials, twenty-somethings, call them what you will, but this demographic is not using their community’s public library and the services they offer.  Why?  This webinar will offer suggestions for attracting this group of people into your public library.

New School/Old School: How Libraries Serve Senior Citizens

While information on serving children is well-covered for librarians, the subject of providing services to senior citizens is often overlooked. Join us as we cover ideals of providing service to seniors, and discuss how modifications can be made to libraries’ physical space, collections, technology, and outreach programs, in efforts to best service today’s senior citizens.

Each of these groups did a pretty good job. There were strengthens and differences in presentation style and the ways the wanted to interact with the participants. And there’s still two more groups left to present (good luck guys).

Misuse of Library spaces

We had a very interesting conversation in class last week. Aside for discussing webinars, we talked about an issue that the Ann Arbor Distinct Library is currently dealing with. The downtown branch has been dealing with patrons using the library as a place to do heroin. The article was featured in Mlive (read more here) and its become an even bigger issue because the library is contemplating whether or not to add a playground in near by area. If heroin or any other drug is an issue within the walls of the library, I can only imagine it becoming an even bigger problem in an open unsupervised space.

Our class discussion centered on the ethics of librarianship and is any of the ALA Code of  Ethics could be applied in this situation. But honestly this is a catch 22 for the library.  Obviously something needs to be done because that behavior is not acceptable in society, let alone in a library that is frequently used by children. So the idea of increasing security or having police officer stationed at the library was thrown around. However a library is meant to be a safe space, where people a not under surveillance or feel threaten by authoritative figure. Not everyone who uses the library comes from a culture where police officer are helpful or there to protect. Its unfair to those patrons who want to use the library as a space to explore, learn and discover interesting things, to be subjected to constant police presences.

Its difficult to say what the library director or staff should or could do because this is bigger than a library issue. This isn’t unreturned books. People are overdosing on drugs… and that is a community wide problem. Where can people in Washtennaw seek help for drug addiction? What is Ann Arbor going to do about its drug problem? Stopping people from selling of going drugs in the library doesn’t equal the illumination of drugs in the area because those who participate will find a different area to conduct this activity.  If this problem is going to be solved it has to be a community and legislative initiative.  Otherwise it will continue to grow and be an issue.

What will we do?

Til next time… Shhhh

Tweet Tweet!

This week is going to be really fun and interesting! We started tweeting and following other libraries and librarian. I’ve been on Twitter for a while and I love it. I love to freedom and low expectations. I love the creativity and serendipitous discovery. I really enjoyed tweeting about libraries! In my quest for fun and interesting tweets I discovered that April is School Library Month!

 

I didn’t realize just how many school media librarian used twitter until I started to look for people to follow. I love the sense of community and collaboration that Twitter creates among its user. I also love the feeling you get when someone important (like the AADL) favorites your tweet! (Yay me!!). It makes the world seem a little smaller and connected closer.

Speaking of serendipitous discovery, I found out via Twitter that the New York Public Library has made 20,000 map from its collection available online and open source! Since I’ve been working at a library that specializes in maps, I’ve developed a new excitement and appreciation for maps. I realize how valuable and sought after they are. For the NYPL to digitize and upload all of these maps is amazing!

 

Twitter is a great platform (when used wisely) to profession growth and discovery. I’m excited to see where this goes!

 

Til next time…..Shhh