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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

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

 

Embedded librarians and Webinars

This week in class we will be discussing embedded librarians and begin planning for our webinars! I’m still coming down from the high I got after my successful workshop and I’m hoping that my webinar goes over just as well.

This weeks reading we split between embedded librarians and webinars. Since the webinars are still a bit of a mystery, this blog will most be on embedded librarians. Embedded librarianship is unique position in which a librarian is not in library at all but rather placed within a program, research, or teaching staff. That librarian become the information specialist and it engages directly with the work being done.

“Through embedded librarianship, librarians move from a supporting role into partnerships with their clientele, enabling librarians to develop stronger connections and relationships with those they serve” (Jake Carlson and Ruth Kneale, Embedded librarianship in the research context).

Its becoming more common to have a librarian play more than a supporting role within research and projects. I think other fields are realizing the importance and impact that having a librarian can have on different aspects of the work being done. Librarianship is a very versatile field and there are several benefits to having a embedded librarian within academic programs and fields.  I cam across a interesting blog  by Joe Hardenbrook about how librarian can start to embed themselves into a course of program. Some of the interesting points in this blog are:

  • start small with an individual course that you are comfortable with and able to expand on.
  • explain what embedded librarianship is and how it can benefit the course or program specifically.
  • Work with the faculty member to identify the level of service needed.

If its not completely possible to be embedded into a program, think about other tools you can use that can be embedded. Its also really helpful to provide services such as workshop, screencast or open communication between you and anyone in the course or program that need assistance. “The Embedded Librarian Online or Face-to-face: American University’s Experience” is a great case study of how both a embedded librarian or embedded library tools can ‘close the communication gap between librarians in the library and the users the serve in the colleges’.

[Caution: My soap box is coming out] I think all programs should have a embedded librarian. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, information is complex and sometime useless with people who can organize and utilize it. Career and academic counselors  are embedded into programs and colleges because the student need their expertise and skills to help navigate the wealth of information and resource. There’s so much course and student content that are just floating around with no home and no one to cultivate them into useful and meaningful libguides, workshops and webinar. I get that its a cost to the college and the university to hire someone to do this job, but you can expect a traditional librarian to fill all the holes that students need filled.

 

Til next time…shhh

Weeding workshops

Last week we each conducted our workshops and it was so much fun. It was really clear that everyone had learnt from the mistakes they mad during the book clubs and I feel like we all put a little more effort into our workshops. Overall I really enjoyed myself and learnt a lot from the other groups. I even got a chance to tap into the inner high school version of myself. Of course there was snacks and used the Ramblehook application to keep a timer for all of the groups.  It didn’t even feel like course work or stressful. It felt like I was getting together with a small group to actually conduct a short, fun workshop.

Emily and I did our workshop called “The Darkside of Librarianship: Strategies for Avoiding Weeding Controversy” (keeping with our theme of darkness from the book clubs).  I’m really glad that it went over so well because I was a little concerned when we were planning that we wouldn’t have enough time to get things done. Emily came up with the topic because she’s in the collection management course now and I read a few links to blogs and papers she sent me to get a better understand of it myself. Our feedback from the group was really positive and I’m so happy Emily and I were able to do such a good job.

 

One Shot Ethics

Last week in class we discussed ethics and the need for a code of ethics. We were also given an example of a way your personal and professional ethics could come into conflict. The example was that a parent heard that there was a book being used to teach children about metaphorical language and one of the line in the book was “poke you eye out” however there was a student would had an eye injury so the parent asked if it would be possible to take the book off the shelf for the rest of the semester. That’s such a difficult ethical dilemma. I can understand why the parent would want to protect her child from uncomfortable situations regrading his injury but the book is meant to be available to all students. If I were the librarian in this situation I would let the parent know that while I completely understand why she wants to have to book taken away, I would put the needs of her child over the needs of the student community. The book is meant to teach children, and it can’t be assumed that a child will read that line and use it in a hurtful way towards her child. I also don’t think that’s a logical reason to remove a book, what would a library look like if all the book that could potentially make someone feel uncomfortable were removed? I’m not looking forward to having to face those type of situation in my career.

This week is the week we do our one shot workshops. I underestimated how difficult it  would be to work through the workshop ADDIE. Honestly the hardest part was just picking a topic that would be relevant and interesting. My partner Emily and I are still putting the pieces together but I think it’ll turn out fine. I have a lot of workshop facilitation experience and Emily is really knowledgeable about the topic. I ‘m looking forward to presenting as well as seeing how everyone else does.

Til next time…Shhhh

Ethics in Librarianship

Ethic– regardless of the context– is a tricky subject. Ethic  is the word used to describe a set of rules or moral that guide behaviors or attitudes. To be ethical means that you have an understanding of which behaviors will help or harm you and you try to avoid acting in a way that will harm you. Ethics is a difficult topic to discuss because not everyone shares the same morals and different culture have a different understand of what ethical values people should adhere to. Ethics in the context of librarianship is also difficult and the reading for this week tries of outline what ethical responsibility librarians should have toward their patrons. The first reading is “Dangerous Questions at the Reference Desk” by Mark Lenker which was published in the Journal of Information Ethics. While reading one quote really stood out to me:

“Should the librarian refuse service on the grounds that assisting the patron may result in harm to the patron and to others?” (Lenker,44)

This is a question I have asked myself and others and truthfully I don’t know what I would do. I’d like to think that I would fulfill my duty as a library and assist the patron with there query, after all Google wouldn’t block or stop a search just because the query seems like it may cause harm. But I am not an algorithm. I am a compassionate human that may not feel comfortable helping someone find information that may cause harm. But I think this issue has two sides that need to be address: how much ethical responsibility should a librarian have and how much ethical responsibility does the patron expect. How much distance and privacy do library patron expect from the librarian? In 647 we were taught to be as interested in the patron query as they are because it will allow you to help them better, but in a situation where someone could get hurt or needs help–how much should the librarian remove themselves and just do the task.

I remember a few weeks ago I was at work and overheard a group of student discussing dangerous behavior. I had no idea what to do. Technically they hadn’t asked me anything at the desk, they just happened to be speaking loud enough that I could hear. I immediately wanted to offer them some help, a list of resources they could utilize and ways in which they could get help. I wanted to help them, not just as the librarian, pulling up a list of people and places they could get help, but as a human, who didn’t want to sit back and do nothing while these girls discussed their issues. But instead I did nothing because they hadn’t come to me at the desk..but does that matter? If a librarian walks pass a patron using the computer to look up how build an explosive that it powerful enough to destroy a home, or overhears two patrons discussing how to do it, is there also a responsibility for the librarian to do something? Or does the ethical rule to interject limit itself to the reference desk?

The ALA has a Code of Ethics that are meant to be a set of principles that guide the profession and assist librarian when their personal ethical values conflict. The code is very important and it allow for consistency among the behavior of librarians.There a three that I try my best to embody every day:

I. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

III. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

VII. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

These three are important and at times can be difficult. These three are why some situations are tricky and complex to handle. It is not easy yo set aside a bias or to remove your personal beliefs. And in a world of constant communication and over-sharing, at times it can be hard to respect someone’s privacy. Although it may be difficult, I can and will continue to do my best.

I’m really looking forward to this weeks discussion.

Til next time…shhh

Book Club Reflection

The Spade book club was a lot of fun. Somehow we all chose very interesting, twisted, thought-proving readings. It was weird that all of the stories were in some way related (mostly because they all had to do with pain, death, or teaching someone a lesson). Aside for the great conversation, we also have a very yummy array of snacks, which meant we too a lot of snack breaks. However we did break a very important book club rule—we have crunchy snacks like crackers, which made it a little awkward at times.

We had a really goo conversation about the Margaret Atwood reading Happy Endings. I had never heard of Margaret Atwood before so I was unaware of her writing style and other works. The conversation we had about this short story went back and forth about the actually content of the story and Atwood  writing style. It was very interesting because had it not been for the book club I still may not have been aware of Atwood but hearing my classmate describe her other work changed the way i though about the story. That conversation really made be think deeper about the story and want to read more of Atwood  work. I didn’t think about how the author of a story could change how you think and feel about it. Having that conversation made all of us think more about the other authors of each of our stories and how their style and background may effect how we reflect on the reading.

That reminded me of our course of transliteracy and knowing the sources of work published before you react on it. The process of looking in to the source or author can change how you original though about an article or reading. We had a much deeper conversation once the authors intention was brought up and I really enjoyed that. I plan on reading more of Atwood work and also being more aware of the voice of the author whenever I read.

Til next time……shhh!

Spades– Book Club readings

So this week we are going to be conducting our book clubs! I’m super excited and I ready to have a discussion on the reading. Heres my thoughts on each of the readings:

For Comfort and Posterity, Digital Archives Gather Crowds -By Jennifer Howard

This article details how Our Marathon( which is a digital archive of the Boston Marathon bombing) got started and the effect it has had. Its interesting because it allows anyone to add to the collection and share their account of the tragic event.

Questions I want to share during the book club about this article:

  1. Should there be more of these digital humanities/archival sites? If yes, what type of events could/should become archived?
  2.  Is there something the digital archive of an event like this one can offer that a physical archive can not?

Happy Endings – by Margaret Atwood

 This was a really interesting short story. It was an alternative plot  story about relationships. I’ve never read a story that allowed you to pick the plot so this was new and fun. However it was a bit pessimistic in the outcomes of each relationship.

Questions I want to share during the book club about this article:

  1. Would the story have a different feel if the female character role was switched with the males?
  2. Are these plots realistic?

The Syrian Opposition is Disappearing from Facebook – By Michael Pizzi

News article that narrates: the story of Ammar Hamidou and his involvement with they Syrian Revolution; Facebook’s role in this and other forms of activism; and Facebook’s removal of activism pages.

Questions I want to share during the book club about this article:

  1. What expectation do people have of the preservation of information posted to Facebook?
  2. How does the tone and vocabulary used throughout the story shape our understanding of this issue?

Bluebeard

This fairy tale is about a wife who found out a horrifying fact about her husband. She disobeyed his orders and entered a room her warned her not to go into.

Questions I want to share during the book club about this article:

  1. Would he have killed her regradless ofif she entered the room? Was this a test?
  2. Why was his beard blue-ish and what did that have to do with the story?
  3. Satisfy your curiosity or live in bliss–which would you choose if you were the wife in this story?

 

Til next time…shhh