Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

Congrats to Corinne Hill, LJ’s Librarian of the Year

“Honestly, I simply wanted to manage a library the way I had always wished I had been managed,” says Hill, with a laugh, when asked to describe her management style. “Coming up in this field, you get so tired of hearing ‘No,’ or ‘Let me tell you why that is not going to work,’ or ‘We tried that years ago; it didn’t work.’ ”

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/01/awards/corinne-hill-ljs-2014-librarian-of-the-year/

What do you see?

 

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I know it’s trendy to fight the system and cry that we are all becoming slaves of technology, but this attitude overlooks that computers and phones are tools for communicating. When someone thinks I’m an idiot smiling at a machine, I’m actually smiling at my girlfriend who is 10000 miles away and whom I would have never met if not for these newfangled electronics. As they say: when the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger.

http://hugtherobots.tumblr.com/post/69627090387/i-know-its-trendy-to-fight-the-system-and-cry

#YLIBRARY Writing Competition Winner: What will never change?

I am LOVING this:

The winner of the #YLibrary of the Future Writing Competition is Sophie Manion. Sophie will receive an iPad mini. Congratulations Sophie!

Here is her winning entry:

I want to hear the voices of a million lives. I want to brush their hearts with the tips of my fingers and feel as they feel, with their skin and their lungs and their ears. It takes a moment – a light on a screen, a battery cord plugged in – but then I can. In a moment I am timeless. The library is a passport to worlds that exist only in the mind. I am lost amongst these places with my greatest friends, my most treasured heroes. Words can transport me. I can listen or I can read but I will always experience. It doesn’t matter whether I can touch the ink, smell the fresh pages or instead, scroll down the electronic page with a gesture of my hand. The future is a grand place but it is those words, the magic that I can only find in a library, that can teleport me away to somewhere I’ve never been. Whether I walk through those open doors from my computer, or on my phone, or physically – I will always find a new world waiting in that maze of books. There are some things that will never change.

Read more #ylibrary postst here: http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/slq-today/category/ylibrary-2/

My post “Making the Case for the Library to be a Space for Infinite Learning” is here: http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/slq-today/2013/11/26/ylibrary-making-the-case-for-the-library-as-space-for-infinite-learning-by-michael-stephens/

 

#ylibrary: Making the Case for the Library to be a Space for Infinite Learning

I was honored to be asked to contribute an essay to the State Library of Queensland #ylibrary project:

http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/slq-today/2013/11/26/ylibrary-making-the-case-for-the-library-as-space-for-infinite-learning-by-michael-stephens/

A snippet:

This isn’t a new idea. The Melvil Dewey quote that I used to open this essay resonates with me. “The time is when the library is a school and the librarian is in the highest sense a teacher…” He wrote that in 1876, and as librarians, we are evolving, and it is still true. Librarians should seek every opportunity to be teachers in their communities. Library users should look to the library for opportunities to experience new things, new ideas, and new technologies

Click the link to read the whole thing.  And here’s a link to all of the essays:

http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/slq-today/?cat=ylibrary-2

Building a Sustainable 2.0 Community for Lifelong Learning and Professional Development by Elaine Hall

Don’t miss this article about “23 Things for SLIS Students & Alumni” that Elaine Hall wrote for AlkiWashington Library Association Journal. Elaine Hall is a Washington Library Association (WLA) member and a MLIS graduate student at San Jose State University. She lives in Arlington, Washington and is pursuing interests in academic libraries, emerging technologies, information literacy, and research.

Hall, E. (2013, November). Building a sustainable 2.0 community for lifelong learning and professional development. Alki. Washington Library Association Journal, 29(3), 22-23. Retrieved from http://www.wla.org/assets/Alki/alki%20november%2013%20-%20final.pdf

The students and alumni of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) have developed a Learning 2.0 pro-gram, “23 Things for SLIS Students and Alumni: Essentials for Success,” to build alliance among students and alumni for lifelong learning and professional development. Hosted by SLISConnect, SLIS’s student and alumni association, this program is unique in that it is created for SLIS students and alumni by students and alumni, fosters solidarity as well as asynchronous learning, offers digital badges as rewards for module completion, and involves more than thirty-five student and alumni volunteers. With three target audiences–new students, current students, and new LIS professionals–the modules presented in this program offer a mix of technologies, resources, and tools for social networking, time management, presentation development, career development, research, and more. Other library or LIS schools can also build a collaborative and sustainable Learning 2.0 program as a way to engage the community on multiple levels and foster lifelong learning.

 

DeLaMare: Making Fun Spaces Work – A TTW Guest Post by Zemirah Lee

A few weeks ago, I wrote about attending a seminar in San Diego put on by the Special Libraries Association. The theme was connecting the dots of creativity and innovation and since we’re on the topic of maker spaces this week, I found my mind repeatedly flashing back to one speaker in particular. Her name was Kathlin L. Ray and she’s the Dean at the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada and she represented a really cool space.

Mentioned by the American Libraries Magazine in an article earlier in the year to be one of the top 3 makerspace models that “work”, the Knowledge Center (or DeLaMare as is more affectionately known on campus), was built with this goal in mind: “To create a pioneering information environment designed to nurture creativity and stimulate intellectual inquiry”.

“Recognizing this critical interplay between knowledge and innovation, the U of Nevada, Reno has established one of the first centers in the nation built specifically to embrace these dynamics of the 21st century.” – Steven Zink, VP for IT Dean of Libraries at University of Nevada

Space Redesign: From “Oh” to “WHOAH!”

Kathlin attributes most of the changes to change agent, Tod Colgrove, who transformed the once sleepy library into a modern, collaborative learning environment beginning with relocating the library’s print periodicals and journals to a storage and retrieval facility in the main campus library, which opened up nearly 18,000 square feet in DeLaMare. Colgrove brought in repurposed furniture and computer workstations to expand the space on the cheap.

DeLaMare in 2010
DeLaMare in 2010

The extra room more than quadrupled the computers from 39 to 130. Special whiteboard paint was applied to the walls, which students now use to take notes and exchange ideas.Stephen Abram mentions in his blog that 20% of the library’s walls are covered in IdeaPaint to cover more than 1,000 square feet of floor-to-ceiling workspace on 13 walls of the four-floor library.

Students at play
Students at play

Tables were set up to allow science and engineering students to tinker with analog controllers, electronics kits, and soldering irons and crimpers. The library even checks out kits like robotics. Kathlin’s images of the transformation were stunning. There were neon signs, a production lab, data works, dynamic media. This is a real maker space where people really can experiment and play.

Nontraditional Learning: Bots to quadracopters!
Nontraditional Learning: Bots to quadracopters!

During the redesign, the circulation desk (once an impenetrable fortress) was relocated and literally chopped down to a fragment of its original size. The staff was relocated to public areas to make them more accessible to the community. Old staff offices were reconfigured into group study rooms. What was really interesting was the fact that DeLaMare was the very first academic library to make 3-D printing available to all students and the community. Check out the images of some of the things they’ve printed, and look at the fun they’re having with it.

3D Images
3D Images

Prior to the redesign, hourly headcounts of students in the library were at about 24. Now it’s closer to 200 on any daily basis, and nearly double that during midterms and finals weeks. DeLaMare focuses on co-creation, not consumption but collaboration. Librarians there want you to think of it as a “knowledge center” and NOT a library. Imagine that.

Collaboration, Discussion & Engagement

Tod Colgrove, speaks at TEDxReno on the topic of how can libraries of the present be influenced by those of the past. Check out this video where he talks about images of the Great Library at Alexandria—where you see more people than books in the space. People engaging in conversation is at the heart of where knowledge happens, NOT in the dusty scrolls. What a striking image when talking about libraries as places where knowledge happens through community, not simply library space—as repository for books.

To some, librarians seem so afraid of change and trying new things because we make it our profession to know where to find answers. We are the go-to-people if you need-to-know. But sometimes… just sometimes… it’s OK to try a few new things and here’s an example of a library that was willing to do just that in favoring the students over the collection and look at the fun they’re having.

References:

American Library Association. (2013, February 6). Manufacturing makerspaces. American Libraries Magazine. Retrieved fromhttp://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/manufacturing-makerspaces

Colegrove, T. (2013, June). Libraries of the Future: Tod Colegrove at TEDxReno [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvE0gHhK3ss&feature=youtu.be

Ray, K.L. (2013, October 4). Knowledge creation and the expanding role of the 21st century library. Connecting the Dots of Creative Innovation. Symposium conducted at the meeting of Special Libraries Association: San Diego Chapter, San Diego, California.

Zurier, S. (2013, May 8). College libraries transition to high-tech learning centers. EdTech Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/05/college-libraries-transition-high-tech-learning-centers

Zemirah Lee 2013Zemirah Lee is a graduate student at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science, graduating in May 2014. She also works as a Project Manager on an IMLS grant-funded research project studying young adult spaces in public libraries. Zem lives in San Diego, California with her husband and three children.

Badges at the Library – A TTW Guest Post by Megan Egbert

Note from Michael: I posted about Megan’s work here: http://tametheweb.com/2013/09/26/if-you-like-it-put-a-badge-on-it/badge beginnerI remember my exact reaction the first time I heard about Digital Badges. “Hey, these could replace performance reviews!” I exclaimed. Maybe it was due to upcoming performance reviews I didn’t want to complete, maybe it was my deep love for quest based learning, or maybe it was just one of the many things I exclaim in excitement during any given day, but for some reason it stuck. I couldn’t get badges out of my head.

This was several years ago and my excitement over badges has only continued to grow. I’ve experimented with different badge platforms, I’ve earned badges myself and I’ve attended several conference sessions and trainings about badges. The only piece of the puzzle that needed to fall into place was I needed a Director that would say YES. I lucked out when we landed Gretchen Caserotti (the Queen of saying yes) as our new Director.

Although I had originally dreamed of badges replacing performance reviews, I did realize that is a huge overhaul that would take time, testing, and some research behind that type of decision. I decided that a great place to start would be to see if badges could increase our staff’s use of continuing education or professional development.

Step 1: I created this video. When it received a lot of attention I realized I better actually act on this idea.

Step 2: I utilized our staff intranet (which is a Google Page) to create a discussion board for Badges.

Google Group

Step 3:  I started creating badges in Credly based on professional development or continuing education topics that I was aware of, or that pertained to our specific library. I specifically chose Credly because it is very easy to use and there is no design or coding knowledge required. I believe this will allow more staff members to get involved in the process later on.

Row of Badges

Step 4: I decided to pilot the project with a small group of staff members (our branch library staff) so I could survey them on the process. I presented the idea to them at their staff meeting and it was received with a lot of enthusiasm.

See the survey questions here.

Step 5: As I learn about different opportunities I create a corresponding badge and then post it to the discussion board like this.

Badge 23

Each time I tell them what they need to respond with in order to get that specific badge. Sometimes it is something as easy as testing out a new database (create an account, check something out, report back). Sometimes it is more involved, like with #23MobileThings. This is a wonderful opportunity for staff to share what they are learning too. For example, we just subscribed to Zinio. I offered a badge to anyone who would create an account and test it out (which will lead to us being able to better help patrons with it.)

Here is the response from two of the participants.

Zinio

Step 6: I encourage other staff to create Credly accounts so they can issue badges as they ?nd opportunities that could enhance job performance.

What I’ve learned

This is all still very new. I only began piloting it with the branch library staff a few weeks ago. However, already the feedback has been very positive. Three of the six staff members have already participated and others have expressed interest. Many of them quickly bought-in to the ideas since it serves as a personal tracking tool for them (records dates, accomplishments, and pushes badges to outside resources like LinkedIn).

One unforeseen challenge is because the Google Page pushes new posts to people’s email, they often times respond to my challenges through the email instead of on the discussion site. It still works but doesn’t allow for group knowledge sharing about questions or challenges. I’m trying to encourage them to respond via the site even when they get an email noti?cation.

So far nobody has posted opportunities that they have found, they have only responded to mine. I really don’t want this to be a top down project, but I think it will take some time before they get used to the discussion board and then I hope they will post opportunities.

Looking Forward

I am going to present the project to all staff in late November. I want it to be a way to make learning fun, interactive, and available for everyone while also sharpening everyone’s technology skills.  I’m hoping to continue to iron out any kinks before then, so I would love to hear suggestions/feedback!

Megan EgbertMegan Egbert is the Youth Services Supervisor for the Meridian Library District in Meridian, Idaho. Previous to her two years in this position she was a Teen Librarian. Her interests include STEAM education, digital badges, makerspaces, and funny puppets. She can be found at @meganegbert or megan@mld.org.