Note from Michael: I am thrilled to have Leah writing here for TTW. Way back in 2006 when I started at Dom, I taught my very first LIS701 class. There was Leah, smiling on the front row every Monday evening. Watching her study, graduate and do incredible work has been incredibly rewarding to me as an LIS educator. Thanks, Leah!
What do you think of when you hear the word extrovert? Loud, chatty, pushy? Yeah. Me too. It’s funny – the first time I ever took the Myers Briggs was in grad school. I remember my professor asking if anyone in the class was an E. Of course, I shoved my hand up into the air and realized I was the only person with my hand up. At the time, I felt special, and man, that felt awesome. As some may now, us E’s really love feeling special. Years later, the time of the introvert is at hand. Good examples might be the publication of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and of course, other things kicking around the internet…(stares directly at Tumblr).
So after years of being incredibly proud of my extrovertism, I recently re-took the Myers Briggs, and for the first time, I silently crossed my fingers and toes that my score would be a little closer to the middle of the extrovert/introvert divide. But every single time I take it – and yes, I have now taken it multiple times – I end up with over 80% extrovert. Depending on the day, I generally find out I’m an ENFP and occasionally, an ENFJ.
I quickly realized after that class in graduate school that librarians tend to be introverted. Of course, there are other E’s, but on a day to day basis, I tend to interact, be managed by, and work on committees with all you wonderful I’s out there. Here are a few things I have picked up along the way that may help other extroverts swimming the introverted waters of librarianship.
Eventually, after my third time taking the test, I came to terms with it. I like being an E! But what does this mean in regards to being a Librarian?
It’s all about communication
Make an effort to figure out people’s preferred method of contact. As an extrovert, I tend to be the person who bursts into your office with an idea and wants to talk it out. Bouncing ideas off of people is, hands down, my preferred method for working through an idea. However, that doesn’t always work for people, especially some of my introverted co-workers. While I still do this – seriously, just ask my boss – I try to take into consideration how busy the person might be or pick up on any social cues that perhaps they aren’t in the mood for a passionate discussion about makerspaces. When that happens, I look to the internet for my brainstorming needs. (Seriously, Twitter, what would I do without you?)
Find your tribe but keep an open mind
Finding other extroverts in the workplace has always been important to me. It’s great to have someone who feeds off of the same energy that I do. But I also have found that some of my best collaborations are with a mix of all sorts of personality types. Perhaps I’m the one talking during a meeting but it is vital to have the logistical person involved – the one who thinks through the process of actually accomplishing these ideas. The best meetings and committees are a mix of various strengths and weaknesses. That’s how you accomplish all those wonderful and innovative ideas!
Learning to listen and be patient
Honestly, I still struggle with this. While it is a stereotype, we extroverts generally love to do two things: talk and take action. I totally own up to that. The longer I work in libraries, the more I try to be an active listener. Also I have learned the value of giving people time to process ideas and projects. Sometimes when you’re proposing a major change, it’s good to give people the time and space to mull things over and go through the information in their own way. I try to write out proposals for new ideas, which gives people more space to absorb the project and helps me formulate my ideas in a concrete way. A little silence, a little space, and the written word can go a long way in libraries.
All things considered, I love being an extrovert. After all, it’s what makes me, me! But working with a variety of personality types has taught me so much about collaboration. I can’t imagine I would accomplish much if I only surrounded myself with other E’s. And that, in itself, is what makes being a librarian so very awesome. Look at how much we accomplish. It’s pretty amazing.
Leah White is a Reader Services Librarian at the Northbrook Public Library and a 2012 Library Journal Mover and Shaker. She is a member of the Adult Reading Round Table Steering Committee and the co-chair of the Reference Librarians Association Continuing Education planning committee. Leah graduated from Dominican University with her Master of Library and Information Science in 2008. You can find her on Twitter: @leahlibrarian or check out her website: leahwhite.weebly.com
When, in the early 2000s, you were passionate about your work in libraries, full of ideas and eager to hear others’ ideas about how libraries can best serve their communities, excited about what the future holds for libraries, hungry to discuss this stuff with people who shared these interests, and NOT a librarian or enrolled in library school or headed there, there were two great free channels where you could jump into the fray and educate yourself: listservs and blogs. These tools not only flattened geographies–so librarians from far-flung areas could ideashare– they flattened hierarchies: library paraprofessionals who might never get an audience with their own library’s director could comment on posts and engage in conversations with the very librarians their director had hired to speak at Staff Day. In my case, that librarian was Michael Stephens.
In the sense that an alma mater is a place where you are first introduced to a range of exciting ideas and encouraged to engage with them, Tame the Web is my alma mater. I can’t overstate how incredible a gift and opportunity blogs like TTW were and continue to be for library paraprofessionals (joined now by Twitter, SlideShare, and MOOCs) often overlooked by their employers when it comes to sending staff to conferences or tapping staff for local teams. We can keep current; we can participate; we can have a voice, we can even influence the field. That’s a radical, jaw-dropping thing: that staff who may not have any influence or voice in their own workplaces may be able to influence and can have a voice in the field.
There’s another sense to alma mater, which is often translated literally as “fostering mother”. Tame the Web has become this kind of alma mater, too, for me and many others, by offering itself as a platform for guest posts and facilitating (fostering) the spread of guest posters’ ideas. TTW guest posters might be librarians at the height of their careers, new librarians, library school students, library paraprofessionals, or none of the above. I feel very lucky to have beenone of them. What we have in common are ideas that Michael thinks will be valuable to TTW’s readers. And I thank him for acknowledging and understanding, as very few do, that valuable ideas may come from folks at all levels of library work. Would that more library systems offered “guest-post like” opportunities to their non-librarian employees.
One way to tame something is to feed it. Tame The Web has been feeding the web with enthusiastic, challenging, and insightful content for ten years. Congrats to you, Michael; happy anniversary, and most importantly, thanks.
Emily Lloyd is an Associate Librarian with Hennepin County Library and lives in Minneapolis. She writes a library webcomic/blog, Shelf Check, and tweets @poesygalore.
#TTW10 “Tamer” Graphic by Theresa Papaurelis, Graphic Artist at Indian Prairie Public Library. (http://ippl.info)
As I mention at the beginning of the podcast, I owe much to Michael Stephens and the Tame the Web community. I am very appreciative!
Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the author of the book, Managing Social Media in Libraries. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.
This is the official call for presentation proposals for the Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference, October 18 – 19, 2013 (in some time zones the conference will conclude on the 20th).
This fully online, participatory conference presents a unique opportunity to showcase the excellent research and work that done every day, with a focus on peer-to-peer presentations. How does your library manage digital collections? Is your library mobile friendly? Do you have a story to tell about maker spaces? Your participation as a presenter can help to steer the global conversation about the future of libraries.
Everyone is welcome to submit a presentation proposal and participate in this free event. There are no registration fees and no travel requirements. The entire conference will be held online via web conferencing, with presentations held in multiple languages and scheduled around the clock over the course of the two days.
The Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference presentations will cover eight subject strands, addressing a wide variety of timely topics, such as MOOCs, e-books, maker spaces, mobile services, embedded librarians, green libraries, and more! Doctoral students will also have their own strand for presenting their research. Plus, there will be a new strand dedicated to virtual library tours.
The Library 2.013 Conference Strands:
Digital Services, Preservation, and Access
Emerging Technologies and Trends
Learning Commons (for school libraries and/or academic libraries)
Management of Libraries and Information Centers in the 21st Century
User Centered Services and Models
Library and Information Professionals – Evolving Roles and Opportunities
Doctoral Student Research
Library and Information Center “Tours”
To view examples of presentation topics for each subject strand, click here. Your presentation does not have to fit into the conference strands to be considered – the strands exist for the convenience of those interested in finding particular themes.
Proposal acceptances will be communicated on a first-come, first-served basis starting June 15. If your proposal is accepted, you will be provided with the ability to schedule a presentation time that is convenient to your time zone and work schedule. Early proposal submission and acceptance will give you the most flexibility for scheduling your presentation. The deadline to submit presentation proposals is September 30.
The Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference is our third installment of the Library 2.0 conference series, sponsored again by founding partner San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. Last year’s Library 2.012 conference featured 150 fully online presentations given by scholars and information professionals worldwide. If you missed any of the presentations, you can still access recordings of the presentations. A wealth of information was also shared during the inaugural Library 2.011 conference, and a list of those recordings can be found here.
For more information about the conference and how you can get involved as a partner, sponsor, volunteer, and advisory board member, please visit: http://library2013.com.
Please do share this call for proposals with your colleagues and friends. We look forward to receiving your presentation proposals!
I have written previouslyabout Digital Media Labs and their ilk. I have also been a small part of helping a number of libraries starting media labs of one sort or another.
An aspect of DMLs that often gets lost in the shuffle of all the shiny hardware and expensive software is a place to display art. This space can be a wall in the main lobby of the library for photos, slides, graphic design work and whatever else can be put on a poster. A LCD screen or something that can be used to show films or a movie festival. Don’t forget the interwebs!
The posting of digital media creations has been one of the biggest wins I have had in my career as a librarian. The patrons are honored to be selected and excited to see their work as a poster/on a movie screen and on the LIBRARY website.
We are planning to start using our catalog to bring even more attention to these works in the near future.
Make sure you create a space for your library patrons to display their works as well as create and curate it.
Heather Jagman, Coordinator of Library Instruction, DePaul University, email@example.com
Troy Swanson, Department Chair of Library Services, Moraine Valley Community College, firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher: Association of College and Research Libraries
The editors are seeking chapters written by librarians or faculty members focusing on theoretical approaches, projects, assessments, instructional sessions, or curricula that teach students how to think about information. This book will focus on pedagogies that challenge students to dive deeper into authority, connect to prior knowledge, and construct knowledge in a world of information abundance. This book will also include chapters that bridge the gap between the epistemological stances and threshold concepts held by librarians and that of students.
How do librarians and faculty members move college students beyond the simple mechanics of online catalogs, search engines, and subscription databases? How do we encourage students to recognize the difference in information sources themselves? How do we motivate students to explore their own beliefs and work with sources that conflict with their beliefs?
We are seeking chapters that may include:
Part 1 Bridging the Gap Between Librarians, Students and Faculty: Conceptualizing Information
1.1 Librarian Epistemologies and Beliefs: How do librarians think about information and the nature of knowledge? How does this approach to knowledge impact how librarians approach the classroom and learning?
1.2 Student Epistemologies and Beliefs: What assumptions do students bring to the classroom about how information and knowledge are constructed? How do these assumptions impact information literacy and their interactions with libraries and librarians?
1.3 Faculty Epistemologies and Beliefs: How do faculty assumptions about knowledge impact their interactions with librarians and students? How do discipline-specific epistemologies shape faculty approaches to learning, students, and information literacy?
Part 2 Making it Work: Teaching Students About Information
2.1 The Nature of Expertise, Authority and Credibility: How do we teach students to understand and value authority and expertise? What assumptions and power structures are hidden in this understanding? In what ways do we teach students to utilize authority and build their own authority as scholars?
2.2 Point of View and Source Bias: In what ways do we teach students to deal with explicit and hidden biases in sources? How do we encourage students to deal with and recognize their own biases?
2.3 Cognitive Biases and Belief: How do we work with students to address confirmation bias, selection bias, and hindsight bias? How do we connect information literacy to personal belief?
2.4 Data, Measurement and Interpreting the world: How do we teach students to deal with data, facts and measurements? How do we teach students to interpret empirical research? How do we encourage students to compare their beliefs about how the world works with actual measurements?
2.5 Journalism & Witnessing the World: How do we teach students about the role of journalism? How do encourage students to interpret and value the journalistic enterprise?
Original research that directly reports student views and/or results from studies with students will be given preference.
300-500 Word Abstract and Brief Outline
Please also include a writing sample of some form
Please submit chapter proposals and writing samples to both Editors at email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15, 2013.
In my Library Journal column “Office Hours,” I explored the concept of learning everywhere. Here’s a snip:
This semester, I’m teaching a new class based on Mezirow’s concepts of transformative learning, the work of Char Booth in the arena of user instruction, and the Learning 2.0 model…. We’re working with consultant Polly-Alida Farrington, who teamed up three groups of my students with two libraries and a school library consortium in New York State. Over the course of our 15-week semester, each group is adapting, designing, and running a “mini-23 Things” for its assigned organization.
It’s been a fun, chaotic, and messy experience. In our weekly group chats online, the mantra has become “Learn by doing….” Real-world messiness offers a level of experience unmatched by classroom activities. This high-tech/high-touch experience sets the students on course for getting jobs and taking on future projects.
Well, the learning continues with the third semester I’ve taught #transtech. We’ve partnered with some great libraries this spring. The students share a link and a blurb about their programs below:
This site is for the staff of East Greenbush Community Library in Albany, NY. The library came to us with a specific list of emerging technology tools that they were interested in learning about. From this we have developed an 8 week curriculum. As an added bonus, East Greenbush will be offering continuing education credits to participating staff members. We have 23 participants. Washington University Library in St. Louis http://learninghub2point0.wordpress.com
The Learning Hub 2.0 site was created for librarians at Washington University in St. Louis in the spring 2013. These librarians submitted a list of requested emergent technologies that they were interested in exploring. Our student group then created 7 learning modules including: Web Marketing, Data Gathering, Online Instruction, eBook Management, Online Chat, Online Collections, and Data Visualization. The participant librarians at WUSL have been exploring these emergent tools and exploring how they can be useful in their institution.
The “Links to Literacy” Learning 2.0 program is designed for use by library staff, tutors, and the diverse community at the Huntington Beach Public Library. We have created 7 modules targeted for this diverse community – many whom have limited education, limited access to computers, speak English as a second language, and need to develop computer skills such as setting up emails, using a search engine, finding and applying for jobs online, and connecting socially. The program has been utilized by patrons with the assistance of tutors who also teach English as a second language. Most fascinating, in addition to learning about the 7 modules, these patrons are opting to perform (ie set up email and corresponding in English) these modules in English extending their overall educational experience.
Michael asked me to write a guest post for Tame the Web to celebrate its tenth anniversary. I’m honoured. Tame the Web has been in my feeds since the very first day. Secondly, Michael is awesome and is one of the dynamic, positive forces in our profession through his writing, research, speaking and teaching and just being Michael.
This opportunity set me to thinking about the nature of sharing. My wife, Stephanie, teaches grade four so I know that about age ten you’re in grade four, just like Tame the Web. Ten-years-old is a critical time as we move from learning to read, to reading to learn and the first great adventures in the skills of critical thinking and learning to share in groups as our personal lives enlarge and we become more aware of a world beyond family and school. It’s the world where the metaphor of sharing moves beyond sharing physical items, like our toys or candy, to one where the important sharing is about sharing information, or more importantly insights, perspectives, ideas, learning, and knowledge. That’s definitely a role that Tame the Web has played and that Michael has studied in his doctoral work.
Here’s an imperfect definition from the web:
share 1 (shâr)
1. A part or portion belonging to, distributed to, contributed by, or owed by a person or group.
2. An equitable portion: do one’s share of the work.
3. Any of the equal parts into which the capital stock of a corporation or company is divided.
v.shared, shar·ing, shares
1. To divide and parcel out in shares; apportion.
2. To participate in, use, enjoy, or experience jointly or in turns.
3. To relate (a secret or experience, for example) to another or others.
4. To accord a share in (something) to another or others: shared her chocolate bar with a friend.
1. To have a share or part: shared in the profits.
2. To allow someone to use or enjoy something that one possesses: Being in daycare taught the child to share.
3. To use or enjoy something jointly or in turns: There is only one computer, so we will have to share.
Why is it imperfect in my opinion? It underrates the sharing that’s so important and privileges money and items over the more important sharing that libraries support. Sure libraries lend items but that’s so not what we do. It might be what we count, but it’s not what counts. We share knowledge. We share information. We share and trade in our skills and people are better for having interacted with us. We collect in areas that need to preserved, and we protect knowledge for future generations, and, consequently, share with the, as yet, unborn. We share to support community, learning, creativity, and innovation . . . while protecting the objects of our culture as entertainment until they’re old enough to take on the patina of classics and art.
That’s the role of libraries and the people who lead them. I like to think of our library spaces 9physical and virtual) as the giant sandboxes where many of us first started practicing sharing on the way to becoming information professionals.
Our politics are liberal and subversive. We share regardless of anything. We collect regardless. We try to destroy and disrupt barriers to sharing – everything from cost, to disorganization, to technology, to digital barriers like DRM. Stewart Brand is widely quoted:
“Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. …That tension will not go away.”
Free or fee isn’t what’s vital to libraries. Nothing is free and it’s an unfortunate shallowness of debate in our profession when we attempt to make things merely free – regardless of the long term consequences or additional barriers that might be added. What is important is that we free information – unfetter it – for all. That’s the true crucible of value when we organize, collect, and serve. In the past twenty years we’ve seen an enormous unfettering – and the attendant consequences of content spam, evil, viruses, and more. We’ve been able to transcend geography through the Internet, transcend the technology divide with cheaper devices and shared resources in libraries. And, wonder of wonders, sharing books or book recommendations has moved to hitherto unimaginable scale with Amazon, Shelfari, GoodReads, and LibraryThing. New communities and social networks around books, issues, and information are springing up faster than they can be merely counted.
This has made our profession so much more vital, important and critical to this new Renaissance in this 21st Century. We play a role in such vital economic and social concerns as:
Sharing support and training
So, to celebrate this tenth anniversary year of Tame the Web, I want to reflect on one of the most important phrases that Michael uses. I think it is core to his being and he lives a life that exemplifies his values. Michael often tells us that libraries and librarians are adept at encouraging the heart.
I love that. If we encourage the heart we connect with our clients’ passions and goals, what truly motivates them to read, learn, explore, and grow. Nothing ever gets done without the heart. But the rest of the phrase contains the word courage, and things rarely get better without that. So, as we deal with the challenges facing us, and they can seem overwhelming at times, let’s choose to be bold, be brave, and be strong. We may not always hear, as often as we should, that we inspired someone to achieve, changed a life, solved a problem, or made a big difference but we do, you do. Give a librarian a hug today.
Happy 10th Anniversary Tame the Web!
“Sharing matters because by transforming ourselves into sharing beings, we gain the joy and fulfillment that is life’s true purpose.”
With Stephen, Pilanesburg Game Preserve, South Africa, June 2012
#TTW10 “Tamer” Graphic by Theresa Papaurelis, Graphic Artist at Indian Prairie Public Library. (http://ippl.info)
23 Mobile Things is a self paced course that offers library workers the chance to build their awareness, knowledge and skills at their own pace. It is a fun professional development tool that seeks to explore the added potential of mobile devices. The course is freely available to anyone who has access to a mobile device (tablet or smartphone) to participate.
We are interested in exploring ways that libraries and library staff can use mobile technologies to deliver library services, to engage with their communities and for their own professional development.
The first version of 23 mobile things was developed in Danish by Jan Holmquist, Pernille Saul, Stine Grabas and Sigrid Kjøller. This version of the course is an international collaboration, Jan Holmquist from Guldborgsund-bibliotekerne (Denmark) and Mylee Joseph and Kathryn Barwick from the State Library of New South Wales (Australia) are working together to build the English language version of the course. Dr Michael Stephens from the San Jose State University (USA) and Tame the Web is researching the outcomes of 23 Things courses for library workers and has provided some advice to the team.
Note from Michael:
I’ve been researching the impact and effect of 23 Things/Learning 2.0 programs since 2009. In the last few years, the Learning 2.0 model has been adapted to focus on specific subject areas and learner focus. Recent examples include “23 Things for Professional Development” (http://cpd23.blogspot.com/) and “Looking at 2.0,” an adapted program for citizens of Queensland, Australia hosted by the State Library of Queensland (http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/services/learning/programs/looking). The program, offered close to 1000 times, globally has remained within the realm of desktop and laptop computers, as have the tools highlighted, such as Twitter and the increasingly popular Pinterest.
The next logical step for this program is into the area of mobile and handheld device. The popularity of these devices as an information and communication tool has grown in recent years, and is set to surpass access by desktops or laptops by the year 2020, according to Pew Internet and American Life’s “Future of the Internet” report (2008). The Horizon Report, from EDUCAUSE and the New Media Consortium, has ranked mobile technologies as leading edge tools for teaching and learning for 2010, 2011, and 2012. The 2012 report identifies mobile apps and tablet computing specifically as key emerging technologies already making an impact on teaching and learning in the coming year.
I’m excited to be working with Jan evaluating the impact of the program at his library and to be serving as an advisor for the international version of the course.