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4292 posts

Hey Google, My 5-Year Old Thinks You’re Real: What Should I Tell Her?

A Listening to Student Voices post by SJSU School of Information student Katie Kuszmar. The other day I told my Google Home device to go to the next song, and my 5-year-old daughter said, “Mommy, you were kind of mean to Google just now.” It is so confusing to explain that the “Google Lady” is not a person. To model social graces, I might just have to be more polite and patient with this tiny little, ever listening speaker that sits in my kitchen. I only use it for listening to the news or music when I cook. I quabble […]

Hyperlinked Environments – COVID-19 and the Immediate Online Student

A Listening to Student Voices post by SJSU School of Information student Kristen Valdez. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the school closures that followed, many children around the world have become online students almost overnight. As teachers and administrators scramble to create an online alternative, many students are working out of paper packets and using school provided e-resources like Pordigy, Epic, and MobyMax to fill in the teaching gap. Teachers, who taught in the face-to-face environment, have been faced with the challenge of mobilizing their classrooms and administrators are now tasked with creating an efficient and multi-faceted e-learning platform, at no […]

Learning Everywhere: Transitioning from a Place-Based Model to a Connected One

A Listening to Student Voices post by SJSU School of Information student Naomi Hill. In early education circles, it is widely known that children learn through play, and more and more early education curriculums are being updated to reflect this understanding of cognitive development. For some reason, as children get older and grow into adults, this idea is traded in for a learning-through-work model—one which can be successful when viewed through an apprenticeship lens, but by no means encapsulates the only or best way to learn. Additionally, our educational model focuses heavily on control and compliance: students silent, in rows, […]

Office Hours: Narrative Inquiry

What’s your story? That question could lead to better understanding professional learning experiences (PLEs) for librarians and the experiences of the community we serve. Each of us can tell a unique story. For librarians, we all have different learning needs, varying personal relationships to learning and a unique set of experiences, workplace environments and career objectives that inform our perspective and approach. One of the best ways to gain first-hand knowledge of both librarian experience and the specific stories of our community is through narrative inquiry (NI). This method is at the core of a research project I want to […]

Office Hours: The Power of Stories Part 2

Last time, I wrote about our disparate group of presenters coming together to blend three session proposals focused on the power of stories into one 90 minute workshop at this year’s Next Library Conference in Aarhus, Denmark. Joining myself, Kylie Carlson and Felicity Macchion, from Yarra Libraries in Australia, was Jason Evans Groth, Digital Media Librarian at NCSU Libraries. His proposal came with yet another twist: it was focused on telling stories with podcasting. As detailed last time, our session at Next explored how to use narrative inquiry to better understand community needs, how to adapt story-based programming and services […]

Thanks Cedar Rapids Public Library!

Sending a very warm thanks to all the staff at Cedar Rapids Public Library. I spoke and facilitated an exploration of “Wholehearted Libraries” at their Staff Development Day on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed meeting folks, hearing their stories, and touring their amazing building. THANK YOU! Download the slides here: Cedar Rapids Public Library Staff Day

Interview with Jutland Station

I was honored to be interviewed fro Jutland Station while at Next Library 2019 in Aarhus. So, I think that the most important challenge we are facing in libraries now is ensuring we are open and welcoming for everyone. The world has changed so much in the last few years. We need to make sure our services meet the needs of those who might visit the library to feel safe. Those who need access to information and services that may help them get on solid ground in their lives. The underserved and the invisible should feel welcome and encouraged in […]

Protecting SJCPL Libraries = Strong & Engaged Communities

Text of a letter I just emailed: Dear South Bend Common Council – I was born and raised in Mishawaka and worked as a librarian at SJCPL for 15 years – 1991 – 2006. We saw the internet and Web come in and change information services. The library leveraged this to become on of the best in the nation. I have since moved on to be an Associate Professor at the School of Information at San Jose State University but I often check in on my home library. I was saddened to hear about the plan to modify LIT. I […]

Thanks ALA & Loida! Wholehearted Librarianship Presentation at #alaac19

Thanks to everyone who attended my talk “Wholehearted Librarianship: Finding Hope, Inspiration, and Balance” at ALA last week in Washington DC. We should bring our hearts to work, and qualities such as empathy, emotional intelligence, and reflective action are all part of this process. Service steeped in humanism, compassion, and understanding should be the cornerstone of what we do, and why we do it, for all members of our communities, including the underserved. Join Dr. Michael Stephens for an exploration of the importance of accessible, welcoming and responsive library environments that invite open and equitable participation, as well as an […]

Announcing New Book: Wholehearted Librarianship: Finding Hope, Inspiration, and Balance

CHICAGO — Of his earlier book, Against the Grain raved, “Reading this book brings a sense of hope, inspiration, and excitement for what the future holds for the new generation of hyperlinked librarians entering our profession.” Now Michael Stephens is back with a newly curated collection of succinct writings that will refresh your view of the profession and invigorate your work: “Wholehearted Librarianship: Finding Hope, Inspiration, and Balance,” published by ALA Editions. Associate Professor at San Jose State University, Stephens encourages curiosity and creativity in his students and all library workers by connecting trends from outside the profession to its […]