My new column is up at Library Journal: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/07/opinion/michael-stephens/color-me-curious-office-hours/ No amount of training or professional development can move us forward if an individual is uninterested in learning or growing. I’d argue for two vital traits that will serve librarians well throughout their careers. Longtime librarians, midcareer folks, new hires, and students, I’m talking to you! The traits are simple yet pack a powerful punch: curiosity and creativity. Click the link to read the whole piece.
My new column is up at Library Journal: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/02/opinion/michael-stephens/whats-your-pitch-office-hours/ A short while ago, I was coming back from the New York Library Association conference, flying from Albany to Chicago, and I was seated next to a friendly young man who asked me what I did for a living. This can sometimes be an awkward conversation. It can go any number of ways. “I’m a professor” is one answer. “I teach,” another. When I say “libraries,” sometimes my seatmate’s eyes glaze over, and I get the typical, “Aren’t libraries going away?” question or a joke about the Dewey Decimal System or […]
Adaptive experts and deep learners are the employees most in demand in the tech industry. John P. Mello Jr., whose article, “For Tech Careers it’s Not About What You Studied, it’s About What You Learned”, discusses Project Information Literacy’s (PIL ) survey regarding early adult research habits, and how they, “resolve issues of credibility, authority, relevance, and currency in the digital age”, which was conducted in partnership with the University of Washington’s iSchool. You can access the full article here on Monster.com. Below is Project Information Literacy infographic about the survey results: I would encourage you to take the time […]
Personal Learning Network – Presentation “Developing”, as it pertains to my title of this blog, is defined as the ongoing development, utilization, and management of my personal learning network. It is not something that “is done” and then complete, it is something that will, with careful nurturing and management, follow me throughout the rest my learning life. The journey began years ago without realization when I signed up for Facebook, popped on (and then quickly off) Twitter, set up a LinkedIn account, and checked out various apps via my mobile phone. It wasn’t until taking Transformative Learning and Technology Literacy […]
I for got to post last month’s LJ column here at TTW: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/02/opinion/michael-stephens/essential-soft-skills/ I would add other soft skills such as intuition, political awareness, and a willingness to make and learn from our mistakes. Transparency is evolving into an even more clearly defined “full frontal” strategy for some corporations—putting it all out there. We should follow suit. Library schools should teach case studies of failed library systems and initiatives. We must study our failures as much as we study our successes. There seems to be an ongoing unwillingness to do this. But in fact some libraries make bad decisions, and […]
“Imagine a world where everyone was constantly learning, a world where what you wondered was more interesting than what you knew, and curiosity counted for more than certain knowledge. Imagine a world where what you gave away was more valuable than what you held back, where joy was not a dirty word, where play was not forbidden after your eleventh birthday.” Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger. (2001). The Cluetrain manifesto: The end of business as usual.
What keeps you up at night? I ask this question at some of my library conference presentations as a way to break the ice and get people sharing. The answers are usually in a similar vein: budgets, ebooks, and losing relevance. We might even call those answers the unholy trinity of librarian insomnia. Relevance seems to be the most troublesome for our profession as we find ourselves yet again doing all those things that begin with “re”: reimagining, reinvigorating, and renewing this, that, and the other. And just as librarians struggle with relevance, I sincerely hope those of us in […]
Note from Michael – Carlie is a WISE student taking my Hyperlinked Library course. Carlie wrote this post as part of her course blogging. I’ve been reflecting on what kind of librarian I wish to become, and in the process, I discovered the social media guidelines I developed form a beautiful basis. As a future librarian, I promise the following to members, colleagues, and to myself that I will: Be curious. My learning will never be finished. I want to learn from colleagues and members, and promise to never be afraid to say “I don’t know.” I will give others the […]