Sharu's Corner

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Emerging Technology: STEM ( Science, Technology, Engingeering & Mathematics)  Storytime for 3-5 year olds

   Image result for balancing act bookImage result for city shapes book

It’s not that I’m smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”

– Albert Einstein

 

Goals/Objectives for Service:

 

X public libraries will provide STEM Storytime at each of its branches to empower parents to take an active role in their child’s science education from an early age. The purpose of the programming is to help plant and nurture the seeds that may one day develop into a passion for studying a STEM related field.

 

In today’s world, the fastest growing careers are STEM related. Science and technology fosters job creation.  In the near future, it will be very difficult, if not impossible for an individual to go through life without some knowledge of basic STEM concepts.

 

Description of the Community You Wish to Engage:

 

This program will be open to children 3-5 years of age and their parents and caregivers. In addition, the library system is also looking to cultivate a STEM culture within its staff base.

STEM professionals are also a group that the library wishes to engage with.

 

Action Brief Statement

 

Convince: budding scientists and engineers

 

That By: attending the library’s STEM storytime

 

They Will: ignite curiosity about the world around them and fire off their imaginations

 

Which Will: boost their vocabularies and reading comprehension ( multiple literacies)

 

Because: X public libraries supports and offers opportunities for learning experiences

 

 

Evidence and Resources to Support Service:

 

 

  • STEM education builds on and encourages problem solving skills.  In STEM activities, students analyze problems and work together to analyze problems and then find ways to solve the problems they have been given.
  • STEM education instills creativity which allows students to “ think outside of the box” This type of thinking is valuable in today’s innovation era
  • As workplaces are changing, STEM programs allow children to have an early advantage. Having STEM knowledge in important for a variety of workers, not just mathematicians and scientists ( The Center for Education Policy Analysis)
  • STEM skills give children the confidence in their abilities and succeed in school

 

 

 

National Academy of Sciences. ( May 2014) Stem Integration in K-12 Education-321 FastDraw Whiteboard

 

Mission, Guidelines and Policy related to Service:

 

Libraries are places of exploration and are well positioned to provide STEM programming.  Libraries are changing and evolving spaces to become community anchors  as STEM programs support critical thinking and scientific understanding. Libraries are well positioned to include multiple literacies such as STEM since it ties with the library’s vision, mission and values. The public library provides free and accessible service to all in a non judgmental, inclusive and welcoming enviornment. The public library offers support and opportunities for informal learning experiences, so multiple literacies makes sense.

 

Funding Considerations:

 

No extra staffing will be required for this program. Existing staff members who are trained and comfortable can decide what month works best for their branch in order to run a 4 week STEM program.

 

STEM kits will have to be purchased, and the price tags vary.

Each branch, based on their size  ( neighbourhood branch vs district branch) has a different budget.

Depending on staff expertise and comfort level, some activities ( ie Strength of Materials can be done using popsicle sticks, pencils and straws).  That being said, nothing can fire off and ignite curiosity than a well designed STEM kit, and these are some sources to obtain well designed and moderately priced kits:

 

 

  • ScienceWiz. www.sciencewiz.com
  • SmartLab Toys. www.smartlabtoys.com
  • Eleco. www.elenco.com
  • OWI Incorporated. www.owirobot.com
  • Smithsonian, www.SmithsonianStore.com
  • Be Amazing! www.beamazingtoys.com

 

 

Action Steps and Timeline :

 

 

  • Propose program to director and management = 1 week
  • Proposal approval at library board meeting= 1 month
  • Staff training= over 2 months
  • Purchasing STEM kits for all branches= 1 month

 

Image result for checklist

 

 

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:

 

No extra staffing is required, and individual branches can decide what day works best to run their programs given staffing considerations.

 

Training for this Service:

 

A full day staff training will need to take place before implementing a STEM programming at the branch. The training will give an overview of the program, as well as the philosophy behind why STEM matters for early learners and why libraries are well positioned to include multiple literacies such as STEM.

 

Publicity for all branches should have a streamlined look, so a STEM Storytime flyer template will be introduced to ensure consistency across all the branches.

 

A sample program will be demonstrated at the training, with a breakdown of the components such as:

-Theme

-Storytime

-Parent Patter

-Books, Rhymes & Songs

-Activity Stations ( this is where STEM kits come in)

 

A STEM Storytime Booklist will also be given out to all Staff who attend the training.   

 

 Image result for very busy spiderImage result for hungry caterpillar

 

 

Promotion and Marketing:

 

This can be done informally and formally. Librarians can promote STEM Storytime at daycare visits, community resource fairs, etc or formally through the public libraries website, or on a facebook or twitter page. In house marketing such as posters, flyers, monthly program calendars can help to spread the word about STEM programming.

 

 

Evaluation:
Staff should consider distributing a parent survey to evaluate parents opinions about the programs. This feedback can be helpful in improving the sessions and deciding on interesting topics to pursue as themes in future programs.

Staff feedback is also critical in ensuring the success of the program and to see if any further training is required. Staff should also complete a feedback form regarding their own thoughts on the program and where further mentoring may be needed.

 

References:

The Center for Education Policy Analysis. (2008). Learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Retrieved from http://www.cudenver.edu/Academics/Colleges/SPA/Academics/programs/Crimin alJustice/MasterCriminalJustice/Documents/STEMReportFinal.pdf

Del Guidice, M. ( November 2014) Why It’s Crucial to Get More Women Into Science. Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141107-gender-studies-women-scientific-research-feminist/

Kohn, A. (February 17 2011). STEM Sell: Are math, science really more important than other subjects? Retrieved from  http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/alfie-kohn/stem-sell-are-math-science-rea.html

National Academy of Sciences. ( May 2014) Stem Integration in K-12 Education-321 FastDraw Whiteboard

 Sneidman. J. ( December 2013) Engaging Children in STEM education early. Retrieved from http://naturalstart.org/feature-stories/engaging-children-stem-education-early

Sci-Why.( n.d) Retrieved from www. http://sci-why.blogspot.ca

STEM Clubs ( 2016) Retrieved from www. http://www.stemclubs.net/

STEM Village ( 2017) Retrieved from http://www.stemvillage.com/

 

 

 

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Reflection on Hyperlinked Library/Participatory Culture

Reflection on Hyperlinked Library/Participatory Culture

 

I really enjoyed this week’s “ choose your own adventure” and decided to spend time finding out more about the Hyperlinked Public Library. It’s nice to know that the Hyperlinked Public Library is not a theoretical concept in our readings, and it’s nice to see real examples. For starters, the Dokk1 Library in Aarhus, Denmark got it right on so many levels! I felt inspired watching the video of the new branch.

Image Credit: Dokk1 Library in Aarhaus, Denmark

I have always been interested in library design and was pretty much mortified when I found out the teens at our branch weren’t consulted in a redesign of the teen space. Luckily, I had just finished reading the foundational readings and was able to make a persuasive argument in order to include the youth input into furniture selection. The role of the library is definitely not the same anymore and this means that spaces need to be more flexible and multipurposed.  For teens, this may mean a place to do homework while also serving as a place to socialize with classmates and friends.

YALSA Futures Report

What I liked the most about the four space model was the overlap that went on between the spaces. I also appreciated that the four spaces weren’t just physical spaces, but that the possibilities existed into the cyberworld as well.

Reading about the achievements of the Edmonton Public Library ( EPL) was fascinating. I only learned through reading the article that EPL was the first public library to offer its patrons bookmobile service by using a converted streetcar. Talk about thinking like a start-up!! I also learned that EPL was the first system to hire an Aboriginal Services Librarian. I know that many university libraries and other public libraries have followed suit, and this is a step in the right direction. Despite the number of physical branches,  it was  quite evident that the EPL had many aspects of the hyperlinked library model.

 

I too have made progress at my branch in terms of “ thinking like a start-up” and ensuring our programs are more and inclusive. So here’s a story. One day a group of teenage girls approached me and asked me for a pencil sharpener. After searching the very cluttered desk, I realized we didn’t have one so I offered to take the pencils so that I could sharpen the pencils for them in the back. When I got to the back, I realize they weren’t writing pencils, but rather eyebrow and lipstick pencils. So unfortunately our pencil sharpener couldn’t accept some of the widths of the pencils, but it got me thinking about what kind of programming our teens could engage in and voila, we ended up hosting a Teen Beauty Workshop which was highly attended, only because I tuned into all the giggling about these makeup pencils!

Image result for makeup pencils

My constant challenge to myself to “ think like a start-up” has allowed me to come up with new programs for the branch. The other day, I was conducting a reference interview with a teen, who was seeking parenting resources, and when I encouraged them to attend my Friday morning baby time, I was told that it isn’t easy for a teenager to show up to a Baby Time program without being judged and so I am planning to conduct a second Baby time/Family Time program for teens, and include some contemporary music with a bit of a literary twist to engage the teens, i.e. ( if you like it you should put a bib on it)

Image result for teen library

Image Credit: Springdale Public Library

I have also decided to eventually create an event for our patrons and have them tell us what programs and services they’d like to see more of! This is just my way of reaching all users, including non users, which is what every single library should strive for as much as possible!

References:

Laerkes, J.G. (2016).The four spaces of the public library.

Berry III, J. (2014).2014 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: Edmonton Public Library, Transformed by Teamwork.

 

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Context Book Review: Blink ( 2005)

Context Book Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell ( 2005)

 

Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink is a book about how we think about thinking itself. It is a series of essays with insights into human cognition and how we process information when there is very little time available.  It explores the concept that decisions that are made in the blink of an eye, aren’t as simple as they seem. Why is it that some individuals made excellent decisions and others seem incompetent at decision making?  Why is it that some people follow their intuition and win, and others end up failing? It is these types of questions that are explored in this book. There is a lot of exploration into  how our brains work in various environments, such as at work, at school, etc. This book certainly has implications for the field of information science. Some of the examples of the book highlighted an information overload problem. When faced with an abundance of information, what are the cues that people use and how do they behave? What information needs to be excluded and which “ thin slices” are relied on?

 

I found this book to be an eye opener about ideas I had long ago buried in the back of my mind . Through this book,  I was able to appreciate the workings of the subconscious vs conscious mind. I  understood that  both aspects of these decision making processes needed to be addressed for effective decision making.  The main idea of the book is that the unconscious mind can find patterns based on narrow slices of experience called “ thin slicing” In his book, Gladwell takes us through many examples of successful decision making such as the psychologist who can predict whether or not a marriage will last based on a few minutes of observation, or a tennis coach who can predict whether the player will double fault before the racket even comes into contact with the ball, but there are also times when our snap judgments can fail us, such as the election of Warren Harding, or the shooting a young teenager by police officers.

 

Priming is a concept where subtle triggers can influence our behaviors without an awareness of such changes. The example given in the book occurred in Spain where classical music was introduced in the subway system and authorities noticed that there was a decrease in vandalism and littering. So I thought, what if libraries experiencing the same challenges, especially in inner city branches could do the same? Then, I was reminded of some of Dr. Stephen’s examples of organizational culture where priming could be used, such as the reserved parking sign described in our lecture  and the Do-Not-Disturb memo, and wondered what if employers could prime their staff to be more polite to other staff and patrons alike? Staff need to listen to each other and make it a priority to include all voices, not just the ones at the top. Communicating with and including staff’s ideas and opinions is a critical part of library 2.0.  Maybe it could be as simple as designing a “ rotating” schedule for that designated parking spot, or getting rid of it entirely.

Chapter Six, “Seven Seconds in the Bronx” was the hardest chapter for me to get through. It was heartbreaking for me to read the tragedy of Amadou Diallo, who was shot in the Bronx by police officers who believed that he was carrying a gun. This is an example of how our snap decisions can have horrific consequences. As librarians, we need to engage all users, and not just the patrons who come in for the traditional programs. What could we be doing to engage teens like Amadou Diallo, or the police officers who shot and killed him?  Perhaps librarians need to attend the community town halls or be the ones to host a racial profiling session at the library. As Gandhi said, “ We need to be the change we want to see in this world” Libraries need to work with their communities and find ways to find solutions to these  very real challenges.  But first, they will need to put radical trust into their communities and open up the library to have these much needed conversations.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/videos/92561442-132.html

 

I really enjoyed reading the concluding chapter, “Listening With Your Eyes”. Gladwell provided an example of the National Symphony Orchestra using blind auditions to eliminate biases, specifically gender bias. I thought this was brilliant—the idea of judges listening with their ears rather than their eyes and musicians being selected solely based on how well they play their instruments without race, ethnicity and gender being a factor really brought me to tears. What if libraries hired staff this way and changed how interviews are traditionally done? I’ve always wondered whether I’ve attended an interview only to be “ thin-sliced” by my interviewers.

 

It was interesting to read that the National Symphony Orchestra was shocked ( I don’t understand what there is to be shocked about) but this suggests that we still have a long way to go when it comes to issues of gender equality. There is a lot to be gleaned from this example. As librarians, we need to ensure that all vertical teams include all voices, not just the ones managing the orchestra, but the ones who are playing in the orchestra, as well as the ones who are listening to the orchestra being played.  The foundational reading, “Think Like a Startup” inspires us to invent our own practices with the quote “ Don’t just copy and paste from other libraries: invent!( Mathews 2012) ” Like the National Symphony Orchestra’s hiring practice to eliminate gender bias, librarians need to invent such practices in their organizations too!  

 

As librarians, we really need to work on ways to be aware of our own biases when dealing with patrons and staff and be aware of the consequences when we need to be wary of our snap judgments. This is another great reason to include our user’s feedback when designing new programs and services, because our own attitudes and prejudices may come into play when making decisions. We may lead ourselves down in wrong paths that we may not even suspect. As librarians, we need to be aware that these prejudices exist and then mold and enrich our experiences to be better prepared to make choices. We must strive to be transparent in all our dealings and make decisions based on more than just first impressions and snap judgments. It’s important to be objective rather than subjective when making decisions about library programs and services. We need to harness the power of our intuition while also being aware of its drawbacks. We need to use this knowledge about human decision making to overcome difficulties we face as a society when making decisions.

References:

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: a Guide to Participatory Library Service.

Gladwell, M. (2005). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

 

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Reflections on Course Readings

Reflections on Course Readings

 

I have been inspired in so many ways this week through the course readings that is so hard to sum it up. The biggest transformation  for me is that the way I think about things has truly evolved and I find that I am more open minded when it comes to the future of the library. I went from being slightly fearful of new technology to looking forward to learning about new technologies that I can apply to my work!

 

Michael Buckland’s Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto was a very tough read, but I am proud of getting through it! It’s amazing that it was written in 1992! It seems that it has more significance and relevance now than ever! I found it to be very practical  read and I was reminded that there are core values at the heart of librarianship no matter what the future of libraries would look like. I hope to remember this as I progress through this course  I also appreciated learning about the characterstics of the Paper Library, the Automated Library, Electronic Library and the issues surrounding bibliographies. It’s nice to know where libraries have been in the past because it allows one to look to the future with promise and optimism.

Think Like a Startup by Brian Mathews should be a must read for every student beginning library school. As the work week progressed, I found myself continually thinking about how to push the envelope and think about “ cleaner floors and not better vacuum cleaners” I was lucky enough to attend the Ontario Library Association conference and having read this paper just before, I went into the OLA conference looking for “ breakthrough, paradigm-shifting, transformative, and disruptive ideas”( Mathews, 2012)  In his paper, Mathews talks about  not “pigeonholing ourselves into finite roles” and this point was also stressed in our course module where Dr. Stephens talked about staff who build around a castle around their positions and don’t let anyone in. I patted myself on the back for not doing this because I am in a supervisory position at the library, yet I am just as involved in programming and outreach as the librarians in the building so I guess I am doing something right! I took this a step further and started to brainstorm ideas on how to cross train staff on certain library procedures and tasks.

 

I have also signed myself up for some trainings that I probably would not have been interested in had it not been for this course and some of the wisdom and advice offered in the readings.  On Thursday, I will be attending a 3-D printing workshop and I have also signed up a a “ Train the Trainer” workshop so that once I am comfortable with some of the new technology, I will be comfortable enough to introduce it to staff and patron groups! I am hoping to really embrace start up culture and use it to propel myself forward into the future!

Finally, the Library 2.0 text was very invaluable and I hope to hang onto this text throughout my career! The messages in Dr. Stephen’s foreward how “ Library 2.0“ encourages the heart” and that Library 2.0 is a place “ where the emotional needs of the users will be fulfilled” really resonated with me and got me sold about Library 2.0 right from the beginning. I hope to immerse myself into the world of emerging technology and be armed with information so that I too, can “ roll with each wave of change” and “encourage and educate future users”  ( Stephens, 2007)

 

Some of the things that struck me from the readings was the messaging about reaching out to potential non users. It was something that I have never thought of before, but an important consideration to keep in mind.  Another valuable lesson I learned from the readings was to include users when designing library programs and services.  We will be redesigning our library space to include a “ Teen Zone” and so I will definitely bring forth the suggestion to consult with our teens. Maybe they may not want fancy seating, and maybe it’s bean bag chairs that they would want, or maybe not, but we won’t know if we don’t ask!

I also agreed with the readings about continuing to offer those services that are in high demand. As the saying goes, “ if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  Finally, I just wanted to finish off by saying that I have also signed up for Blogging Training, so that I too can implement some of the ideas about Internal Staff Blogs in my organization. I can’t wait to see what the future of libraries holds and where this course takes me!

 

Buckland, M. (1992). Redesigning library services: A manifesto. American Library Association. Retrieved from http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Literature/Library/Redesigning/html.html

 

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, N.J: Information Today.

 

Matthews,B., (2012). Think like a startup. Retrieved from http://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/18649/Think%20like%20a%20STARTUP.pdf?sequence=1

 

Stephens, M. (2017). Lecture: The Hyperlinked Library: Exploring the Model. [Panopto Video]. Retrieved from: https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=2d0f28cc-2337-4aaf-ae88-4f133c509f67

 

 

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Hello world!

Hello! My name is Sharuka and I am from Canada! Sorry for the lack of activity over the last few days. My sister had her first baby a few days early, which makes me a new Auntie so I have been spending lots of time with my precious new niece!

I live with my husband of almost 4 years in a condo in Toronto, Canada and have worked in public libraries since I was a teenager.  I worked as a shelver for many years and then monitored  a literacy and homework help program while going to university and obtaining my BSc in Kinesiology and Health Sciences.  After graduating, I obtained a part time position doing front line public service work for a few years as I struggled to decide whether I should go into the sciences or stay with public libraries. I have also worked in a supervisory capacity at a large branch, and finally obtained a library assistant position with a youth focus back in November. I wanted even more of a challenge, so I accepted a 6 month secondment at a location in the city’s most diverse and densely populated neighbourhood.

I am in my second week of my secondment and I can say that although I find it challenging, it is extremely rewarding! I will soon be starting up a children’s book club and am looking to introduce S.T.E.M programming to the branch and combine my university background and experience with children in public libraries. This is only my second course in the program and I hope that I will glean some insights about emerging technologies and how I can incorporate some of the technology that we will be exploring into my children’s and youth programming.

My hobbies involve reading non fiction, travelling the world because I don’t want to wait until I am retired to do that, and just spending quality time with my family!

I am excited for the journey ahead and wish you all success in this course!

 

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