For my final submission to the Hyperlinked Library, I have created a video that summarizes my learning. The video is below and the transcript is below that! For the part on reflective practice fast forward the video to 6:11.
Hello, my name is Valerie and this video that I’ve created is meant to sum marize and contextualize what I’ve learned in INFO 287—A seminar about the Hyperlinked Library. I’m going to break down this video by assignment posting. Let’s get started!
In Post 1, I talk about myself, and looking back on it, I actually think I sound a little arrogant when I was trying to be funny-so a note to future self-humor does not always translate. When introducing yourself to coworkers or peers, please err on the side of caution and loose the cheekiness.
Okay—Post 2. During this time, I read through the foundational material for the class, which focused on introducing the hyperlinked library. In a blog post, I reflected on my interpretations and major takeaways from these readings and the big picture I came to was “Libraries need surprise.” Basically, in order to change peoples’ perspectives on what a library can do, a library cannot just be one thing. Libraries need to engage with people in new and unexpected ways. But even more than that—we need to make change a constant. If we show our patrons and users that we care about giving them new learning experiences and more involvement in our services then perhaps we will create a “going to the movies” mentality— “Better catch that 3-D printing workshop at the library before it’s gone!”
Post 3. The Context Book Review. I had the opportunity of reading a book titled Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom. In this book, the author, Rebecca Mackinnon, discusses government censorship and monitoring of the internet. There are several countries who prohibit specific information searching and access. Mackinnon urges readers to know their rights and to stand up for citizens in countries where their information is formulated and tracked. As information professionals we have the unique opportunity to build networks with other information organizations that combat government censorship and monitoring by creating safe places to share important information. In the United States, libraries are also institutions that protect first amendment rights; While those people struggling in other countries do not have the same rights, I hold the belief that we should protect the rights of all information seekers from every country, which leads to…
Post 4. In this post, I reflected on participatory services. Libraries are transforming. A major shift in the profession is the move toward a participatory service model. Involving patrons in deciding what services and opportunities will be available is just one of the ways that the community can interact with their library. One part of the participatory model that is critical to its success is transparency. New technology has created so many avenues to collaborate with patrons inside and outside of the community. The internet and social media have led to increased transparency. Information has become so easily accessible that if information is leaked it doesn’t bode well for the organization that withheld it. Libraries only benefit from involving their patrons. Not only will their services directly apply to patron desires, but interactive environments online can lead to better informed citizens. Government corruption can be mediated through active communities who won’t let injustices slide under the radar.
In Post 5, I came to the conclusion that hyperlinked environments should all link together. Every library setting is undergoing an upgrade. Whether it’s in a school, at a college, or in the community, the way people perceive, create, and digest information has drastically changed in the last twenty-six years since the induction of the World Wide Web. Each institution is a place for people to learn and engage with information. Along with that, each institution will have specific focuses, interests, technologies that can provide the appropriate information to a patron. It is our job as information professionals to know these specialties and capabilities in order to connect the patron to that resource. Libraries need to be open to other organizations as well and recognize the benefit of working with local businesses and professionals who offer expertise in various skillsets.
Post 6. In post 6, I had the chance to create an emerging technology plan. I propose using Pinterest in a school library setting. Pinterest is a fun way to invite students to interact with library events and activities on campus. Using a guide that Professor Stephens provided, I was able to understand what is required when planning and implementing a new technology in the library. Considerations of how to budget, market, and evaluate a new service like a Pinterest account in the library are critical to the success of the project.
Post 7. I explored mobile technology in the library. Smart phones have become such an integral part of our daily lives, including mine. Libraries need to take advantage of these devices and find ways to interact with their patrons through mobile phones. That way, the library can also provide teaching resources outside of the library. I was also introduced to beacon technology—Bluetooth capabilities are something I had never considered before. It made me aware of all the untapped resources that I still haven’t come across; I plan to continue learning about the technology that exists within and without our profession in order to find new ways to engage patrons.
Post 8. This was my favorite module. I think that teaching is the most important responsibility of libraries and information professionals. Public libraries have a long history of providing lifelong learning to their communities. They have the unique position of teaching their patrons exactly what they want to learn, teaching patrons what they didn’t know they wanted to learn, and teaching patrons in a way that doesn’t conform to the traditional teaching practices of a classroom. Guiding patrons to learning materials that fulfill their learning needs as well open them up to a new avenue of information access is extremely gratifying.
Post 9. Next, the Director’s Brief. This was one of the most interesting and educational assignments of the class. I considered the innovative, Dokk1 Library, and how a similar design process and service reformation can only benefit public libraries in the United States. Technology was integrated into the architectural design and collaborative experiences of the library. When proposing change to the library director, there are several aspects of a major project that must be reviewed before beginning. The limitations of applying the same model on a smaller scale with a smaller budget is the biggest obstacle in a major project. Dokk1 is an incredible library that inspired me to always innovate in the library.
Post 10. The final post, is actually the post that will contain this video. I am going to discuss reflective practice. Professor Michael Stephens has consistently provided materials that ground concepts into real-life contexts. In the short time I’ve had him as a teacher, his own writings and experiences have greatly influenced the way I view my future in the profession. When considering reflective practice, his article titled “Reflective Practice” has truly moved me. We are human first and foremost. Empathy, acceptance, and understanding should be the baseline of our services to the community. Reflecting on the ways that we can make our patrons feel more comfortable and connected with us is an important aspect of providing the best service.
Another article that resonated with me as I move into my career in the library, is the conversation between Warren Cheetham and Justin Hoenke. Reflective practice in the library profession requires our willingness to make mistakes and possibly look a little foolish. As Cheetham puts it “By not making mistakes, by not taking responsible risks, by waiting until someone else makes it perfect before we can adopt it, we miss an opportunity to benefit from any success of the project” (2013). Every mistake or struggle during the process of creating or implementing a new service allows us to reflect on what changes must be made or what aspects of our trials worked. Along with that, being transparent about the mistakes or missteps during the process gives our patrons a look into the work that we do in the library and the efforts we made to bring them a service or technology. We become more human and we open up the conversation to allow people in our community to offer their insights or expertise.
Finally, an anonymously written article that reflects on what it means to be a library professional provides a perspective that supports what I’ve experienced so far in the library. Library professionals are not in the profession for recognition, praise, or accolades. Or if they are, then they have chosen a profession that is largely disregarded by society today. For many, library work is a calling. It’s something that we feel compelled to do. I like the way the author puts it, libraries are meant to be a service that are “leaned on.” Yes, there will be patrons who are unappreciative, who are demanding, and unsympathetic to the sacrifices and difficulties we overcome to be in this service profession. But that is what libraries are there to do. In conclusion, I hope to always strive to be better. To continue learning for and with my patrons. To be proud of the service I provide even if those services are taken for granted.