Reflection #5 Library as Creative Classroom

This is the Elements of the Creative Classroom Research Model, created by the European commission Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. I was really struck by this slide in the Library As Classroom lecture and had to pause to go do a bit more digging. I found the official Horizons 2014 report (graphic on page 4) which is a report that has been mentioned multiple times in this course for identifiying emerging trends in libraries and higher education. The 2014 report indicated that with each trend identified, the researchers used the Creative Classroom Research Model to identify the implications for policy, leadership and practice for each trend. 

What really sparked my interest though, was the article by Michael for the Library Journal that argued libraries ARE creative classrooms (https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=library-as-classroom-office-hours). This is more in line with what I was thinking when I saw this graphic. I thought this really was the essence of describing learning in a library setting but also, all of our coursework in this class fits into a segment of this Creative Classroom Model. Our course readings and discussion on participatory services and hyperlinked communities/environments have aligned with the Learning Practices and Teaching practices and a bit of the assessment (5-17). The conversation with Stacie Ledden and the job descriptions have been aligning with the Leadership and Values and Oganization (18-23). We looked at the hyperlinked model and the innovative Dokk1 library the first couple weeks meeting the Connectedness and Infrastructure section (24-28). And looking forward to new models, new horizens, mobile devices, and trends outside of libraries all aligned with the Content & Curricula section (1-4). 

I think libraries as a whole are really embracing the learning practices in this model with makerspaces, rennovated areas within libraries, and creating co munities of lifelong learners. But a lot of the libraries that we see as examples in our hyperlinked coursework that seem to be leading the way have really embraced the other half of the circle especially with the Leadership and Values, Organization, and Connectedness sections. These sections seem to be more fundamental and transformational change in the values of a library rather than the transitory programming where they may just “try out” a new model without committing too much. 

This is definitely something I want to dig in more….I may have print this out and start posting it around my desk at work so I can review it regularly and see how I can keep this in focus when strategic planning and creating new programs.

Reflection #4 – Anythink Groupie

Going through the course materials and listening to the Stacie Ledden interview over the past couple weeks has been really transformative. 

Before the interview, I was exploring their policies, strategic vision, and events to get a good feel of their mission and how they were working within their community. While I was exploring the website I found this page called Investing in Anythink’s Future….this is where I dove into the Anythink rabbit hole. 

We have talked in previous modules about the importance of transparency. The Anythink community is getting ready, as we speak, to vote on a ballot measure to increase funding for the Anythink libraries. The library put together this page that clearly outlines the ballot proposal, tax implications, the district needs and challenges, and their vision for the future. But they take it a step further and talk about how the library is funded, they provide historical context, projected growth, and comparable funding from surrounding communities. 

BUT THEY KEEP GOING. 

They expand on their current efficiencies, detail how they want to spend the money and where it will be invested. The amount of context, information, and transparency here is beyond anything I have seen for almost any government project in my own community. In the interview with Stacie, she mentioned that Colorado has a big libertarian population who requires extreme transparency. She stressed that you have to make your case and explicitly state where the money is going and how it will be spent so they can make an informed decision. I definitely think this model would be beneficial in my own community. 

While I was exploring this page, I stumbled upon a document call Catalyst for Innovation: The Anythink Visioning Sessions This was one of the most inspiring library visions I have read in a while. Flipping through the pages, I could truly get a sense of the community involvement to help design a 21st century library. Moving forward with this vision would be a library build for the people. This is definitely a model for listening to the community the library is serving. 

The more I learn about Anythink, the more I really love their transformative mission and approach to community centered librarianship. If you haven’t had a chance, I highly recommend watching the Stacie Ledden interview.

Emerging Technology Planning

Branchview Tech Campus – Library Plus Program

Introduction

This project was inspired by the Michael Casey discussion over a new customer service initiative at the Gwinnett Public Library. The library is utilizing the Open + software from Bibliotheca to increase library access to the community during non-staffed library times. Michael Casey discussed how the Gwinnett community is a commuter community and the Open+ program increased access to the library for those who could not make it in during traditional open hours.

“We’re very much of a commuter community. So some people don’t get home until you know seven or eight o’clock when the library is closing and I can’t get out to get their holds until after that” (INFO 287 The hyperlinked library, 2019).

I immediately thought of the Branchview Tech students who are working all day and cannot make it to the campus library before it closes at 8pm. Would the Open+ model work in an academic setting to meet the needs of these students who could benefit from access to campus library services? I argue yes, and it would do so without increasing the needs of additional staff. 

Description of Community you wish to engage:

Branchview Tech College has a significant non-traditional student population. Non-traditional students generally fall into a few categories: over the age of 24, parents, or working full time. These students are often taking classes in the evening or online to meet their schedule demands. Non-traditional students are not able to engage with campus services during normal working hours due to their work and family schedules. 

“The lives of many of these students will not be campus-centered. They will already have multiple commitments to work, to home and families, plus their education” (Fox, 2001, p.122) 

With multiple constraints on their time and attention, non-traditional students can struggle with succeeding in the classroom. When technology and internet access is a barrier at home, this struggle is exacerbated. 

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

“In a survey of library use patterns, Ann Curry (2003) found that 20% of her respondents noted that late-night hours are the only time that they had to visit the library (p. 381). Many nontraditional students’ time is limited due to their commute to campus and other commitments such as employment and family” (Sewell, 2013, p. 16)

The goal of the Library Plus program is to serve the needs of non-traditional students at Branchview Tech while also expanding service offerings for traditional students as well. The on-campus library provides computers, access to WiFi, student printing, and a quiet place to study and focus. The library is currently open from 8am- 8pm Monday-Thursday, 8am-5pm on Fridays, 8:30am-noon on Saturdays, and is not open at all on Sundays. The library Plus program will expand library hours to 7am-midnight Sunday – Thursday and 7am-9pm on Friday and Saturday. The Library Plus program aims to support the academic success of Branchview Tech students by providing extended access to library services outside of staffed operating hours to accommodate the busy schedules of our non-traditional students.

Action Statement

Convince busy, working students and administration that by utilizing self-service extended library hours students will have access to computers, WiFi, and quiet study space during times that fit with their schedule which will help them complete their coursework and reduce technology barriers to improve academic success and retention because the Branchview Tech library recognizes that all not all students have access to technology at home and no matter their home/work schedules, deserve access to free, on-campus resources that will support their academic achievement.

“The library also holds a close kinship with students and their academic success. Providing access to the building and its physical and online resources is a core component of the library’s mission. Reducing access to Belk Library runs counter to that mission” (Johnson and Mccallister, 2015, p. 85).  

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service: 

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service: 

There will need to be many stakeholders involved with setting policies for an extended hours campus library service. The dean over the library, the library director, the campus dean, and the head of security will work together to create the building procedures, space use policies, and safety guidelines for the after-hours access. These policies will be modeled after our parent institution that has a 24-hour library lab on the main campus (WSU Ablah Library). Additional policies will be modeled after public libraries that allow access during unstaffed time.

Safety guidelines will include: video monitoring during unstaffed hours, access to a campus phone to call security, policies concerning children in the library

Building procedures will include: limiting access to library spaces to Branchview Tech students by utilizing ID card access points

Library policies will include: acceptable use, technology access

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service: 

Funding for the technology to install proxy card access to the library doors as well as remote access security cameras will be the largest upfront investment. Fortunately, the Branchview Tech campus already has contracts with companies and is utilizing the technology at other campuses. This will reduce the time it takes to negotiate new contracts and vendor selection. Utilizing established vendors will also allow the library to take advantage of contract discounts. The South campus location where the extended hours service is proposed is introducing a prox card security system in the Spring 2020 semester. The library could request to be included in this rollout to reduce project costs as the prox card project is funded by the campus general fund. The library would then only be responsible for the installation of security cameras and a campus security phone/emergency button.  

The library will be applying for a technology grant through the Mid Continent Library System to cover the costs of the security cameras. This grant would cover the initial purchase and installation of the technology needed for this new service. Upkeep costs would be covered by the library general grant fund for the first year and institutionalized into the budget after the first pilot year of the project if given approval by the dean over library services. 

Action Steps & Timeline: 

Fall 2019 Approvals

  1. To begin the project, initial approvals from the Dean over library services, South campus Dean, and the head of security would need to be obtained. 
  2. Upon step 1 approvals, the proposal to include the library in the prox card system campus installation would need to be taken to the Vice President of finance for approval of two additional prox card systems.
    1. If the approval from the VP of finance is not obtained, additional funding would need to be secured through grants to pay for the library prox card units. 

Spring 2020

  1. If all these approvals were granted, the prox card system would be installed at the south campus in March of 2020.
  2. During early Spring, all policies would be drafted and submitted for approval by April. 
  3. The library director would apply in the spring funding round for the matching technology grant funding through the Mid Continent Library System. This grant opens late January 2020 and would be awarded by April. The grant funds would be used to cover the security camera installation.
    1. If the grant is not awarded, there are enough funds in the library general grant account to cover the security installation
  4. The security system would be installed in April with extended hours beginning in May.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service: 

The Library Plus hours expansion will not require extra staff and will expand library hours through a card entry self-service model. 

Training for this new service will be for students who would like to use the library during expanded hours. The Branchview Tech campus library will require students enroll for the Library Plus program and attend a short orientation to receive their prox card. Many libraries have utilized the orientation onboarding model to reduce concern with inappropriate use during unstaffed times (Bibliotheca). This will be the largest amount of staff time and could be handled by producing an online orientation series in the future.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service: 

Marketing will be important for the success of this program. Information about the additional library service will be included in all new student orientation programs, all library orientation classrooms, and through the student communication app utilized at the college. The library will also need to communicate the expanded self-service hours to the faculty and advising department in order to help staff get the information to the students who might benefit from the expanded library hours the most. 

“The research discovered the library was a haven required by a dedicated group of students who greatly needed a late-night place to work in. At the Bizzell Memorial Library at the University of Oklahoma, Engel et al. (2002) conducted a questionnaire about library opening hours and found that 70.3% of the respondents typically used the library between 10:00p.m. and 12:00 midnight, which surprisingly was the highest typical usage” (Yip, Chiu, Cho, and Lo, 2019, p. 172)

Evaluation:

Expanded hours usage will be collected throughout the program. The card entry system will also provide details into who is using the space and when so the library can develop targeted marketing for specific student populations. There will be periodic surveying of the Library Plus program users to determine common issues the student run into while using the library without staff (printer or technology issues may be common). By evaluating common issues and determining satisfaction with the expanded hours, the library staff can create interventions or expansions to the service model. For example, librarians could look into creating a “virtual librarian” with pre-recorded responses for common tech troubleshooting issues. The evaluation stage is extremely important in order to justify the continuation of the Library Plus program as well as establish additional services to meet the needs of the Library Plus program users.

“The participatory library is open and transparent, and it communicates with its community through many mechanisms. The participatory library engages and queries its entire community and seeks to integrate them into the structure of change. The community should be involved in the brainstorming for new ideas and services, they should play a role in planning for those services, and they should definitely be involved in the evaluation and review process” (Tame the web, October 2011). 

By engaging with the students who are using the program, the librarians can create new student-centered services that will benefit all students.

References

Bibliotheca. (n.d.) Ventura Public Library. Retrieved from: https://www.bibliotheca.com/ventura-public-library/

Fox, A. (2001). The After-five syndrome: Library hours and services for the adult learner. The Reference Librarian, 33(69-70), 119-126.

INFO 287 The Hyperlinked Library. (2019). Michael Casey recording. Retrieved from: https://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/blog/michael-casey-recording/

Johnson, K., & Mccallister, K. (2015). Assessing the 24/5 library: A Case study in data and perspectives. Journal of Access Services, 12(3-4), 75-90.

Tame the web. (October 20, 2011) Revisting participatory service in trying times. Retrieved from: https://tametheweb.com/2011/10/20/revisiting-participatory-service-in-trying-times-a-ttw-guest-post-by-michael-casey/

WSU Ablah Library. (n.d). 24-hour Study Room. Retrieved from: https://libraries.wichita.edu/c.php?g=748625&p=5360872

Yip, T., Chiu, D., Cho, A., & Lo, P. (2019). Behavior and informal learning at night in a 24-hour space: A case study of the Hong Kong Design Institute Library. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 51(1), 171-179.

Reflection #3 – The Hyperlinked Academic Library

I dove into the Hyperlinked Academic Library section and there were a couple articles that really sparked my interest. The first was the Starting a Food Pantry in an Academic Library article. What started out as a snack food drawer for their student workers morphed into a food pantry for all library patrons. “For students to succeed academically, we need to care for them in a holistic manner. If students aren’t living a life of wellness, it’s hard to succeed academically” (Hardenbrook, 2019). These academic librarians began to look at potential barriers students face that might be impeding their academic success and then creatively came up with solutions that had nothing to do with books and academic journal articles. By looking at how the library might serve the student more holistically, librarians helped create the library as third place on campus where students feel welcomed and supported more than just academically.

I then read the Sparking Curiosity article and thought this was a way to cultivate the same holistic view of the student but in the mind. This article was all about how to support curiosity and exploration on a deeper level during their education. The article discussed how many students are stressed about getting good grades and completing assignments that they are often selecting “safer” research topics. These are topics students are familiar with, may have done research on before, or know that there are plenty of published articles to choose from (marijuana legalization, video game violence, body image and the media to name a few). The library can also support a more holistic view of the student and their education with encouraging students to think deeper and follow their curiosity when selecting research topics for class. Research could them become an “Opportunity to learn new things, to explore new perspectives, and to synthesize new ideas into an original argument” (Detering and Rempel, 2017). I think this is a much harder endeavor as librarians are trying to compete with stress in the classroom, over grades, and pushing students toward the unknown…but the skills taught in following your curiosity and seeking out the unknown will be useful in all aspects of their life. 

The Hyperlinked Academic Library can interact with their students and become a third place by supporting students in a more holistic way, allowing them to be more present and focused on campus through programming like the food pantry example. But the Hyperlinked Academic Library can also encourage and guide students to deeper growth and exploration through providing a safe space for exploring through curiosity. 


Detering, A & Rempel, H. (2017, February 22). Sparking curiosity – librarians’ role in encouraging exploration. Retrieved from: http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2017/sparking-curiosity/

Hardenbrook, J. (2019, September 3). Starting a food pantry in an academic library. Retreived from: https://mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/starting-a-food-pantry-in-an-academic-library/

Reflection #2 – Participatory Programming

Sometimes, it might be best if the library just let go.

In the readings from last week and this week, there have been some amazing nuggets on programming that has not been librarian led. The library is merely serving as a platform and space for users to create and engage on their own. There were two examples from the readings that stuck out to me.

  1. The Idea Box at the Oak Park Library. The library transformed a space within the library and turned it into an interactive exhibit, inviting visitors to engage, create, and interact with whatever was in the space. The librarians may develop prompts, but it was left to the visitors to create the exhibit. 
  2. The Library Takeover project at Madison Public library encouraged community led program development. The community submitted proposals to the library for new program ideas. If a program was selected, the team was provided a micro grant to cover the production, marketing, and resources needed to create the programming (Smith, 2017). The teams were given a bootcamp training on programming and project management and then the program was left up to the community to create. Allowing the community to have full control over the programming offered at the library invites community participation. 

These examples take me back to a quote from the Module 4 lecture from a PLA 2016 session from a Dokk1 Librarian (Stephens, 2019). 

“We designed our libraries for people, not books.”

When the library invites the public to participate in programming and creation, they are inviting transparency and community engagement and the library becomes a reflection of the community it serves. 


Smith, C. (2017). Madison’s library takeover. Retrieved from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/madisons-library-takeover/

Stephens, M. (2019). The hyperlinked library: Participatory service. [Video lecture].Retrieved from: https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=35b4e981-cd58-479a-96d3-aab3011b0f24

Context Book – Made to Stick

Cover of the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.

I read the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. The authors introduce 6 SUCCES principles for making your ideas sticky.

Simplicity

Find the core of an idea, and strip it down to its most critical essence. Elegance and prioritization….not dumbing down!

WARNING—you may have to discard a lot of great ideas to let the most important shine. Libraries provide a LOT of services to communities….but what is the most critical essence?

Unexpected

We cannot succeed if our messages don’t break through the clutter to get people’s attention.

Page 65

How can we break the pattern and get their attention? How can we create curiosity. Curiosity happens when we discover a gap in our knowledge. This becomes an itch that we need to scratch.

KICKER—we need to OPEN gaps, before we can CLOSE them. 

Concreteness

Concrete ideas are easier to remember. Concreteness builds on existing understanding. 

Concreteness helps us understand and construct higher, more abstract insights on the building blocks of our existing knowledge and perceptions.

Page 106

WARNING—it can feel very unnatural to speak concretely about something you have known intimately for years.

Credibility

You need to find sources of authority, or even antiauthority, that you can lean on. Vivid details lend to your story’s credibility. 

Emotion

For people to take ACTION, they have to CARE. It is feelings that drive people to act, not calculations or stats. There are three strategies for making people care: associations, self-interest, and appealing to identity.

WARNING—the curse of knowledge can strike quickly on this one. You have to convince someone else why they should care. When answering the question of why someone should care, use three “why’s?” to drill down to the core values and principles. 

Stories

 Stories can almost single handedly defeat the curst of knowledge. Stories embody most of the 6 sticky principles. Stories are almost always concrete.

If someone has not experienced it for themselves…stories are the next best thing. 


BEWARE THE CURSE OF KNOWLEDGE

Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like to not know it.

Page 20

Librarians live and breathe library services on a daily basis. Many librarians I know have been librarians for most of their professional lives. They know libraries are more than just warehouses for books. They know libraries provide internet and technology training, and 3-D printing, and job training, and a plethora of other community services. We KNOW that people are still using services.

WE KNOW WE ARE RELEVANT.

But we are still struggling with the old stereotypes. We are still struggling to justify our existence to the taxpayers who fund us. We are still having to organized to combat uninformed Forbes opinion articles.

We are cursed with knowledge. We know our missions, we know our services, we know our worth…And our knowledge may be making it difficult to effectively communicate our mission to our communities so that is STICKS and THEY go to bat for us against the poorly written Forbes articles. 


The book, at its core, is a method of transforming and communicating ideas. Within the context of this class, I kept thinking back to how libraries need to communicate their mission, or redefined mission, in order to build trust, transparency, and participation in their communities. Without these three things, libraries will continue to struggle to stay relevant in a constantly changing world where budgets and staff are shrinking and stretched. I think the time is now for us to redefine ourselves and our services and communicate boldly what the future will look like.

The Hyperlinked Library – Reflection 1

“Every link by a person with something to say is an act of generosity and selflessness, bidding our readers leave our page to see how the world looks to someone else.”

New Clues

How easy would it be to switch out the word “link” with the word “book”. Inherently, the quote above is describing what libraries have done for centuries: Inviting our patrons and all readers to see how the world looks from another perspective. 

Books have been the method of sharing perspectives for ages, and libraries have always facilitated access to books. But a quote from Redefining Library Services: a Manifesto, stopped me in my tracks.

“The purpose of and justification for libraries should not be confused with techniques and technologies adopted as MEANS for providing service.” 

Redefining Library Services: A Manifesto

Books have been the technique for sharing viewpoints for so long that library patrons, and perhaps the librarians themselves, have conflated books with the purpose and justification of the library’s existence. Librarians are now faced with redefining library services while also trying to shift away from the perception of the library as book warehouse. 

Enter here the Hyperlinked Library model. Reinsert “Link” back into the original quote but continue to think about libraries. While you might get stuck on the word link and think of it as just a little blue underlined word…we are invited to expand the definition of link to services that bring people together.

The example from the lecture that really brought this into focus for me was the storywalk example from Johnson County Library, right here in my home state. Their storywalk in a park brought together county departments to provide a new service that brought people together. The walk in a park was hyperlinked with a Pete the Cat story walk, providing an unexpected library service to reach users outside of the library space. THIS to me, is a hyperlinked library.

“I know it surprised people,” he said. “Stumbling upon a reading component in an unexpected setting – especially one that is as well-loved as the Antioch Park playground – helps people blend the idea of active play with reading readiness. There may have been park visitors who were inspired to visit the library because of Storywalk. I know there were library visitors who went to the park when they found out a new Storywalk was posted. Additionally, I’m hopeful the adults who accompanied children around Storywalk picked up a few simple tips & tricks for making the most of the time they spend reading with their child.” 

https://www.jcprd.com/Blog.aspx?IID=61

Links are not just little blue underlined words, but they are services, they are collaboration, they are people. The end this post, I would like to you read the following quote. Instead of “web”, insert “Library” and just give yourself a minute to let the idea sink in. 

“But the Web is about links that constantly reach out, connecting us without end. For lives and ideas, completion is death. Choose life.”

New Clues

Choose libraries. 

Introduction

Hello! My name is Britten.

I live in Wichita, Kansas. Wichita is one of the few cities with a flag all its own. We love our flag. Visit and you will find it on literally everything. It is a borderline obsession.

We love our flag so much we like to take it with us when we travel to photograph its adventures outside of the city.

This summer, I took my flag on my first ever official vacation not on a holiday or work break to Okinawa, Japan.

The flag tried to go seaweed hunting. The flag failed due to the warm weather the week before.
Don’t wear your swimsuit they said. Easy hike through small mountain stream they said. The flag found out it was much deeper than normal.
The flag felt better about the hike once it made it to the waterfall.
The flag took a break from the jungle to visit Shurijo Castle, a fully reconstructed castle from the Ryukyu kingdom.
The flag wanted to hike up a mountain and countless steps to visit a Shinto shrine. So many different shades of green. And so many steps. Definitely not in Kansas anymore.

I came back to Kansas, but my flag stayed with my host to enjoy the island life and food a little while longer.

When I am not on vacation, I am the Director of Library and Information Services for WSU Tech. I am a one person show so I get to do all the jobs around the library which is an exciting and exhausting experience.

I look forward to working with everyone this semester.