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Reflection Post #2 – Collective Connections

I get excited to see how libraries are evolving beyond the perception of a book warehouses and how ‘hands on’ maker programs foster creativity and discovery integrated with technology and community. Some of the standouts for me from the week 4 module are most of the NYPL links and Werner’s post on how to destroy special collections with social media were very interesting. New York is a massive culture capital [fashion, food, architecture, arts, etc] and that collection can be shared by anyone anywhere now. YOUmedia in the CPL was amazing too. It’s giving the community members a safe and positive place for learning, creation, skills development with play, expressive outlet and nurture relationships.

An example of a participatory and transparent library is the Los Angeles Public Library. They encourage the public to participate in a variety of ways as seen on the getting involved web page. Members of the community can join the library foundation, become a friend, volunteer, and donate materials or funds. Community involvement was a big component when they were devising their 2015-2020 strategic plan which is linked on their website. ‘We asked what the library could do to help them make a better life. And the people of Los Angeles answered. By email, phone, focus groups and hundreds of hand-written notes.’ (LAPL, 2020)

One current program that is involving the community is the call for submissions for the Safer at Home Archive. They are collecting materials to document the local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Check out the Special Collections video about it. This is an offshoot of the Memory Lab where they provide tools and techniques to preserve the diverse communities of Los Angeles. They hold scanning days with the mobile memory lab at different locations announced through their social media. The community can bring their personal artifacts to be digitized as well as capture oral histories. Users go home with digital copies. I would love to be a part of this unique program that is preserving the community. It’s a great ice breaker where people open up and become more communitive. I feel that this program is a great way to get to know your community and users. It can help form a relationship or strengthen it. Plus, the community sees itself represented within the archive.

Facebook Examples from LAPL branches announcing Scanning Day

REFERENCE

LAPL (2020, Sept) Los Angeles Public Library Strategic Plan 2015-2020. [PDF] Retrieved from: https://www.lapl.org/sites/default/files/media/pdf/about/LAPL_Strategic_Plan_2015-2020.pdf

https://www.lapl.org/memorylab/mobile

NYPL Surveyor Tool (2017)

NYPL Space & Time Collections. (n. d.)

NYPL Public Domain Image Collection (n.d.) Werner, Sarah. (2015). How to Destroy Special Collections with Social Media.

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Quiet, the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain

Susan Cain was a long time Wall Street finance lawyer who now focuses on her passion for writing and psychology. Quiet was published in 2016 but she has been researching introverts and sensitivity since 2005. Cain identifies herself as an introvert. She presents many anecdotal situations from her extensive interactions and interviews of various people from both sides of the introversion and extroversion spectrum as well as presents findings and theories by researchers and scholarly works.

I chose this book because I identify as an introvert and thought it might be helpful as well as interesting. She explains that there are no absolute definitions of introvert/extrovert but provides common behaviors that are associated with both groups as well as explains that it’s not so black & white. There are varying degrees like closeted introverts or situational circumstances. She provides neurological evidence and research that gives us an idea what is going on in the brain as well as theories that help introverts rationalize their behaviors as they dip into the side of extroverts. You might have experienced this when someone demonstrates more extrovert behaviors but surprisingly states they are introverted.

Cain provides a simple set of questions based on the Myers & Briggs test if you are curious about yourself. I found a free website that you can try. https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test  It will shed a little light about yourself and actions. For example, I’m not going to be the first to jump up and volunteer to speak in front of a crowd. However, I preform this task because I love my job and this just a small circumstance that happens occasionally. Cain explains that we introverts can become more comfortable in this situation by desensitizing ourselves through practice, small doses and repetition. We can also prepare for the situation and have a restorative niche planned for afterwards. This is a place (temporal or physical) you can go to return to your true self and recharge. I am mentally and physically exhausted after my demonstrations. My supervisor knows me well enough that this demo should be scheduled to conclude near quitting time. My coworkers know that the last thing I would want to do is go to some noisy bar after work and won’t take it personally that I don’t attend.  

Managers and coworkers can maximize on the introverted strengths and not perceive their behaviors as weaknesses, laziness or uninterested. Being aware during this time of a culture of personality that assertiveness and eloquence doesn’t always equate to good ideas. Creative ideas can be lost because of group dynamics, allow your introverts to work on ideas/solutions before sharing. Maybe have them submit it electronically or in writing. They may not speak up during those brainstorming sessions. Also, let your Introverts manage a proactive work force, they will perform better then with an extrovert leader. For libraries, they need to plan for a few small nooks and quiet spots when renovations and UX are being considered. It’s not just about the big open floor plans. This will promote more learning and reflection opportunities for introverted users.  Librarians can help parents recognize, cope and research introversion in children. Maybe even provide a social skills workshop at the library. She also provides suggestions for parents and teachers when dealing with introverted or highly reactive children. The best suggestion was to work with the children’s reaction to novelty regarding people, places and things. Patiently exposing them gradually and in low doses.  When grouping needs to occur, they should consist of small and be casual in nature. Also putting them at ease by maybe sharing a similar childhood experience as well as informing them that this is a natural and normal feeling they are experiencing.

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Evolutionary Time of Change

WK3 Reflection#1

The past few weeks reading was definitely crossing the streams of a few past classes with the current. The Library 2.0 document in particular reminded me of Dr. Alman’s class where we learned about change management and strategic planning. As well as the digital assets management [DAM] class on how to implement a DAM system. There was much discussion about getting everyone on board and having stakeholders from different departments and associated with the project. The Library 2.0 broke down the hierarchical structure from approval to implementation felt a little exhausting by the time they got to the front-line staff. I don’t work in a library but much of the business practices discussed could crossover to my current job and I found myself relating back and forth.

Another interesting term that was new to me was ‘The Long Tail’. I was trying to get my brain into this mindset and it wasn’t easy. I would relate it back to my current job and think about how we could bring in non-users to hopefully jump start the process. I think I would work better brainstorming with a team for this type of assignment than solo.

I also had some random questions running through my mind during the readings as well. I wonder how our current existence will affect this younger generation regarding change? Will they be more adaptive and open to it in the future as adults? Will this period of change jolt the complacent library staff members into a new mindset? I would imagine there will be such a reevaluation of existing library services once the libraries open up to normal operations.

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