Alana Otis

  • Hi @elle,
    I was drawn to your post as I have worked in information literacy for a long time and now am finding we’re doing more work to combine information literacy and digital literacy skills. As you noted from Fisher’s work and your observations, it’s about creation instead of just using information, and those skills carry over to all aspects…[Read more]

  • I took the two unit version of INFO 210 last semester, Reference in the age of Google and AI, and we got to do a lot of exploring about the potential uses of AI. While it’s not good for everything, it was helpful for tasks like translation, brainstorming and planning and there were even some pretty decent reader’s advisory tools, that could help…[Read more]

  • Thank you Elle! I now live in a very urban area, but I lived in the suburbs for a long time, so I know what you mean. One thing I like about working in libraries as well is we can often offer those social spaces for free, instead of something like a cafe where you feel like you need to buy something like a coffee to stay.

  • Thank you Michael! Exploring the Oodi branch gave me some inspiration for my Innovation Strategy and Roadmap as well!

  • Alana Otis commented on the post, Inspiration: Gear Haul Video, on the site 3 days, 6 hours ago

    Very cool!

  • Hyperlinked Environments: Two Libraries Embracing Library 2.0 To find examples of environments that embody Library 2.0 and the hyperlinked library, I looked at two libraries: North York Central Library in Continue reading

    • @alana42 (thanks for putting your @username up top!)]

      This is a fun reflection on some of the big invasions in international libraries. It feels as though you’re laying a foundation for future study as you move through the program. Save this as an artifact for comp O!

      • Thank you Michael! Exploring the Oodi branch gave me some inspiration for my Innovation Strategy and Roadmap as well!

    • Hi Alana, Thanks for sharing! I love the idea of including more social spaces in library. I live in suburbs and I notice a kind of alienation that can occur here with limited walkable areas and poor public transit. I think many people in my community, myself included would benefit from accessible and public social spaces.

      • Thank you Elle! I now live in a very urban area, but I lived in the suburbs for a long time, so I know what you mean. One thing I like about working in libraries as well is we can often offer those social spaces for free, instead of something like a cafe where you feel like you need to buy something like a coffee to stay.

  • Samantha, these are great examples of innovative and necessary programs that truly connect libraries to communities. I love this holistic approach to library services, where we not only provide information and education but also help support well-being in all senses of the word.

  • Not to worry, thanks for letting me know!

  • Your library sounds awesome! It’s a shame about the other library branch though. I will say we’ve changed how we run some of our front-facing services since then, and some of those with more negative voices have retired or are in roles they enjoy more. The people representing us with front-facing services now are all very friendly and helpful,…[Read more]

  • Jennifer, I’m so happy to hear that your library prioritizes customer experience. I like that you mention the empowerment people feel in being heard. We can work with users to find choices that work for everyone.

  • @samfeta27 Thanks for sharing your experience with the implementation of the new printing system. I’m glad it worked out, but I know I would be very stressed out in your shoes, wanting to be able to support users and wishing I had more time to prepare, and I imagine you had to answer a lot of questions from confused users that could have been…[Read more]

  • Alana Otis commented on the post, Debriefing Assignment X, on the site 2 weeks ago

    I was a bit nervous at first with Assignment X since it was the first assignment and was shared on our blogs for the community, but I felt better once it was created. I liked getting feedback early on to help guide us for future work. I found the instructions and the exemplars very helpful. The instructions and rubric were clear without being…[Read more]

  • Hi Jennifer,
    The Open/Self-Service model is interesting, and I feel you’ve presented some thoughtful points about both the benefits of increased access and convenience and some possible problems like staffing cuts and security.

    My college library has adopted some of the open model since we reopened after the pandemic shutdown, although we had…[Read more]

  • Alana Otis commented on the post, Fluid Dates, on the site 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    Thank you so much! Even if I don’t need it, I find just knowing we have flexibility in due dates is a big stress relief.

  • I think you’re right that there is some fear around making mistakes mixed with not knowing if the space or resources are ok to use. That sense of needing permission came up in that study on makerspaces, and I have seen it in other library spaces and services.

    We often get students asking us things like if they’re allowed to borrow items, if…[Read more]

  • Thank you for watching and commenting Jennifer! I know the systems team at my college library has done usability testing for things like a big update of our home page and when implementing our updated library search, and we’re about to do some for a new page we’re launching for students about how our department and the learning center can support…[Read more]

  • Sometimes, It Starts With a Pen: Creating Welcoming Hyperlinked Communities Students at our academic library often approached our reference and circulation desks to ask for pens and other stationary supplies. Some of us Continue reading

    • Oh wow Alana,
      That is really fascinating that a small thing such as sign can create such change. I wonder if the reluctance to use the Makerspace could be related to not wanting to do something wrong or assuming that the space was for staff only.

      • I think you’re right that there is some fear around making mistakes mixed with not knowing if the space or resources are ok to use. That sense of needing permission came up in that study on makerspaces, and I have seen it in other library spaces and services.

        We often get students asking us things like if they’re allowed to borrow items, if they’re allowed to use the space to study, if we charge any fees to use our services. Sometimes it’s because they’re international students and their countries may not have free libraries, or they may work differently. Sometimes even domestic students haven’t had much exposure to libraries, even in Toronto where we have 100 branches in our public library system. So we have to work to share the message that all are welcome.

    • @alanao I so appreciate this on the ground reflection of the module with your own work and environment. I agree: a negative interaction around something so small as borrowing a pen can leave a lasting effect on a student. Thanks for sharing the super cool picture of the sign.

    • I am a clerk (work the member services desk) and at our last clerk meeting, we had a frank discussion on how to make a members’ visit (especially their first visit) to the library a memorable experience for them instead of, for example, the pen incident you provided. Even if it is something we can not provide, the demeanor or choices we offer can give them choice and/or more empowerment to feel like their voice is heard/they are recognized.

      • Jennifer, I’m so happy to hear that your library prioritizes customer experience. I like that you mention the empowerment people feel in being heard. We can work with users to find choices that work for everyone.

    • Sorry for the duplication at the beginning. I didn’t realize I had already copied and pasted the introduction part twice. 🙂

    • Hi Alana,
      Hi Alana,
      I found your post to be really insightful because it reminded me of my workplace and how patrons always praise our professionalism and wonderful customer service, which our library takes great pride in. Unfortunately, the library branch in the next town over has a reputation of either being rude to its customers or not committing to help patrons when they ask to retrieve or request a certain item. I never understood how employees at a library could present such a negative demeanor in a public setting where it should be a requirement to help all its users. It is baffling to know that information professionals would purposefully turn library users away. I never thought that would occur in an academic library sector either until you provided the pen incident as an example. But then again, I recall my time as an undergrad student and being deathly terrified in approaching my university library’s reference desk because I was unsure if my question was ludicrously ridiculous, and the staff would judge me for it. So, I can sympathize with those college students.

      Another beautifully constructed post!

      • Your library sounds awesome! It’s a shame about the other library branch though. I will say we’ve changed how we run some of our front-facing services since then, and some of those with more negative voices have retired or are in roles they enjoy more. The people representing us with front-facing services now are all very friendly and helpful, both to users and to one another.

        At a meeting recently, we discussed the anxiety our users often express, like the fear you felt as an undergrad, and how we can try to reassure them. I know that when I started this program, I was afraid at first of asking our professors questions or getting help from the library in case they judged me for being a grad student and not knowing all the answers. Luckily all my experiences have been positive, but it takes a lot to ask the first question. I hope you ended up getting the support you needed back in undergrad!

  • Assignment X: Purposeful Change and Technology Hi all, For Assignment X I’ve created a multimedia presentation using a tool called Genially. Genially is a newer tool for me and it seemed fitting Continue reading

    • Great presentation! I am unaware of any library I have frequented in my life actually conduct usability testing, but intrigued to learn more about the topic!

      • Thank you for watching and commenting Jennifer! I know the systems team at my college library has done usability testing for things like a big update of our home page and when implementing our updated library search, and we’re about to do some for a new page we’re launching for students about how our department and the learning center can support academic skills. I got to do some mini mock usability testing of my library’s website when I took User Experience, and it was fascinating to see how much came from only testing three people with a few scenarios.

    • Hi Alana,
      Hi Alana,
      Your discussion regarding the part about how a meeting and training with staff should take place before implementing a new piece of technology or software reminded me of where I work and when they were planning to apply a newly free Wi-Fi printing system since our previous one always lagging or performing incomplete printing jobs. We were only made aware of its new presence one week before and there was no practice run. Staff were required to learn as they go type of ordeal, but some of us wished there had been forewarning as well as produced flyers and social media posts that made the public aware of such a transition. Luckily, the printing service was adaptable with only a few kinks to work out as well as being super quick in reading and sending out patron’s prints.

      Also, I was really fascinated with your multimedia presentation. It made me want to think outside the box for my future assignments in this class. As a viewer, I thought it was easy to navigate through the slides and I liked that you were able to apply your Google Doc sheet at the end of the slide. Great work!

      • @samfeta27 Thanks for sharing your experience with the implementation of the new printing system. I’m glad it worked out, but I know I would be very stressed out in your shoes, wanting to be able to support users and wishing I had more time to prepare, and I imagine you had to answer a lot of questions from confused users that could have been avoided.

        Thank you as well for the nice compliment on the presentation!

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