Reflection Blog : Module 11 : Infinite Learning – Learning Everywhere

Learning in libraries comes in a variety of forms as Dr. Stephens states. It can be “both externally to our publics and internally for ourselves.”

Two main points that he brings up are:

“Libraries create and facilitate connections.”

AND

“The heart of libraries is supporting learning and our users’ curiosity through every means possible.”

Libraries learn from people who have different learning styles to diversify their offerings to help as many users as they can to further their curiosity no matter the means. Facilitating that connection and that deep desire to learn and enrich is what we try to do every day as we work on new programming content and useful services to enrich the users’ experience with the library.

But to understand, we need to go back to the beginning.

Learning in a Warehouse:

It used to be that we did a lot of our learning sort of in the warehouse. Libraries as warehouse of books, library as a place we would come find the book we needed, maybe read it there, or take it home, maybe read what we needed and then put it down on the table and get up and leave. 

It was a very solitary activity . It was a very private activity that we might do our learning that way. 

To this, I agreed. I mostly went by myself to do private studies when I was younger. I would sit down in a dark and often small corner to read and do my homework. I enjoyed the quiet and found that  I think I now understand why it was

Dr. Stephens believes now that, “learning takes place in and around libraries in a number of ways.And one of those is formal, meaning in the classroom.”

Formal:

Whatever that classroom looks like, wherever that classrooms happens to be. That is the formal sort of way of learning with a teacher, a professor, an educator taking people through a lecture or a demonstration to teach them something in a formal capacity.

Informal:

Informal happens in our libraries, wherever somebody learns something new that might be across the campus. It might be across the community. It might be at the cafe. It might be anywhere where somebody has a question and somebody provides an answer.

And then there’s unexpected.

Unexpected

Two programs were showcased here.

  1. Books and Butchers Program – a program put on at Johnson County Library, Kansas.
  2. Howard County Library System – They have, at one of their branches, a DIY circulating collection of (look at all this stuff) that you would need to do some building project, a ladder, a wheelbarrow, all kinds of stuff. Some of this stuff I don’t even know what it is. 

Dr. Stephens commented, “the libraries worked to identify something that didn’t appeal to a broad range of people, men and women, young people out there too, that brought them together to learn about something they might not know about.”

Bringing programming such as Books and Butchers or having a DIY building collection can reach the interests of the under-serviced. It shows that libraries are thinking of out of the box solutions that can help bring in patrons from all sorts of interests, information needs, and learning styles. We should work to bring programming that isn’t just a ‘wow factor’ but rather one that speaks to the interests of a diverse and broad range of people, to get them to participate, to communicate.

Curiosity

Maybe, you’re reading the book or you’re watching the show or movie, and something strikes you, “oh I want to know more about that.” 

I find that I do this often when a term I don’t know comes up and I grab my phone and open up a new tab in Google. It’s not just once but rather I find myself absorbed in finding other new terms. It’s like entering a new world, a new world of discovery no matter how small it might seem. I love learning little factoids and I often find happiness from discovering new information on old events whether it’s just through a Google search or through an infographic-based YouTube channel. I love just learning back and relaxing and sifting through this information. 

“It’s just following that curiosity where it leads you. That is a form of learning as well.” – Dr. Stephens

Life Literacies

We hear the terms ‘information lteracy’ or ‘digital literacy’ being used commonly as descriptors to supplement new classes and programs.

Dr. Stephens stated, “It should not be a big distinction between technology literacy and all the other literacies expected of us to be humans. Think about the life literacies that we might be teaching.”

That made me stop and think that was there really a difference between the two terms? The end result of instructing these two topics is really to enrich the life and the skillset of the patrons.

An example brought up by Dr. Stephens was  the adulting 101 class. He pointed out one portion of that class was devoted to sewing. Patrons can have the choice of going onto YouTube or attending the Adulting 101 program held at a home library. It made me think that we have these choices between going out into the world to attend a class and the content being a necessity to daily function or we could have the choice to stay back, within the comforts of our homes, and grab a smart phone and any other mobile device, click on YouTube (via the app or just typing in the web address on a search engine of our choice), and receive thousands of results based on a keyword or topic relating to a skill we wish to learn, such as Adulting 101 life skills. 

It really makes one think, coming to this profound realization, that we really are coming into a time of a new generation of learners. We just have so many choices available now, with several formats, mediums, and platforms from which different learners can choose from that suits their learning styles best. 

The connection between the Lecture and the Reading

We learned about the history of learning, from the early days of the warehouse to the various forms it can take. Still, there is a standard description for each format. But, now as we move into the 21st century, the infrastructure transforms, moving more fluidly from a formalized style to more informal. Vangelova (2014) in their article, What does the next-generation school library look like, helps answer this question.

The librarian at Monticello High School Library, Joan Ackroyd reiterates this point by stating, “people no longer have to come to a library to get information,” she says, “so the library has to get people coming in for different reasons. Students need somewhere to socialize, create things and collaborate.” (Vangelova, 2014). 

Thus she and co-librarian, Dave Glover, converted an old storage room into a new technology lab.  The new level of interest from the students towards the technology lab led to a full scale library renovation supervised by an experienced library consultant. The renovation primarily drew inspiration from the libraries that served younger patrons. 

Joan Ackroyd stated that the new library offers “ open, flexible scheduling, and let students in even when other classes are there.” They also have “banked computers that students can use independently, and a circulation desk in a more central area. It’s a matter of attitude, to make students feel welcome any time” (Vangelova, 2014). 

It had glass walls that offer sound buffering capabilities but allow full transparency so that students can see what’s going on. There were reading lounge areas with comfortable seating, fully mobile tables and chairs, 

Other offerings included:

2 music studios

a HackerSpace with high-tech equipment:

microscope, 3D printer, gaming hardware and software, and a green screen for filming)

a Maker Space with a 3D printer, which serves as a  “hands-on” craft room. 

The Monticello High School Library  went from “managing students’ time to giving them ownership.” 

Students came to learn the responsibility that comes with this freedom, 

which became ingrained within the school culture. 

Fellow librarian, Ida Mae Craddock stated, “You learn behaviors from the people around you.” 

The students trained each other to know and understand things through social learning.

This new center not only gave students a chance to become independent and lead, 

it also created a new sense of trust between the library staff and the students coming to use the services and new technology.

It makes me hopeful that libraries can transform the user experience. This high school library took note of their audience and worked to provide the tools and services necessary to create a beneficial library experience for the students. By doing so, libraries can create new opportunities for their patrons to learn and grow.

We see that libraries are beginning to take into account the unconventional – that is to offer unique programs and services to diversify and enrich the library experience for new and old patrons. Libraries have the opportunity to move beyond the traditional image, and re-examine the new roles that they can take in the future. People aren’t just resourcing their information from traditional sources of information anymore. With the tap of a button on a screen, they’re whisked away to new information in minutes, or rather seconds.

Module 11 Web Lecture on Infinite Learning: Learning Everywhere

https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e38d4a22-9626-4b29-a038-aaef0124ee52

Vangelova, L. (2014). What does the next-generation school library look like? KQ Ed. Retrieved from

Reflection #5: Module 11: Infinite Learning – Professional Learning Experiences

Module 11: Infinite Learning – Professional Learning Experience

Learning in itself doesn’t just stop once we’re out of school. It is limitless and boundless.  It really is a lifelong experience. We may think, how easy it is might be to delve back into learning thanks to the advancements of technology. However, we need to realize and be aware that learning doesn’t come easy to everyone. I think it’s important to learn the background on the different learning styles and the reasons why these learning styles come about so that librarians can best help patrons who seek assistance.

I was reminded of how in the past in which I had little to no issues with learning whether it was learning about the latest in biology or picking up a new skill in areas such as languages or even digital editing via Photoshop. But that was when I found myself in an environment of learning, where it was easy to get that inspiration to pick up something new. Now, I find it hard to learn the way I used to and I never could explain it.

Fast forward to the present, where I have had the experience to tutor someone who taught in college-level courses but did not have familiarity with the newest features of Microsoft Office Suite applications such as PowerPoint. It was 2 summers ago that we worked together to create a presentation to senior citizens on the life of the poet, Gwendolyn Brooks. There were features that I was not familiar with and I found myself looking up tutorials and teaching her as I went along. I felt at that moment it was a learning experience not just for the teacher I was helping, but for myself as well.

In order to provide the best services and programs that we can to library users and to be able to better enrich the lives of our patrons, it is important to take the time and understand how people learn and what shapes someone’s learning style. I have seen, at least in my own library, that one-on-one sessions for technology refreshers are incredibly popular as are because it really helps to have someone that will tailor your lesson to your learning styles, needs and interests.. 

Chamorro-Premuzie (2015) showcases three of the most common learning styles and the ways we can reach our fullest potential in his article, How Your Personality Determines How You Learn.

  1. Strategic Learners: For the learner that is particular or strategic in their approach. 
  • Extrinsically Motivated.
  • They take on a more pragmatic approach
  • They care about the result and how they might be evaluated.
  • They are focused and would rather not dive too much into the philosophy of it all.
  1. Deep Learners:
  • Intrinsically Motivated: They are intellectually curious, open to new experiences, aesthetically sensitive, and sensation seeking
  • Deeper learning style.
  • They love the truly immersive learning experience.
  • They may find that they lose track of time with the diverse range of topics that they’re interested in.
  • It may be difficult for them to get that centered focus.
  1. Surface Learners:
  • They prioritize learning the basics and moving on to another subject or activity. 
  • Their main concern is avoiding failure more than reaching success.
  • May be preferred by individuals who aren’t as open to new experiences.

As one late and great Albus Dumbledore once said

BUT!

Chamorro-Premuzzie (2015) clarifies, “No learning style is universally “better” than any other. People will learn more when they’re each allowed to follow their preferred learning approach. In other words, when we play to the learning styles that fit our personalities, we actually learn more efficiently.”

One size does not fit all. Libraries need to remember this statement when thinking about future programming and its contents as well as services. In addition, the classes that they have available, whether it’s on job seeking or on technology refreshers, could benefit from framing the content using personality-based learning experiences.

But then, how can we fulfill our learning potential? Chamorro-Premuzic (2015) outlines the three main ways:

  1. IQ – refers to our capacity to reason and problem-solve. Even though IQ tests appear rather abstract, they’re useful because they measure our general thinking capabilities and working memory capacity. 
  1. “Typical Intellectual Engagement Level” – refers to what someone can learn but what they’re likely to learn. That is, some people are generally more interested in learning than others.
  1. Genetics – “Being genetically related to someone is a strong predictor that we’ll share a range of other traits with them, including learning styles.” (Chamorro-Premuzzie, 2015). 

I felt a strong connection particularly to the second which was on the idea of typical intellectual engagement level. I felt that rang true for me. I find that I’m weirdly interested in biology, art, and the like but I can’t really find myself interested in physics or most math in general. I find that if I like something like say the micro-cosmos (which goes into microbiology), I get incredibly absorbed and I can’t help myself with the excitement. I was genuinely surprised when Chamorro-Premuzic (2015) brought up IQ and genetics as a few of the ways we can reach our full learning potential. But I appreciate that new information and it truly gives me hope to see what libraries can do when they know more about the psychology and background on why we learn the way they do. The possibilities are endless for the content of future programming and services.

References
Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2015). How your personality determines how you learn.Fast Company. Retrieved from  https://www.fastcompany.com/3049270/why-you-learn-the-way-you-do-explained-by-science

Reflection #4: Module 10 – Mobile Devices & Digital Connections

I decided  to look at the web lecture for Module 10: Mobile Devices & Connections:It began by refreshing upon one of the Four Tenets of the Hyperlinked Library:

“The most powerful information services to date are probably found in the palm of everyone’s hand.”

Dr. Stephens had brought up research done between PEW, Internet and the American Life which I found incredibly pertinent to the discussion.

He stated, “this is one of the times they did their future of the Internet and talked to experts and they gathered all the data and they put out predictions for where the Internet is gonna go. And one of those things was that connectivity was going to move to the mobile device.”

In 2008, the researchers at PEW, Internet and the American Life stated:

“The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.”

I thought that was incredibly telling and I would never have imagined that if I had heard it back in 2008. At that time, mobile devices were just coming out and being made accessible. Now fast forward to the present, where we are nearing the end of 2019, and I can safely say that this is most definitely true.

It makes me feel happy to know that we have a world where it’s that easy to stay connected. I personally have family and friends that live in another country and it’s become less costly to reach them thanks to some new social media apps. In the past, it would have been quite expensive to call using the international line on a home phone connection. Now I’ve been primarily been using some popular apps in China, Japan and Korea – Line Messenger and WeChat. I remember using WeChat during my studies abroad in Beijing and to stay connected with my friends there as well as using it to keep in contact with my family. I remember using them to call people, send messages, and do video chats similar to Facebook. 

But now mobile technology has evolved so these apps now include options for taxi (i.e. KakaoT, from the Kakao Talk app in Korea) or to make payments (i.e. WeChat’s E-Wallet, WeChat Loan, WeChat Pay, Utilities (Bills) to make payments on electricity, water, heat, gas). In addition, we get news on these apps, get notifications/updates on what people are doing, The best part is that some of these apps allowed a user to make free phone and video calls/chats. It really opened up accessibility to users who might not have been able to make phone calls or messages due to budgeting.

These apps really encompassed the Four major themes discussed in Dr. Stephen’s web lecture.

Key themes:

  1.  Mobility – This is good or bad again depending on what you think. We also are looking at our phones. That our worlds and our family connections go with us.
  1. Connectivity – We are hyper connected. There is a little ding from some kind of connection coming in. We are connected again. I’ve been to tables where for a minute, everyone’s looking up that thing you’re talking about or a message just came in to the group of friends from the other group of friends and we’re gonna meet up.
  1. Access – It is about getting the most unique things you have and putting them in the palms of people’s hands.
  1. Mobile Learning – Because with these devices, it becomes easier to learn, wherever you happen to be. 

Mobile Devices and their applications are changing how we traditionally stay connected and receive and send out information. Mobile devices are making our lifestyles more convenient when on the go as they are no longer bound to a physical space or format. What does this mean for libraries? It means there’s so much out there for libraries to explore. We need to reflect upon what we are doing traditionally in terms of information sharing and collaboration. This is a time where libraries, similar to mobile devices, should take note. 

This is the time where we can learn from how mobile devices are keeping people in the know, so to speak. We can share all updates about the library in terms of current and future library planning, remodeling of the physical spaces, new collections, services and programming content. We could have messaging applications or chat systems with a librarian at any time for any questions.These can be accomplished through a previously established app or an entirely new library-specific app created by the librarians themselves. These are pathways through which libraries can gain as much participation and feedback from the users of the library by having these mediums through which we can create mobility, connectivity, access to the latest services or programs (thus allowing them to share their feedback and experiences with them). Libraries really need to look at being in the same place their users are – their mobile devices! 

A word to the wise –

Dr. Stephens shared that “some of this stuff sort of comes and goes. Maybe the time of the library creating an app, maybe that’s not something that we’ll be doing that much and maybe NYPL can do it because they have so much behind them. They have so much support and they have so much interesting collection types. If you do have the time, the money, and everything you need to do this I think it’s something to try or to at least make your website very mobile friendly. It’s really interesting to kind of watch like how these things came and then kinda went away.”

References

Module 10: Mobile Devices & Connections Web Lecture

https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=3b3faeae-3347-4f6f-8bba-aaec01569f55

References to the Apps I used abroad and now daily

Kakao T. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.kakaocorp.com/service/KakaoT?lang=en

Line : Free Calls & Messages. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://line.me/en/

QP Software. (2019). All you can do with WeChat in 2019. Retrieved from

https://qpsoftware.net/blog/all-wechat-features-2019

Emerging Technology Planning Assignment: Introducing Video Game Tournaments to Vernon Area Public Library

I decided to explore the idea of introducing video game tournaments to public libraries as a participatory program/service. I was inspired by an article I saw in Module 7’s Planning for Participatory Services. I thought that Green (2012) highlighted an interesting innovative program called LibraryGame, which would encourage regular user’s usage of the library in the future as well as introduce new patrons to the library in a fun way. As a gamer myself, I found that the only medium to access video game tournaments were on livestreams or word of mouth since they were so far away. By introducing video game tournaments to public libraries, I intend to bring in an element of inclusion by having libraries be that space where engagement, participation, play, and social networking could occur. 

Morton Grove Public Library’s Teen Librarian, James Facer, stated, “It’s important for our library to include as great a variety of programs as possible to attract patrons from all walks of life and interests.“Our library works to incorporate the interests of the community we serve into our public programming and library services, and we’ve found that video game programs and games in the library are what our patrons want.” (Chicago Tribune, 2019). 

The following outlines a plan to implement a gaming tournament at the Vernon Area Public Library.

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

  1. Gaming tournaments can be a success, and garner a different demographic that we are not normally accustomed to seeing in the library.
  2. The gaming tournament will create opportunity for participation and networking among a underserviced age group. Teens can bond over common interests and can find community over a shared interest such as video gaming.
  3. Gaming tournaments would both build the community and create a great leadership opportunity for teens.Through volunteering, they would be able to collaborate with library staff on the guidelines and create outreach/marketing efforts.

Description of Community you wish to engage:

I wish to engage the teen patrons that are regular patrons of the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Illinois and engage the out of district teens.

Action Brief Statement:

The video game tournaments will convince teen users of the Vernon Area Public Library that by attending the video game tournaments at the library, they will contribute to their own teamwork and organizational skills, have increased leadership and involvement opportunities with the library, have a program that reflects their needs and interests, and create new staff and teen connections. We would also like to see an increase of use overall by the teen community and showcase that the library is a welcome space for teens and their interests and needs.

Introduction of video game tournaments will also be showing library administrators and staff that library video game tournaments are a fun new way to get teens, which are an under-serviced community into the library and use it outside of studying and educational purposes. 

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service

A ‘Smash’ hit: Morton Grove library stages Super Smash Bros. tournament. (2019, January 07). Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/morton-grove/news/ct-mgc-super-smash-bros-tournament-tl-0110-story.html”

Boddie, Catherine. (2014). Gaming in libraries: building relationships between communities & libraries. Colorado State Library. 

Retrieved from https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/teengamingpack 

Ducusin Schweitzer, Anthony Albert. (2016, August 13) Community Love: Hugo , the boy from Chicago by Tones [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://www.couchwarriors.org/community-love-hugo-the-boy-from-chicago-by-tones/

Garrison, Chad. 2010, August 3. Video Game Tournament.at the Library? WTF? River Front Times. Retrieved from 

https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2010/08/03/video-game-tournament-at-the-library-wtf

Tech Soup for Libraries. (n.d.). Gaming in libraries. Retrieved from

http://www.techsoupforlibraries.org/planning-for-success/innovation/gaming-in-libraries

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service: (Who might be involved in setting policies? Where might you look for example policies? What do you want to include in guidelines for use?)

When introducing a new tool or service,. Casey and Stephens (2008) state “the new tool or service must fit into the library’s philosophy” (para. 5).

The video game tournament will adhere to VAPLD policies in regard to must remain in line with the library’s mission to “provide users with open access to information and ideas covering a broad spectrum of human thought and experience, and to foster the understanding and development of cultures, communities, and individuals (VAPLD, 2019).

In regards to the  policies and guidelines that will be unique to this program. Vernon Area Public Library’s programming policy states that the events should  support “the library’s mission and expand the visibility and engagement of the library in the community” (VAPLD, 2019).

Additional Guidelines:

1. The tournament will be open to non-residents, and no library card registered with our library or otherwise, was required to participate in the tournament.

2. There is no need for patrons to pre-register or pay for attending the event.

3. Good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette shall be observed. This means that we would disqualify players for usage of trash talking and bad behavior. 

An example policy considered would be the Gaming Tournament Quickstart document from the Chicago Public Library’s teen librarian, Taylor Bayless. She works with YouMedia on gaming tournaments held at the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washingon Library Center. In addition, she wrote up the gameplay/tournament rules with the teen organizers. They also did group meetings with the players on gameplay rules and how to be a respectful and courteous player. This document gives guidelines on what to do to prepare for the event as well as what to do on the actual day of the event. 

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:

There will be a small cash fund of $100 that will act as prize money for the winner of the tournament.

In addition, we would ask to partner with local game shops and if they would like to donate both  video games, controllers, and consoles that the library does not have in its collection.

Outside of donations, according to the Daily Herald’s documentation on the budget proposal of FY2019,  the budget for teen programming is $6,650, which will be from donations from the foundation’s donation of $10,000. (Daily Herald, 2019). This will cover the cost of any consoles of interest that may not be included through the donations and partnerships. Consoles of interest include Nintendo Switch and adjunct joy cons, PS4, XBOX One, XBOX 360, and Wii.

Action Steps & Timeline

I would submit my proposal for the event 4-6 months before the program to the adult services department head because program proposals are done on a quarterly basis. In addition, teen service is associated with the adult services at Vernon Area Public Library. I would then wait for either verbal acceptance or an e-mail confirmation.

If the proposal was not approved, then it would need to be revised to train a small number of librarians, say 1 full-time librarian and a few part-time or half-time staff. 

An initial testing may be required in the format of asking feedback from patrons to gauge interest in the event and the range to which it would be successful in garnering the optimum amount of participation from the community.

Should I be approved, I would then schedule meetings. I would meet with teen services librarian, and the head of volunteer services (who is part of community engagement) to gain teen volunteers. Once we have gotten teen volunteers in part due to the teen services libararian and the head of volunteer services, then we can begin another set of meetings.

This second set of meetings would include the teen services librarian, the youth services staff in charge of purchasing video games, and the teen volunteers. We would sit down to write ideas for the guidelines and outreach efforts. 

The teens and the librarians would work together on guidelines. The librarians will make sure it aligns with the library policy on general behavior.

I would also reach out to local game shops to gain a partnership should they be interested.

Gameshop would also provided staff to supervise to help set up, run the program, and supervise patrons and as they play and brought prizes.  The library had to provide extra screens and TVs for the consoles to be hooked up to.

Outreach efforts would be made through word of mouth, newsletter (both online and physical copy), website, and the library’s official social media accounts ( FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter). Teens would be in charge of spreading the word further by using their own personal accounts to reach out to their friends and create a word of mouth effect by inviting them. 

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service

Library staffing required for this event would primarily be the teen services librarian, the youth services librarian who is in charge of purchasing video game titles, and myself. They will help coordinate obtaining the gaming supplies we need as well as help coordinate with the teen volunteers working on the preparations for the event as well as working the day of the event on video game set up and assistance with the players. 

However, on the actual day of the event, the library staffing would be the full-time teen services librarian and the half-time library associate which would be me. With these reduced hours, it would create opportunity for the teen volunteers to gain more leadership opportunities and get involved. They would be able to attend the staff training in-service, weekly follow up meetings to help clarify  any questions or concerns regarding the event.

Training for this Technology or Service:  

I would work with the youth services librarian in charge of purchasing video game titles, the teen services librarian, and the teen volunteers on . I would work with the youth services librarian in charge of purchasing video games, the teen services librarian and the teens to work on training for staff to be prepared on the day of the event should there be any questions or need for assistance should we be preoccupied with assisting other players and event goers at the time. 

Training on gaming best practices, behavior rules, downloading game accessories, setting up the games and the tv, as well as troubleshooting are the topics included in training. 

The training will take place during our morning staff inservice days on Fridays from 9 am to 1 pm. This training will only be an hour in between the presentations and it will allow for any questions or concerns staff not heavily involved with the event shall have on how to guide the players to their destination and if they need help. It is always good to have all staff aware of the rules and set up even if they are not primarily involved. 

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service

Step one would be to promote the event on the library’s official social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In addition, having the teen volunteers promote the event on their personal social media accounts to their friends and family could get the word faster among the target age group.

Step two would be creation of  in-house posters and posters to be sent off at off-site locations.

Step three would be to promote the event in the newsletter both the online version as well as the physical copy that is on display at the library as free hand-outs and to be mailed to the homes of the patrons. 

Step  four would to post signage at the Youth Services Desk, Circulation Desk, Adult Reference Desk, and besides the doors to the library lobby.

Another way would be to promote the library event through word of mouth. In addition to promoting the event at the service desks during patron-staff transactions, it’s also good to promote awareness of the event among customer service staff members so that they can best direct patrons to the reference desk for more information about the event. 

One final suggestion which may seem strange is to promote by having Twitch livestreams or on YouTube. 

Among gamers, twitch and YouTube are wonderful venues that gamers use to 1. Gain new knowledge about new games coming out and 2. Gain information on where the next big gaming event is. 

Evaluation

The success of the video game tournament will be measured by keeping a record of the number of attendees, how enthusiastic the players are during the event, and the information about ages of players. 

Because of the community nature of the event, it would allow me to gain feedback from players about what they liked and didn’t like for the event. In addition, we would ask them for any changes they would like to see for future tournaments. The players would usually share this info with our teen tournament organizers and then they would incorporate the changes into future tournaments.

I would also use the reviews and information gleaned from newspapers, e-mails, website reviews for the event, and gamer blog posts to see what else I could do to improve upon the service. 

I would like to expand the service to include all ages, continue offering a diverse range of games and consoles, partner up with video game tournament organizers, and have input and participation of  the attendees on the formation of guidelines and outreach efforts in

 References

Bayless, Taylor. (n.d.). Gaming Tournament Quickstart! Chicago Public Library. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m9JOmzXblhl-p8hFyW-vOLbga8BMOIrdEwdUeqpXIBo/edit

Casey, M. E. & Stephens, M. (2008). Measuring progress. Retrieved from https://tametheweb.com/2008/04/15/measuring-progress/

Daily Herald. (n.d.). Vernon Area Public Library District Budget Proposal FY2019 [PDF File]. Retrieved from 

https://www.dailyherald.com/assets/PDF/DA148769518.pdf..

 Green, G. (2012). The Innovative use of technologies in libraries. Retrieved from https://uklibchat.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/feature-01-innovative-use-of-technology-in-libraries/

Vernon Area Public Library (2011). Mission Statement: Retrieved from

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cuJ8ssDZd4sJH8Iv3qmMK4SyjDKGyk1zuot-dGx1BgI/edit

Vernon Area Public Library (2019). Programming Policy. Retrieved from

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KKBbx4JcHMvzltYPOFdyFT1xbDIxRzL5mF-pXrREWmc/edit

Reflection Blog #3: Module 6: Hyperlinked Environments – Libraries, Museums, and Participatory Culture

This week, I really wanted to discuss Hyperlinked museums. I always remember growing up with a love for the arts and going to museums like the museum of science and industry for example for class trips but I never had the opportunity as an adult to do so. Another one that I loved dearly was the Art Institute of Chicago but again, here I have the issue of access. I had a friend who was a student studying abroad from Japan going to the Institute to study there. She was already quite accomplished, having her work displayed in Denmark and the school would allow her to take breaks to travel and promote the school and her work. It was only because of her that I got to get in for free essentially where normally you would need to get an annual pass or a season pass for special exhibits. 

As I sat down looking at the golden lit doll rooms, which were a particular favorite of hers to visit during her studies, I couldn’t help but be grateful that I knew someone that either worked at a museum or studied at the institute when it was quite costly to hold membership through the regular means of paying. I remembered the instances where I was invited with my class to attend a series of events such as a special watercolor and ink exhibit in the 798 district in Beijing, performances by the students in a national academy of performing arts in Beijing, and getting personal lessons on paintings by a professional calligrapher and professor in Guilin.

All of these situations had a commonality which was the use of connections that people otherwise would not have had and bypassing the costs of access that would otherwise hinder people from enjoying everything museums had to offer.

I remember that my library does have what they call museum passes, in which they allow patrons belonging to our library to have accesses to 4 passes (1 per library card) that allow discounts on parking prices and admits two with a discount for those aged under 2 who could go in for free. 

Some issues with the program: 

  1. Only resident library card holders could hold them. In doing so, we bar access and we are deterring the interest of the community as well as people visiting from other libraries.
  2. Limited list of museums that the library partnered with. 
  3. This list did not include popular ones like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry.
  4. Limited amount of passes to be taken out. It was a set of 4 passes per museum, and only 1 per Vernon Area Public  library card holder.

Added to that, I will always remember when a patron had asked me why we didn’t have any connections to the museums in the city and why were other library card holders not allowed to receive the benefits of this museum program. Why is it this way that both museums and libraries, both wonderful institutions, have restraints in regards to access and who is able to benefit from the partnerships? Why were they not included in the selection process?

So this brings me to my point: What  could institutions based on enriching lives, educating, and providing access like libraries and museums do to bring about a more participatory culture?

To that, I say there is.

Museum director, Nina Simon, and her TED Talk on “Opening the Museum” shares points from her work, The Participatory Museum. She discussed transforming museums into “places where people can actively participate, where you can connect with culture, and hopefully through those experiences, connect more deeply with each other.” Most people do not view museums as open spaces, more like elite institutions that serve an increasingly “small and limited subset of our population.”

 Simon asks for museums to reassess how they are connecting with and servicing their community, which is something to be considered in library spaces.

Next , I looked at a 2016 article by Dr. Piotr Bienkowski on How to change into a participatory museum and gallery.

Bienkowski discussed the details of four overall outcomes, with their own qualitative-based indicators of success – therefore displaying evidence of organizational behavior. Beinkowski believes that the outcomes and indicators “essentially define what the Foundation expects a participatory museum or gallery to be” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 11). Extensive detailing  of these outcomes and indicators would help support the idea that they would become the foundation for a “shared, transferable framework for assessing participatory organizations” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 11).  

Four outcomes:

1. Rooted in local needs. 

Museums and galleries should know their role in providing for the needs and values of the diverse community. They should work to create “opportunities and partnerships with their community and others to meet the local needs.” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 12).

2. Community Agency

Communities are the “center of the values, strategies, structures, and work of museums and galleries.” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 12). They should be regularly  participating, collaborating, and making decisions.

3. Capability Building

Museums and galleries can develop “community skills, capabilities and creativity.” They also  help and prepare people with “engaging their community, articulate their voices, find employment or volunteer opportunities, and support staff in learning how to work with the communities.” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 13).

4. Reflection 

Museums and galleries should embed effective practice into their work. This should be done “internally, with community partners, and across the sector, to ensure ongoing reflection, dialogue, and openness to challenge, alternative values and working methods.” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 13).

Museums should work on developing better partnerships with their community to provide full accessibility and opportunity for the community to actively participate.

An example was during the re-development of the St. Fagans National History Museum.

Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales worked with 200 organizations in Wales, most of which were 3rd sector agencies. These agencies  were involved in planning and decision-making. After researching the community, they set up 10 participatory fora looking in a diverse range of work from volunteering, diversity and informal learning.  (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 27). 

Bienkowski mentions one of the organizations, DrugAid Cymru, that provides staff with the training on supporting people with substance misuse

The museum learned from the fresh perspectives and expertise of the workers gained, while also creating a revolutionary and diverse volunteer profile. 

References

Bienkowski, P. (2016). How to Change into a Participatory Museum and Gallery
Simon, N. (2012, September 15). Opening up the Museum : Nina Simon [Video File] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=74&v=aIcwIH1vZ9w

Reflection Blog #2 : Hyperlinked Communities and the Future

Module 5 – Hyperlinked Communities Lecture

A major tenet of Hyperlinked Communities I wanted to bring up is that libraries should reach all users.

In the lecture, Dr. Stephens explains that “the library reaches ALL users – we reach out beyond the people who come in through our doors, we reach out beyond the people who use our online resources, to make sure that anyone and everyone that is a part of our constituency may find something that will engage them, will excite them, will teach them something, or whatever it might be. We want everyone.”

But what are communities?

Peter Block is quoted, with a definition that “communities are human systems given form by conservations that build relatedness.”

The lecture looked at what conversations can mean in this concept of the hyperlinked community, of bringing people together.

Something that truly resonated with me was a TED Talk video by a young 16 year old Swedish girl named Greta Thunberg. I had the opportunity to watch one of her recorded TED Talks titled, “The disarming case to act right now on climate change.” She stated that for 30 years, all we do is talk and idly speak of the positives that could happen in the future. She stated that we really never took the actions to prove it to the community and to the society at hand. We have the scientific evidence but we refuse to acknowledge them. She brought about an awareness of how dire the future could become for the youths of today and called to action, inspiring many similarly aged children to support her and to rally in support. 

I thought if she could do that, then what could we do to act now and prove to the community that we truly meant that libraries were for everyone? How could we communicate this best? 

With that, I wanted to look at my library’s efforts to support the Libraries are for Everyone statement that we proclaimed so proudly.

Our past and present efforts were made of 3 components :

  1. Multi-language Welcoming signs outside the library
  2. Having staff wear Libraries are welcome shirts in the official library logo colors of blue and white.
  3. Displaying this statement on all of our online platforms such as FaceBook, Instagram, the official webpage, the Library app, and Twitter.

But sadly, those attempts weren’t enough. We meant well, but we never thought that these efforts could be perceived differently.. I could understand how parts of our community felt that their languages weren’t important enough to be included in the displays and outdoors welcome signs. They were naturally upset and hurt by that. 

We forgot that it’s important to involve your users or your community in every step of the way when it comes to communication and to providing excellent services and programming content.

Dr. Stephens explained that we should “give them something to do when they come in the library. Give  them something to feel ownership over, be it putting something up on the wall or knowing that they can reserve a space in the library for their group to come together and engage and learn from each other.”

Let’s think about how we might engage with various groups inside of our communities. 

Dr. Stephen’s lecture brought about several questions to keep in mind.

Who do you want to serve?

  • What populations do you want to serve? How do we reach them?
  • Who isn’t being served? That’s another thing to think about, and then consider, how do we reach them? How do we promote engagement? 

Is it participatory, interactive things going on at the library? Is it space for people to come together? Is it that welcoming, all are welcome attitude?

This reminded me of how our library’s move forward to book and promote the Drag Queen Storytime event was a push to celebrate diversity and self-expression while also being family-friendly. Vernon Area Public Library worked together with the Pinta Pride Project to bring these glamorous storytellers forth. I had never heard of any programming that involved the LGBTQ community and I was happy that we did so. Of course, we did receive some pushback when news first spread that were planning this event. Even now, a mere week before the event, we received a few letters of disagreement that requested cancellation of the event. 

But my library director, Cindy Fuerst,  responded politely to these letters of concern and disapproval and she wanted to explain why the library wanted to have the Drag Queen Story times. This simple act showcased how the library acted in favor of inclusion, creating awareness and support of a community that truly deserves to belong and receive equal service. Libraries are taking the actions they need to become spaces where everyone can participate and communication spreads. Library staff of a hyperlinked library should work in support of diversity and reach out to service the underserved. 

“If we can offer that space for people to come together in an environment where you don’t have to pay to belong, that’s a big deal.” – Dr. Stephens

References:

Module 5 – Hyperlinked Community Lecture

https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=bdb39d41-e4a7-4b33-9da4-aab40117c7e8

Thunberg, G. (2018, August). Greta Thunberg : The disarming case to act rigth now on climate change [Video File] Retrieved from 

Cain’s “Quiet” and Participatory Culture

Cain’s novel, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” (2012) drew me in from the beginning. It was like hearing that finally someone understood the world of introverts and was looking at the way that introverted people communicate and learn in a whole new light. I felt welcomed as I read through Cain’s insights. In addition, I also learned about the accomplishments and even benefits of being an introvert. Cain turned the common misconceptions about introversion being a hindrance to socializing into a way of innovation and further explained that introversion was also a way to help inspire creativity in society. 

It’s all about perception. It is how people view information as categories of ‘useful’ or ‘interesting’ versus ‘boring’ or ‘useless’. I could see a slight gleam over of traits people associate with being introverted through quizzes on popular sites such as buzzfeed.com. Cain writes that “we perceive talkers as smarter than quiet-types even though grade point averages and SAT and intelligence test scores reveal this perception to be inaccurate. We also seek talkers as leaders. The more a person talks, the more other group members direct their attention to him, which means that he becomes increasingly powerful as a meeting goes on.” (Cain, 2012, p. 51). This is associated with the Bus to Abilene theory, in which we are inclined to follow people with initiative. 

Being the first person to speak up in a presentation makes them more charismatic, giving the impression that they’re capable and confident to the audience. Contrary to popular belief, the business world revealed many effective and well-known CEOS as introverts. One of which is one we all know was Bill Gates. But what makes them so successful and well-known in the business world, a world of communication and interconnected-ness? 

Cain addresses this question in her book. She mentioned her interview with the  management guru, Peter Drucker. Peter Drucker stated, “The one and only personality trait the effective ones I have encountered did have in common was something that they did not have: they had little or no’ charisma’ and little use for either the term or what it signifies.” (Cain, 2012, p. 53). We hold charisma in such high value, admiring those who are sociable, effable, and that draw you in with that energy. But here, we learn it is the lack of use for that ‘charisma’ we value, that is commonly held by the CEOs. We could go on and review what we believe the value is behind charisma, but that is not the point. Cain brings this example up not to do that. In fact, she does not disvalue the appeal of being introverted nor does she disvalue being extroverted. Rather than that, she simply states each personality’s strengths as objectively as possible. 

Cain brings into consideration that there is a place for both introverts and extroverts, where their strengths can complement each other rather than upend one another in this new age. Cain provides an example using real life innovators from The Leadership Development for the Gifted and Talented. Cain quotes the writers, Jane Farrall and Leonie Kronborg, who takes an unconventional approach in which they highlight that “while extroverts tend to attain leadership in public domains, introverts tend to attain leadership in theoretical and aesthetic fields.” (Cain, 2012, p.78). Leadership can be applied both socially and solitarily such as developing new techniques, new philosophies, and making astounding breakthroughs in the arts and sciences. She turns apart the idea that one personality can stand over the other. 

Libraries and other research communities are always working to contribute altruistically. This is for the public, who can use it to learn, to improve upon their own skills, and thus distribute information further through emails, links and social media. But to do so, you must understand the public and the user experience, and learn their background and their personality and strengths which can play into their informational needs. Bivens-Tatum (2010) poses this question, “What would we want if we were in the place of the user? What can we do to make that happen? The choices are often easy, even if acting on them is sometimes hard.” It is very important to learn from various sources to show understanding to the users themselves and express our interests as well.

Michael Casey invokes several critical questions that we really should be asking ourselves. One of which asked, “why haven’t we moved beyond the idea of just talking to our community to actually engaging them?” To emphasize this point, he quotes Tim O’Reilly, who states “How do we get beyond the idea that participation means ‘public input’ (shaking the vending machine to get more or better services out of it), and over to the idea that it means government building frameworks that enable people to build new services of their own?” Casey (2011) continues by arguing that, “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.” 

But, how could Cain help us delve into the future of libraries and participatory service? Cain discovered, “we fail to realize that what makes sense for the asynchronous, relatively anonymous interactions of the Internet might not work as well as inside the face-to-face, politically charged, acoustically noisy confines of an open-plan office. Instead of distinguishing between online and in-person interaction, we used the lessons of one to inform our thinking about the other.” (Cain, 2012, p. 79). We need to realize the ways we interact online may not work for the pace of in-person interactions which are common in library reference and information services. We should take the time to consider how we are currently communicating with our patrons, whether or not we are requesting and actually making use of the community’s feedback, interests, and experiences. We need to ask ourselves if we are being as open and transparent as possible with our community in all aspects of the library. If not, then that is when we really need to re-evaluate what we are currently doing and improve our communication methods to become a more engaging participatory library. We need to find ways for the community be as involved as possible in the creation and evaluation of new programs and services. By having the community be as involved as possible with the creation and evaluation process of new programs and services, libraries can move towards an integration of change which will prove beneficial for everyone.


References

Bivens-Tatum, W. (2010). Imagination, sympathy, and the user experience. Library Journal, 8. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2010/11/ljarchives/imagination-sympathy-and-the-user-experience/#_

Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.Casey, M. (2011). Revisiting 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/

Reflection Blog #1: Hyperlinked Library – Module 3

I decided to look at the presentation on the hyperlinked library model shown in Module 3. From this, I felt it quite inspiring to look at how the past carried forward into the future. Libraries have had a past image of being traditional, solitary, and quiet. And I admit, when I was growing up, I simply saw libraries as a place for reading and quiet where we could find new books.

But that changed for me when my childhood library changed from having the youth and adult sections separated with pairs of doors to an all open space where you could see both sides from the entrance to the library. Gone were the old colors, the closed doors, and in came comfortable seating, a fun cafe for people to use, colorful furniture and decor, and people of all ages and all races coming in. That was just a little over 6 years ago. I was amazed how beautiful it was. The library wanted to work on those external factors such as how the library was perceived, and its overall ambiance created by the effects of the older physical spaces. 

I wanted to think about the year of 1993. The year when Howard Rheingold began the discussion on how social aggregators formed. It came about when enough people were there to carry on public discussion long enough, with enough human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace. What drew me in was the emphasis on human feeling.

Now I thought this was resonating because it shows that people when they are passionate about something will carry on a discussion through and through and that discussion takes its own life and breathes life into new discussions. Now even though I was just born in that year, I think it’s still incredible to find that passion is in every generation. We get truly involved and passionate about things we care about in all platforms. 

I could see this passion come to life in everything that my coworkers did and said. They wanted to provide the best service they could to everyone. They all clearly loved what they did. I think it’s wonderful to have that passion and have that love. Their love spurred on creativity. They thought of fun new events, classes, and programs. As someone who had grown up previously, with a librarian for a mother, I suppose that doesn’t really help the bias, but I have always grown up a library kid and found it dear to my heart. Working for one did nothing to diminish that endearment I had. 

            I wanted to note the challenges that were posed. These are challenges that libraries often face. They can be external, and they can also be internal. External factors included funding, finding the community that really cares for and wants the growth of the library, the public perception of what the staff does at the library, and a change averse public. Books for one is an image that is quite commonly associated with libraries. Sometimes, even how a library’s brand or perception can be deceptive and perhaps even limiting.

I also wanted to share some of the internal challenges libraries faced were discussed. 

  1. Staff mindsets of “We’ve always done it this way.” 
  2. “Something might happen” – the thought that all the worst outcomes that could possibly happen could happen about this new service or new platform. 
  3. Archaic rules that haven’t been revisited for a long time (such as revisiting policy, lockdown procedures)
  4. Silos of information (of libraries too) where one department knows all this new information but doesn’t share with others
  5. Institutional (administrative) culture gone wrong (superior stating you don’t need to disturb me to a new person)
  6. A staff member who builds a fortress around their jobs
  7. When people like something we get rid of it (make a rule about something that gets popular and well loved).
  8.  Finally, there is an organizational chart that might go up to a pinnacle. Ideally this chart should flatten out from the pyramid shape. 

Now what could we do differently?

I wanted to relate this to my experience. My home library, Vernon Area Public Library, met the external challenges of funding and transforming the image of the library brought upon by its physical appearance and overall ambiance. A few months ago, the library displayed plans that the library had that would transform the library over a 10-year period. There was a collage of suggested ideas to add to the library like that of a Pinterest board. This demonstrated the visuals of what was possible, of what could happen should we choose to do it. In addition, there were forms for patrons to fill out so that we could gain feedback on these new potential changes and see what else they would like to see happen to the library. We also made sure to be transparent about the potential costs (roughly 8.5 million) that this could cost and that indeed taxes may increase as a result to raise that funding. It certainly gave cause to public discussion and people were divided on this. But I could tell that they appreciated the honesty so that they could make a more informed decision.

The library capitalized on the idea of the patrons being the focus as evident by the highlight of the year 2006 in the presentation. 2006 was really a time where we came to the realization that people can help shape the way the information age develops. I particularly thought it was interesting to see magazines such as Newsweek and Time Magazine highlighted during that time.

Newsweek’s cover and Time’s person of the year cover page were transformative. Newsweek stating, “Putting the ‘we’ in the web” and Time stating “‘You’ are the person of the year. Yes, You. You control the information age. Welcome to your world.” I think that it is important that libraries continue to put the interests of the people at the forefront. I would love to see more community-library collaborations on new programs, new services, and the new technology being offered at libraries.

I wanted to talk about some of the other notes on the hyperlinked library model and how my library is taking the step to creating more hyperlinked library services. Below I listed them.

It all began when I had sat down for a staff in service last month. My home library’s director had stated that in September 28th we would introduce Drag Storytime of which I am excited that we are doing. She had mentioned hiring some police in case ‘something should happen.’ From what I had heard, there had been only one complaint in comparison to the overwhelming support from the community in favor of this program. 

I had discussed casually with two youth services librarians at the library I first started out at. It was a discussion with a librarian that had finished library school 1-2 years ago versus a librarian staff that had been at the library for a few decades. I had told them how excited I was for the drag queen story time and how jealous I was of the youth services staff that would be helping. I still am just to let you know. 

The most interesting question came from the older librarian who was genuinely curious, if that program would work for their community? Immediately, the younger librarian said that wouldn’t happen. The two librarians had differing views and experiences with the community. One saw them as friends and shared experiences with them since she had been in the library far longer and belonged in the same age class. The other librarian saw them as a new face to the community. She believed that it would be too much for this community believing in less polite terms but that I will sum up here that it would be a bit too progressive and too abrupt too include a program like that. She stated that it would be wonderful, but she also didn’t believe that the public would be willing to accept this new change. 

  1. We must reach all users, not just those who come through our doors. *We must reach everyone, not just those who come to us. 
  2. The most powerful information services to date are probably found in the palm of everyone’s hand.
  3. The path forward will always be an evolutionary one.
  4. Inevitably, there will always be some amount of chaos.

Personally, I was thrilled that we were beginning to offer drag queen story times. I believed that the drag queen story times would be meeting the goal of the hyperlinked library. We were beginning to partner with other organizations to produce a program that would be beneficial to the families and it would also create awareness from a early age on a topic that still divides even adults. I was inspired to share this when I noted the statement on hyperlinked libraries that states, “our goal is that the library helps people make sense of the world. That can start early on from K-12, university and then when you are out into the world.”

I think it’s important to offer programs to people of all races, all sexualities, all genders, and all backgrounds regardless. It’s wonderful to hear and know that libraries are starting to create more diverse programming, beginning that evolution. We were also working to become more accessible and moving from being word of mouth, to the website and now to a library app which people could use on the go. I realize now that this truly does mean that our library was becoming less static and taking on more of the hyperlinked library model tenet that the “library is everywhere.” People look for the latest news and keep themselves informed using more mobile formats of technology. Information is traveling and discoveries are begin made each and every day. Libraries need to make services and programming that offer that information at the fingertip. Perhaps these decisions may create chaos, but what it does is inspire that discussion and that passion that I think its important to offer opportunities for.

References:

Lecture on Hyperlinked Library Module

https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=a0569381-4d66-4e0a-a7fa-aab3010a8f3e

More about me: Introductions!

Hi everyone! This is an expansion from my profile introduction. I wanted to share a few more photos on the blog portion. I’ll share things I didn’t share in our tribe posts.

My name is Tiffany Song. This is actually my first time taking a seminar course in the graduate school setting. The main reason why I chose this course was due to advice from my mother who has worked in the reference and information services. I have also worked in public libraries

I come into this course with no clue what will happen but I think that’s really part of the excitement. I am particularly interested in public libraries and I hope to improve my technology skills which are lacking despite me being told that I should be better simply for my age. I began working in public libraries just around 10 years ago and only gave it thought a year after I completed my undergraduate.

My experience with technology: (or rather my lack of it) has helped endear me to the older patrons who visit the library I work. I often times wish to toss my computer out the window ‘caveman’ style. Yet somehow I was able to teach someone Microsoft so I think I’m getting there. I do however not know how to operate a coffee machine and have been asked to do so. I think it’s because I drink tea more. I’ll have to learn one day since people ask about it. Hope to learn more tips on that in the future.

Some more information about me:

My family is from Taiwan so I often travel back and forth between Taiwan. I’ve gotten quite used to 17-20 hour flights. Japan often becomes a stop on our way to Taiwan and it’s quite a lot of fun. I have been to Korea and China as well. I did do a study abroad back in 2014 to Beijing and I still don’t regret making that decision. I think it’s incredibly powerful to take a journey to another country where you may be unfamiliar. I was able to travel to Europe itself through a cruise that took us to Northern Europe, Russia, and England in 2015.

I love to collect things: lava lamps, snow globes, BT21, watercolor paintings, and anything shiny. Personally, I’m a huge fan of watercolor painting, glass artwork, and surrealism. I am also a foodie: I love taking photos of my food to keep as memories and discuss new places to eat.

Here’s a statue I found in China probably between 2013-2014. Quite some time ago but I cherish it as elephants are my favorite animals.

a lovely morning with an elephant
Here I am at Universal Studios in Orlando in December 2018!

I am a fan of Transformers and Spiderman so I challenged myself to ride the popular 4D rides which scared me in the past. Taking these little steps whether in professional life or in my free time can be encouraging for me to move outside my comforts.

Tiffany

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