Until last week I had only participated in 2 webinars and had definitely never presented one. I was surprised at how nervous I was before we began. I don’t like public speaking to begin with, but I thought talking to a microphone might be less nerve-racking than talking to an audience. However, it was a really strange experience talking to a group of people you cannot see and not being able to gauge the audience’s reactions. I was really glad to have my classmates there to moderate the chat window because I don’t think I could have kept up with questions or the conversations and tried to remember everything I was supposed to say. I ended up creating a script for my part of the webinar and I found it very helpful, especially since we had such a short amount of time and I didn’t want to forget any important information. Almost all of the webinars I attended posted handouts on the class wiki. I thought this was a great idea because as a viewer it can be hard to stay engaged in the webinar, chat, and take good notes.
“When Teachers Drive Their Learning” by Joseph Semadeni
“The C’s of our Sea Change” by Blowers and Reed
“Planning an Online Professional Development Module” by Kristin Fontichiaro
These articles this week all talked about professional development. With internet workshops there are a lot more options for personal and individualized professional development, but schools and libraries also have structured programs for professional development. I thought it was interesting to learn how professional development programs still work on making the learning relevant and tailored to the needs of the students and faculty. One of these programs was called the Fusion approach. School identify areas where students are struggling and employ strategies for teachers to become better at teaching that subject (ie. writing workshops). I think this method makes a lot of sense. If students are struggling, teachers can learn new strategies so they can become better instructors. As librarians, if our programs and workshops are not reaching or have an impact on the community maybe we need to learn how to teach or design the programs differently.
I had a Twitter account a few years ago, but I deleted it. Since then Twitter has changed quite a bit and creating a new Twitter account was a learning experience for me. First I started following my classmates and the librarianship blogs that I have already been following for this class. My interests are pretty broad so I am now following academic librarians, digital librarians, archivists, and special collections librarians.
It has been interesting to see what different people have been talking about today. I was surprised that a lot of them post about topics that are not related to their profession. I did notice that when people describe themselves on Twitter you can usually tell which institution they are affiliated with, but they are also careful to state that the opinions they express on Twitter are their own. So I guess you wouldn’t necessarily need to have multiple Twitter accounts to separate your personal and professional life.
It was interesting to learn that embedded librarians are mostly used in medical libraries to look up information for doctors. I feel like most of the readings talked about embedded librarians in an academic context so it was good to expand the discussion in class to include medical libraries and online learning courses. I really appreciate that we discuss and brainstorm topics in class that there are presently no good solutions for. We came up with some practical ways embedded librarians could be integrated into online learning/courses: have the librarians be an instructional partner, teach study skills, keep online seminars short (15-20 minutes) so students will use them, put webinars on the home page or make them easier for students to find a librarian, and chat with students.
How People Learn – Chapter 7: Effective Teaching
I really liked the example of Barb Johnson’s classroom at Monroe Middle School. She doesn’t solely rely on general teaching methods or standardized curriculum. At the beginning of the year her class makes a list of question they want to answer about themselves and about the world. She uses those questions to develop the class’s curriculum. This does require extra work for the teacher, but it makes the learning goals more interesting and applicable to the students. It is great to know that teachers exists who are willing to work hard and not rely on the same lesson plans every year. As librarians we might need to do this with workshops or book clubs. Assessing our audiences and presenting the information in a way that answers our patrons’ specific questions will help libraries serve their communities better.
Online Webinars! Interactive Learning Where Our Users Are: The Future of Embedded Librarianship by Susan E. Montgomery
College students do spend a lot of time online. It would be nice to think that students would actually come to a library to do research, but so many sources can be accessed online. If students aren’t coming into libraries they might not be getting the reference help they need. Now many schools are providing services for students to communicate with librarians through email and chat. In class this semester we have talked about subject librarians and the importance of faculty-librarian collaboration. This article took our discussion further by suggesting classes use embedded librarians. An embedded librarian can be a big part of a course. They can attend courses and students can ask questions or even view them as a “secondary instructor.”
The Embedded Librarian Online or Face-to-Face: American University’s Experiences
I really like how the readings were ordered on the syllabus. In the last article we learned about embedded librarianship and in this article we learn about the value of embedded librarians as educators. There are two types of embedded librarians. One has a physical space within the department they serve (traditional embedded librarian) and the other is stationed in the library and visits their department as needed (hybrid embedded librarian). There are challenges to being a hybrid embedded librarian. It can be difficult to keep up with online communication with the department and it can be more difficult to become a part of your department’s community. Having an embedded librarian physically stationed in the department would make them more accessible to students and faculty and would help the librarian get to know what the specific needs of the department are. Some things that embedded librarians need to think about and manage are their space, the collection, network availability, Web 2.0 tools, and coordinating the movement of library materials.
I also feel like the workshop Esti and I presented went better than the book club. Maybe this was because I was more comfortable with the group we were presenting to. I also feel like a workshop is a bit more scripted than a book club and it is easier for me to follow an outline when I present something.
I was really glad that we discussed ethics in class last week. I was still a little confused after reading about different ethical dilemmas that librarians could find themselves in. I’m still not 100% sure of how I will make decisions when I am working, but I think the main point in class was to work with patrons on a case-by-case basis. I was also glad that we discussed the ALA code of ethics and clarified that it is voluntary (unless your job requires that you follow it).
Just like with patrons and reference questions, ebook purchases will probably need to be evaluated individually as well. You want to make sure you have a balanced collection and don’t just purchase popular titles or base your purchases only on circulation statistics. Price, rental options, and other factors also need to be considered.