Week 13: Reading Reflection- The Last Blog… Or Maybe Not

First we read “When Teachers Drive Their Learning” which examined a style of teacher training called Fusion that was promoted by the school and paced in a way that allowed the teachers to drive their learning and gather inspiration from one another. The teachers observe each other using the skills and have mentors who are experienced observe them and give feedback on their acquisition of the new style of teaching. Fusion allows teachers to retain their own style of teaching while allowing them to gain new skills for their toolkit. I really like that Fusion relies on, “motivation, time to develop professionally, and teacher leadership” because it allows teachers to improve without investing their own time and money. It also allows teachers to become “experts” which raises school morale. It’s a little bit hard to transfer this to academic librarianship, however I do believe that it could work. At UM, I do like that the library hosts webinars that they gather groups of librarians to view. There are efforts to do professional development on work time, but I don’t know if this does as much as Fusion might. I will have to think on it more and try to come up with a way to implement it and what skills would be of use in my desired job.

The C’s of Our Sea Change goes through the creation of a training program for staff who were struggling with technological problems in a very large system. Lori Reed  was the trainer and developed a tiered plan that would cover all skill levels. She did research on previous libraries experiences and worked with her IT department to see what problems were most reported and could have been solved by general staff. The first step was a classroom based session and ended with those who attended going out to their locations and showing people who missed the class what they had learned. The program also encouraged staff to experiment with social media tools. Similar to this class, the emphasis has been learning, creation, and experimentation instead of doing it “correctly”.

“Drawings for a new laptop and PDA were also thrown into the prize pool. As one savvy children’s manager said to me one day, ‘Learning 2.0 was merely summer reading for kids repackaged with different incentives for staff.'”

I’m so glad that I’ve used this blog to reflect all semester. I’ve had a lot of fun with it and my experiences have changed how I view the social media side of the profession. I’m contemplating continuing this blog because I have gained so much from it. I think my big take away is that generally while writing I feel as though I am talking to myself, and if I did truly want it to be  a professional resource, I would have to change that to be speaking for an audience.

Lastly, (for today and theoretically forever) Kristin Fontichiaro, my professor, wrote a piece that adapted Reed and Blowers work and used it to work with elementary school teachers to expand their knowledge of Web 2.0 tools (I still hate that term). I chuckled my way through it because it sounds like she has adapted that course for elementary school teachers for us future librarians in this class. It was so valuable to be able to “practice” social media with the support of my peers. I can easily see how it would be valuable to do with coworkers. It is such a nice thing to have visible learning progress with blogs. I have found that I have learned a lot when reading those of my peers and my comments caused me to further reflect, and often started my next blog post in a different way that I had initially intended.

There is so much still to be said for what I’ve learned in this class. I hope to continue this blog because it has been a good method for my own learning and reflection. I know that I will have to have a final synthesis for this class but there is so much to do in 24 hours that I can’t right now! Thank you to my cohort for reading my ramblings and providing me with inspiration in yours. I’ve really enjoyed it!

Blowers, Helene, and Lori Reed. “The C’s of Our Sea Change: Plans for Training Staff, from Core Competencies to Learning 2.0.” Computers in Libraries 27.2 (2007): 10-15.

Fontichiaro, Kristin. “Planning an Online Professional Development Module.” School Library Media Activities Monthly 25.2 (2008): 30-31.

Semadeni, Joseph. “When Teachers Drive Their Learning.” Educational Leadership 67.8 (2010): 66-69.


Webinar Reflections

Well, my webinar didn’t go well. I’m trying not to be disappointed but it was a disheartening experience. I really really wanted it to be great. This has been my mantra since then. I haven’t entirely succeeded in embracing it but I have managed to learn and have another opportunity to try again.

Let It Go

To start we had technical difficulties. Blackboard has a lot of trouble on Mac and crashed my computer while watching someone else’s webinar. It was not accessibility friendly and caused one of my partner’s computer to freeze and crash so many times that we decided to stop trying to make it work. And then we had a computer die during our presentation. There has to be a nicer program to work with. I’d like to be a part of more live webinars to see if I can find something that I like better. That can be a project for this summer.

The second point was content. Our webinar was on issues of homelessness and poverty and how libraries can serve them and how they often fail to do so. We chose this because ALA clumps “poor” and “homeless” together in their literature. We didn’t really think about it too hard because THE professional association did it. Many of the issues do relate to both issues. We were more than a little bit thrown off when people began commenting that it wasn’t very sensitive for us to do it. In retrospect, they are VERY different populations and we would have been more effective if we only chose one.  We chose three points to highlight: Library card or access policies requiring a permanent address,  limited access to the library building by either limited means of transportation or service hours, and lack of programs or resources that address people’s experiences or current situations. I’m fascinated that while we were trying to address an ethical issue in libraries we managed to stir another! Anyways, I’m looking forward to redoing this presentation. I have high standards for myself and I hate missing them.

In addition to doing my own Webinar, I also listened to several other groups perform their Webinar’s. The first was “Serving Patrons Who’ve Served Time: Programs for incarcerated people and former offenders” which was great. It covered both prison libraries and librarians serving former inmates. I had only ever heard a little bit about this issue and was glad to expand my knowledge and awareness. The next presentation was “Meeting Tribal Needs: A Cross-Country Exploration of Library Service to Native Americans” which explored ways in which libraries can serve and partner with tribal communities. I’ve never been in an area where this was an issue so it was very edifying to learn more. Lastly, “Millennials: Get in my library!” talked about ways to attract people born from 1980-2000 to libraries. Currently this population ranges in age from 14-34, and we were talking about the 20 and ups. Ideas like bar night were proposed. They argued that by changing the vibe of the library, even for a brief period, might allow people who generally feel uncomfortable in libraries to find ease and enjoyment. It was good for me to think of the issue from an outside perspective. I’m someone who has always loved libraries and am in this age demographic. It’s good to remember that there are people my age who don’t feel the same and are missing out on the fantastic things we have to offer.

I’m really sorry if you are now as obsessed with Let It Go as I am. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

Week 12: The Webinar

Tomorrow I’m giving my first webinar and I’m so nervous! I like this assignment because it really challenges me as an instructor and it builds on everything we’ve worked through this semester. It required planning, team work, creativity, and a deep understanding of the ethics we’ve been working through.

I was amazed at the number of tools that the Blackboard software we are using to present our webinars contained. It allowed the people to draw on the slides, skip through the slides, make noise, talk over the presenter, and several other distracting things. I’m so nervous that I’ll forget to turn off the participant’s interactions and get off track because of them. I’m sure my classmates are too kind but it still makes me nervous. I’m also glad that I have a group because I don’t think I could present and respond to chat questions at the same time.

Until tomorrow….

Week 11- Class Reflection

I still have Rockin Robin stuck in my head but I’ll spare you a video. This class further interested me in social media for professional use and also continued to confuse my sensibilities! It’s great. It was nice to hear from other students who have used Twitter in the past and were able to reassure the rest of us that it is ok to be a personal professional on the platform. I think you still have to be careful about what you post. Many of the people who were well known professionals had a note in their bio that they were not representing their institutions through twitter. You still have to be careful you don’t say something negative about your employer, or coworkers, or…. There are so many lines that can be crossed. That’s the part that makes me nervous. I do like that Twitter is more informal. I’m a generally informal person. I like jeans, sweatshirt and flip flops. I think this photo is a fairly decent representation of who I am.


I feel like if I were to take the plunge into professional social media, Twitter would be my style. I love short, dead pan statements. I love snark. I also really enjoy sharing articles that I’ve read. I try really hard to keep up with the news and social commentary. I love to see what my friends reactions are. I wasn’t on Twitter for long enough to really engage in any back and forth conversation but I’m intrigued by the idea that it is a thing you can do. I like how fast paced it is, how it is “on the record” and how much information is shared. When you are presenting information in a blog, you have to do a lot of analysis. Why is this interesting? Why should I read this? Why am I sharing this? With Twitter, there is a devil may care, take it or leave it attitude.

In class we also learned about the software we will be using to run the webinars next week. I’m still terrified that I’m going to mess up, but I trust that my group can keep it together and pull it off! I’m excited about it. Kristin signed on and invited the class to be guests in her webinar. We quickly learned that we had tools that we could use for our power and her disruption. Amana and I colored over her slides (we never did find out if she could erase all the harm we did). We could also “raise our hand” which caused her computer to ding, which was really annoying. In the chat feature, we discovered that the moderator can see all of the side conversations that are going on. Nothing is private! I was a little astonished by that. I originally thought it was strange that we were doing the project in groups but after seeing the bells and whistles, and the mayhem that comes with it, I’m really relieved that I’m going to be in a group. Maybe I can live tweet the webinar when I’m the “third person” in our group.

Actually, this might be a better explanation of who I am:

is this bags of candy

Professional? Maybe not. I just don’t see myself transforming my image for the sake of sharing my silly thoughts with the masses.


Week 12- Rockin Robin

Tweet, Tweet, Tweedily deedily dee!

For homework we were tasked with signing up for twitter, following 25 library related people, and tweeting at least five times. Sounds simple! Well, I (re)discovered that Twitter is a time suck of interesting articles that I want to read. Twitter has also redesigned since I used it in 2011 and I have had difficulty using the interface. At first I couldn’t figure out where I was supposed to type. My next issue was retweeting- I couldn’t figure out how to add my own thoughts or hashtag to something that I was retweeting. I still can’t….. Embarrassing for someone who considers them self fluent in web 2.0 (a term which I am coming to hate).

I found it interesting to see what the librarians share on Twitter that they don’t in their blogs. Many use the blogs purely for professional use only, while they tweet both about the personal or professional (one has taken over my feed- can I call it a bird feed?- with messages about the incompetence of her mothers doctor and hatred of hospitals. And then she says something I want to hear more about but she doesn’t say anything:

The abbreviation of articles means that I might miss an article I would be interested in because I didn’t find a summary interesting. Twitter in general also means that I am getting a very one sided perspective of the world. I’m likely to only follow people whose view points I agree with and not have exposure to those I don’t. I’m a strong believer in knowing what the “other side” is thinking.

With Twitter, I also get sidetracked by other interesting things:

I’m not going to tell you how long it took me to figure out how to embed those….

I’m looking forward to guided synthesis for Twitter. I think I would either need two accounts to separate my personal and professional. I’m also unsure of how effectively libraries are really reaching their patrons. I’d enjoy some statistics on the matter.

Week 11 Reflection- Drugs and Webinars

Drugs in the library and standing up to the city counsel– these are two issues that Josie Parker, the director of the Ann Arbor District Library has to deal with. The short story is that the city wants to put a park next to the library and the library is worried because there is a heroin (sadly, not a heroine) problem inside its walls and thinks the city may not be ready for it to manifest in a park. I learned so much from these articles about how Ann Arbor sees itself. Many on the City Counsel and in the comments section believe that the problem is that we need more police. Josie was adamant that it isn’t a police issue, she is very happy with the response time and discretion with which they handle situations that come up. She also made it clear that this isn’t a “homeless problem” which many in the comments ignored. The truth of the matter is that AADL have a large number of homeless patrons who show up every day all day because there is no “day shelter” and they need to stay warm and safe somehow. As a class we shared horror stories of problem patrons and a trend emerged- usually problem patrons have the idea that they are entitled to special treatment. At the University Library this is faculty who won’t pay fines or return books because they “need” them and won’t listen to the fact that someone else placed a hold and they also “need” that book. At AADL these are patrons who are unwilling to be responsible for items that get lost (“it’s not my fault that my child lost that book at school”), University faculty sleeping in the library (which isn’t allowed, “but I’m a professor”), or people who are outraged their hold was taken off the shelf, even though they were notified to pick it up weeks ago (holds are kept for 6 days).  The patrons who were the nicest to me as a library staff member tended to be the homeless.  All in all this conversation led  me to further understand what an impact libraries have on their communities. It also highlights how many things a library is at the same time: a playground, a shelter, a book repository, a place of employment, one of relaxation, and how as library staff we have to structure it so that the community of the library can encompass all these things (although not everyone agrees that a library needs to be something for everyone). It was so interesting to talk about the issues and how our language shapes what we do, even when we don’t mean it to.


We also had to watch a webinar for homework and took some time talking about the good, bad, and ugly. Most of us did not watch ours live, which left us with questions of what they were really like. Chat functions, hand raising, and other bells and whistles didn’t make sense to us in an archived format. I’m looking forward to what it is going to be like to host one. I was really interested in how webinars can allow some people to shine and also provide very valuable information to underserved populations. I’m so nervous about how it will turn out, but the planning process has made it a little easier. I’m interested to see what everyone will do!

Woah! We’re almost there! Week 11? Readings

Online Webinars! Interactive Learning Where Our Users Are: The Future of Embeded Librarianship

This article provided many ways that webinars and other forms of online interaction with patrons. It was interesting because it all seemed fairly obvious to me, as a member of the younger generation this paper was talking about. I think it is so important that libraries acknowledge and embrace these forms of technology. They do come in very useful. Many students do prefer their dorm rooms to libraries. By having multiple ways to meet them online, students can choose how to experience the library and are more likely to take advantage of it. The article also went through ways that librarians can support online learning. To me it seemed as though those experiences could really educate how librarians interact with all students.

Montgomery, Susan E.(2010) ‘Online Webinars! Interactive Learning Where Our Users Are: The Future of Embedded Librarianship’, Public Services Quarterly, 6: 2, 306 — 311


The Embedded Librarian Online or Face-toFace: American University’s Experiences

This article goes over several aspects of librarianship. It speaks to the fears that librarians have going into non-traditional spaces. Some librarians are placed in programs that don’t have the need for librarians in their space, or is more likely the case, they are placed in spaces where the staff and students don’t know what a librarian can do for them and underutilize them. The only real requirement for a librarian’s space is that it needs internet connectivity. I think this is very true, since this is how we do research in this era. Nobue Matsuoka-Motley is the Music librarian at American University and believed that her status as an embeded librarian was equivalent with being a member of the music community, something which she believes helped her suceed. By creating relationships with faculty, she became a part of the class planning process and had the opportunity to teach information literacy to all the students in the department. She eventually took on even more roles within the department, including becoming a member of the orchestra, a coach to musicians, and a pannel judge for juries. Michael Matos is a business librarian who was not able to find space within the business school to work, so he does most of his interacting through online venues: course management software, chat, webinars, and social media websites. This works in the business school because many of the students are distance learners.

Matos, Michael A. , Matsuoka-Motley, Nobue and Mayer, William(2010) ‘The Embedded Librarian Online or Face-to-Face: American University’s Experiences’, Public Services Quarterly, 6: 2, 130 — 139