Super Quick Shot: Public Libraries, Public Policies, and Political Processes: Serving and Transforming Communities in Times of Economic and Political Constraint & why I should take notes

It’s been a long time since my last post, mostly due to life barreling forward and me spinning on the insides.

I started out a come back to the site by reading several professional library books. I didn’t have a focus on a particular subject, but generally focused on politics, reference services, and suggested professional competencies. Out of all that I read, there is one book that rose above the rest.

I have found that the library professional books I have come across become same-y sounding, follow similar formats, or, especially thin volumes, skim the surface of an issue/topic. Public Libraries, Public Policies, and Political Processes: Serving and Transforming Communities in Times of Economic and Political Constraint by Paul T Jaeger, Ursula Gorham, John Carlo Bertot , and Lindsay C. Sarin was able to take a balanced approach to the perception of public libraries in politics, mixing historical context and founded foresight. Especially in today political climate, it has an eerie feel of prophecy to it (like many dystopian novels, including The Handmaid’s Tale and Prophecy of the Sower).

What wonderful things do I remember from it?

*attempts to access long term, iron clad, photographic memory from late February*

[ERROR]

Well, that’s embarrassing. It’s also a lesson in what to do if you intend on providing a review or insight on something.

What do I remember? It wasn’t a brief description of things I’m learning in my reference graduate course. It isn’t a collection of case studies. It is a text that could be used in a graduate course about libraries within the political landscape. It is a book that places libraries in a realistic present political context.

There have been times during my online graduate courses where it seems people aren’t panicking as much as I am about the future. At times, I know it is easy to set the default to comfortable soap box for discussion posts, but it isn’t the time to be comfortable anymore.

It is definitely the time to remember what you read and be able to bring it up when needed….*cough, cough*

So Question: What do you do if you are preparing a review? Do you take notes?

Public Libraries, Public Policies, and Political Processes: Serving and Transforming Communities in Times of Economic and Political Constraint

written by Paul T Jaeger, Ursula Gorham, John Carlo Bertot , and Lindsay C. Sarin

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014

Publishers Page

Google Books copy

Quick Shots: From Outreach to Equity: Innovative Models of Library Policy and Practice and The Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management

These two entries into my “been read” pile are on opposite sides of the spectrum, both in scope, length, and depth. However, both did contribute to my understanding and I did end up purchasing one of them.

From Outreach to Equity: Innovative Models of Library Policy and Practice

Edited by Robin Osborne

Foreword by Carla D. Hayden

Chicago: American Library Association, 2004

This is a slim volume that contains several “snapshots” of outreach programs and services from the United States created by the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (now Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services). Each part focuses on a different aspect of outreach, beginning with a short introduction and followed by relevant “snapshots”. This book covers a wide array of possible services, but does not provide in depth descriptions of the creation, implementation, and evaluation of these services. That being said, I was writing down the ideas that interested me and by the end had a lengthy list.

Being an older volume, this is cheap to pick up used online. I got it for $.88 from Better World Books and the shipping was $3.99.

You can also view large portions through Google Books.

If you are looking for inspiration for outreach services in a public or academic library, this could prove useful. If you want a step by step description on how to implement these programs in your library, it won’t give you what you need. However, you can take the information in the book and contact these libraries to start a conversation.

 

The Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management

by Peggy Johnson

Third Edition

Chicago: American Library Association, 2013

 

This is a long volume that is focused on the aspects of collection development and management. It goes in depth on the topic, providing a historical context for the topic at the beginning and considering all library types throughout each topic. This is prime textbook material, which may be why you can’t get it on Amazon currently (as the semester has started). I acquired mine through the library and suggested it for inclusion in the soon to be developed professional collection at my library.

This can be used by a wide variety of librarians and information professionals. It takes into consideration how professional values influence the collection development and management. There are many sources cited and suggested readings listed for further context and information.

Whereas From Outreach to Equity was a quick read, this will take more time to consume. The amount of information and the textbook tone require more focus.

Overall, it is valuable for anyone looking to get a well developed idea of what collection development and management can entail. It is the most recent edition of the book and therefore fairly recent.

Here is a link to the Google Books preview, which provides a eBook copy for $48.
Phew!

Review: Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ Framework-Based Exercises for Creating Information-Literate Learners

Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ Framework-Based Exercises for Creating Information-Literate Learners

Joanna M. Burkhardt

2016, ALA Neal-Schuman, Chicago

Obtained: Checked out copy from public library.

Why did I get it?: I was seeking texts on information literacy in the library. I did not look into the content of this book when I initially put it on hold and found after I received it that it was aimed at academic settings. However, I found worth and application in it anyhow.

——–

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) created the Information Literacy Competency Standards for High Education in 2000 to help define standards for information literacy. These standards have been replaced with the ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education which was adopted by the ACRL Board on January 11, 2016. The Framework was created to address the changing responsibilities of both staff and students and to clearly define the concept of information literacy in the context of practice. The Framework consists of six frames, each representing an internal principle of information literacy.

Burkhardt’s Teaching Information Literacy Reframed aims to help those tasked with creating and implementing information literacy instruction with a toolbox of usable and flexible exercises that help make the concepts concrete. Each of the six frames is given its own chapter, with an introduction and accompanying exercises. The ACRL’s Framework is provided as an Appendix allowing the reader to cross reference between the original document and the author’s interpretation and elaborations on each framework section. Chapters start with an exploration of the concept, defining it and its importance to students. Exercises follow, listing learning objectives and instructions. A handy list of exercises can be found at the beginning of the book following the table of contents. Exercises range from hands on activities to group discussion. Suggestions are made as to if the exercises should be done individually or in groups.

This book provided me with insight into the instructional tasks academic librarians face. Being a graduate student focused on library and information studies, I can see the usefulness of the exercises from two perspectives. As a librarian in training, I find the exercises and explorations of each topic to solidify my professional identity. These concepts are important to my profession and this is one way of making it applicable and important to others. As a student, these are the concepts I put into practice every semester when completing assignments.

——-

Do I recommend it?: Being a slimmer volume with high readability and focusing on information literacy concepts, I do recommend it. It’s aimed at instructors, but can be useful for undergrad and graduate students for self guided exercises or for developing information and/or education professionals wanting to see the application of of information literacy concepts in an instructional setting.

Freebies:

Sample of the Book on ALA Store:

Title page, bibliographic info, table of contents, list of exercise titles (with page numbers), Introduction, Chapter One (with citations), & index.

http://www.alastore.ala.org/pdf/9780838913970_sample.pdf

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

ACRL’s former Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

*This document is being phased out to make way for the Framework. It was decided at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando that the Competencies would be rescinded. You can access the document (and PDF) at the link below until July 1, 2017.

http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency

 

The path to here

On Monday, November 14, 2016, I started my third position at the York County Library. I first came on in 2012 as a part time circulation assistant, and then worked three years in the Outreach department as a bookmobile assistant. August 2016 I left for a new non-library job that promised more pay and opportunity to grow…

And now I’m back at the library! This time I will be a part time reference assistant, working on the second floor instead of the central circulation desk or tucked in the back near the garage/ on a large 28-foot long converted Bluebird named Camilla.

During my time as a bookmobile assistant, I applied for the MLIS program at USC Columbia. Outreach work inspired me to pursue a career in the library field for a few reasons:

  1. Let’s be honest up front, with an MLIS you can command a higher salary. If this is where I want to work, I’m going to need to make more money over time without relying solely on seniority. And during the time I do serve as a librarian…
  2. I want to be able to affect change in service and policy. I came into the position without formal training and many of my coworkers had years of experience, but no degree. On the job, I sought out the reasoning behind our services, why we did what we did, and, always, how can we improve staff and patron experiences. Graduate school seemed to be the answer.
  3. Knowing me, this would help me solidify my identity. People say “do what you love”. But when you battle with bouts of depression and anxiety on a regular basis, it can be difficult to remember who you are. When the activities and aspects of life that once defined you lose their luster or seem like burdens, it is difficult to remember who you are, why you started, or why any of this matters. For me, working in a library has been a defining moment that hasn’t lost its purpose or place in my life. I want to keep that feeling alive and investing effort into my studies sustains that energy and, therefore, me.

Okay, deep breath, that last paragraph was a doozy, right?

Onward, this blog will be personal observations of how my work and school studies overlap, lists of materials I have consumed, and a collection of amusing photographs/comics/antics.

Cardboard Box Portable Puppet Stage

Maybe it is because I am taking a class on programming for children or maybe it is because I am a fan of Portlandia, but when I saw the carnage left over after assembling my new office chair I knew something needed to be done with it.

I thought it would be fairly simple to create a portable puppet stage that I could sit cross legged behind. The box’s width would fit perfectly with the inner aisle of the Bookmobile. It could potentially add a spooky story time to Halloween or a silly version of the wide mouthed frog.

I didn’t do any research before starting this project. Jumping into it, I removed one of the larger sides, the one that included where the two ends of the cardboard had been joined with staples

At this point, I sat where my dachshund Peanut is standing now and knew that it was a little short for me to be concealed while using my hands for puppets.

puppet stage 4

Paperclip method was no bueno.

This might be okay if I want to include my head in the production, but I want this to be portable and versatile. My first attempt at creating a locking system for the flaps on top was with paperclips and duct tape. One paperclip was attached with a loop side facing out while the other was partially unraveled to form a hook. This was okay, but not secure enough for the occasional, unintentional bump.

I hopped on the internet for some inspiration and watched this video of a man making a much more impressive puppet stage. In his video he secured portions of the structure inserting cut out tabs into gaps in the cardboard. This inspired me to construct a similar system. I cut a thin section off the sides of the top flap, leaving an inch reinforced by duct tape. This remaining nub was used to mark how long and where the cut in the opposite flaps would be placed. Once I made the cut in the opposite flap, I reinforced with duct tape as well.

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I did this on both sides of the top flap and set it up to test it out.

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I folded it up and found it a little cumbersome. Thanks to a large binder clip I happened to have, I can secure it on the side by clamping onto a side flap and the middle panel. The panels also fold out wider so the size of the set varies.

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I’m excited to figure out how to decorate it and plan a puppet story time for the bookmobile. But for now, it is time to kick back and relax.

IMG_20160206_191445

Time to take it easy.

All Hallow’s Read

I’m not the biggest Neil Gaiman fan. That is not saying I do not enjoy his books or graphic novels or children’s books! *braces as a few rotten tomatoes make contact*

I say that because I JUST found out about All Hallow’s Read today!

Simply put on the newly minted tradition’s FAQ page:

All Hallow’s Read is a Hallowe’en tradition. It’s simply that in the week of Hallowe’en, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book.

Halloween being my favorite holiday, the inclusion of books in the mix is a major plus.

Oh Neil! You love us librarians!

Weekend Reflections 10/3/2015

What I have enjoyed this week in story time is taking the time to slow down and let the children speak. Story time is not time for prim and proper behavior.

One child during a story time raised her hand. I told her she didn’t need to do that, that she could just tell me what she wanted. She told me how someone she knew, who looked like me, told her that when she felt happy she needed to write in her happy journal and when she was sad she needed to write in her sad journal. I could have told her I wanted to start story time and couldn’t take questions. I could have lost that connection.

Flipside, you get moments when a child says “My daddy said what the heck!”

Both are valued in different ways by myself, but both children got an equal message:

I want to hear your voice.

Image from Goodwill Librarian on Facebook.