LIS 580: Historical Society of Pennsylvania Recommendation

For our libraries management class we were tasked with taking a Harvard Business School case study on the difficulties facing the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) and make recommendations as if we were a young information professional sitting on the HSP board.

Reinvigorating the Historical Society of Pennsylvania for the 21st Century

In order to rebuild the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s image and standing in the community we must re-focus our mission and bring the organization into the twenty-first century. While funds are tight we can capitalize on available grants and partnerships on both the local and national level to revamp our mission, renew our image, and refresh our collections. Currently, the HSP has a diffuse mission and it is doing a disservice to its collections, members, and users by having a collection larger than it can support. To this end, the HSP must get smaller to get better. While getting smaller and stronger, the HSP must also strive to bring its collections into the twenty-first century through digitization efforts and community outreach.

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LIS 522: Selection Tool Review

For collection development we were tasked with reviewing a selection tool used by the type of library we aspire to work in. I wrote on Choicea publication of ACRL.

The selection tool Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries is published as a service of the Association of College and Research Libraries and has become the preferred selection tool for many academic libraries, especially undergraduate libraries. While I was unable to determine whether or not the reviewers are compensated, Choice states on their website that reviews are written by selected experts in the subject; the reviews are given additional authority by the listing of the reviewers institutional affiliation along with their name at the end of each review. Since Choice is a selection tool for academic materials and is geared towards academic librarians it makes sense that subject experts author reviews, although making the information about whether or not reviewers are compensated would be a good addition for the authority of the reviews and transparency of the publication.

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LIS 560: Training and Development Program

For my instructional and training strategies class we ended the quarter by developing a soup to nuts review of how to plan a library instruction session, everything from what information you’ll need to get from the professor to how to assess student learning.

Lesson Plan: Reducing Fear and Increasing Information Literacy
The instruction session will have three related parts; the fear reduction that accompanies academic searching will be a theme throughout the session, since fear can be a major motivator that drives students to use non-academic sources in academic settings. Instruction on what an academic source is, demonstrating the distinction between academic and non-academic by demonstrating library resources, will be the main part of the session and will help a lot with allaying the fears of the students. A tour of the physical library will serve as the closing to the session and will help familiarize students with the library as a physical space, helping to reduce some of the fear about the library as a space for students to come use materials. In addition, the library tour will help to engage a couple different intelligences that may not get addressed during the classroom portion: visual/spatial learners will benefit from seeing the flow of materials, helping them to understand relationships between subjects and the bodily/kinesthetic learners will be engaged by the movement of walking around the library (Gardner & Hatch, 1989). These instructional strategies are best employed on lower division students (freshman or community college students), however they could be modified for more advanced students by making instruction more specific and in-depth.

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LIS 560: It’s Legit!

For my teaching and instructional design class we had to create a 5 minute online tutorial to instruct students on a topic of our choosing, followed by a 2 minute debrief on the choices we made. This is the first video I ever made and I’ve already learned a lot although I know there is room for improvement.

LIS 521: Internet Public Library reflection

As part of our coursework for my advanced reference services class we worked with the Internet Public Library (IPL2) to answer incoming reference questions. Reflecting on the experience helped to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the system

My experience with the IPL was generally positive, although I feel like certain parts of the set up are somewhat contrived. My greatest difficulties and frustrations with IPL stemmed from the categorizing of the questions. There were multiple instances where questions (including one that I answered) were improperly labeled as ready reference or research. While this isn’t an issue that affected how much effort I put into answering the question it did create some issues since IPL has different standards for the number of sources required for proper responses to ready reference versus research questions. Continue reading

LIS 510: Information Behavior in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

For the final paper in our Information Behavior class we had the opportunity to write about information behavior in a world of our choosing, either real or fictional. The class had some excellent papers about information behavior in the TV show Seinfeld and in real world examples such as among equestrians at a barn. My final paper was on the John Hughes classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The 1986 John Hughes film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic example of a series of different information giving and seeking behaviors. From an impoverished life-world within the constraints of Chatman’s small world theory, Ferris Bueller must employ Savolainen’s mastery of life techniques in order to get what he wants: a day off. The school administrator who does not believe Bueller’s story suffers from an example of Belkin’s anomalous state of knowledge (ASK) and attempts to use segments of Taylor’s question-negotiation and information seeking theories to help resolve the ASK. These classic theories and models of information behavior all help to explain different facets of information behavior exhibited by characters in the film.

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LIS 500: Taylor’s Value Added Model discussion debrief

For my introductory seminar class each student took a class period to lead discussion on a designated article. Below is my reflection after leading discussion on Taylor’s Value Added model.

The discussion on Taylor’s design of the value-added model generally went according to plan, especially helped by Joe’s insights and questions to us on the definition of value and reminding us how Taylor was defining system. Since Taylor wasn’t making an argument it was especially important for us to understand what he was saying, if he had been making an argument that we were trying to analyze there would have been a lot more room for interpretation and differences of opinion. Before we got to the redesign of the model there was sparse but important discussion about the origins and importance of the model, with goods points make by Ceradwen and Jei about how changing technologies and increasing amounts of information in the system are creating the need for ways to ascribe value. Joe jumped in and raised the question of what makes us question value and Rachel brought up how Taylor discussed active versus passive searching and how that related to how an active search is more a search done by a librarian or other information professional. Since things have evolved in such a way that searching is much more passive and often carried out by patrons, this got the class into the right mindset as far as how expectations and needs had changed and we were ready to redefine the user criteria of choice.

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