Bringing Our Community into the Fold and Using Technology to Transform Learning

Reaching Out to the Community about Library Technology

I think outreach is very important, and we should make every effort to bring new people in the library. My supervisor alwayscommunity says lets just do it for the people that use the library. We should only advertise in the library. I completely disagree we need to educate every in our community about what the library has to offer. We are more than just books!

“It’s easy to focus on the folks who use our services consistently, the ones who borrow materials, attend programs, and bring children to story time (Stephens, 2013).”

Educating community members about the technology in the library, and the role librarians play in educating individuals about technology. I stated in an earlier post that librarians have to be willing to take on the task of teaching technology to community members.

Giving Community Members Hands On Experience with Technology

I loved reading about the TechShop which is “Giving members the opportunity to play with technology is important (TechShop, n.d.).” I would like to create a space like this in my college library, which has limited space. If you would like to see some photos of our pyramid building library designed by Betrand Goldberg checkout this blog http://wrightlibrarypresents.wordpress.com/. The design is cool, but it is completely impractical for a quiet space, which everyone expects. I think with a little redesign the space could an area where students can explore new technology. This is very important as they go out into the job market, and compete with individuals that have advanced technology skills.

Librarians Taking the Lead on Technology in the College/University Setting

superlibrarianIt is the librarians role in the college setting to provide students with “opportunities to gain knowledge—either formally within networked courses delivered across multiple channels by the university, or via services, collections, and access made seamless and available to anyone (Stephens, 2012).” The implementations of app technology, and the available of tablets and laptops to students will only improve their technology skills. As librarians it is part of our job to teach them students how to use these tools to access information.

Librarians Using Technology to Change the Way We Learn

I think as librarians we are engulfed in so much technology everyday that you cannot help be knowledgeable about some aspect of it.

“I spend a lot of time thinking about how libraries create value. How will we (and our users) define services and collections in the future? If our overarching mission is to advance teaching, learning, and research then where do plug-ins, add-ons, iPad apps, and things like premium blogs themes fit into that objective? As these needs shift from novelties to necessities what is our role? (Mathews, 2013).”

Today, I had a discussion with my supervisor about how in the past the library bought books because it is whatever college library had in their core collection. Collection development was not geared toward what the student’s needed to complete assignments and the curriculum. I think this is an important. We are often focused on collections and the physical library we forget about the people in the library seeking information. How will they learn or develop if we do not provide them with the tools to progress if we are stuck in a time warp following the path of the librarians that preceded us. It is necessary for us to stand up and take risks as budgets are cut, and the librarians role is challenged. Academic librarians have to assert themselves as educators and embrace the evolution of their role. Now it is very difficult to hide in a back room away from our community members.

educateTablets, apps, mobile devices, and open source software “enable educators to transform the way they teach. They enable different types of interactions to occur more effectively. They can also change the way students feel about and interact with content and each other (Mathews, 2013).” As librarians we can fill that role and teach our users how to harness this technology to seek knowledge and better their lives.

References

Mathews, B. (2013, September 5). Curating learning experiences: A future role for librarians? [Web log post]. The Ubiquitous  Librarian. The Chronicle of Higher Education Blog Network. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/theubiquitouslibrarian/2013/09/05/curating-learning-experiences-a-future-role-for-librarians/

Stephens, M. (2013, April 18). Holding us back [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/04/opinion/michael-stephens/holding-us-back-office-hours/#p

Stephens, M. (2012, April 25). Learning everywhere [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/04/opinion/michael-stephens/learning-everywhere-office-hours/

TechShop. (n. d.). TechShop San Jose. Retrieved from http://www.techshop.ws/ts_sanjose.html

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3 responses to “Bringing Our Community into the Fold and Using Technology to Transform Learning

  1. I’m sad to hear that your supervisor isn’t interested in bringing new people into the library. Whenever people hear that I want to be a librarian they always ask, “Do people still use libraries?” I tell them about all the programs and technologies we now have and they become curious. This is the only way libraries are going to stay relevant; if we educate our community members about what we have to offer, and ask them what else they would like to learn from us.

    • She has made a huge turn, because she has seen the effect of my outreach efforts. Reference and library instruction has doubled, and it only makes her look good. 🙂

  2. Bravo, Reina! Keep fighting the good fight.

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