Category Archives: online school

Working in teams: It’s inevitable!

There are many things necessary to be a successful library school student dependent upon if you decide to go to school in the traditional classroom or entirely online. I got my Master in Library in Information Science in the traditional format, but since then worked as an online librarian and have become very comfortable in an online environment. Right now, I am taking courses toward a certificate through San Jose State University (SJSU) which is entirely online. This is a unique experience but I spend so much time online it is not foreign to me.

I took an Online Learning Readiness Assessment offered by San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) and it gave me a score of 45, which means I am ready for online learning! At the end of the assessment you are given some tips, and the Unit 5 assignment also has some valuable points for what makes a successful online student. Of course, many things contribute to a student’s success in an online environment such as:

  • Participation in discussion boards, via email, and instance messaging with classmates and instructor
  • Time management is a huge issue because you are responsible for designating time to complete your coursework. I personally prefer going to school online than sitting in rush hour traffic on one of Chicago’s expressways after working 8 hours, and then finding the time to do homework before I go to sleep.
  • This leads into being self-motivated and the ability to work independently!
  • You must have the technical skills and computer software/hardware to be able to watch lectures, participate in synchronous meetings, complete written assignments and post them to blogs and discussion boards, send/receive email, and be familiar with Microsoft Office.
  • The ability to work in teams for group projects which is often a requirement in the workplace.

Dr. Ken Haycock made some very important points during his colloquia presentation titled Working in teams. His presentation was extremely informative, and I would have loved to receive this tutorial before I started library school. It is inevitable that you will work in teams as a librarian, and having this type of discussion would have been extremely valuable to completing my graduate coursework. A few things Dr. Haycock discussed in his presentation that stood out to me were:

  • Vertical teams incorporate different perspectives but have the same problem and issues but different ideas to bring a resolution.
  • The team should set ground rules for all team members to follow and if they are not followed there should be defined consequences.
  • Conflict is not unusual and a successful team addresses it!

Dr. Haycock and Enid Irwin both point out that students often do not want to work in teams. Enid Irwin admits she is someone who does not like working in teams, and she outlines some of the fears online students have with teamwork being number 1! Students fear a lack of control in a team environment, and many do not have the skills to be a successful team member. This contributes to their fear as well. Trust is an issue both mention in their presentations. Trusting that a team member will complete the task they were assigned.

Just these few points out of the many that Dr. Haycock and Enid Irwin made will help me be a better team member and leader as I continue to take courses at SJSU.

There are so many factors that contribute to a student’s success in an online environment it can be daunting for students that struggle with using their home computers. So, it is essential to gain the necessary computer skills to be successful in online coursework.

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What does it mean to be a tenure-track library faculty member?

Wow that is the longest job title, but I essentially call myself a library faculty member. I specialize in everything, but focus on library instruction, collection development, outreach, and reference.

There are many requirements I have to complete to get tenure, and one of them is to return to school to get 15 graduate credits in addition to my MLIS. If I had another graduate degree or a PhD I would not have to return to school, and the 15 credit requirement would be met.

So, I enrolled in a graduate certificate program at San Jose State University. Classes started yesterday and so far so good. I am enjoying the class discussions and it has been easy to navigate throughout the course site and the school’s website.

My assignment for Unit 2 is to create a blog post. I could have created a new blog, but why start from scratch when this blog is waiting for me!

I am taking 7 credits this semester and look forward to learning about new technologies I can bring back to Wright College Library. If I learn something cool, or have any technology tips I will post them to this blog. So, feel free to subscribe to the RSS feed.

Stay tuned!

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Being an Online Reference Librarian

I am finally getting used to being an Online Reference Librarian. At first I thought it was really different from doing reference in person. It is actually very much the same. I am serving the same students as I did at the community college. In addition to the problems of understanding assignments we have computer problems. Computer and copier problems in the physical library are different. You are there and you help the student by rebooting, or turning the copier off because it is overheated. They are sitting at home and we cannot help. Call tech support! Thank you Tech Support. We love you.

think know this experience is making me a better librarian and teacher. When you have to do reference interviews through chat you have to be very clear and to the point. You have a lot of students to help. In email you have to be clear as well. You do not want to confuse a student that is already baffled by the notion of an online library.  Teaching in a virtual classroom is something I never thought I would be doing, but it is cool. More to come… Image from: didatticadellamatematica.wordpress.com

Awesome! I got my first thank you on the new job

I am an online reference librarian. I started a couple of weeks ago, and have been intensely learning chat and email.

Yesterday, I went live and started to answer students’ emails. Today, I got my first thank you! It made me feel really good. I was really worried about clarity in my emails, but I said,”I am a librarian, and I can rock this!.”

I miss sitting and laughing with the students at Wright. Of course, I am still helping students, and it is just as rewarding.

I emailed a student, and she decided to call me. I guess she said forget this email I need to talk to a person. Some people are like that, and others prefer to chat and email.