Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reflection on Hyperlinked Library Course

Structure of Course

Initially I was not exactly sure what I got myself into when I signed up for this class. We moved to the WordPress site for Blackboard and I was wondering how this course would be structured. In library school my reference used a Google blog, but it was a while ago. So, I do not necessarily remember what happened. The structure was clear and changing throughout the semester for clarity. For example, I appreciate you guys recognizing the module menu was getting unwieldy and needed to be adjusted. This is something I spoke to colleague about the other day at work as I was designing my online course. Those long drop down menus and buried content are not conducive to online learning.

Course Content

The Hyperlinked Library course content was fabulous! I feel like the most up to date and knowledgeable librarian. I go to meetings at work and reference readings, new technologies, the Horizon Report in Higher Education (one of my new favorite documents), and everyone wants to pluck my brain for information. I have a friend that works as an analyst in silicon valley and I told her to take this course. It is fab! She was very impressed Michael Stephens was my instructor and Aaron Schmidt was a guest lecturer. She was a little star struck.

My new obsession is gaming and gamification in the library. I hope to get the support of administration to support gaming in the library. We have 9,000 FTE and 3 full-time librarians, and in order to implement new technologies and programs we need more librarians. It has taken me almost 3 years to update the library website by adding online guides, video tutorials, an animated video, etc. Of course, I am the only one in my library with this level of technology literacy. I struggled to find a way to advocate for new technology, and the budget and personnel to support it. The Emerging Technologies Plan was a little bit of a struggle for me in the beginning. I could not wrap my head around how I was going to approach it. So, after a week of thinking and brainstorming I had a plan. I am thankfully for Michael’s feedback, because it helped me determine how to approach the next big assignment, the Director’s Brief. I took the feedback and crawled over my Director’s Brief to hit the points I missed in the previous assignment. It means so much to me to have the opportunity to provide such a service in my community college library. I am planning to present it to my college president during our meeting next week.

Last but not least…my final thoughts (I know we finally made it!)

Technology is always changing and the way we use technology evolves as well. I think this course has helped me take a new approach about how I learn about new technology. There are so many opportunities to use technology that I feel like I should have known about a year or two ago. How did I miss it? What was I doing? I thought I was keeping up to date, but obviously as a professional librarian I needed a new approach. This is one of the best learning experiences I have ever had, and I am grateful this course was offered.

Library Social and Participatory Service

I have learned so much in this class and it is hard to sum up. The biggest thing for me is my thinking has really evolved, and I am enthusiast about the future of my library. I know it is clique but anything is possible!

It was always difficult to see how I could implement technologies in my library without the support of my colleagues. It is hard to get support when no one understands the technology. I have learned how to support the implementation of new technology in my library, which is so valuable. I am excited to apply these tools to the workplace. I hope I can make a difference in my library.

I am inspired to create a game to teach students information literacy skills next Fall. Hopefully, I will get the help I need to make it happen. This Spring semester I am going to be teaching my first online course in the Associates degree program via Blackboard. I am excited to incorporate some of the techniques that helped me learn in this class. I am going to promote discussion and interaction between the students. I am considering a wiki portfolio of all of their work as a final project. This course has sparked ideas on so many fronts. I cannot name them all, but I am happy I had the opportunity to take this course.

Please check out my infographic that includes links some of my favorite bits and pieces from my blog posting from the semester. Link to Infographic:

Living a Better Life in the Real World as a Result of What We Learn from Technology

0216_turkleSherry Turkle says that mobile devices have changed the way we behave in our real lives (TED, 2012, April 3). I never would consider texting at a funeral. Of course, I do not text at all. Unless I am forced by someone, that refuses to speak to me on the phone. If they do not want to talk I push them to use my personal email address. “Goldilocks effect” not to close and not to far (TED, 2013, April 3). Conversations do make us vulnerable, and I guess people do clean up things using technology, but sometimes people share too much via the internet or technology. Morozov definition of “solutionism” is using technology to solve problems in real life (The Economist, 2013, May 2). I agree I wanted to lose a few pounds for my wedding, and I used an app for a month to help me track my calories. It was too time consuming, and my life was changing. I did not have time to track my calories. I continued to attend Zumba, and control my diet and I lost weight. I really did not need an app, and I did not want to post my activity to social media or share it with my friends. I did not need an app for this.

I invited intermediate family and a few friends to my wedding. The pastor that married me was my brother in law. So, my wedding was very private. A friend that attended my wedding said she would not post my wedding pictures to Facebook. It was something I did not even consider someone doing. My niece asked my husband if she could post his picture to Facebook, and he said no. Another friend posted my wedding picture to Facebook, and it upset me. I did not get the opportunity to tell people personally I was getting married. My friend took that away when she posted this very personal moment to Facebook.  I wanted to share this moment in my own way and when I wanted to and I lost it. I had considered deleting my Facebook account, but it gives me the opportunity to view what my friends post. Especially if it is something that may affect my career, and I want to control what is shared. Turkle makes a good point, “I want to have a feeling, I need to send a text,” and I understood my friend was excited about my wedding and wanted to share with her Facebook following (TED, April 2012, April 3).

When I look at the history of my library’s Facebook page everything a librarian came across in real life would be posted. I cannot say there was any intention, and there was lots of over sharing. No employee was safe!

gozilllawithcellphoneThe librarian would post everyone’s picture in almost any situation. Now, I have made our Facebook posts very intentional and focused on things specific to students’ needs. Teaching them how the library can help them.

I considered introducing students to the apps for databases, but they are not user friendly. The format of the database page does not change much, and the font is so small. I really did not find it easy to use. So, I continue to teach students how to search the electronic databases using the internet.

Technology presents many opportunities. In some ways I agree and disagree with Keen. For example, when doo wop was created teenagers wanted to have a doo wop group. When Elvis Presley started to shake his hips and present rock n roll to white teens. You have more white teens wanting to sing rock n roll. I think it is part of being young. Young people will try anything, and we have the belief that we have to try. Technology has just given people a new opportunity to display their talents, or fulfill their dreams.

In the library world we need to try things more often. In order for libraries to survive they need to try and incorporate technology. Of course, not everything will work for every library. My library may not benefit from Insta.gram, but a Facebook page may be enough for us to reach our patrons.

I disagree with Keen that we are going into a cultural dark age (PressPausePlay, 2011, September 14). As an African-American woman and an art school grad I like the fact that barriers are being torn down. The talents of those despite socioeconomic, race, nationality, gender, etc. are being recognized due to technology and social media. I appreciate being given the opportunity to choose what I want to watch, listen to, and what I view as art. Instead of so called experts telling me what I should like.

I am a fan of television, and one of my favorite moments is Susan Boyle’s first audition on Britain’s Got Talent when she was perceived as a joke, and blows everyone away with her voice. I did not get a chance to watch it on television, but I did view it on YouTube. I am happy I had the opportunity to view it, and I chose to like it.



PressPausePlay. (2011, September 14). Andrew Keen. Retrieved from

TED. (2012, April 3). Sherry Turkle: Connect, but alone? Retrieved from

The Economist. (2013, May 2). Evgeny Morozov on technology: The folly of solutionism. Retrieved from

Image Credits:

Sherry Turkle

Godzilla with a cell phone,


Director’s Brief: Gaming and Gamification in the Academic Library

gamingThis brief serves as a justification for introducing gaming and gamification into the curriculum and information literacy at the college library. It outlines gaming and gamification, its benefits, risks, and successful implementation in the library. Research and observations from professional librarians is presented and referenced throughout.

You can access my Director’s Brief and annotated bibliography via this link: DirectorsBrief_ReinaWilliams

Image credit: Gaming,

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 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.


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

Stephens, M. (2013, April 18). Holding us back [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrieved from

Stephens, M. (2012, April 25). Learning everywhere [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrieved from

TechShop. (n. d.). TechShop San Jose. Retrieved from

Emerging Technology Plan: Participatory Game to Enhance Student Learning of Information Literacy in the Community College Setting

Goal for Information Literacy Game

goalsThe goal of this project is to teach students’ basic information literacy skills by engaging them in gaming activities in the library.


Action Brief Statementactionbrief

Convince faculty and librarians that by participating in this information literacy game they will enhance student’s skills which will improve their grades due to increased research skills.

Evidence and Resources to Support Information Literacy Gametechnology

  • Connolly, M., Cosgrave, T., & Krkoska, B. B. (2011). Mobilizing the Library’s Web Presence and Services: A Student-Library Collaboration to Create the Library’s Mobile Site and iPhone Application. Reference Librarian, 52(1/2), 27-35. doi:10.1080/02763877.2011.520109
  • Peters, T. A. (2011). Left to Their Own Devices: The Future of Reference Services on Personal, Portable Information, Communication, and Entertainment Devices. Reference Librarian, 52(1/2), 88-97. doi:10.1080/02763877.2011.520110


Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Information Literacy Game


The mission of the game is to increase student’s information literacy skills before the point of need, improve student’s grades, and increase retention in classes with research.


Emerging Technology Committee

This committee with be responsible for creating policies for the implementation of this game.

Policy for Use of Information Literacy Game

The information literacy game will be administered by college faculty and library faculty within the college. Individuals that administer the game must provide student participates with evaluation to determine if future changes need to be made to the game. Administrators of the game are responsible for reporting any technical issues immediately to the IT department at the college.


Funding Considerations for Information Literacy Gamefunding

The college has received a Title V: Professional Development which can be used to support active and collaborative learning, first-year students, and at-risk students.

Required Staff Time

  • All librarians will have to serve on the Emerging Technology Committee and the Library Advisory Board
  • The Library Director will be responsible for securing funds and support for the project.
  • IT staff and librarians will collaborate in development and design of the game and website.
  • Library and IT staff will be responsible for troubleshooting technical issues related to game development and use.


Action Steps & Timeline

The library will need the support of the faculty to get students on board with participating in the game. If the faculty is not willing to participate by giving up class time or helping pushing the project forward we will need to turn to student organizations. The Student Government Association (SGA) can be a great supporter of these efforts.

The project flow is dependent upon of everyone’s support during the project timeline.


Staffing Considerations for Information Literacy Gamepeople

The staff needed to implement this project would include librarians, faculty, and IT staff. An exploration for special projects positions to implement game will be explored.

Training for Information Literacy Game

The librarians and faculty would be trained in the use of the game.

Promotion & Marketing of Information Literacy Game

Marketing On-Campusfunding

  • HD Television circuit
  • Email Blasts
  • College Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Library’s Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Word of mouth and faculty sharing this information to their students during class
  • Signs on school bulletin boards

Marketing Outside of the College Community

  • Local and Neighborhood newspapers
  • School’s electronic sign on street corner
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Evaluation of Information Literacy Game

Forms of Evaluationsurveysays

  • Create student survey to determine ease of use of game for continued improvement.
  • Evaluate students’ improvement of research skills by maintaining a control group that will be compared to students participating in game to determine if there is improvement in grades and student retention in courses that require research.

Story the Game Will Tell

The information literacy game will further embed the librarians into the curriculum, and will show the relevance of information literacy instruction. This will prove the need for librarians to be involved in the development and evaluation of information literacy in the community college setting.

Future Expansion of Service

The information literacy game will be made available for use by other community colleges in Illinois.


Image credit: Survey says,


I am a World Book Night giver.

WBN2014_ApplyAd_240x400I tried to send an announcement via the new Marketing Director but no response. So, I emailed the faculty, Dean, and Director of Student Activities today. My library participated in World Book Night US April 2013, and we are excited to participate again.

Is anyone else signed up for World Book Night?

OOOHHH! OOHHH! I want to be a library experience designer!

eager_studentI am ready to become a “library experience designer” (Schmidt, 2010, January 15).

We have textbooks on reserve in my college library. Students want to take them to class when they have left their book at home, or take the 1818 version of Frankenstein home to read. Our reserve policies prevent this behavior. Textbooks and course reserves can only be used in the library for two hours.

Students run through the library gates! I tried chasing a student, and I lost him in the shuffle between classes. I don’t blame him! It is a ridiculous policy. Our students have busy lives, and do not have time to sit for two hours and read Frankenstein, and they may not have the money to buy a copy of the book.


“If you change your mind about yourself and the people around you, it will revolutionize your work.” (Schuster, 2011, January 4)

I think if we realize our students are not thieves but people who want to be educated our policies would reflect our trust in them. Staff checkout books to their friend’s child or someone they know. I am not big on making exceptions. If one person can take the textbook from the library, everyone should be able to leave the library with a textbook. This led to a heated debate with my colleagues a couple of years ago, and I lost.

“You need to listen to and observe your community in order to develop an empathetic focus on people.” (Schmidt, 2010, January 15)

How can we better serve our students if we will not even listen to them? I know they need the book to complete their homework, but I refuse to allow them to take the book home for a night or two to read. Does this make sense? What am I so afraid of?

Wayne Bivens-Tatum says it best

“Making things better for library users isn’t that difficult if we just shake ourselves out of our complacency, forget what it’s like to be a librarian, and remember what it’s like to be a normal person again.” (2010, p. 8)

Every time I relate to a student, and I understand they have come to the library for help I provide better service. We get lazy and are unwilling to change. Sometimes we are afraid to do something different. There are 6 other city colleges in my system; do I dare to be different? The answer is YES! The people we serve are as diverse as the resources we have available for them. I have to think and consider them when I make policies and implement change. My goal is to make a better UX experience for them.


Bivens-Tatum, W. (2010). Imagination, sympathy, and the user experience. Library Journal, 8.

Schmidt, A. (2010, January 15). New column launch: The user experience [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrieved from

Schuster, D. (2011, January 4). Debunking the user experience [Web log post]. unmatchedstyle. Retrieved from

Image credits:

Eager student with hand raised,

Library gates,

Dealing with Privacy and Transparency in a Bureaucratic System

Security in the Virtual Library

angrystudentsI had an incident in the library where I had to call security to get a student to comply with library policy after a student complaint. In the virtual library if someone curses you out in a text message, how to do ban them? Do you ban them? If a patron sends you harassing emails is there a policy in the library to help you deal with this situation?

What about patrons harassing other patrons in cyberspace? Are there policies in place in the virtual library?

Just some things I have been thinking about, and will continue to ponder.