2.23.2011

Oscars, here I come!

Okay, well maybe I need to refine my skills a bit, but it was really fun producing this first tutorial on finding a nursing article from a nursing journal in CINAHL.

Check it out...

video

2.14.2011

Evaluating the TLP!

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm in the process of writing my evaluation of the Teach-Library Program from a students perspective. It's challenging to do this...While the program experience for me has been great - valuable, focused, tangible (in terms of project results) - I hope it is the same for the next person who comes along to fill this role.

I don't know why, but for some reason, I think my situation was different when I applied for this position. Coming into the LIS program, I knew that I wanted to combine my skills as an instructional designer with those of a librarian. When this position was posted and I saw that I would be working w/ Beth, receive free tution and a small stipend for only 20 hours a week - wow! - it was a no-brainer!

Even though the project is not over yet and I still have lots of work to do until the end of April, here are some of my thoughts for the next student coming into this internship....

  1. Be flexible and keep your eyes open - you never know where a project might take you, how it can impact your portfolio or what networking connections you may make....so be open to new challenges and try everything you can
  2. Look for connections - I had to work a little bit harder to align my courses with the practical aspects of my job, but it can be done! I created a distance education collection of resources from my 615 course and am using my 636 course to redo the Distance Education Services home page
  3. Don't be afraid to speak up - if the project isn't going as planned or things seem to be moving in a direction that isn't benefiting your learning experience, it's okay to say so
  4. Use what you know - everyone comes into a job or school with experience of some kind...so use it!
  5. Have fun and get to know others in the library - I have to admit, I have had a ton of fun, but I have not done a very good job of getting to know others in the library - oops! So I'm going to try and work on that this last half of the year

So those are my words of (self-proclaimed) wisdom thus far...I plan on putting them into my formal evaluation but I thought I would put them here more informally. Trying to get my thoughts around what I need to say and how I'm going to say it...as I said above...is going to be challenging!

Cheers,

A

2.12.2011

Crafting content....

It seems like we should be much farther along in the semester than week 4!?!? Oh well...I think I'm just anxious for spring to get here!

Thinking of spring and new beginnings...The Instructional Tech Toolkit v.1 was officially completed this past week. Laurie is going to upload it to the live site next week and we'll be able to do a soft roll out to faculty, students and staff. I still want to push it to some students for usuability testing, however, I want the final version link to be sent and not what we currently have up there. I will post it soon!

The toolkit project was great to work on, but I'm very happy I still had some work to do on it coming into this semester. I'm taking a web usability course and reading Jakob Nielsen's book helped me to focus on some areas that needed tightening up - namely, content. Nielsen points out that users don't read - they skim. And what they do read is nebulous until they get to what they really want to read - the information they've been searching for - the article or more indepth stuff that's not right up front on a site...basically, what I would call 'drill down' content. Thinking about this on the toolkit site helped me to hone the landing page text and (hopefully) make it easier for users to navigate to the tools they want to explore.

I'm applying the same principles to the redesign of the distance education services pages this spring. It's one of the projects we agreed to look at and since Camtasia is still being sorted out, it will give me a link between practice and classroom theory. I wish cataloging was more about organizing information as it pertains to the web, as having both of these classes together paired with this internship would have been a grand slam!!! Oh well...can't have it all...

2.03.2011

Getting Back into the Groove...

After several weeks of cancellations, delays and other various false starts, I'm finally beginning to feel like I'm back into the mode of school, work and...well...LIFE!

Here's what I've been working on, thinking about or about reading to get going on:

Internship....
Things have been going great in this department! Beth had the toolkit reviewed and we've had some very positive feedback. The team went through with a fine-toothed comb and I just completed the edits this past week (on time, according to my deadline - whoo hoo!) So here's the 'soft rollout' of the site:

Instructional Technology Toolkit - I would love some feedback on it!

The next phase of the internship will be revamping Beth's website pages and revising various 'how to' tutorials. More to come on that...

School...
Fortunately, I am taking an online course this semester dedicated to usability and web design (636 - Web Production and Usability for Librarians) that is going to help me immensely in doing some of the above mentioned work. This class isn't all that taxing as far as the concepts, however, there is going to be a great deal of reading and production work. I'm not that familiar with conducting user testing and I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to do this phase of the project.

Cataloging is my other course, and...well...it's cataloging. However, I am enjoying it a bit more than when I first started it. (Did I just type that!??!) No, I do not want to be a cataloger, but my heart has softened towards those that do this type of work and enjoy it.

Life...
I'm working on a very exciting book project this semester that sort of just fell into my lap! I'm going to be interviewing two women librarians - one works in a public library and one is an entrepreneur - for a book about various types of entrepreneurial librarians. It's a great opportunity to learn more about the topic and hone my writing skills. I wish it was a paying project, but they handed me the job without question, so I'm hoping it leads to other paying opportunities in the future! Keeping my fingers crossed on that one...

And my little tidbit for today is to keep plugging...I read some comment on a blog that said librarians are antiquated and irrelevant...ouch...I had to think on that one for a long time and ask myself, "Does my profession fit this definition?" To this I say, "no" but we are in danger of heading this way if we don't promote, market and engage ourselves in more future-forward thinking. So keep plugging...there are some really great librarians out there doing some tremendous things!

Peace out -

A