3 the ID in libraries way


These resources will be highly frequented by me in my exploration of the instructional design field.  Both Blended Librarianship and Designer Librarian offer entries on topics germane to the library world as it intersects with the instructional design world.  These sites directly or indirectly discuss issues facing libraries (academic, public or otherwise) such as budget constraints and collection needs, user friendliness and maintaining support–and they propose 21st century or ‘library 2.0’ kinds of solutions.  The SkillAgents site isn’t specific to instructional librarians, but it endeavors to help its users “create significant learning experiences”.  I find that it too is highly applicable to the library world because what librarian doesn’t instruct? The patron that we assist in searching the stacks, navigating the online catalog or the databases is our student.  These resources will help me keep an eye on horizon technologies that may impact the future of library collections and services.

1. Blended Librarianship

This is a great blog whose author, John Shank, is an Associate Instructional Design Librarian.  It’s hosted on the scoop.it site which is an excellent tool for finding and sharing quality curated content on any given topic.  The Blended Librarianship blog presents  from the perspective of the librarian–a somewhat non-traditional pedagogic field–who engages in instruction in this age of e-learning.   A PowerPoint presentation on the site defines Blended Librarianship as Instructional Systems Design+Technology+Librarianship.  The site offers access to articles from national news sources as well as entries from personal bloggers.

2. Designer Librarian

This blog is great because it recognizes the need for a liaison between two fields that ‘travel in the same circles’ so to speak but could do with a formal introduction.  Per the “About” page, this site aims to “bridge the gap that exists between the field of educational technology and information science.”  The author has worked in both public and academic libraries which is of particular interest to me because I’ve worked in public for 8 years and hope to proceed into the academic world later in my career.  Entries like “An Overlooked Tab-oo in LibGuides Designs”, which discusses how to avoid an unfriendly, unwieldy interface are right up my alley and I’ll be staying tuned for more insights.

3. SkillAgents

This is a gem of a site that offers a fresh take on ways to innovate in the relatively fresh field of instructional technology.  SkillAgent is guided by Anna Sabramowicz, an Instructional Design professional.  Per the “About” page, it’s content is driven by compelling questions such as: Why do experts and teachers deliver content-centered courses when we know that’s not how people learn? And Why would a million dollar learning course fail, but a short two minute “explainer” video go viral?  As an aspiring instructional designer it would behoove me to observe or engage in this dynamic conversation surrounding trends and innovations in the field.


Notes from inside the suit

It was like an outer-body-but-in-Barney’s-body experience.  I’m talking about my blessed hour in a raccoon mascot suit.  5 hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes huh? Well you haven’t lived until you put in some time in one of these babies.

Was I thrilled from the moment I got the news that I’d be visiting a local elementary school as a masked rodent? Not exactly.  There was a pout here and a gnash there and although I never wanted to be “that” librarian I definitely had this fleeting thought: ‘Dress up in a who and do what?? Dude! I have a Master’s Degree!’   Nonetheless I put on the suit and walked into the school and boy am I glad I did.

Children (especially the kind that you, yourself don’t hafta feed, clothe and make something of) are such a joy.  Haven’t gotten your 15 minutes? Put on a mascot suit and go to an elementary school! I felt like Beyonce or Beiber! The kids showered me with such adoration and applause! I may not have to see my therapist this month!

So I’ll give you a quick and dirty (librarian term) report:

  • If you ever agree to get in a mascot suit (and you must), make sure the fan inside the head works.  Mine didn’t and I had a waterfall of sweat rolling down my face the entire time. When I was beside myself with heat and sweat my assistant pulled me to the side and threw cold water from her water bottle through the mesh eyes and onto my face Basketball Wives style.  Between my mascara and the sweat and water I still looked like a raccoon when I took the head off.
  • If you ever agree to get in a mascot suit (and you must), you gotta pay special attention to that one kid, the one that looks a little more disheveled and neglected that the rest.  They’re the one who really needs you to be their big, giant, caring, non-creepy bear.
  • If you ever agree to get in a mascot suit (you know the drill), you might want to check out this or that to get prepared.  Blowing kisses and waving is all good but a mascot who Crip walks? #winning
  • If you ever agree to get in a mascot suit make sure that they just, recently, some time this century dry cleaned it.  I learned this one the hard way amigos.  I smelled a faint sourness putting the suit on but  when I emerged the sourness was all the way turned up and my whole body smelled like athletes foot. I felt like I need to be tested for e-coli.
  • Kids can really feel good vibrations.  Every teacher I encountered said that this is the first mascot visit that didn’t elicit screams of terror from the tots.  #pureloveoverhere

Can’t give you pictures of me as Rocky the reading rodent because I can’t associate my (perhaps) off colored ramblings with my Library’s image but I can assure you I came, I waved, I Rockied the house.

Raccoon w bow

I make this look good!

Yes, I’m a library lady.*

I knew that pursuing a career in Library Sciences would likely have some Rodney Dangerfield-esque consequences to it.  Say it with me kids… “I get no respect!”  But I did it any way ’cause I’m bad ass like that and because I really loved what libraries did for me as a youth.  As if books!! on books!! on books!! weren’t enough, they also had cool programs, free plays/performances, story telling, classes, poetry readings, art shows, etc.  I always felt at home in a library.

Fast forward 20 or so years, I have the requisite degree–A Masters in Library Science, I work in my local Central branch and I often get met with the terms of disrespect (henceforth referred to as T.O.D.) that I anticipated about my line of work.  Usually its something like; “Don’t you just shelve books all day?” or “Librarian? Isn’t that boring?!”

I usually don’t sweat it because on some level I knew it’d be par for the course and mostly it comes from people who really don’t use the library and therefore don’t see the value it brings to the community.   Normally I just use that as a teaching moment and fill the person in about library awesomeness.  But there was a recent incident in which an intelligent, learned person (who used library services often) uttered the T.O.D. in these particular words: “Degree?! You need a degree to put books in alphabetical order?!”

This was a pat your weave moment boys and girls.  I guess you could say those were the T.O.D. that broke the camel’s back.

After my weave was sufficiently patted, I explained to the young woman that the degree was needed to do a myriad of other things that we library ladies* (and fellas) are charged with doing.  I’ll illustrate below.

Lets just get this one outta the way:

Yes, some Librarians do shelve books.

But we also do this:

A library is an agency–an institution, it needs to be managed. Librarians manage them doing things like accounting, acquisitions etc.

What are they doing? Why they’re being librarians! Cataloging and classifying all kinds of resources from personal papers to books to music, film etc.

Librarians can also work in a limited curator’s capacity as many libraries host art installations.

Librarians frequently teach, train and present to the public as well as to colleagues.

Librarians often digitize resources as we move into a largely electronic resource era.

Project management is a very common duty for librarians.

Not to mention research, outreach, story time, teen and adult programming etc.  Just thought I’d give folks something to think about.  I don’t expect to change the perception of librarians overnight.  It’s enough that I love what I do (88% of the time) and that I’m rockin with the late, great Rodney D!

Loved that guy!

*Since folks like to deal in archetypes, think lunch lady but subtract the hair net and add glasses and a sweater—now I will admit that I do stay with a sweater on my shoulders. Its cold in here!

Anatomy of a hero: Notes from an Emotional Intelligence training.

Hiya you throngs of people you! 😀

OK so today I attended a training at work called Emotional Intelligence.  If you’re thinking it’s a Oprah-ish, new agey, What-Color-is-Your-Parachute kinda deal, you’re right.   Not to trivialize it, I did gain some good Ah-ha-moment! insights in the session but  those are for my thoughts only…I don’t Ah-ha! and tell.   What kinda girl do you think I am?  But here are 3 that I’m willing to part with:

  1. Emotional Intelligence trainers who look like AND have the affectations of Richard Dreyfuss (and thereby have you thinking about What About Bob the entire session) are distracting.
  2. Some phone apps still make noise—loud noise even though you’ve silenced your phone. My bad.
  3. Librarians are an Emotionally challenged bunch! Breathe! Do the Harlem Shake! Give a hug! Receive a hug! Something! Dang!

Lastly,  I will leave you with one helpful exercise that Dreyfuss had us do.  He instructed us to think back on those ‘heroes’ in our lives that really inspired us or made an impression on us and isolate the characteristic in them that we liked/admired.  Give this one a try!

Here’s my short list:

  • My Grandmother– Powerful love
  • My Mama– Superhuman selflessness
  • Sister Vanessa (pre-school teacher at my Elementary school)- Kindness and grace under fire
  • Lady J. Boone– Excellent Listener
  • Mrs. Parker (7th grade teacher)- Nurtured all students, not just the squeaky wheels
  • Ummi– The picture of patience
  • My Big Sister– Responsible before her time…

So many others (lots of women huh?), not enough space.  Who are your heroes and why?

Until next time…

Give me! Give Me! I need! I need!!!!

A Sunshine Award on a cloudy day!

Hi guys!

I have been M.I.A. and was actually kicking around the idea of going black (no racist) permenently.  Yup I was gonna fold up my lil’ popsicle stand and go back to a life sans blogging.

Imagine my surprise when in a chance checking of my WP stats and comments I spotted a little missive from a fellow blogger, Aquah *Lekker* Garla, a “free spirited, adventurous African girl” with a sparkly pink blog packed with insight, (African!)  fashion and humor.  Miss Aquah bestowed me with the following honor and as such I will do 3 things; proudly place the Sunshine award icon on my page, pay it forward by sprinkling around a few awards of my own and lastly I’ll inwardly pledge to get back in the blogging saddle…because what was I thinking ‘abandoning writing’? I’ve always been better with pen and paper…

Thanks for tuning in 🙂

Here are the instructions to receive and nominate others:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post on your blog
  • Answer 1o questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you!

Q & A on yours trulay (still can’t resist bustin a rhyme):

  1. My favourite color: BLUE…Bleu…BloO
  2. My favourite animal: I don’t desire to be up close and personal with any animal.  Many of them are beautiful from afar but favorite animal? To do what with? Really question makers? Really?
  3. My favourite number: Huh? Ok I’ll play along. 2.
  4. My favourite drink: Water
  5. Facebook or Twitter: FB
  6. My passion: It waxes and wanes but I’ll always come back to writing…
  7. Prefer giving or getting presents:  I love them both equally. Today I’m in a getting mood. Why?? Whatcha got?
  8. My favorite pattern: I love a good plaid.  Not to wear, just to look at.
  9.  My favorite day of the week: Friday
  10. My favorite flower: I love a good sunflower

Here are 10 bloggers that I think you all should check out! (in no particular order):

Anansi The Poet keeping poetry alive…

Picki Niki eat (or pick) vicariously thru Niki!

Grown and Curvy Woman  She’s a breath of fresh air!

The Proverbial Lonewolf Librarian He’s got great little digestable chunks of info perfect for my (quicky) professional developement needs!

Chocolate and Raspberries When I’m feeling unabashedly girly I go here 🙂

Topicless bar  :)!

A Writer’s Voyage Fantastic voyage…Hope She come back and drops a few lines soon!

3 things I have (grudgingly) become over-specialized at

Yesterday at work I had a misty water colored memory of my entrance into la vie en librarian.  I was so starry-eyed and kind-hearted—a stark contrast to the Snarky McSnarkface I am today.  Long story short its been about 5 years.  I work in a Public Library in the heart of  downtown in a city which I’ll leave un-named (comb the posts I’m sure I’ve slipped up and mentioned it somewhere).  While I do love library work (librarians everywhere are required to say this or the Book Bosses will make you disappear) I can honestly say I had no idea what I was signing up for when I accepted the gig.

image from buypoe.com

Oh the cast of characters that have been paraded before me….(cue wavy flashback screen/music):

  •  the fellow in the bedazzled Burger King© paper crown
  • the fellow who (with all due seriousness) asked me to help him find pictures of “the perfect booty”, AND THEN create a watermark image with said booty pic so that it could be the background for his poem—I Love Booty.
  • the fellow who types 000111110000000111111. All day.

These folk are just the tip of the iceberg.  As you can imagine, I had to acquire a special set of skills in order to hang.  They say it takes 10,000 hours of doing a thing to become an expert at it.  I’ve surpassed that and have devoted roughly 35,000 hours to my craft.  Here are a few things I’m more than proficient in:

  1. Blank staring.  In the face of lunacy, if you show any sign of being daunted they will drag you down a rabbit hole from which there may not be a return.  You, my friend, might find your own self donning a bedazzled paper hat.
  2. Making signs and pointing to them. When I first entered the life full of ideals and energy, I all but chastised my co-workers; “There is too much signage! Take some of these signs down and actually interact with the people!”  Cut to present day where I’ll make a sign and point to it to answer the question “How are you today?”

    from annelsblog.blogspot.com

  3. Clandestinely applying hand sanitizer.  Oh the crusty objects I have been handed, library cards buried under crud that has its own crud, money that is strangely damp;  AND if you use the sanitizer unabashedly this colorful cast-o-characters has the nerve to be offended!

Yes, I’m an expert at these things and so much more that yall aint even ready to hear.  That said, I do love my job.  It butters my bread and there are plenty of fulfilling moments.  Use the contact info on the “About me” page to inquire about workshops for any of the aforementioned skills.  ‘Til Monday!


Title/Day 83

from bookpage.com