Drop-in virtual storytime with Central New York School Libraries at the East 38th St. branch @indypl.
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Having received the final evaluation of my Master’s Portfolio, my graduation is official! I finished three degrees (and two certificates) in eight years, after returning to community college as a student over 40. During that time, I moved three times, got divorced, raised my now-teenaged son, and, I guess, managed it all pretty OK! Of course, I got lots of help from others, mentors, co-workers, my kid, my parents, U et al. (despite everything), and most especially, IUPUI CAPS.
The artifact I chose to demonstrate this standard is probably the one I enjoyed creating the most, and that I am most proud of. It’s also the one I’m most likely to continue to keep adding to. The Breadth and Depth of Digital Libraries assignment required me to evaluate many different libraries based on criteria such as purpose, information and services provided, and any other distinctive features. This assignment demonstrates my ability to determine relevant and accurate knowledge and to respond to diversity in user needs. It also required me to assess the impact of current and emerging situations on the design and implementation of services and resource development.
When locating digital libraries to evaluate, I did my best to find the most diverse resources possible. This allowed me to become more familiar with resources that might fall outside the realm of my typical interests, allowing me to provide more relevant information to patrons, and to respond to diversity in user needs.
Emerging technologies impact the implementation of digital libraries, most often by filling information needs in more useful ways. For example, Arnetminer uses cutting-edge technology to provide the most relevant information to users. It is always updating. Open-source or crowd-sourcing is having tremendous impact on digital libraries, providing access to, if not more accurate information, more niche information that is much more relevant to users as well. For example, The Chinese Text Project is open-source and “the largest database of pre-modern Chinese texts in existence.” The Free Quilt Block Library allows color and pattern swapping, and was created by a software engineer running on a platform that she created. Modern technology allows for this diversity of systems and services in a variety of settings.
The artifact I chose to represent my mastery of this standard was an assignment requiring me to evaluate the reference services of different libraries using different techniques and methods to retrieve, evaluate and synthesize information, as well as to interact successfully with the patrons. This interaction occurred across three different technology platforms, phone, email, and chat, and for each platform I contacted multiple libraries.
On the whole, I found the email reference service to be lacking, and very often more a vehicle for promoting the institution than providing a successful reference interaction, if a response was received at all. Phonecall interaction was somewhat better, but offered lists of resources that I, then, had no immediate access to. Using the phone, I would still have had to go to a library or get on the computer to find a second time what the librarian had just found the first time. Chat reference services I found to be the best of all, in one case offering excellent resources that were, for the most part, immediately accessible from the chat window. In the second case, the pace of the chat conversation allowed for an excellent reference interview.
Evaluating these interactions, techniques, methods, and platforms from the perspective of the patron gave me insight into the best ones to use to help them locate information resources and tools. As a result, I believe this artifact shows my understanding and mastery of this standard.