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Reflection: 2.1 Analyze and Identify Needs

The reader’s advisory and reference observation assignments demonstrate my ability to analyze and identify the information needs of diverse communities of users.  These diverse information needs are represented in the assignments by the fact that they each focus on a different type of information, reference vs. reader’s advisory service.  In evaluating the techniques of other professionals performing these services, I was able to better understand what worked and what didn’t.  As a result, I better understood the concepts, principles, and techniques of reference and user services.

Both assignments also provided examples of the methods used to interact successfully with individuals to provide consultation, mediation, and guidance in their use of information, in some instances, while providing examples of what not to do in others.  For example, during the reader’s advisory interviews, one professional was fairly helpful in finding what I was looking for, albeit after a rocky start, while the other paraprofessional didn’t understand what I was asking for, and did not seem to be familiar with a basic reference interview.  The reference observation assignment provided more examples of less than helpful service.

The reader’s advisory observation also provided examples of the techniques used to retrieve, evaluate, and synthesize information.  However, the techniques the librarian relied upon seemed to be simply her own knowledge.  This technique was more successful than I would have expected, although the paraprofessional who basically did the same was much less successful.  My own exploration with online, self-service tools seemed to yield better results.

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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Reflection: 3.1 Design and apply policies and procedures

All three parts of the Collection Development plan, given as separate assignments but taken together, demonstrate my ability to design and apply policies and procedures that support the selection and acquisition of information resources for particular communities of users.  In this instance, the community of users the resources are selected and acquired for are those interested in reading poetry.

The plan addresses concepts and issues related to the lifecycle of the collection, from evaluating its current strength and describing the strengths that would be desired, to setting out selection and deselection criteria.  The lifecycle is further addressed in the section relating to usage stats in both Collection HQ and evergreen, as well as the discussion of in-house use.  The methods of related to acquisition and deselecting of resources recommends basing an item’s lifecycle on its usage stats.

Discussion of the features and failings of Collection HQ and Evergreen demonstrate my ability to analyze technologies.  And because vendor evaluation is based on making spoken-word poetry available in the collection, this portion of the plan demonstrates my ability to recognize and implement relevant technological improvements.

Although I do feel the plan meets the standards of the ALA Core Competencies for this criteria, I can’t really say that I feel the assignment resulted in a comprehensive, formal plan.  I think that, were I to have to create a plan “for real,” it would look a lot different, although many of the same components would be included.  I would likely expand the documents here to include something about the organization, cataloging, and classification of the collection.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Reflection: 3.2 Manage Collections

Part 3 of the Collection Development Plan and the Video Recording Collection in Omeka demonstrate my ability to manage, evaluate, and preserve virtual collections of information resources.  The plan addresses concepts, issues, and methods related to the acquisition and disposition of resources, including evaluation and selection, as well as concepts, issues, and methods related to maintenance of collections.  The catalog demonstrates my developmental, descriptive, and evaluative skills needed to organize recorded knowledge and information resources, including mastery of the systems of cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods used to organize recorded knowledge and information.

In forming evaluative questions to ask regarding the collection within the plan, I address inclusion of a wide variety of perspectives regarding age ranges, ethnicities, and classes, among other social indicators.  I also recommend considering usage statistics when acquiring or disposing of materials.  These considerations might also apply to maintenance of the collection.  However, the section on resource sharing assists in maintenance as well, in filling gaps in the collection.

I used Dublin Core to catalog the video artifacts in Omeka, including most, if not all, of the 15 standard elements, thereby displaying the descriptive skills needed to organize recorded knowledge.  This system of cataloging requires the use of metadata adhering to classification standards to organize material and make it discoverable.

Taken together these artifacts demonstrate my ability to develop and manage collections.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Reflection: 3.3 Uphold Collection Standards

The associated portion of the collection development plan, (assigned in three separate pieces) represents my understanding of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of the library and information profession, as well as the legal framework within which libraries and information agencies operate.

The plan created includes not only a mission statement focused on community needs, but incorporates elements of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights.  This portion of the plan commits to providing information to anyone without bias, either toward the requestor or toward the material requested.  It also asserts that the library will remain neutral, leaving choice of material and the responsibility for that choice, with the patron.  Additionally, the plan includes a process for requesting reconsideration of material, in order to preserve the best interests of the community as a whole, rather than catering to the preferences of one or a small group of individuals.  In this way, the library and information professionals fulfill their role in the promotion of democratic principles and intellectual freedom.

This portion of the plan also indicates an understanding of the legal framework within which libraries and information agencies operate, as it includes a fairly detailed analysis of the library’s position within the local government and the community as a whole.  The library described is a consortium member, a political division of the city, and a taxing entity.  Far from standing alone, the library is integrated with this structured, legal framework.  Taken altogether, this portion of the plan demonstrates my ability to uphold ethical and legal standards in acquiring, leasing, preserving, and providing access to information resources.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Reflection: 4.1 Perform Basic Managerial Functions

The artifacts associated with this standard demonstrate my ability to perform basic managerial functions.  One consists of a projected budget, working with a real-world example, and projecting 10% increase in funding.  The other required that I use a real-world job listing to create interview questions.

The budget assignment demonstrates my understanding of the principles of planning and budgeting in libraries and other information agencies, as well as the concepts behind, and methods for, assessment and evaluation of library services and their outcomes.  In order to project the budget with a 10% increase in funds, I needed to analyze the collection and facilities expenditures to determine how the budget could be better apportioned.  In the end, I eliminated microfilm purchases, reduced the budget for periodicals, left book purchases the same, and put most of the increase into building and equipment improvements.

The job listing assignment demonstrates my understanding of the principles of effective personnel practices and human resource development.  In crafting the interview questions, I tied talent characteristics directly to the qualifications and duties required of the open position.  I then tried to form interview questions that would reveal these characteristics.  Overall, I thought this a useful strategy for evaluating potential performance on the job, and believe the assignment prepared me fairly well for any future hiring I may have the opportunity to do.  Together with the budgeting assignment, I believe I can perform basic managerial functions with some competence.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 
 
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