From approximately April through December of 2020, I had the pleasure of serving as co-chair for my library’s Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee. It was an amazing experience. A lot of work and exhausting at times, yet energizing in so many ways. Our sub committees consisted of one that focused on stakeholder research, one on environmental scanning, and a third that was tasked with using data unearthed by the other two committees to collaboratively write a draft of the strategic plan with library staff.
This was an entirely staff-led process. For me, the energizing aspect of this approach came from the genuine passion that everyone brought to the table. The care and hard work everyone put into the process was inspiring! The end product feels authentic, and I am confident it will provide real guidance over the next three years.
My co-chair and I learned so much during the process, and are excited to have opportunities to share share and discuss with others that might be considering a similar endeavor. You can read a news article about the strategic plan here University Libraries Announces Strategic Plan. The public facing page that contains the strategic plan is available here University Libraries Strategic Plan 2021-2023.
So far we have shared a poster presentation at ACRL 2021 (see below). We also have some other plans to expand upon our knowledge from the process and engage with others in the broader library community — but more on that later!
My second semester in Kent State University’s MLIS program just wrapped up. This semester my focus was on People in the Information Ecology and Research and Assessment in Library and Information Science.
People in the Information Ecology was a very interest journey. The whole semester amounted to three individual literature reviews on a chosen user group, ending in a larger synthesis of these three into a larger holistic literature review. My focus was on the international student in the United State of America. It was a considerable amount of work, but well worth it. I learned so much about information seeking behavior and information needs for this user group. I have plans to share some of what I learned in this blog soon.
My Research and Assessment in Library and Information Science course was a good opportunity for me to fine tune and expand my understanding of research methods and techniques. In my Communication Science undergraduate program at Ohio University, the capstone was a fairly significant semester-long research project, which itself had a preparatory prerequisite research techniques course. Thanks to this, i already had a pretty solid foundation on some of these topics. Even so, it was a very good exercise and really did expand my knowledge quite a bit in this area. The course culminated in a research proposal. I took the opportunity to explore a research project that I might try to pick up someday that aims to explore if there is a connection between pre-college public library patronage and lower academic library anxiety among first-year college students. More on that soon as well.
It was a good semester and I am looking forward to the next! I hope to have time to engage a little more with my blog here over summer. I am taking classes but not quite as heavy of a course load as usual.
I am on the cusp of my second semester of Kent State University’s Master of Library and Information Science program. I did not blog much during my first semester, in part because I still had work to do on this site and in part due to an uncertainty of whether I would be adding “journal-like” entries here.
Well, just this past week I finalized some important aspects of this blog theme (support for comments and some design fixes) and I have also decided that informal posts here might benefit me better understand my experience — so here I go.
Last semester consisted of two courses: The Information Landscape and Information Organization.
The Information Landscape was essentially a survey course of information organizations. It was a good chance to learn more details about pathways in this field. There were plenty of moments where it felt like it bordered on busy work, but it really came down to getting out of it what you put in. Above all, the course was a great chance to meet other students and network a little. There were two separate group projects running at the same time, which necessitated a lot of group meetings and communication beyond Blackboard and email.
Information Organization was an outstanding course. Starting off there was a heavy focus on information organization theory. About midway through we began to learn about various metadata schemas and knowledge organization systems. This course really opened my eyes to how amazing metadata science can be, so much so that I have considered taking more metadata courses when the opportunity arises.
This coming semester I will take Research and Assessment in Library Information Science and People in the Information Ecology. Looking forward to getting back at it and one step closer to the MLIS! My plan is to blog a little more regularly now that the site is mostly wrapped up.
After some consideration, I decided to share my application essay for Kent State University’s Master of Library and Information Science program. Their prompts were thought provoking, and the end product serves well to capture how important libraries have become in my life.
My life journey is intricately woven into the library world. As a young-adult patron, my local public library was a regular haunt of mine. Later, thanks to a glimpse behind-the-scenes at a part-time job, this appreciation became a passion for librarianship. This application to the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at Kent State University is the culmination of this passion. The impact libraries have on critical issues in their communities is dear to me, I aspire to develop an understanding of library work beyond first-hand experiences, and my time spent in online learning environments and broad work experience could bring an engaging perspective to the classroom. I know deep down this the right path for me.(more…)
Part of my passion for librarianship is in the core principle of freely available information for all, indiscriminately and without censorship. I cannot put it in better words than the analogy found in the following quote:
“…when properly diffused (manure) enriches and fertilizes; but, if suffered to lie in idle heaps, it breeds stink and vermin. It is the same with […] knowledge.”Poor Man’s Guardian, 1834
An educated society is a resilient society. With the power of information, communities can become better critical thinkers and therefore better to one another, better to their environment, and live fuller lives.