Earlier this year I applied for an American Psychological Association (APA) Librarian Conference Travel Award. My application requested help to present my low-morale study and my work on welcome-ness on an international scale.
Today, I found out that I’ve been selected to receive one of the three awards! I believe this is the last award for the 2017/2018 cycle; however, the deadlines for the 2018/2019 cycle are already up. I encourage you to apply for one!
Kiyomi Deards is an Associate Professor and Subject Librarian for Chemistry, Biochemistry, Forensic Science, Physics & Astronomy, and Water at University of Nebraska- Lincoln. In her liaison and subject specialist role, Kiyomi facilitates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)/Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education, mentoring, outreach, and literacy on her campus. Additionally, Kiyomi performs collection development and management in these areas; and she also leads SciPop events and colloquial series and collaborations.
Finish this sentence: “A challenge that I face as a librarian of color is…”
Being seen as decorative.
Share a useful tool or application that you use in your work or non-work life.
I love Google Drive. I use it constantly to share and organize documents when I collaborate with others, especially since many of my collaborations include external collaborators and partners.
Describe a current project or idea that you’re working on or have recently completed.
We are in the middle of our SciPop Talks! speaker series and I am really looking forward to our SciComm conference, and SciPop Interactive [this month]. Although these are all planned as discrete events between February and April we manage to entertain and educate students, faculty, staff, K-12 teachers, the general public, and children in both formal and informal settings. We are a testing ground for new ideas, a place to extend the life and usefulness of already developed and evaluated outreach activities by repackaging them through the lens of pop culture.
Finish this sentence: “One way the LIS profession can improve or progress is…”
To purposely seek to work with and hire people who share your core values but have very different viewpoints. If you hire someone just like you than they will just agree with you and you lose the synergy and serendipity of collaborating with someone with a different point of view.
Finish the following sentence: “I am happy when I…”
Help students or new librarians succeed by pursuing their passions. I was fortunate to have mentors and supervisors who gave me a lot of great advice, were willing to put themselves on the line to protect me, and helped me navigate the P&T process, which initially made no sense to me. I try and pay that forward to help others have better experiences.
#hurrayoftheday: 1 comes full circle today: The work I’ve been doing with Dr. J. Brenton Stewart (and Boryung Ju) has been accepted! The title of the forthcoming work is “Racial Climate and Inclusiveness in Academic Libraries: Perceptions on Welcomeness among Black College Students.”
Share your #hurrayoftheday!
Along with my colleague and co-worker Rebecca Freeman, I presented “We’ve Got a LoT: Creating a Library of Things at a Small and Rural Academic Library” at the 2017 South Carolina Library Association Conference. Our forty-five minute discussion briefly focused on the history of Libraries of Things (LoTs) before sharing how we developed our library’s version.
LoTs have been implemented mostly at public libraries. Generally, they are collections of non-traditional items available for check-out to library users. Baking utensils, tools, sewing machines, and even assistive technologies are a few items you can find in LoTs. However, academic libraries are much less likely to have LoTs, but I think that’s already changing. At the time of this writing, a quick search for “library of things” college offers a few results – Spokane Community College launched their LoT in late 2017, and last month Stonehill College’s MacPháidían Library asked for input on a LoT they are developing.
At our library we began offering video production and computing items in 2016, but they weren’t getting much use. As our programming expanded and we collected other items like games and crafting supplies, I decided to brand these collections as a LoT. Rebecca agreed and worked on making it happen in our integrated library system. We also had to create policies for the collections, including check-out intervals, accountability measures, and fee/fines. After working through these concerns, we began marketing the LoT in Spring 2017.
There were some small challenges – SpringShare (the same company that offers LibGuides, LibCal, etc) launched a solution for equipment booking and we had to decide if we wanted to add that module (for a fee) or go with our ILS. Since we are a small library and our SpringShare funding is external, we went with the ILS. Then, we had to train our staff to ensure they were familiar with check-out procedures, policies, and the like.
Despite these challenges, LoT benefits are worth it. We’ve seen increases in circulation for the items in our collections – especially the games and computer items. The LoT was a great way for us to connect with our nursing faculty. In Summer 2017, we contacted them to ask for donations of items students could use to practice clinical procedures, and they delivered some great stuff!
You probably already have items you could include in a LoT. If you don’t, start with your faculty – ask them what students may be lacking but would be feasible for you to provide; review reference questions to find out what students often ask for (cables, dongles, etc.). Your policies should serve to clearly formalize usage expectations and accountability parameters.
LoTs are a wonderfully unique way to engage your user communities and provide access to items or experiences that people may be thinking about but aren’t sure where to start or if they’re not ready to commit to a hobby or interest. In academic libraries, they also serve as ways to support coursework, encourage creativity, and reduce stress.
Check out our LoT collections.
Does your campus library offer a LoT? Share your link below!
While I was earning my master’s degree, I did not take any courses on information literacy instruction or bibliographic instruction. When I started my first professional position at a large urban institution, within a year I was tasked with teaching a freshman “first-year experience” sort of class. Luckily, I was co-teaching with a colleague, but really I think we were both fumbling through. Having never taught formally, we were introduced to new-to-me things like course management systems, syllabi creation, rubrics (what?), and of course, the most fun thing – classroom management and student-faculty relationship negotiation.
My lengthy paraprofessional experience prepared me for bibliographic instruction, which eventually expanded to incorporating the tenets of ACRL’s original Information Literacy (IL) standards/criteria. Those evaluations always came back with favorable feedback. But my for-credit, non-library-focused teaching preparation?
I still cringe at the memories of that first semester-long, for-credit course teaching experience. Before every class I was so nervous. I worried about my ability to connect with the students; I hoped that the technology we were hoping to share with them wouldn’t fail; I wondered if they would recognize what we were trying to share with them would be relevant as they matriculated; and I felt like I was the only one who “didn’t know how to do this.” Besides the cognitive issues my nervousness caused, there were also the physical symptoms that come along with public speaking and general anxiety: sweaty palms, feeling jittery, roiling stomach…
As would eventually be the case with most of my research projects, my worries became the impetus for my first-ever published research study, which focused on teaching anxiety in academic librarianship. That quantitative study revealed, in part:
In the time since I published that study, ACRL’s IL standards have been superseded by the IL Framework, and the instruction-focus of academic librarianship is much more nuanced: coordination, assessment, and other instruction-related positions are firmly installed in many academic libraries. At the same time, SLIS students are just as unlikely to have exposure to or training in IL or pedagogy coursework as they were when I was considering this topic over a decade ago.
With these developments – along with my later focus on applying qualitative research methods – I’m wondering what the experience of teaching anxiety may reveal in contrast to the quantitative results that my original study participants offered.
Did you take IL or teaching courses in SLIS? Do you experience anxiety when you teach? How does it manifest? How do you cope?
Shame: The Emotional Basis of Library Anxiety.
Author: Erin L. McAfee
ABSTRACT: In 1986, Constance Mellon found that 75 to 85 percent of undergraduate students experienced library anxiety as well as shame about their anxiety. Fifteen years earlier, Helen Block Lewis began her groundbreaking research in shame theory. This paper explores the affective components of library anxiety using the pioneering research of Constance Mellon, Helen Block Lewis, and others. Two issues are discussed: 1) how unacknowledged, recursive shame or “shame about shame” creates painful, emotional states such as library anxiety; and 2) how to recognize and neutralize unacknowledged shame in library service interactions.
In 2013 at the Metrolina Information Literacy Conference, I presented “Serving Information Literacy via Digital Humanities” with my colleague Deborah Tritt. We briefly introduced a working definition of digital humanities, which encompasses many of the concerns and issues that contemporary information professionals face:
“…an umbrella term for a number of different activities that surround technology and humanities scholarship…includ[ing] topics like open access to materials, intellectual property rights,…digital libraries, data mining, born-digital preservation, multimedia publication, visualization, …technology for teaching and learning, …and many others.” (Gavin, Smith, and Bobley, 2012).
There are many ways librarians can connect to DH.
At the time of our presentation, academic librarians were still applying ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, which have since been superseded by the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. We mapped the standards to useful tools that can help students conceptualize and apply associated learning outcomes, including:
We also listed other tools that can help with meta-literacy skills:
Since this presentation, there are even more tools that can be used to assist with information literacy learning outcomes derived from the Framework. What are you using?
Gavin, M., Smith, K., & Bobley, B. (2012). An interview with Brett Bobley. In M. Gold (Ed.), Debates in the Digital Humanities (61-66). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Oh Wonder, “Oh Wonder” (2015)
I’ve created a new blog to house thoughts, ideas, discussions, and projects related to my Low Morale study. The new blog, called Renewals, is also a place to engage specifically with information professionals who have dealt with (or are currently dealing with) low morale in academic library environments. Those who may be generally interested in the topic and creating solutions to reducing workplace abuse in any library environment may also find the blog useful.
I’ve also created a partner online community on Facebook called Renewers. The space is closed, so if you’re on Facebook and would like to join, you’ll need to request group membership.
To streamline content, most of the low morale study-related blogs originally published here have moved to Renewals. The old URL will forward you to the new space. Since my Deauthenticity and ShoutOut to Fobazi Ettarh posts focus on People of Color (PoC), those two posts appear in TIOTP and Renewals. As I complete my work on Low Morale in racial/ethnic minority librarians, any related posts will likely be published in both spaces.
Renewals’ goals are to a) create and sustain open, constructive, and restorative dialogue for people who are dealing with, recovering from, or concerned about low morale and b) to solidify and realize useful, practical, and feasible responses and actions to reducing or eliminating workplace abuse in academic (and other) library environments.
I hope you’ll join me there in addition to continuing to read about my creative activities and ideas about PoC LIS professionalism here at The Ink On The Page. You can keep up with all my activities here.