Posts Tagged librarianship
The first day of the conference was a little stressful since Greg and I were presenting on Sensory Storytime that morning! It was a bit nerve-racking but I felt a little better about it because several of the embassy personnel had asked about the topic the night before at dinner.
We went to breakfast at a nice cafe, Dive Cattore near the hotel. Gimena came to walk with us to Biblioteca San Giorgio in the morning where we received a short tour before the conference began.
The library is public and includes a variety of materials for all ages. It is beautiful and very modern with lots of light, a cafe and patio where patrons can bring materials, and trees as art both live and made of cast iron, twigs, and other materials. Maria Stella Eastern the library director told us that the materials used are an homage to a train factory that was on the site previously and had been demolished. The library is also the setting of the YouLab Pistoia the American Space within the library. It is a makerspace with a 3D printer and other technologies to encourage creativity and innovation.
The library is next to il Polo Universitad and because the students there don’t have their own library they utilize the Biblio to study and for its resources. The library is steadily busy between the cafe and the library itself from the time it opens til it closes, serving approximately 1000 people each day.
The main focus of the conference is “21st Century American Spaces: Innovation, Learning, and Entrepreneurship” which was reflected in the topics discussed including makerspaces, STEAM programming, and new programs the American Corners are offering. The Syracuse University Panel made up of myself and Greg (sensory storytime), Julia (self publishing), and Alex (gaming) had our presentations before lunch which I felt went well. I’m a nervous public speaker and though I knew my topic it’s still a bit stressful for me. For our speech, Greg reviewed the general facts and terminology around sensory storytime then I followed with information on how to setup a storytime that incorporates sensory enhancements based on my experience volunteering with two Syracuse area librarians, Dawn and Tatiana, to develop and launch a program.
The audience was interested in all the presentations and asked some great questions after on how to incorporate the ideas into their spaces. One member told us about an experience she had where you walked through a corridor decorated with fabric covering the walls and ceiling. When you exited the tunnel you entered a dark room where a storyteller whispered a story in her ear. While the idea may not be appropriate for every audience it was definitely a sensory experience which would capture and hold participants interest. After our presentation it was time for lunch, which was fabulous, and an opportunity to network and meet more of the AC representatives.
After lunch they held pecha kucha five minute presentations on a variety of topics and programs they had held and wanted to share with their peers to learn from and hopefully apply. Finally there was a Skype session with three of the librarians from Fayetteville Free Library on their makerspace and it’s role in the community in supplementing and fostering self directed learning.
Following the days sessions we walked back to the hotel and visited a supermarket on the way. It was interesting to see what products they sold compared to what we have in the states and the cost. Mainly we stocked up on bottled water and lamented the fact that we didn’t have a drive in the room. There was also a lot of mental math happening. When we returned back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit we went out to dinner and walked around the town a little.
We chose a restaurant in one of the Piazza de Duomo called Voronoi that had a lot of people sitting outside. It was hard to choose but luckily they had translations of each menu item. I ordered a caprese pizza and a chocolate lava cake with almond gelatin for dessert. It was all fabulous, the pizza had a thin crust and the cake was rich and decadent. It was a bit of a splurge for our first night but definitely worth it!
I’m incredibly excited because in just one week I will be traveling to Florence, Italy to learn more about global librarianship! Syracuse University’s iSchool has teamed up with the American Embassy in Rome.
The first week, we have the opportunity to present several workshops at a European librarians conference, to embassy staff, and at the Pistoia Library. I will be presenting a workshop on sensory storytime with of my classmates, Greg; it’s a topic that I’m interested in and look forward to sharing with our colleagues.
The second week, we will be touring some of the libraries and museums in Florence including the Uffizi and the Accademia Galleria! I’ll be making posts throughout the trip to document the experience and what I learn about being a global librarian while we are in Italy.
Image from Wikipedia.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunset_over_florence_1.jpg%5B/caption%5D
We’re getting to that point in the semester when you select which classes you want to take in the spring and perhaps even into next year. I think we need a guide for what impact these decisions will have upon your future in the job market. Especially after this http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/10/placements-and-salaries/2013-survey/explore-all-the-data-2013/#_ recent article published in Library Journal about the employment rate for new graduates.
This is pretty terrifying for someone like myself who just began the program as a way to secure a career, considering I’ve done that previously. So how can you stand out amongst all the candidates with the “same” degree in a hiring climate like we currently have? Where libraries and librarians are not valued as highly as they should be in a society that espouses their value of education?
One thing which I am working on is putting myself out there more in terms of networking and socializing with my peers and professionals in the field. This is something that is a bit of a challenge to me, and I know to many others, as an introvert. I’m looking forward to conferences and workshops this year as both a way to learn more about the field of librarianship and as a way to meet more people.
Select courses that offer marketable skills. Hmmm… back to the original challenge. So many electives are being offered that give you a glimpse down the rabbit hole, so to speak. Each one seems to show you a new opportunity to explore. For example: “New Directions in Academic Libraries”, “Distributed Learning Librarianship”, “Creating, Managing, and Preserving Digital Assets”. I was hoping for a Youth Services elective but sadly that isn’t being offered next semester. However maybe taking a class in a different program is a possibility…”Instructional Design and Development II” could be really useful especially if I consider Academic Libraries as a good fit or even in the public setting.
Luckily, I have a few more weeks to ponder my decision and maybe get some more info so I can make an informed choice.
I just finished reading the second thread in “The Atlas of New Librarianship,” which is about the importance of conversations in the process of creating knowledge. Now, my first thought on this was, well of course they are. You ask questions to learn and the answers of those questions help you to deepen your understanding of a topic. What I didn’t consider was that sitting here in front of my computer I’m having a conversation with myself while writing this. Yeah, I’m talking to myself. Not to worry though, it’s all happening inside my head (this time). Oh by the way, while reading this so are you… creepy huh?
The main argument in this chapter, in my opinion, is that a book can’t teach you. What it can do however, is help you teach yourself by causing you to ask yourself questions about what you read. Huh? This is something pretty important for educators to consider when working with learners. You can facilitate their learning, assisting them in processing the information (more conversation). You can also encourage them to ask themselves those questions (like for example by keeping a journal). These questions clarify the information and lead the learner to make new connections for themselves.
Everyone has knowledge and that knowledge is not the same as any other persons. Through experiences, your worldview, you interpret facts and information in unique ways. Engaging in conversations with other people enables more questions to be asked, even if one of the participants is an expert on the topic. There are always new ideas that can be incorporated into existing knowledge.
Lastly, I’d like to point out that knowledge is the lowest order in the original Bloom’s Taxonomy (http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html). The real question is what are you going to do with that knowledge?
PS. Are you talking to yourself again?