Have you ever tried a MOOC? I have tried out about three, all on quite interesting topics. I really enjoyed the fact that it was free and I had access to the content even after the course ended, as to be honest I struggled to keep up with the pace of the lessons on top of all my other commitments. Each MOOC was relatively face-paced, requiring a high level of engagement every week for up to 6 weeks. There were a multitude of videos, readings, activities and interactions required in each weeks lesson plan, and by the middle of the MOOCs I had just about run out of the effort needed. I found a lot of repetition and lacked the time to sift through the information – did the video make the same points as these pages of writing underneath? A lot of the time it did. Some MOOCs have been better than others, and it really comes down to the amount of spare time you have, and your level of interest in the topic. You only get out as much as you can put in.
At the university I have been working at, I was able to attend an inspiring peer learning seminar.
It’s focus was on embedding information research skills within courses and was presented by Dr Karey Harrison. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to think about how we can encourage students to develop their research skills, especially since I was recently a student doing this myself!
A few months back, I attended a full day workshop through the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV). It was called ‘Cultural Weeding’ and was run by Kevin Hennah, who also authored the book ‘Rethink’.
Kevin is a consultant, originally from the retail field, who works with libraries to rethink and upgrade their layout and culture for the 21st Century. His workshop “showcases forward thinking and innovative initiatives. A collection of ideas that…need to be embraced or at least considered in order to keep libraries relevant for many years to come.” While I focus mainly on the school library, these ideas are also easily applicable to public and other libraries.
The ‘Outside the Lines’ Youth Unconference at the Library at the Dock (unconference – “a loosely structured conference emphasizing the informal exchange of information and ideas between participants, rather than following a conventionally structured programme of events”) was an amazing experience. It was totally free and even provided morning and afternoon tea. The presenters were all young and had interesting insights. It was held in a beautiful location on a wonderful sunny day. I had a blast!
Their unconference description:“It is your chance to gain insight into what young adults are interested in, how libraries can support and collaborate with them and how we can broaden our thinking about young people into a more creative, flexible and innovative framework that will take libraries outside the lines. By participating you will have the opportunity to: Hear first-hand from young people and their experiences with the library and community organisations.”
It is really very important to keep up to date with new developments, innovations, ideas, issues and so forth in our field. You need to be a life-long learner if you are going to succeed in Libraryland 😉 Things are constantly changing; the way we utilise space, new technologies, what is expected of us, how we are viewed and how we must justify ourselves. There is a lot to learn. Not only this, it is important to network and get to know other professionals. You need to create relationships. These are especially helpful if you have a question or need some guidance, or more employment. So where to start? There are a few things you can do: