Wrap – up Reflection – ‘Awesome free stuff – ask your library!’

Community of learning

I saw my role in the community this semester as a student, with a learning blog, expressing my interest in discrete aspects of the learning program. I wasn’t keen to critically analyse others’ comments, although I was happy for others to challenge my views, and to respond appropriately to those comments.

My nature is to be collaborative rather than radical and I tended to comment positively and supportively on peers’ posts. To be honest, I did not feel particularly opposed to any of the posts that I read. I sometimes added my opinion or shared a personal or professional experience or link on the posts as evidence-based understanding of the topic.

I noticed that there was a greater activity on posts at the assignment 1 checkpoint and again after the lecture in relation to CLA Toolkit.   The CLA toolkit connection did not happen for me as I understood from discussions during the Week 2 class that it was optional rather than optimal and have not resolved the login difficulty, and did not have a validated sign in until Week 13. On that note, I felt unable to fix the problem. This impacted negatively on my attitude toward engaging with the learning community.

Despite my lack of interaction using CLA Toolkit (which incidentally I was really interested in seeing how it worked once explained to me in the second session), I feel that my contributions would not have been differently positioned, but may have been greater in number and frequency.

The quality of information from my peers was amazing, presenting a plethora of perspectives on a broad spectrum of topics, especially in relation to GLAM, makerspaces and children’s programs.

Twitter and me

Twitter was a wonderful learning experience for me as I was not confident to use Twitter regularly at the start of the semester but feel much more confident about it now. I really enjoyed the challenge of Twitter Chats in organising the information before the chat and setting up with a twitter tool to enhance the experience.

I think that Twitter is a valuable social media tool for quick short shallow conversations with the advantage of linking out to more in-depth information, but I did not like it as a stand-alone learning tool. I found it too short, too sharp, too shallow to properly discuss the topics.

If Twitter chats were run in conjunction with a regular online class, I think I would have gained more from the chats. I really appreciated the links out to relevant information from Clare and other students, and the snapshot of interaction with other library professionals.

As a result of the Twitter Chat component of the course, I have been using Twitter more as a connection with library professionals and my peers. I like it because it is concise, succinct, and can be a very clever conversation tool.  Having experienced Twitter Chat as part of this unit, I am more likely to join industry specific twitter chats as part of ongoing learning.

I recently re-tweeted a twitter comment from a scientist who remarked that Twitter = workmates playground and Facebook = family and friends playground, because it aptly describes my use of twitter too (although I do sometimes use it for personal communications)

My take-away – ‘Awesome free stuff? – Ask your library’

My key take-away for the unit is that we should all be wearing badges that say ‘Awesome free stuff? – ask your library!’ because the diversity of programs available through libraries – public, private, institutional and academic – is awesome.

The Readers’ Advisory programs, Book Chat and the family oriented literacy programs like First 5 Forever and CoderDojo really struck a chord with me as great community connectors.

I like the training and education programs offered for all ages, from children and teens with coding classes, to career resume builders, and tech-savvy for seniors and others. Libraries are a hub for life long learning – this I think ties with my key take-away, that libraries offer awesome free stuff!

I enjoyed exploring the movement toward Makerspaces and amalgamation of GLAM organisations under the library banner, with the aim of presenting digital and physical resources to the public. Creativity and innovation are key to learning and discovery.

Personally, I realized that not all teaching styles align with all learning styles and that this unit challenged my ability to understand the course framework – what was required, and where to find the information. I felt really disconnected. I did not have a clear understanding of what it was that was required.

I know that I missed the lack of interaction through classes, and the opportunity to hear guest presenters share their knowledge and industry experience in relation to topics covered.

I focussed on extra-curricular learning, observing library programs, products and services while completing fieldwork placements, attending and participating in 23 Research Data Things, and attending other professional development events.

The quality of my work

I acknowledge that this unit has not been my finest work. I am not confident that I have understood the requirements and the parameters of the course.   I regret the misunderstanding about CLA Toolkit and the lack of interaction with that tool.

Blogging and commenting have not been my strong points. I was very concerned at the first check point, after receiving negative feedback. I sought help with these issues and feel that I have now better responded to the assessment criteria.  Blogging weekly is a call to action and meeting that obligation is compulsory practice which built my skills and my confidence.

In relation to the grant application assessment, I enjoyed the challenge and appreciate that these applications are an essential skill to support library programs. I feel that my choice of program (Get2thGames Hackathon) was difficult due to my inexperience in that field, and additionally, writing the project concurrently with weekly blogs was quite a workload.  Notwithstanding this, I enjoyed the learning curve.

Author: Helen Treherne

I love learning about data, libraries, information organisation and new technologies. I also love to chill with my three kids, my partner and my dog - walking, talking, eating good food and listening to live music - especially anywhere close to the beach.

10 thoughts on “Wrap – up Reflection – ‘Awesome free stuff – ask your library!’”

  1. Hi Helen , I agree with you about twitter as a professional tool & fb for friends as that is how I have been using it too . I loved your review of the toy library & have enjoyed your later posts as they have been original & thought provoking . Enjoy the holidays ! Anitra

    1. Hi Anitra – thank you for your comment and compliments. Although I have found the blogging in this unit particularly challenging, I had no issue with writing about the toy library and its services. It tugged at the heartstrings for me to be able to provide toys to children who may not otherwise have had access to them. The further services to children with physical disabilities and the interaction between the librarian and health professionals to meet their needs is inspirational. It’s library work with a big heart!

  2. I love your takeaway from this unit. The badges are a great idea! Libraries often have to walk that fine line between community and currency; that is, libraries are businesses too. We have products to offer our local constituents, and perhaps if more of them realised we offer freebies (well I suppose it technically comes out of the public’s rates payments), we’d see more people through the door.

    1. Thanks Bec – Libraries are really responding to users and their expectations and needs – great to have funding for these essential and not-so-essential services being provided by enthusiastic library legends!

  3. Hi Helen,

    Firstly I’d like to commend you for your honesty here. I do not, for an instant, think you are alone. I too found myself struggling with various aspects of this unit. Twitter baffles me as a two way communication device. It seems to be focussed on putting content out. By the time you shape a constrained response, the conversation has well and truly moved on. I found myself stalling and eventually abandoning trying to keep up on Twitter. Better to observe and learn through that and spend all my time trying to hash out a coherent 140 character response in a contemporaneous manner.

    I’m still not able to get a whole CLA Toolkit feed either. Twitter is missing in action entirely, which given the above may be a blessing in disguise.

    I do hope you keep blogging. You’ve a knack for it, I think, and your voice is one I look forward to hearing in the blog-o-sphere.

    1. Hi Kaz,
      I’m going to miss your quirky well-illustrated blogs – it was great to meet you person to person at the BCC interview session – and thanks so much for your support through the IFN612 assessment – your insight and practical advice were really valuable and really appreciated. I am really pleased that the weekly blog sessions are at an end – it was quite a workload, but a great way to keep up to date and in tune with the cohort. CLA Toolkit – yes, I didn’t make the connection there, although I can see the practical application and the rationale for it. Keep on blogging, and keep on finding those great illustrations – I feel like I’m there, having a chat with you! Wishing you all the best for the future.

  4. Hi Helen, nicely written reflection. I, too, didn’t get to take advantage of the CLA toolkit and think you put it nicely that you wished it had been clear that its use was optimal rather than optional. Live and learn I guess. Hope you enjoy your holidays!

  5. Love your tagline .. ‘awesome free stuff – ask your library’ 🙂
    And it is true, there is much to gain from libraries .. free coffee unfortunately not one of them, but then that would be greedy 😉
    You did well, your posts was always interesting and insightful .. I’ve read most even though I rarely commented .. I blame that to time constraints, as I always intended to comment more but then it didn’t happen! Hope you have a great break 🙂

  6. Can I put in an order for the ‘Awesome free stuff’ badge Helen? :-). I love that idea and think we really underestimate how attractive that is to the general public. Thanks for your interesting and well researched blog posts this year Helen – I really enjoyed hearing about your experiences in the toy library at Harvey Bay.

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