CLA Poster: Professional Development Beyond LIS Education: Building Bridges for Success


Professional Development Beyond LIS Education: Building Bridges for Success

Poster developed by: Marni Harrington, University of Western Ontario and Annick Lapalme

Library and Information Science graduate students are advocates of lifelong learning and access to information. But what happens after graduating from a Canadian LIS-accredited institution? Does access to LIS resources continue for recent graduates to support lifelong learning? Continuing education often means self-directed learning, which includes staying abreast of research and publications available only through costly bibliographic databases. Questions are raised about access for LIS grads and professionals: Who has access to LIS resources and how is it supported?



Libraries: Audit Your Ability to Sponsor Literacy


Thanks to Buffy Hamilton for a superb post on “Libraries as ‘Sponsors of Literacy and Learning’: Peeling Back the Layers” in DMLCentral blog (make sure this one is in your RSS feeds).

She is absolutely correct that, “As a library “audits” itself, I believe the resulting range of answers will help librarians begin to identify trends and patterns that show what is valued in a library as a learning space and the ways those values support or silence digital, information, new media, and traditional forms of literacy. As libraries begin to self-examine the ways they function as sponsors of literacy, they can engage in practice and decision-making that develop a more deliberate awareness of how they “validate, preserve, amplify, and equalize all routes to literacy” (Brandt 206).”

And the range of questions to consider in the audit are all close to my heart – and passion – with which we probe, and hopefully provoke libraries. For example:

What is the library’s strategic plan and what values are embedded in it? What assessment measures and strategies does the library use? Do the assessment measures actually evaluate the intended outcome? Is the assessment tool valid? What kinds of assessments might the library use to see how learners are using knowledge and understanding gained through a library learning experience in other “spheres” or worlds of learning? What kinds of data do the library collect and how is that data used? What access does the library have to community data that may be

Continue reading Libraries: Audit Your Ability to Sponsor Literacy

Who have you encouraged today?


Learning is what humans do, whether it’s early learning from family, school learning from teachers and professors, self development or personal and lifelong learning through reading, viewing, listening, or watching. But we all need encouragement on the learning journey. I am blessed that my mother, a former elementary school teacher, instilled in me a curiosity and courage to learn and ask questions . Who else would go up to a nun in formal attire when they were 3 and ask, “Are you a penguin?” I have encouraged, I think, many people in my career. One close friend who was a one time was afraid to cold call people on the telephone and today is a worldwide thought leader and sought-after speaker. The other day, I was a conference, and during a table discussion heard a great process described. When it came time for the tables to share with the larger group, the person who shared this process hung back, and I encouraged her to speak up. She did and the whole audience was interested and conference leaders connected her with another attendee who really wanted to know more about her process. It takes so little to encourage others and give them the courage to speak up, share, and achieve. That’s what networking, mentoring, and caring are all about. Who have you encouraged today?

The Power of the Word: Solving Problems


At IFLA‘s opening ceremonies, Jan Eliasson, former President of the United Nations General Assembly and Minister for Foreign Affairs for Sweden, talked about communication and access to information in a globalized world. He began by noting that the room here in his native city, was a reminder of the UN with the world in Gothenburg. [There are 3,334 registrants at the IFLA 2010 conference from 128 countries.] The city and his family gave him roots – stability & a sense of direction, and wings – a sense of adventure, discovery and search for knowledge. He has a respect for knowledge, a motivation to learn, and a fascination with the word. He used words in his job at the UN to mediate conflict resolutions and peaceful settlements. He described words as rich assets in problem solving, as tools; and if you have a big toolbox you can solve problems. Some quotes from Jan Eliasson: “words are action”; “knowledge is the strongest engine for development”; “Information is power and the key to direction for individuals and society”; “access to knowledge is unfairly distributed”; “No peace without development and vice versa, no development without peace, and no lasting peace or sustainable development without respect of human life”; “knowledge is a crucial part of human rights pillar and peace” He quoted the first paragraph of Bertand Russell’s 3 volume autobiography emphasizing the three passions the ruled his life: longing for love, search for knowledge, pity for suffering of mankind. His most tweeted comment (follow

Continue reading The Power of the Word: Solving Problems

Trainers & Instructors: “Don’t pack it”


I often turn to Henry Mintzberg’s writings for his sage advice on management and leadership, yet tonight I found his advice on teaching. Here’s his “Ten Rules for Professors Who Want to Educate Real Managers”; they apply to anyone who is leading any kind of workshop, class, course, podcast or any other learning event:

1, 2, 3. Don’t pack it. Don’t pack it. Don’t pack it.

4. Schedule an extra hour for each session, but don’t tell the instructors until they arrive so they will have more time to turn the discussion over to the managers.

5. Profess less. Participants have at least as much to learn from each other as from the professors. (This is about what they learn, not about what we teach.)

6. Let participants run with the material on their agendas.

7. Be flexible. Let good discussion go on. If necessary, cut

what has to be “covered.”

8, 9, 10. Listen. Listen. Listen.

If you get nothing else out of that list, go back to #5; learning isn’t about what we trainers have to teach — it’s ALL about what the learners have to learn.

Third Generation Management Development

Happy Holidays & All the Best in 2010!


It’s amazing how fast a year goes by and how much we cram into 365 days. Hope everyone has a great holiday season and a terrific year in 2010! At this time of year, I always look ahead to what’s to come, and 2010 looks like it’s shaping up to be exciting. Here’s a peek —

Ontario Library Association SuperConference, Feb 24-27

Rebecca and I are facilitating a pre-conference workshop on Wed Feb 24 — Leadership Renewal: Conversations, Insights & Revitalization (P004) which includes segments with Cindy Ross Pedersen, Strategic Volunteer & Entrepreneur, Ken Haycock, Director, San Jose State University School of Libary & information Science & Senior Partner, Ken Haycock & Associates Inc. and Gordon Vala-Webb, PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada PLC. This interactive workshop should provide lots of wonderful conversations and insights. Rebecca is speaking about Resolving Conflict – Reaching Consensus (317) on Thurs Feb 25 and Service Lifecycle Management: Pruning Gives Other Services Room to Grow (1228) on Friday Feb 26. We have also put together a session on Thurs Feb 25 called Digital Strategies: Practices & Services (1021) which features Aaron Schmidt, District of Columbia Public Library, Amanda Etches Johnson, McMaster University and Daniel Lee, Navigator Ltd. We hope to see lots of our friends and colleagues in Toronto at SuperConference!

Computers in Libraries, DC, April 12-14

This vibrant conference is filled sessions on topics of interest to all those in the information business. Check out the program and join us for stimulating discussions, lots of learning and networking,

Continue reading Happy Holidays & All the Best in 2010!

Bringing new hires up to speed with embedded training


Next session at KMWorld 2009, with Tracy Conn and Kathy Valderrama discussing the experience of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland with lessons learned (LL). Banks are notoriously conservative culture where ‘mistakes’ aren’t usually widely shared. But they started the KM work in 2000 with after action reviews, looking for improvement opportunities. But they found cynicism growing and the experience was pretty negative — not what they really wanted to achieve. It also wasn’t connected to their core business of examining banks.

So, in 2005 they began to formalize their approach, and then, as is so often the case, a senior vp asked if new hires were being made aware of a case where a bank had failed in 2000. That’s how it happens, isn’t it? A senior voice asks the right question.

Kathy & Tracy tell a good story — and that’s the approach they adopted with LL: they tell stories; they involved as many ppl as possible in interviews, with a facilitator to guide the process (using appreciative approach – yeah!), ask the questions & probe a bit; the interviews are recorded & the project managers set the context for the situation being discussed. They not only talk about the problems encountered, but the solutions used – or what they wish they’d used –& then on-going follow-up and advice to future teams.

They also created some Balance Scorecard metrics. That’s a lot! phew! Developing the process took them about 6 months & introduced the process at a department

Continue reading Bringing new hires up to speed with embedded training

Top Ten Learning Tools on the Web – Twitter leads in August


If you are doing anything in the learning arena (either formal or informal learning – just helping people “get it” in terms of doing something or knowing something), be sure to follow Jane Hart’s E-learning Pick of the Day, and link to her other sites and blogs as well, including her homebase, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, and Social Media in Learning. Her August update of “Top Tools for Learning 2009” lists the top 10: Twitter, Delicious, Google Reader, Google Docs, Slideshare, WordPress, YouTube, Skype, Google Search and Audacity. Fast up & coming, Hart says, is prezi – which we hope to try out in the next few weeks. We’ll let you know how it goes. Have any of you tried prezi yet? I’ve been experimenting a bit with it….embarrassing as it is, I get a bit whoozi with the screen moving around so much – but the possibilities are fantastic – and I’m sure this old powerpoint dog can learn some new tricks!

Smithsonian Web & New Media Strategy


Further to my recent post on Transparency, Strategy & Success where I linked to Michael Edson‘s talk on the Smithsonian’s transparency strategy process, the Smithsonian Institution has relased its web and new media strategy.

“The strategy talks about an updated digital experience, a new learning model that helps people with their “lifelong learning journeys,” and the creation of a Smithsonian Commons—a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities.” Check out Edson’s post for more about the transparent process and to see more details of SI’s web & new media strategy.

25th Computers in Libraries


April 12-14, 2010

Can you believe the Computers in Libraries conference has been running for 25 years? and that I have designed the program for the last 15? Amazing & exciting for me and hopefully for you too! The theme this year is Information Fluency: Literacy for Life. Information fluency goes beyond literacy (the ability to read and write), information literacy (the ability to find, evaluate and use information), media literacy (the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a variety of forms), and digital literacy (the ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information). It extends to other types of literacy necessary to grow, learn and live – cultural literacy, global literacy, news literacy, scientific literacy, economic literacy, social literacy, health literacy, multimedia literacy, computer literacy, social online literacy, and more. Information, and fluency with it, permeates every part of our lives. Developing skills to become fluent with information is the key to our success individually as well as in groups, teams and communities. Send in a proposal to speak at CIL2010 and plan to attend the 25th anniversary of the “largest technology conference & exhibition for librarians and information managers in North America”.