Blogging for Academics Workshop (The Joys of Blogging: Confessions of a Former Blog Skeptic)

On Friday, I and our intern Karyn Lynn, will be present a workshop for faculty and staff at our institution on blogging. Below is the announcement. See you there!

Have you wondered what all the buzz is about? Why bother with blogs? Academics are turning to blogging as a time-saving method for keeping current with issues and developments in their fields. This workshop will introduce the history and mechanics of blogging, teach how to locate blogs relevant to your discipline, how to subscribe to blogs using RSS feeds and blog aggregators, and how to create your own blog. No experience necessary.

The Joys of Blogging: Confessions of a Former Blog Skeptic
Friday March 2 10:00-11:00 ITC (Library 3rd Floor)
Register at http://library.colostate-pueblo.edu/bi/workshops.asp.

Rhonda

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SirsiDynixInstitute.com

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a relaxing and restorative break; I certainly did and definitely felt ready to get back to work this week and tackle a whole host of projects! Which was a good thing, because that is what I seem to be doing. I’ve been in non-stop meetings since I got back, which partially explains why I haven’t been posting!

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation via the Sirsi Dynix Institute. This is a great series of online seminars and I highly recommend them if you haven’t already taken advantage of one: SirsiDynixInstitute.com

The one I participated in was about “Learning2.0”. I can hear you groaning already. “Another 2.0?” you are thinking. Well, you might like this one. According to the website, “Helene Blowers, Technology Director for the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County shared insights and best practices around the creation of Learning 2.0, an online self-discovery program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies (blogs, wikis, podcasts etc.) and reward them for “play.” This was a staff development program she created to help her very large staff learn more about Web2.0 technologies. Her philosophy was to encourage employees, within a guided 7 week framework, to explore new technologies on their own. The results were very positive and empowering for her staff. The best part is that other libraries are invited to make use of the materials she created for her program. Take a look at the presentation at http://www.sirsidynixinstitute.com/seminar_page.php?sid=74.

I promise to post more often, but only, as my colleague Jim Duncan says, when I have something “pithy” to say!

Rhonda

I’m Back

Hi Everyone,

I came to work this morning and realized I hadn’t posted in quite a while. That doesn’t make for a very exciting Blog! Frankly, I just haven’t been making time lately to keep up with reading my daily blogroll postings. That’s usually where I get ideas on what to post. I’ve had a couple of short weeks, due to being out of town and taking a day off for Christmas shopping, so I guess I need to get back on schedule (which probably won’t happen until January 8, actually.)

Two weeks ago I attended a fantastic two day workshop hosted by CLiC called the Coaching Edge. It was very eye opening. I hadn’t really considered my relationships, both personal and professional, in terms of “coaching”. However, I realize now that many of my interactions with others including co-workers, employees, and even family members could be viewed in this light. The workshop validated some strategies I have already been using, albeit subconsciously and also taught some new approaches, which I think will be invaluable!

Last week, I spent one whole day meeting with our architects. We are getting close to finishing the program plan for our building renovation. We are looking at completely renovating the building and adding between 20,000 and 30,000 square feet to the building. The architects have been fabulous. We are working with Joe Bilotta from JBA, Inc., Patrick Johnson from H&L Architects, and Geoff Freeman from Shepley-Bulfinch. I have really appreciated their tenacity in getting us to think outside of our current “box” and not to be constrained by current practices. Some of the small changes we have already made to our building such as adding a coffee cart and more open student study spaces has already increased our building traffic by over 20%, so I feel confident that the plans we are working on to expand these offerings will be well-met by our patrons. We have agreed on a strategy of planning the new facility not based on traditional library functions so much as on levels of social interaction, levels of technology, and levels of support needed. Also, we are working to closely integrate ITS and academic support services with traditional library services to create a very organic student success focused space.

Today I met with other Colorado Academic Library Consortium members to continue planning for our 2nd Colorado Academic Library Summit to be held May 31st/June 1st in Denver. The topic, which I’m very excited about focus on changing landscapes in academic libraries and will include tracks on changing cultures and values within libraries, changing technologies, and the need for better outreach and collaboration. We are still working out the details including inviting speakers so I’ll give more details soon.

The rest of this week we are just winding down to Christmas break and trying to finish up book ordering and other collection projects. I also have to get my ACRL statistics done by Friday!!!

Best wishes for a Blessed Christmas!

Continuing Education for Librarians

In her blog, What I Learned Today, Nicole C. Engard comments on the following question posed in a Library Journal article regarding “ALA’s Alternate to an MLS”. “Should certification and continuing education credits be mandatory for library workers?” She suggests “YES! The problems that most of of us have today is that there is such a varied education among the staff. Requiring continuing education would make it so that we’d all be closer to being on the same foot.”

I agree that there is a great need for ongoing training. In fact, I have been spending quite a bit of time lately thinking about continuing education for my staff. One of our biggest needs is for continuing education opportunities that allow faculty members to keep current with new technologies and other trends in our field. Specifically, I would like to see the following (or maybe I should say “more” of the following since ACRL and others are already offering some valuable opportunities):

1. Sequential courses that lead to an advanced certificate, offered either via regional institutes or distance learning; ideally with a local or regional cohort group, so that networking relationships can be established.
2. More continuing education opportunities like ACRL’s that allow the participant to leave the course with a finished product.

It would be helpful for every librarian to participate in these sorts of continuing education opportunities, but I don’t believe that in the academic library setting it could be made mandatory. Our librarians, as faculty members, follow our faculty handbook and enjoy a certain amount of freedom to pursue research in a variety of library related areas. I believe, as Dean, it is my responsibility to help identify and encourage participation in continuing education opportunities that help our library meet its goals.