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801 journalupdate

  1. 1. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 1 Reflective Journal Amy TaylorEmporia State University
  2. 2. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 2August 28, 2009: What kind of learner am I prepared to be? I am prepared to be an engaged and involved learner. Someone who commits toproducing the best possible, reflects on her work and corrects or enhances the final outcome. Iam prepared to participate in discussions, offering my honest point of view in a professionalmanner. Also, I would like to help my classmates when I can. When reflecting on my pasteducational experiences, including my work as a teacher and librarian, I would have to say that Ienjoy the process of learning. One of my passions has been professional development. In fact,I am fairly certain that that passion has brought me to this career. Earning my graduate degreein Instructional Technology made me aware of the impact I can have in my school andcommunity thru providing professional development for my fellow teachers. I took my trainingfrom that program and put it to use in a new job as a Instructional Technology Specialist for mydistrict. In that position I worked quite a bit with librarians and began missing my work withstudents. I noticed that librarians had the best of both worlds, they provided professionaldevelopment for staff and worked with students. I made the switch to librarian five years agoand do not regret it. When people ask about my job, I say its the best job in a school. One of my favorite things about being a librarian is the constant learning that takesplace. Every day I feel as though I am learning new ideas, technology, skills, etc. I subscribe tothree listservs and go through the posts at some point each day. While reading them I tend tolook more at the practical applications of things and get very excited when I find something thatI can use in our library. This is the type of learner I am prepared to be. Someone who is hungry for more.
  3. 3. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 3August 29, 2009: Consider Mason’s “coherent picture of an information professional.”How does this picture compare with how you see the profession?: “A coherent picture of information professional emerges. Judgment is among his [sic] strongest hallmarks. He also possesses scientific and scholarly knowledge about a subject domain of interest to his clients, and he knows about the sources and characteristics of that knowledge. He must empathize with his clients by understanding their needs and psychological states. He is a master of the technology and methods necessary to satisfy information needs. This knowledge is essentially rational, technical knowledge. It alone, however, is not enough. Because the situations he must cope with are unique, uncertain, equivocal, and conflictual, an information professional must reach beyond his base of technical knowledge and draw upon his experience and wisdom in order to make judgments of application. This includes critical ethical judgments as well. All of this he does in the service of his clients and of the society in which he lives” (pp. 136-7). I would agree with the author’s note regarding the picture of information professionals.However, I think part of the picture is missing or glossed over. Mason (1990) speaks to thebreadth and depth of knowledge an information professional should possess but not to the useof that knowledge beyond the very broad “does in the service of his clients and society”(p. 137)I believe there are certain duties an informational professional must complete to be considereda professional. These duties relate back to the second characteristic of a professional, “mustuse knowledge in the service of others” (122), as noted by Mason (1990). An information
  4. 4. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 4professional’s obligation to serve others lies in their duty to (if necessary) help their clientdetermine what information they need, provide them access to that information, teach themhow to judge the information and train them to do those things for themselves in the future.Obviously, not all clients will need all the services discussed above; the types of servicesprovided will certainly depend on the type of client and their specific needs. The amount of information available to people is growing substantially every day. It isour job as information professionals to help people navigate this information beyond simplyproviding it for them. This is our service to others. In thinking about your analogy earlier todayabout not giving people food but teaching them to fish, I see information professional asproviding both the food and the skill of fishing. We provide the information but along the wayteach our client “how to” for themselves. I realize that my reaction to Mason’s “coherent picture of an information professional”focuses on the role of librarians but I think it is also applicable to other informationprofessionals. I also realize that some in our profession see our role as simply providing theinformation. I would argue that we live in a very information complex world today and if weallow people to become complacent in terms of finding, judging, and understandinginformation we are doing our communities a huge disservice. Our clients have to be able to“do” some of this on their own or we become the controllers of the information they get.August 31, 2009: Learning Styles Lately I have read a lot about learning styles and what determines ones learning style. Isit culture as suggested by James Anderson (1998) in Cognitive Styles and Multicultural
  5. 5. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 5Populations? Or is it personality as described by Jannica Heinstrom (2000) in The Impact ofPersonality and Approaches to Learning on Information Behavior? Although I found interestingpoints in both articles, I would argue that its so much more complex than a single indicator. Apersons DNA, culture, parenting, socioeconomic status, personality, friendships and a multitudeof other things influence the type of learner they are. I would also argue that a personslearning style changes over time, as all aspects of their lives change over time. That being said, I still think learning styles are important. As educators we need to beopen to all learning styles and attempt to meet all students needs though a diversity ofinstruction. A very long time ago I got an email comparing dentistry to teaching. It saidsomething like "give a dentist a room with 30 patients, all with varying degrees of dental needs,and a hour to meet them all" this is how I see a classroom full of students. Each day they cometo class and we try to meet their needs for that day. However, all their needs are differenttherefore the same approach will not work for every student. As a practical matter, Iunderstand that we cannot determine every student’s learning style every year and thenprovide a different type of instruction for each; there are too many students and not enoughtime. However, I do think we can differentiate as much as possible and provide interventionswhen necessary. It is for this reason that I strongly believe in frequent checks forunderstanding and keeping an open mind about what kind of learner each student could be. I think trying to link learning styles to specific cultures or personality types is somewhatdangerous. What exactly is the point? Are we trying to find a way to label students with aquick glance? We have to open to the concept that not all students learn the same way andthat there isnt a magic formula for labeling them.
  6. 6. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 6September 5, 2009: Myers-Briggs Weve been doing a lot with Myers-Briggs in both classes. Although I know there arebetter more comprehensive tests for Myers-Briggs I felt the three I took online were prettymuch on target. I do believe that a persons personality can change over time but I also believethat some parts of personality are innate and stick with us. For each person I am sure thepieces that stick and the pieces that change are different. For example, I am an I, I have alwaysbeen an I and that is never really going to change. However, I have grown to acknowledge andaccept this part of my personality and even fight against it when necessary. I would imaginethere are people who were an I or an E and at some point in their lives, through some set ofcircumstances, evolved into the other. There were two things I kept thinking about while reading the articles on MBTI andtaking the tests. First, how would other people score me? Our perceptions are our reality. Sofor me the INTJ or INFJ score makes sense. But for some people who know me they do not.Their perceptions of me are different than the MBTI score suggests. So, which is correct? Am Ireally INT (sometime F) J or I am as other people perceive me? Second, is there a connectionbetween someones MBTI score and the type of facebook user they are? While studying theMyers-Briggs information I also read an article from CNN.com(http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/08/20/annoying.facebook.updaters/index.html) byBrandon Griggs (2009) called The 12 most annoying types of Facebookers. I found myselfwondering, does our MBTI carry over to online interactions? Im going to guess - yes. But Imreally not sure. By the way Im a lurker, the introvert in me - I guess.
  7. 7. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 7 The Lurker. The Peeping Toms of Facebook, these voyeurs are too cautious, or maybe too lazy, to update their status or write on your wall. But once in a while, youll be talking to them and theyll mention something you posted, so you know theyre on your page, hiding in the shadows. Its just a little creepy. (Griggs, 2009, p. 14)And just to clarify, I’m too cautious and I do update my wall occasionally.September 10, 2009: Information Seeking Last night I read Chapter 6 of Cases book Looking for information: A Survey of researchon information seeking, needs and behavior for li802. Today I find myself watching ourstudents as they come in looking for information. Some are just trying to figure out how toformat their papers correctly while others are looking for information to help them with aproject. It all seems very cyclical. As they find the necessary information they develop newquestions which lead to looking for more information. This is why I liked Wilsons secondmodel. As I said in our blackboard discussion, I believe information seeking is never ending.Not only for the reason I mentioned previously but also because you may begin yourinformation search with a specific outcome in mind and you may come to successfulconclusion, believing to be done with the information you have found. However, thatinformation is never really gone from you and may become needed again in the future.Therefore, I see information seeking as a cycle which doesn’t end.I also liked the explanation of “activating mechanisms” as motivators in regard to “whatextent” one seeks information. In the school library we frequently see this with students. Theextent or effort a student gives is determined not only do their own personalities and values
  8. 8. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 8but also by what the instructor asks of them. This is why I feel writing good assignments is socritical. A teacher is more likely to get to what they want from a student in terms of effort andfinal product if they have written a good assignment. The other thing I thought about as I reflected on information seeking were my ownmethods for finding new information. I have found that I use both informal and formal sourcesof information regularly. I rely heavily on listservs for finding new information in the field ofschool libraries, I also spend a great deal of time thumbing thru Booklist and browsingTitlewave and Amazon for new young adult books. I also found that I spend a considerableamount of time investigating potential lessons, books, technologies, etc. after reading aboutthem initially. Whenever I find something that has potential I put it in a file or bookmark it inmy delicious account. Often times this information doesnt get used right away but I almostalways come back to it. For example, I bookmarked a website last year that could change thelook and feel of websites based on the users preferences. I saw it as a potential site to sharewith our students and to possibly demonstrate during a presentation at our state convention. Ispent some time looking into the site and determined that it just wasnt a good fit for ourstudents or our presentation. As soon as I picked up the Severson book and saw the pages Ithought of this site. Because the look and feel of the Severson book made me feel comfortableand relaxed and I began thinking that part of the information process must lie in the way theinformation is presented. That made me think of this website. Therefore my informationseeking never really ended when I decided not to use the site last year because now I see newprospects for this information.
  9. 9. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 9September 10, 2009: Ethics I find this topic very interesting. First, while reading the information regarding ALAscore value statements I really began thinking about the selection of material and the ethicsbehind our choices. I work in a pretty conservative community and could easily censorcontroversial books by not selecting them in the first place. Fortunately, I work with anotherlibrarian and we are able to keep each other in check. For example, last year I read the bookLiving Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. It was a very compelling read but also a very difficult oneabout a girl who was abducted and held captive by a molester for several years. Having threedaughters of my own, one of which is only one year younger than the girl in the story when shewas abducted, made this an extremely hard book for me to finish. I put it down more thanonce. When I finished, I had some concerns about putting it on our shelves. I just didnt seethe purpose in reading something so horrible and was concerned about a student picking thisup without any prior knowledge of what was in the book (the jacket doesnt really lay it all outthere.) So I took it to my co-hort and asked her to read it. We had a long discussion andresolved that although grotesque it was something that happens all too often in our society andour students may want some understanding of these situations. We decided to leave it in thecollection but to talk to students about its mature nature when they checked it out. I questionwhether or not this is even ethical but keeping mind that in schools we act in loco parentis wefelt it necessary to discuss the grave circumstances in the novel. Now that the Jaycee Dugardcase has hit the news Im so glad we decided to leave it in our collection. Ironically enough,recently this book has been the topic of some debate on state listserv.
  10. 10. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 10 September 19, 2009: WHAT’S BEING SAID ABOUT IT? Many librarians on the listserv were questioning whether it is appropriate for their collections. There was a lot of discussion with librarians weighing in on both sides. Some people felt the book was too graphic and depressing for teens and others felt students deserved the opportunity to decide for themselves. I would say the numbers of pro and con responses were split right down the middle. Another area where I have been pondering the ethics of my book choices and opinionsis in my role on the Gateway Committee, the selection committee for the young adult bookaward for Missouri. It is my first year serving on the committee and Im currently reading thetwenty-six finalist to help narrow the list to fifteen. I have recently read two books that havemade me pause before rating them. One was a book in which one of the main characters washomosexual. Although, I do not have issues with this I know a lot of our students do. Also, Iwas concerned because I didnt feel the portrayal of this characters life was trulyrepresentative of what a gay teen goes through. However, I really liked the book. It was laughout loud funny and had a nice message. The other book was also very good but it had a lot ofsex (off page) and underage drinking. Much YA literature deals with sex and drinking, the issuewith this book was that those things were not addressed. There were no consequences forhaving done either. Not even hangovers. On the other hand the book did deal with otherissues very nicely. In the end I rated the each book like I had rated any other book and figuredId let the chips fall where they may. Who I am to say what is truly representative of a gayteens life or that there are always consequences for underage drinking? Would I have broken
  11. 11. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 11a core value for librarians had I rated these books lower because of concerns about controversyor in an attempt to protect children? Also, I must say I am really enjoying the Severson book. The look and feel of the book isvery inviting. However, I am also extremely interested in the topic. Two years ago we hadseveral instances of students cheating and plagiarizing. The most alarming thing about this wasthe lack of parental support we were getting when attempting to discipline the studentsinvolved. We heard many statements like "He/She didnt know copying from a website wasplagiarism." So last year our library began a campaign to improve the academic honesty of ourstudents. Remarkably the students were fairly open in our discussions and often times wouldsay that it didnt really hurt anybody and was okay as long as you didnt get caught. When wetalked about feelings of guilt and self-respect we even got some eye rolling. I felt likeSeversons first chapter spoke to the problems we seem to have with some of our students andunfortunately their parents.September 12, 2009: The Name of the Rose I chose The Name of the Rose because I had seen bits and pieces of it on television butnever sat down to watch the whole thing. I was intrigued by the monks copying themanuscripts and love a good murder mystery. However, the timing never worked out. But lastnight the kids were at grandmas, so I made my husband sit with me to watch the whole thing,beginning to end. Im a little ashamed to admit that the murderer eluded me until he wasrevealed. I kept thinking "Why does that book keep turning up? If the murderer wants to keepit hidden, he should just bury it or burn it." Usually, I am much more on top of these things.
  12. 12. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 12 Nonetheless, I found the movie very interesting regarding libraries. It seems to me thatthe Franciscans should have been put in charge of running the libraries. I found myself thinkingof the ALA core values discussions. The librarian in this film focused on only one of the tenvalue domains, preservation. Below I have listed some of the core value domains and adescription of how the movie relates to them. Access: In the movie the only two people granted access to the library was the librarian and the head of the abbey. Collaboration: There was no collaboration between the various dominations of monks regarding the library. It was run by the librarian and the head of the abbey. They made all decisions and wanted no other input. Education: Absolutely not, the monks felt that education would lead sinful acts. That knowledge was evil and that they should simply follow gods law as instructed by the leaders of the abbey. Preservation: The library was preserving books but for what purpose? I dont think they even knew. Privacy: When thinking about privacy in this movie I reminded of our discussion in class regarding Foucault and the idea that social norms like a prison, providing little privacy. Although the monastery wasnt built like a Panopticon, it certainly seemed like one. People were constantly popping out from behind walls or in windows. Nothing they did was private. Even when it appeared two characters were having a private conversation the scene would open up to show someone lurking and listening in.
  13. 13. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 13 Public Gook: I do believe the monks were acting in a way they believed would serve the public good. Even the monk who was killing those who were reading the lost manuscript. He felt he was protecting the rest of the monks from their evil desires. I obviously dont agree, but I think he felt that way.September 16, 2009: Thinking about My Thinking I’ve been thinking about my approach to my courses and wondering whether or not Iam being effective. I tend to focus on one class for about a week and then jump to the other.Although I seem to be jumping back and forth I am finding that the readings from 801 and 802compliment each other well and I am able to make connections between them. On the otherhand I sometimes feel as though I am behind. For example, I visit the discussion board for oneof the classes and find 50 new threads. Would I be better served to focus on one reading from801 and one reading from 802 each week?Regarding the online portion of my classes, I think Im spending too much time worrying aboutwhat I write for the discussion board before posting. For this reason my responses are not veryspontaneous and I am not entirely sure this creates good discussion. Although I know myresponses should possess good grammar and be on topic I don’t think I should spend as muchtime as I do worrying about what I am going to write.October 18, 2009: Information wants to be free When Dr. Achleitner said “information wants to be free.”, I immediately envisioned ascene from one of my favorite books, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. The Book Thief is abouta foster girl, Liesel, who lives just outside Munich during World War II. Although Liesel couldnot read she developed a strange habit of stealing books. The first was The Gravediggers
  14. 14. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 14Guide, which she stole from the cemetery after her brother’s burial. She did not understandthe compulsion and tried to stop, but couldn’t. Then she meets her foster father who teachesher to read. While learning she becomes more daring in her thefts. The specific scene I flashedto during class was the scene of a book burning. Liesel had witnessed a book burning at thecenter of her town and was loitering around the remnants of the fire when she saw one bookthat was still intact under what was left of the fire. She did a quick scan of the remaining crowdand when she was confident no one was watching she snatched the book. Unfortunately,someone was watching. To me this is a perfect example of information wanting to be free. Itis an example of one of the biggest government sponsored destructions of information andknowledge and yet information found its way into the hands of young illiterate girl. Throughout history there are many examples of totalitarian governments taking controlof information transfer and being quite successful spreading their ideology. Although theirintentions were evil, we could learn a lot by studying how they were able accomplish this feat.We could possibly find new marketing techniques and especially learn how to protect ourselvesfrom it happening in our future.October 22, 2009: ALA I have been a member of ALA, AASL, MASL, GKCASL, and NEA for several years and yet Ihave always felt as though we are on an island. That ALA and the other groups are trying theirbest and not being heard. I believed to be true because I felt the decision and policy makerswere not listening. Although I still believe this is the case I can also see that the structures ofthese organizations may be a part of the problem. While having this discussion I was thinking
  15. 15. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 15of the Spokane moms (3 of them) who went to battle with the state of Washington over libraryfunding. So far they secured $4 million dollars in state funding for the 2008-2009 school yearand in March of this year they helped make media specialists and library materials an officialpart of the state’s definition of a basic education. (Whelan, para. 1) A small grassrootsmovement made a huge impact in Washington. Maybe this should be a model for futuremovements. The issue here is in how to organize such a movement. The Spokane moms are veryopen about the impact this movement had on their lives. Essentially it took over their lives andnot many people are willing to allow that kind of intrusion in their lives. Also, I think it takespeople outside the profession to speak up on our behalf. Not that we should bow out of thefight, but having people outside the profession speak out about the importance of libraries intheir lives it helps give credence to our cause. That being said, I think what they accomplishedis wonderful and should happen in every state. We just need a few hundred moms to take upthe cause.Whelan, D. (2009, April 20). Washington Makes School Library History - 4/20/2009 - SchoolLibrary Journal. Retrieved October 22, 2009, from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.comOctober 5, 2009: Group Project I have just begun working on my first group project. We have been asked to studyvarious information transfer models and apply them to a practical situation. My group haschosen to apply Dervin’s Sense-Making Theory to student research and create a new researchmodel. So far we have looked at the Sense-Making theory and compared it to the types of
  16. 16. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 16products students are asked to create when completing a research project. Using thisinformation we designed our own research model using a question/answer type of approach. Atable showing our approach is below.Info Transfer Model Steps in Workflow Work Product Research Model Topic (Situation / Gap) Title Look for Question (Sense Note taking & Making / Bridge / Organizing/Outlining/Etc. Outcome) Ask Question( Situation - Research Question Gap) Look for Answer (Sense Note taking & Making / Bridge / Organizing/Outlining/Etc. Outcome) Answer Question Thesis (Situation - Gap) Look for Proof (Sense Note taking & From Dervin’s Sensemaking Metaphor (1992) Making / Bridge / Organizing/Outlining/Etc. Outcome) Write Detailed Answer w/ Final Product Draft & Begin Proof (Final Outcome) Proofreading & Evaluations Evaluation Evaluate Final Product and Process So far I am finding communicating for the group project rather difficult. We were giventhe assignment and about one hour to work as a group at our first weekend intensive. We usedthis time to decide how we would apply the information seeking model and divided up thetasks. I felt that this was a good use of our time but much of the brainstorming on our own orvia online chat and skype which was difficult. Due to the lack of fluid discussion our project is alittle disjointed. Hopefully we will have some time at our next face-to-face to iron out anyrough patches before presenting to the class.
  17. 17. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 17 November 22: Update -- We had two hours in our face-to-face to work on our project, which helped immensely. I still felt a little unprepared for the presentation piece because we did not get an opportunity to really talk about what each of us was going say during our section. I almost think it would have been better to have only one of us give the presentation but I am not sure how that would have impacted our grades. I am happy with our final product and felt we worked well together as a group. See our final research model below.October 7, 2009: Look and Feel I started to write about this earlier and tabled it due to writers block, but last night I wasreading Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles and saw yet another reference to “lookand feel.” I truly believe that the “look and feel” of a book, website, newspaper, etc greatlyimpacts our opinions regarding it. For example, I immediately liked the Severson book, the fontand chapter length was very appealing to me. I didn’t feel overwhelmed and was relaxed whilereading it. Was I drawn to the Severson book not because of its content but because of its lookand feel? Interestingly this concept was brought up in the book later while referencing theMicrosoft/Apple case. Battle’s also brought up the concept when discussing eastern influenceon books during the middle ages. “The calligraphers and illustrators of Islam, by contrast, madethe book itself a thing of beauty, and collectors came to value the sumptuous look and feel ofbooks as much as the writing they conveyed.” (Battles, 2003 p.64) Battle’s goes on to tell thestory of a collector buying a book simply because of its appearance. Before a book can be readit must be picked up by a reader and readers base much of their book choices on theappearance of the book. This is also true of webpages. Browsing has become the preferred
  18. 18. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 18method of most when reading on the web. If a webpage is difficult to read due to “look andfeel” a user will simply click out of the website regardless of the content quality. There is evena website designed to help users adjust other websites to a particular users “look and feel”wishes < http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability.> Therefore, “look and feel” is crucialto the successful dissemination of information. As librarians we should really consider “look and feel.” Especially when designing ourmarketing material. We need our target audience in mind and make sure designingpromotional material they feel drawn to. I sometimes find this difficult in my job as a highschool librarian because I am not a teenager and am far enough removed not know what is“cool” anymore. I think I will begin “screening” any promotional materials with our studentworkers before going to press.October 13, 2009: Evolving Librarian I just received the September/October issue of the Journal of the American Associationof School Librarians. This particular issue is all about questions. As I thumbed through it Ibegan thinking about the various articles and chapters we’ve been asked to read recently.Especially in regards to our evolving identity as librarians and to this question posed by Dr.Perley, “In which direction does LIS education appear to be moving?” Based on this particularissue I would say LIS education is definitely becoming more information-centered.Although the entire issue focused on what we should be teaching our students and how tobetter instruct students in developing information skills, one article really stood out. It waswritten by Karen Brown of Dominican University and titled “Questions for the 21st-CenturyLearner.” Brown opened the article by stating “The transformative potential of a new
  19. 19. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 19technology is rarely detected when it first appears on the scene” (2009, pg. 25). I totally agreewith her statement and see this as a major hurdle when considering what the future of ourprofession will be. How can we prepare for a future when we don’t fully understand thepotential of current technology and don’t even know what new technologies are around thebend? This is why I believe it is crucial to be a visionary librarian, as discussed in the Holcombarticle. If we are to stay current and relevant we have to be looking ahead. However, we alsohave to give our clients the skills needed to function is this new rapidly changing informationrich society. AASL developed a set of standards for the 21st-Century learner and tried toaddress this by focusing on the critical thinking skills needed in the 21st Century rather thanspecific technologies. I see this as a necessary focus not only in educating our youth but ineducation our profession as well. While keeping this in mind I have been doing a lot of thinking about the types of lessonswe teach in our library. Although, we do tend to focus on skills rather than specifictechnologies I see room for improvement. For example, currently we teach lessons on researchin little snippets when teachers ask for them. We typically do not work with a teacher from thebeginning to the end of a research project. In fact, we often only see students on the one ortwo days their teachers give them time to “research.” The problem with this is they don’t comeprepared to “research.” Their topics are too broad or too narrow, they do not have a researchquestion written, and they are totally overwhelmed. I think we need to take a huge step backand work with students before they even get to the “research” phase. Now we just have tofigure out how to convince teachers of this. We will have to approach this subject verydelicately because teachers tend to very territorial about their students and curriculum…
  20. 20. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 20October 27, 2009: Cost Analysis I think Machlup’s comments regarding benefit cost analysis is significant to libraries intwo ways. The first is in securing government funding. If what Machlup says about governmentsubsidies is true then libraries must present a very convincing benefit cost analysis. With theproliferation of the internet I imagine this task has become even harder. For example, Irecently read about a public library system in Georgia that decided to change three branches tocomputer labs. Due to budget shortfalls the library had to make some tough decisionsregarding what services they could offer. When weighing benefits and costs – is this the bestsolution? The second is in regard to libraries making wise budgeting decisions. Some type ofbenefit cost analysis should be done when making purchasing decision and should be reflectedin the selection policy. When faced with slim budgets we have to ask ourselves whatinformation/services can we provide that will give the most benefits at a reasonable cost. Another part I especially liked in the article dealt with the “would be knower.” Machlup(1979) said “They cannot know how important it might be for them because if they knew it theywould possess it. We cannot know what a piece of knowledge may be worth to us before weknow what it is.” (pg. 452) I think this is crucial concept for librarians to embrace. Many of ourpatrons are the “would be knower.” Not knowing what services we can provide for them. Dueto the internet there is so much information available and not all of it is well researched andnon-biased. This is why librarians are so critical. We are akin to an information broker for theaverage citizen. If our patrons do not know this about librarians they don’t utilize our servicesto there fullest potential.
  21. 21. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 21November 4, 2009: Evolving Librarian I just received the September/October issue of the Journal of the American Associationof School Librarians. This particular issue is all about questions. As I thumbed through it Ibegan thinking about the various articles and chapters we’ve been asked to read recently.Especially in regards to our evolving identity as librarians and to this question posed by Dr.Perley, “In which direction does LIS education appear to be moving?” Based on this particularissue I would say LIS education is definitely becoming more information-centered. Although the entire issue focused on what we should be teaching our students and howto better instruct students in developing information skills, one article really stood out. It waswritten by Karen Brown of Dominican University and titled “Questions for the 21st-CenturyLearner.” Brown opened the article by stating “The transformative potential of a newtechnology is rarely detected when it first appears on the scene” (2009, pg. 25). I totally agreewith her statement and see this as a major hurdle when considering what the future of ourprofession will be. How can we prepare for a future when we don’t fully understand thepotential of current technology and don’t even know what new technologies are around thebend? This is why I believe it is crucial to be a visionary librarian, as discussed in the Holcombarticle. If we are to stay current and relevant we have to be looking ahead. However, we alsohave to give our clients the skills needed to function is this new rapidly changing informationrich society. AASL developed a set of standards for the 21st-Century learner and tried toaddress this by focusing on the critical thinking skills needed in the 21st Century rather thanspecific technologies. I see this as a necessary focus not only in educating our youth but ineducation our profession as well.
  22. 22. Running Head: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 22Google Wave Several days after writing the above entry Dr. Gibson posted a discussion board threadon a new technology called Google Wave. Immediately I saw this as example of a newtechnology with tremendous potential to change so much of what we do today. It is acombination or email, instant messaging, wikis, and probably more. Google recently releasedthe beta version in open source and asked software developers to begin looking for andcreating other applications for the project. I predict that although it may not be called GoogleWave, it will be the next big change in communication and information. For this reason I thinkwe should be digging into it right now. As information professionals we should pay closeattention to how developers work with and change this technology and how it may influencethe lives or our clients and ourselves. Because it is in beta the only way to get an account is by invitation or to request anaccount and wait for opening. I put my request in the day I saw the post and watched theintroductory video.Update: At our weekend intensive Dr. Gibson gave a demonstration of Google Wave. I asked ifhe had any suggestions for getting an invitation and he said he may know someone withinvitations. I received my invitation three days later. So excited! I have logged in and lookedaround a little but have not had an opportunity to really work with it. I can not wait to see itspotential.