The Life of an Instructional LibrarianPresentation Transcript
Life as an Instructional Librarian Presented by Austin Stroud
Introduction Name: Austin Stroud Work Background: •Instructional Designer at the Monroe County Public Library here in Bloomington •Adjunct Faculty at Ivy Tech Community College Education Background: •Undergraduate – Bachelor of Science in Labor Studies (Indiana University) •Graduate – Master of Science in Education in Instructional Systems Technology (Indiana University) •Graduate – Master of Library Science (IUPUI)
Typical Duties • Designing/Developing classes to be taught to both the general public and the library staff • Maintaining/Updating class offerings to ensure they stay current • Submitting staff trainings for LEU or TLEU credit through the Indiana State Library (librarian certification required for certain positions) • One-on-one trainings with patrons as needed on specific topics of interest • Committee meetings throughout the library (staff development, marketing, social media, working with patrons with disabilities, etc.) • Attending webinars and area conferences to stay current in my skills • Filling in at the reference desk or at the circulation desk, even shelving books, as needed
Some days are busier than others!
Developing Classes Now that you know a bit more about me, let’s talk about the meat of an instructional librarian’s job: training
Needs Assessment • Survey staff and patrons to identify specific needs • Some class topics are a given for having an interest, such as Microsoft Word – basic computer classes are always needed • Some things to consider when building a class/training: – How long should the training be? – What time of day and day of week should the training be offered? – Where should the training be held (think of equipment needs)? – Who is the target audience for the training (what skills are necessary)? – What instructional methods should be used (video, lecture, books, PowerPoint, handouts, etc.)? – Should the training be online only, face-to-face, or both? – Should the topic be broken up into multiple sessions? • These questions and more can ALL be answered through surveying the staff and patrons you are serving • Different branches have different training needs – survey each separately
Current Class Offerings • Microsoft Word 2010 for Beginners • Microsoft Excel 2010 Basics • Budgeting with Microsoft Excel 2010 • Typing Basics (three week course) • Introduction to Web Design • Facebook 101 • Introduction to Twitter • Online Job Searching • Open Source Software Alternatives • Presenting with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 • Email Basics (Gmail) • Internet Basics • Computer Basics • Technology Question and Answer (Open Lab – Ask Anything)
Don’t be afraid to fail! • Some classes you try, will not work • If registration is low, there probably is not much need for that class • Be open to trying new things and experimenting to find what works best in instructing a given topic • Use a variety of instructional methods, as not everyone learns the same way • Be mindful of staff and patrons with disabilities – create classes that anyone could take • If you show it in the class, have it in a handout for the staff or patrons to take with them (or a link to a resource at the very least) • Have a backup plan in case the technology fails – don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
Job Market With an understanding about what goes into building classes for the staff and general public, how can you land a job in the field?
Get Experience and Knowledge To land an instructional librarian role, you need experience and knowledge. – Volunteer – If you have an interest, I would love to have your help (as would any public library) – Become well-rounded in your technology skills – No one can know everything, but try getting experience with a variety of computer software – Network with others in the field – Face-to-face networking by attending area library conferences or online networking in librarian-related groups or list-servs
Volunteer Opportunities • Volunteer opportunities at the Monroe County Public Library: http://mcpl.info/geninfo/volunteer-openings • The folders I have handed out have a volunteer application and all of the paperwork we give new volunteers • Take S605 for credit for completing an internship • Check with SLIS for more volunteer opportunities
Technology Skills • Free technology classes at the Monroe County Public Library: http://mcpl.info/page/technology-calendar • Free software downloads for Indiana University students/staff: http://iuware.iu.edu/ • Free, self-paced training on computer programming/web design: http://www.codecademy.com • Free IT-training for Indiana University students/staff: http://ittraining.iu.edu/ • If you still have time, take some information science IT-oriented courses through SLIS
Networking • Indiana Library Federation: http://www.ilfonline.org/ – $40/year membership for full-time students – 2013 ILF Conference October 21-23 Indiana Convention Center (Indianapolis) • Indiana Online Users Group: http://www.iolug.org/ – $10/year membership for students – Conferences in the fall and spring – Spring 2013 conference is May 3rd at Indiana Wesleyan University North in Indianapolis • American Library Association: http://www.ala.org – $33/year membership for students – Annual Conference is in Chicago this summer June 27-July 2 • Indiana Librarian List-servs: http://www.in.gov/library/listservs.htm – Free
Networking • ALA Think Tank: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ALAthinkTANK/ • LibraryAware Lab: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lalab/ • LinkedIn Groups: – American Library Association – Bloomington Technology Partnership – WebJunction – Training&Development
General Job Tips • The more flexible you are on where you live, the easier it will be to find a position • There are more instructional librarian opportunities in academic libraries than in public libraries – you wear several hats in many public libraries • Be persistent and continue to build your resume and skills if you are not hired at your dream library – I worked in three other public libraries and for two colleges before I built the resume needed to come back “home” to Bloomington • Build an online portfolio showcasing your work and skills – sell yourself
Helpful Job Websites • WebJunction’s Jobs in Indiana Libraries: http://www.webjunction.org/partners/indiana/jobs-in-indiana-libraries.html • I Need a Library Job: http://inalj.com/ • Ivy Tech Community College: https://jobs.ivytech.edu/ • Indiana University Libraries: http://www.libraries.iub.edu/index.php?pageId=1412
The Future • The future is bright for instructional technology in libraries. Digital literacy is a major issue for any public library, and librarians on staff need to be trained and stay current in their skills to bridge this literacy gap. • You will see more of a need for online training in public libraries. Not many public libraries are doing this just yet. • You will see more one-on-one instructional sessions offered, such as the very popular one-on-one technology help sessions offered at the Monroe County Public Library. • Free training and support is critical, and libraries are one of the few sources of this in the community.
Contact Me Austin Stroud 303 East Kirkwood Avenue Bloomington, IN 47408 Phone: (812)349-3050 ext. 1666 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/austintstroud Twitter: https://twitter.com/austroud LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/austinstroud/