Cutting through the hype to make a confident future library and information profession

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This was given at the CILIP East of England ISG meeting, May 2009, in Foxton, UK. I have added some additional notes for Slideshare (mostly in boxes on the slides). It was part of a programme that was …

This was given at the CILIP East of England ISG meeting, May 2009, in Foxton, UK. I have added some additional notes for Slideshare (mostly in boxes on the slides). It was part of a programme that was looking at what skills and knowledge library and information professionals needed to meet the needs of young people. "Cutting through the hype" (in my title) indicates that I think that we shouldn't accept steroetypes & generalisations of what generations are like.

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  • 1. Cutting through the hype to make a confident future library and information profession Sheila Webber University of Sheffield Department of Information Studies May 2009 Tulip photo, SL pictures and slides copyright Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 2. About the presentation This was given at the CILIP East of England ISG meeting, May 2009, in Foxton, UK. I have added some additional notes for Slideshare (mostly in boxes on the slides). The presentation includes quotations from students on our MA Librarianship course: they responded to questions about whether they thought you could generalise about generations, & what skills were needed to meet the needs of upcoming students Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 3. “I currently volunteer in a children's library and we have young people come in to find a new books to read, those who do their homework with the books, those who do homework solely on the computer, and those who use the computers purely for gaming. This is a simple example, but although research may indicate some useful generalisations, there will always be those who do not fit the patterns and if, as librarians, we say that we are there for all users then we cannot base our services on generalisations” Student comment Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 4. “I was amused to find out that I fit into the milennials ... age range. I am certainly not a ‘digital native’ – it takes me two days to re-learn the TV remote each time I go back home ... look past the milennial myths and recognise the true need for information literacy within this group” Student comment Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 5. “The provision of all services needs to have the users in mind ... 1) Children: intellectual and emotional; language, social, educational and motor skills. 2) Young people: social, motor skills, emotional and educational. 3) Adults: knowledge for work, self development and social 4) Senior citizens: self-development and social ... For young people with needs for development of social and motor skills, they should be given their own spaces for expressions of creativity etc. A suggestion is to set up small cafe style public libraries that are marketed at young people ... Three zones: eating..., reading ... and playing (games consoles and board games)” Student comment Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 6. The next slide is a link to Michael Wesch’s video in which he asked students to co-produce a document about what they did with their time and how they felt about their experience at university. The question I pose at the end (“What is an appropriate response?”) arises from the fact that the response to this video can be that since e.g. students don’t read books, and they do Facebook, we must give up on books and do things through facebook. Whereas I think that in our role as educators we have a duty to help learners improve their ability to concentrate, follow an argument through a lengthier text, and be able to engage with it critically: for their development as people, not just as students Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o What is an appropriate response? Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZokqjjIy77Y What is an appropriate response? Similarly, this is an interesting video from students at Robin Hood primary school in Birmingham, UK. The message (to use technology to expand options and creativity) is obviously good. However I don’t think you should take it as meaning that you can’t still get children involved in learning & thinking by just enagaging face to face or using old fashioned tools like paper and pencil (as in the video!) Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 9. This is a picture of Zatorah Shepherd’s Multiple Intelligences build in Second Life. The list at the bottom is Howard Gardner’s original list of MIs • Understanding people & their differences • Recognising the needs of the whole person and their multiple intelligences • Not just about the gizmos .... Visual, Linguistic, Logical/mathematical, Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Musical Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 10. ... and I speak as someone who takes pictures of my Second Life avatar, blogs them and uploads them to Flickr ... Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 11. CILIP= Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (UK professional association). The Body of Knowledge outlines the key knowledge and skill areas that library & information professionals are expected to have. I suggest that it should have users more at the centre CILIP body of knowledge Conceptual structures Knowledge Info need Information User behaviour User/client Documentation Curation/ resource Collection/ Info resource management Changes? “User/client” is more central, pervasive ....
  • 12. On this slide I put a screenshot from the Tate Gallery’s page (http://kids.tate.org.uk/games/paint/) on which people can “Create their own masterpiece” online. This site was recommended by one of my students as a way of engaging young people in learning. “For children, have relevant resources that can capture their imagination. A good website for children is called ‘Tate Paint’” Student comment Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 13. On this slide I put a screenshot from the “3 Things blog, that was reporting on the “Beyond 23 Things Unconference” http://wiki.sla.org/display/23Things “23 Things” initiatives create programmes to learn about Web 2.0 applications by setting regular (e.g. weekly) activities, each to do with a different Web 2.0 application. They created a mindmap of issues that were raised. I felt that there were some things missing …. Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 14. What is missing? http://wiki.sla.org /display/23Things Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 15. Club Penguin http://www.kzero.co.uk/ blog/?page_id=2537 The Kzero chart is to show that as interest from children/teen age groups in virtual worlds is growing, this is not necessarily going to continue as a niche Games, play ... Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 16. But also ... ? • Core domains of library/information work? • Development of skills and attitudes to make meaningful context and application? • Other ways of learning & sense making I do feel that sometimes our core knowledge and skill areas get lost when we focus on new technology and tools and generic skills that EVERYONE needs. If you do that too much you lose focus on what makes the profession distinctive Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 17. 5 characteristics for professional success ... from 1998 (Griffiths) • [Be a] guide in the face of an uncertain future ... pioneering new knowledge frontiers • Collaborate “we have to have a deep understanding of needs and capabilities, our own and our collaborators’” • Juggle priorities to meet changing needs, and maintain flexibility and agility • Empower • Understand the core capabilities of one’s organisation, work group and colleagues And “old” insights and advice are still worthwhile! Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 18. “We should not devalue the knowledge that people have that may not seem appropriate in the environment that we are creating – we just have to extract the appropriate components and assist them in applying it to new situations.” Griffiths (1998) One message being: bring staff with you by developing them, acknowledging skills that are still valuable and helping people to transfer them to new contexts Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 19. Confident future library and information professionals • Focusing on the librarian rather the library – visible, communicating and personal • “User” more central, and no longer just a “user” • Library/ information professional has expertise in core domains which still underpin the profession • Building on core ... how to develop agility, adaptability, pioneering spirit, ability to judge capabilities & empower ... Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 20. Confident future library and information professionals • Not getting worried about gizmos for their own sake • Investigating their use as information tools – which aspects of core domain can they be used in? • Exploring the “why” and “where” of using as much as “how” they work • More development of visual (etc.) literacies, part of multiple intelligences approach? • How far we stretch social role & use social networking Visual, Linguistic, Logical/mathematical, Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Musical Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 21. How to learn & develop? Information & Library Schools Professional bodies Confident future library and information professionals Employers Collaborators ... (“users”, All 4 groups have a fellow professionals, contribution to make sponsors etc.) in helping the profession meet the future Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 22. Sheila Webber s.webber@shef.ac.uk http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/ Sheila Yoshikawa http://adventuresofyoshikawa.blogspot.com/ (SL blog) http://www.netvibes.com/sheilawebber (Web 2.0 links) Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 23. References • Griffiths, J-M. (1998) “The new information professional.” ASIS Bulletin, Feb/March. http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Feb- 98/griffiths.html Sheila Webber, 2009