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Staff Training, WJ Online Conference

Library as a Verb

By Jennifer | August 11th, 2011 | 1 Comment

Thank you to Buffy Hamilton for a great wrap-up for the WebJunction/Learning Round Table hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning. Buffy HamiltonBuffy’s presentation, Cultivating the Library as a Site of Participatory Culture and Learning was a refreshing antidote to the overabundance of claims that libraries are no longer useful or meaningful in our society.

Buffy is intent on shifting the perception of the library, to bring back the human element and help people find themselves in the story of library. It’s about keeping the best of what we have always done, no matter what type of library, and amplifying the aspect of the library as learning space and a communal space. She explored a variety of ways to weave in the talents and passions of patrons to create a more interesting concept of what the library means—as a place for “self-excavation” and  discovery.

Buffy channels the thought leadership of Dr. David Lankes and Dr. Henry Jenkins, both of whom have promoted the concept of “participatory librarianship” and identified the conditions to make a learning space participatory. Jenkins believes that “relationships are the cornerstone of libraries and participation.”

Buffy is her own verb as she demonstrated the range of items in her participatory toolbox that she has deployed to achieve maximum participation with her students and to “ignite the conversation”:

  1. Google forms: to invite a conversation  through survey  and assessment and collect data to adjust direction and programs.
  2. Poll Everywhere: to allow learners to use mobile devices to participate by voting in real time and text polling to brainstorm ideas.
  3. Polldaddy: embed polls in a website to collect ongoing input on what’s working (or not); get user input on design and selection of learning resources and strategies.
  4. Blogging platforms and videos:  to celebrate student voices and talents and to bring in the larger (global) community with the library as the funnel.
  5. Digital storytelling: to tell multi-generational stories and build essential social connections as patrons explore stories from the community.
  6. Information dashboards: to help people become curators of knowledge and build collections of digital resources and share original content. (tools like Netvibes and Symbaloo)

There’s a lot more practical and inspiring detail in the archive. Watch for it to be posted Friday.

So let’s start the “Get libraried!” campaign. (thanks Zola for that bit of brilliance.)

What will you do to invite participation, to foster shared ownership, to make your library the place that both creates the conversation and thrives at the center of the conversation?

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