All good things must come to an end and it is my final blog post for SI 643 class.
Thinking back on a whole SI643 class, I think I can sum it up as two major issues: Information literacy and effective learning. At first, it was kind of a puzzle to me why we needed to think about effective learning of students as well as patrons because I thought that the main task of a librarian is to provide precise information that patrons want in efficient ways. I, however, learned from this class that a library is not only a place to find reading materials or to provide information based on a patron’s query but also a place to provide life-long education to our patrons to improve their information literacy. In this view, librarians need to keep updating their knowledge about new technologies and also effective teaching methods. Yet, learning new technology and improving teaching methods are not easy tasks at all. Fortunately, some libraries provide long-term technology workshop sessions for librarians so they can learn new technology and teaching methods. This week’s readings, Semadini (2008), Blowers and Reed (2007), and Fontichiaro (2008), all provide many good strategies to follow when we conduct these long-term sessions for librarians. For instance,
- Before preparing a series of workshop for librarians, try to assess in advance what they know and what they don’t know.
- If you have to teach relatively large group of audience, provide online tutorials to them so they can practice by themselves.
- Some incentives (e.g. rewards for completion of tasks) will increase participants’ motivation to learn new technology.
- Increase the skill level from easy to difficult, so they can easily follow the instruction.
- Allow participants to respond anonymously, then you can learn what they really think about the tasks.
- Encourage participants to work together.
- Continuously encourage them to practice and play.
- Instructors need to adjust the contents of presentation based on what participants need to know.
These strategies will be very helpful for those who want to develop a workshop for long-term informational program for librarians.