Reflection: 2.1 Analyze and Identify Needs

The reader’s advisory and reference observation assignments demonstrate my ability to analyze and identify the information needs of diverse communities of users.  These diverse information needs are represented in the assignments by the fact that they each focus on a different type of information, reference vs. reader’s advisory service.  In evaluating the techniques of other professionals performing these services, I was able to better understand what worked and what didn’t.  As a result, I better understood the concepts, principles, and techniques of reference and user services.

Both assignments also provided examples of the methods used to interact successfully with individuals to provide consultation, mediation, and guidance in their use of information, in some instances, while providing examples of what not to do in others.  For example, during the reader’s advisory interviews, one professional was fairly helpful in finding what I was looking for, albeit after a rocky start, while the other paraprofessional didn’t understand what I was asking for, and did not seem to be familiar with a basic reference interview.  The reference observation assignment provided more examples of less than helpful service.

The reader’s advisory observation also provided examples of the techniques used to retrieve, evaluate, and synthesize information.  However, the techniques the librarian relied upon seemed to be simply her own knowledge.  This technique was more successful than I would have expected, although the paraprofessional who basically did the same was much less successful.  My own exploration with online, self-service tools seemed to yield better results.

Reflection: 3.1 Design and apply policies and procedures

All three parts of the Collection Development plan, given as separate assignments but taken together, demonstrate my ability to design and apply policies and procedures that support the selection and acquisition of information resources for particular communities of users.  In this instance, the community of users the resources are selected and acquired for are those interested in reading poetry.

The plan addresses concepts and issues related to the lifecycle of the collection, from evaluating its current strength and describing the strengths that would be desired, to setting out selection and deselection criteria.  The lifecycle is further addressed in the section relating to usage stats in both Collection HQ and evergreen, as well as the discussion of in-house use.  The methods of related to acquisition and deselecting of resources recommends basing an item’s lifecycle on its usage stats.

Discussion of the features and failings of Collection HQ and Evergreen demonstrate my ability to analyze technologies.  And because vendor evaluation is based on making spoken-word poetry available in the collection, this portion of the plan demonstrates my ability to recognize and implement relevant technological improvements.

Although I do feel the plan meets the standards of the ALA Core Competencies for this criteria, I can’t really say that I feel the assignment resulted in a comprehensive, formal plan.  I think that, were I to have to create a plan “for real,” it would look a lot different, although many of the same components would be included.  I would likely expand the documents here to include something about the organization, cataloging, and classification of the collection.

Reflection: 3.2 Manage Collections

Part 3 of the Collection Development Plan and the Video Recording Collection in Omeka demonstrate my ability to manage, evaluate, and preserve virtual collections of information resources.  The plan addresses concepts, issues, and methods related to the acquisition and disposition of resources, including evaluation and selection, as well as concepts, issues, and methods related to maintenance of collections.  The catalog demonstrates my developmental, descriptive, and evaluative skills needed to organize recorded knowledge and information resources, including mastery of the systems of cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods used to organize recorded knowledge and information.

In forming evaluative questions to ask regarding the collection within the plan, I address inclusion of a wide variety of perspectives regarding age ranges, ethnicities, and classes, among other social indicators.  I also recommend considering usage statistics when acquiring or disposing of materials.  These considerations might also apply to maintenance of the collection.  However, the section on resource sharing assists in maintenance as well, in filling gaps in the collection.

I used Dublin Core to catalog the video artifacts in Omeka, including most, if not all, of the 15 standard elements, thereby displaying the descriptive skills needed to organize recorded knowledge.  This system of cataloging requires the use of metadata adhering to classification standards to organize material and make it discoverable.

Taken together these artifacts demonstrate my ability to develop and manage collections.

Reflection: 3.3 Uphold Collection Standards

The associated portion of the collection development plan, (assigned in three separate pieces) represents my understanding of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of the library and information profession, as well as the legal framework within which libraries and information agencies operate.

The plan created includes not only a mission statement focused on community needs, but incorporates elements of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights.  This portion of the plan commits to providing information to anyone without bias, either toward the requestor or toward the material requested.  It also asserts that the library will remain neutral, leaving choice of material and the responsibility for that choice, with the patron.  Additionally, the plan includes a process for requesting reconsideration of material, in order to preserve the best interests of the community as a whole, rather than catering to the preferences of one or a small group of individuals.  In this way, the library and information professionals fulfill their role in the promotion of democratic principles and intellectual freedom.

This portion of the plan also indicates an understanding of the legal framework within which libraries and information agencies operate, as it includes a fairly detailed analysis of the library’s position within the local government and the community as a whole.  The library described is a consortium member, a political division of the city, and a taxing entity.  Far from standing alone, the library is integrated with this structured, legal framework.  Taken altogether, this portion of the plan demonstrates my ability to uphold ethical and legal standards in acquiring, leasing, preserving, and providing access to information resources.

Reflection: 4.1 Perform Basic Managerial Functions

The artifacts associated with this standard demonstrate my ability to perform basic managerial functions.  One consists of a projected budget, working with a real-world example, and projecting 10% increase in funding.  The other required that I use a real-world job listing to create interview questions.

The budget assignment demonstrates my understanding of the principles of planning and budgeting in libraries and other information agencies, as well as the concepts behind, and methods for, assessment and evaluation of library services and their outcomes.  In order to project the budget with a 10% increase in funds, I needed to analyze the collection and facilities expenditures to determine how the budget could be better apportioned.  In the end, I eliminated microfilm purchases, reduced the budget for periodicals, left book purchases the same, and put most of the increase into building and equipment improvements.

The job listing assignment demonstrates my understanding of the principles of effective personnel practices and human resource development.  In crafting the interview questions, I tied talent characteristics directly to the qualifications and duties required of the open position.  I then tried to form interview questions that would reveal these characteristics.  Overall, I thought this a useful strategy for evaluating potential performance on the job, and believe the assignment prepared me fairly well for any future hiring I may have the opportunity to do.  Together with the budgeting assignment, I believe I can perform basic managerial functions with some competence.

Reflection: 4.2 Communicate Effectively to a Variety of Audiences

The associated artifacts demonstrate my understanding of the principles and methods of advocacy used to reach specific audiences to promote and explain concepts and services.  The “Social Responsibility” assignment relates the importance of advocating to and for a range of patron subgroups while focusing on the local service community.  The “Library History of Korea” assignment promotes and explains the need for significant academic study of Korean history within the field of library science to the specific audience of library historians.  Taken together, they represent my ability to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences.

Advocacy in library service can take several forms, either advocating for patrons, or for the library and its services, or both.  Communicating effectively on either party’s behalf requires understanding of both the audience advocated to, as well as the people and institutions we’re advocating for.  The ALA’s Library Bill of Rights provides a framework to assist with advocacy.  In the “Social Responsibility” artifact, I consider the recommendation to focus advocacy locally, as spreading advocacy too thin can interfere with that understanding.

Similarly, understanding of the audience advocated to and the institution advocated for applies to the Korean Library History project.  The arguments made and issues presented are tailored specifically to library historians, and focused more narrowly on Korea than the whole of library history, or even Asian library history.  I would argue that understanding of the community advocated to and for, along with a focused subject are necessary to communicate advocacy effectively to a variety of audiences, and both of my artifacts demonstrate that.

 

 

Reflection: 4.3 Apply Theories of Organizational Behavior and Structure

The associated artifacts demonstrate my ability to apply theories of organizational behavior and structure.  The Evaluation of Virtual Learning demonstrates my understanding of the role of the library in lifelong learning of patrons, including the provision of quality service and in the promotion of library services.  The Rules of Engagement assignment demonstrates my understanding of the principles of effective personnel practices and human resource development, as well as the concepts behind, issues relating to, and methods for principled, transformational leadership.

The role of the library in patrons’ lifelong learning is to assess and evaluate information, communication, assistive, and related technologies to provide access to relevant and accurate recorded knowledge and information to individuals of all ages and groups.  In assessing various virtual learning technologies from my own perspective as a lifelong learner, I have gained insight into what which technologies might work best for different types of learners.  The examined aspects, as assigned, taught me where to focus my attention when evaluating resources for patrons seeking to learn independently.

The Rules of Engagement paper, giving my evaluation of two separate research papers on management styles represents my best understanding of the principles of effective personnel practices, human resource development, and the concepts behind, issues relating to, and methods for principled, transformational leadership.  I agreed with a human-centered approach, acknowledging conflict and the existence of emotion, and offering solutions that represent “a social climate of teamwork, an expectation of mutual validation and support, and…general guidelines for keeping personal interactions functional.”  Likewise, I rejected the less-personal, data-driven graph approach to conflict management as unrealistic in practice.

Collection Development Policy Part 3

  1. Evaluation. As it has been determined that the poetry collection should focus on professionally recognized poets writing from a diverse variety of perspectives and backgrounds, and that the collection must remain current and in active use, the following questions will be considered when evaluating materials for selection or deselection.  These questions speak directly to the criteria previously stated in the collection development plan.
    1. Are a wide variety of perspectives represented in the collection, as evidenced by ages, genders, ethnicities, economic status, social classes, and geographic locations of included poets?
      1. Biographical information can be found to assist in answering this question on book jackets, personal websites, and in professional publications. Comparing this biographical information between poets already included in the collection and those under consideration for inclusion can help determine overlap or diversity of voices in and expand the depth of the collection.
      2. Samples of a poet’s work can also be found in professional publications, and on professional or personal websites. These samples again allow for comparison between poets on subject matter, tone, writing style, and perspective, to ensure there is diversity of voice and depth in the collection.
    2. Is the collection current and in active use by library patrons, as evidenced by circulation and usage statistics?
      1. The library uses CollectionHQ for detailed usage statistics. The interface clearly illustrates areas of the collection that are “high use,” “oversaturated,” “dead” or in need of a “refresh.” (CollectionHQ, 2015) Per library policy, any item that has not circulated in two years is to be discarded.  And the poetry collection can be considered current and in active use if less than 20% of items are non-circulating.
      2. The Evergreen catalog allows staff to view the last two circulation records on any item. This information includes the location where the items was checked out, whether that was at its home library or at another library in the consortium.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) If an item is getting more use from other libraries, that may be an indication that it is not relevant to the needs of local library patrons.
      3. One piece of information that is missing from our statistics is in-house use. Although Evergreen allows tracking of the total items used in-house, that information does not attach to a specific record.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) Therefore, it is impossible to know which items are being used in-house without being checked out.  This is a glaring and significant hole that needs to be filled, especially in light of our two-year limit for non-circulating items.
  2. Resource Sharing. The library has many options to fill gaps in the collection through resource sharing.
    1. As a member of the Evergreen Indiana consortium, all print items more than six months old are available to any patron of any member library. This arrangement allows local patrons to obtain titles that might not be in their home library collection.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) As such, Redwood Public Library need not retain items that haven’t circulated in more than two years.  Also, large anthologies by commonly known and historically important poets can more confidently be eliminated from the collection as they are relatively easy to obtain elsewhere.
    2. Additionally, Redwood Public Library participates in a nation-wide interlibrary loan program, whereby items can be requested of any library willing to send them. This is a useful resource for locating rare items that aren’t practical to add to the local collection.
    3. As poetry appeals to a more academic portion of the library population, this segment of the collection might be suitable for a resource sharing agreement with an academic library, particularly one with a strong creative writing program. Though the benefit to the public library is fairly clear, in terms of increased access to additional poetry titles, it is difficult to see what benefit the public library might provide the academic one.  Rather than just materials, the public library might be able to provide reception or exhibit space, or simply access for students to new audiences.

Resources

CollectionHQ. (2015). Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://www.collectionhq.com/

 Evergreen Indiana. (2015). Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://blog.evergreen.lib.in.us/?page_id=2770

Lamb, A. (2015). Resource Sharing. Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://eduscapes.com/collection/12.htm

Budget Worksheet

This assignment required that I take Crawfordsville District Public Library’s 2014 budget data and create a budget for 2015 allowing for a 10% increase in the operating budget.

JConrad Budget worksheet2

Account # Description Annual Appropriation 2014
1. Personnel Services
1.11 SALARY OF LIBRARIAN 69000 69000 1 Librarian (Director?)
1.12 SALARY OF ASSISTANTS 582500 582500 20 assistants making lowest salary range
1.13 WAGES OF JANITORS 9000 9000 These salaries seem reasonable for current economy.
1.41 FICA 59000 59000
1.42 PERF 40000 40000
1.43 HEALTH 72000 72000
1.44 UNEMPLOYMENT 6500 6500
Sub Total 838000 838000
2. Supplies
2.11 OFFICIAL RECORDS 500 500
2.12 STATIONERY, PRINT 500 500
2.13  OFFICE SUPPLIES 3000 3000
2.21 CLEANING SUPPLIES 5800 5800
2.31 REPAIR & MAINT. SUPPLIES 2500 2500
2.41 BOOK REPAIR SUPL 1000 1000
2.42  GENERAL LIB.SUPL 29005 29005
Sub Total 42305 42305
3. Other Services and Charges
3.11 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 21500 71500 Services related to bldg improvement
3.12 PROCESSING 3000 3000
3.145  DATABASE 5000 5000
3.146 E-FORMATS 10000 10000
3.21 TELECOM 39000 39000
3.22 POSTAGE 3000 3000
3.23 TRAVEUMEETINGS 5000 5000
3.24 TRASH SERVICE 3000 3000
3.31 PUBLIC NOTICES 500 500
3.32 OTHER ADVERTISING 500 500
3.41 OFFICIAL BONDS 200 200
3.42 INSURANCE 36400 36400
3.51 ELECTRICITY 95000 98000
3.53 SEWERAGE 500 520
3.54 WATER 5000 5200
3.61 BUILDING MAINTENANCE 53450 53450
3.62 EQUIPMENT REPAIR 18150 18150
3.7 RENTALS 3000 3000
3.81 DUES 1800 1800
3.83  TRANS.TO LIRF 30512 30512
Sub Total 334512 387732
4.  Capital Outlays
4.1 BLDG IMPROVEMENT 4000 79000 Library was built in 2005.  Program attendance has steadily increased.  Probably need more space, if not structural repairs.
4.2 FURNITURE & EQUIPMENT 28000 41351 Additional furniture & equip related to bldg improvement.
4.31 BOOKS 111000 111000 Circ has dropped significantly over the last two years.  But circ per total items is severely out of balance in some portions of the collection.  Need to rebalance individual collection budgets and weed, weed, weed.
4.32 PERIODICALS 12000 8000 Magazine use is up slightly from 2014, but 12,000 items had 2,000 total circs. Transferred to databases and e-formats
4.33  DVD’S & CD’S 6000 13000 Adult media circulation far exceeds item numbers – 30,000 circs on 8,000 items.
4.34 MICROFILM 3000 0 Transferred to dvds and cds.
4.36 SOFTWARE 37183 38183
Sub Total 201183 290534
Grand Total 1416000 1558571
883.00 is 10% budget increase Sources:
unaccounted for http://www.in.gov/library/5410.htm
2014 Salaries.xls
Library Facilities and Construction Status.xls
http://www.cdpl.lib.in.us/about/statistics
1416000 1558571 CDPL/CMMC Programs Five Year Comparison: 2011-2015
x.075 x.075 CDPL/CMMC Program Attendance Five-Year Comparison: 2011-2015
106200 116893 CDPL Item Circulation 2014-2015 Comparisons
2015 CDPL Item Count and Circulation
132000 132000 2015 CDPL Combined Programs Attendance
currently Maintained but could cut here. CDPL Circulation – Yearly Comparisons.
allocating about Non-Sponsored Meeting Room Usage – Yearly Comparisons
10% to collections