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

Social Responsibility

The following was a group discussion post in response to a prompt on social responsibility:

Relating involvement with social issues directly to librarianship (i.e., meeting the information needs of the patron community, rather than promoting literacy) is not at all limiting. Additionally, librarians need not become actively engaged in the human dignity and social conditions in which human culture overall develops, but rather become actively engaged in the human dignity, social conditions, and culture of the local patron community. Therefore, librarians must devote themselves to advocating the views of the patron community on local effects of major social issues, such as gay rights, poverty, etc.

It is truly naive to think anyone can remain neutral and be divorced from the social context within which they operate. Even attempting to remain neutral is a politically biased act. When the needs of the community are in conflict, the organization and the staff can mitigate bias by doing its best to meet the needs of as many as possible, and act in a manner which causes the least amount of harm. Personal misgivings can be assuaged by focusing on quality information and engagement from all sides of an issue, especially those with which one personally disagrees. Simply staking out a position, no matter how ethically forthright, leads to organizational obsolescence, unless that position is in line with community needs.

The ALA’s Library Bill of Rights even directs itself to “all of the people of the community the library serves,” not society as a whole, human culture as a whole, or the general population of any specific country or state. If we are following its policies as they pertain to our communities, libraries cannot help become engaged in its social and political issues.

Reflection: 5.1 Represent and Organize Resources

The associated assignments demonstrate my ability to understand principles of representation and organization.  The FRBR catalog assignment required that I catalog several items on my shelf according to FRBR principles.  The Authority Control assignment required that I locate authority headings for various people, places, corporate entities and subjects.

In creating the FRBR catalog entries for titles on my shelf, I needed to understand group entities.  I was then able to offer descriptions for each group.  Within the Group 1 entities, I described the work, offered several examples of expression and manifestation of the work, and designated the item at the collection level.  Group 2 entities consist of names relating to the production of the work: authors, illustrators, publishers; individual names or names of corporations. Group 3 entities consist of keywords related to the subject of the work: concepts, places, plot-points, characters, tropes, etc., including those terms that fell under Group 1 and 2; anything that might somehow relate to the work that might provide a reasonable search term.  I thoroughly and completely utilized the principles involved in the organization and representation of recorded knowledge and information in this assignment, demonstrating mastery of FRBR cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods, earning 100% on the assignment, and an instructor comment of “Great work.  Well done.”

The Authority File assignment also demonstrates mastery of systems of cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods used to organize recorded knowledge and information, in this instance, from the opposite perspective, looking at the cataloged information to identify a work, rather than defining a work to create a catalog entry.  As I have successfully completed these assignments requiring developmental, descriptive, and evaluative skills needed to organize recorded knowledge and information sources both backward and forward, I feel I have demonstrated mastery of the “Represent and Organize Resources” program goal.

6.1 Execute Research Principles

These evaluative exercises from the Introduction to Research course demonstrate my understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as the principles and methods used to assess the actual and potential value of new research.

Operationalization allows abstract concepts to be made concrete and measurable, or quantitative.  In the “Operationalizing Neighborliness” assignment, I break down the process of turning the abstract concept of neighborliness into quantitative, measurable characteristics.  This process is one of the fundamentals of quantitative research.

The remaining documents demonstrate assessment of the actual and potential value of the research papers they discuss.  The “Hypothesis and Testing” assignment and the “Sex Sells Analysis” assignment require that I answer a series of pointed questions intended to teach students to recognize areas of focus for analysis in the associated research.  The final of the four included assignments, “Content Analysis: NFL Inclusivity” requires that I complete a research analysis on my own.  The final class assignment, which I chose not to include here as I’ve used it in other areas of the portfolio, was a complete literature review.

This course and these assignments have helped me perfect my ability to analyze complex problems and create appropriate solutions, not only in regard to formal, academic research, but also in regard to defining service population groups and determining community needs.  Appropriate solutions, then, in the form of programs and services to patrons, evolve from that analysis.  I regularly put these skills to use in writing service plans that require statistical analysis of the local community, and expect to continue to do so in the future.

7.1 Implement Information Technologies

This plan for implementing a makerspace in an urban public library demonstrates my ability to understand and act on national and international social, public, information, economic, and cultural policies and trends of significance to the library and information profession.  Makerspaces have become the standard in many community libraries for providing STEM or STEAM literacy education.  As this trend continues to build momentum it is important that it reach communities that might not otherwise have access to emerging technologies.

Within the plan, I apply methods of assessing and evaluating the specifications, efficacy, and cost efficiency of technology-based products and services.  Ultimately, the assessment recommends forgoing a makerspace in favor of other, more basic patron needs that were, at that time, unmet.  The budget for materials, however, comes in well under the $10,000.00 allotted, while still providing opportunities for technology education.  The extra funds can either be redirected toward early literacy, earmarked for replacing consumables, or directed toward bringing in technology presentations from partner organizations.  Yet, the materials to be purchased are well suited to matching the tech-literacy needs of an under-employed, adult service population as indicated by the evaluation of local population statistics.

Focusing the services and materials of the space toward this segment of the community, instead of toward children or teens who have more access to technology education through their public schools than do impoverished adults with little-to-no post-secondary education, represents the outcome of an impact assessment on current and emerging situations or circumstances related to the design and implementation of appropriate services or resource development.  This also demonstrates an appropriate response to diversity in user needs, user communities, and user preferences.