The spring semester has begun and I've gotten the chance to attend all three of my classes at least once. Monday night was Instructional Techonologies. The class spent a lot of time in a fruitful and amoebic (spread out everywhere) discussion on the massive question of how technology is changing education. One link I will share thus far - Ayiti, the cost of life - an online game funded by Microsoft Corporations US Partners in Learning designed by Global Kids and a group of high school students. If you're still not convinced that gaming can be used towards education and englightenment, give the game a try.
Tuesday night was Medical Librarianship. All semester long we will be working on one project - a porfolio of a library we've imagined. I am planning a Consumer Health Information Center in Camden County NJ, focused on nutrition. I have sooooo many ideas running around, I can't wait to put them all on paper. We're putting it together piece by piece. This week we're focusing on a mission statement, environmental assessment, and core values. I'm so pumped. We're even gonna get to floorplans and job descriptions!
Tonight is Cultural Diversity and Libraries. We read a an absolutely brilliant and comprehensive paper, Cultural Diversity: How Public Libraries Can Serve the Diversity in the Neighborhood and I'm excited to discuss it. Using examples from all over the world, the paper went piece by piece explaining what is necessary to make an impact with library service for immigrants and people of various ethnic backgrounds in the neighborhood. Perhaps the underlying theme in the paper is that even if all other work goes to plan, if there is not good leadership, a library simply cannot be successful.
So of course, an organization needing good leadership is pretty obvious. Yet it seems as if many do forget and attempt to forge ahead without support from above. Library directors and managers can make or break programs and initiatives. So many other factors need to be in place, but that I believe is the most critical. As a young librarian and likely holder of a future directorial/managerial library position in the future (I say this logically, as I will be in the field for another good 25 years) it will be my responsiblity to initate directives born from the ideals of library innovators and students... to tune into staff and support fabulous programs and innitiatives from the get-go... to push for changes that support the technologies of the time, to make sure the mission statement is consulted and updated, and to remember, "immigrant service is customer service" (Gary Strong, former director of Queens Library).