Years in Review
Here are my top 10 favorite librarian moments in 2023:
I attended the successful dissertation defenses of students from my liaison program, who I had the pleasure to meet with multiple times throughout their academic careers.
I co-founded the Disability, Neurodiverse, and Chronically Ill (Disability+) Faculty and Staff Association (FSA).
I co-presented on the progress of the H5P Community of Practice, which now includes representatives from almost every department in the library plus our institution's instructional design team and grant winners from the Communications Department who are developing an original open access textbook.
I became Chair of the university's Information and Instructional Technology Committee, which is grappling with questions around the role of AI in education, recommending new educational technology integrations, and streamlining workflows related to technology selection, review, and implementation.
I submitted my application for promotion to Librarian II; putting together my digital binder in SharePoint wasn't the most enjoyable process, but I did relish the opportunity to reflect on my professional values, vision, accomplishments, and dreams.
I attended my first-year conference (four years after being hired, mind you!), Accessing Higher Ground Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference. It was my first trip to Denver, Colorado—including it's airport, the largest in the USA and second largest in the world—and my first conference not focused on libraries.
I played with AI-enhanced academic literature discovery tools and presented on Research Rabbit, which integrates with Zotero, for both doctoral students and the College of Education Research Professional Learning Community. My tutorials were even created using an AI-enhanced web documentation tool.
I participated in a department team equity audit of Cook Library's strategy, structure, processes, rewards, demographics, internal and external DEI efforts, and internal and external accessibility. The individual reflection complimented by collective discussion, culminating in a focus group interview with our external consultant, was insightful and generative. Ultimately, I enter the new year more hopeful than ever about the future of belonging and social justice work at Cook.
I facilitated 16 workshops related to digital pedagogy or edtech for my colleagues in and beyond the library and campus, not including any tech-oriented consults for individuals. I'm getting pretty good at this, if I do say so myself!
I revised my job description and moved from the department of Research & Instruction to Library IT. It's too soon to tell yet how the evolution of my role and responsibilities will impact my long-term success and satisfaction, hence why this is number 10, but... No regrets so far :-)
Here are my top 10 favorite librarian moments in 2022:
I designed and co-taught a credit-bearing course called LIBR 100: The Information Experience. I used my personal experiences, professional development, and critical digital pedagogy to create a positive and engaging learning environment for 23 undergraduate students. I provided feedback and flexible deadlines, and adjusted lesson plans to address real-world issues and diverse perspectives.
I co-presented at a national-level conference on ADA accommodations in academic libraries.
I facilitated virtual usability testing for our Academic Commons website and made recommendations to improve it. Recommendations included how to order the services listed as well as name changes to reflect library values and student perspectives.
I had repeat meetings with several graduate students who are progressing their disssertation planning, proposal, and writing. It's always a thrill to share strategies and tools for the information search, source tracking, active reading, and writing processes... and these folks are doing exceptional work while raising critical questions, which means I'm learning right along with them!
I connected with other distance and online learning librarians as co-chair for two ACRL DOLS committees (Anti-racism & EDI plus Research & Publications) as well as Executive Committee member.
I completed certifications in Adult Mental Health First Aid USA (through Mental Health First Aid Trainings), Foundations of the Americans with Disabilities ACT (through Southeast ADA Center), and ADA Title II (through Southeast ADA Center) as well as researcher proficiency with certification in Social & Behavioral Research (through CITI Program).
I published January Guest Forum “Do right when you cite: Teaching and modeling the politics of citation" for Informed Librarian Online, which prompted a library department-wide discussion on the topic as well as past, present, and future teaching practices.
I co-led the Cook Library Accessibility Team, addressing access needs and issues, creating accessible syllabi recommendations, and advocating for people with disabilities.
I co-facilitated the H5P Community of Practice to promote adoption of this tool across library departments.
I served as a Blackboard Ultra Champion, helping instructors, librarians, and students use this new version of our institutional learning management system more effectively.
Here are my top 10 favorite librarian moments in 2021:
Conducting the library's first ever virtual usability testing by exploring how new students navigate the library website.
Co-facilitating my first post-MLIS presentation "Less resilience, more resistance: The persistence of ableism at work " at Library Instruction Tennessee. This interactive presentation brought together three early career disabled library workers including myself and my advocate supervisor.
Every single meeting with students previously unwilling to seek library supports due to anxiety and previous discrimination. These meetings were possible through active prioritization of inclusive learning experiences through universal design for instruction including: 1) self disclosing experiences with disability, essential employee work status, and housing insecurity; 2) promoting equitable use by providing multiple ways to access information by creating accessible, digital-first materials such as handouts with fillable fields, LibGuides, web resources, and videos all easily discoverable through Blackboard; 3) modeling flexibility in use and inviting multiple ways to engage with the content, each other, and myself as instructor; and 4) keeping the lesson as simple as possible, inviting students to vote on potential activities and learning outcomes to emphasize overall community and individual agency.
Publishing three reflective essays with Informed Librarian Online.
Facilitating an interactive conversation on "Self Advocacy, Preservation, and Morale in Work and School" with student library workers.
Recommending a long-time student to the NIH Postbaccalaureate IRTA Program.
Partnering with the Graduate Student Organization to plan and facilitate a new program, "Citation Styles for Student Scholars," that explores the spirit of citations vs the grading of them.
Advancing the development and ultimately approval of the library's first credit-bearing information literacy course.
Participating in my first ACRL #DOLSTop5 Twitter chat on COVID-19 Pandemic: A Year in Review (contributions visible at bit.ly/DOLSTop5chats).
Managing Cook Library's public YouTube channel, including scripting, recording, editing captions, and creating Tables of Contents for new videos as well as rebranding and reorganizing page layout.