Competency H - Statement and Evidence
Portfolio of Cathleen Elizabeth Ash
demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities;
Have a question? Type it in AskJeeves (www.ask.com). Need to know how something works? Type a keyword in HowStuffWorks (www.howstuffworks.com). Don't even know where to start? Ask a librarian! You can do this via a number of methods:
- pick up the phone and call your local branch
- go to a library in person and speak to someone face-to-face
- get online and talk to a reference librarian via chat
- (future) tell the wall in your home you wish to speak to a librarian and then have a discussion with the Librarian's hologram
It's amazing where technology has brought us - so quickly, so definitively. In the not-so-distant-past, a user would have had to slog through mud, on a horse, for days, to get to a library where a small repertoire of information might be stored. Today, a click of the mouse opens doors that weren't even dreamed of one hundred years ago. What will tomorrow bring? Probably even more options. It's critical, especially in these days of ever-increasing technological advances, to stay on top of the resources available for information sharing.
As of this writing, one of the greatest tools available for a user, the most easy to use, the friendliest for those raised in an "Instant Message" environment, is access to a Reference Librarian with the click of a key (or a mouse). Most public libraries now offer some form of Chat Reference service. I found it easy to use, and have recommended to my students that they use when they have questions during non-school hours. Some of them have done so, and all reports have been favorable. My own interview experience with an online chat librarian was also favorable (see Chat Vs. the Human Touch).
As more and more information becomes available, it is even more necessary to be able to search well. Not all users are familiar with the myriad databases of information, or how to use each one. The reference librarian is crucial to their success. Even as a soon-to-be-librarian, I was amazed at the plethora of resources available - both free and fee-based - via the Internet. The information-seeking strategies I employ have been boosted by my experience with many of these resources (see Reference - LIBR210).
It is not necessary for all users to know all of these strategies and reference resources, but they do need to have access and an understanding of how to use the major ones. To help them with that, I have created a number of "how-to" manuals online for them to use (AC Library and WebCat training, How-to-Cite training). Libraries are not the only place where technology can be used to engage end-users in learning, retrieving or clarifying information. I have created a game using Flash technology that helps the users understand verbs (Jeopardy - see below).
While all of these technological advances have increased our ability to gain access to information, it's critical to continue to access and try new technologies, seeking better ways to provide for our users.
AC Library Training Online movie created to show students best ways to access county library information services online. Note: this is a large file (6+ meg), please be patient as it downloads. Freshman orientation movie detailing how to use online catalog in the library. Citation Machine/MLA Training for all grades on how to use online tool to assist in creation of MLA citations. Jeopardy Interactive FLASH game to teach verbs and their use. YA Annotations Reviews of literature for YA adults in an easy-to-access online format. IISME Fellowship & Grant As part of an IISME Fellowship, I applied for and received $1,000 to use purchase video production equipment.