Competency J

Standard

Introduction

Students in SJSU Ischool’s graduate program must be able to “describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors”  in order to demonstrate their grasp of information sciences, their preparedness to become an information professional, and to prove that they have a firm grasp of this core competency. Understanding the behaviors that surround information-seeking and querying information is imperative to performing effectively in a multitude of information professions, “If you’re a librarian trying to facilitate information seeking, it’s important to have the process in the back of your mind as you engage in a reference interview” (Bell, 2015). Understanding the fundamentals of information-seeking allows information professionals to connect information to users more effectively. Knowing the motivations behind information-seeking and the type of behaviors that users present when seeking information can be extremely beneficial to information professionals when trying to address users’ needs more effectively. Once information professionals understand why and how users seek information we can optimally assist them with finding and using information. According to Chowdhury’s (2010) description of Kulthau’s model of information seeking she views information seeking, ” as a process of construction in which users progress from uncertainty to understanding”.

Understanding the fundamentals of information-seeking behaviors allows information professionals to understand what motivates people to seek information and the techniques or approaches that information seekers use when looking for information. Understanding these fundamental concepts is critical to designing interfaces for effective retrieval, selecting databases, collection development, information management, and many other aspects of the information science field. Belkin (2000) describes why users seek information, “When people engage in information-seeking behavior, it’s usually because they are hoping to resolve some problem, or achieve some goal, for which their current state of knowledge is inadequate”.  Information-seeking behavior is driven by an information need. Connecting users with an information need for information is the job of an information professional. Understanding that when people approach an information desk or message a virtual chat service they come seeking information for a particular purpose. We need to ascertain their purpose and fulfill their information needs in order to provide effective service. The same is true when users log in to use a library database or when searching an OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog).

Information users access their mental schema to draw upon information that they have already learned and understand. They use this information as a basis to seek out new information and build upon their current knowledge, “People actively and constantly construct their view of the world by assimilating and accommodating new information with what they already know or have experienced” (Kuhlthau, 1991, p.362). All individuals approach information seeking and filter information through their own personal point of view or knowledge base. These vary from person to person because people have different environments, life experiences, and previous knowledge prior to beginning a search. In order for an individual to make sense out of information, the system must consider the user in its design or in the case of reference questions or information literacy instruction must consider a user’s background knowledge when trying to connect them with appropriate information, “the effectiveness of information retrieval must consider the integration of results into the user’s own life as well as the user’s evaluation of the usefulness of the information for the resolution of the problem”(Kuhlthau, 1991, p.361).  Understanding a user’s information need, the context of the information need, the purpose of the need, and the background knowledge that a user has related to the information is essential to providing relevant information to a user. Information professionals need to ascertain this information from users in order to formulate the best approach to assisting a user. As stated by Bell (2015), “Understanding the information-seeking process also helps to inform your whole strategy of questioning in the reference interview (e.g., the use of “open” and “closed” questions) and helps to ensure greater satisfaction on both sides: librarian and patron”. Tailoring assistance to user’s needs while keeping in mind the processes they use to seek information allows databases, or collections, or information professionals providing reference services to maximize the ability to meet the user’s needs.

Information-seeking behaviors have been searched by professionals in library and information fields for decades. Bell (2015) explains that,

 “Information-seeking literature can be characterized as belonging to one of two groups: the theoretical, which discusses the topic in abstract terms and seeks to define it in terms of structured models, and the applied, which discusses it in terms of real-world observations and interactions”.

There are many models that attempt to define or explain the human behaviors related to information-seeking.There are many existing models of information-seeking behaviors that have been formulated by professionals in the library and information science field. These models of  information-seeking behavior attempt to explain the users approaches related to information-seeking. One such model that is widely referenced is Kuhlthau’s (1991) model of information stages which describes the state that exist in the process of searching for information in relation to the writing process.  Kuhlthau’s (1991) model presents information seeking in a six stage process of initiation, selection, exploration, formulation, collection, and presentation. This behavior model has influenced research in the field and continues to be utilized as Bell (2015) explains that in later literature about information seeking behaviors Kuhlthau’s model (1991) was expanded and enhanced by exploring the emotional aspects that accompany each state:

State Task Emotions
 

Initiation

Recognize a need for information Uncertainty, apprehension
Selection Identify and select a general topic or approach. Optimism
Exploration Need to locate information about a topic, become informed, integrate new information with previously held constructs, reconcile sources providing inconsistent or incompatible information Increased confidence, sense of clarity
Formulation Focus, personalize topic by identifying and selecting ideas from all the information retrieved. Increased confidence, sense of clarity
Collection Gather information related to the restated, focused topic; clearer sense of direction allows for more efficient, relevant interactions with information systems. Confidence increases, interest in project increases, uncertainty subsides.
Presentation Prepare presentation of findings. Relief, satisfaction (or disappointment if search has not gone well)

Information professionals need to be equipped with the understanding of the emotional and cognitive tasks related to information seeking so they can better identify the stage of information seeking that a user presents so they can facilitate positive movement through these processes, stages, tasks, and emotions. In order to provide information users with the relevant information so they can form new understanding and process new information to build knowledge.

Evidence

INFO 200 blog #2 on Information seeking behaviors

INFO 200 Blog assignment #3 interview with a information community member

INFO 210 Reader Advisory Assignment

My first piece of evidence information is the blog that I did for INFO 200 on information-seeking behaviors. Students in this course were required to write a blog about an information community of their choosing. This blog post assignment was to describe the information-seeking behaviors of the information community that I chose. In this assignment I chose parents of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder as a community. In this assignment I described the information-seeking behaviors that are typical of this community and defined the information needs of this community. I included this assignment as evidence because it demonstrates my fundamental understanding of information-seeking behaviors related to a specific information community.

The second piece of evidence is my blog assignment #3 from my INFO 200 course on information Communities. Students in this course were assigned to write a blog about an information community. The students were asked to choose an information community to write about in a blog. This blog post assignment students were asked to interview members of that community to gain a better understanding of the information needs and their information-seeking behaviors. In this blog I interviewed two different members of the information community that I chose to ascertain how they use libraries, what information needs they have, where they seek information, and how they seeking information related to their community. I included this blog as evidence of my understanding of interviewing information users to gain a better understanding of their information-seeking behaviors and process of an information community.

The final piece of evidence I included is my reader advisory assignment from my INFO 210 course of Reference services. Students in this course were given the assignment of discussing the behaviors related to reader advisory and determine a strategy for helping a patron find a good book. Students were asked to identify, assess, and characterize the function of various types of reference. Students were asked to conduct a reference interview and generate a list of recommendations. In this assignment I discussed the recent trend of reader advisory in academic libraries. I discussed the reference interview and the information seeking behaviors related to reader advisory reference. I describe the features of Goodreads and NoveList as resources for assisting with reader advisory.  I then used a combination of NoveList and Goodreads to compile a list of books that were similar to a book called Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  These books either include stories about witches, vampires, historical fiction, magic, fantasy, time travel or are written by the same author. I included this assignment as evidence because it demonstrates my understanding of information seeking behaviors related to providing reader advisory assists to library patrons.

Conclusion

Identifying and understanding the process that individuals move through to construct knowledge and discover information is vital to understanding how to assist patrons as an information professional. The evidence I provided demonstrates my understanding of information behaviors within a specific information community and how information-seeking behaviors relate to reference services. Serving one’s user whether in person or via computers such as through interfaces appropriately takes a fundamental understanding of the processes and emotions that user’s experience when seeking information. It’s necessary to understand the cognitive approaches and stages that users move through in the process of information-seeking.  When an information professional understands the motivation and approaches that are utilized by users they become more proficient in assisting users to develop strategies, select interfaces, designing interfaces, developing collections, designing information literacy instruction, and providing relevant information to their users. Understanding the fundamental concepts of information-seeking is has prepared me to become a successful information professional that can efficiently connect users to information via multiple mediums through understanding information seekers and their behaviors related to information-seeking.

Source

Belkin, N. (2000). Helping people find what they don’t know. Communications of the ACM, 43(8), 58-61.

Bell, S. S. (2015). Librarian’s guide to online searching (4th ed.) [Kindle DX version].

Chowdhury, G. G. (2010). Introduction to modern information retrieval. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

Chowdhury, G. G., & Chowdhury, S. (2011). Information Users and Usability in the Digital Age. London: Facet Publishing.

Kuhlthau, C. (1991). Inside the search process: Information seeking from the user’s perspective. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42(5), 361-371.

Competency I

Standard

Introduction

 

Students in the SJSU iSchool’s graduate programs must demonstrate their ability to use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information;

Providing excellent customer services to our users is at the forefront of an information professionals position regardless of the type of information organization that employs them. Using services concepts and customer service skills to ensure we are providing our users with the accurate, relevant, and appropriate information is the at one of the core values of the information profession. Providing excellent service in libraries requires a staff that puts service at the forefront of their duties. According to Evans & Alire (2013) “Staff, paid and volunteers translate a library’s strategic plan into services and collections for the community”. Information professionals are in a service position and tend to be the public face of libraries. We are the individuals who interact with patrons daily and these interactions translate into public opinions about libraries. Making service skills and understanding service principals an essential part of librarianship. As described by Evans & Alire (2013) how library staffs “determine how the users and community view the library. All the other resources, no matter how rich they may be can’t, in the long term, overcome poor staffing poor in the sense of skills and attitudes about one small word: service”. Information professionals need excellent customer service skills to be an advocate for libraries. When patrons leave the library having a positive experience it leads to a positive feeling about the library and makes it more likely that patrons will return to the library for their information needs.

Understanding the importance of good customer service skills is essential to connect users with information. In this digital age of patrons who have grown up with using technology it is harder than ever to for information professionals to demonstrate to information users the importance of utilizing and gathering accurate and appropriate information according to Bell (2015) “To sort out these more difficult questions and elicit useful information from people who convince that they are already good searchers who have done everything possible, you need all your best communication and people skills”. In order to connect users to information, we must have the customer service skills requires establishing a foundation of comfort and trust with our users. Conversation skills are needed to actively listen and respond to our customers. Before information professionals can connect users to the information they need they must first understand what information a user’s needs.

In order to assist our users with their information needs, we need to understand what techniques are applicable to providing good customer service skills.  Cassell & Hiremath (2013) recommend a six-step approach to conducting a seamless and productive reference interview: (1) establish a rapport with the user, (2) negotiate the question, (3) develop a successful search strategy, (4) locate and evaluate information, (5) ensure the question is fully answered, and (6) close the interview. Following these steps can help information professionals ensure they are meeting the needs of their users accurate, efficiently, and appropriately.  This six-step approach was based on the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) guidelines for providing reference services also have suggestions for providing reference service to effective and efficient service to patrons.  These are best practices designed for reference professionals, but they are applicable to many positions within libraries and information organizations.  According to the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers (2013)the five main areas of behavioral performance are:

  1. Visibility/Approachability
  2. Interest
  3. Listening/Inquiring
  4. Searching
  5. Follow Up

These guidelines have been updated to include guidelines for virtual reference services. The same five main areas of performance have stayed the same, but they have added sections for general, in-person, and remote reference.  These are the essential skills needed to provide service to users regardless of the methods they are using to ask for assistance. Although, the need modification related to the mode of services being utilized such as in-person or virtual the basic concepts of service are the same. Being friendly, approachable, and engaging helps draw people into the reference desk. In virtual services, this can be translated into responding quickly with a friendly greeting. According to Gallo (2012) ” A customer’s perception of their experience begins to be formed in the first ten seconds of an interaction. Make those seconds count”. The old adage you catch more flies with honey is applicable to service-orient skills in the information professions having a smiling, warm, and polite persona invites users to seek your assistance. We cannot help the users who will not approach us because we look busy or unfriendly.

Being interested and attentive to the user while they are speaker is also important to providing excellent service to our users. Many individuals would recommend making eye contact with your users to demonstrate interest. I believe this is an oversimplified and not responsive to diverse cultures we serve. Understanding that eye contact can make individuals from a myriad of cultures feel uncomfortable as well as individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although as Cassell & Hiremath (2013) states a librarian should ask, “open-ended questions such as these: Please tell me more about your topic. What do you want to know about the topic? What additional information can you give me?”. Asking open-ended and closed-ended questions until an information professional clarifies the needs of their users is not only an excellent reference skill it is also an excellent listening and service skill. Not interrupting a patron while they are explaining their needs and waiting patiently for a user to respond to any follow-up questions are inherently important to have effective communication as well as exceptional services skills. Following up and providing feedback to the user is also important to providing our patron with outstanding service. Letting our users know that they can come back to use our services again and ensure that their needs have been met by eliciting their feedback. Leave the users with a way to contact you if they have more questions or need further explanation. These skills are applicable to many types service that information professionals provide to users.

Keeping in mind your users when providing service is important to providing good service to information seekers. In an academic library faculty, staff, and students have extremely varied information needs and the service you provide them needs to adjust accordingly. Keeping in diverse groups of information users when providing customer service skills and understanding cultural differences in our users also helps us to provide excellent service to our patrons.  The easy access of information to users increases the need for information professionals to provide efficient, accurate, and thorough information as well application of appropriate service techniques and principals.

Evidence

INFO 210 Future of Reference

Info 210 Reference Observations

INFO 210 Practice reference questions #2

My first piece of evidence is my Future of Reference assignment from my INFO 210 Reference Service course. Students in this course were required to describe the relationships between user needs, information resources, and relevant
information technologies. The assignment also asked students to describe current issues and trends in reference services, including the impact of technology on user needs and reference interactions. The assignment asks students to evaluate reference services that address the needs of a diverse and changing society. The future of reference assignment was to look ahead to the role of reference in a rapidly changing world, you will read several articles about the future of reference and write a short paper describing your personal view of how you think reference service will evolve to support users in the years ahead. In my paper, I reflected on how technology has impacted libraries and library service models. I also began to construct a philosophy regarding reference and reference services. I included this as evidence because it demonstrates my understanding of service skills and techniques as they relate to reference services.

Click here to read the assignment

My second piece of evidence is my Reference Observation assignment from my INFO 210 Reference Services course.  Students in this course were required to “secret shop” librarian in several different ways. Students were required to go to a library and ask a reference question and observe the librarian’s application of reference interview skills. The assignment required us to do an in-person observation as well as a virtual observation. Then go to a library and observe reference personnel providing service to patrons. Then identify how these librarians were implementing the guidelines determined by RUSA. I “secret shopped” a local public library and asked a reference question related to the STEM field. I then used a question I was asked at the community college library to “secret shop” the Library of Congress’s virtual chat service. Then I compared the service to the guidelines present by RUSA. Then I observed a librarian at a local community college conduct a reference interview and discussed how they incorporated the guidelines into their reference interview. I included this assignment because it demonstrates my understanding service concepts, principals, and techniques as they related to reference services.

Click here to read

My final piece of evidence is my practice reference questions assignment #2 from my INFO 210 Reference Services course. Students in this course were required to answer practice reference questions utilizing the service skills and principals that were demonstrated in our lectures and textbook. We were to provide citations and search strategies for locating materials for a particular user. I provide an introduction to how I would approach answering the question, strategies I used in finding the answer, and my answer to the reference question. I included this assignment as an evidence to my understanding of how to provide information to a user that is accurate, appropriate, and relevant while implementing proper services techniques.

Click here to read

Conclusion

In my experience providing customer service at the circulation desk, periodicals desk, reception at a hotel, and answering questions at Barnes and Noble in the early years of my career. These positions provided me with a basis for understanding how to provide outstanding customer service skills to users. However, my education in information science has helped me to gain a greater understanding of the techniques needed to provide your users with the information they need and keep them coming back for more assistance. Listening, knowing your users, being approachable, probing, asking for feedback, and following up are all vital to giving your customers an experience they want to relive. Implementing proper service models can make a difference on having an information organization that patrons want to visit and one that levels a negative impression on the community members. Librarians left an early positive impression on me and impacted my life for the better. The first book I ever read independently was put in my hands by kind librarian and that lead me to seek assistance from librarians in high school and college. Continued positive reinforcement over the years from my interactions with librarians lead me to love libraries and advocate for them throughout my life. Ensuring that there are future generations that grow to love libraries start with information professionals that provide users of all ages with positive experiences that encourage them to love libraries too. In my future as an information professional, I will apply all I have learned to ensure that patrons leave with an exceptional experience and impression of information professionals.

Sources

Bell, S. S. (2015). Librarian’s guide to online searching: Cultivating database skills for research and instruction (4th ed.) [Kindle DX version].

Cassell, K. A., & Hiremath, U. (2013). Reference and information services: An introduction (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Gallo, C. (2012, May 16). Apple store’s secret sauce: 5 steps of service. Retrieved November 4, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2012/05/16/apple-stores-secret-sauce-5-steps-of-service-video/#37d86b572bb7

Evans, G.E., & Alire, C.A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals (3rd ed.) [Kindle Fire version]. Available from Amazon.com

Reference and User Services Association. (2013). Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/guidelinesbehavioral

 

service

 

 

Competency G

Standard

Competency G

Competency G: Demonstrate an understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a clientele.

Statement of Understanding of Competency G: Today’s information professionals face an unprecedented challenge. Patrons not only have access to an extraordinary amount of information but have ever-evolving resources to access it. “Libraries and information services have long practiced a number of techniques for organizing information resources of various kinds, but the proliferation of digital material is bringing in new challenges every day, demanding new and improved tools and techniques.” (Chowdhury & Chowdhury, 2007).  For thousands of years, information professionals have been tasked with identifying information and organizing it into a collection that can be readily accessed by their patrons.

Modern information professionals have a variety of platforms they can utilize to facilitate information access and retrieval; to include search engines, e-books, meta-search engines, online databases, and other systems for making information accessible to patrons. Each information tool or system presents unique challenges regarding organizing information and facilitating patrons access the desired information without being inundated with information that is not relevant to their information needs. “modern-day approaches to cataloguing by using standard principles and practices is only a few hundred years old, and the most recent developments took place over the past few decades.” (Chowdhury & Chowdhury, 2007). The ability to understand how to use metadata to identify and mark information, build metadata schemas that facilitate classifying and cataloging information into a useful digital resource, and designing systems that meet ever-increasing information needs is essential for information professionals. According to Chowdhury (2010), there are several definitions of metadata:

  1. Metadata describes various attributes of a resource
  2. Metadata describes a discrete data object
  3. Metadata provides the users with some useful knowledge about the existences of records and their characteristics
  4. Metadata describes the content, format and/or attributes of an information resource

Understanding metadata is vital to being able to identify and mark materials to classify and catalog materials into a usable format or searchable collection. The proliferation of information in this digital age has made understanding how to organize information critical for information professionals. Creating metadata schemas to structure a system that organizes information that can be easily be searched by information seekers is a necessary skill that information professionals need to develop new methods for cataloging digital data. It is necessary to understand the principals of cataloging to understand how to retrieve information from library collections. Understanding how materials are cataloged aids information professionals in organizing data and effectively retrieving data from a library’s collection. According to Chowdury (2010) cataloging involves 4 different processes:

  1. Description of the information resource
  2. Choice of access points
  3. Choice of headings
  4. References

Understanding the processes and principals that makeup cataloging allows information professionals to utilize and create information retrieval systems that make information accessible to information users. Information professionals need to understand how to gather information, create access points, standardize formats, and link access points in order to catalog materials or data. Understanding the principals behind cataloging is a necessary skill for information professionals in this digital age because it will serve as a foundation to derive new technologies and tools that will allow information organization to catalog, archive, and preserve the large about of data that now exists in this era of user-generated content. These skills will continue to be in demand and applicable to information professionals as information continues to rapidly generate.

Coursework Contributing to the Understanding of Competency G:

My understanding of Competency G was gained from knowledge imparted to me in my classes at San Jose State University.

Info246 (Advanced Information Technology Tools) focused on using PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) and SQL (Structured Query Language) to design websites that allow users to access and query information, facilitate searching online text, control access to the website, design, and use metadata schemas. In this class, we created a website that allowed the user to add and delete patrons, authored coding that manipulated an online book publishing database, and gained knowledge on how online databases are created, function, and organized.

To satisfy Competency G, I submit the following evidence:

INFO246 Exercise 4.3 html

INFO246 Exercise 4.3_PHP

INFO246 Assignment 4 HTML

INFO246 Assignment 4 PHP

INFO246 Assignment 5

Evidence E-1: INFO246 – Exercise #4-3

Exercise #4-3

My first piece of evidence is exercise 4-3 from INFO 246 Advanced Information Technology Tools. The assignment was to author a program using HTML that would organize baseball teams by years and win total. I accurately used HTML markers to describe data points and present them in a digital format. I included this piece of evidence in my portfolio because it demonstrates my understanding of using metadata to classify and organize data into an easily understood digital format. The skills gained in this assignment allowed me to have a clear understanding of how to create metadata schema that will provide information to clientele in a digital format.

Evidence E-2: INFO246 – Assignment #4

Assignment #4

My second piece of evidence is assignment 4 from my INFO 246 class (Advanced Information Technology Tools). This assignment asked the students in INFO 246 to create a PHP program that organized information and converted it into a digital format. I authored a PHP program that provided structure and context to the provided resource. My program specified data elements, provided descriptions of those elements, and facilitated information retrieval from a specified element. I included this piece of evidence in my portfolio because it demonstrates my understanding of how to design and create a system that effectively provides users with useful knowledge and the existence of records. The assignment clearly demonstrates my ability to create systems that are capable of classifying and cataloging collections, identifying, and managing collection and patron records.

Evidence E-3: LIBR246 – Assignment #5

Assignment #5

My third piece of evidence is assignment 5 from INFO 248 Advanced Information Technology Tools. The assignment was to solve problems posed by the instructor using SQL. The teacher assigned students to create a table that defined resources while specifying attributes of each element. The exercise demonstrates the ability to use SQL to establish information architecture, databases, and manage content. Through this exercise, I gained an understanding of how to facilitate interoperability between resource environments, create an electronic database that will organize information effectively, ensure, track, and control the content in the resource, and provide intuitive functions for users.  I included this piece of evidence in my portfolio because it demonstrates my understanding of how to create a system that ensures interoperability between digital and nondigital content by identifying data points and defining resource characteristics that meet patrons needs. I have learned how to create a system that creates or update records for a collection, as well as differentiate and account for the varying relationships between data points.

Conclusion:

The skills that I have acquired from San Jose State University in digital technologies have been vitally important to my future as an information professional. The course I have taken have given me a knowledge using technology to digitally classify and catalogue information, digitize large records and data points, design a unique system that is tailored to the needs of the clientele that utilize the collections managed by the system, and the ability to adjust the system requires in such a manner that would ensure interoperability between the ever-increasing amount of formats information users can access.

References:

Chowdhury, G. G. (2010). Introduction to modern information retrieval. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

Chowdhury, G. G., & Chowdhury, S. (2007). Organizing Information: From the Shelf to the Web. London: Facet Publishing.

Competency F

Standard

Introduction

Students at San Jose State University are required to demonstrate competency in the ability to use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.  My time at San Jose State University has given me an understanding of the principals and practices related to collection development and management. Beginning with the understanding that one-way collection development can be described it as the “thoughtful process of developing or building a library collection in response to institutional priorities and community or user needs and interests” (Johnson, 2014). Recognizing that a library’s collection must be usable to its patrons and that managing a collection requires information professionals to work under constraints set by either their institutions, communities, or users is essential to effectively develop and maintain a library’s collection.

There are many concerns to take into consideration relating to collection development in the twenty-first century. Library collections are no longer simply physical collections with often the digital collections now surpassing the physical one’s magazines that once were available in print are stored online with very few available in print (Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton, 2014 p. 2).  As collections change and expand new issues arise with collection development. The outdated ideas about development and maintenance of collections no longer are as relevant. Space limitation is no longer as much of a concern for libraries as it was when collections were mainly physical now with the increase of technology getting digital copies of items there is limited physical space for is becoming an increasingly accessible option. However, in the digital age, there are new concerns as it related to collection maintenance and development related to licensing, usability, sustainability, and evaluation. According to Johnson (2014). collection development and management in the 21st century can include the following:

  • Choosing current materials in one or more formats for acquisitions and access
  • Using an online book vendor system to select materials
  • Selecting access methods for digital resources
  • Negotiating contracts for e-resources
  • Deciding on retrospective materials for acquisitions and access
  • Choosing which gift materials to accept
  • Evaluating free websites and web-based resources for possible inclusion in a library’s catalog or made accessible through a library’s website
  • Responding to user’s suggestions for materials to be added
  • Selecting materials to withdraw, store, preserve, replace, digitize, or cancel
  • Identifying and soliciting materials for inclusion in a digital depository
  • Designing an approval plan
  • Designing a patron-driven acquisition plan

This is far from an exhaustive list of what is required of information professionals in the twenty-first century as it relates to collection development and maintenance, but it demonstrates the increased complexity of the responsibilities of an information professional in this digital age. However, there are still concerns related to print collections that exist regarding the age, the condition of materials in our print collection, and whether to replace a print copy with a digital copy. An information professional in the digital era needs to consider selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation in a new context that includes the digital formats that now exists. A well-developed collection considers limited resources, restrictions related to space including digital storage space while considering their user’s needs, the usability of digital formats/ interfaces, and the long-term sustainability of digital copies or licenses.

These increased complexities and with information increasing rapidly it is necessary to utilize tools and evaluation methods such as collection mapping which is, ” a way to chunk the collection into manageable pieces and parts each its own function, expected impact, budget, and accountability to the audience it was designed to serve” (Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton, 2014 p. 2). Information organization typically have limited resources available to develop and maintain a collection and with the increased complexity that exists with the modern collection development process being able to break the collection down into pieces makes this process more feasible to manage.

An information professional must be able to examine the information needs of their users and determine whether their collection is meeting the needs of those users. Using a patron-driven acquisition system can help information organization better understand the needs of their patrons. Once information on user needs has been gathered an information professional needs to evaluate the collection to see if the collection can meet those information needs by considering whether the collections are current enough to meet their needs, if the materials are in the correct format to meet user’s needs, and if comprehensive enough to meet their needs. If information gaps have been identified the information professional needs to determine while considering their current budget, storage (including digital storage), institutional proprieties, currency, and preservation of the materials how to acquire materials to address those information gaps.  An information organization must ensure that their users have access to the information that is right for their information needs while taking into account an information organization’s limited resources requires an in-depth understanding of the institution’s collection. One way to assess a collection is by creating a visual collection map that allows an information professional to visualize the collection using graphic representations as roadmaps to guide collection development and maintenance (Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton, 2014 p. 3).  This allows an information professional to have a visual representation of their collection, so they can quickly identify gaps in the collection and plan to fill those gaps that are in line with the limited resources available and in line with their institutional policies. Evaluation is essential to confirm that user needs are being consistently met in a method that is feasible for long-term sustainability and within budgetary restrictions. It also allows an information professional to consider the organization of a collection and have a visual representation of how information is being organized within the library, so they can determine if the collection needs reorganization to become more accessible to users.

Preservation of materials in a digital context can be more complex because information professionals need to consider meeting users’ needs in a way that consider the expense of preserving these materials over time this can be a challenge for digital formats because of changing technologies. Information professionals need to consider now not just storage of physical materials in a long-term sustainable way, but that of their digital collections. Data storage and the sustainability of digital formats are new considerations that information professionals need to take into account when considering collection development and management. Technology is evolving and proliferating with this continuous progress technologies are quickly becoming obsolete and replaced with new technology. This makes preservation in a digital context more complex when you consider if purchasing a current digital format is optimal and whether that format will be usable in a few years when technologies have evolved. Information professional also need to consider the long-term maintenance cost of both print or digital formats and determine which method is the most cost-effective for their collection. Collection development and management is the ongoing process of planning, assessing, and balancing the users’ needs against the resources available to fill those needs while maximizing usability and cost efficiency.

Evidence

In order to provide evidence of my competency in the area of collection development and maintenance is concerned, I have assembled the following pieces of examples of my work:

INFO 266 Presentation 7

INFO 266 Presentation 3

INFO 266 Presentation 3& 4 Gallery Walk

My first piece of evidence is my presentation 7 for my collection development course (INFO 266). Presentation 7 assignment for this class required students to evaluate the current collection of a particular library with as up to date information that was available to students regarding the library’s collection regarding expenditure, format, the scope, sustainability, relevance, currency, and usability of the collection.  The project including created a collection map in previous assignments and then utilizing that map and graphical representation of the collections to create a plan for the future of the collection regarding areas of the collections that were rated low.

Presentation 7 required students to address the information gaps in a way that met user needs and selection of formats that increase the usability of the collection. Creating a budget for expenditure within the current budgetary restrictions that are representative of the patrons and institutional needs. I included my plan for the future of the collection of Andrew G. Truxal library a small academic library as evidence of my understanding of the principals of collection development and management of both physical and digital resources.

presentaton_7

Click here for Presentation 7: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1TBdAd7TYMqDQUTAjgyJqW0OzfhM_TvyAy7vgCz4DfDE/edit?usp=sharing

My second piece of evidence is my presentation 3 from my collection development course (INFO 266). In this assignment, students were required to create a graphical representation of the collection of the library they have chosen. The students were required to use piktochart.com to create an infographic for the collection of their chosen library. This would be used to demonstrate the library’s core collection and rate several of the general collection topics. Then chose a general collection topic from the core collection to evaluate in-depth. Then within that general collection topic find the special emphasis collections which is, “in-depth collections built to serve a specific local history, strength; curricular topic, teacher, school initiative, faculty research interest; or other purpose”(Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton, 2014). Then create a collection map using the guiding methods and principals of collection mapping of Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton (2014).  This was created to show an understanding of the principals of collection development and management and assess the usability and determine if the collection is meeting the patron’s needs. I included this assignment as evidence of my understanding of the value of usability and the principals of collection evaluation. This evidence also demonstrates an understanding of collection organization.

Click here to view Presentation 3: https://create.piktochart.com/output/8254946-lib-266

My final piece of evidence is presentation 4 from my collection development class (INFO 266). The students in this course were assigned to create a graphical representation using piktochart to demonstrate the current expenditures of a chosen library then present it to a group assigned by library type for comments. My chosen library was an academic library and I was placed in a group of academic libraries. I created an infographic for presentation for presentation 4. This infographic depicts the current state of the collection at Andrew G. Truxal Library and the future projections of the collection. There is a plan expansion of digital materials and a decrease in print materials. The most substantial decrease will be in the form of print serial collection. This also shows the intention to increase technology spending at Truxal library. The need for expansion in the Culinary Arts collections. The projected areas of the collection to expand. I included this assignment as a demonstration of my understanding of the principals of collection development and management as it related to budgetary constraints and expenditures. This infographic also demonstrates my understanding of the principals of collections evaluation as it relates to budgetary concerns for both physical and digital resources.

Click here to view presentation 4: Presentation 4

Conclusion

Understanding the delicate balance required to maintain and develop a collection in an information organization is an indispensable skill for information professionals. Evaluating the formats and expenditures of an information organization is essential in the twenty-first century in order to optimize a collection while adhering to budgetary constraints. Changing acquisition models to more patron drive approaches and evaluating a collection to determine its usability are necessary to ensure that a collection is meeting the needs of its users. Balancing a collection so that it is in line with institutional policies, user’s needs, budgetary constraints, and planning for long-term sustainability is knowledge that information professionals need to implement efficient collection development and management within their information organizations. This is a vital skill that I have gained during my time as a student at San Jose State University.

Sources

Johnson, P. (2014). Fundamentals of collection development and management [Google play version]. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=FguSAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PP1

Wimberly, L. H., Loertscher, D. V., & Crompton, M. (2014). Collection development using the collection mapping technique: A guide for librarians (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City, UT: Learning Common Press.

Competency E

Standard

 

Competency E

Competency E: Design, query, and evaluate information retrieval systems

Statement of Understanding of Competency E:
An essential part of being an information professional includes being able to design, queries and evaluates information retrieval systems. Information professionals need to utilize information retrieval systems in order to assist patrons and staff. Being able to query an information retrieval system is a skill required to meet the information needs of contemporary library patrons.  According to Chowdhury the use of information retrieval, systems have become increasingly important,

“in today’s world we use information retrieval systems in almost every aspect of our daily lives: retrieving an email message received or sent on a specific date, to a specific person; finding something or someone on the web; searching for a book in an online library catalog or in a digital library; searching for a song or finding a video on YouTube; and so on” (Chowdhury, p X1, 2010).

In order for an information professional to optimize their ability to retrieve the information, they need to be able to evaluate information retrieval systems capabilities so they can choose an appropriate system to meet the needs of their staff and patrons. Understanding how information retrieval systems are designed and being able to design an information retrieval systems aids in a librarian’s ability to retrieve information efficiently and effectively. Information professionals need to be able to evaluate an information retrieval system’s ability to disseminate relevant information to its users so they can choose systems that are capable of meeting the needs of their patrons.

Design:  

Understanding design of an information retrieval system is complicated and a great deal consideration is required when it comes to creating an information retrieval system. The design of an information retrieval system needs to be accessible to the vastly different types of users that exist in libraries and organizations. Chowdhury states that, “An information retrieval system is designed to retrieve the documents or information required by the user community. It should make the right information available to the right user” (Chowdhury, p.6, 2010). When designing an information retrieval system, the user needs must be taken into consideration. If a user cannot locate relevant information then the information retrieval system is inadequate to meet the user’s needs. When information professionals understand, the complexities involved in information retrieval system design it gives them better insight into using and producing an information retrieval system that are able to extract the largest amount of relevant results. When designing an information retrieval system, a good deal of thought needs to be applied to how its interface is arranged and how information is represented. Norman (1993) describes how proper design can impact usability,

“The form of representation most appropriate for an artifact depends upon the task to be performed. The same information may need to be represented differently for different tasks. With the appropriate choice of representation, hard tasks become easy” (Norman, 1993, p.20).

When an information professional understands design, they can make information understandable and useable. Utilizing proper design techniques can allow every user maximum access to information with minimal effort while yielding relevant results to a user’s query. In the early period of information retrieval systems, Rijsbergen (1979) introduces the concept of precision versus recall, which is related to the number of documents returned compared to the relevancy of the query. In Information Retrieval Rijsbergen (1979) states that,

“The purpose of an automatic retrieval strategy is to retrieve all the relevant documents at the same time retrieving as few non-relevant as possible. When the characterization of a document is worked out, it should be such that when the document it represents is relevant to a query, it will enable the document to be retrieved in response to that query” (Rijsbergen, 1979).

If an information retrieval system does not return relevant information, accurately reflect the information needed or is not presented in an easily understandable format then; the user will seek other systems for finding information. A designer must be considered whether an information retrieval system is able to return relevant information, accurately reflect required information and that the information is presented in an easily understood format in order to ensure that an information retrieval system is functional.

Query:

Querying an information retrieval system encompasses being able to choose appropriate search terms that will result in the retrieval of information that is relevant to a user’s query. Chowdhury (2010) describes querying in the following statement:

“Users interact with an information retrieval system through an interface where they are usually expected to express their information needs in the form of a query, which is presented to the search system through a search expression that may contain one more search terms presented in the form of a natural language sentence, or in a constrained natural language where search terms are linked with various search operators” (Chowdhury, 2010, p.5).

Information professionals need to be able to query an information retrieval system in order to assist users in retrieving information that meets that user’s specific needs. Chowdhury (2010) states that, “the success of an information retrieval system very much depends on the user’s judgment of whether retrieved documents are relevant to their query” (Chowdhury, 2010, p.5). An information professional needs to be able to query numerous systems to retrieve information. Each information retrieval system utilizes different search terms in order to yield relevant results an information professional needs to be equipped to recognize the optimal search terms for each system so they can produce the desired results. Choosing the appropriate search terms and language is essential to producing a user’s anticipated search results. Information Professionals have many tools in their toolkit to query information a few examples are using Boolean logic, controlled vocabulary, and field searching to aid in efficient information retrieval. “Boolean Logic for combining terms: the operators AND, OR, and NOT, and the use of parentheses to affect the order in which the Boolean operators are processed”(Bell, 2015) . Understanding the order of operations in which the Boolean operators are structured is important to efficiency query an information retrieval and reduces the time required for the system to retrieve the information. When considering using controlled vocabulary it is important to understand how to access an Information Retrieval Systems (IRS) controlled vocabulary list which will enable information professionals to retrieve optimal results and relevant variations without having to construct complex keyword queries that may not yield the desired information. Field searching allows information professionals to use established fields to restrict their searches and return precise and efficient results.  Understanding how to query information systems is vital to meeting the information needs of library patrons.

Evaluate:

An information professional needs to be able to determine if an information retrieval system can provide their users with their desired results. An information professional needs to evaluate information retrieval systems capabilities and design to ensure library patrons can retrieve relevant results. If an information retrieval system disseminated information in a manner that is inefficient or incomprehensible to its users then that system is not adequate to meet the needs of the library. As stated by Chowdhury (2010),

“The objective of an information retrieval system is to retrieve all of the documents relevant to a query and to simultaneously withhold all those that are not relevant. Thus, a system will attempt to attain both high recall and high precision” (Chowdhury, 2010, p.99).

An information professional needs to understand how to evaluate information retrieval systems so they can choose a system with the capabilities to provide their users with the best results to their queries. For example, the vendor EBSCO’s interface for the ERIC database is a good example of how a vendor can employ field searching to allow to produce the desired results. Users can quickly and intuitively use the established fields to search the database. It is a vast improvement over the interface that ERIC database created by the Institute of Education Sciences provides. Users can only employ keyword queries and use Boolean logic to retrieve results via the ERIC database interface. Results are not as efficient or precise as the results retrieved by filed searching provided in the EBSCO via ERIC interface. EBSCO’s interface is more user-friendly and intuitive while allowing for more precise and efficient information retrieval. EBSCO’s database allows for more advanced search capabilities and uses a controlled vocabulary to quickly retrieve relevant information by keyword searching word variations, synonyms, and differentiate between various meanings of a word or phrase. Choosing the EBSCO via ERIC interface rather than ERIC database interface allows for more precise and efficient results. When information professionals can evaluate information retrieval systems they can subscribe to systems that will effectively meet the needs of their patrons and decide if a system design will function for their users.

Coursework Contributing to the Understanding of Competency E:

My understanding of Competency E was gained from knowledge imparted to me in my classes at San Jose State University.

LIBR 202: Information Retrieval System Design focused on information retrieval systems and their design. In this class, we created a database from a collection of objects. We worked in a group and to develop a database that could retrieve information about items in a collection. We learned to query multiple types of information systems. We gained knowledge on how information retrieval systems are created, function, organized, evaluated and techniques on how to use various systems efficiently.

To satisfy Competency E, I submit the following evidence:

Evidence E-1: LIBR202 – Exercise #1

Exercise #1

This is assignment is a query of primary and intermediary information retrieval systems. A topic was selected for research related to the field of information science. This assignment includes several paragraphs discussing why the topic was chosen and outlining keywords that to use in querying this topic. Ten searches queries were performed in Google Scholar and ten queries in Library Literature & Information Science full text. Then the GETTEXT feature was used to link the full text. Then the citations were exported from Google Scholar and Library Literature & Information Science full text into RefWorks. The full-text documents and citations found from querying each system then saved as full-text documents in RefWorks. This exercise contains a description of searching both a primary information retrieval system where one repository is searched, as is the case with Library Literature & Information Science full text and an intermediary information retrieval system where multiple repositories are search such as with Google Scholar. The two systems are compared and contrasted in this exercise. This exercise helped me to understand the differences and similarities of these two systems. This assignment helped me to discover the strengths and weaknesses of each system. This will assist me in determining how to best use each information retrieval system to meet the information needs of library patrons. Querying both a primary and intermediary information retrieval system has aided me in understanding which type of system to recommend to users based on the type of task the patron is attempting accomplish.

Evidence E-2: LIBR202 – Project #1

Project #1

We worked cooperatively in groups to select a collection, consider design in relation to our user group, and generate a description of our collection. Then described the attributes of each object in our collection necessary to meet the information needs of our user group and that would allow us to distinguish one object from another. We described our user group and considered the types of information needs that they would need to be met by our database. We considered these information needs of when designing our database. We took in consideration theories related to the design of information retrieval system and importance of accounting for our users’ needs in design. We defined the terms classification, systems of classifications and standards. This assignment gave me great insight on how to create an information retrieval system, how information retrieval systems functions, theories of design and the importance of considering the user in your design. This assignment helped me to understand the differences between classifications and standards as well as a system of classifications.

Evidence E-3: LIBR202 – Project #2

Project #2

Table for Project #2

Cataloging rules for Project #2

Rules for cataloging

In this project, we worked collaboratively in groups to present and analyze a unit of description. We designed a database from our collection (selected in project #1) using Webdata Pro. We created rules for cataloging on how information should be entered in each record based on the rules we created for each field. We described each field and why it should be included in our database. The database was created using standard and rules for cataloging.  In the assignment, our group included unique identifiers that allowed us to differentiate from one object in the database from another. Our rules for cataloging included a unique identifier, field length, whether a field was required or not, the fields needed for the attributes that were identified, field formatting, and data type, indexing, and included the form the data took when entered. This project expanded my understanding of the process of creating a database, creating rules for cataloging, and how to structure a database to retrieve information about a collection. I gained a better understanding of the function, organization, and structure of databases. I learned how to produce an operational information retrieval system. I learned about creating fields and entering records this knowledge will be an invaluable future creation of an information retrieval systems.

Evidence E-4: LIBR202 – Project #3

Project #3

In this project, we worked together in groups to evaluate the information retrieval system RefWorks. Together we built a sample bibliography using RefWorks using citations resulting from queries done by each group member. We exported these documents and citations into RefWorks. We analyzed the information retrieval system using the concepts of affordance, constraint, mapping, natural mapping, conceptual/mental models, and the paradox of technology. We define the meaning of each term and discussed how they applied to RefWorks than we analyzed several features of the information retrieval system to determine whether they worked effectively or if we thought they needed improvement. This project required us to think conceptually about using information retrieval systems and to determine the efficacy of a particular system. This assignment equipped me with invaluable knowledge of how to evaluate an information retrieval system for function and usability. This knowledge will assist me with the skills needed to determine which type of information retrieval system will be suitable for a specific user group and will be best at meeting a specific user need.

Conclusion:

Understanding every component of an information retrieval system is a required skill set for modern information professionals in order to provide patrons with appropriate service. My classes at San Jose State University have prepared me to be able to create an information retrieval system, design an information retrieval system for the best possible results, evaluate an information retrieval system, and query information from multiple types of information systems effectively. This experience and knowledge will be instrumental in the success of my future endeavors as an information professional and my current studies in the field of the information sciences.

  References:

Bell, S. S. (2015). Librarian’s guide to online searching (4th ed.) [Kindle DX version].

Chowdhury, G. G. (2010). Introduction to modern information retrieval. New York, NY:    

Neal-Schuman Publishers.

I Norman, D. (1993). Things that make us smart: defending human attributes in the age of the machine. New York, NY: Perseus Books.

Van Rijsbergen, C. J. (1979). Information retrieval. London: Butterworths.

Competency D

Standard

In order to complete competency D students in the library and information science program at San Jose State University must be able to demonstrate an understanding of how to  “apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy” in the context of the library and information science field. Information Professionals are increasingly having to take on more leadership roles. Leading libraries through this technological era takes the ability to plan, market, and advocate for libraries. Understanding and applying the principals of planning and management have never been as important to the information professional as they are in this era. As Evans & Alire (2013) state, “Navigating the library through a highly uncertain world takes many skills and a great deal of thinking and planning”.  During my Information Profession class, INFO 204, we learned to do an organization overview as part 1 of our strategic planning assignment (see Competency B ). Strategic planning, marketing, management, and advocacy are essential to library leadership today because without them libraries cannot survive in this competitive and increasingly technological world.

 

Planning

Information professionals need to understand the principals of planning because they will provide the leadership for their libraries. Planning will help a library have a sense of direction and provide information to their stakeholders about the direction they are heading. As Evans & Alire (2013) explain, “plans are like charts setting forth where you are and where you want to go”. In order to plan effectively, information professionals need to understand where they are as an institution one way they can do this by evaluating their work environment for its weakness and Strengths.

In order to effectively plan information organizations, need to know how to effectively gather information. Performing an organizational analysis can help libraries understand their institutions so they and then determine where they want to go by making not just a plan, but an effective plan. Planning is important because it allows libraries on a tight budget to effectively utilize their resources and optimize their services. Understanding the state of your organization, the needs of your community, and they are required to plan for to flourish in the future. Planning requires more than just thinking about the future it takes action to move an organization forward. Evans & Alire (2013) describe strategic planning as, “the process of creating action steps designed to achieve the overall strategy”.

Management

Today it is essential for information professionals to understand the needs to be involved in the strategic planning process so they can help effectively implement the strategic plans.  As an information professional, we need to be responsive and adaptive to our environment. Management encompasses both supervising daily operations and personnel of information organizations. This requires interpersonal skills as well as an understanding of operational management. Information professionals in their capacity as managers need to motive personnel and ensure that their organization is on track with the goals and plans put in place. They need to initiate planning, but they also need to actively supervise that the actions being taken by their personnel are corresponding with their plan. Management includes keeping the organization’s daily operations running efficiently and effectively. Management means taking into consideration how things run daily and assessing the processes implemented in the operations for efficient application. Evans & Alire (2013) emphasize that, “management involves all the staff in formulating and implementing activities intended to move toward the desired outcome of the strategy and strategic plan”.

Marketing

Marketing libraries is important because it lets potential users know what your organization is, what it does, and what we can do for the users. As information professionals, we want to market to increase usage of our resources be they physical or digital and overall to increase awareness about our organization. No one can use services that they don’t know exists. Information Professionals need to be able to market themselves, their organizations, and their services to their community. Whether that community is a city or a university its members cannot use tools or attend events they don’t know exists. In this technological age marketing, a broader audience is possible through inexpensive means via Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Foursquare. These social media networking sites allow organizations to spread the word about their services and events freely and easily. According to Evans & Alire (2013), a library should take these steps to market themselves, “The selected tools (such as websites, newsletters, flyers, advertisements, and annual reports) should be those that best fit the lifestyles of the target segment. Receptions or open houses can be effective promotional tools especially when there is a new service or product to demonstrate”. Effective marketing attracts your target users and takes in consideration the needs and types of marketing that will reach your target populations. This takes an in-depth interpersonal understanding of your patrons or the users you are trying to draw into your organization. You need to market where these individuals frequent. If you are trying to draw in senior citizens social media may not be your best marketing strategies since typically less senior citizen use social media.  Surveys can be an effective tool to gain information about your audience so can tools such as Google Analytics. One-way Google Analytics can also help libraries with marketing According to Farney (2016) is by using, “event tracking on your website is very easy with Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is a separate tool that offers a user-friendly interface to create “tags” that trigger tracking on specific user actions using Google Analytics’ event tracking ability”. Considering your target audience when choosing your marketing platform or tools is an intricate part of marketing your services. Marketing requires researching and understanding your audience. It also needs a clear message and drives participation by spreading awareness to your audience about how libraries can benefit them. As information professionals, we need to understand how to effectively market our organization and services to our audiences to spread awareness and increase participation in our organizations.

Advocacy

Many libraries are non-profit organizations that require them to fundraise and to justify their continuing funding to various types of stakeholders. In this information age, when Google can retrieve information quickly by providing a user-friendly interface to their users’ libraries must justify their existence more than ever and their value to their communities, to the government, and to private sources of funding. Libraries must prove themselves worthy of patronage and draw resources to not merely keep their libraries going, but to make them thrive in this information age. Evan & Alire (2013), describe advocacy as, “neither marketing nor public relations. Simply put, it is the art of persuading or arguing in the favor of something”. We need to persuade stakeholders that Libraries have value to our communities and that our services benefit their community members in unique ways. Collecting information and surveying the community for how libraries benefit them can be helpful in persuading stakeholders of the benefits libraries to provide. Stakeholders need to understand why we need libraries when Google books and Amazon exists to provide our information needs. Demonstrating libraries importance takes a unique combination of leadership, marketing, management, and planning to perpetuate our organizations. Information Professionals in this age are passing the responsibility to care for these organizations to ensure their continence. Installing to future generations the importance of libraries to lives is an essential part of being an information professional and is critical to the future of libraries. Persuading our communities and stakeholders of the importance of libraries takes evidence, planning, persuasion, marketing, and innovation in this era.

Information professionals need to be able to weave together management, planning, marketing, and advocacy skills to create to ensure successful information organization. In the 21st-century information professionals need to understand the digital tools available to assist these aspects of librarianship and utilize them effectively into their operations. They need to understand the importance and principals of marketing, management, planning, and advocacy to be effective leaders in information organizations. Interweaving these skills is necessary for productive operations of organizations and for allowing libraries to flourish into the future.

Evidence:

In order to provide evidence of my competence in management, marketing, planning, and advocacy, I have assembled these examples of my work:

INFO 204 Strategic Plan part 2

INFO 282 Press release and Marketing Plan

INFO 282 Communication Plan

My first piece of evidence is my strategic planning group project from my INFO 204 course. As I stated in Competency B  the group was assigned was to study a particular library and perform a SWOT analysis and Environmental Scan in order to support the creation recommendation for future services. My group uses the information gained from this organizational analysis to create mission, vision, and values for the library. In part two of our strategic planning project, we were also required to create goals and assessments for our strategic plan based on the information found in part one of our strategical plan. I included this project to demonstrate my understanding of the principals and mechanics of planning.  This project demonstrates my ability to make plans based that are responsive to the environment and to make recommendations for that environment that are relevant.

Click here to read the Strategic Plan: INFO 204 Strategic Plan part 2

My second piece of evidence is my Press release and Marketing plan from my INFO 282 course. The assignment was to create a strategic marketing plan and press release with the purpose of advertising the services that the grant funding created. It is intended to get the word out about the grant and to promote library services funded by the grant received. It is a plan that is intended to be shown to the grant funding organization to demonstrate how the library will promote the services created by the funding. Stakeholders want to ensure that the funding that they supply will use to create a positive impact. Showing the stakeholders how your organization plans to promote your grant can elevate your request for your grant funding project and increase your chances of receiving funding. In this assignment, the marketing plan is intended to market Open education resources for PSY 111 courses taught at a community college funded through a grant intended to lower the cost of education for college students through the University of Maryland. This assignment was included to demonstrate my basic understanding of the principals and techniques of marketing and my basic ability to create a strategic marketing plan for the purpose of spreading awareness about library services.

To read the Marketing plan click here: INFO 282 Press release and Marketing Plan

My final piece of evidence is the communication plan that I created for my INFO 282 course on grant writing. The assignment was to create a communication with the objective of implementing a policy-driven plan to provide stakeholders information about the grant. This plan formally lays out who will be given what information and when that information will be disseminated and through what method of communication. This piece of evidence I included this as evidence of my understanding of the basic principles of planning, policy creation, and management skills. This plan recognizes the importance of communication with a client and internally within your parent organization when working on a project. This is an important aspect of project management and important leadership skills need to be a productive information professional.

Conclusion:

In this digital era it is important for an information professional to possess skills in the area of management, advocacy, marketing, and planning. The scarcity of funding source for non-profit information organizations, the increasing popularity of search engines such as Google, and lack of awareness about library services have increased the need for information professionals to have skills in all four of these areas. Being prepared as a information professional requires leadership skills and effective management to lead our libraries to continuous success in these times were competition for information providers is fierce. Understanding and exercising organizational leadership skills and being able to tie information organizations to stakeholders and to funding institutions will be crucial to libraries being able to continue to operate or receive the need funding for operations to flourish. It is equally important to understand how to market our services and spread awareness about the benefits of libraries to their uses and potential user groups. Libraries need to expand patronage and increase awareness if they wish to survive in this competitive information market. Public, non-profit, for-profit information organizations can all benefit from understanding their environments and effective implantation of  activities or policies that will move them towards their goals for the future.

Sources:

Evans, G.E., & Alire, C.A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals (3rd ed.) [Kindle Fire version]. Available from Amazon.com

Farney, T. (2016, November 17). Improve Your Analytics Data. Retrieved from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2016/11/01/improve-your-analytics-data/

 

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