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

 

 

Comptentcy B

Standard

Click here for my assignment Info 266 Collection Policy AnalysisIntroduction

Students in the SJSU iSchool’s graduate programs are required to demonstrate their ability to “describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice“. The information profession is broadening and changing with continuing advances in technology. There are new types of information professionals that did not exist previously e.g. Open Source librarians, Digital Asset Librarian, Assessment and Analytic Librarian, and Discovery Librarian. The types of organization in which information professionals work are expanding just as the library science field is expanding. Information professionals now work in a myriad of places outside of the traditional library environment. The ALA lists types of libraries that exist in the many types of fields related to information such as art libraries, music libraries, medical libraries, and law libraries to name a few.

Previously librarians worked for Public, academic, school, Law, medical, government libraries. Now library professionals work in a variety of fields including for corporations, consulting firms, independent firms, and non-profit organizations. Many organizations and services are offered virtually now including librarians who work entirely virtually in games such as second life. The ideal and structure of the organizational setting that now house working information professionals has become vastly different from previous times in the history of librarianship. The world of librarianship has a wide range of flexibility in the types of organizations that employ librarians such as museums, libraries, Law offices, Universities, governments offices, corporations, schools, hospitals, art galleries, military bases, and nonprofit agencies. This list does not include all the work environments in which information professionals can work the American Library Association (ALA) lists many more types of non-traditional jobs for information professionals. It is important to think about information work in the settings and organizations in which it occurs. The main division between these types of organizations is information organizations that are profit versus nonprofit.
The one of the main division between these types of organizations that employ information professionals is information organizations for-profit versus nonprofit. Each of these organizational settings in which information professionals practice have different practices, purposes, and information needs. The for-profit versus nonprofit types of organizations has very different motivations, funding, organizational structures, management, and resources. These create vastly different working environments for information professionals. It is important to understand the dynamics of a variety of working environments and have flexibility in order to be a successful information professional in the 21st century. Understanding organizational makeup will be key to effectively operate as an information professional in this age.
Nonprofit organizations are organizations such as public libraries or libraries that serve the public or local residents. Local governments, federal governments, grants, or charitable donations typically fund nonprofit organizations. As stated by Evans and Alire (2013), “Financial resources are generally derived from outside funding sources (Such as taxes, grants, and private benefactors) rather than from sales of services”. Budgeting and financial management can be a major concern for these types of institutions. These organizations often depend on fundraising in order to operate or to expand services. The budgets to pay staff, purchase materials, and maintain facilities are controlled by outside sources. This type of funding leads to large disparities in resources depending on the income of the surrounding area. Areas with higher gross incomes tend to have public organizations such as libraries with considerable endowments and can leave low-income areas lacking for resources. In addition, as Evans and Alire (2013) describe, “Many nonprofit organizations are public rather than private and are therefore subject to public scrutiny in ways for-profits are not”. Nonprofit typically have to answer to boards or justify budgets to city councils or other local governments. Public institutions are often required to be very transparent with their finances, practices, policies, and these can be subject to outside influences more so than for-profit organizations. The current nonprofit organization a community college requires that its employee’s information be available to the public and its employees’ salaries are published yearly in the local newspaper. These organizations often have an executive office such as presidents, deans, or directors who have to answer to stakeholders for major decisions such as increasing staff or budgets and are typically bound to institutional policies and structures.

For-profit institutions such as corporations, law firms, database vendors, architecture firms, engineering firms my house their own collections or libraries and can employ information professionals to maintain them.  These institutions collections tend to be specialized design for a specific purpose or on specific subject matter. These organizations may house their collections for internal purposes only or for in the case of vendors to market to libraries. Their funding and staffing are dependent solely on profits and budgets. They are typically the goals of these institution revolves around maximizing profits. Their management structure is usually profit driven and can come in various forms such as organizational model s or tied to the organizations’ policies and structures. Library vendors employ information professionals as for a multitude of positions such as consultants, product marketers, product trainers, and product educators. These types of for-profit institutions are not merely service driven but are also market growth. These organizations may have stockholders to answer to and profit growth as well as shareholder value to consider structuring their work environment. This can lead to a considerable different working environment than the non-profit sector.

Government libraries employ information professionals at the state and federal level. This branch of librarianships includes both libraries and institutions that are not libraries such as museums. These libraries are not-for-profit libraries, but they are different from standard non-profit institutions. The Library of Congress, for example, is a federal library that houses a national collection that was created for the purpose of being the research arm of Congress. This library does not loan out materials in its collection, but it is available to read on the premises. The library is open to the public, but it multifaceted and operates differently than traditional non-profit libraries or organizations. Government libraries or institution’s services parameters often deter from the standard practices or purposes of nonprofit organizations. Military libraries, for example, may serve only military personnel and their families without allowing access to the general public. Military libraries that exist on a military base also must follow the procedures and policies of that military installation. These types of institutions typically serve a purpose to the state or federal governments that fund their organization. These types of organizations can be very specialized and may be governed by multiple regulatory standards. Libraries on military installations have to contend with broader privacy considerations such as OPSEC  which is a set of protocols designed to protect unclassified information that could be used to damage national security or endanger the lives of service members, government employees, and their families. These considerations go beyond the standard privacy issues that other types of libraries or institutions have to consider. Even the Library of Congress has to be mindful of military regulations and federal regulation regarding veterans when considering its collections and when working in cooperation with military academies (for example see Library of Congress and five military service academies sign a cooperative agreement ).

Evidence:

In order to provide evidence of my competency in comparing information organizations and their practices I have gathered the following pieces of pieces of evidence to illustrate my understanding of organizational settings and various practices related to these organizational settings:
My first piece of evidence is the Collection Policy Analysis from my collection development course. The assignment required students to choose an organization that employs information professionals and analysis its collection policy and then add into a Google doc to read over and compares the various policies that government multiple types of libraries and organizations that employ information professionals then present your analysis to a group. We discussed whether various institutions had a mission statement, vision statement, selection criteria, textbook policies, weeding policies, and challenged material policies. It also discussed the type of organization, the name of the organization, the date it was revised, and who adopted the policy. I included this project as evidence of my understanding of the nature of information organizations and my ability to describe information settings as well as compare multiple types of information settings. This work includes identifying types of information organizations including school, academic, public, government, and special libraries. It also includes describing policies, who adopts policies within a particular setting, who is responsible for building and maintaining collections in a particular information setting. This assignment gave us the ability to compare our chosen setting against other information settings to gain a better understanding of how various information settings handle collections and policies. It gave me the knowledge required to describe and compare information settings effectively in relation to collection development. The assignment required us to describe policies related to collection development in an information setting. I contributed the policies related to a community college academic library. These collection policies added to Google doc and compared by the class. The practices of public, academic, elementary school, middle school, and high school libraries for students to compare and to gain a better understanding of the organizational settings in which information professional practice:

Click here for my assignment Info 266 Collection Policy Analysis

I included my presentation 1 from INFO 266 as part of my evidence of my ability to describe an organization setting in which information professionals practices. In presentation 1 we need to describe an organizational setting and the collection housed in that organizations setting. We also need to include information describing the community in which the organization operated. This presentation demonstrates my ability and understanding of how to describe a given organization setting.

mission

Click here for my presentation: INFO 266 Presentation 1

 

My final piece of evidence is the organization Analysis of an information organization that was completed by my group for INFO 201 as part one of a two-part project which included creating a strategic plan for a library. I included both parts of this assignment as evidence. This assignment was to do an organizational analysis of the information organization chosen by the group. We described the mission, vision, performed an environmental scan, described funding, economic trends, employment trends, political trends, socioeconomic factors, legal factors, competition, and technology related to an organization that employs information professionals. We performed a SWOT analysis of an organizational setting and literature review related to organization analysis. This demonstrates an understanding of how to describe, assess, and compare organizational environments in which information professionals operate. We then created a strategic plan for that library. I was the group’s editor, assistant researcher, an assistant writer. When our writer when unable to complete large portions of the writing. I step in and completed the sections in the environmental scan. I collaborated with the group via Google docs to write the mission, vision, and goals. Each group member contributed to writing a goal, the mission, and the vision. The editor is responsible for compiling the final project, editing for style and formatting. The editor may take on additional writing responsibilities and will work closely with the managing writer and researcher.

Click here for my assignment:   Info 204 Part 1 of Organizational Analysis

swot

 

Conclusion

The information profession is flexible and provides a variety of opportunities to explore under the library and information science umbrella.The information profession is flexible and provides a variety of opportunities to explore the library and information science umbrella. As advances in technology continue to challenge libraries it also has expanded the field of library science. The field is increasing more technical as databases evolve, digital humanities expand, and collections become increasingly digital. This has provided many new types of librarianship and continues to expand our field with positions such as digital humanities librarians, STEM librarians, and discovery librarians. The types of librarianship that exist within the field are extremely diverse and the organizations that employment information professionals are equally diverse. Organizations from universities to elementary schools and all education levels in between offer positions for information professionals. There are opportunities in public and private sectors these institutions share a core set of skills that make up the foundation of the information profession. The skills I utilize in my current position in a community college library are also transferable to four-year institutions and public libraries alike. I have been acquainted with several librarians in my current position that worked in throughout the spectrum of librarianship during the career from, to the school librarian, to the public, and then finally as an academic librarian. The faculty that has taught me during my time at San Jose State University have been equally diverse in their library experience. I have had professors that work in school libraries, as trainers for ProQuest, public librarians, academic librarians, and government librarians each instructor have imparted skills to me that will be valuable to any work environment. The ability to work in diverse environments is an extremely appealing aspect of the information field. I look forward to where the windy path of librarianship might lead me in the future.

References:

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

Competency A

Standard

Introduction

Competency A: demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of intellectual freedom within that

As information professionals, we are professionally obligated to ensure that libraries uphold that Library Bill of Rights. We are required to ensure that all library policies and services uphold ensure these rights to our patrons. The main code of ethics in which information professionals are bound to is the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics. These ethical guidelines are the basis for Information Professional ethics and when considering ethics in librarianship we must begin with the ALA’s code of Ethics, which states the following:

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  3. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.
  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

In keeping with the first code of ethics, my information communities’ coursework focused on providing equitable access to services for individuals with disabilities. I explored individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents as an information community. I explored their information needs and information seeking behaviors. They are a diverse community that is served by libraries and need specialized assistance in order to have equitable access to services. They also need assurance of privacy due to the sensitive nature of an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. As information professionals, we must respect these parents right to confidentiality regarding the information they seek and knowledge give to information professional regarding their children’s mental health which is highly sensitive and protected information. Information professionals need for confidentiality is laid out in the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom’s Privacy and Confidentiality statement . This is one of the most important aspects of having ethical behavior as an information professional. Our patrons have, “the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others” (American Library Association, 2017).  Keeping the reference inquiries, reading materials, personal data of borrows private is necessary to protect patrons and to have professional ethics in the library arena. Protecting our patron’s information and access to materials help patrons to build relationships and trusts with us as information professionals. This allows us to provide better service to our patrons and our community.

As information professionals, it is necessary to ensure that all patrons have access to library materials that span a wide variety of topics, opinions, ideas, and beliefs. Ethical behavior as a librarian means that we do not select or censor materials in a collection based on personal beliefs, but we select library materials that serve the information needs of our patrons and our communities. As information professionals, it is our duty to ensure that patrons are able to read materials that may be subject to censor or criticisms from various groups. Offering a choice of information on any given topic allows us to provide access to information and to facilitate information seeking behaviors. Ensuring that reading materials are broad and that they demonstrate multiple sides of any topic can cause difficulties when it comes to collection development. Balancing the libraries budget while attempting to address your community’s information needs and respecting that values of your institution and fighting censorship can be a difficult juggling act. This can cause collection development decisions to be complicated and require a great deal of thought. Constructing careful policies in collection development and examining collection development policies of other libraries can help to prevent any issues related to collection development and intellectual freedom that may arise. When objects or censorship requests or complaints arise in libraries it is important to have policies in place and to have them in line with your institutional strategic plan is essential to avoid unethical removal or inclusion of library materials.

Evidence

1 The final paper from my Information Communities class

2 Presentation 5 from my Collection Development Course

3 A Blog Assignment # 4 exploring information communities from my Information Communities class from Lib 200 (Information Communities)

Lib200 Final Paper

Information Communities Blog assignment #4

Info266 Presentation 5. Presentation 5

Ethical concerns for Information Professionals when working with parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

EthicsOne ethical concern regarding assisting parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is that they are possibly revealing to sensitive medical information related to their child. There is the matter of protecting their privacy and the privacy of possibly a minor depending on the age of their child. These are serious issues and ensure confidentially of this information is essential to upholding the code of ethics established by the American Library Association. The code of Ethics states that information professionals will, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted”(“Professional Ethics,” 2017). Any information given or exchanged when communicating with members of this information community is sensitive information and requires complete confidentially regarding discussions or exchanges of information related to their child’s diagnosis or other pertinent medical information relied on the information professional. Ethical behavior on the part of the information professional is required to address the information needs of this community. Being able to meet their needs discretely and without compromising their privacy is of the utmost importance. Patron privacy related to these issues may also be protected under other state or federal laws. Check the laws of your state related to privacy and confidentiality.

There comes a conflict of ethics in providing information to parents of individuals with ASD and giving medical or legal advice. Librarians are qualified to assist in research, but we are not medical or legal professionals. Interrupting research goes beyond the bounds of our position. This especially becomes an issue when the patrons are asking for assistance with a question that related to a legal, a mental health issue, or a medical issue. If parents begin asking about advice on what to do on this issues or to understand the medical information that they found within books. In our lecture asked the question “when do you cross over from providing information to actually dispensing professional advice” (Hansen, 2014). It is important to think about this when assisting patrons with issues that related to the mental health, medical, or legal professions. It is important to help them find sources to do research on the topic. Just as if a professional librarian would not interpret a book for a student’s assignment, we cannot interpret medical information that is when librarians should refer them onto a professional in the medical field.  According to our lecture, “Librarians are advised to show sources and explain how to use them, but not interpret the information” (Hansen, 2014).  Patrons may come to the desk asking librarians to help them choose which therapies are best for their child. We need to let these patrons know that we can give them information on what therapies are out there so they can make an informed decision with their mental health or physician. Making a recommendation would be unethical.This could be the case for parents of ASD especially when it has been recently diagnosed and they are trying to understand their child’s diagnosis. It can be emotional and overwhelming for a parent to receive a diagnosis of ASD for their child.  As information professionals dispensing medical advice or interpreting medical information would be unethical. We can provide library patrons with appropriate sources, but we cannot make decisions related to the material. The major conflict that exists in the in the world of parents of children with ASD is the issue of vaccines causing Autism. We cannot take a side on this issue because it is unethical to participate in this debate, but we do try to choose the best possible sources of information for any patron regardless of our personal opinions or conflicting public opinions. It is our job to provide information not impose our opinions, convenience a patron, or interpret information. We simply provide information and instruct in research skills patrons need to be able to form and adhere to whatever beliefs or opinions they choose to uphold.

There is also the possibility of parents seeking legal advice regarding the IDEA act or the ADA. There are many laws that apply to individuals with disabilities especially with regards to education. We can provide information on these laws, but we cannot give legal advice regarding how to help them with their child’s IEP or how to get better access to services from the public education system. As information professionals, it is not our job to help patrons interpret the law only to provide them with the information needed to do their research. There may exist books that give legal advice to parents on these issues and we can find these information sources for this information community as long as we do not give advice on whether they follow the advice in these informational sources. It is important to remind patrons that they should contact a legal professional for any legal advice or an advocate for individuals with disabilities. You can also find listings for advocates or lawyers in their area, but we cannot recommend lawyers.

There is also the issue of banned books related to the ASD has been challenged. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a fictional book written from the perspective of a high functioning 15 years boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder. According to Doyle (2014), this book was challenged in 2006 in Texas because the book could cause young minds to become polluted and it was removed from a summer reading program for having foul language in Michigan.  As Information Professional we must uphold the rights guaranteed by the library bill of rights established by the American Library Association which states that ” Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment” (“Library Bill of Rights,” 2017). As an information community parents of individuals with ASD want to understand their child better they also want to spread awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder and what an individual with ASD is truly like to dispel misinformation regarding Autism. The popularity of this book and play has brought worldwide attention and awareness about issues relating to Autism. Ensuring access to this and other books that have been challenged or banned is part of upholding the professional ethics of librarianship. The ALA’s library code of Ethics states that information professional should “uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources”(“Professional Ethics,” 2017). This means making books accessible that may be controversial or otherwise be challenged by certain groups for a variety of reasons. Ensuring that these underserve information communities have access to non-fictional and fictional literature that is relevant to them is an important part of having professional ethics in librarianship. As well as our professional duty to challenge censorship of reading materials and limitations to the access of information.

References:

Doyle, R. P. (2014). Banned Books: Challenging our freedom to read. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Hansen, D. (2014). Ethical Issues and the Information. Addressed at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.

Library Bill of Rights. (2017, February 16). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill

Professional Ethics. (2017, August 22). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from http://www.ala.org/tools/ethics

Find out more information here:

http://www.librariesandautism.org/strategies.htm

https://snailsgroup.blogspot.com/

https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/mental-health/index.html

https://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm

/http://www.copaa.org/

Read blog here

Introduction

This paper is focusing on parents of children with Autism Spectrum disorder as a
community. This community is diverse ranging in age, race, socioeconomic status, and nationality.According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). This community is growing in number and becoming more prevalence with the increasing amount of children identified as having ASD.
Parents of children with ASD are advocating for improvements in research, treatments, politics, services, and understanding of ASD. Parents of children with ASD are affecting our society in both positive and negative ways. It is important to understand this
community and ensure they are informed. Due to the large amount of cases, this disorders is going to have a large impact on the future of our society. Parents of children with ASD make important decisions for children with ASD and these children will grow to be adult members of our society. The better-informed parents of children with ASD are the better they can care for and assist their children improving the lives of their children and improving their ability to function within our society. Parent advocacy has led to researchers to new finding regarding ASD and it has led to widespread misinformation that has had serious consequences for our society. This paper explores the impact that advocacy from the parent of children with ASD has had on improving awareness, research, understanding, services for children, treatments and policy
for children with ASD over the past few decades. This study also explores consequences that have resulted from misinforming parents of children with ASD. This paper describes the affect ASD has on parents and family members. This paper will also recover ways for information professionals to meet the information needs of parents of Children with ASD and to improve services for children with ASD.

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Presentation 5: Acquisition

Selection Criteria:

The major factors that influence acquisitions at Andrew G. Truxal library are:

  • Relevance to the education programs of AACC
  • Currency, accuracy, and objectivity
  • Balance in the collection
  • Professional reviewing media recommendations
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, and/or producer

Purpose:

The purpose of the collection is to support other academic and community programs and provide academic library service to residents of Anne Arundel County. The Truxal library seeks to provide quality and relevant materials in a collection designed to support the mission of Anne Arundel Community College.

Responsibility for selection:

The library staff, faculty, and instructional staff share the responsibility for collection development. The faculty makes recommendations in their disciplines and incorporate library materials into course development. The library faculty makes the final decisions concerning acquisition. The director of the library Cindy Steinhoff has chief authority over collection decisions and coordinates the collection development process. All patrons are able to make purchase recommendations to the library director.

Acquisition priorities:

Priority is given to materials that support the curriculum requirements. These materials are given first priority for purchase. The second is to provide faculty members with advanced materials that support faculty research when funds are available. General materials that meet the needs of community members are given final priority and are only purchased when funds permit. The college serves as a repository for major college documents, such as the college manual, accreditation reports, and annual reports.

Format policy:

Hardbound books versus paperback book are purchased due to durability. Paperbacks are purchases as additional copies or for topics whose currency is in constant need of updating. Textbooks are purchased by student associations and available in the reserve collections that library does not purchase textbooks. Priority is given to database purchases over print periodicals. Online is the preferred format for Reference books when funds are available. Online formats use the same criteria as the selection of books process while also considering the ease of uses, cost, and licensing requirements. Open source materials are used whenever possible to provide materials cost-effectively using the same criteria as other electronic resources.

Acquisition process:

The library Director selects materials to purchase based recommendation from faculty and staff. The business office creates a purchase order and items are frequently purchased through book vendors such as Amazon. Online and print periodical subscriptions are handled by an outside subscription service.

Processing materials:

Once materials are purchased they are sent to the cataloging department where the cataloger categories and catalog materials.

Intellectual freedom:

A librarian’s responsibility is to ensure that the materials in the library represent all relevant points of view and represent the college’s mission. The Truxal library supports the ALA Library Bill of Rights and its principals. Patron complaints about materials in the collection can be submitted in writing to the library director. A committee of librarians and faculty members will then meet to review the materials and make a recommendation to keep or remove the materials from the collection. The complaint will receive a written response from the library staff.

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Read Presentation 5 here

Sources:

American Library Association. (2017, May 09). Privacy. Retrieved September 23, 2017, from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/privacy

Library Bill of Rights. (2017, February 16). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill