Monday, October 26, 2015

Is there a noun/adjective/verb for that?

I went through FutureLearn's Psychosis and Schizophrenia two week course. Language is a stumbling block! Some said "I don't want to be labeled "a patient." Call someone "psychotic" and there's a stigma attached. There was a discussion of "service user" (This is the Brits). Some object to being labeled as a service user. This is the same discussion we have in libraries. Are they "users"? "customers"? "clients"? "people who use the library who are not the staff"? Every term seems to carry some baggage for someone. BUT we need to talk about humans who are in certain roles during certain times of their lives. No insult or diminution of your status as a spiritual being in an earthly body intended! Can we please be allowed to use some noun that mean "persons who use the services of an organization"?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DIY - resurrecting shop classes

Reading this article this morning https://www.edsurge.com/n/2015-05-26-how-minecraft-and-duct-tape-wallets-prepare-our-kids-for-jobs-that-don-t-exist-yet Duct tape wallets and Minecraft are in. Reading this article this morning https://www.edsurge.com/n/2015-05-28-why-elon-musk-s-secret-school-has-no-grade-levels Screw drivers are in. I've got a sense that crafts/tools that are considered feminine - or not directly related to commerce (as duct tape wallets certainly are) - are not in.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The library patron is always right - or not - or

I came across a couple of tweets from a librarian who had an uncomfortable interaction with a patron at a large academic library. The patron wondered why the library didn't have any books by Terry Pratchett. The patron asked if the librarian read Terry Pratchett. When the librarian said no, the patron said "tut-tut" (and probably a few more things - but it was a tweet, right?) The librarian's reaction was that the patron was a jerk. Well, yes, patrons can be jerks. But I wonder....what about expressing interest in Pratchett's work? "No, I haven't read his work. I'll have to put him on my list. What work of his would you start with?" What about explaining the library's collection development policy? What about suggesting other libraries in the area that might have Terry Pratchett books? Sometimes it's difficult to think of the best way to respond in the moment, but maybe the interaction could have turned into a positive one(?)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Designing for mobile - Undesigning for desktops

Designing for small mobile devices and tablets has taken over with a vengance. I'm confronted with sites where the top third or more of my desktop screen is taken up by a (often meaningless) image. I was just looking at a post on medium.com where my entire monitor is taken up by an image. I have scroll to see any text at all. And...the text runs down the middle of the screen. Navigation is... where? I had to enter a new gmail contact today and you can see that I might be better off completing the transaction on a small device using touch. I gather the idea is "progressive enhancement": design for mobile first with enhancements for large monitors. I think designers are leaving out the enhancements. I know I'll get used to it after a while, but right now I'm finding it really annoying.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

LibGuides: Tool of Oppression

Alison Hicks wonders if LibGuides software is a tool of oppression. (See http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/journal/libguides-pedagogy-to-oppress/ ) I don't get it. Would Nicole Pagosky's Ferguson Resources ( http://libguides.library.arizona.edu/ferguson ) be more social justice-y if it were on WordPress and not part of the Arizona University Libraries system of LibGuides? Why the emphasis on the container? Also... I'm not clear about the hostility toward our traditional library resources. Hicks says "librarian-defined notions of value and authority conceals an industrial-era adherence to library-centric, behaviourist learning theories and provides a textbook example of Paulo Freire’s banking model of education." So... it would be less oppressive if students do NOT learn about scholarly resources? Why the hostility toward faculty assignments that provide a structured exercise? I'm at the reference desk of a community college where students are asked to do a basic bibliography with a recipe. Find five books, three articles, and two multimedia items on your topic. Use a certain format for the bibliography. Oppressive?? They have to find library resources. Oppressive? It's just an exercise - like doing scales when you are learning to play a musical instrument. Would it be more social justice-y if students did not know how to do a systematic search using a variety of sources and note that many publication types can be useful? Would it be more social justice-y if students never dealt with scholarly resources?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Redesigning the entry experience"

Redesigning the entry experience is about providing an inviting experience for clients entering a physical setting. http://www.freshtilledsoil.com/redesigning-the-entry-experience/ Can we apply this kind of design thinking to our students'entry experience into our online courses? Do our students find our course site "friendly, inviting and welcoming"? Or do our students experience the "deer in the headlights" sensation that Jeremy Sabath describes in his piece? I wonder if thinking about the "course" as an architectural space would be useful....

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Microaggressions or... not

I had a good time paying attention to the #critlib session on microaggressions. Storify's here http://goo.gl/SR7Bg8 I do get that we tend to operate off of stereotypes in the worst possible ways, but could there be times when we simply should NOT be offended? I am now working with librarian who also has short gray hair and similarly-styled glasses. We're almost the same height and appear to be roughly the same age. We're both caucasian. Students mix us up. #notmicroaggression, right? If students mix up two staff members who look alike, is it possible that they really do look alike?? If you look like a student, should you be offended if someone thinks you're a student? How can they tell you have a different status? Even if you are sitting at a service point... What's the indication that you are a librarian and not a student assistant? I think there's a possibility that this might not fall under the heading of microaggression. Or.... ?