Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations
Interpersonal skills are necessary for many professions, but they are particularly necessary for librarians. The first item in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights reads “[b]ooks and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves” (American Library Association, 2007). In order to serve the needs of the community, one must first understand the needs of the community, and the best way to do that it through communication.
One thing I have learned while in this program is that library work cannot be done alone. In order to serve a community, one must be very familiar with that community, by means of user surveys, focus groups, or meetings with community leaders. One must be able to work with interest groups in order to determine how best to serve them, and also must be able to determine who the major stakeholders are in every project and work with them towards a successful outcome. The goals of the community are essential to the goal of the library, and excellent communication skills are needed to establish relationships with the community. Also, cooperation between colleagues is necessary. One must work interdepartmentally within the library to determine how to best serve users, working with directors, technical services, reference, acquisitions, and more.
In the items presented below, I will show that I have worked successfully with groups to plan programs, and create tools for libraries.
Coordinating School and Public Library Resources to Empower At-Risk Adolescent Girls - LIBR 204 - Spring 2005
This project for LIBR 204 in the Spring of 2005 focused on providing library services to at-risk adolescent girls. This group looked at studies about library usage by teenagers, as well as conducting its own survey with local teens. It also focuses on the importance of public and school libraries working together to engage this user group, as well as teachers and of course, the teens themselves.
As part of this project, I spoke with a local teen librarian to discuss how he works with other agencies and schools, as well with a teen advisory board. We also discussed programs for teens they had developed, and I attended one of their sessions on creative writing. This provided valuable insight into how cooperation is needed and how important communication with the group being served can be to the development and success of programs. I also contributed to this project doing research, and contributing to the collaborative process in writing and editing.
Database Design - LIBR 202 - Spring 2005
With this project, I worked with three colleagues in Spring of 2005 for LIBR 202 to develop a database of articles for MILS students. We worked together to determine who the primary user group would be for the database, what access points would be need for those users, and which access points would need precoordinate and post coordinate vocabularies. There was much discussion over language and choosing appropriate terms or our lists, as well as choosing to which articles they applied. My specific role involved much of the data entry of the database, although the input of all in the group was used for the development of the controlled vocabularies, as well as editing the write up of the database.
Thesaurus Design - LIBR 247 - Spring 2007
This document is the end result of an assignment to create a thesaurus for a database of consumer-friendly articles on domestic animals for LIBR 247 in the Spring semester of 2007. For this project it was to work with a group because of the fact that people think differently, and the thesaurus must address all the possible terms that a person could use as an access point. This group discussed the thesaurus over the phone regularly, continuing the discussion via email, and included in the project is a detailed analysis of how the group worked together, what terms caused the most debate within the group and why some terms were used while others were not. Without these multiple points of view in the development of the thesaurus, the end result would not be as useful to users.
My role in this project involved researching similar thesauri in order to see what terms were commonly used and how the hierarchies were constructed. I examined a sample of the articles relating to fish and reptiles and developed a list of terms for my articles, which were then joined with the terms other team members developed. Then as a group we developed the final terms of the thesaurus. Finally, I was largely responsible for organizing the final version of the hierarchy and joined all team members in ensuring consistency throughout our document.
American Library Association. (2007). Library Bill of Rights. Retrieved September 9, 2007 from http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/statementspols/statementsif/librarybillrights.htm