Friday, February 27, 2015

Updates from the Uncommon Commons

Hello again, readers!

Since I moved into a different position in 2010, I have apparently been reduced to one post per year. I was hoping to remedy that in 2014...but here we are.

This blog started with a focus on learning spaces, and several of the more popular posts are still reviewed regularly (like the ones about those weird-at-the-time service desks or the parties we used to have in the Hub or the video windows or the floor signs that are all pretty typical now).  Learning spaces are still a big interest of mine, and I was involved in some pretty exciting renovations in 2013. Lately though my attention has been focused on some follow-up projects related to my dissertation work.

I had the pleasure of presenting at four international conferences in 2014 to talk about the benefits of designing instruction using the I-LEARN model.  Interested in hearing more?  I am working on a post (an actual--not annual update--post about it).  One of the conferences I presented at last year was so awesome, I asked if I could join the program committee, and so now I am on for 2015. Interested in presenting in Tallinn in October?  Check out the European Information Literacy Conference.  I will likely be posting about that as well since the the 2014 conference was one of the best conferences I have ever attended.

I have also been teaching at two iSchools which has been pretty amazing.  Library science students who are eager to learn more about all things academic library--sign me up!

Since I can't use the doctoral student excuse anymore, I have stepped up my volunteer leadership work in SLA a bit.  I am currently serving on the executive board of the Leadership and Management Division as Director of Communications.  I am also in my third year of participating on the Professional Development Advisory Council, and I expect I may be Archivist for the Academic Division until I retire.  I have emphasized many times what a great group SLA is and how your can develop so many skills through volunteer leadership oppotunities.

So that's enough updates for now.  I am committed to writing more about I-LEARN and how it is a most awesome tool for building course guides, learning modules, and all sorts of instructional materials, so watch for that soon!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

New Year's Updates

Hello, readers!

It has been far too long since I have posted anything, though it is heartening to see that old posts on this blog still receive a good bit of traffic.  Who knew people would still want to read about the Hubbub?  I thought I would give you a few personal updates and then share some links to several learning space projects I had the pleasure of working on in 2013.

The big news is that my dissertation is now published online, and I graduated in December 2013. While my program took nearly five years, it was an amazing experience that I would do again in a second. The course content was excellent, my independent projects were valuable, and I had a wonderfully supportive committee, especially my chair.  If you have interests similar to mine, I encourage you to look at instructional design/instructional technology programs.

For some time now, I have wanted to get back into teaching.  I taught a library science course back when I was a public librarian and loved it; likewise my experiences in the classroom teaching information literacy sessions were invigorating, but I have gotten away from it in the last few years. I am absolutely thrilled to be teaching a course online this spring, New Directions in Academic Libraries. Last night I wrapped up the first video lecture and made the course available to the class. I couldn't be more excited!

I am participating in several conferences this year, including SLA Leadership Summit and a short trip to ALA Midwinter this month, plus SLA Annual. I am in the process of working on some presentation proposals related to my dissertation work and some new research projects, so I hope to be participating in some events new to me later this year.

Speaking of research, I am working on some possibilities to extend my dissertation research as well as co-author some new instructional design-related projects.  At work we have several ideas percolating relating to user experience and design thinking, and we are in the early stages of designing a value study. I would be happy to talk at length about any of them, so feel free to get in touch.

That was far too much about me, though it has been a busy twelve months.

Learning space projects...

In 2013 I had the great fortune of being involved in some way with three different projects:

  • William T. Young Library second floor renovation.  With private gifts, we transformed two wings of the second floor to create dynamic student learning spaces, including opening up a traditional reference desk.
  • Kentucky American Water Room group study room. With a generous gift, we transformed a simple meeting room into a vibrant group study space.
  • Media Depot @ the Hub.  The Media Depot is primarily a project from the campus IT group, though we are are partner on the project, and it is wonderful having the service in the Young Library.  I greatly enjoy talking about it!
Many more pictures of these projects can be found on the UK Libraries Facebook page and the Hub's Facebook page.   Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

I do post learning space-related content to Twitter as well as content related to research libraries, instructional design, information literacy instruction, and educational technology, so that will be where you will find me more often.  

It is great to be back, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

One Post a Year

As I have not posted anything in nearly a year (how did that happen!), here are a few updates.

My interests have moved more to information literacy instruction, though I am in the middle of a few learning space projects here.  I still post links to articles about learning spaces, interesting new spaces (have you seen this?), and other commons-related things to Twitter

As far as school, I passed my qualifying exam in April, and my dissertation proposal was approved in November. My research involves instructional design for information literacy instruction, and I begin data collection this month.  I hope to defend at the end of the year, which should leave me more time for picking up the blog again!

Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Happened to the Uncommon Commons?

I had someone ask me about my blog recently, and after I noticed that it's been five months since I posted anything, I figured I should write something--if only for myself to make a mostly dead blog look a little better.  Ironically I have tons of projects going on in my new (well, still seems new to me) job, with school, and for SLA that would make for interesting and perhaps useful posts.  I've made several commons visits in the last few months and have much I could report.

However, I am just nine weeks away from my doctoral qualifying exam, so writing about all of those projects will have to wait.  I am hopeful that I can pick things up in the summer again.  Until then, I do post fairly regular items of possible interest on Twitter.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hubbub 2011 Recap

Apparently the fifth time's a charm, so I'm not going to go into as great of detail as I did for previous Hubbub events (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007). The event was pretty much perfect, reaching over 400 students. We only had two problems the entire day: we couldn't find the green screen for our photo booth (ie, green plastic tablecloth) or our prize drawing tickets during early morning setup, but terrific folks from UK Libraries (thanks Doug and Sherree!) quickly came to the rescue.

We did a few new things this year. We invited the Writing Center and the campus tutoring center to join in on the fun. That went so well that I wondered why I hadn't thought of it in the four years previous. We kicked the video games up a notch with an Unreal Tournament from KY Trade in the lab and a full size Galaga arcade game thanks to Louisville Arcade Expo, in addition to video games old (a Vectrex, seriously) and new. Students once again had fun with board games and coloring pages, and the new face painting booth was a major hit. We went with a less dangerous "minute to win it" type game this year using a broom and marbles (no throwing floppy disks across the lab), but it still remained popular. And of course, Gilbert the Balloon Artist continued to wow the crowd like nobody else can.

I didn't play as great a role in planning the event as years past, largely due to my new job. We definitely couldn't have done this without our planning team (Jen, Jennifer, and Shawn) as well as the few dozen faculty, staff, and students who helped. This is a great event, and as long as I'm at UK, I can't imagine not being a part of it. What a way to kick off the new semester!

Photos by Whitney Hale, UK PR

Sunday, June 26, 2011

SLA Academic Keeps Growing

So it's been three years since we began the petition drive for the SLA Academic Division. The division was officially formed in January 2009. We had our first round of programs at the 2009 SLA Annual Conference despite having any funds, and already we were 225 members strong. In 2010, we had our first "real" set of conference programs with several standing-room-only sessions, a spotlight session, and a Sunday night dance party. In 2011, we launched our open access, peer-reviewed journal, Practical Academic Librarianship: the International Journal of the SLA Academic Division. Last month at the SLA Annual Conference, we had a number of outstanding programs (check out our Twitter feed for details) and a spotlight session, not to mention the must-attend Karaoke Night. I am thrilled at all of this progress and that three years later the division is at 525 members and growing.

A huge thanks to everyone who made SLA Academic possible and keeps moving us forward--you guys are the best!Link

Learning Spaces Visits at SLA Conference

I have visited libraries and learning spaces from time to time while at a conference, but now I'm thinking of making it a more formal endeavor. Last week at the SLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia, a group of fellow attendees and I visited the Library Learning Terrace at Drexel and the TECH Center at Temple. Both were interesting spaces, particularly in their use of furnishings. I have a bunch of pictures I need to clean up and go through. Until then, here are some photos from Drexel showing the Library Learning Terrace's recent opening and a nice set of images of the Temple TECH Center.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

7 Things You Should Know About the Modern Learning Commons

I am delighted to be a contributor to the latest in the ELI 7 things series, 7 Things You Should Know About the Modern Learning Commons. I really enjoyed working with the ELI staff and contributors, and it was especially cool to work with learning commons expert Joan Lippincott.

What do you see as the future of learning commons?