The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions

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Library Users: Designing/Thinking/Planning.

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This weeks topic is Design thinking, with focus on library users at the centre. The traditional way of building solutions within a library setting was done through evidence based practice, which is still very viable in many other areas of research. However the Howard reading proposes not to loose all the aspects of evidence based practise but to incorporate it into the model that has been built within design thinking.

The strengths of these two models builds a pathway for solutions, so now instead of searching for solutions in other areas, seeing how others have done it, we are now seeking ways of building solutions. Putting the user in the centre allows us to view   them which ultimately helps create new solutions as these are the people that will benefit when these problems have been addressed.

Howard looks to these two models in 6 stages and views it in a circular motion that each stage can be linked to the next or can interlink throughout each stage. He also proposes a “Ideation” stage whereby the process generates, develops and test ideas which can then be implemented as a product within a setting. This process is needed as the problems that we encounter are dubbed “Wicked Problems”  which I find really tricky to understand, you don’t know you have a problem yet you are trying to build a solution and the problem only surfaces once you have built a solution and the problem solving ends when you run out of resources????? Really, that sounds like someone chasing their tail and really not having control over a problem that is seriously affecting their institution.

So how can EBP & IUE stop this poor person from running in circles?  In looking at certain groups of people and learning how they seek information, but more importantly how they use that information. As this process happens analyse their problems and behaviours and use this analysis to build solutions to different blocks that appear along the way.

Maria made a point that all these ways of finding and building clarification within your institution is an “Ambidextrous” way of thinking,  this creative way, we as humans can develop has tremendous advantages not only to Librarians but to every field. In researching this term I came across a unique website, aimed at engineers but could be adapted within our own setting. “Ambithink” is a really good way of contextualising some chasing their tail.

Bowler also brought together all these ideas and suggests steps to focus on when users seek information, themes that are created within their search, and how we can build a structure or framework to help us see the blocks that they encounter along their information seeking journey and try and move these blocks to give the user an ease and flow to the experience.

It is a very detailed way of looking at how we as Librarians and Information Professionals go about solving issues within our organisation, and from my point of view these don’t really make sense to me at the moment as everything is on paper, it when I have these issues arise and I have to deal with them hands on then these designs will come to life and help me in mapping a pathway to the context I am in.

Ambithink I like I may seek to engineers in the future!


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Digital Libraries & E-Portfolio’s

Linking my Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice with my Digital Libraries Module has proved very beneficial.

Within the various Digital issues I have confronted, the two speakers that attended our class really did shine some light on how to help solves these problems.

Our Assessment for D.L. is a challenge, however exciting. Here we develop and build our own Digital Library!!! It has been a challenge, and also looking “outside the box” at various issues that surround Digital Libraries, copyright, metadata, scanning pictures,photo’s creating “tiff” instead of “jpeg”, files being too large…..

To access how the Professionals do it was a real bonus, instead of looking at creating a Digital Library from my own perspective it gave me the opportunity to see how the larger community would view it , and who they would be.

Connections have literally sprung up everywhere throughout this second semester and as part of our PLN it was suggested we take part in the Hack Library School “Day in the Life” of a Library Student. This was very encouraging as people who had signed up for the day or week were able to contact each other and follow them on twitter or view their blog.

This interest then led me to follow the Library Voices tweets which has just introduced their newest contributor Andy Tattersall, one of the topics he was covering was about digital copyright, which was something I was interested with my own D.L. As it then became apparent Andy had a lot of Prezi’s available which also started another conversation of the likes and dislike of using this new tool.

The following is an amazing presentation which to my surprise I had already become a part of through my own research.


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The Tipping Point!

Since we broke for Spring Break (as I will now and forever refer to it) I felt I had everything under control.

All modules were in check, and I was nicely moving along, the sun had begun to shine and the daffodils were blooming.

Then it slowly changed in a day the temperatures dropped, rain, snow, sleet.

So I took the miserable weather and sat down to organise my 2 weeks off.

  2. Digital Libraries

However 2 weeks later I am no more further than I was when I made the list, hence the title of this post.

I am at the tipping point, however I don’t now if Malcolm Gladwell’s book will help me get through these assignments.


This blog is certainly the place for me right now. A place where I can write and space out my fears of college and reflect on what I really have to do. There is a point when you get yourself into a rut, that you really can’t see the wood from the trees and time seems to go at super speed. Week 8 is fast approaching, I am going to take these next few weeks and visit the National Library, go to Chester Beatty Library which I adore and start planning a productive approach to seeking employment!

The Library world that I have been apart of since starting in SILS has made this approach to planning exciting. To seek employment on a scale where I can access people for advice on job applications, interviews and certain career choices, is amazing.

It is not a world where you feel on your own, since being to the conferences and meeting the various Library personal and engaging with the talks on twitter I feel very confident that I will find some kind of experience outside college.

So, to put aside all worries and set a new plan for getting my assignments done, it will be all worth it in the end.

I love reading I just have a lot of it to do!