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What Would You Ask an Academic Librarian?
May 17, 2010 - 9:27pm

This Thursday (5/20 3:00pm EST) I'm participating in a Webinar entitled "Everything Librarians and Learning Technologists Wanted to Know About Each Other and Never Bothered to Ask: An Open Forum".

You can register (for free) at the site.

The description of the webinar reads:

Join Steven Bell and John Shank, and their guests, Joshua Kim and Laura Braunstein, in this open forum in which instructional technologists and academic librarians ask each other questions about helping faculty and students with technology, handling and management of digital collections, achieving better collaboration, and working in the same space.

Over the past few weeks I've been working with my academic librarian colleagues to come up with with a set of discussion questions that straddle the line between provocative and informative. One of our goals is to get on the table any misperceptions or stereotypes that learning technologists and academic librarians may harbor regarding our roles on campus. The hope is that through honest dialogue, and a lively exchange of views, that we can find common cultural ground in order to continue the collaborative library/technology work that so many of us are engaged in.

I originally got to know Steven Bell last year when he invited me and a colleague to talk about "becoming an educational change agent" in the webinar series. Subsequently, I blogged about Steven (and his academic library blogging colleagues) in this space, and Steven has used one of his blogs to link his community to the learning technology world. I'm sort of an academic librarian groupie - and have made it my mission to take every opportunity to collaborate, learn from, and engage in joint project with my academic librarian colleagues. Therefore, I'm very excited to have the opportunity to hang out with the Blended Librarian community via webinar this week. How can we reciprocate this sort of invitation to academic librarians from the learning technology side?

I'm hoping you will consider attending the webinar - and perhaps even suggesting some questions that you'd like to ask an academic librarian (or a learning technologist). A brief sampling of some of the questions I plan to ask Steven, Laura and John include:

--Are librarians trained for learning design in library school?

--If you were to design an academic library from scratch, would you make it like it is now? What would you change?

--How come it takes so long to get a book that a librarian orders when I can have it from Amazon in a day?

--What do you wish other people (colleagues, librarians, faculty, students) knew more about what you do?

--Which one of us (librarians or technologists) is more like faculty?

I'll hold off on sharing some of the questions that my academic librarian colleagues have come up for me (I think you'll find them a bit more provocative than I was willing to offer), but again I'll be sure to pass along any suggested questions.

Additional questions (or answers) would be great?


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