Professional Growth Activities

I work hard to share what I have learned through attending webinars, conferences, and course work with my colleagues in the Library, as well as encourage others to share what they have learned. In the Web Improvement Team, we dedicate the first 15 minutes of every meeting to a Professional Development Brief and team members take turns presenting. Staff share an article they have read or a webinar or workshop they have attended with the group. Through this sharing, we have learned about website accessibility, web analytics, student search habits, writing for the web, usability testing, personas, web trends, and user centered design tools.

One of the most rewarding professional growth activities I participated in over the past four years was completing the Certificate in User Experience by taking a series of five online courses through the Library Juice Academy. The certificate included the following courses: Designing a Usable Website, Information Architecture: Designing Navigation for Library Websites, Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing, Beyond Usability Testing: Other Research Methods, Writing for the Web, Developing a Website Content Strategy, and Universal Design. As a direct result of taking these courses, I:

  • Created an editorial standards and content management process and revised our Writing for the Web Guide
  • Started to do regular usability testing of the Library website
  • Began using discussion boards in Desire2Learn for librarians to give each other feedback on new pages and revising existing pages

Spring of 2012, I completed the “Transforming Learning through Teaching,” a 12 week course for faculty from across campus to share, explore, and reflect upon current teaching and learning practices. This course gave me many new ideas for teaching which I shared with my colleagues on the instruction services team in the Library. One of these ideas was to use an IOR log (Instruct, Observe, Reflect) for peer-evaluation of the teaching process. I also shared this during a lightening talk at University of Michigan’s Michigan Instructional Exchange (MIX). In addition, I implemented a variety of active learning activities and polling in the classroom, as well as classroom assessment techniques for formative assessment.

Attending the Transforming Learning through Teaching, and presenting and attending a variety of workshops at the Center for Teaching Excellence has inspired me to try new active learning techniques in the classroom. It has also given me the opportunity to liaison with faculty from across campus.

Below are workshops, conferences and webinars I have attended:

  • Association of College and Research Libraries Conference, Portland, 2015
  • “Remotely Possible: Remote User Testing.” UserTesting webinar series, Spring 2015
  • LOEX Conference, Grand Rapids, Spring 2014
  • Library Technology Conference, Minneapolis, Spring 2014
  • Michigan Virtual Reference Conference, Ypsilanti, Spring 2014
  • “Your Humorous Brain.” CTE, Spring 2014
  • “Another Hour of Laughter and Inspiration.” CTE, Fall 2014
  • “Faculty Collaborating through Lesson Study: An Example at LCC.” CTE, Fall 2014
  • “Using Classroom Observations to Facilitate Collegial Discussions and Professional Growth.” CTE, Fall 2014
  • “Formative Assessment Strategies for Library Instruction.” EasyBib webinar, Fall 2014
  • “Would you Watch It? Creating Effective and Engaging Video Tutorials,” Blended Librarian webinar, Fall 2014
  • “Creating More Engaging Classes… One Activity at a Time.” CTE, Spring 2013
  • Association of College and Research Libraries, Indianapolis, Spring 2013
  • Applied Technologies and Trends Workshop, Michigan Library Association, Spring 2013
  • Michigan Library Association Annual Conference, Lansing, Fall 2013
  • “Designing Your Course Homepage in Desire2Learn.” CTE, Fall 2013
  • “Strategies for Getting Your Students to Cooperatively Collaborate.” CTE, Fall 2013
  • Don’t Manage Your Project: Lead It! Workshop, Michigan Library Association, Spring 2012
  • LOEX Conference, Detroit, Spring 2012
  • “Learning Outcomes: Just the Basics.” CTE, Spring 2012
  • Research Help Now Annual Meetings, Ann Arbor, Spring 2012 – 2015
  • “Engaging Students through Texting and Instant Messaging.” CTE, Fall 2012
  • “What Can Media Services do for You?” CTE, Fall 2012
  • Michigan Library Association Annual Conference, Lansing, Fall 2012
  • Michigan Instruction Exchange, University of Michigan, Summer 2012
  • Research Help Now Annual Meetings, Ann Arbor, Spring 2012 – 2015
  • Don’t Manage Your Project: Lead It! Workshop, Michigan Library Association, Spring 2012
  • LOEX Conference, Detroit, Spring 2012
  • Michigan Library Association Annual Conference, Lansing, Fall 2012 and 2013
  • Michigan Instruction Exchange, University of Michigan, Summer 2012

Here are some recent examples of ideas I have implemented from my professional development activities:

  • Instruction – campus-wide assessment of information literacy project for sabbatical (ACRL), integrated NCSU’s “big picture” video tutorials into Library website (LOEX), discovered tools for teaching students how to evaluate sources (ACRL)
  • Website – learned about project management tools to manage the website (MLA Don’t Manage Your Project), started doing more regular usability testing (MLA Applied Technologies and Trends), discovered resources for making website accessible (Library Technology Conference)
  • Reference – got ideas for training library staff in virtual reference best practices (Research Help Now Annual Meetings)
  • Liaison – learned about using High Impact Education Practices to communicate library value (ACRL), received training in using rubrics to assess student papers for information literacy (ACRL)

When I return from workshops or conferences, I share what I learned with my colleagues at team meetings and by posting on the professional development discussion board in the Library Community in Desire2Learn. More recently, I have started to create an online board with links to the most meaningful presentations and ideas from conferences I attend. I try to point out presentations that will benefit all areas of the Library, for example ACRL and Library Technology Conference

Another goal at my last review was to get more involved in professional organizations. In the past four years, I have volunteered with the Michigan Library Association in a variety of workgroups and most recently with the Association for College and Research Libraries Instructional Technologies Committee. I have served on the Instructional Technologies workgroup for two years: the first year as a member, this year as co-chair, and next year I will serve at the chair. I manage the production of Tips and Trends, an online publication which introduces and discusses new, emerging, or even familiar technologies that can be used in library instruction. I wrote a Tips and Trends on Collaborative Technologies in Winter 2015. Currently, we are planning an online discussion of our most recent Tips and Trends about game-based learning. Volunteering for workgroups has helped me learn about new trends and technologies, share ideas with colleagues from around Michigan and the U.S., and develop my organizational skills.