In August of 2021 I became the director of library services for WSU Tech, a vo tech/community college hybrid. I get to do all the cool academic librarian stuff like help students learn to navigate resources and information literacy concepts, plus I’m in the planning stages of a media literacy elective that is going to be the best media literacy elective in the history of media literacy electives. Bet on it.
As a library assistant in the Adult Programming department of the Wichita Public Library, I got to do a lot of cool stuff. Here are some of the programs I’ve run in the recent past:
Learning Circles have been pretty easy to transition to a virtual format, so we’ve done a lot of them in 2020 and 2021. A Learning Circle is essentially a formalized study group facilitated by a non-expert library staff member; the concept was pioneered by Peer 2 Peer University. We use course content that’s freely available online, usually a MOOC from a site like Coursera, and work through it together. Here are my favorite courses I’ve facilitated recently:
- American Government: Constitutional Foundations (Harvard via EdX)
- Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World (State University of New York via Coursera)
- The Science of Well-Being (Yale via Coursera)
- Smithsonian’s Objects That Define America (The Smithsonian Museum via EdX)
“But, Noelle!” I hear you say, “You’re still in school! Why would you need continuing education?! Shouldn’t you finish your actual education first?” Listen, nerds gotta nerd. Give me a chance to take a free class, and I’ll probably find time to do it. This last year, especially when we were curbside only, I had a chance to participate in some seminars I might’ve missed otherwise.
- Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice (Webjunction; both self-paced and synchronous)
- Bystander Intervention Training presented by Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- “When Not to Call the Cops,” presented by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association
- Kansas Library Association annual meeting (virtual)