Libraries Thriving Learning Community
Organized by Credo Reference and LYRASIS
Read the Charleston Conference Proceeding about the Libraries Thriving Learning Community here: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1188&context=charleston
The Libraries Thriving Learning Community, organized by Credo Reference and LYRASIS, invites members to think about and engage on key current issues with the aim of developing approaches, solutions and responses that demonstrate the effectiveness of individual library professionals as well as libraries' effectiveness within the institutions of which they are a part. For three to four month periods, community participants engage in a variety of interactions, primarily online, with occasional in-person meetings, to explore and experiment with the kinds of individual and institutional actions needed for libraries to thrive.
What is a Learning Community?
The work of Alexander Meiklejohn (1932) and John Dewey (1933) in the 1920s and ‘30s gave rise to the concept of a student learning community. Increasing specialization and fragmentation in higher education caused Meiklejohn to call for a community of study and a unity and coherence of curriculum across disciplines. Dewey advocated learning that was active, student centered, and involved shared inquiry. A combination of these approaches in the late 1970s and '80s produced a pedagogy and structure that has led, among other things, to students' increased grade point averages, retention, and intellectual development. The term learning community has traditionally been applied to programs that involve first- and second-year undergraduates, along with faculty who design the curriculum and teach the courses.
A faculty learning community is a group of about 8-12 librarians, faculty and/or professional staff engaging in an active, collaborative program to accomplish personal and shared goals. A participant in a learning community may select an outreach effort, course or problem to try out innovations, assess resulting student learning/information literacy, and prepare a plan to address the challenge and then assess the outcome.
What are the benefits of becoming a member of the Libraries Thriving Learning Community?
You’ll be provided with:
• Project assistance from experts in the field through training events and group discussions
• Resources and reading materials to assist with your learning process
Opportunities for coordination and collaboration with colleagues from other institutions
Project visibility, supported by LYRASIS and Credo Reference, through the online community, websites, white paper and speaking opportunities
• A certificate of completion following the learning community
Potential sponsorship for conference participation and meeting travel for successful projects
• The chance to advance the field of technology innovation for libraries
What are the components of the Libraries Thriving Learning Community?
The Libraries Thriving Learning Community invites us to think about and engage on key current issues with the aim of developing approaches, solutions and responses that demonstrate the effectiveness of individual library professionals as well as libraries’ effectiveness within the institutions of which they are a part. From October through December 2011 community participants will engage in a variety of interactions, primarily online but with occasional in-person meetings, to explore and experiment with the kinds of individual and institutional actions needed for libraries to thrive. Sharing a vision for collaborative, creative, and positively-focused libraries and library professionals, Credo Reference and LYRASIS are providing facilitation and technical support for this unique community.
Each learning community member will have two core responsibilities:
1. To undertake an ambitious library initiative that involves technology;
2. To work collaboratively with other community members on their initiatives.
To accomplish these goals, the Libraries Thriving Learning Community will include an online space to explore common interests and address shared issues or problems. This online space will include and/or involve:
• Information resources and best practices/strategies
• Knowledge bases to which members can contribute their work and findings
• A forum for research and implementation questions
• Colleagues engaged in similar work and tackling similar challenges
• Experts who may be able to clarify issues and provide references, and
• Colleagues who might be interested in collaborating on a project.
Shared activities will be a large part of the community experience. Members will:
Engage in two online meetings or events per month, some featuring speakers from the library, business, and higher education fields
• Participate in discussions focused on short readings during these meetings
Share their proposed project and project progress with other members of the community
Work with fellow librarians, faculty and students to address the needs of their project
• Have fun while learning and collaborating within the small group
• Attend occasional in-person meetings regionally and at conferences
Present project results to their campus and to fellow library professionals at national conferences**
Who are the leaders of the Libraries Thriving Learning Community?
Timothy Cherubini: Tim has been a participant in the major changes affecting libraries over the last 20 years in positions at Duke University, Emory University, Ohio State University and Williams College and with the consortia SOLINET and now LYRASIS. In his LYRASIS role as Director of Regional Services, Tim is in a unique position to view trends, challenges, and opportunities for collaboration. Community development and action are key points for the future success of librarians, he believes, and experiences like Libraries Thriving Learning Communities are valuable opportunities for both personal and professional progress.
Jackie LaPlaca Ricords: Jackie has an academic background in education policy and has completed research projects at the University of Pennsylvania, a Rotary International Fellowship, as well as a NEH Fellowship. Jackie spent 10 years coordinating education non‐profits, faculty professional development programs, and government projects in the areas of educational technology, service‐learning, and diversity. Before her current position as a director for Credo Reference, Jackie was the Director of Library & Educational Relations for a STM publisher, IGI Global. A central focus of Jackie’s position is assisting libraries with their e-resources planning and developing new products to assist with information literacy.
A Few Details about Past Libraries Thriving Learning Communities:
Past learning community speakers include:
• Mike Sweet, CEO of Credo Reference
Sue Polanka, Head of Reference and Instruction, Wright State University Libraries (Moderator of http://www.libraries.wright.edu/noshelfrequired/)
Cheryl Richardson, best-selling author, speaker and life-coach (http://www.cherylrichardson.com/)
Past learning community accomplishments include:
• Projects shared as part of Libraries Thriving Online Seminar Series, Summer 2011
• Charleston Conference concurrent session accepted, November 2011
• Member participation on the Libraries Thriving Advisory Board, 2011-2012
• Funding acquired for projects
• Collaboration between libraries, teaching and learning centers and technology teams
Read more about past community projects here
**To showcase a success story, Credo Reference will be sponsoring a member to attend a conference as part of this learning community.