Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Case Study No. 1024: Steven Bell and John Shank

Blended Librarian
Tags: Library Science
Added: 2 years ago
From: rnld0103
Views: 73

[scene opens with two male librarians being interviewed]
JOHN: When you hear the term "blended librarian" ... um, it may not mean anything initially.
[cut to a closeup of John]
JOHN: Or, something might come to your mind saying, "Hey, blended librarian, that means I'm doing a lotta stuff."
[someone off camera laughs]
JOHN: And I think librarians are very familiar with multitasking, and certainly librarians are used to using technology ...
[cut to a graphic reading "A Blended Librarian Combines: Library skills. Instruction skills. Instruction design & technology skills."]
JOHN: And so, when you hear the term "blended librarian", you think of technology, and is that a blended librarian? Well, Steven and I wanna speak to what exactly do we mean by "blended librarian"? We mean it's a librarian who's gonna combine traditional library skills, but also is going to have slightly enhanced skills. Skills that focus on instructional technologies.
[cut back to John and Steven]
JOHN: That is, technologies that can be brought to bear in a teaching and learning process. Whether in a public library, "K" through twelve, or higher education.
[cut to a closeup of John]
JOHN: But not only that, how do you use those technologies effectively in that process? And instructional design is a skill set that we can bring to bear, to really think about how do we thoughtfully use this technology to help us accomplish what we want to teach.
[cut to a shot of Steven]
STEVEN: And this next slide talks about this idea of using our skills to connect with the educator. I think it gets back to that vignette that we were just watching, where there is that bit of disconnect between the librarians and the faculty.
[cut to a graphic reading "A Blended Librarian: Uses his/her skill set to connect with educators with a shared goal of helping students achieve learning outcomes. Integrates librarianship into the teaching & learning process. (overcomes marginalization!)"]
STEVEN: Blended librarianship is about using tools and ideas and techniques to create connections between yourself and an educator. And, one of the reasons that John and I started talking and thinking about blended librarianship ...
[cut back to a closeup of Steven]
STEVEN: Is because we see that there are a lot of external forces that are tending to marginalize the library. That is, making the library less relevant to our user communities. And we think that blended librarianship can help provide some ideas that can help librarians, public librarians, "K" to twelve librarians, people who are teaching in any way in a library environment. To get the library more integrated in the teaching and learning process. It's not an easy thing to do ...
["Produced by: College of DuPage Multimedia Services. (c) College of DuPage, 2004" appears on screen]



Blended Librarianship is a novel form of librarianship practice first advanced by Steven Bell and John Shank in January 2004. In April 2004 Bell and Shank delivered a three-session workshop on Blended Librarianship [note: more recent webcasts are 90 minutes] that was sponsored by the TLT Group and ACRL. With support from the LearningTimes Network, the Blended Librarian Online Learning Community also became available in April 2004. At the end of 2009 the community had approximately 4,000 members and is still growing. The seminal article on Blended Librarianship appeared in the July/August 2004 issue of College & Research Libraries News.

From the beginning, Bell and Shank decided that Blended Librarianship needed to be more than just a concept. It had to be a working organism through which library practitioners would help each other to improve their knowledge of and ability to apply the theory and practice of instructional design and technology to improve our ability to connect with faculty for the purpose of achieving student learning outcomes. To facilitate this vision, working with Hope Kandel of the Learning Times Network, an online learning workspace was created to provide the necessary learning community. What takes place there is the exchange of information. This takes the form of online chats, webcasted events, the sharing of resources materials, discussion forums, and it facilitates librarians with shared interests and goals connecting with one another. At this time, through the support and generosity of the LearningTimes Network, librarians are being invited to join the community at no cost. In the future membership information will be provided here. Temporarily, interested librarians should contact Bell or Shank directly.

Mission Statement: The Blended Librarians Online Learning Community is librarians, faculty, instructional designers and technologists, and other academic support personnel working collaboratively to integrate the library into the teaching and learning process. It is designed to encourage and enable academic librarians to evolve into a new role that blends existing library and information skills with those of instructional design and technology. To that end, the Community leverages innovation, collaboration, and communication to bring together its members in a virtual environment for professional development and learning opportunities.

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