Community engagement #newlib #MOOC

It’s the end of Week Two of the New Librarianship Master Class, with all sorts of things being discussed, including a strong focus on Community.

I’ve been challenged this week to think about:

  • the pressure from communities to change/improve/invent a raft of new/different/other services,
  • the pressure to interact with learners within their chosen environment,
  • the pressure to participate in ways that don’t match the “rules & regulations” of the organisation.

This concept of community pressure is also related to scarcity/abundance. If options in a community are limited, then there may be increased pressure to be everything to everyone, and the community may demand a wider range of services than if there is a choice to access information & services in other ways.

We all face pressure from our communities. How we choose to engage with our communities, how we respond to that pressure, how we ignore that pressure, how we react to that pressure – these are the challenges we need to address.

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A world of new librarianship #newlib #MOOC

I’ve recently joined over 1,000 others to participate in a librarian-specific MOOC – the New Librarianship Master Class. It builds on the concepts & discussion & learnings in The Atlas of New Librarianship by R.D. Lankes.

It’s no secret that I readily subscribe to the mission of the Atlas of New Librarianship – The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communitiesMy experiences with the Heroes Mingle Reality Librarianship 2012 & 2013 series reinforces this for me. Again & again, I see the role of librarians shifting for passive collectors, describers & organisers of knowledge to active facilitators of knowledge creation within their communities. I’ve been waiting for this MOOC as a way to jumpstart my re-engagement with the book.

This experience of a MOOC is not my first, but it is certainly the first that is focused in my professional field, and I actually know some of the people taking the course (either in real life, or via Twitter). I’m pleased to see quite a cohort of antipodeans involved in the MOOC, and also the discussions that are happening on Twitter about it.

Some of my usual MOOC frustrations are still apparent – the overwhelming “chatter” of so many different people, the discombobulation of the forums/discussion boards, the sheer amount of information to digest. However, what is different for me this time, is that I am committed to engaging with the content, reflecting on the content, digesting the content and once again diving into re-reading the book.

It’s been interesting to see so many MOOC participants struggle to separate libraries from librarians, as well disentangle specific types of librarianship from the wider professional field of librarianship. It serves to remind me that we need to keep engaging with one another, to seek out different perspectives, to understand different philosophies and forge new avenues of professional thinking.

I’m relishing being thrown back into deeper discussions about librarianship, & being challenged by other people’s points of views. It’s given me an outlet for some of professional discussion that I have been looking for. It also gives me an opportunity to reflect on the online learning experience, learning without assessment, to be part of the impact of MOOCs on higher education, and ruminate on ways to incorporate my experiences& knowledge into other parts of my professional life.

There’s plenty of other folks sharing their experiences about this MOOC – such as BeerBrarian’s thoughts on week one and Timothy A. Lepczyk’s first week reflections – as well as many discussions on Twitter using the hashtag #newlib.