Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Learning Times :: "Blended Librarians" in the LT Green Room

Originally posted in the LearningTimes Green Room on November 10, 2006.

In this episode, Susan Manning and Dan Balzer are joined by John Shank and Steven Bell, co-founders of http://www.blendedlibrarian.org, a community of librarians who blend instructional design, technology, and librarianship. John is Instruction Design Librarian and Head of Instructional Design Services at Penn State University - Berks Campus and Steven is Director of the Library at Philadelphia University. The interview was conducted with Skype.

The definition of the blended librarian is an academic librarian who combines the traditional skill set of librarianship with the information technologist’s hardware and software skills and adds to that the instructional or educational designer’s ability to apply technology appropriately in the teaching and learning process. Librarians integrating themselves into the teaching/learning process.

They do it all! Is it all about multi-tasking? It’s not just about wearing lots of hats but branching professionally into new areas.

Will multi-tasking make librarians relevant? John says no, but a librarian who has a deeper understanding and can apply these technologies to meet service needs will have lasting power. It’s all about partnerships.

Information literacy skills development is part of the blended librarian’s work. This led to a discussion of whose job it is and some about faculty resistance. John has solutions! Context specific information fluency building.

Goal for community is to develop tools and models. You can find them at http://www.blendedlibrarian.org and then join the blended librarians online learning community for interactive discussion, lists, resources, and webcasts.