My name is David Austin. I entered the Master of Library and Information Science residential program at the University of Washington’s Information School in Fall 2007. I have a great interest in working in an academic library in the areas of reference, user services, and systems and technology. I believe that the library contributes greatly to higher education by preparing people to interact with information in its many forms and uses, that they may have satisfaction in their personal lives as well as understand and contribute to an ever changing world.
For the course project in Instructional and Training Strategies for Information Professionals I created a comprehensive instructional design program for traditional undergraduate freshmen, culminating in a class presentation on my topic and program design. We were given considerable latitude as to how and what we researched and presented. I chose to delve deeply into creating a comprehensive information literacy program.
In the first quarter of the MLIS program I had the opportunity to work on two co-authored papers for the first time. One group, for Information Resources, Services and Collections, consisted of Brendan Lax, Matthew Goddard and me. Our assignment was to prepare a briefing paper for an information organization of our choosing. We examined and evaluated trends in the information environment of Powell’s Books, an independent book seller in Portland, Oregon, who also has a strong online presence. My group divided the paper up into three areas to research.
I had many opportunities to interact with students, observe the use of the library as a place of gathering and study, and ponder ways to improve the overall library atmosphere and user experience while working as the evening and weekend Circulation Coordinator for Hurst Library at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA.
The Internet Public Library (IPL) is an online public library serving the Internet community by providing resources and reference services through the use of freely available websites. Reference services are offered via email, utilizing a standardized form to elicit patron input, which attempts to perform some of the functions of the traditional reference interview. Research and responses are contributed by mostly volunteer librarians or library students working at the IPL as part of a class project.
As a member of a small team of librarians and staff at the Hurst Library of Northwest University, I gained a variety of experiences that impacted and benefitted the staff. In one project I learned through the migration of staff manuals from a combination of print and electronic files to a central wiki, hosted on the library intranet. I spent time researching, implementing, providing training, and evaluating the use of the wiki software, as well as creating the initial hierarchy and layout.