Getting out of my head and getting to work

Reading through articles about information literacy, and now digital literacy is not as taxing as one may imagine.  It sounds boring, or even as though I’m being pretentious, but I very much love to sit in bed at night and thumb through a journal article related to other university library programs for information literacy.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how what I’m doing at work related to the UK framework for higher education, or the guidelines that I am using to meet my requirements for the PgCHEP.  They seem very subjective and malleable, so I am not too worried about how I am going to meet the requirements, I just hope that I’ll be able to string everything together in a comprehensible form so that the way that I see my work and the importance of what I’m doing is demonstrated. 

So much always seems to be going on here at the library for me.  I’ve spent my week, so far, doing NOTHING related to IL (other than reading and thinking about it) because I’ve had other work to do and other people to help.  I’ve started to feel a little guilty about that, thinking that I’m neglecting the BIG project I’m supposed to be getting on with, but then my more rational side kicks in and reminds me that I still have plenty of other work to do that is just as important.

Because my project for this certification deals with developing an IL strategy for the library, I’ve got to keep in mind that it will not be helpful for me to think too far ahead of myself- even though that is the next step- going from an information literacy strategy to a curriculum to be embedded into courses and modules here at the university.

So far, one of the things I’m struggling with the most is just sitting down and making decisions about how the project will be carried out.  I feel as though I’ve almost been wasting time these past three months just “thinking” about information literacy and not actually doing anything.  I’ve done a bit of work, I suppose, as I’ve developed my plan and submitted it to my line manager.  At this juncture, I’m needing to go back and develop an actual timetable for actions, responsibility, results, etc.  I’ve completed about half of this, however, because I feel like I’m going to be responsible for the majority of the work (as far as creation and development), it doesn’t seem that important to nail dates down as to when things need to be completed.  However, I know that this is to my benefit so that I will actually do the work.

London Metropolitan has a wonderful framework for information literacy, and I’m so happy that I’ve been able to arrange a visit to their library in order to see how they implement information literacy within their teaching sessions.  I am also going to be able to meet with their learning technologists in order to delve in a little deeper as to where they see themselves in regard to meeting their objectives laid out in their strategy, as well as where they feel they are going to go in the next five years.  It is pretty exciting! 

Perhaps my difficulty with carrying out some of the actions necessary for this project comes from my over-analyzing the situation itself.  I suppose that because I feel responsible for the success or failure of this framework, I’ve intimidated myself and have become more hesitant.  I shouldn’t though, as it’s just information literacy, right?  You can’t REALLY go wrong when developing something that should enhance student academic experience and assist them in developing skills for the future (employability), right? 

So many other universities have an information literacy strategy in place, and while they are all different, they all essentially do the same thing.  I know I don’t need to create something new, or innovative, but when there are so many good choices out there, I begin to try to pick out those I think are the most important or the most effective…which, in turn, ends up complicating the whole thing because I can see that I begin to just want MORE- I start to get into the mindset that whatever I develop should be the catch-all for information literacy, which, again, puts me up in my own head too much.  I really just need to keep things simple, which is difficult to do as an early career librarian trying to make a mark, but I’ve got a deadline that I need to meet and I highly doubt that students are going to notice the difference between a great ILS and “the best” ILS.  Hopefully, if I do this right, they won’t notice anything at all- they’ll just be more skillful critical thinkers who never saw it coming! Image

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