As we reach the end of this course, I feel I have gained a greater sense of what it takes to make innovative learning opportunities happen in libraries. I’ve enjoyed hearing the perspectives of my classmates and seeing their creativity in action.
I particularly enjoyed reading Hanging Out, Geeking Out, and Messing Around and The Participatory Museum, which each shared important concepts about what works and doesn’t and why participatory learning experiences are important, valuable, and even works of activism. I would have liked to spend a little more time with each of these books – to perhaps focus on fewer reading assignments in more depth and respond to the discussion boards in two week chunks. This pace seems to be my favorite when it comes to online classes.
I really liked that we could contribute our discussion responses in a variety of formats and wished I had tried a video! I am always hoping to connect more with my classmates and the video format is a neat way to do it.
The article on the Library of the Future included some valuable concepts that I think would be worth exploring more – for instance, the collective impact model as a way to sustain and enhance participatory spaces. I’d love to hear from a panel of librarians and partners who have collaborated on a participatory space in a library, and to learn some tips for collaborative partnerships that work.
The self-motivated and transformative learning we discovered this semester show what is possible in libraries. Our communities can inform the types of “making” we pursue at the library, so it’s critical that we include them in the process.
I think it’s also critically important to learn ways to bring about change in organizations that aren’t as receptive to it. It can be tough to move things forward when a library is still having arguments about whether or not to start a facebook page or is unable to staff the reference desk – so we have to think of those smaller libraries with limited resources – and how to bring them into the fold and give those eager librarians the skills to execute this kind of work!