Capstone ePortfolio: Joanna Russell Bliss 

ALA Competency 4: Technological Knowledge & Skills

INFO 5960, Director's Brief

The purpose of this assignment was to develop a director's brief about an emerging technology in libraries; the below brief investigates movement labs on two different campuses here in the U.S. The brief was originally turned in via our course website on November 22, 2020. The embedded version is a low resolution version due to file size; a full resolution version is available through this link.
This brief gave me a chance to research something near and dear to my heart: Investing in technology that enables experimentation for performance and movement. These labs give students, faculty and staff the ability to explore the possibilities of using expensive equipment to record and manipulate movement, to use projections in performances, to visualize choreography using virtual reality goggles, and more. 

The brief covers the origins of these labs at The Ohio State University, and the common technology found at such labs, as well as how to learn more about these labs and considerations for implementation. It also gave us the chance to experiment with a more graphic presentation of the information, which allowed me to play with various templates at Canva to create the brief.

This project correlates to the last two core competences for technical knowledge and skills, assessing and evaluating the use of emerging technology (4C), as well as the practical considerations for implementing the technology (4D).

INFO 5960, Emerging Tech Planning Project

The purpose of this assignment was to create a plan for incorporating an emerging technology into any library; the below plan is based on my experience at SMU as a Research & User Experience Intern. The post below was originally turned in on our course website on October 23, 2020. Because the course site is erased at the end of every term, I have replicated my personal posts and assignments on my professional website; the full assignment can be read there, or as a PDF here.

[Image description: A screengrab of my assignment posted on our class blog.]

The assignment gave us a template to use for planning such a large-scale project, but, of course, we had to fill in all of the details on our own. The central idea of the project can be summed up into an Action Brief Statement; the ABS from my project was as follows:

Convince library staff and administrators that by adding a YouTube account to our digital presence (and embedding it on our library website) they will enhance user knowledge of how to use our website, which will improve user experience because patrons will be able to access more resources and expand their research without having to ask librarians for assistance.

Once we'd considered audience, project goals, and the ABS, we had to expand our thoughts into such practical areas as guidelines and policy, funding and staffing, and training and promotion, as well as the continuous evaluation necessary to determine whether the project is succeeding, as well as how it could be improved.

This project correlates to several of the ALA's core competences for technical knowledge and skills. Obviously it considers possible information and communication technologies for service delivery (4A). It also assesses and evaluates the use of such technology (4C), as well as the practical ways of implementing the technology (4D).

INFO 5740, Digital Library Review

The purpose of this assignment was to evaluate an existing digital library. A PowerPoint presentation containing my evaluation of Digital Maryland, embedded below, was turned in on June 20, 2020. 

This review enabled us to dig deeply into a particular digital library, seeing how the project was developed and to analyze whether or not the project is successful. We evaluated whether the mission statement was being carried out, who has responsibility for the project -- both the managing organization and its partners, and how it is funded. We looked critically at the resources, collections and exhibits: Do the resources relate back to the mission of the project? Is the metadata sufficient for searching -- or for research? How do the exhibits connect the resources? And we investigated its services and technology: How does the library interact with its audience? How well does the interface work for users?
I found that the library had a decent foundation, but that there is plenty of room for improvement. Compared to libraries with similar missions, like the Portal to Texas History housed at UNT, the library at Digital Maryland had just a fraction of their resources, and was lacking in services, particularly interactivity. I suspect that a lack of manpower and budget is to blame. As I assert in one of the final evaluation slides, "Trying to create such connections and exhibits takes a great deal of time, particularly when you do so with multiple partner organizations. The fact that the most recent exhibit was created in 2005 is also a sign that the current managers of the site just don’t have the time or resources to create any more of them."

This review correlates to all four of the ALA's core competences for technical knowledge and skills, particularly 4C, the assessment and evaluation of technical products and services, and 4D, understanding the principles and techniques for identifying and analyzing emerging technologies and innovations.

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