Assignment – Daniel’s very own Online Professional Learning Network

@michael and @kyle – Here is my latest assignment. I’d be grateful for additional resources in the distance learning developments area.

Goals Statement:

My online professional learning network will:

  • Keep me up to date on emerging technologies likely to be of use to libraries
  • Keep me informed about new developments in delivering tutorials and distance based instructional opportunities
  • Provide ideas and best practices for staff development training
  • Allow me to quickly learn new tech specific skills such as new programming languages or software packages
  • Keep me up to date on developments in Alaskan libraries, archives and museums

Defined Scope:

I am a technologist and trainer for staff in libraries, archives and museums in Alaska. My primary responsibilities are to staff in the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums who are spread out over three cities with no road connections between them. Part of my role is to see where technology in the Division is being used well and encourage the other sections to use it instead of acquiring different tools. For example, when people at the State Museum needed a survey tool, I steered them to SurveyMonkey, which was well understood and heavily used by the State Library. This reduced the learning curve of museum staff and gave them more resources for help.

I also provide assistance to the Alaska Library Network in database authentication and user education issues. I also assist the Alaska State Library in training state employees in tech and library resources.

Resource Network:

Emerging Technology

Lita-L – – Discussion of what is new and interesting along with what works and doesn’t in libraries.

Twitter – – I added this back to my network on the basis of HyperLibMOOC classmates. Following fellow technologists and tracking tags like 3dprinting is helpful.

Tumblr – – I use this to post my library-themed blog and follow tags such as 3dprinting as well as forward thinking librarians. Plus I need more Dr. Who and Supernatural fandom in my life.

Facebook: MakerSpaces and the Participatory Library – – Easy way to keep up with people interested in MakerSpaces and related tech.

Computers in Libraries via Ebscohost journal alert – – I get several journal alerts through EBSCO. Computers in libraries has good case studies on how libraries use current and emerging technologies.

OCLC Above the Fold – – This brings in high level tech and social behavior thinking from outside the LIS universe.

Distance Learning

Learning Roundtable (LearnRT) mailing list – – This mailing list has postings on producing distance education. Also includes resources on staff development.

Staff Development

WebJunction – – Great set of resources for almost any sort of staff training you’d like to put on. More of a static resource than some others.

Facebook – Technology Training and Libraries – – Lots of practical class ideas and peer advice.

Wyoming State Library Training Calendar – – Fairly comprehensive listing of free training opportunities that can be recommended to staff.

Technology Skills

Code Academy – – I will retake their CSS modules at some point in the next year to keep myself fresh.

Udacity – –  Last year I started the Computer Science 101 and began learning Python. I’d like to go back and finish the course with the objective of learning enough Python to start coding APIs (WorldCat, etc). When their mobile web development module becomes available, I plan to take that, possibly along with my webmaster.

Code Avengers – – I plan to use this site specifically for learning Javascript as the Code Academy modules for Javascript appeared to be somewhat buggy as of September 2013.

Lifehacker – –  Lifehacker is all about using technology in creative ways. It is also a somewhat overwhelming resource. So rather than regularly monitor it, I will search it when I have an idea that something ought to be possible but I don’t quite know how.

Facebook: Librarians in Overdrive – – This is a group of librarians whose libraries subscribe to Overdrive. Participants share tips, marketing materials, training ideas and Overdrive problems.


AkLA-L mailing list – – Main list for Alaska libraries. Many announcements of happenings in Alaska.

Alaska Archivists mailing list – URL n/a – Low volume list with announcements of archives events.

Alaska Museums mailing list – – Mailing list for museum staff. Announcements of events and requests for problem solving and item identification.

Alaska Library Twitter feeds – – Seven of Alaska’s larger libraries.

Alaska Museum Twitter feeds – – Only three museums on this list, but I learn a lot.

Facebook: Alaska School Librarians – – This group gives me a heads up on what might be important to Alaska’s social media friendly school librarians.

Network Maintenance Plan:

I will monitor my network mostly through e-mail, NetVibes for RSS feeds) and Twitter and Facebook.

I will review my network at these times:

  • Once a year in January
  • Whenever my job duties change
  • When pieces of the network die (i.e. if Facebook were to go under)
  • If I become bored with its output

For skill-specific pieces of my network, I would discard resources as I gained full confidence in the skill (i.e. Python, Javascript) and replace it with items of a reference nature.

I would create a new network from scratch if I got a new job very different from the one I currently hold. I’ve actually had to do this twice in my career — in 2007 when I transitioned from government documents librarians to a branch manager in all but name and in 2010 when I shifted from branch manager type work to “Digital Librarian” type work.

via MOOCing Up North

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