Lifelong Learning, but not a Library Post

Image of black and brown metal fabric scissors resting on top of assorted swatches of fabric

Photo by Karly Santiago on Unsplash

One of my intentions is to write a little more often here, and although I tend to keep this blog as a work journal more for my own benefit, I was smart not to do any specific branding, so I feel safe straying from time to time.

My husband and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage on January 3rd. We chose to get married the first Saturday in January to mark our new start in a new year. My husband’s birthday is also the 6th, the official last day of Christmas, so we’re all about stretching the holiday season to the last drop, it seems. During the first week of January, one of our traditions is making a list of shared goals and individual goals and intentions. We just finished our kitchen remodel in December, so, this year, we have some smaller home improvement goals. We need to install a new fence, add rock to our front yard and backyard, paint some rooms, and finish personalizing our house. We’ve been homeowners for nearly six years, and I’ve really enjoyed making it ours.

In the spirit of (home)making, one of my personal goals is to learn how to use a sewing machine. I want to the freedom to make curtains, table runners, and pillow covers using fabric I actually like versus hunting forever or just settling. This is a big deal for me because I am terrible at sticking to hobbies. (I actually got motivated to do this from a HuffPost article. Number 7, which is “Learn something new,” stopped me in my tracks: “What have you always been interested in learning but felt either too busy or fearful to prioritize? That’s what you should focus on.”) I registered for a sewing class through our local community college’s community education classes. I’m really looking forward to it, though I will most likely have to miss the third class due to a conference.

What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do? I’d love to hear.

31

It’s been a while. March and April are busy months for me at work, and there was a stretch of time where I was feeling pretty disorganized on top of it. And maybe distracted knowing that I am heading to a new job in June, but, as always, I eventually come around. I bounce back. I turned 31 last Friday, and I can tell you that “bounce back” is my 21-31 theme.

I’ve written about some of this before, but it’s good to reflect. I grew up in a small religious environment that was mostly built around immediate and extended family, and although I went to public school my entire life, I was shy and didn’t really live a life outside of school, home, and church.  When I was 19 and 20, I lost a lot of weight–almost 70 pounds. It started well enough, but by mid-2005, I was dieting excessively and addicted to exercise. I was finally thin and happy for a while, but in 2006, at 21, I was in a very sad, confusing period. I was unsure and insecure. Not that you can really tell in the photo below, taken on my 21st birthday, but I wore sweaters and blazers to cover up my thinness. (And I didn’t even eat any of that cake!) It took me a whole summer, fall, and winter to get out of my funk. I took off the Fall 2006 semester; I just couldn’t concentrate.

21

I didn’t know just how much my life would change that following spring. Around my 22nd birthday, in 2007, I met my now husband online via MySpace. (Hey, now, it was popular back then.) We had our first date on my birthday, and we’ve been together for nine years now.

I graduated from college in 2008. I got married in 2009. I graduated from graduate school in 2011. We bought a house in 2013. I also got my first full-time librarian job in 2013, and now I’m headed to the library at University of California Merced, the first library I ever volunteered at, in June.

At 31, I am really pleased with where I am. I am happy about where I am in my career and in my relationship with my husband. This is also the best I have ever felt about myself. I have come to accept many things about my(INFJ)self. Here’s a little list. 

  • I have a little rebellious streak. I wish I were a Phryne Fisher, but I’m a Dot who is at least brave enough to team up with Miss Fisher. I did go to both D.C. and Vegas by myself, after all.
  • I am creative. I sometimes wonder if I followed the academic path because I didn’t know any other alternatives.
  • I am a reflector.
  • I am always going to be a little shy. For example, my little secret is that I enjoy singing. But I will die first if you think I will ever reveal that side of me. I have the worst stage fright. Comparable to my fear of heights; just ask my husband about when we went to the Grand Canyon.
  • Underneath my reserved exterior, I am actually a little funny. Like, honestly, I did not see that one coming.

Also, rather than hate myself for not living up to certain standards, particularly expectations of others, I just focus on what I can do with the time and energy I have to give away. Lately, that’s taking care of me, which means no longer saying yes to every project or opportunity that comes my way: I quit that OER adult learning MOOC I mentioned I registered for a few posts back, and I am rethinking my plan to go back to graduate school, also mentioned a few posts back, too. Life is too short to do things you think you have to do, though my little overachieving heart is breaking as I type this.

Here’s to 31!

Graduate School Part 2?

So I am thinking even more seriously about applying to graduate school for a second Master’s degree. I got my MLIS in December 2011, and for the last couple of years, I have been looking at various instructional design and learning design technology Master’s programs. The impetus was when I took SJSU’s MOOC, the Hyperlinked Library in Fall 2013, though I was only able to do half of the modules, and User Experience through SJSU’s iSchool Open Classes in Summer 2014. I also took Introduction to Teaching Online through @One in Fall 2015.

The MLIS and M.S. in ID go really well together (see Bell’s “MLD: Masters in Library Design, Not Science” and Bertot, Sarin, and Percell’s “Re-Envisioning the MLS: Findings, Issues, and Considerations“). If anything, I am really interested in a certificate option, but then my brain says, well, you could have a whole second graduate degree with just five or so more classes. I have researched and talked to various people about this, and I’m a little bummed I waited so long, but I think I am ready to dive and apply! I have a little more motivation with some upcoming changes in my work life.

To jump start my desire to get into ID, I am taking a MOOC, Instructional Design Service Course: Gain Experience for Good, which starts in February.  This one appeals to me because it’s free, the time commitment is only 2-3 hours a week (way less than the class I did this past fall), and it also deals with OER and adult learners. Many points here!

RUSA, the Reference and User Services Association, is offering Introduction to Instructional Design for Librarians from Mon., Feb. 8th to Sun., March 20th. It costs $175 for ALA members, which I am. If you’re a RUSA member, it’s $130. If you’re a student, it’s $100. It’s a great deal, but there are live chats every Monday at 5 pm.

Sadly, I missed Digital Pedagogy’s the MOOC MOOC: Instructional Design announcement. It started on Mon., Jan. 25th and it ends on Fri., Feb. 12th. However, it looks like you could probably jump in. All the readings are listed!

Library Juice also offers ID, UX, and information literacy related courses. My only reasoning for not wanting to fork over $175-$250 for each of these is that I would rather spend money and time on credit-bearing courses from a university because I am interested in a second Master’s degree. I have no qualms related to MOOCs or paid independent classes or workshops for professional development; it’s just that my needs and interests are different.  The following are some classes scheduled to begin in February, March, and April.

Concepts of User-Centered Design This class started on Mon., Feb 1st, but you can register through the first week.

Online Instructional Design and Delivery

Introduction to Accessibility and Universal Design in Libraries

I also got a list of suggested readings from a listserv.

Michael Allen has several excellent titles regarding instructional design.

Articulate’s Rapid eLearning Blog

Booth, C. (2011). Reflective teaching, effective learning: Instructional literacy for library educators. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Brown, A., & Green, T. D.  (2016). The essentials of instructional design: Connecting fundamental principles with process and practice (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.Note from someone: Clark & Mayer book E-Learning and the Science of Instruction, though having a few fundamental flaws, is still pretty good. I’d say about 60-75% of the information is quite good. So worth reading. There is now a 4th ed.

Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2015). The systematic design of instruction (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Dirksen, J. (2012). Design for how people learn. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.

Heinich, R. (Ed.). (1996). Instructional media and technologies for learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.

Larson, M. B., & Lockee, B. B. (2014). Streamlined ID: A practical guide to instructional design. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor, and Francis.

Mayer, R. E. (2012). Multimedia learning (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Note from someone: a little problematic regarding best practices.

Morrison, G.R., Ross, S.M., Kalman, H.K., & Kemp, J.E. (2013). Designing effective instruction (7th ed.). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Piskurich, G. M. (2015). Rapid instructional design: Learning ID fast and right. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology

Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (2005). Instructional design. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons.

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

This is obviously not a thorough list. Please share resources.

If you’ve taken the plunge into instructional design in your job or are working on/already have a second Master’s degree in ID post-MLIS, do let me know.  I’d love to hear about your work and experiences.

2016 Reading Resolution

If you’re a librarian, people assume you really, super duper love reading and that that’s all you  do in your spare time. (But that’s not actually why I got into librarianship at all. For me, it’s the research and providing access component.) When I was younger and didn’t have responsibilities, I loved reading. I was a “read a book in a day” kind of person. When I worked in a public library, I also read a lot, but more for work purposes; it’s a good thing I do enjoy YA! I just haven’t been able to get back into the reading groove for several years now. In fact, I sort of have anxiety when it comes to reading for fun–What did I forget to do? I should do those dishes. I should exercise, etc.

I do read a lot of professional literature and library blogs, etc., but not what you traditionally think of reading for pleasure, although I do enjoy the reading I do. I also have about a three-hour commute round-trip (I drive), and while I have done audiobooks, I would rather get my NPR fix during my commute. The segments are shorter, and I do have to concentrate on my drive.

For 2016, I plan to read 12 books. It’s not a high number, and I already have books lined up from both Goodreads and things already on my shelf (including “librarian” books), but it’s a number I feel like I can get through without pressure. I am quite proud that I actually read The Circle during my winter break. It took two days, and I actually finished it on the last day of 2015.

In addition to this, my husband and I will be re-instilling reading together, but because of our schedules, we’re doing it book club style. He is not a big reader, but he has read a few books this last year. I am so proud! I have been sick with a cold all week, and during his days off, we watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, so we decided on starting with The Hobbit.