One-Shot Workshops: The Aftermath

That title makes it sound really ominous, but I think that the one-shot workshops went pretty well. Our group covered a wide range of topics and tools that apply to the profession:

  • collaboration between school, public, and academic librarians (that’s us!) – ways we can work together to provide better service to patrons
  • the World Digital Library – an awesome tool that compiles primary-source materials from around the world
  • problematic patron behavior – how to deal with it
  • awkward situations – a discussion that focused particularly on microagressions and how to respond to them respectfully
  • how librarians share information with patrons and each other – what’s working and especially what needs to be improved

The workshops were basically facilitated discussions on the above topics. As I think Amber or Kirsten brought up in their workshop on awkward situations, sometimes the best thing to do with a lot of the things we focused on is to get together with our peers and discuss them openly and honestly. I haven’t been to too many workshops so far, so I’m used to thinking of them more as how-to demonstrations of databases or other tools. That was sort of what the World Digital Library workshop, presented by Kirsten and Enrique, was, except they gave us much more exploration time than a normal workshop would have. It was really all about exploring an awesome and new (for me at least) tool that I know I will be able to use in my future career. Now I’ll know one place to send history teachers if they’re looking for primary sources for their students to use!

Thinking back on the workshops, I find myself comparing them to the book clubs. It felt very different in a lot of ways. As facilitators, we needed to be more involved this time around, since we were actually teaching something, even if we did a lot of discussions like we did in the book clubs. And we had more to plan out, like what activities we wanted to do to help our participants learn. And we had to keep a better track of time to fit everything in. Workshopping in 20-minute increments is hard! But I think we did well in this challenge and put everything we could into those 20 (ended up being more like 25) minutes we had, and I think we got a lot of thought going about collaboration, which Krista and I are really passionate about. In case you missed it, here are the Venn diagrams we created with the group for the responsibilities of different librarians and the ways they can collaborate:

IMG_0581 IMG_0584

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2 thoughts on “One-Shot Workshops: The Aftermath

  1. I actually found the workshop environment much more comparable to the book group environment than you describe, Mollie. However, I do agree that doing a workshop in 20-25 minutes is a much more cognitively challenging task for the participants and the leaders.

    “I haven’t been to too many workshops so far, so I’m used to thinking of them more as how-to demonstrations of databases or other tools.” I don’t think that this is an incorrect statement. My computer’s dictionary defines a workshop as “a meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project”. Workshops can be more discussion based or may be focused around a tool or activity. I think a successful workshop is a balance between demonstrations and activities and discussions on topics related to the core ideas behind the tool or activity presented.

  2. Sounds like the Hearts group also had a great workshop day! I also enjoyed the mix of workshops that incorporated discussion and hands on practice as interactive pieces to complement the lecture/instruction portions. The discussion based workshops really honored learning from the thoughts and insights of one’s peers. I like how your group used a Venn Diagram to show how public/academic/school librarians interact and rely on each other. It’s a very helpful visual for understanding these complex but important relationship, and it’s a great record that your participants can keep for reference later.

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