Why innovate? Keeping ideas flowing and sharing them with colleagues has proven to be successful. Below you can view creative and innovative projects, or thinking of new ways for people to use standard things like library collections and spaces inside the library.
For a group project, we were given the challenge to develop an innovative tool for students who frequent the University of Washington's library collaborative, the Research Commons, and create a more collaborative workspace for students. Our group started out project by reviewing key concepts from Project Information Literacy to better understand research habits of first-year college students. Then, we met with library staff to discuss the goals of the library and ways they were engaging students through workshops and other platforms. From our observation, we found that individual students and groups were separated in silos, working on similar projects, but unaware that another group nearby was also studying on the same project. With this information, our group developed CommonMind, with the goal to build a more collaborative environment to foster innovation in the library. CommonMind would allow students to connect with other students working on similar projects in the library. This system could be implemented easily into the library's existing reservation system used to reserve meeting spaces.
The CommonMind application was selected as the winner of a course challenge and it was considered for implementation in future developments at the Research Commons. Part of the reason for our success was due to our brainstorming session where we visited the physical space of the research commons. Our observation led us to identify several advantages and limitations concerning room size, technology, budget and staffing. We were able to utilize the Research Commons' existing reservation system by adding an additional component to our conceptual, conservative and innovative tool.
View the PowerPoint presentation file below.
In 2009, Sacramento State's Multi-Cultural Center had a library collection of about 800 books organized using a generic system of classification by group (e.g., ethnic group), which became problematic for books dealing with more than one group (e.g., women's studies and Chicanas). After weeding through out-dated books and researching a new library system, the collection was reduced to 600 books and updated online using LibraryThing.com's easy format. Students and faculty have since embraced the new digital catalog and utilized the site as well as the center's physical stacks. I learned to evaluate the needs of the organization and incorporate an online component as well. As a professional, I intend to assist organizations by streamlining and modernizing services.
Pieces of Us
As an intern at the Multi-Cultural Center, I developed an identity and community development project called Pieces of Us. The purpose was to bring students together for an art workshop that would capture the identities and personal stories of students on puzzle pieces. With the help of graduate student, Lisa Franklin, we glossed the pieces on wooden boards with resin to create a permanent glossy coat. The art piece is still in the center today and it reflects the unique identities that make up Sacramento State. In the process of leading this project, I produced a project proposal which included a description of the program, publicity, budget, timeline, method of evaluation and reflection of my experience. The success of Pieces of Us gives me the motivation to implement similar projects at future organizations using different tools to build a greater sense of community among staff and community members.
To get a closer look of the artwork, click on the image on the right.
As part of the U.S. IMPACT Study team, we revised our survey instrument to include an online survey component. In order to publicize the survey on library websites nationwide, I was asked to design buttons and banners for patrons to take the survey. I challenged myself by learning to use Adobe Photoshop and designing buttons in both English and Spanish. In the future I hope to further develop my skills in design using computer software. Additionally, I intend to adapt to new social networking tools and use them on to reach greater audiences. View the button designs in the slideshow presentation to the right.