Part D: Examples of professional work

The following list represents a selective compilation of work undertaken during my course of study that showcase my knowledge and skills in core content areas of library and information practice, including:

  • User needs analysis
  • Report writing
  • Grant writing
  • Information management and information auditing
  • Collection development and management
  • Digital and information literacy
  • Library programs
  • Change management.

My technological skills in video editing, content curation, creating infographics, and blogging are also highlighted.  These are all skills which I think will be valuable to my future career as an information professional in any library or information organisation.

I have included 10 pieces of work below, in a variety of formats including PDF and Microsoft Word documents, YouTube video, Storify presentation, and blog posts.

Please click the  title of the work to be taken to the item. Each item will open in a new tab/window so you will not need to navigate back to this page.

List of examples of my professional work:

Item 1 – Collection Development Project Report: Cyclone Yasi online collection for Townsville Local Studies Library (IFN617 Managing and Organising Collections, Semester 2, 2015)

The purpose of this group assignment was to develop an online collection of digital materials relating to Cyclone Yasi when it struck Townsville in 2013.  The project involved a literature review and user needs analysis to inform the development of the collection.  Appropriate selection criteria and selection methods were developed to enable the development of a diverse digital collection that included photographic, video, text, audio and other items, as well as links out to pre-existing digital collections relating to Cyclone Yasi.  A program budget was provided.  Website design and access to the collection were described, as well as issues around maintenance and preservation of the digital collection.  Educational functions and marketing of the collection were discussed; as well as methods of evaluating the collection.

This assignment provided me with skills to develop an online collection of digital materials, based on identified user needs, using scholarly literature to inform development of selection criteria and methods of selection.  I gained an insight into the issues around access to, and preservation of digital materials.  Collection development is an important role for librarians, and will help me in my future role as a librarian.

Item 2 – Grant Application: Levelling the digital playing field: online skills for job seekers (IFN614 Information Programs, Semester 2, 2016)

This was a group assignment that included a user needs analysis, design of a digital literacy program to address user needs, and writing of a grant application to SLQ to apply for funding for the program.  The grant application included definition of the project purpose, aims and objectives; anticipated benefits for the community; an overview of the project, project team and responsibilities, timeline, budget, risk assessment, evaluation, strategic alignment of the project with the parent organisation’s and funding organisation’s strategic priorities, and a description of how the project is innovative.

I took a leadership role in this project, to organise and drive the process.  I learned how to lead a group project in a completely online environment, as group members were distributed geographically, and could not meet in person, or even synchronously online, with competing schedules and work demands.  We used a combination of online tools, including a private Google+ community, email, Twitter, and Google Drive to share documents.  These are valuable skills in today’s increasingly online environment, in which team members must often collaborate remotely on projects.

Item 3 – Digital content curation: Access to digital technologies and the World Wide Web for people with disabilities in Australia (IFN616 Online Information Services, Semester 2, 2016)

This assignment showcases my skills at discovering and curating digital content in a variety of formats (text, image, audio, video), from a variety of platforms (Google search engine, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Disqus), related to a specific topic, in this case, access to digital technology and the Web for people with disabilities.  I used a free content curation tool, Storify, to present my content curation. Content curation is a valuable tool for librarians in providing information to consumers in an engaging way.

My content curation also highlights an important social justice issue – accessibility. Areas covered include awareness of the issue; information regarding responsibilities and legal considerations for website owners; links to information and resources for website developers to assist them to make accessible websites; and information regarding assistive technology devices used by people with disabilities to allow them to access the web and digital technology.  I will take the knowledge I have gained regarding accessibility issues with me, and it will help me to be a more inclusive information professional.

Item 4 – Information management report: Information Management Strategy Report for the NDIS (IFN615 Information Management, Semester 2, 2016)

This individual assignment represents my skills in conducting an information audit of an organisation, identifying an information management issue, and developing an information management strategy to address the identified issue.  The information audit process conducted sought to identify the information required to meet the organisation’s needs, and then compared this with the information actually supplied to staff to determine whether a mismatch existed.  The process also allowed for the mapping of information flows within the organisation, and with the external environment, to identify “bottlenecks and inefficiencies”.  The importance of an information management strategy aligning with organisational strategic goals / directions was emphasised.

The process of conducting an information audit in an organisation allowed me to see how important an efficient information flow is in an organisation, and how easily staff can be overwhelmed with information through online channels (information overload) and not be able to find the information they need to do their jobs and achieve organisational objectives.  Alternatively, information may not flow well in the presence of certain blocking factors, such as unwieldy information systems, or cultural factors that cause staff to guard information.

The presentation of my findings in a report demonstrates my ability to produce high quality written work, at industry standard.

Item 5 – Video presentation: Change Management in academic libraries (Pecha Kucha style) (IFN610 Management Issues for Information Professionals, Semester 1, 2016)

This individual assignment showcases my skills in developing an engaging video presentation on change management in academic libraries.  In the presentation, I discuss the issue of constant change in academic libraries in response to a changing environment, and argue that effective change management should be used to support staff to adopt change.  Library managers need to have a sound knowledge of change management theory, models and frameworks, and skills in implementing change processes in libraries. Several change models are discussed. This presentation is the culmination of many skills, including research and technological skills.  The knowledge I have gained regarding change management will hold me in good stead in any changing library environment; and the technological skills acquired will also be valuable in the increasingly technological focused library.

Item 6 – Report: Evaluation of Rockhampton Regional Library’s Print Reference Collection (Fieldwork placement project, 6-17 February, 2017)

This report presents the findings of a partial evaluation of the print reference collection of the Rockhampton Regional Library (RRL), and provides recommendations for further evaluation and development of the print reference collection.

in order to carry out this project, I conducted a literature review of the development and weeding of print reference collections, and established evaluation criteria for weeding titles. I interviewed library staff to find out anecdotal information about collection usage, as no circulation data existed for the collection as titles in the reference collection are not typically circulated. As time permitted in between other duties, I examined the collection title-by-title to assess condition, age, availability of updated editions, and availability elsewhere (e.g. an online database). I presented my findings to my supervisor in the linked report, and made a number of recommendations to go forward with the development and weeding of the print reference collection.

Challenges that emerged in completing the project were time constraints, lack of a local collection development policy to guide decision-making, lack of usage data, and lack of current analysis of community needs.

Item 7 – Blog Post: Are Summer Reading Programs effective? Issues in program evaluation. (IFN614 Information Programs, Semester 2, 2016)

This blog post focused on a public library program for children – Summer Reading Programs (SRPs).  I looked at the goal of SRPs, which is to encourage reading over the long summer school holidays, and introduced the concept of “Summer reading setback”, or “Summer slide”, a loss of reading skills that occurs when children do not read over the long holiday break. It is frequently assumed that SRPs may help prevent summer reading setback, however, program evaluations rarely measure changes in reading skills after participation in a SRP to determine whether the programs do in fact prevent loss of reading skills over the holidays.  I called for program evaluations to link improvements in reading to SRP attendance.

In this blog, I posed the question of whether SRPs are effective, and pointed out that program evaluations seldom include measurements of change in reading skills post attendance.  I think that research into the area might help to discover better ways to implement SRPs to obtain the utmost benefit in terms of reading skill development.

Item 8 – Blog Post: Accuracy, misinformation, and pseudoscience on the internet (IFN612 Emerging Technologies for Information Practice, Semester 1, 2016)

This blog post related to the IFN612 topic “Ethical issues of the information age: Privacy, accuracy, property and accessibility”. I reflected on issues around the accuracy of information on the Web, specifically in terms of the concept of “misinformation”; and the importance of information literacy skills in evaluating the quality of information on the Web.  The post discussed challenging issues, such as the power of misinformation, and the tendency of people to believe it (e.g. MMR vaccine causes autism), particularly if they have a strong belief in the issue.  The resulting confirmation bias leads people to accept only the information that aligns with their beliefs. This confirmation bias, along with a lack of cognitive flexibility; i.e. the ability to change long-held opinions to accept new information, could challenge the uptake of information literacy skills, particularly if the application of those skills challenged existing beliefs.

This blog post highlighted an important issue, that of misinformation on the web, and the importance of information literacy skills in combating it.  Advocating for, and teaching information literacy skills is a core role of librarians, and I think I have demonstrated my knowledge of the importance of information literacy, and my ability to advocate for it in this blog post, as well as demonstrating an awareness of factors which might impact on the uptake of information literacy skills.

Item 9 – Blog Post: I edited Wikipedia (IFN612 Emerging Technologies for Information Practice, Semester 1, 2016)

This blog post related to the IFN612 topic “Ethical issues of the information age:  Privacy, accuracy, property and accessibility”.  I edited an article on Wikipedia to improve its accuracy.  This was a great experience, enabling me to gain an insight into the huge community behind Wikipedia, and the guidelines and resources that have been established to enable anyone to contribute to Wikipedia.  It is very much an example of “openness”.  Wikipedia is a great tool, and useful for providing factual information, and giving an overview of a subject for people who know little about a topic.  However, users need to be aware of their responsibility to establish the authority, credibility, reliability and accuracy of the information before taking it as truth, because the information may be biased or inaccurate. Knowledge of information literacy is critically important in the online space.

I gained knowledge and skills in editing Wikipedia, an amazing example of open collaboration on the web.

Item 10 – Blog post: Playing with Infographics (IFN612 Emerging Technologies for Information Practice, Semester 1, 2016)

This blog post demonstrates my ability to source open data from the Web (in this case, the Australian Bureau of Statistics), and create and present data in a visual format using an infographic design application, Piktochart.  When information is presented in a visual manner, such as an infographic, people can quickly understand the information you are conveying, without needing to read a lot of text.  The skills I learned carrying out this activity will be valuable in my future career as an information professional, as I will be able to create high quality infographics to display information in reports, posters, etc.

I also highlight accessibility issues that may occur with infographics on the web, if they do not also include a text description of the information for people with vision impairments who are using screen reading software. Knowledge and awareness of accessibility issues for people with disabilities will be important for me in any librarian role, and will ensure that I strive for inclusiveness in library spaces, services and programs.


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