Crisis informatics was an interesting class. The subject was outside of what I considered librarianship when I started this program. The focus of the class was two-part: understanding what crisis informatics was, and understanding how the information needs in crises can be served by librarians. The last assignment of this class was to synthesize these two parts by relating them to a current crisis. The class was assigned the Mexico drought of 2011-2012 (ongoing at the time) with the instructions to discuss the people involved and their information needs. Afterward, using what we learned in class and in our research, we were to offer communication tools and methods to combat the information gaps we identified.
I’ve attached my assignment with the instructor comments for this artifact. The drought problem was located in Northern Mexico, which is heavily agricultural. This drought affected not only agricultural practices for livestock and plants, but also the daily water needs for the citizens. The government recognized and acknowledged the needs, and implemented both short and long-term plans for countering the problem. I identified several questions from both the government and citizen perspective that would likely need to be addressed. From there I proposed several communication routes that might prove effective and the rationale for each.
LIS 772 is the Academic libraries course. The focus of this class is a comprehensive overview of higher education and the place/purpose of the library within them. Most of the assigned material is current literature highlighting current access issues, staffing, collection management, physical space, and scholarly communication, among others. The second assignment of this class was to data mine library statistics from the National Library Statistics Survey. Taking this data over a ten-year period we were to analyze the trends based on the concepts we were introduced to in the literature.
In my artifact, I discuss the relationship between staffing levels and instruction changes for large Master’s degree granting institutions in the Midwest. What I was able to do was use data on the change in number of presentations versus the change in number of library professional and non-professional staff. This work is a synthesis of literature I had read in the Library User Instruction class on information literacy combining with the data mining tools and readings on staffing issues from this class. Together this creates a new perspective on assessing library staffing changes.