Designing Libraries for the 21st Century

I attended the 3rd annual Designing Libraries for the 21st Century conference on campus. Library-design-folks from around North America (and Australia and the UK) came together to talk about what future libraries need to be. It was my first library conference, and I was struck by 3 things:

  1. What an amazing, open, inviting group of people. It didn't matter who you were, or where you were from, people actively welcomed everyone in conversation.
  2. Librarians are really thinking critically about what a "library" means, and coming at it from how to best support the activities of the people. Books? Necessary but not sufficient. They're doing some amazing design work on how to deconstruct and redesign library spaces.
  3. They sure do like to sit and listen to people talk. The presentations were good, but many could have been ably replaced by MP3 files.

I have 10 pages of notes from this, and it's triggered and reinforced some plans I'm working on for our group in the EDU. Faculty Makerspaces? Hell yeah. Collaboration with the TFDL (and other library) folks? You bet. Technology lending fleet? Yup (already have some cool things to loan out for experimentation by profs). Field trips and site visits? Yeah! And more to come, once plans are worked out a bit more.

Designing libraries notes

Moving D2L from "project" to "sustainment"

We had been running the D2L transition as a full-on Project for the last 15 months. And now we're moving it into ongoing sustainment mode as a regular production service. We'll be seeing different composition of the D2L teams as we figure out the best way to run/support/extend it now that everyone is in the pool together. Lots of planning meetings to figure out that transition, made more fun by a re-org in IT.

John Dawson in the house!

He's visiting for a few days, and the team got to pick his brain yesterday. We had a really great conversation that covered just about every topic from how to design a multi-year biology program, to how to do quick-and-dirty DIY classroom lecture capture, to how to set up a course in D2L to let students have as much access to their own data as possible. And lots of other stuff. We tried recording the session on the new Swivl camera mount, which worked GREAT!

John wound up his visit by giving a presentation with Natasha on "Using Curriculum Mapping as a Vehicle for Faculty Engagement in Teaching & Learning". Great discussion of what is involved with the process, with an emphasis that it's not about the data as much as asking "what are we trying to do? and what are students learning?" etc… Looking forward to seeing these conversations grow on campus.

IMG 3992

Planning for Peer Review

We started the early discussions/planning for what might be involved in building/integrating a peer review process into D2L (or offering it as a standalone tool/platform/service). Still too early to even have a timeline, but this is going to be an interesting project. We've been looking at options (including native D2L functionality, which is absent, and other tools which don't appear to be shared or open source), but it looks like we may need to build our own tool. Which will, of course, be made available on our GitHub account when we have something ready to share.

D2L changes

This week, we saw a new Technical Account Manager, and a new Account Manager. We seem to burn people out pretty quickly. Not sure if we're just extra-demanding, or if there's something else going on…

The Boyâ„¢

12! Dang. Almost a freaking teenager. So fast.