I am very honored to be nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award based on significant contributions to teaching and student learning.
This year of teaching has been particularly wonderful because I developed and taught a new graduate LIS course in Community Engagement. This course was designed to explore how information professionals in libraries and other settings collaborate with community members and organizations. It considers theory and practice emphasizing critical analysis of policies, services and trends.
One class assignment involved a semester-long investigation to explore local initiatives. Students connected with organizations to consider community needs and the potential role of LIS in meeting them. For example, one group looked at role of libraries in strengthening the capacities of indigenous peoples and the protection of cultures. Another focused on the availability of programs to foster literacy for young children. A third looked at resources to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community members. For their final project, students created a poster to present at the state library conference, which offered the opportunity to extend their understanding through exchange with professional colleagues. This year’s conference theme was, fittingly, Building Community: Opportunities, Challenges, and Innovations. Student posters were also deposited in the institutional repository, ScholarSpace.