One of my jobs as library assistant is to prepare workshops and boot camps with the librarian in order inform our students about concepts and guidance on various areas of information needs.
APA Boot Camp
The APA Boot Camp is a two hour workshop that instructs participants how to properly locate, evaluate, and use resources as well as provide hands-on training in citing these sources in their paper in accordance to APA formatting and styling. The first part of the workshop is a Prezi Presentation on research and writing guided by the librarian and myself where were present information and resources to help them as they develop their papers for classes.
The second half of the workshop is a guided practice session where I lead the group through the process of identifying necessary data about the resource to create reference and in-text citations for their paper. This portion of the workshop particularly focuses on digital resources due to going number of digitally available resources and deficiency of digital literacy. Using the APA Boot Camp Packet, participants create a reference and in-text citation for each of the practice examples. Our goal is that each participant come away from the workshop more comfortable with locating and citing information for their assignments.
It is imperative that I understand how to effectively communicate to my patrons how to locate, analyze and use information they are seeking. My coursework in INSC 510 – Information Environment and Paul Gilster’s (1997) book, Digital Literacy, explained the importance of digital literacy and associated concepts while also providing insight on promoting digital literacy training. I was able to apply this information directly into preparing the APA Boot Camp as well as other information literacy presentations that I created for use in our class visits.
Another highly influential part in the development of our boot camp was my analysis of Vygotsky’s (1978) Zone of Proximal Development which speaks on connecting the learners to their desired information through steps, “scaffolding”, that the educator uses to guide them on their path. My purpose of the boot camp was to apply this method directly into our presentation and guided practiced. I want my participants to feel at ease in finding information on their own and understand how to use and cite the information for themselves.
Given the success of the first APA Boot Camp it is become a staple event every term for the students. With each boot camp, I have applied my educational experience to continuously improve and restructure the boot camp so that its truly speaks to the needs of the students. I now have a greater understanding of the influence I have in helping my patrons become self-confident, lifelong learners.
Application to My Future Career
Digital dependency has gripped our nation. More and more people are using the digital devices to locate a vast amount of information on the Internet. My work on the APA Boot Camp illustrates my knowledge and experience in presenting information literacy instruction and more specifically addressing aspects of digital literacy using the information gained from my class and readings. Furthermore, my role in creating and presenting the boot camps illustrates my ability to successfully promote the services of the library to our students. Whether at a library or knowledge management department, being able to effectively promote the services my job offers will play a crucial role of the survival and use of information services.
Information professionals are responsible for educating our patrons and in such a manner they continue to grow and learn even after our interaction with them is no longer required. Workshops like the APA Boot Camp not only help the patrons in their specific time of need, but it also illustrates to the patrons they the library is there to help them whenever necessary. Patrons come away understanding that help will always be there, but more confident in their approach to new problems and doing what they can, on their own, to find the solution. We cannot always be there to help, but we can give them the tools in such a manner that they are able to find answers in our absence.
Gilster, P. (1997). Digital literacy. New York: Wiley Computer Pub.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.