This last year I have been mentoring a group from the Emerging Leaders Program within ALA. The Emerging Leaders are a group of librarians that have less than 5 years experience in the field or are 35 or younger. I was asked to serve as a mentor for a group of five Emerging Leaders as they worked on one of Loriene Roy’s Presidential Initiatives. My group was originally tasked to construct a database of capstone projects and field-based learning activities being used in MLIS programs (Masters of Library and Information Science). As luck would have it…none of the emerging leaders in my group had the technical background to program a database so we altered the project based on their skill set.
My group ended up conducting a needs assessment and feature analysis based on survey results from 92 users. They were able to confirm that a database of projects is a good idea and needed but they also identified a need to create a process that would allow distance education students to find service learning projects in their local areas. For example, if a student was enrolled in a distance education program at North Texas University but they lived in New York, what types of resources are available that can help that student find an internship or field-based work in another state. Their project was well received and we plan on submitting an IRB application so that we can publish the results or reuse the survey data in order to publish the results.
Now I’m off to the Library Champions fundraiser and then open Gaming night