Thursday, September 8, 2022

This is a guest post written by Beth Campbell, an adjunct professor for the SLIS teacher librarian program.

In the summer course, Innovation and Technology Methodology, SLIS students are challenged to utilize current technology tools to showcase critical thinking, collaboration, communication, problem solving and empowerment. This past summer, Becky Miller, a student in the current SLIS program, and director of programming at the Waterloo Public Library, used this opportunity to create innovative training and feedback experiences for her staff. She values staff input and wanted to solicit their voice by immersing them in new technology. This was an innovative method to deliver professional development that was rooted in Becky’s values and belief that staff members bring powerful ideas to the table.

To create this opportunity for staff, Becky utilized Book Creator, a multifaceted e-book creation tool that allows for multimedia tools to be embedded within. After completing the assignment, Becky shared her finished product on Twitter. The staff of Book Creator reached out to ask if her book could be featured on their website. 

Below are Becky’s comments on the power of a tool to innovate and impact others in the library setting, when we first take time to examine purpose and outcomes. An initial brainstorming process is necessary to unwrap goals, purpose and essential components before we can move forward. How can a technology tool foster collective problem solving, community and be a vehicle to gather voices from our community?


COMMENTS from Becky Miller:

How does the work you’ve done with Book Creator connect to Innovation?

Book Creator is not just a technology tool. Its name—Book Creator, to me, describes both the creator of the book and the readers of it as well because it has the option to allow the reader to also co-author. With the ability to integrate and embed graphics, video, and links, Book Creator enables infinite creative avenues for innovation. As they say, “Your only limit is your imagination.”

How do you see Innovation within our libraries?

Remember Ranganathan's Fifth Law of Library Science: “A library is a growing organism.” To be future generations' libraries, we must adapt and innovate for our changing communities and their needs. Using a tool like Book Creator in library training and programming could be one way to grow with our changing world.

How did this platform support your vision and desired outcomes?

My Book Creator book demonstrates the power of innovation and technology resources to change how I approach staff training. My vision was to introduce new technology resources to my staff, ask them to play with the resources, and imagine how they could use them.

With Book Creator, I knew I could do that in a way that connected to my library’s mission and strategic goals while explaining why I want my staff to explore the resources.

Because the Book Creator platform allows the user to design the content in a collaborative fashion, that allowed me to take a new approach to introducing new technology tools and soliciting staff input. Book Creator empowered me to enable my staff to take an active role in their learning and collaboratively add their own ideas.

Do you believe it added value to your purpose/goal? How so?

Book Creator adds value to my purpose and goals because it allows me to introduce multiple resources in a self-paced, low-pressure, collaborative, and creative manner. I cannot think of another platform or resource that adds value in such an intuitive and innovative way for both the author and the readers/collaborators.

How did it support creativity and problem-solving?

Book Creator supports creativity and problem-solving because it provides the creator with ample content creation options and allows them to make mistakes. For example, I knew I could alter my project at any time by adding a page or deleting elements.