Making It Happen: Second Year Adventures as an Instructional Design Librarian

Making It Happen: Second Year Adventures as an Instructional Design Librarian

It’s been exactly one year since I wrote The Making of an Instructional Design Librarian for ACRLog. At the time, I was six months in to my new position. Now I’m a year and a half in! Time flies.

That post seems to be fairly popular on the interwebs as evidenced by readers writing me about ID librarianship, so I thought the timing is right to check back in. Also, I haven’t written a blog post in a bit about my work.

So, here we go – update time!

First Off: Portfolio Update!

I wrote back in September about my glee at turning in my first tenure-track portfolio, which is composed of three sections: Performance as Librarian, Scholarly/Creative and Professional Growth Activities, and Service. It’s still winding its way through the system, but I’ve heard back from the first two stages: the Department Personnel Committee, which is composed of three librarian colleagues that review portfolios, and I’ve heard from the interim University Librarian.

Both responses were very good!

There are four possible outcomes for each of my portfolio’s sections: Outstanding, Good, Fair, or Inadequate. To get inadequate, you’d basically have to be doing nothing at work! I’m not sure if I’m supposed to blog about it or not since I haven’t received official notice that I’ll be around next year, but I got two “Goods” and an “Outstanding.” Outstanding is for my Performance as the ID Librarian, which is terribly gratifying. I especially appreciated the University Librarian’s comment in his review warning me not to “overcommit” myself. TOO LATE, BUDDY!

The Overwhelm is Not So Overwhelming Anymore

Really, I’m not that overcommitted, so I’m not really overwhelmed anymore. As long as you don’t count the occasional panic attack when I realize I forgot to do something.

I’m really happy to say that I’ve found my footing as Cal State Fullerton’s Instructional Design Librarian. This was a brand-new position created at Pollak Library, and when I started, I was basically shown my office and left to myself. Occasionally someone would pop by and ask “HAVE YOU PUBLISHED YET,” sending me into new paroxysms of panic. I did a lot of thinking and exploring and networking and talking and eventually I mostly figured out what my work was. Also, I have an article out for peer review, so that’s awesome.

My line of work is still in reusable learning objects. I’m hellbent on only developing tools that are usable, updatable, and applicable in a variety of situations. eLearning development is a lot of work, and I’m not going to squander it on one-offs! To that end, I’m also really big now into Open Educational Resources. Because – instruction librarians in academia all basically do the same thing. So why don’t we share more?!? I slap a Creative Commons license onto my work, and coerce encourage my colleagues into doing the same.

Furthermore, I’m scaling up our instruction with my fancy learning object repository: Pollak Library eLearning. OK, it’s not really that fancy, since it’s actually based on WordPress. But it is an inexpensive and flexible solution for sharing our work here, and for making online tutorials accessible to our students, our faculty, and anyone in the rest of the world that’s interested! In fact, I’ll be presenting about this repository this year at two different conferences: LibTech and Library Instruction West. So excited!

Academia is Less Weird, Though It’s Still Weird

I’m neck-deep in the tenure-track, that whirlwind of responding to Calls for Proposals for presentations, articles, chapters, what-have-you, and generally justifying my existence to my university the rest of the time. When I get a proposal accepted for something I want to share it with people. Academics are like, Great job! Friends and family are like, Whut.

I feel like I have two selves: the real one and the make-believe one. Academic is kind of the make-believe one. Peer-review, calls for proposals, these aren’t real things! Unless I’m at work and they’re very real and also give me anxiety.

I also still feel out of place in academia since I come from a blue-collar family, which I never knew, until I worked in academia. Everyone here is just so…educated…and sometimes random colleagues around campus say weird classist things. But perhaps this is a post for another time. Meanwhile, I very much enjoy having health insurance, a flexible work schedule, and 4.5 weeks vacation. So awesome.

Coming Up

I’ve been collecting Instructional Design/eLearning Librarian job postings just for kicks. I’m thinking about either analyzing them, or posting them here for reference, or both.

I’m also kicking around the idea of writing a post with advice for people that want to be an Instructional Design Librarian, or an Instructional Designer! I feel like I’ve got a foot in both worlds.

Stay tuned!

2 Responses

  1. RE: analyzing blended librarian job ads. John Shank published that exact article in C&RL in 2006:

    http://crl.acrl.org/content/67/6/514.full.pdf

    Might be time for someone to update it.

  2. I’m amazed it’s already been ten years since it was published! It would definitely be interesting to see what’s changed.