For my artefact, I choose my information and reference services collection group wiki. As a group we were applying the literature on collection development to a real-life situation which in turn deepened my understanding of the theory of collection development. I learned to look at various aspects of collection building and to tailor it for specific user groups. As we decided early on, we would have a virtual resource centre on the subject of smoking. There were so many resources and reference tools available out there but we wanted to have a virtual resource environment that catered for those wanting to quit smoking, academics of all disciplines and for schools to educate younger people. We endeavoured to collate all these resources, Proquest database, several self -help resources like quit.ie and books like Paul McKenna’s, audio and visual reference tools to include our clients that might be a specialised population and cultural resources like “The Cigarette Book: the History and Culture of Smoking” by Chris Harrald and Fletcher Watkins and online reference tools like Merriam-Webster.com as literary quotations could be found on the subject of smoking. The virtual resource centre was to develop and extend our client’s information literacy and give greater context to the subject
I learnt a lot from my Vark Profile results and I discovered that I was a multimodal learner with tendencies towards kinaesthetic and read/write modes of learning. I did a little research on what a kinaesthetic learner was. It turns out that kinaesthetic learner remember things better by actively doing them. We like to move around. We’re good at assembling and making things. Apparently, we’re not too shabby at demonstrating how things work. Now the bad news, the disadvantages of being a kinaesthetic learner are the following; we may sometimes miss instructions if things are explained verbally to us (that’s me!). We can find it hard to concentrate on written tasks while seated (me again!)
The focus was on group work; specifically working effectively in a team and in cooperation with your team members. I learnt that group work isn’t as simple as it sounds, it is not just the end result that is at stake, we are dynamically reflecting and initiating a variety of management skills that feed into communication, coordination and planning. One must have reflected on themselves as well as their team members to provide a cohesive team. For developing this project, our group met regularly from early on in the semester. We discussed the various aspects of the project and divided it into tasks that needed to be accomplished. We set up a wiki and added to the pages as work became finished. Communication involved regular meetings and frequent emails. I was delighted with my team members, Nicola, Aidan and Darragh. If anything the team work brought us together in our academic pursuits and there was huge comradery. I appreciated each team member as I think we all brought something to the table and it made this mammoth of a university, UCD something of a challenge not a burden when you had your team members at your side.
I had never worked on a wiki project before, sometimes the technical limitations proved quite challenging and a lot of time was spent trying to curb its mercurial streak. I’m really looking forward to the open house event and think it will be an exciting opportunity. The other group’s ideas for collections sound fantastic and so engaging. It will be a beautiful night of celebrating librarianship.
As part of my participation, I investigated a frame work for policy of virtual resource environment and found Hoffman and Wood’s book excellent for outlining our policy and it raised issues that I would otherwise have omitted by ignorance. I provided a basic skeleton and the group edited till we were happy with the policy. Another aspect of the collection was my evaluation of the dictionary reference tool, Merriam Webster Online Dictionary which has the fundamental elements when judging a reference tool: Authority, Scope and Purpose, Arrangement, Format and Special Features. I also evaluated two of the books in our collection as well.
Hoffmann, F. and Wood, R.J. (2005). Collection Development Policies: Academic, Public, and Special Libraries (Good Policy, Good Practice). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.