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Cultivating TALint: Using the Core Competencies as a framework for training future e-resource professionals

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In 2014, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information and the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) partnered in the development of the TALint (Toronto Academic Libraries Internship) program. Focused on workplace-integrated-learning (W-I-L), the TALint program provides enhanced educational experiences for Masters of Information students by combining periods of in-class study with actual workplace experiences. The two-year program is intended to enhance the quality of student learning by providing interns with specialized knowledge and practical skills, professional development and mentorship opportunities. It is often the case that the workplace is ahead of academic programs. This is particularly true in technical services and the field of electronic resource management, where the requisite knowledge and practical skills required to perform these roles has traditionally been under-represented within library and information studies curricula. The TALint program has provided UTL with the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the expertise developed through information studies programs and the specific knowledge and skills required to take on roles as electronic resource librarians. With this year’s TALint cohort in UTL’s Metadata Technologies Team, we are using NASIG’s Core Competencies for Electronic Resources Librarians as a framework for training our two TALint interns. In this session, presenters will discuss the development of a comprehensive student training plan in electronic resource management, the ongoing assessment of learning outcomes, student perceptions of competency-based training, and the benefits of using the Core Competencies that have been felt beyond the internship program. We will share how this training plan can better equip Masters of Information students for careers in electronic resource management by producing graduates who are qualified, technologically skilled and workplace-ready.

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Cultivating TALint: Using the Core Competencies as a framework for training future e-resource professionals

  1. 1. Cultivating TALint: Using the Core Competencies as a framework for training future e-resource professionals MARLENE VAN BALLEGOOIE & JENNIFER BROWNING UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARIES NASIG 2018 Marlene van Ballegooie & Jennifer Browning University of Toronto Libraries NASIG 2018
  2. 2. Overview The partners About the TALint program How Core Competencies can support Workplace Integrated Learning Integrating Core Competencies into daily work Key benefits of using the Core Competencies in the TALint program What’s next for TALint?
  3. 3. The Partners
  4. 4. University of Toronto Libraries University of Toronto is Canada’s largest university with over 88,000 students (70,728 undergraduate and 18,038 graduate students) and a faculty of over 14,000 members University of Toronto Library system is consistently ranked among the top 10 research libraries in North America Comprised of 44 libraries across three campuses Employs approximately 500 librarians and support staff
  5. 5. Metadata Technologies Unit What we do: • Provide access to electronic resources • Batch loads and global changes to bibliographic records for all formats • Run complex reports for library staff to support their work • Provide metadata support for ITS dept. and others • Enhance resource discovery and improve access to collections • Take a lead role in exploring new metadata standards (i.e. linked data) • Facilitate the selection and implementation of new systems Marlene van Ballegooie, Metadata Technologies Manager​ Jennifer Browning, Metadata Librarian for Electronic Resources​ Antonio Muñoz Gómez, Metadata Librarian​ Sarah Gorman, TALint Student​ Jordan Pedersen, TALint Student
  6. 6. Faculty of Information iSchool Faculty of Information iSchool offers the following programs: Master of Information (MI), a Master of Museum Studies (MMSt), and a PhD in Information Studies Concentrations in: • Library & Information Science (LIS) • Archives and Records Management (ARM) • Information Systems & Design (ISD) • Critical Information Policy Studies (CIPS) • Culture & Technology (C&T) • Knowledge Management & Information Management (KMIM) • User Experience Design (UXD) Current enrollment of over 560 graduate students, both Masters and PhD
  7. 7. The Students SARAH JORDAN
  8. 8. About the TALint Program
  9. 9. The TALint Program Toronto Academic Libraries Internship program Began fall of 2014 as a partnership between the University of Toronto’s iSchool and the University of Toronto Libraries Provides enhanced educational experiences by combining periods of in-class study with actual workplace experiences Minimum A- grade average in the undergraduate program of study A two year commitment, fifteen hours per week TALint program currently supports 30 interns annually
  10. 10. TALint Program as Workplace Integrated Learning (WIL) Focused on basic principles of Workplace Integrated Learning (WIL) Three partners: the student, the employer and the academic institution Designed to give students opportunities to: • Experience the workplace before they graduate • Acquire and develop relevant skills, professional abilities and attitudes • Apply their knowledge and skills within a workplace setting A key strategy in improving the employability of new graduates and easing their transition to the workplace Student Employer Academic Institution WIL
  11. 11. Key Goals of the TALint Program Focus on preparation for future employment • Focus on work that leads to skill development Experience the library workplace as a librarian • Attend staff meetings, observe real life workplace activities and behaviour Professional development • Attend webinars, presentations, workshops Mentorship • Provide advice and guidance • Connect students to colleagues • Promote professional behaviour in a professional setting
  12. 12. TALint in the Metadata Technologies Unit In 2017, the first students formally joined the Metadata Technologies Unit Students to assist the Unit in providing access to electronic resources and troubleshooting e-resource access problems How to best achieve the goals and objectives of the TALint program and give students the best work experience possible? How to offer a Workplace Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunity in a structured and holistic way?​
  13. 13. NASIG Core Competencies Based on research by NASIG Core Competencies Task Force (NCCTF) and its members Intentionally broad in scope to encompass work with e-resources throughout ER lifecycle Intended to be used in combination and build on ALA’s Core Competencies of Librarianship
  14. 14. 7 Key Components 1) Lifecycle of electronic resources 2) Technology 3) Research and Assessment 4) Effective Communication 5) Supervising and Management 6) Trends and Professional Development 7) Personal Qualities
  15. 15. How Core Competencies Can Support Workplace Integrated Learning
  16. 16. Setting the Framework for WIL The NASIG Core Competencies for Electronic Resources Librarians was introduced to the students during orientation as a guide for their workplace learning Immediately provided perspective on the range of duties that electronic resources librarians perform Competencies help to set expectations for student work Assisted students in WIL goal setting activities, such as the development of a learning agenda
  17. 17. Learning Agenda As part of the TALint program, students are required to develop a learning agenda early in the program. The learning agenda is intended to identify profession-specific learning goals and objectives, which include not only the professional and technical skills, but also the soft skills that are required in the workplace environment. Developed by the student, in collaboration with their workplace supervisor
  18. 18. Learning Agenda Helps to structure the workplan to meet the needs of both the student and the employer Provides a tool for measuring success and self-reflection Goals Activities and Tasks Measures of Achievement/Success What do you want to learn? How do you plan to achieve your learning goals? What learning activities and tasks will you engage in during your placement to reach your leaning objectives? How will you demonstrate what you have learned and provide evidence of that learning?
  19. 19. Core Competencies Wiki Married the objectives of the learning contract to the NASIG Core Competencies Integrated the competencies into a personalized online wiki Connected each competency to relevant resources such as journal articles, PowerPoint slides or webinars Identified how student work relates to the core competencies Allowed students to reflect upon what they have learned by completing the task
  20. 20. Core Competencies Wiki Core Competency Resources to Support Competency Leaning Activities and Tasks Evidence That Learning Has Occurred 1. Life cycle of electronic resources The ERL has extensive knowledge of the concepts and issues related to the life cycle of recorded knowledge and information from creation through various stages of use to disposition beyond that required of a generalist. The ERL understands the life cycle of electronic resources in its ongoing complexity of multiple stages and processes. This broader understanding is essential as a foundation in order for anyone to be prepared to work with and act as a bridge across the multiple units/departments involved in electronic resources management in information organizations. Pesch, O. (2009). ERMs and the e-resource life-cycle [Powerpoint slides]. Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/ERLifeCycle TERMS: Techniques for Electronic Resource Management https://library.hud.ac.uk/blogs/terms/ Emery, Jill and Stone, Graham (2013) TERMS: Techniques for electronic resources management. Library Technology Reports, 49 (2). pp. 5-43. http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/16113/ 1/author_ver.pdf (OA version) Electronic Resource Management Lifecycle and Workflow at UTL [Powerpoint slides] Taking a course this semester in systems analysis / process modeling, and I am planning to analyze a workflow from this e-resources department as part of a project for the course. Hoping to get a general perspective on the e- resources life cycle instead of just from my own day-to-day activities at work. Completed project using process, strategy, and goal modeling. Will meet to discuss results! Found it difficult to understand the e- resources life cycle without looking outside of it to the relationships and activities that e-resources librarians engage in with other organizations.
  21. 21. Integrating Core Competencies into Daily Work
  22. 22. 1. Lifecycle of Electronic Resources Tasks Activate/manage e-resources in knowledgebase Obtain/augment vendor MARC records Troubleshoot electronic resource access issues Development Activities Read articles and resources pertaining to the electronic resources lifecycle Discussions related to the relationship between vendor metadata and the knowledegebase Engage with Electronic Resource Acquisitions Team
  23. 23. 2. Technology Tasks Use of new programs and systems to perform metadata-related tasks • Sirsi ILS • Electronic Resource Management Systems • Z39.50 • MarcEdit • MySQL Development Activities Attend sessions and webinars related to Library Services Platforms, EZProxy, and linked data
  24. 24. 3. Research and Assessment Tasks Independently and cooperatively assigned to various projects to develop assessment, problem-solving and decision-making abilities Detail-oriented work involving collection, analysis, and interpretation of data using SQL databases Development Activities Reciprocal knowledge sharing: encourage students to present on class projects Build research interests through exposure to various topics and trends
  25. 25. 4. Effective Communication Tasks Create documentation on Metadata Technologies Unit wiki space Hospitable workplace to freely discuss and consult with supervisors and with peers Meet formally with supervisors at end of each semester to set goals and reflect Development Activities Developed and facilitated a MarcEdit Workshop for cataloguing staff Presenting at University of Toronto Libraries Town Hall and conferences
  26. 26. 5. Supervising and Management Tasks Planned for Year 2: • Each student serve as project manager for a discrete project • Students develop strategies for managing individual projects • Assist with orientation and training of new team members Development Activities Project management course
  27. 27. 6. Trends in Professional Development Tasks Students attend staff and committee meetings Attend Canadian Linked Data Initiative conference calls with librarians across Canada Sign up to relevant listservs Meet with librarians in other areas of the library system, such as Scholarly Communications Development Activities Encouraged to attend conferences and participate in webinar and “lunch and learn” events
  28. 28. 7. Personal Qualities Through cumulative tasks and development activities, students can: Develop a tolerance for the inherent complexity and ambiguity of electronic resource management Recognize that Technical Services work is a public service Build flexibility, time management skills and accountability Attain an aptitude for work that is both independent and collaborative
  29. 29. Key benefits of using the Core Competencies in the TALint program
  30. 30. Promotes Employability Employability - “skills and personal attributes considered important by an industry, and needed by graduates in order to secure employment.” Goes beyond technical skills and includes personal attributes (i.e. teamwork, professional judgement, communication, problem-solving, etc.) The NASIG Core Competencies provide the scaffolding for developing employability in graduate students
  31. 31. In their own words… “I already feel like I have entered the professional workplace! A year ago, I wouldn’t have said I was prepared to commit to a career in librarianship. I loved the work I was doing in libraries but did not have a clear vision of where I wanted to go in the future. After one year of this internship, I have a strong sense of where to begin searching for future jobs and of how to build on the skills I have.” “I already feel like I have entered the professional workplace! A year ago, I wouldn’t have said I was prepared to commit to a career in librarianship. I loved the work I was doing in libraries but did not have a clear vision of where I wanted to go in the future. After one year of this internship, I have a strong sense of where to begin searching for future jobs and of how to build on the skills I have.”
  32. 32. In their own words… “I feel very prepared [for the professional workplace]. In part I think that I benefited from having a TALint position in a part of the library which is growing and becoming more critical, but it is also because of the genuine interest of my supervisors in mentoring and developing my capabilities. I feel this has made me more prepared because I have a regular space to ask questions about anything in the library or profession which I don't understand, I have made more professional connections, and I have knowledge of library systems, all of which are being developed over time, resulting in an understanding of the bigger picture, and deeper relationships.” “I feel very prepared [for the professional workplace]. In part I think that I benefited from having a TALint position in a part of the library which is growing and becoming more critical, but it is also because of the genuine interest of my supervisors in mentoring and developing my capabilities. I feel this has made me more prepared because I have a regular space to ask questions about anything in the library or profession which I don't understand, I have made more professional connections, and I have knowledge of library systems, all of which are being developed over time, resulting in an understanding of the bigger picture, and deeper relationships.”
  33. 33. Provides Career Clarification The Core Competencies help to develop a greater awareness of career paths Provides clarity about the skills and qualifications needed to become an electronic resources librarian Through a semi-structured training plan, students gain confidence in their work Leads to better informed decisions on study, and ultimately, on their career direction
  34. 34. In their own words… “I've found the greatest benefit [of using the core competencies] to be a sense of direction professionally. While my experiences in school tend to be quite broad, the core competencies have given me a sense of focus on what skills and experiences are valuable in the workplace, as well as a way to talk about them in professional contexts.” “I've found the greatest benefit [of using the core competencies] to be a sense of direction professionally. While my experiences in school tend to be quite broad, the core competencies have given me a sense of focus on what skills and experiences are valuable in the workplace, as well as a way to talk about them in professional contexts.”
  35. 35. In their own words… “Using the core competencies gives me a sense of where I stand in the profession and encourages me to work on skills beyond those required for my current job. Using the competencies helps me understand how my classes, work, and other activities fit together, because I can see how different tasks and projects support the same core competencies.” “Using the core competencies gives me a sense of where I stand in the profession and encourages me to work on skills beyond those required for my current job. Using the competencies helps me understand how my classes, work, and other activities fit together, because I can see how different tasks and projects support the same core competencies.”
  36. 36. Develops Professional Identity Core Competencies provide a lens through which students can learn, evaluate, and make sense of practice Helps students to gain a clear understanding of professional standards, expectations, ethical values, ideology and conduct Encourages a smoother transition from student to professional as they enter the labour market
  37. 37. In their own words… “This internship has changed what I thought I was capable of. It's given me a taste of the technical work that needs to be done in libraries that I don't get in school and haven't really experienced in any of my other jobs. Also, the advice and mentorship from all three of you- Marlene, Jenn, and Antonio, has taught me so much about hiring and professional expectations, I feel like I will ask better questions while I'm job searching and in interviews.” “This internship has changed what I thought I was capable of. It's given me a taste of the technical work that needs to be done in libraries that I don't get in school and haven't really experienced in any of my other jobs. Also, the advice and mentorship from all three of you- Marlene, Jenn, and Antonio, has taught me so much about hiring and professional expectations, I feel like I will ask better questions while I'm job searching and in interviews.”
  38. 38. In their own words… “[This position has] helped me develop technical skills, an understanding of institutional organization, and an arsenal of acronyms that are used often in the profession which are taken for granted, but will be especially useful as I pursue a career in the more technical aspects of librarianship.” “[This position has] helped me develop technical skills, an understanding of institutional organization, and an arsenal of acronyms that are used often in the profession which are taken for granted, but will be especially useful as I pursue a career in the more technical aspects of librarianship.”
  39. 39. Promotes Reflective Practice Core Competencies and learning agendas help students in the process of reflection and self-assessment Provides students with criteria to judge what they have learned and what they still need to learn Helps students gain an appreciation of their accomplishments and maximize learning from the experience
  40. 40. In their own words… “I see reflection as crucial to developing as a professional. Reflection helps me to see value in the work that I’m doing and to recognize my accomplishments and areas of improvement, giving me the confidence to talk about who I am and what I can do. It has been especially rewarding to have time set aside at work to reflect on progress, interests, and goals with my supervisors and coworkers. We try to understand how our goals fit together and how our goals fit with the goals of our library, which helps us connect with each other and plan work. This gives my work a greater sense of meaning and helps me take a more active role in our department.” “I see reflection as crucial to developing as a professional. Reflection helps me to see value in the work that I’m doing and to recognize my accomplishments and areas of improvement, giving me the confidence to talk about who I am and what I can do. It has been especially rewarding to have time set aside at work to reflect on progress, interests, and goals with my supervisors and coworkers. We try to understand how our goals fit together and how our goals fit with the goals of our library, which helps us connect with each other and plan work. This gives my work a greater sense of meaning and helps me take a more active role in our department.”
  41. 41. “I try to write about a paragraph every 3 months to keep track of how I am changing as a person within this program, because we are encouraged to reflect so constantly. I've found it to be a huge benefit. On one hand, I am able to immediately able to address how a project (such as the MarcEdit workshop) went, alone and with my co-workers. On the other, regular reflection also keeps me from straying too far from my goals without realizing it, and also to realize what I have been achieving.” In their own words… “I try to write about a paragraph every 3 months to keep track of how I am changing as a person within this program, because we are encouraged to reflect so constantly. I've found it to be a huge benefit. On one hand, I am able to immediately able to address how a project (such as the MarcEdit workshop) went, alone and with my co-workers. On the other, regular reflection also keeps me from straying too far from my goals without realizing it, and also to realize what I have been achieving.”
  42. 42. What’s next for TALint?
  43. 43. More TALint! In September 2018 we will add an additional TALint student to our team •Staggered two-year internships will ensure at least one student is familiar with workflows and systems as new hires become fully trained •Opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and mentorship between current and new hires
  44. 44. Toolkit for TALint Students to help develop a Toolkit for new TALint interns entering the Metadata Technologies Unit Will correspond to the components of the Core Competencies and contain: • Information about the UTL Libraries and Unit • Resources on e-resource lifecycle • Systems and tools we use to do our work • Cataloguing and bibliographic standards • Glossary of library acronyms • Tricks and tips
  45. 45. Promoting a Professional Identity Encourage students to share documented successes beyond their internal wiki • Develop an ePortfolio to showcase their professional identity to potential employers • Public space to share their work and provide evidence of their skills • Incorporate Blog entries, articles, presentations, etc. • Encourage use of ORCiD, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. if students wish to develop a professional social media presence
  46. 46. Assessment of our WIL Strategy How do we assess our success in this venture? We need to assess student success and our success as supervisors and mentors NASIG Core Competencies will be critical in identifying proficiencies or knowledge gaps that need more attention Create more feedback loops to modify student learning along the way Ensure that students are able to engage with the assessment process – reflect on feedback and take action upon it
  47. 47. Advocate for Competency-Based Approaches to Training Promote competency-based training amongst other TALint supervisors Broad applicability throughout the library Core competencies help to promote a learning culture…not just for students, but for all library staff, regardless of stage of career Improve relevance in the ever-changing information environment
  48. 48. Iterative Reflection We must continually reflect to ensure currency and relevancy of WIL training strategy Iterative reflection will ensure that all the pieces work together to meet our current and future needs Review Evolving Core Competencies Review Changes in the iSchool Masters Program Review our Priorities as a Unit
  49. 49. Using this Approach in your Workplace WIL and integration of NASIG Core Competencies can be used in a number of workplace contexts and conditions • Employ use of a wiki to journal your own development and gain a picture of your professional identity • Try condensed versions when hosting short-term practicum students • Use Core Competencies for training new staff and upskilling your team
  50. 50. Thank you! And special thanks to Sarah and Jordan for your willingness to learn, enthusiasm to embrace new challenges and your overall positive contribution to our Team!
  51. 51. Resources Hannaford, J & Stevenson, S. (2017). TALint at the University of Toronto: Bridging the Gap Between iSchool and Academic Librarianship. IFLA WLIC 2017. http://library.ifla.org/1641/1/117-hannaford-en.pdf NASIG Core Competencies Task Force. (2013). Core competencies for electronic resources librarians. Retrieved from https://amo_hub_content.s3.amazonaws.com/Association92/files/CoreComp/Competenciesfor ERLibrarians_final_ver_2016-01-26.pdf Rowe, Anna D. and Zegwaard, Karsten E. “Developing graduate employability skills and attributes: Curriculum enhancement through work-integrated learning”. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 2017, 18(2), p.87-99. University of Toronto. Quick Facts. Retrieved from: https://www.utoronto.ca/about-u-of-t/quick- facts

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