Mentorship in Action

Laurie Alexander As the work of the Lab progresses, mentorship is more visible, active and accessible. It is coming from many directions – peer interaction, (in)formal mentoring activities, inspiration & iteration, and broadening of perspectives. The following observations focus on professional growth and stand apart as both notable and compelling.

The Fuzzy Front End and What It Means for Mentorship

Caroline Wack I have been working in the Design Thinking for LibraryServices lab this semester along with my wonderful peer mentors, Sophia McFadden-Keesling and Jordan Gorzalski, and our fearless librarian leaders,Meghan Sitar and Justin Schell. Our work focuses on building a design thinking tool for librarians, but we also use design thinking to create the tool. That’s right—we’re design thinking about design thinking! It’s very meta.

Research in real life

Jackie Freeman Depending on where (and when) you attended library school, a research methods class was probably a requirement. These types of courses are designed to provide students with theoretical knowledge of research methods – and if they are particularly fortunate – students may have an opportunity to work with a library practitioner on some aspect of that librarians’ research. Due to the length of most library school programs, these opportunities when offered are necessarily brief and often do not allow for sustained engagement with a project from inception to completion and dissemination.

Equity begins with Funding

Andrea Kang Before coming to the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Information in the fall of 2017, I made a promise to myself that my time here would be different from my time at my undergraduate institution. It would be different in that I would ensure that the feelings of isolation as a student of color at a predominantly white institution would not deter my initiative to seek out opportunities that would help advance my personal and professional skills. It would be different in that I would not be afraid to apply to positions I thought I was unqualified for simply because people in positions of power told me so in coded language.

Finding Solid Footing in a Fluid Space

Jordan Gabriel Gorzalski Over the course of the semester I have been working with some amazing colleagues in a very ambiguous space. I am part of the Design Thinking for Library Services lab, and a lot of what we are doing involves designing in a gray area without a clear direction. I have been lucky enough to be working with two amazing peers, Sophia McFadden-Keesling and Caroline Schuitema, who have helped to keep me grounded as we design. We all work so well together and really play on each other’s strengths. Through the whole process, from designing to testing, I have learned so much from both of them. They both bring unique perspectives and skills that I do not possess which helps when assessing our progress and the weight of the changes we make.

Designing a Design Thinking Project for a Library System

Sophia McFadden-Keesling The Design Thinking Fellowship is all about collaboration, ideation, innovation, and iteration. I have two wonderful peer mentors: Jordan Gorzalski and Caroline Schuitema. We spend hours each week discussing the project we’re working on. A great deal of the work is discussion based as we’re working with a concept more than an end goal.

The Library Student Journey: Finding What Fits

Tori Culler As part of the Library as Research Lab Fellowship (LaRL), I have had the opportunity to explore many different careers in librarianship while honing a new set of research skills. While I had some experience working as a research assistant in various contexts prior to this program, LaRL has privileged me insight into what it means to conduct research in an academic library setting. As part of the Student Learning lab group, I have been able to be directly involved in the design and implementation of an original research study concerning the nature of student learning in in-person instruction sessions.