Highlights from the Library 2.0 Instructional Design Conference

iStudent Blog

Published: March 21, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

On Wednesday, March 13, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Library 2.019 mini-conference, Shaping the Future of Libraries with Instructional Design, sponsored by the iSchool at San José State University.

Library 2.0, the future of libraries in the digital age, is an incredible organization with over 27,000 members and counting. Library 2.0 was founded in 2007 by Bill Drew, and is currently managed Steve Hargadon. In 2011, Hargadon partnered with iSchool Director Sandra Hirsh and began the tradition of providing free, open access conferences to the library and information science community worldwide. 

The Library 2.0 platform offers a terrific opportunity for accessing professional development, hearing from industry leaders and engaging with other library and information science professionals from around the globe – all from the comfort of your home or office.

Keynote Panel Discuss How to Get Started with Instructional Design 

The keynote panel for the Library 2.0 Instructional Design conference was organized by John Shank and Steven Bell. Bell is an associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University, and Shank is currently the head of the Boscov-Lakin Information Commons & Thun Library at Penn State University Libraries. Panelists included Dana Bryant, Michael Flierl, and Lindsay O’Neill. During the keynote session, Bell and Shank queried the panelists with the following instructional design questions:

  • What is instructional design?
  • What is their go-to educational technology?
  • What suggestions do they have for librarians looking to build their instructional design skills?

O’Neill shared the fantastic success she’s had with H5P, a free, open-source software that’s automatically licensed. She uses the software to create plugins for Moodle, and build online tutorials with lots of free pre-built games. To get started with instructional design, Flierl advised librarians to focus on one thing to improve on, consider backwards design and request specific feedback from peers even when it’s uncomfortable to ask for.

Breakout Sessions Explore Specific Elements of Instructional Design

After the keynote, I had the opportunity to attend two sessions during the conference, as well as volunteer as a moderator for one of them. I attended “Using Articulate Storyline” to build interactive learning modules for information literacy instruction by Stephanie Jacobs, an instructional design blended librarian at the University of South Florida.

Jacobs asserted that digital learning objects can take the form of a video, a website, a game, an interactive tutorial or a static page. Each has a defined instructional value, which enable librarians to deliver information in an online environment. What Jacobs sees as uniquely valuable about Articulate is that users can customize their own learning experience. Jacobs also shared a great example of a Plagiarism tutorial she’s created using the software.

In a volunteer role at the conference, I was able to assist in moderating the session, “An Accidental Instructional Design Librarian,” by Jade Geary. After Geary worked for about a year as a staff librarian at her academic library, a position opened up as an instructional design librarian. Excited, she jumped into the role with little background in instruction. She did a lot of research on instructional design and learning theories on her own, but felt like she was entering in the middle of a conversation without any context to comprehend the material. She recommends taking an instructional design class. Overall, she advises librarians new to the instructional design conversation to not get frustrated, focus on one project at a time and identify your learning outcomes as a great first step.

Engaging with Library 2.0: Become a Member, Volunteer, and Networking Opportunities

Library 2.0 makes all the recordings of its mini conferences available to all members for free. Membership in Library 2.0 is free and offers an excellent networking opportunity to connect with other librarians who are interested in the same things you are. 

I absolutely recommend any student to consider volunteering at a Library 2.0 conference. It was great to get an inside look of all the prep work that goes into each individual session, and the hard work it takes for each presenter and moderator to share their work with the library world. Volunteering gave me a sense of ownership in my role at the conference overall; I wasn’t just learning new things, I was helping create new knowledge!

Volunteers are needed for every conference, and they typically send out emails to registered Library 2.0 members requesting volunteers a few weeks before the conference date. Alternatively, you can reach out to Debbie Faires, iSchool director of online learning.

The recordings of the numerous conference sessions are available through the Library 2.0 website. The next Library 2.019 mini-conference will be held on Wednesday, June 5, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., and will focus on the topic of Open Data.


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