iSchool Students Develop Instructional Tools for Dr. Hirsh’s New Book

iStudent Blog

Pistudent_ist_cover_2nd_ed.jpgublished: January 29, 2018

Three students share their experiences working on presentations for Information Services Today, second edition. 

Information Services Today is a textbook many of you will be familiar with from your iSchool classes. The textbook brings together 43 authors from across the LIS field and is compiled and edited by the iSchool’s Director, Dr. Sandra Hirsh.

The first edition sold over 2,000 copies and is used in classes outside of the SJSU School of Information as well. The textbook got a makeover for 2018 and is expected to be published in March. Three iSchool students got the chance to work with Dr. Hirsh as part of an INFO 298 experience last semester creating presentations to accompany the book. I chatted with the students to find out how it went and also heard from Dr. Hirsh about what’s new in the second edition.

What’s New
With both a global and community centered focus, Dr. Hirsh’s aim with Information Services Today is “to provide a strong foundation of knowledge for the field.” The book appeals to students, professionals, instructors and anybody curious about the world of information. Dr. Hirsh described the book as having a “broad view” and a istudent_blog_dr_hirsh.jpg“modern approach.” Several of the iSchool’s instructors contributed to the book including: Patty Wong, Mary Ann Harlan, Todd Gilman, Crystal S. Megaridis, Scott Brown, Johanna Tunon, Mary Bolin, Katherine Skinner and Kim Dority (career consultant to the iSchool).

The book has been reorganized and includes some new authors and content, such as chapters on change management and strategic planning. In addition, all of the chapters have been refreshed and updated. Look out for more information about the upcoming textbook in a future blog post.

PowerPoint presentations will also complement each chapter as part of the supplemental instructional materials. These were built by Holley Cornetto, Lauren Hall and Suzanne Maguire. Read on to find out more about their experiences working closely with Dr. Hirsh and the content of the book.

INFO 298 Experience
Between them, the three students completed 37 presentations to accompany each of the book’s 37 chapters. The presentations will be used by instructors and provide visuals, hyperlinks and examples that extend the book’s content. As well as the opportunity to learn from the iSchool’s director, Dr. Hirsh described how the students got to “work with the content in a deep way. They learned how to take the content and put it in the slides following a style template, and had to figure out ways to make it engaging.”

Holley stated that the work gave her the opportunity to practice “critical thinking and communication skills” (which the book identifies as two essential skills for today’s information professional). Lauren shared that overall it “was a wonderful experience and I would recommend students apply for other INFO 298 opportunities in order to diversify their skill sets. Through the process of creating these presentations, I learned how to make slides more consistent and visually appealing to create a high quality product. I really feel this will help me develop more effective presentations in future classes and in my career.”

The book kept its six themes which Dr. Hirsh chose based on her experience and observations of the LIS field. Suzanne’s favorite is the first theme focused on providing an overall state of the field, because “understanding how information organizations got their start, how they have evolved, and the opportunities they have now and in the future is important to understanding the role of these organizations in their communities.” She also gleaned new insights that helped her in her current job at a community college. Chapter 26 discusses the move from Integrated Library Systems to Library Service Platforms which Suzanne has witnessed first-hand during her career, and the book helped her to understand this transition. All of the students learned from engaging with the book’s content, from discovering resources they weren’t aware of before to strategies for success they can employ in their academic and professional lives.

The students plan to include at least one of their presentations as evidence in their e-portfolio. The experience matches up nicely to core competency M: demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations. Holley also pointed out that the content she engaged with will help her write her e-portfolio, including competencies B, G, H and I.

Stay Tuned
“We need to be thinking differently about our field [which is] so dynamic and changing,” said Dr. Hirsh. “I really think this book addresses current and important topics for our field, which is remarkable as a textbook.” Stay tuned for the official release date announcement and details of where you can pick up a copy, and keep an eye out for future INFO 298 opportunities you might be interested in.


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