Today I spent more time in the State Library catalog and more time pondering the logistics of what to do with the resources I find. Nicole's observation was spot on: there are really two parts to this project that I'm working on - - finding the content, and figuring out how to present it.
I showed Nicole a tool called List.ly which would be a neat way to present some of the resources I find. We both agreed it would be a nice way to display the information, but we were also realistic about the limitations of working in state government. Many agencies are blocked from internet use, or the network is filtered so strictly that an online tool may not be practical. Nicole urged me to do what works for OBM and not make my focus the replicability of the project. I can do that, but I also don't want to just hand over a product that they can't end up using or modifying.
Side note: I'm starting to even more greatly appreciate the concept of controlled vocabulary.
August 30, 2016 (Tuesday), 8:30AM-5:00PM (½ hour lunch)
Hours completed: 8.00
Accumulated on-site hours completed: 21h 45m
Today was my first full-day working on this project.
I began the day by compiling the statewide report I'd received and creating a few VLOOKUP columns in my spreadsheet that were able to bring in pay grades and position counts for each of the positions utilized by OBM. The State Library may be able to use this same methodology for other agencies, which is part of the practicum goal.
I spent some time going back to my Access to Information course materials to ground myself and prepare for an afternoon of searching for library materials. It was helpful to refresh myself on some of the concepts we covered - particularly search strategies, vocabulary control and Boolean statements. Some of the assigned reading we had done might even be useful for other projects at work.
In the afternoon, I looked at the statewide competency of Analyzing Data or Information. I spent some time considering how to find resources related to this competency. I struggled a little bit because the state's competency system has four different context areas in which a competency could apply, and each one has a little bit of a different spin to it. For example, both a director position and an entry level position may require competence in analyzing data or information. For an entry level position, this competency could include successfully identifying inaccuracies when checking simple reports. For a director position, this competency could include analyzing information to forecast the future state of libraries in Ohio.
I struggled a little with how to frame these guides - which context makes the most sense? I talked it over with Nicole and she provided some strategies and things to keep in mind. She also gave me a nice overview of the electronic resources that are available here at the State Library of Ohio.
Today I spent some time reaching out to a contact from the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Ray Justice. Ray is a friendly and knowledgeable colleague who works in the Talent Management section of the DAS Human Resources Division. He's pictured above in the grey suit. The photo is from a Talent Development Community meeting we both attended this morning.
I reached out to him to learn what data reporting options exist. For instance, if I'm an xyz employee, but I want to be an ABC employee, how many ABC positions exist within the state? How many of them exist at my agency? I figured this kind of data might be helpful to include in these resource guides.
I also got to speak briefly with Evan Struble, Library Consultant. Evan and his counterpart Mandy are in their third year of overseeing and coordinating a grant funded program called Guiding Ohio Online. Guiding Ohio Online places Americorps volunteers into rural libraries to train patrons on basic computer and internet use. Evan asked me to present on a topic at their next G.O.O. orientation, and I agreed with gusto.
I also spent some time browsing the Gale Courses catalog to see what sorts of courses I might be able to include in these resources guides. There are plenty to choose from! At Nicole's suggestion, I enrolled in a course so I could understand the process of taking a Gale Course.
August 24, 2016 (Wednesday), 1PM-5PM
Hours completed: 4.00
Accumulated on-site hours completed: 10.00
I spent most of this afternoon creating a high-level project plan. I wanted to identify potential milestones that I should be hitting if I'm to complete this project by the end of October. I used a Franklin Covey template that I'd received a few years ago when I took their Project Management Essentials course. I sent the plan to Nicole for her review to make sure I'm not forgetting any steps.
I also got to take a more in-depth tour of the digitization lab with Shannon Kupfer. Taking tours with Shannon is one of my favorite things to do. As a State Library employee, I always -always- enjoyed her tours of the rare books room. Her enthusiasm and excitement were (and still are) contagious. Shannon showed me how the large scanner works and pointed out the Microfiche scanner. Shannon offered to allow me to scan and add some metadata to some materials if I'd like some hands on practice. I just might take her up on that offer. She suggested an OBM annual report so that it would be a direct benefit to my agency, and I love that idea.
Finally, I did a quick Google search (ironically, without turning to the library's catalog) and found a few posts on using the AutoText feature in Microsoft Word. I think since there's a lot of overlap in the competencies being used at my agency (and throughout the state of Ohio enterprise - the number of competencies in the model is limited), this feature will come in handy. Here are the websites I found:
Today was my first official practicum shift. Even though I’ve worked at the State Library before, Nicole was kind enough to take me on a tour so that I could see some of the changes and improvements that have been made since I left to join OBM a little over a year ago. It’s amazing how much can change in a year. I found the new digitization lab to be particularly impressive. The State Library has repurposed the vacated Columbus SLIS computer lab to accommodate it, and it's really cool to see the use of space.
I mentioned to Nicole that the tour was actually really helpful because it allowed me to get grounded and focused for why I’m here. It was also really nice to see so many familiar faces as we walked around the building together.
We went over a few logistical details and Nicole showed me my work area. I had a little trouble logging in to the practicum student email account, and the computer seemed to be running more slowly than it should, so I made a note to follow up with IT the next time I’m here.
I sent a note to my team back at OBM to let them know what my desk phone would be while I’m here. I am also working from my work-assigned laptop to stay in touch with the team back at OBM. I’ve got Skype up and running so they know where I’m at and that I’m available.
August 12, 2016 (Friday), 3PM-5PM
Hours completed: 2.00
Accumulated on-site hours completed: 2.00
Today I met with Nicole Merriman at the State Library of Ohio. Nicole is the Head of Research and Catalog Services, so she oversees the State Library's team of catalogers and reference librarians. The purpose of the meeting was to solidify our expectations of the practicum work and come up with a tentative work schedule.
Nicole and the State Library are interested in having a template that they can use to sustain this practicum project after my obligation has ended. I plan for this project to provide a product that the Ohio Office of Budget and Management will be able to use for its current and future staff, and a also a product that the State Library can support going forward. Nicole encouraged me to make a product that works for OBM first, and then come up with a way to tailor it for the State Library's use.
Along with coming up with a tentative on-site schedule, we talked a little about the logistics involved with being a practicum student who also works full time for another state agency. Nicole will find out where I'll be sitting and whether I'll need a practicum email address created.
We talked about some of the challenges I may face with this project. Some of them included:
Vision: A Smarter Ohio
Goal 1: Support digitization efforts to widen access to the State Library of Ohio’s collection and increase resource sharing throughout the state
Goal 2: Position the State Library of Ohio to state government as the preferred channel for information
Goal 4: Expand access to resources in cost efficient ways through electronic channels
Goal 5: Lead innovation and development efforts for libraries to ensure ongoing relevance to communities across Ohio
To map available State Library of Ohio resources to the 27 job competencies impacting the 66 job classifications and 253 employees at the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.
Posts By Month
Posts By Category