Week 9:Workshops

This week instead of lecture, we met in our small groups and lead one-shot workshops in the same  pairs as our book club. All of the topics were somehow related to ethics, and I walked away from this assignment with a lot things to think about. I was surprised how interconnected a lot of our topics ended up being, which allowed for us to have really great discussions through out the night. The first group’s workshop was on cultural sensitivity, the second groups topics (which was my group) discussed how to approach ethically challenging questions at the reference desk, the third group discussed how to decide and defend your library’s decision to include/exclude both gay and anti-gay literature in the collection, and lastly, the fourth group discussed how to expand your library’s outreach in the community.

Each group took different teaching/discussion strategies for the one-shot workshop which allowed me to observe a lot of different activities and methods to carryout a workshop. The first group Introduced the topic and why cultural sensitivity is important for us. The bulk of the workshop was organized around discussion, which I thought went very well with the subject of their workshop.

Our group took a more instructive approach initially where we as facilitators went over key points about reference desk practice, steps to breakdown difficult questions, and an exploratory case. The second half of our time slot was used for discussion, both in pairs and our “large” group.

The third presenters started out their presentation with a short introduction and then went straight into activities for us to do in order to break the ice and get us thinking on the subject. I thought this was a great way to start a discussion about gay and anti-gay literature without emphasizing their personal opinions into the discussion at the very beginning. The structure of their workshop allowed the topic to be discussed in a professional manner despite being a politically charged topic.

Last, but definitely not least,  the fourth group broke down their workshop into four main sections, brainstorming, instruction, small group discussion, and large group discussion. What I liked most about this group’s workshop was that they built up to the end task, which was for us to make an “action plan” for us to build a relationship between our library and an organization in our community.Overall, I learned a lot from my classmate’s examples and really enjoyed this assignment.

  1. I also really liked getting to be a part of several different workshops one right after another because it was really interesting to be able to observe and immediately compare the different approaches. I definitely noticed some approaches that I will probably try to use in the future versus some that were good, but didn’t appeal to me as much personally. I thought everyone in our group did a great job.

  2. Wow, it sounds like you had a great set of workshops! It’s cool that you were able to carry some discussion themes from one workshop to the next– a similar thing happened during book club week for my group, and it was exciting to watch the connections maps out.

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