And there is an end in sight…

of this first course, although not an end to this blog.  I will continue to use this platform as I navigate the other modules related to LiDA.  I am a week plus behind in getting to this point and I have my amazing, jam-packed full schedule of concerts (three), committee meetings (two), public presentation (one), work, kiddos (and several appointments there), life in general to thank for just now getting to this.  Referencing my awesome mind map, that was included in this last section, I certainly need to work on the time-management piece when it comes to getting up and moving each morning.  But it’s soooooo hard…. thankfully the internet is full of great websites and articles that provide help for achieving this goal.  I particularly liked Jen Smith’s short piece that appears on the site.  Click the mind map to read it.


Now for my Learning Reflection Challenge piece:

I made the decision to enroll in the LiDA course work with the intent to build on the digital tools and technological literacies that I already have.  As a Tech librarian, these are a part of every single work day – and often a part of my not-at-work life, as the expectation (by friends and family) is that I am really good with technology and navigating online. I was not disappointed.  I now have a great assortment of new tools that I will use, along with some that I might just keep in memory for sharing with others.  That is the good part for me.

Expanding on that, interacting with others who are learning to navigate the same technologies was also fun and at times provided comfort.  I wasn’t the only one who overlooked the code for the bookmark site.  I wasn’t the only one who occasionally missed a tag and/or went outside of the realm of direct technology to find topics that technology could still be applied to. My negatives are limited and I have touched on them before.  I guess the main thing is that I feel the interface of this, while trying to be transparent and provide the most access, is a little text heavy and can easily become confusing as to what comes next; overwhelming to someone who already spends a huge amount of her day reading large amounts of digital materials for work.  I ended up re-reading most things several times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. My other small complaint, is that links don’t open in separate tabs/windows.  This annoys me even though I know that it follows accessibility guidelines for visual perception, because “help” pages should open in other tabs, so as not to cause me to flip back and forth between what I am doing and what I need to do.  My employer also has a format rule for web pages, specifically requiring the creation of new tabs/windows – so it’s a little bit of a cultural shock to encounter it not being the norm.

I learned that I really need to consider my time management needs and that I am, as I mentioned in reaction to another student’s reflection, more of a squirrel in my mind – running about digging up nuts (of new tech and literacies) and haphazardly reburying them.  I felt a little rushed in places and I think the biggest change is in my own self-image of myself as a successful online learner.  While I pick up on things fast, I think I also tended towards putting it at the bottom of my daily/weekly priorities.

My conclusion and plan are one and the same.  This course something that I felt I would benefit from and be able to apply to my everyday work/life tech needs.  With the exception of a couple of personal discomforts with the delivery, I feel I gained some valuable tools and literacies to go along with those.  Moving forward, I do plan to share what I have learned from this session, and perhaps incorporate some of the tools into my own info lit sessions and course guides for others to benefit from.




Outputs for the Outputs

I am going to try and wrap up a couple of postings in one here – because TIME and well, my general oversight of the fine details listed on the various outputs pages for LiDA101.

While I mentioned that I was using Mendeley in my previous posting, I failed to create that in the format that was needed – an ongoing issue that I see a few others encountering as well – text heavy instructions that get to be quickly overwhelming from one page to the next, with too many hyperlinks – even when you simply push the Next button after completing the things on the page.  That does go against the instructions in the first section regarding our blog posts:

remember “less is more“.

I have don’t have much to impart about my use of Mendeley.  As I very briefly glossed over in both the course feed and my previous, post, Mendeley is something that I am comfortable with as I have used it in info lit sessions and course guides for my college.  I do prefer CiteLighter because of its highlight and put in order approach to digitally managing content that you are referencing.  Perhaps this is something Mendeley could eventually add on as a capability?  Using it so heavily for these outputs will definitely make it that much more of a “native” feeling digital literacy in future sessions. Perhaps this is an opportunity to incorporate some before the session (flipped classroom) exercises for the students to use the citation tools?  Then I could utilize more of the classroom time troubleshooting small details versus just hoping they use the tools and develop some form of literacy later. The gears are turning…

I also made a paragraph and a couple annotated bibliographies, flashing back to the several years I spent in college an grad school as a result.  A “good paragraph” (or so I am hoping, in my quick push to get it done) as a part of my outputs for section 2.  See:

Example of a good paragraph

As for annotations:

Sally Pewhairangi. (2016). Digital Skills Are Not the Same as Digital Literacy | TechSoup for Libraries.

The author, who has a long history in libraries, discusses digital literacy and digital tools with emphasis on the difference between them. She also discusses how there is no set measurement for one’s digital literacy.  I find value in her discussion as it reflects my own experience working with patrons in a library and having to realize that the ability to use a tool does not necessarily imply understanding of how that tool can be used.

Anderson, K. M., & Cook, J. R. (2015). Challenges and Opportunities of Using Digital Storytelling as a Trauma Narrative Intervention for Children. Advances in Social Work, 16(1), 78–89.

The authors, researchers at the University of Missouri, used data from a locale study to measure the efficacy of digital storytelling (DS) as a digital tool for traumatized youth to share their stories.  The hope is that by being able to use this tool, they will be better able to process their trauma and build resilience.  The value of this research is in showing that the use of this tool does benefit those youth, measurable by increased ability to discuss what has happened to them.

And now for a picture of how my brain feels at the end of all these outputs:


A little catch-up and research

Ahead of a written piece I am presenting, in a public forum, I submitted a bio blurb last night that read:

Nic Ashman. A squirrelly mess of calendar packed goodness, who is choosing not to share her personal mission statement at this time – although she does have one. Foster mom, activist, and lover of live music. Definite proof that librarians don’t always have time to read and that you are never too old for mosh pits and dancing.

Meant to be a humorous offset to the very mature, traumatic piece I am presenting – it rings so very true to my ability to stay on top of my assignments for this OERu course.  Now for some real catch up…

At the beginning of the section I immediately ran into the always lovely “site down…for maintenance” with my primary resource.the catch of OER
As if my topic wasn’t going to be finicky enough to find materials for, I have to contend with open internet searching. I wanted to expand on my personal interest of trauma informed care (TIC) and write about how digital story telling is being used to help. I may just settle for being able to discuss TIC approaches in general.

I am not a fan of Boolean searches.  SOOoooooo very much work has went into creating databases, discovery layers, even Google where the end user is not expected to know a secret language to dive in and find something.  I feel, with this exercise, that we are moving backwards in the digital continuum, to the time when the reference librarian was super specialized and dial up internet was still a very expensive venture.  However, for the tech savvy and data curious, these are still important tools.

I found a couple of promising bits on SpringerOpen, avoiding the pull to utilize my own library’s discovery layer to find things – since that is not technically “open” in the sense of anyone being able to pull out full text materials without a secret digital handshake. I did post those to the bookmark site with the appropriate tags, along with a couple I found via the Google Advanced searching.  Some quick notes on the whole experience of using the advanced tools:

  • Not everything was available for download.
  • Actively using Mendeley after teaching how to use it over the last three years is pretty engaging.  Citations are super simple.

Friesen, N., Gourlay, L., & Oliver, M. (2013). Scholarship and Literacies in a Digital Age EDITORIAL Scholarship and literacies in a digital age.

Oliver, M. (2016). Students’ day-to-day engagements with technologies: rethinking digital literacies. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 1(1). Retrieved from

  • There were interesting results for images – I think I was just lucky.  images

A couple questions I have : With this increase in OER resources, how does that impact the ongoing argument of ethics when it comes to controversial sites like Sci-Hub or #ICanHazPDF on Twitter?  And who is providing the much needed oversight to the quality of scholarship being published on OER platforms?




Medieval Helpdesk & a Map

The hilarity of the Norwegian  Broadcasting Company’s Medieval help desk never falters in my mind. As a fan of Monty Python and IT Crowd, in addition to the trenches stories from librarianship, it caters to that inner eye roll that reflexively happens when trying to teach what one might consider a painfully obvious.

Let’s slow down a moment though…once the laughter subsides and stop to realize that this ability to do isn’t necessarily something that everyone has.  Nor is it something that everyone is learning at the same pace, with the same goals, or the same impetus.

Digital literacy, or the underlying critical thinking that accompanies your ability to do use digital technologies  (Digital Literacy, 2018) to navigate online, isn’t something we are born with.  It’s something that comes along with your digital tools, perhaps ahead of the tools, and at times even after the tools are given to us.  My example is that of finding credible resources for research and understanding the bias that implied by the various domains.  .com and .net versus .org and .edu.  Digital literacy means that I understand that .com references commercialized interests and that the website, regardless of information content, is ultimately trying to sell me something whereas a .edu would be a more credible resource with the aim of trying to provide peer reviewed information.

To me, digital literacies means having the ability to navigate digital entities with enough skill that I can not only search for a information, but create informed search parameters and evaluate the results that are returned.

I was also tasked with creating a Personal Learning Network map (PLN).   There was so much overlap, that I ended up using transparent clouds to represent my tools/literacy areas and omitting the axis lines that I otherwise observed in the examples.

pln mapping

Based on what I am seeing (the noticeable weight of everything towards the Resident side of the page), I feel that my action plan should continue what I already have in place – namely that I spent more time being less of a visitor and more of a resident for a few of my professional digital technologies.  Canvas being a primary target for that improvement, as our college is currently in the Beta stage of learning how to use this tool before adapting it into a live LMS.

And that all for today.  I am now off to sleep …what will most likely be the reoccurring theme as I sacrifice my pre-bedtime reading to work on blogging assignments.




Digital Literacy. (2018, March 12). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

A new thing…

…and a good mix of old and new to explore it with.  It’s odd that I have never created a blog before, although I had always toyed with the idea in my head, with occasional verbal exchanges about the hypothetical hilarity that could ensue. Well, here I am then.  Taking part in the Delare Yourself Challenge and posting a little about myself.

I am an Academic librarian, once-again student, and overall constant curiosity fulfillment seeker.  I love seeking out answers to things and learning new processes, especially as they apply to and improve upon old ones. This course will help me continue to do just that.

The photo below is a good summary of how I see myself within my job and also my submission for my #lida101photo submission.  Continuing to utilize old standards in collection wrangling while implementing new technologies along the way.   And yes, this is from my real life work station….more on that later.


With the time change this week, I find myself running behind and a bit run down as well.  Here is a selfie of me looking a little tired and certainly ready to retire for the night.  Good night all.  I look forward to interacting and learning along with each of you.

tired selfie