I’m sharing information about a field guide that you might find useful in your work, especially those that have been trained in connected learning and computational thinking. ~Sharon
In the summer of 2020, we commenced co-design work with 137 library staff nationwide to learn how they are supporting their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 was the impetus for this work, however, as our process launched, the United States saw increased civic unrest and community activism resulting from the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Dion Johnson. Therefore, our work with library staff took on an expanded role focusing on library responses to the multiple crises facing the country.
As a result of this work, we are pleased to launch a Field Guide designed to help public library staff support their communities during times of crisis. In the Field Guide, we exhort the library community to take on the public servant mindset and have in place critical relationships and community data prior to considering what programs and services are needed during a local, regional, or national crisis.
With this mindset in place, we organized the field guide into four essential tasks - learn about community, co-create with community, iterate and assess with community, and design structures for the community. Each essential task includes a description of the task, tools that can be leveraged to accomplish the task, an example of what the task looks like in practice, and a summary at the end that lists all the sub-tasks involved, which we framed as Do it With Others (DIWO). This idea of equitably doing with others foregrounds the entire Field Guide. While this Field Guide focuses on supporting non-dominant youth and families, we believe it can be adapted to serve the needs of other age groups.
What's next? We invite you to adopt the Field Guide and share stories with us on what this looks like in your practice. In the near future, we plan to facilitate webinars and conversations featuring case studies that exemplify the public servant mindset in practice. Get in touch with us and share your work. Together, we can demonstrate how libraries have an impact on the lives of youth, families, and communities around the world.”
Mega & Linda
Mega Subramaniam (...@umd.edu" style="color: #2199e8; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1.3; margin: 0; padding: 0; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;" title="mailto:mmsu...@umd.edu">mmsu...@umd.edu) is an associate professor at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland. Linda W. Braun (...@leonline.com" style="color: #2199e8; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1.3; margin: 0; padding: 0; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;" title="mailto:lbr...@leonline.com">lbr...@leonline.com) is a learning consultant for LEO.
University of Maryland