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    Student technology skills and ASIS

supporting documents:
my list of essential technology skills for LIS students
iSchool list of basic technology skills and bootcamp topics
classroom technologies bootcamp slides
STS task force

It is no secret that I have strong opinions regarding the functions of libraries, the skills needed to function as a librarian in today's world, and the issues about which we should all be concerned. During my time at the iSchool, I never hesitated to express this opinion. The actions taken in support of these opinions have led me to be considered a leader among my peers.

Being opinionated comes with responsibilities that must be met if one is not to gain a reputation for being a curmudgeonly blowhard. Perhaps the most important of these responsibilities is to share one's experience when it can benefit the community.

Last year it became apparent that many students felt that they did not have the necessary technology skills to succeed at the iSchool. Many asked for help securing these skills, and these requests resulted in the Student Technology Skills Task Force. Led by many of the officers of ASIS&T at the time, this ad hoc committee took on the responsibility of identifying key skills for students and organizing training sessions which evolved into the technology boot camp, now an established part of orientation activities for incoming students, to help people.

Along with these successful training programs, the STSTF shared its opinion with the iSchool administration regarding what skills entering students should have. As part of this effort, I submitted and argued for a list of technology skills that I feel are essential for students.A direct result of this communication was the inclusion of a detailed skills checklist in the package sent to incoming students so that they were more aware of the skills necessary to function well within the curriculum. In the end, I also conducted one of the bootcamp sessions.

In the end, I feel that we stepped up and took responsibility for our peers who were not warned that graduate school--especially in LIS--in today's environment absolutely requires the use of certain tools and technologies. While I expect that this problem will disappear over time as these technologies become nearly universal, for the time being we have designed a program which helps to fill the skills gap, and have succeeded in making sure that students are informed of their responsibilities--if they read their whole acceptance package.

supporting documents
RDF presentation slides
GIS slides
Conference wrapup

ASIS(&t) Activities

My contribution to the STSTF was also the beginning of my activities with ASIS&T on campus. While I am not an officer in ASIS&T, I have tried to be an active member of the organization by helping to organize events which complement the iSchool's curriculum and add to the richness of the school's environment.

In the spring of 2001, ASIS&T sponsored a series in which students and recent alumni presented their own research. As part of this series, I gave a talk on Resource Description Framework ( RDF ), work undertaken for the Gateway to Educational Materials as part of my 2000-2001 research assistantship.

This presentation was also included, slightly modified, in last spring's Information Idustry Associates Program poster session, sponsored by the KAL lab--an opportunity for students and researchers showcase their work before interested members of private corporations and other outside groups.

In the fall of 2001, I shared my experiences from the ASIS&T annual conference, encouraging students to participate in future conferences and reporting my impressions of current research in the field.

Finally, this past winter quarter I presented a brief introduction to Geographic Information Systems, which I discuss at more length in the Technology section below.

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