End of my Research Journal

Today marks the end of my research journal, as it’s due for the final check. It’s been a fun process, and I now am kind of interested in potentially pursuing some sort of research in my career. First I need to get hired in even a full time position, though…. But some day I could see that happening.

I completed my marketing evaluation and submitted that yesterday afternoon and am ready to get down and dirty in either my Research Proposal or my Program Proposal. I’ve still been torn… I was really excited about the youth and technology research question I was working on involving mobile devices and would definitely be interested in going with that further, especially since I’ve already gathered a number of great resources on the subject…. But I also really like the program proposal and how it ties to marketing. I’ve been thinking of ways I can potentially combine the two in some way? Perhaps some sort of program that involves mobile devices to engage teens? One of the articles I stumbled upon in my research involved a program called “Library Appy Hour”  that involved sharing, discussing and using new mobile device applications. I think this could be an interesting event that would interest teens, but I’m not sure about how repeatable the event would be, or how long it could hold people’s interest. Perhaps a monthly event, or something that could be added to the TAG group as a revamp.

One of the sample papers for the program proposal wasn’t for a brand new program, but discussed revamping the current summer reading programs, so that might not be a bad idea. Hmm, now off to investigate this further!

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Marketing Evaluation

I am in the middle of my Marketing Evaluation for the other class that I’m taking this semester. It’s due Sunday by midnight and I have only Today and Sunday to really crank it out…. yay work….

But at least this has been a really interesting insight into the library system that I work for. I just got a response from someone from headquarters telling me about the organization’s community relations department who handles all the marketing for the organization and is currently working to educate branches about what they can do in their own communities in terms of a marketing effort. As an observer with no previous insight into their efforts, this was the biggest issue that I figured the system faced. San Diego County is HUGE, and there are 33 branches scattered throughout and each has their own individual needs and customer markets.

I was able to read a bit of Dynamic Youth Services and can see a lot of parallels between the marketing strategy/cycle and the CATE OBPE method which is pretty cool since I also now have a lot more insight into SDCL’s efforts after completing this project. I started compiling a little bit that could be used for each option of the Libr 285 final project, but won’t really have time to dive in until I finish this since it’s due sooner. But where I’m at right now, I’m leaning a little further towards option B. Luckily, I have a few days off next week and only a light work schedule so I’ll have plenty of time to dedicate to my last project.

Race, Sexual and Gender Identity

I just got to go back and look over the responses in the Race, Sexual and Gender identity discussion forum.

Last year, I took a Teen Programming class that I really enjoyed as it opened my eyes to many aspects that need to be considered when working with teens. The main thing that stuck with me was how they walk this fine line between child and adulthood. They are often laden with expectations of adult behavior, but treated like children. And we wonder why they can be so whiny and angsty… Maybe if they were treated with some consistency! haha. But these particular chapters reminded me of this because teenagers are in that gray area yet also in the process of figuring out and really defining WHO they are, especially in terms of race, sexual and gender identity.

As I mentioned in my discussion, it also brought up the concern about dealing with teen hormones which I hadn’t really previously considered…. Teenage boys can be very bold…  Perhaps they like the shock value? But as a female who will likely be working with teens, and teenage boys, this is something I’ll have to figure out and work out what MY angle will be. As a librarian, I want to be a leader, but also a friend and not seen as a potential sexual partner. I don’t intend to dress myself down and hide under baggy clothes, but I suppose just make sure that I establish the proper rapport and make sure to tackle potential issues either before they happen or immediately as they do.

Program Evaluation and Final Project

I just turned in my program evaluation on the inaugural Santee Library Teen Book to Film Club program. Since I have an interest in teen services and have always been jealous that only the Santee seniors had a book to film club, I was SUPER excited for this event. Not only do I love the concept in general, I feel like this would be great for Teens to spark their interest in reading and literature. I think this event has a LOT of potential and I’d really like to see more teens getting engaged in the library and library programs. There are a number of K-8 schools and two high schools in the direct vicinity of the Santee library, yet only 9 teens attended the event… I think we can do better than that.

I haven’t yet gotten into the Dynamic Youth Services book to decide for sure, but I’m feeling empowered to maybe tackle the program proposal for my final project instead of the research proposal. I’m feeling torn since I’ve already made some headway in terms of a research proposal through the literature review and I feel like doing the program proposal would be like starting from scratch and seems daunting…. Maybe I can somehow incorporate some of the research that I’ve already done into my proposed program. hmmmm…. I’ll give it some thought, but AFTER Thursday 🙂 I work in a couple hours, and then starts my three day birthday celebration! I think I’ll start with a massage.

Representing Youth

I took a short breath after my literature review, but had to dive right back in due to limited free time because of work and the fact that the semester is QUICKLY winding down…. My birthday is next Tuesday and I get three days off, but I’d really like to just enjoy them since dangit, it’s my birthday! And I’m turning 30 this year! So, I need to get a decent amount accomplished sooner than later. I have my program evaluation due the day before my birthday, so I will knock that out this week. I have all my notes, as I attended the program in the end of March but was in Literature Review mode and couldn’t do much with it until now!

Right now, I’ve just been reading and enjoying some of the chapters of Representing Youth. I really like how the book is set up as a collection of narratives and reflections of researchers and the issues they’ve encountered while studying children and teens. I most recently read the chapter about gatekeeping and I wanted to document my discussion post about it, since I’ll lose access to them after the semester:

At this point in my MLIS journey, I have taken a few courses surrounding youth services, but this is the first time I have encountered the concept of “gatekeeping” and gatekeepers.

Essentially, this concept states that conducting research that involves children requires two steps of consent: A gatekeeper such as a parent, teacher or anyone else with a duty to care for the child has to grant the initial consent, and then the child itself then has to consent as well. The key to remember is that the child is the participant and not the gatekeeper, so in order to conduct ethical research, it is imperative that the child also consent to participate.

This reminds me of the section of the IRB training about the need to obtain “assent” from a child. This is because children may not be able to fully comprehend the details of the purpose of the study more than what is required of them to participate. In this sense, the gatekeeper is a crucial role as someone who can be fully informed about the research study and then decide whether or not it would be appropriate for their child to participate. It may be easier to explain to the child what actually is needed from them to participate in simpler terms in order to discover if the child itself is willing to participate. The child needs only to provide an element of understanding, cooperation and a feeling of inclusion in order to participate, though this should not be confused with the mere lack of objection by the child.

As I said, this was an interesting concept for me and not something I have encountered or even pondered before mostly because I never considered that my career might take me down the path of conducting any sort of formal research. I’m glad to now have some insight into researching and know of some resources I can refer to should the time come.

Finished!

After writing and proofing until the wee hours in the morning, I finally finished and turned in my literature review.

Now to enjoy a well deserved day off!!

Almost done!

I spent today further refining my resources and dividing my paper up into essential sections, and choosing which articles are most relevant for each section:

Introduction

Teens and Mobile Technologies – ie, how many teens use them and how they are using them.

Mobile Devices as Learning Tools – ie, ways they are being utilized as tools for education and not just as a novelty/convience

Implications for Public Libraries – ie, how libraries are currently making use of mobile technologies and potential crossovers from the classroom to the library

Conclusion

I started writing the paper, but feel like it’s time to take a break for the night and will resume on Tuesday to be completed in time for the Wednesday Morning deadline!

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