IST-601: Innovation, innovation, innovation

It’s Sunday night, and I just finished my first MLIS credit. Over the last 30-odd hours we used a mixture of lectures, games, group work to explore the concepts of innovation and change, both within libraries and in the outside world.

We were told this class has changed a great deal since last summer, and as it was taught this weekend it was a great introduction to the MLIS program for various reasons. First, the emphasis on class participation, interactivity, and team exercises provide students a chance to get to know one another quickly, a must for those of us that who may never be in the same room with a member of our cohort again. Second, the class is team-taught by four faculty members, plus there is a special guest appearance by a fifth professor; this allows the students to experience a cross-section of teaching styles at the iSchool. Third, the graded assignments are a great opportunity to learn first-hand about the academic standards and expectations within the program. Last, but certainly not least, the topic chosen, innovation and change, lets us know that we are not just here to learn the Dewey system and become proficient with reference databases; we are here to acquire the tools and skills to go out into the world and make a difference.

At the end of class today,we were asked to think of a few things we learned over the weekend. Here is my list:

  • It takes a lot of hard work to bring about meaningful change, but it IS possible.
  • Sometimes circumventing the rules is not just a possibility, but a necessity.
  • A paper clip can serve many functions, but some of them are not possible unless you straighten it out and bend it in different ways.
  • There is no right way to communicate an idea. Always know your audience.
  • The MLIS program isn’t just a degree, or the gateway to a profession, or a great way to spend $4o,000; it is a mission.

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