Competency M

demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations;

Librarians and information professionals need a professional writing style and good presentation skills. There are always meetings with a presentation or discussion where the person needs to be able to make a point or argument. Feeling awkward or uncomfortable will not appear professional or make a sound case for the proposed changes. Being able to communicate the ideas and concepts in a professional setting is vital when working with others. This is why the group work done in school is such an important task. No one person runs a library alone and the library is still accountable to the public. As a profession, information professionals and librarians work with others and need the skills to perform well.

Presentations and public speaking has not been an easy task for me in the past, yet I must be able to present in a professional manner. In my personal experience, I have done recreation of historical events and rituals in public parks for the past ten years as well as officiated over a marriage ceremony. These experiences eased me into taking the first steps at professional presentations while in the program. As to my academic writing, my undergraduate work was in English as a creative writing major with an emphasis on poetry. While I have a Bachelor’s in English, the focus was poetry, which is not the same as professional or academic writing styles. At the beginning of my adult academic career, a professional writer was able to help me fine-tune my academic writing. While my writing needed polishing, my professional writing has been honed in my past twelve years of working, so I am familiar with the pitfalls of emails, memos, and general office politics.

For artifacts, I’m submitting several Elluminate PowerPoint slides, details to view the presentations, and a link to a photo gallery on Flickr. Since this entire portfolio is an example of my professional and academic writing, it was difficult to choose another piece for writing style. In the end, I included a research paper of a post-1450 Book of Hours. It was written on a particular manuscript for my history of books class. The idea of the paper was to find a manuscript, either online or in person, to research and study using the terminology learned in the class. Several aspects of this particular paper are of interest. It took a class with a lot of previously unknown or used vocabulary and applied it to a new document and I found it challenging as well as a difficult task.

The presentations I have submitted as evidence were all given on Elluminate to my vocabulary class. While I have done other presentations, I feel these are stronger and later in my school career so I am more practiced now. I have discovered online presentations to be less stressful than ones before a live audience. One of the presentations is my group work on a vocabulary design project. In this project, my group created a database of Photoshop tutorials that are posted on YouTube’s website. While we did not actually create a database, we did create the schemas needed to create one. In this presentation, I presented on the first four slides. For the project itself, I contributed to the metadata schema design as well as conducting potential user interviews. The other attached PowerPoint file is my talk about the taxonomy building at C|Net. While I have submitted it for another competency, it is a presentation and can stand in several locations. Both presentations are listed in the URL document with details on access and time sections for ease of review.

In addition to classroom presentations, I have included links to photographs taken at a Banned Book school event. Several weeks ago, during Banned Book week, I participated in the ALASC and LISTEN reading at the King library. At the presentation, I read from Toni Morrison’s Beloved. I have included a link to the photographs posted on Flickr along with the other Elluminate links. This was much more difficult than the online presentations because I felt unprepared. Next time, I will have read more and practiced more carefully before stepping up to the podium.

Overall, the skills I possess are a good starting point for this competency. I am willing and able to give presentations or write on many topics. The polish and panache will come with more and more practice. The writing skills are used daily in the professional environment but the presentation skills are less rigorously used. In the future, the plans are to continue with presenting and making it part of my yearly goals with my employer to ensure my continued growth.

Artifacts

Photoshop via YouTube: Metadata For Video Tutorials

Taxonomies at C|Net

URLs

Le Louchier Hours review