Midwest Data Librarian Symposium – a quick recap

In October, I was lucky enough to attend the very first (of many, we hope!) Midwest Data Librarian Symposium. As part of the planning committee, I was fortunate to work with a wonderful group of librarians and learn more about what is happening in the Midwest. I feel really fortunate to have the attendees as my colleagues and mentors. The mentoring that happened was actually one of my favorite aspects of the (un)conference, especially since mentorship is such an important aspect of good communities of practices.

I also brought a lot of great ideas home. I will absolutely be borrowing and adapting several of the Show & Tell ideas, as well as the elevator speeches we developed for various stakeholders. The good part about writing this post a month later is that I can provide the link to all the wonderful activities and products we created at MDLS. So, go on, check out all the awesome resources now.

I facilitated the final session on teaching data management, which built on Lisa Johnston’s fantastic workshop. Each group was tasked with developing a lesson plan for a particular instructional situation, which they defined themselves. These draft lesson plans are freely available for adaption and reuse. FYI, several of us are working to create a place to share/exchange data management/data information literacy instructional materials, so this is just the start!

During that session, I realized that fewer data specialists/librarians had training in instructional design than I expected. On the drive home, I started thinking that an instructional design 101 for data management training might be a useful thing. Stay tuned, I hope to finish up that post this week!

I also just returned from OpenCon2015, which was inspiring and lovely! I have a boatload of great notes and resources that I will be posting next week, just in time for the Thanksgiving break 🙂

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By Heather L. Coates

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