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Designing Better Libraries by steven j bell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Academic Librarianship By Design

That’s the title of the book written by myself and fellow DBL blogger John Shank. The official title is Academic Librarianship by Design: A Blended Librarian’s Guide to the Tools and Techniques. The book was recently released by the publisher, American Library Association Editions. In fact, we didn’t expect the book to become available until sometime in July or August. So I was quite surprised to find it in the ALA Bookstore at the annual ALA conference in Washington, DC last week. Here is a photo of a stack of volumes waiting to be purchased.

design book

The book has three general sections. In chapters one through four we lay out the foundations of design thinking and how it can be practically applied for the practice of academic librarianship (much of it could be applicable to other sectors of librarianship as well). Chapter one is an overview of Blended Librarianship. Chapter two provides an overview of design thinking and connects it to Blended Librarianship. Chapter three examines instructional design using ADDIE as the main discussion topic, but we also introduce our own model called BLAAM (Blended Librarians’ Adapted ADDIE Model). Chapter four, concludes section one, with a discussion of collaboration with faculty and other academic support professionals, and how it can be enhanced through design thinking.

The second part introduces more practical applications for design thinking through the framework of Blended Librarianship. Chapter five looks at ways in which the academic library can be integrated into courseware, and introduces the A_FLIP (Administrator, Librarian, Faculty Instructional Partnership) model. Chapter six introduces LTAs (Low Threshold Applications) and explains how they can be used to further collaboration with faculty. Chapter seven covers the use of digital learning materials in integrating the library into the teaching and learning process.

The final section contains just two chapters, and brings the book to a close by suggesting further steps for incorporating design thinking into practice. Chapter eight introduces and explores the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community where interested parties can further explore these ideas. Chapter nine examines current socio-technology trends that are impacting on the information world and user behavior, and introduces strategies for designing better libraries and better library user experiences.

We began writing the book in January 2006 with the idea of building on our knowledge of blended librarianship (a way to better integrate the library into teaching and learning as well as enhance collaboration with faculty and others in higher education). We sought to further explore design thinking and how it could be used to improve library services. As our enthusiasm for this topic grew we wanted to develop on ongoing outlet for discussing design thinking and its applications for designing better libraries. That’s where this blog comes into the picture. Since we completed the manuscript in October 2006 we’ve learned a good deal more about design thinking and how it can be applied to improve our libraries and the experiences our user communities get when they use them. We intend to keep sharing what we discover right here. We look forward to learning more from you as well.

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