Reflections on the #NewLib Master MOOC

My general track record with MOOCs falls in line with most students. I sign up; sit through a video lecture; and then I walk away. However, I signed up for the MOOC on New Librarianship offered through Syracuse and feel this time will be different. What attracts me to this course is the opportunity to engage with other librarians in a discussion about the profession. It’s less about learning a skill and more about having a conversation.

Watching videos is still a drag, but it’s guiding a discussion on Twitter. There are discussion threads on Blackboard, but who wants to wade through hundreds of posts and chime into a discussion board that may be vacant? One could argue that the discussion boards are private, and there may be a freer conversation taking place. In the end, it’s important to make a MOOC work for you and your comfort level.

New Librarianship focuses on the librarian and the community, and moves away from the idea of the collection. One of Lankes assertions is that “a room full of books is simply a closet, but that an empty room with a librarian in it is a library.” But, one could argue that a room full of books with a reader is a library. Is the librarian necessary in that equation? For an added bonus, watch the video below. Without a community, what value does a collection have? Is it just “a part of the smashed landscape, just a piece of the rubble?” ~ “Time Enough at Last,” The Twilight Zone.

Tim Lepczyk

Writer, Technologist, and Librarian.

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