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Saturday, October 5 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Connected Learning in Libraries

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Supporting Educator Reflection and Agency Through the Co-Design of Observation Tools and Practices for Informal Learning Environments
Caitlin K Martin, Eric Reyes, Ephran Ramirez, Lisa Brahms, Annie McNamara, Peter Wardrip

Spaces for youth to create what they imagine, such as makerspaces and learning labs, are proliferating in community centers, libraries, schools, and museums. There is still much to learn about how to document what happens in these spaces, especially in ways that can support educators in design and practice. In this paper, we share exploratory, ongoing design-based research investigating how making and learning practices are interpreted and identified by educators working in library spaces connecting teens to tools, mentorship, and support for creative production. First, we share how researchers and educators codesigned observation tools, building on existing frameworks for the learning practices of making. Next, emergent themes are presented including the importance of organizational history and support, shifting educator perceptions from observation as top-down evaluation to observation as a professional learning opportunity in support of practitioner-led advocacy, and ideas for changes in organizational practice. Implications and future work are discussed.

Facilitated Learning in the Library: A Case Study of Youth Services in an Urban Public Library System 
Peter Wardrip, Thomas Akiva

Public libraries have historically been seen as warehouses for resources with library staff to help search. This is reflected in formal library education that emphasizes organizing and searching skills. However, as libraries have evolved to become community spaces that house maker spaces, social groups, music events and job fairs. Libraries meet the needs of their communities as spaces for socializing, exploring and learning. Library staff are at the crux of the tension between an old model of quiet individual learning and the new model of social and collaborative learning. This case study attempts to understand how this tension plays out in an urban library system. We interviewed 16 youth services library staff as well as two administrative supervisors using a new, meme-based tool for eliciting conversation around these tensions. Preliminary results find that library staff feel pressure from the community to provide access to electronic resources while keeping youth quiet and pressure from the library to meet externally defined goals such as workforce readiness and academic proficiency. At the same time, the staff see inherent value in connecting with and building relationships with youth. Looking forward, it seems that public libraries such as this could benefit from a facilitated learning model that values relationships as part of the collaborative and active learning process.

Parent Perspectives on Interfacing With Computing Opportunities in Library Settings
Sari Widman, Ricarose Roque

Libraries have the potential to be important sites for youth and families, particularly from high-need populations, to engage in the development of computational literacies needed to fully participate in our digital society. In this study, we focus on the perspectives, interests, and needs of parents and the ways they might take up technology-based opportunities within library settings. Parents can play important roles in their children’s technological development as they make decisions and broker resources from their community for their children. We conducted focus groups at two library sites to ask parents about their family’s relationship with technology, their local library, and other community resources. Their perspectives highlight the ways libraries must pay attention to how their physical interface (e.g. entrance, parking, and spaces), as well as their social and emotional interfaces can impact families’ participation in new and emerging technology-based opportunities.

avatar for Ephran Ramirez

Ephran Ramirez

Lead STEM Mentor - YOUmedia, Chicago Public Library
I'm interested in the intersections of science education and social justice.Science should be made accessible to all youth, regardless of race, class, gender, orientation, etc. Finding ways to eliminate the barriers in science education is crucial to our success as a whole and to... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Brahms

Lisa Brahms

Director of Learning & Research, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Lisa Brahms, Ph.D. is Director of Learning and Research at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, as well as a visiting researcher with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE).  Lisa earned her PhD in Learning Sciences and Policy at the... Read More →
avatar for Eric Reyes

Eric Reyes

Digital Media Coordinator, Chicago Public Library
Eric Reyes works in the Teen Services/YOUmedia Department of the Chicago Public Library. Prior to joining CPL, Eric worked in education with formerly incarcerated adults, as a recording instructor, and as a facilitator/engineer at StoryCorps Chicago. Eric has a MA in Sociology and... Read More →
avatar for Ricarose Roque

Ricarose Roque

Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder)
avatar for Peter Wardrip

Peter Wardrip

Assistant Professor, C&I, University of Wisconsin
Peter Wardrip is an Assistant Professor of STEAM Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on informal/formal learning collaborations, assessment for learning and making as a learning process. Peter earned his PhD in Learning Sciences and Policy from University... Read More →
avatar for Caitlin Martin

Caitlin Martin

Design and Research, CKMartin Consulting

Thomas Akiva

Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Education
avatar for Sari Widman

Sari Widman

Graduate Research Assistant, University of Colorado Boulder

Saturday October 5, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm PDT
Doheny Beach B 311 Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA, 92697