Techniques for Creative Problem Solving in Libraries
Instructor: Annie Downey
Dates: Not currently scheduled
Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs
Librarians are constantly called on to come up with creative solutions to problems of all stripes, whether is it how to offer amazing service with too little staff, coming up with ways to convince faculty to bring their classes to the library, plan for an unknown and constantly changing future, develop presentations that wow board members or administrators, or develop an innovative orientation session for new freshman. We have to do it all and usually in a short amount of time. One of the most valuable tools a librarian can have is the ability to think creatively and to approach issues with a fresh and open mind.
The course is comprised of four sections: Generating New Ideas, Developing Habits of Creative Thinking, The Thinking Process, and Turning Ideas into Successful Projects. Within these sections you will learn practical strategies and techniques including effective brainstorming, cross-fertilization of ideas, creating time and space to think, perceptual positioning, questioning assumptions and biases, concept mapping, unconventional problem solving, problem redefinition, and reality checks. This course will utilize brief readings, online discussion, video, worksheets, and exercises.
The course will culminate in you taking a work problem or issue you are currently dealing with and developing a plan of action using the 6-step Productive Thinking Model and your newly learned creative problem solving skills. The instructor will work closely with you on the development of your plan offering guidance and feedback throughout the process.
Annie Downey Associate Provost and Director of the Armacost Library and Learning Commons at the University of Redlands in California. She received her PhD in higher education in 2014 and her MLS in 2004 from the University of North Texas. She has written and presented on service design, critical librarianship, information literacy, K20 library instruction, assessment, and academic library administration. Annie is the author of Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspiration, and Ideas (Library Juice Press, 2016) and the co-author (with Joe Marquez) of Library Service Design: A LITA Guide to Holistic Assessment, Insight, and Improvement (Rowman Littlefield, 2016) and Getting Started in Service Design (ALA, 2017). She was awarded the first Future of Libraries Fellowship in 2017 from the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries and was named a 2018 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal. Interview with Annie Downey
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.