(Note: Roxanne Brazell is one of the two Taylor & Francis 2014 Student Travel Grant Award winners. Below is her winning application essay.)
My career goal is to work with a diverse population of students and faculty to guide the design of online services with a user-centered approach from assisting in the creation of guides, promoting e-resources, and providing instruction to staff and patrons on new technologies. The experience I gain at this year’s Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) conference will support my career goal and prepare me to take on the role of an academic Digital Services, System & Discovery or Emerging Technologies Librarian position.
Currently, I am completing my first year in the Wayne State University (WSU) School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) Masters program. My specialization is Digital Content Management and Library User Services with a focus on digital preservation initiatives and institutional repositories. I am also completing the last few courses of a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology at WSU. My education coursework encompasses instructional design and the evaluation of educational technologies, which has assisted me in establishing some skills in the design and implementation of online learning. I plan to participate in the Emerging Technologies Track and attend the sessions on using new technologies to reach users in the digital environment and learn more about the evaluation and assessment of these tools in libraries.
I am excited about the opportunity to spend an entire day immersed in topics about user populations. My goal is to learn about the strategies for promoting e-resources, improving information literacy, and user experience. I plan to attend the “Extracting and Analyzing Electronic Resource Data” session to learn how to assess and interpret user behavior data, so I can help improve library instruction and other services for patrons. I am also hoping to learn about relevance ranking at the article level for e-Resources and take away some guidelines on preservation and archiving of electronic information, along with tips for managing multiple formats. In the “Outsourcing Library Work to Your Computer” workshop I plan to gain some beginner hands-on experience in coding and find out about projects that have been undertaken by librarians to gain best practices for designing and modifying e-Resource applications.
My professional development is a vital part of my graduate studies and I am thankful to have been chosen for this year’s Taylor & Francis Travel Award. I will share my experiences here and follow-up with my student colleagues on my university’s SLIS blog following my participation in the 2014 ER&L Conference. I look forward to an engaging learning experience and making connections with my future colleagues during the conference.