Guest Speakers

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Virajita Singh, Keynote Speaker

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Design Thinking/Design Making in the Libraries

Design Thinking is an emerging field of practice, rooted in the tools and processes traditionally employed in disciplines like architecture, and graphic, web, and interactive design. The process of Design Thinking involves actions such as problem definition, idea generation, and frequent prototyping as ways to engage participants and motivate creative action that works for the many rather than the few. While popularized by product designers, Design Thinking’s application reaches well beyond products to the design of experiences, systems, and processes. Further, Design Thinking when connected with Design Making expresses what it fundamentally means to be creatively human. Join Virajita Singh to learn more about Design Thinking and Design Making, how it can inspire radical collaboration among librarians, including examples of how it might be used to integrate innovation and expand inclusion in the emerging libraries of the future.

Virajita Singh is a designer, educator, researcher and change agent practicing design thinking, public interest design, sustainability and art. Virajita’s work is about using design thinking and creativity to solve pressing problems while engaging and empowering as many people in the process as possible. Her vision is that people across the world will use their incredible creative capacities and the skills of design to collaboratively create a just and sustainable world today and she is passionate about making that vision possible.Virajita serves as Assistant Vice Provost in the Office of Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota, where she brings her expertise in design thinking, and partnership studies to catalyze and support equity and diversity work of colleges and other academic units across the University. Virajita is also Senior Research Fellow and faculty in the College of Design where she leads the Design for Community Resilience program she founded at the Center for Sustainable Building Research, which provides sustainable design assistance to greater Minnesota communities.

 


Sara Zettervall, Luncheon Speaker

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Whole Person Librarianship: Building the Relationship-based Reference Collection

A decade ago, San Francisco Public Library became the first to hire a social worker to serve patrons in-house. Since then, library-social work collaborations have been growing exponentially, particularly in the last couple of years. Even the Eau Claire public library will be hiring a social worker in 2019. While public libraries have been in the spotlight with this new trend, academic librarians also have been interested from the beginning. But the variations in student needs, academic library missions, and institutional resources all add complexity to planning for library-social work collaboration in a college setting. During research for the forthcoming book, Whole Person Librarianship: A Social Work Approach to Patron Services, the speaker and her co-author interviewed library staff throughout the United States, including academic librarians. This session will present the types of collaborative approaches public libraries have been using, then add the voices of academic librarians to highlight their concerns. We then will explore some methods to create a relationship-based reference collection, which uses social work principles to address some of these concerns, regardless of whether a formal collaboration is in place. Participants will leave this session with a new context for their role in connecting students to information outside the library.

Sara Zettervall is the founding consultant for Whole Person Librarianship, which applies social work concepts to library practice. She currently works at Hennepin County Library as the community engagement librarian for East African refugees in Minneapolis. Her experience includes leading innovative projects in public, academic, and school libraries and archives. She was the 2017 winner of the Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund, in support of presenting on library-social work collaboration at the Symposium of the International Consortium for Social Development in Zagreb, Croatia. A 2014 American Library Association Emerging Leader, Sara has continued to serve ALA through involvement in the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Recommendations Implementation Working Group. Her book, Whole Person Librarianship: A Social Work Approach to Patron Services, coauthored with UW-Eau Claire social work professor Mary Nienow, is scheduled for publication in mid-2019. She holds an MLIS from St. Catherine University (St. Paul, MN) and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.


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