bird of maps

competency M

demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations


Introduction

Communicating with colleagues and information seekers is central to being an information professional. Effective communication allows the successful professional to express ideas and opinions to share with coworkers and patrons alike. Knowledge and experience can be exchanged, which is particularly beneficial to this field, as its nature is to support open and free communication.

There are many avenues for communicating relevant ideas using traditional oral and written methods. Excitingly, our potential for communication is also continuing to expand beyond traditional means; the Internet puts forth increasingly creative and innovative ways to keep us in touch and to enable the discovery of fellow practitioners and their ideas. Twitter has become a particularly effective new tool for this. When thinking about new services to provide, new ways to deliver and retrieve information, and new methods for teaching information literacy, there is much to be gained by communicating with the professional community and users of information resources.

Similarly, professional presentations represent the fruits of our labor, and are excellent ways to share and gain information with colleagues and patrons. Whether the presentation delivers results of original research, or it advocates new policies, tools, or services, we can expect to deliver and benefit from presentations as information professionals. This is becoming even more true because technology allows presentations to be delivered asynchronously, so viewers and presenters can separated both physically and by time.

Group work is also a crucial branch of professional communication practice: it is the embodiment of effective communication plus interpersonal skills. Professional collaborations are highly beneficial, and we should therefore strive to seek opportunities to participate with others when we can. Working in groups enables the amalgamation of different experiences and ideas focused on achieving a shared goal, and offers multiple perspectives on how to reach the same desired results.

Evidence

To demonstrate my competency in participating in group work and producing professional-level presentations, I am submitting the slides from a web presentation I delivered with two classmates from my course in Vocabulary Design. The three of us completed a larger project together to devise a metadata scheme for archival forestry photographs. This presentation was developed to present our work to our classmates. To create this presentation, we each made slides and scripts for the areas that we had focused on during the original, larger project. My role was to assist with the development of a controlled vocabulary and interview potential users of such a resource to determine points of user access. It is worth noting that my group members and I completed the project, presentation, and the delivery of the presentation from separate locations. We communicated successfully despite geographic distances, which represents an increasingly frequent option for collaboration.

To further support my demonstration of successful group work, I am submitting a mock research proposal that was the culminating project of my Research Methods in Library and Information Science course. With two other group members, I designed and described a study that would reveal whether or not library materials that receive little use in physical form would receive increased use in digital form. My role in this project was to articulate our proposed research methods and to design the proposed user surveys. Communication was fluid among group members throughout the course of the design of this study, particularly due to the use of shared web-based, editable documents. This tool was useful in allowing us to convey our ideas and provide feedback on each other’s work asynchronously.

Conclusion

In order to actively participate in providing information services, the communication skills related to group work, collaborations, and presentations are vital. I have submitted evidence that demonstrates that I have been able to participate in effective group work in order to produce successful projects. This is a rewarding aspect of professionalism, and I am enthusiastic about future professional collaborations and presentations that I will engage in during my career.