By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

Two School of Information Studies (iSchool) faculty members are presenting training workshops at the annual New York Library Association (NYLA) Conference.

Jill Hurst-Wahl, associate professor of practice, and Barbara Stripling, assistant professor of practice, are providing half-day sessions during the pre-conference sessions of NYLA. The 2014 annual conference, whose theme is, “Open Libraries, Open Minds,” takes place next week in Saratoga Springs.

Hurst-Wahl is offering the workshop, “Creating Open Minds: Using Brainstorming Techniques to Lead to Innovation.” The interactive session focuses on brainstorming techniques that can be used with library staff, trustees, and community members. It is an expansion of a talk she gave at the Computers in Libraries conference, where she will present five different ways of brainstorming and the rules and techniques for doing so. Participants will be instructed on applying techniques that will lead to productive idea generation, leading an ideation activity with library staff and/or community members, and teaching others how to brainstorm effectively, the professor said. 

Librarians “are frequently asked to brainstorm ideas around new library services,” Hurst-Wahl noted, and learning brainstorming techniques “can open our minds to an increased number of ideas and possibilities.” She said she is “excited to do this workshop, and I’m looking forward to conversations about the techniques and how to use them. We know the rules, but we never follow the rules [for brainstorming], and that’s what we’ll focus on.” The session’s goal is that participants can brainstorm useful ideas they can implement at their own libraries.

Stripling’s training session is called, “Teaching Strategies for Active, Inquiry-Based Learning.” Her workshop is designed to provide participants with hands-on experiences with a variety of teaching strategies to engage students actively in critical reading and inquiry, the professor said. Her lessons are adapted from Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading by Harvey “Smokey” Daniels and Nancy Steineke.

“We will try out interesting strategies like carousel brainstorming, conversation questions, point-of-view annotations, reading a visual image, alternative perspective writing, save the last word for me, and synectics,” Stripling added. “All of these strategies can be used quite effectively to teach the critical thinking and inquiry skills that students of all types and ages need to become independent learners,” she said.

Hurst-Wahl is the director of the School’s Library and Information Science and LIS with School Media Specialization programs. She is a member of the USNY Technology Policy and Practices Council, and a former member of the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries.

Stripling previously served seven years as the director of School Library Services for the New York City Department of Education. She has been a member of ALA since 1977 and has served as a member-at-large of ALA Council for 20 years. She also served on the ALA Executive Board and is past president of the American Association of School Librarians.