On Servants' Wings
A gynandromorph butterfly with the transgender pride flag for the front wing and the rainbow pride flag on the rear wing On Servants Wings
Resources and Reflections by Azariah Liron

Master's of Library Science

Professional Outcome 5: Reference and User Services

Artifact Name: LI 815 Technology Plan for Seniors (Presentation) (Outline)

Values: Service, Mentorship

A major part of reference work involves helping patrons learn how to use the libraries tools effectively. In LI 815 Information Technology we not only studied how to use and repair common technological tools, but how to facilitate their use among our patrons. This presentation centers on a class which would be a valuable addition to most library systems, especially public libraries. Our topic, teaching older patrons how to organize their files, addresses a challenge posed by many patrons who are not technologically literate. Through a creative application of both print and digital organization systems participants learn about the similarities and differences between the systems and have an opportunity to demonstrate, to both themselves and the facilitator that they can organize the information they want to save on a portable device. This class, will reduce the number of questions about "where did (file) go?" as the patrons who participate will already have that knowledge. Their success not only enables them to better use the facilities resources, but frees up the staffs time for more complicated questions and to continue to develop programs which enhance digital literacy.

Reference is a service where the needs of the patron are met by the librarian's skill and tools. In this artifact the service provided is an education which empowers the user to be more confident in using digital storage to preserve their work. Additionally there is an element of mentorship as ideally the participants in this course will be comfortable enough to share what they learned with others, even if only in an informal context.

Artifact Name: LI 813 (---) to Male, A Pathfinder

Values: Service, Leadership, Mentorship

Historical Note: I have left this artifact unedited from when I wrote it in 2012 because I believe that is important to name our historical biases. Many of the resources I recommend in this artifact contain advice that reinforces a binary gender system, or other outdated information. The context for this piece is that I was the only openly transgender student at the university during this time (2012), and lacked access to the resources that shaped my later transitions.

This pathfinder demonstrates my proficiency in reference and user services as the system I created is user friendly and demonstrates my ability to synthesize a wide variety of information into one resource. The topic, transitioning to the male gender and sex, was selected as it is difficult to research due to a lack of standardized terminology. Coupled with the intense emotions which surround transition locating reliable resources can be extremely difficult for those who are in that process or those who care about someone who is trans. My experience transitioning, coupled with the training I received in LI 813 enabled me to build this pathfinder, bringing all of the best resources I encountered on my personal journey in one place to provide an easier start for those who will come after me.

Additionally "(----) to Male: A Guide" demonstrates my technological skills. In LI 843 the pdf of this pathfinder was transformed from a long document to a vibrant website through the use of CSS 3 and HTML 5. While I created the website I considered how to add and arrange images, develop a site map and page hierarchy, and run validation checks both on the code and accessibility for those who struggle with disabilities. The use of technology to repackage information was already present in the LI 813 assignment. During the early stages of the creation of this artifact I used Microsoft Office, online resources, databases and print materials to compile the information necessary for someone to transition. The resulting artifact was bulky. Through use of my web design techniques the bulky pdf was streamlined and the detailed information is made accessible and user friendly.

Meeting the needs of patrons is a key aspect of a pathfinder. The resources are rarely gathered for a hypothetical audience, but in response to an immediate need, as is the case with the (----) to Male community. This project also demonstrates creativity in the types of sources selected. It is difficult to locate authoritative resources about or for transgender and transsexual individuals. Mentorship is also easily visible as this pathfinder gathered the resources that I had used or found later in a form that would clear a path for those who will transition after me.

Copyright © Azariah Liron 2020