‘A Day in the Life’ Programme (July 2023 Run) – NTU Library Presenters’ Reflections

In the fourth and final post on this cycle of ‘A Day in the Life’ Programme, the presenters from NTU Library share their reflections.

Mr Tan Chiang Wee – Institutional Repositories and Open Access Policy

I am glad that we used the lesson plan method to plan our presentations for the programme. It helped me think through my presentation structure and in my slide preparation. Using the lesson plan, learning outcomes and learning activities were created. The learning activities helped the participants to recall the points I mentioned during the session and prompted them to ask questions, making the session interesting.

One thing that can be improved for my session is the use of online engaging tools to aid the learning activities instead of using paper format.

At the end of the session, all learning outcomes have been achieved. I am glad that the participants found the session informative and useful to them.

Mr Tham Jing Wen – Library Data Analytics

The activities went well as the participants had real-life experience and scenarios to share. For example, on the insights that could be gained through using analytics dashboards. Those who had used Qlik Sense in their work were able to share in greater detail the challenges they had faced, which brought about some fruitful discussion.

The hands-on demo exercise went smoothly as everyone got to try their hand at using the demo dashboard and most were able to derive the answers from the questions that I posed, and they were able to try out distinctive features and manipulations of the interactive dashboard charts.

Ms Er Bee Eng – The Role of Librarians in NTU Academic Profiles

This was the first time that I was involved in ‘A Day in the Life’ Programme and I started off with the intention to learn from the participants as much as I am sharing something with them. With that in mind, one of the learning outcomes ask for input and sharing from the librarians about services that they think are worth sharing. This is a good chance for them to share some of their work in their own libraries.

Writing learning outcomes for a short sharing session is usually not required in our library. But it has its benefits as it makes me think through even more thoroughly what I want to share, what are more important and what I want to achieve out of this short meeting with fellow librarians from other institutions of higher learning in Singapore.

My sharing was about NTU Academic Profile system/directory that the library handles and maintains. It was officially launched on 1 Feb 2023, and it has been refreshed to offer a visually pleasing look-and-feel for online visitors and to add new functionalities for tagging and searching research expertise.

Overall, the session was an interesting exchange of ideas and discussion of what we do. The setting is casual, so we were able to ask each other questions freely and catch up with some ex-colleagues/friends.

Ms Umarani Jayapal – Outcome-Based Learning and Team-Based Learning

I was asked to give a short presentation on the various programmes that the Digital Scholarship and Education team offered in NTU. This included a description of our process in designing and implementing a series of Team-Based Learning (TBL) workshops as well.

Since my audience was fellow librarians who may have had some experience in workshops but would be new to the TBL format, it was then decided that we would conduct the presentation in the TBL style with a brief sharing on the programmes and pedagogical strategy by myself before presenting them with a Readiness Assurance Test (RAT) and an Application Exercise (AE).

My biggest challenge was to design the questions for the RAT and AE for the session. While I understood that my audience would not be graded in any way for this session, I did still want to make the questions meaningful enough to be reflective for both of us. The content of the questions would also still need to be on the library workshops programmes that NTU offers but they should then find the discussions relevant and useful enough to take back with them to their own work.

In the session, despite my presentation being the last segment of the day, the participants were quite active and had varying levels of experience when it came to designing and conducting workshops. It was interesting to listen to their rationales for picking the answers to the questions and their experiences in the different pedagogical strategies as well.

Overall, the session went well, and the objectives were achieved. For myself, I did get some feedback on the design of my questions, and it did give me some valuable insights on the participant experience of my TBL sessions as well.

Ms Thavamalar Mohan, Mr Huang Junyi, Ms Law Xiao Xuan – Outreach, Engagement & Wellbeing Initiatives

The sharing session with ‘A Day in the Life’ participants proved engaging and fruitful, offering learning points for all involved.

Our presentation focused on NTU Library’s outreach campaigns, user engagement activities, and wellbeing initiatives. Interspersed throughout the session were interactive and experiential segments such as letting the participants experience AR scenes, play the FLEX game, and visit HYGGE.

These segments were useful not just in giving participants a first-hand and fun experience of these initiatives, but also in breaking the ice for the session such that all were energised and inspired to share candidly about their reflections, questions, and engagement initiatives from their own libraries.

At several points during the session, the participants’ inputs were sought through Wooclap using word clouds, ranking polls, and open-ended questions to facilitate further discussion.

The first segment was on AR and FLEX, including a demonstration of the AR scenes and FLEX game, and an introduction to the software used for development – OBS Studio and Articulate Storyline.

The participants were then asked to share their answers to 2 questions for discussion. The first question asked them to state what they could use Articulate Storyline for.

Taking inspiration from the sharing, several participants indicated game development, among other suggestions such as creating interactive guides.

This was followed by a lively discussion where the participants were keen to ask further questions on development and implementation, and even suggest future possibilities for these novel initiatives such as conducting instructional courses on using OBS Studio for library users.

One participant shared that he also used Articulate Storyline for his library work and was impressed to see how it was used to produce a creative and visually attractive game. Evaluating his own context, he also expressed the challenges he faced such as the lack of manpower and limited resources for the graphic design work required.

Next, participants were asked to share current or future engagement initiatives that could be used at their libraries, which saw various interesting answers and led to a fruitful discussion.

For example, it was eye-opening to learn from a participant on their library’s website art contest where the selected student’s art would be featured as a banner on their website. Two other participants also shared about their libraries’ themed engagement events such as a ‘zombie shoot out’ game and an escape room as ways to appeal to the current generation of students’ interests and attract them into the library.

Overall, the segment was successful in introducing fresh perspectives on conducting library engagement and inspiring them to consider and share ways of thinking out of the box with the tools available to them to create engaging and unique engagement initiatives.

Following a quick introduction to NTU Library’s wellbeing initiatives at Trantor, the participants were invited to visit HYGGE. The experience proved to be refreshing for all from both visitor and librarian perspectives.

The participants were asked to complete two polls – one to evaluate how they felt before visiting HYGGE, and the other evaluating how they felt after visiting the space.

The poll results indicate an overall boost in the participants’ enthusiasm, energy levels, mood, and optimism, as well as decreased stress after visiting the space.

After visiting HYGGE, participants were engaged in a discussion on the idea of having a wellbeing space in the library and how they felt about it. All were encouraged to answer from both visitor and librarian perspectives.

As visitors, the participants enjoyed and were impressed with the space. Empathising with their users, they spoke on the necessity and beneficial impact of having a wellbeing space and left positive and appreciative responses on Wooclap.

As librarians, several participants were concerned about the operational challenges of running such a space.

During the question-and-answer segment, the participants had questions and expressed their concerns on what they perceived as a zone that operated differently from typical library spaces with higher levels of regulation. We addressed each of the questions and concerns, providing our experience in managing HYGGE over the past 3 years, including under pandemic conditions.

Questions and operational concerns aside, the participants continued to acknowledge the benefits of having such a wellbeing space, and one even had a suggestion on how nature could be brought into the space using indoor plants to further facilitate mental rejuvenation.   

In conclusion, ‘A Day in the Life’ was a refreshing experience providing two-way learning for all. On one hand, the participants were introduced to several innovative ways of user engagement, and gained a better understanding of various tools, mediums, and platforms to execute engagement initiatives.

On the other, we gleaned valuable insights from the participants on the innovative student engagement initiatives conducted at their libraries and were also prompted to reflect on our own initiatives from a new perspective through the questions we were asked as well as the participants’ sharing.

Contributed by:

Librarians from NTU Library