MLIS Graduate Portfolio

Justin Barnett

Provision of Information Services

Provisioning of information services" is a lovely way to say "actually putting something on the table instead of just puttering around in the kitchen," metaphorically. In SLIS703 (Introduction to Information Sources and Services), I was charged with creating a reference guide ("LibGuide") for a hypothetical class I might be supporting. The guide was to assist students enrolled in the class finding and accessing appropriate resources for research and getting the most from the course.

This LibGuide demonstrates my ability to design information services that meet the needs of diverse users, provide users with professional consultation using technology that enhances access, and promote information literacy. Creating this required not only familiarizing myself with LibGuide standards, but also considering what information students might require, both specifically for their course and in a general information sense, which is why I made sure to include a section on working with citations in historical writing. I include this in the portfolio not only because it is a demonstration of a potentially useful bit of reference work, but because it illustrates my ability to create resources like this through attention to detail, consideration, and research.


Project Analysis

Reflection and Analysis

I appreciated that the assignment not only involved the creation of the guide, but also a reflection paper on how we made decisions on what or what not to include. Needing to articulate that process forced me to consider it more directly, ensuring that my decisions were logically sound rather than simply "feeling right". While LibGuides have been used for years, I was actually unfamiliar with them before this course; that meant I had to first consider what they were intended to do and how I would use one as a student before beginning to develop this. I looked at a number of LibGuides that I found to be cluttered, thematically uncertain, or confusing in flow, and attempted to address those issues from the source. In addition, the inclusion of limited topical graphics and material, I hoped, would provide a point of engagement into an otherwise dry resource.

One of my interests—in fact, one of the things that brought me to this program—is in sorting and providing information to others, which means I have made a point of looking into reference jobs. Creating a guide such as this is a key skill for such a position, showing that I can select and process information down to more usable chunks for general reference. One thing notably lacking here was the fact that this guide serves an entirely fictional course; I would have liked an opportunity to actually work with a professor and experience blending their desires for what their students should be focusing on with my presentation of the material.