Stand-up for graphic novels

INF536 Forum 1.1: Impact of Space

“Doorley & Witthoft (2012 p.30) impress upon us that space is something that can create an impact on the way we learn, work and play immediately. So, starting with what you have, make a change.”

I did not, as suggested in Module 1.1, find an empty space to transform, because when I looked up from reading this assignment, I saw an eye-sore. A space that was being used, but poorly. I made a small change that I hope will be the start of improved functionality.

About two years ago we had two sorry shelves worth of untidy comics and graphic novels that was in a difficult to reach (and observe) corner of our Middle School library and was, frankly, better not seen. After some consideration we sorted the books according to author and dumped them into crates picked up outside the local wine merchant. We shelved the wine crates in an unused IKEA storage unit. This immediately improved access to, and circulation of, our graphic novel collection and we responded by expanding our offering. Here is what it looked like until recently:

The location of this collection is housed very close in proximity both to the entrance to the library and the circulation desk, making it really easy for students to grab a book and head out quickly. The boxes made flip-through access easy, although you had to pull out each box individually to look for or shelve a book, while kneeling on the floor.

With the challenge to “make a change, immediately” in mind, I started to look for a way to improve this display. In our primary library I found a couple of discarded display units that were easy to wheel into a new position. I followed Doorley & Witthoft’s advice to have an attitude of “Do something first. Talk and think about it later” (p. 51) and to “Prototype towards a solution” (p. 53). Here is the prototype:

Is this perfect? No. An improvement? Yes.
I followed Seidel & Fixton’s advice to implement the main design thinking methods: “needfinding”, identifying an opportunity (by observation) through which I could assess the user-experience (not optimal on your knees at all). I “brainstormed” about what could immediately be improved and created a “prototype” (p. 19). I will now collaborate with my team and gather input from the users, to judge if this is in fact an improvement, and see what we can learn from this new configuration, before considering other possible solutions.

I still know very little about “design thinking” but I am learning!


Doorley, S., & Witthoft, S. (2012). Make space: How to set the stage for creative collaboration. Hoboken (N.J.): J. Wiley.

School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2015). Module 1: Design theory within educational contexts. Retrieved from INF536: Designing Spaces for Learning website:

Seidel, V. P., & Fixson, S. K. (2013). Adopting design thinking in novice multidisciplinary teams: The application and limits of design methods and reflexive practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19-33.




Librarians curate

“…curation is a time-honoured task that will exist regardless of the tools used.”


Gerrit Visser (2011) says curators are people who continually finds, groups, organises and shares information resources. He might as well be describing what a librarian does. We provide access to information – to reliable, appropriate and relevant information sources, specifically selected (curated if you must) for a particular audience, be it teachers or students. We create balanced collections of sources, created from different media and published formats. We annotate our sources, give credit to where we found them, add comments and contextualise.

Collections of information sources are regularly evaluated for value and limitations and expanded and weeded as needed. We have been creating pathfinders and libguides ever since we ditched vertical files.

We model our curation skills and habits to colleagues and students and help them develop the skills and habits needed to become curators themselves. We identify and suggest tools with which to curate.

Curation, resource selection, collection development, call it what you must, has always been an integral part of what librarians do. This role has become more, not less, important in the digital age. In the digital age we curate digital collections, not only of information sources, but of apps and other software tools. We experiment and evaluate tools in the ever-changing online world.

We go further than curation. We talk about information overload, filter bubbles, ethical use of the information we find in resources, intellectual property rights, creative commons, remixing and more. We inform and educate. We also curate.


Robertson, N. D. (n.d.). Content curation and the school librarian. Retrieved September 16, 2017, from American Library Association website:

Visser, G. (2011, November 25). Gerrit Visser: Use smart knowledge networks to be a curator.