Techniques for Creative Problem Solving in Libraries
Instructor: Annie Downey
Dates: November 4th through 29th, 2019
Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs
Librarians are constantly called on to come up with creative solutions to problems of all stripes, whether is it how to offer amazing service with too little staff, coming up with ways to convince faculty to bring their classes to the library, plan for an unknown and constantly changing future, develop presentations that wow board members or administrators, or develop an innovative orientation session for new freshman. We have to do it all and usually in a short amount of time. One of the most valuable tools a librarian can have is the ability to think creatively and to approach issues with a fresh and open mind.
The course is comprised of four sections: Generating New Ideas, Developing Habits of Creative Thinking, The Thinking Process, and Turning Ideas into Successful Projects. Within these sections you will learn practical strategies and techniques including effective brainstorming, cross-fertilization of ideas, creating time and space to think, perceptual positioning, questioning assumptions and biases, concept mapping, unconventional problem solving, problem redefinition, and reality checks. This course will utilize brief readings, online discussion, video, worksheets, and exercises.
The course will culminate in you taking a work problem or issue you are currently dealing with and developing a plan of action using the 6-step Productive Thinking Model and your newly learned creative problem solving skills. The instructor will work closely with you on the development of your plan offering guidance and feedback throughout the process.
Annie Downey currently serves as the Director of Research Services at the Reed College Library, in Portland OR. She completed her PhD in Higher Education at UNT, where the focus of her research was critical information literacy. She has written and presented on information literacy, K-20 library instruction, active teaching techniques, assessment, and academic library administration, and is the author of the recent Library Juice Press publication, Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspiration, and Ideas. Interview with Annie Downey
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
You can register in this course through the first week of instruction (as long as enrollment is not full). The "Register" button above goes to our credit card payment gateway, which may be used with personal or institutional credit cards. (Be sure to use the appropriate billing address). If you want to pay with Paypal, or if your institution wants us to send a billing statement or wants to send us a purchase order, please contact us by email to make arrangements.