Techniques for Creative Problem Solving in Libraries
Instructor: Annie Downey
Dates: Not currently scheduled
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
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 is in the dissertation phase of her PhD in Higher Education at UNT, where the focus of her research is critical information literacy. She has written and presented on information literacy, K-20 library instruction, active teaching techniques, assessment, and academic library administration. 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.
Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.