Graduate Portfolio

Below are 5 projects that fulfill the Pratt School of Information Program-level Learning Objectives. Please contact me if you wish to re-use, or re-purpose any of the projects, and/or materials linked to on this site.


Learning Objectives:

  • Reflective Practice – “Tell Your Story!: Creative Self-Expression Through Zine-Making” Workshop
  • Communication – “Know xYour Rights as a Creator:” Microteaching Lesson
  • Research – Analog Personal Information Management: Tracking ‘Pen-and-Paper’ Self-Organization Habits
  • User-Centered Focus – LGBTQIA+ LibGuide, Book Tasting, and Curriculum Support
  • Technology – Web Basics: A Creative and Professional Website

Project Title:

“Tell Your Story!: Creative Self-Expression Through Zine-Making”

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Photos from the “Tell Your Story” Zine Workshop at Brooklyn Public Library

Project Description:

This project was designed for Literacy And Instruction (Professor Bowler, Fall 2018). The assignment required us to create a workshop for teenagers who were interning with the Brooklyn Public Library’s Librarians of Tomorrow project (LoT). This is a program for teens in Grades 10 to 12 (approximately ages 15 to 17), who are interested in learning different aspects of librarianship. The workshop had to incorporate a form of literacy, and use an outcomes-based planning method. The topic determined by my project partner and I was zine-making: an activity, and medium that we felt taught skills in basic, information, and visual literacy. Specifically, the workshop provided the tools for, and asked teens to create ‘per-zines,’ or zines that share a personal experience.

While the assignment did not require us to facilitate the workshop with the actual teen participants, my project partner and I made the decision to do this. Therefore, our zine workshop was presented as a final project, but also took place with over 30 teen participants (total) at the Brooklyn Public Library during two instances in Spring 2019. This project was also presented during Pratt School of Information’s Infoshow 2018.

Methods:

The first step taken for this project was to write a needs assessment for the Brooklyn Public Library community (our workshop audience). After determining our workshop topic, and introducing it in a written abstract, we chose three primary learning outcomes:

  1. Teens will gain awareness to a new genre of self-expression – the zine
  2. Teens will experience the multiple literacies that can be involved in the creation of a zine
  3. Teens will understand storytelling as both a positive form of agency, and community building

We then wrote an extensive workshop proposal, which included: a definition of the audience; a rationale for the workshop (citing research); defined learning outcomes; objectives corresponding to each learning outcome; a detailed game plan for the workshop; potential barriers; resources needed; opportunities for collaboration; and evaluation methods. We also created two supplementary workshop materials, which included: a slideshow that would supplement our instruction, and a handout that would be filled out by workshop participants during the first part of the workshop – a “Zine Library” exercise, in which the teens explored different zines, and answered a few questions about the medium before they started in the creation of their own.

Corresponding materials can be viewed, or downloaded below:

As stated above, this project was presented as a final for the Literacy and Instruction class, but was also facilitated two times with teenagers at the Brooklyn Public Library. The workshop itself included the zine library exercise, a short lecture on the history of zines, and 60 minutes of zine instruction. We also left time at the end for sharing the zines (a community-building experience), and evaluation.

My Role:

I completed this project as a partner with Emma Karin Eriksson (Pratt Institute, 2018). We collaboratively wrote the project proposal, and co-facilitated the workshop. During our class presentation on the project, I focused primarily on the rationale and learning objectives, while Emma Karin described the physical construction process of the workshop.

Learning Outcome Achieved:

The learning outcome this project achieved was Reflective Practice.

Rationale:

As an information professional interested in working with youth, I believe that this project shows a detailed understanding of what would interest a teen, specifically, in a public library programming environment. As detailed in the project proposal, the choice to teach teens (an oftentimes marginalized community) about zines, enabled them to independently express themselves through a new, safe, and creative medium; it granted them agency in telling aspects of their own stories that they consider important; and it empowered them as community members in sharing their creations with others. The unique zines created by the teens during these workshops, as well as the positive feedback we received about the workshops, showed that we had understood an information need, pro-actively acted upon fulfilling it, and created a relevant program that fit into the field of youth librarianship. The opportunity we had to actually facilitate the workshop enabled us to fully reflect on the project: not only after presenting it as graduate coursework, and determining how we would adjust it for actual users, but also in-between each workshop, in understanding what adjustments needed to be made. Our presentation on the project at Infoshow created another opening for reflection, and for us to think about how we would convey the relevance of the project to another audience.


Project Title:

“Know Your Rights as a Creator:” Microteaching Lesson

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Screenshot of Microteaching Slideshow (Introduction Slide)

Project Description:

This project (completed for Professor Bowler’s Literacy and Instruction Class, Fall 2018), asked us to prepare, and facilitate a 20-minute library learning activity on a topic relating to information literacy. Deliverables included a lesson plan, a handout for the class, and a post-teaching reflection paper. We were expected to use a “backwards-design” method for creating this lesson, which meant first determining which information literacy standard we wanted to focus on as a learning outcome, and then planning the specific activity that would fit within the framework of the standard.

To fulfill the requirements of this project, I created a lesson meant for a 5th and 6th grade audience that would teach students about the concepts of copyright and fair use. While this 20-minute lesson was originally implemented for students in this graduate course, it was later facilitated at The Berkeley Carroll School (Brooklyn, NY) during a 6th grade Digital Essentials class on copyright.

Methods:

After doing research on the topic of “one-shot” information literacy lessons, I determined the information competency that I wished to address in my micro-teaching lesson – one within the American Association for School Librarians (AASL) Standards Framework for Learners. Specifically, it addresses the “Create” domain, and within it the “Engage” shared foundation, which include components of ethically using and reproducing others’ work, acknowledging authorship, and demonstrating respect for the intellectual property of others. I then decided on the specific angle for my lesson, which would be to teach copyright and fair use from the perspective of the creator, rather than the user. I identified three learning objectives I wished to teach, and the corresponding tasks that would fit each objective:

  1. The student will demonstrate knowledge, and a working understanding of the terms ‘Copyright’ and ‘Fair Use
    • Task: Watch a short video (Common Sense Media) that defines the terms ‘Copyright’ and ‘Fair Use’
    • Task: Participate in a short recap/lecture explaining the terms
  2. The student will learn to think about copyright & fair use from the perspective of the creator
    • Task: Think, Pair, Share (Question 1) – “Think about a time that you created something. You can be imaginative in your answer! Then think about whether it was uploaded, shared, or used by anyone else. 
    • Task: Think, Pair, Share (Question 2) – “With what you know about copyright and fair use, think about whether your creation could have been used in a way that violated your rights as a creator.”
  3. The student will apply principles of fair use onto a situation that they may encounter in their own life as a creator
    • Task: Complete the exercise “Thinking about fair use from the perspective of the creator.” This exercise asks the student to read a fictional scenario in which they are creating a different piece of work (there are three different scenarios, each one written by me for the purpose of this micro-teaching assignment), and then determine a ‘license’ for the created work described by referencing fair use guidelines. This exercise will enable the student to express how they might copyright their own created works.
    • Task: Share exercise answers with the class

After drafting this teaching outline, I created a visual slideshow that I would use as a teaching aid when facilitating the lesson. I then created handouts, which included term definitions, an activity incorporating three different original scenarios, and space for brainstorming. After facilitating this 20-minute lesson in class, I wrote a short reflection on the process.

Corresponding materials can be viewed, and/or downloaded below.

My Role:

I created, and presented this project on my own.

Learning Outcome Achieved:

The learning outcome this project achieved was Communication.

Rationale:

This project fulfills the communication objective, because it defines a clear goal: the aim of communicating, and teaching a specific one-shot lesson teaching an aspect of information literacy. By pre-determining the standards to focus on, the lesson’s purpose is aligned throughout the lecture, and activity. The presentation, (including a slideshow, and handouts), use visualizations that are easy to follow, and appropriate for a 5th-6th grade audience. These include clear learning objectives, definitions, and instructions for the associated activities. After receiving feedback from Professor Bowler, as well as the students who received this lesson (both graduate students, as well as Middle Schoolers), I was told that the idea of thinking about copyright, and fair use from the creator’s perspective was a creative, and original way to communicate the topic.


Project Title:

Analog Personal Information Management: Tracking ‘Pen-and-Paper’ Self-Organization Habits

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Visualized Data: Total personal “actions” per week, by “Everyday Life Behavioral Category”

Project Description:

This research project was completed as a final assignment for Professor Lopatovska’s Human Information Interaction class (Summer 2018). A culmination of the entire course, the paper’s requirements were to use auto-ethnographic methods in order to self-analyze an aspect of our personal information behavior. The area I chose to focus on was my own “analog,” or pen-and-paper Personal Information Management (PIM) habits for keeping my daily life organized. The primary goal of the project was to analyze my specific PIM system, as well as the data generated from it, in order to better classify the pre-existing methods I had used, draw conclusions on how certain life events affected my existing note-taking style, and based on my findings possibly adjust the system to make it a more effective organizing tool. The research project, and paper also included an environmental scan of relevant literature, data collection and analysis, and a discussion of findings. The final paper can be downloaded, and/or viewed here.

A follow-up component of this study, (written for Knowledge Organization, Spring 2018), and specifically focusing on the method of “analog tagging” I had devised as part of my PIM system, can be viewed here.

Methods:

After deciding on the paper topic, I researched related literature on the topic of PIM systems, and wrote a literature review that included: a summary of Narayan & Olsson’s (2013) study on information organization behavior, specifically as applied to personal information management and personal information collections; Bowen’s (2006) paper on grounded theory – the method I would be using to analyze my own data; and a paper by Zastrow (2014) on issues in using digital organization systems. These three papers provided the research basis for my own study.

I then determined that my primary auto-ethnographic method would be to code, and quantify the pre-existing data already collected in my physical daily planner, as well as any data generated throughout the course of the assignment. This included coding 5 weeks of data found in my planner, by using my own analog classification schema that utilizes symbols to denote different action types, and organizing each “action type” (such as task to complete, task completed, and event) within what I termed “Everyday Life Behavioral Categories” (School, Social, Work, Personal).

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Screenshot of HII Coding Spreadsheet

The final coding spreadsheet can be downloaded here.

After coding the 5 weeks of data, I was able to analyze, and visualize it to see which weeks (during school, summer, etc.) I had the most tasks assigned, completed, or left incomplete, as well as what sort of tasks they were (homework, professional work, personal action items). The last codification I did was an emotional one. Utilizing a revised version of the PANAS-scale, I self-reported the total number of “positive affects” and “negative affects” per week, in order to determine which weeks (busiest, least busiest) correlated with my most positive, and negative moods.

My Role:

I implemented this study, and wrote all supporting material alone.

Learning Outcome Achieved:

The learning outcome this project achieved was Research.

Rationale:

This project was a goal-oriented research study, on the topic of self-analyzing an aspect of my PIM methods in order to observe, and extract any persistent patterns and themes. As part of the conclusion, I was able to visualize my data in a larger information behavior lens – enabling a tracking of my emotions in the context of different action items, and observing in which personal life situations my own action items (completed, and not completed) increase, or decrease. Interestingly, by magnifying my own analog information system, I also surmised that it could probably be replaced, or supported by an existing digital platform. However, I have individualized my notation method to such a degree, that it minimizes any intra-subjective disconnect (or the inability to accurately recall what I intended to notate), as well as issues pertaining to data loss, data privacy, and the obsolescence of any technological tool.

This project incorporated a significant amount of data, collected and analyzed using a grounded research method. Sources are properly cited throughout, and an environmental scan is included. By putting my own pen-and-paper information behavior in the context of existing research on the sense-making of information organization, the project provided a unique perspective on Personal Information Management (which currently is primarily focused on digital, rather than analog strategies).


Project Title:

LGBTQIA+ LibGuide, Book Tasting, and Curriculum Support

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LGBTQIA+ Book Tasting (Berkeley Carroll Middle School Library)

Project Description:

This project was designed for Professor Jason Baumann’s Museum and Library Outreach class (Spring 2019). While it was not a requirement to actually facilitate the activity with users, my job at the time (Middle School Library Assistant at the Berkeley Carroll School), enabled me to implement it at the Berkeley Carroll Middle School library. The project’s requirements were to create an educational experience for a local exhibition or library research area. The project was to include all the educational materials for the experience, a lesson plan, surrogates of the objects or resources to be used, and an overview explaining the design of the experience and how it meets the needs of a specific educational group. Downloads of each of these materials can be found below under “Methods.”

My project (which included the creation of an LGBTQIA+ LibGuide, the implementation of a “Book Tasting” library program, and provision of general curriculum support), explored the LGBTQIA+ resources available for both students and faculty in the BC Middle School Library. The project was inspired by the new unit on gender & sexual identity that was implemented in Spring 2019, as part of the 6th grade Health curriculum. In collaboration with the Science department, as well as in fulfillment of my final project requirements, it was decided that the main focus of the unit would be for each student to read a Middle Grade, or Young Adult fiction book that included a character who identified as LGBTQIA+. Each student was then expected to read their book independently, discuss it in Science class in terms of the book’s representation of sexual and gender identity, and then write a short recommendation for the book on a ‘shelf talker’ template (also utilizing learning materials that I created for the project). Slides for the final presentation on this project can be viewed here. The final project report can be viewed, and downloaded here.

Methods:

The primary library activity I designed for this project was the “6th Grade Reading Ally Book Tasting” – an educational experience that displayed the LGBTQIA+ books in the library collection (primarily Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction titles) that represent characters with different gender identities. The work that went into preparing for this library program included: curating, and displaying the books; creating a safe and welcoming environment in the library for 6th grade students to explore the titles; working with the 6th grade Science teachers to schedule library time for book selection; and assisting with Reader’s Advisory to ensure that each student found a book for the project. I also assisted with collection development, and collection management, to ensure that each student ended up with one of their top three reading choices – selected on their book tasting “menus” during the library activity.

Further supporting materials, and resources I created for this project included:
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LGBTQIA+ Book Display (Berkeley Carroll Middle School Library)

My Role:

I designed, and implemented this project on my own.

Learning Outcome Achieved:

The learning outcome this project achieved was User-Centered Focus.

Rationale:

In being able to implement this project in a Middle School Library, and in support of a specific Middle School curricular unit, this learning experience both supports the information needs of Middle School Science educators, as well as a diverse Middle School student population (ages 10-11). After working with the Science department to design a project that would enable 6th graders to understand different gender identities – both as an educational outcome, and also as a way to increase empathy and understanding of different identities – I came up with this learning experience that incorporated library resources and materials in an age-appropriate, and unique method. Creating an activity, and curating a library collection that addressed specifically LGBTQIA+ content, it shows knowledge of a specific, and diverse information need. The creation of the LGBTQIA+ Libguide, specifically, shows proficiency in locating, and aggregating specific library resources that served all of the users associated with this project. This included choosing materials that represented a wide range of gender identities, as well as materials that were appropriate for a differing range in reading proficiency levels. An informal evaluation that was done after the project’s completion, revealed that both educators, and students found the activity, and library materials adequate for successfully completing the project’s curricular goals.


Project Title:

Web Basics: A Creative and Professional Website

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Screenshot of the “Artwork” page on “A Creative and Professional Website”

Project Description:

This project (created for Information Technologies with Professor Maceli, Spring 2018), was to create a website showing proficiency in basic HTML, and CSS skills. The site had to include at least a homepage, 3-5 supplementary pages, validated HTML and CSS, as well as show technical proficiency in such things as file naming conventions for images. The content of the website could be anything related to personal, or professional interest.

The landing page for this project submission can be found at: http://mysite.pratt.edu/~maronofs/index.html

Methods:

After completing all of the required exercises in HTML, and CSS, I decided on the website topic: a creative, and professional website for my friend Quinn Harris, aimed at showcasing his resume, artwork, and writing. This seemed like a good fit for the project, as his preferred visual aesthetic was one of basic HTML. It would also allow me to incorporate required elements such as utilizing a multi-tiered bulleted list, a table, thumbnail images, resized images, and stylized fonts. Starting with the home page, I then built secondary pages for a resume, writing samples, and artwork. Each writing sample is also linked to, and located on its own page for easier readability. All coding was done in the open source code editor Brackets.  Upon completion, I uploaded the web site, as well as all pages of HTML & CSS to the public Pratt web space.

My Role:

I created this website myself. Original content such as writing samples, and artwork were provided to me by their creator (Quinn Harris).

Learning Outcome Achieved:

The learning outcome this project achieved was Technology.

Rationale:

This project satisfies the Technology learning objective, because it shows understanding of HTML & CSS. It effectively used an open-source code editor to organize web-based content in a basic, yet practical way. Users were able to easily access and retrieve all of the content on the site. I was also able to preserve the project on Pratt’s public web space, as well as all of the code used throughout the website. This preservation allows the site to be updated, reworked, and/or uploaded onto another hosting platform in the future. Throughout the creation process, I was able to reference different digital resources in order to troubleshoot issues such as making standard image sizes, and centering elements. According to the graded feedback on this project, the elements I added (such as a different color for hovered links) went beyond the stated requirements.