Emerging Technologies Specialist


That’s me! As of 1 January 2008.

Actually, the contract says “Librarian – Emerging Technologies” – but we’re still sorting that bit out…

I’m still at Murdoch University and based in the library. The position is funded 50% by the library and 50% by central IT, and covers more than just the library.

While we were writing the position description, in an act of amazing synchronicity, Laura Cohen posted about Libraries and Campus Collaboration – suggesting libraries shouldn’t forge ahead of their campuses with Web 2.0 initiatives, but work with them if at all possible:

…both the campus and the library will be transforming themselves to deal with the revolution in the social Web in general, and social scholarship in particular. Trust me: sooner or later, these issues will be at the forefront of our concerns.

Librarians should be preparing for this now. Assuming that we’ve educated ourselves aggressively (major assumption), we should be carving out a plan. We should be identifying and making contact with scholars on our campuses who are early adopters. We need to be exploring how we can learn from and support these individuals. They’ll have ideas, we’ll have ideas. We need to be working together to forge the library’s role in a scholarly world that will be changing our professional culture in the next decade.

The official main duties of my new position are to:

β€œ work with the Learning Technologies Steering Group to research, evaluate, develop, communicate, and train library staff and the campus community in new technological tools likely to affect information provision and Teaching and Learning in higher education β€œ.

I report to the chair of the Learning Technologies Steering Group . The LTSG is a University Committee that looks at existing systems like WebCt and Turnitin, but is also the group where Web2.0 types of technologies are examined for pedagogical use. They are the mob that supported our proposal to set up Murdoch University Island in Second Life. It’s made up of people from the Library, Teaching and Learning, the IT department, Academic staff and students.

The current chair of the LTSG is our Library Director. I was really happy when she suggested that we think of the position as a “Learning Common” position. My office is in the remodelled part of the library right near the First Year Experience Co-ordinator, and the help desk for the Teaching and Learning Centre, the campus Print shop and the library reference desk. The focus is very much on interacting and hands on support, rather than writing dry reports.

I still get to do things like the 23 Things and the Library Emerging Technologies Group…but my first assignment for the LTSG ? Examine how and when it is sensible for the university to self-host blogs and wikis.

While I’m over the moon about it, I have a lot to learn about evaluating software, and general educational techie tools. I also have to get over the “I’m just a girl with very few programming skills, what would I know?” idea I have about myself sometimes when I’m in a room with men who control funding.

Thanks to everyone who sent me their job descriptions and the couple of people who looked over the position.

If you’d like a copy of the job description and selection criteria, please email me at: k dot greenhill at murdoch dot edu dot au .

12 thoughts on “Emerging Technologies Specialist

  1. Congrats Kathryn! Very cool job, and it’s great when you can be so involved in writing your own job description! (I sort of did the same, but it’s not quite working out right, haha)

    Good luck and have fun with learning all the new stuff! πŸ™‚

  2. Well done Kathryn, I’m green with envy.
    Tho’still on holiday in New Zealand I’d love to promote myself to doing something similar at TAFE. Please send me a copy of your job description.

  3. Thanks everyone. Excited and a bit overawed. While I’m still learning more about educational technology I’m trying to keep really tight time management. Chasing fewer rainbows for a bit while I get up to speed.

  4. Hi Kathryn. What an innovative place Murdoch University seems to be! To have a steering group including Library, Teaching and Learning, the IT department, Academic staff and students sounds like heaven. I can only dream of that synthesis at my TAFE.

    My job description has recently changed from e-Learning Librarian to e-Learning Resources Advisor, but now I’d like to change it to your job title. Awesome!

    Robyn πŸ˜€

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