The Ultimate Group Project: Saving Kingston Part 3
posted August 14, 2013 8:55 AM by Julie Steenson
I am recovering from the summer term and the intensity of two classes. You may have followed our ground-breaking alternate reality game in my online Management class with Mary Wilkins-Jordan. (See earlier Kingston posts)
As fabulous, dedicated Simmons GSLIS students, we did, indeed, save Kingston and all its libraries! We battled blizzards, naysayers, and gloomy politicians to raise the level and value of the library and information science industry of our fictitious town. To do so, we had to be a team, and all flag-waving aside, the collaborative effort was the likes of which I have not seen before in any of my classes.
Early in the term, our professor gave us complete flexibility to work alone or in groups related to our organizations (public, corporate, prison, archives, etc.) or across our base groups (our classes - management, reference, etc.). She cautioned us, however, that while working alone remained an option, we might need to work in groups in order to accomplish it all in the compressed summer session. I am pretty driven, but she was right. I needed my peers, but not just to get it all done. I needed their skills, their expertise, and their support.
In the world of our alternate reality game, we watched our point levels rise each week, as we continued to strive for Titanium level through completion of our assignments, projects and challenges. Behind the scenes, however, our groups collaborated, finding ways to offer new insights and perspectives to each other. Our biggest project was writing an actual grant proposal for our chosen library organizations, including not just the idea, but the budget, staffing, marketing and evaluation of our designed projects. Not only did we all team up effectively for our own projects, but we took the time to read those of other Kingston organizations, offering additional resources and ideas. When I printed off a copy of my team's proposal at home, my husband's jaw dropped when he looked at the document. "You guys did all this in a few weeks?!" He suddenly knew why he hadn't seen much of me this summer, but truth is, what we achieved together was so much greater than what I could have done alone.
In Kingston, we learned a lot of things, but the biggest takeaway was the value of collaboration. When it comes to saving libraries, never underestimate the power of a team of librarians.