Graduate Work

The San Jose State University iSchool lists 15 competencies that each graduate of their program must possess. Below, I list the text of each of the competencies and provide an example of work that proves my mastery. Compiling these documents was part of my capstone course in the program. Other work samples from each competency are available for review upon request.

Competency A

Demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of intellectual freedom within that profession

Ethical Issue for Teens in the Library: Banned Books (Blog Post)

I wrote this blog post for INFO 200 (Information Communities). In this course, we discussed how information users are shaped by forces around them and how information professionals can best serve the many and various information users of the world. In this blog post, I examined the rights of teens in the library. Teens are the ones most commonly affected by book challenges. As a high school librarian, this is a cause close to my heart. Teens have just as many rights in the library as adults do and it is important that librarians maintain these rights. I apply the principles of the Library Bill of Rights each day as I interact with students and build my collection. This blog post demonstrates mastery of competency A because it offers an application of both the foundational principles of the information profession and an understanding of intellectual freedom. I apply these standards to a real-world situation and illuminate how librarians can uphold their values when intellectual freedom challenges occur.

Competency B

Describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice

The Ideal Teacher Librarian Candidate: Exploring What It Takes to Get Hired (Essay)

I wrote this essay for INFO 204 (Information Professions). In this course, we examined the many different career paths for an information professional. My essay explores the professional literature that discusses the ideal traits of a teacher librarian. I synthesize my research into five skills that are most valued in a teacher librarian. I chose this topic in particular because I currently work as a high school librarian and I was curious what skills I should try to develop in my professional practice. This piece demonstrates my mastery of competency B because I show a deep understanding of what it takes to become a teacher librarian. In researching the most in-demand skills for a teacher librarian, I revealed how the teacher librarian uses these skills in her everyday work, thus showing a detailed knowledge of this particular organizational setting.

Competency C

Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity

Collection Analysis (Essay)

I also completed this assignment for INFO 266 (Collection Development). In this assignment, we were asked to review a part of our local library's collection and compare it to population data for the library's service area. I chose to review the young adult fiction collection at the Newark Free Library. I checked both if there were enough titles to meet the population's needs and if the titles were quality choices. I found that while the library did provide quality titles, it did not provide enough titles to match the population. This assignment demonstrates my mastery of competency C because it shows that I know how to determine the diversity in a library community and how to ensure the population is appropriately represented in the collection.

Competency D

Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy

A Vision for Padua Academy’s Learning Commons (Presentation) -- Request to View

I completed this PowerPoint presentation with narration for INFO 233 (School Library Media Centers). This presentation gives an overview of the vision and mission statements as well as the assessment plan, budget, and community input plan I created for Padua Academy, the school where I am the librarian. My vision provides the long-term plan for the library, my mission offers a clear idea of the values of my library, my assessment plan ensures continual improvement, my budget details all spending and demonstrates my priorities, and finally, my community input plan gives my stakeholders a voice in the library. This presentation demonstrates my mastery of the planning and management aspects of competency D because it shows I can successfully create very effective and professional versions of these foundational library documents.

Competency E

Design, query, and evaluate information retrieval systems

Project 2 (Database Design & Evaluation)-- Request to View

In my INFO 202 (Information Retrieval System Design) course, we learned about how  information retrieval systems work and designed one of our own as a group project. In a team of three, we looked at a group of 20 scholarly articles and created a database to search through them. This involved us coming up with rules and controlled vocabulary, entering the data, and evaluating the effectiveness of our design. My team divided up the work equally by the number of articles, so each of us created rules, chose vocabulary, entered data, and tested the database for approximately seven articles. This project demonstrates my mastery of competency E because it shows my skills in designing, querying, and evaluating an information retrieval system. As data in the paper reveals, my group created an effective system.

Competency F

Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items

Unit 4 Assignment (Book Selection)

In this assignment, I analyzed a population's demographics and applied applicable research on collection building. This assignment was completed for INFO 226 (Collection Development) where we learned how to manage a library's collection. I was provided with a fictional $750 to purchase relevant titles. I argued that collections should be built on both demand and quality, as opposed to only one or the other. I used demographic data as well as several criteria I laid out in the paper, such as reading level, to select 33 titles to recommend adding to the collection. This project demonstrates my mastery of competency F because it shows that I know how to analyze a population and make educated recommendations for building a collection to best meet the needs of that population.

Competency G

Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a particular clientele


This assignment was my final project for INFO 248 (Beginning Cataloging and Classification). For this assignment, we were asked to create MARC records for 20 books and also include the Library of Congress classification and the Dewey Decimal System classification. We also had to explain our choices for both classification systems. The records had to include all relevant information for fields 040 to 700. I selected titles from the high school library as well as my private library to create these records. This demonstrates my mastery of competency G because it shows my ability to create records using a common metadata schema to operate in a cataloging system as well as my ability to classify resources according to two common classification systems.

Competency H

Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies

Open Educational Resources (Website)

This is a project that I completed for my INFO 233 class (School Library Media Centers). In groups of three, we were tasked with identifying an emerging technology and creating a website to explain its use in the school library setting. My group chose to examine Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are lesson plans, books, journal articles, and other educational resources that are available online for free for academic use. OER combat the rising cost of textbooks and the paywalls in front of journal articles to provide resources for free. This is a new movement in the academic world but it is one that can be taken advantage of immediately. On our website, created for K-12 teachers, we instruct viewers on how to use this emerging technology by reviewing how to find OER, how to contribute to the movement, and how teacher librarians and teachers can work together to use OER. Fully understanding how OER work ensures that a librarian will be able to introduce them to teachers and ensure they are being used most effectively within the information environment.

The goal of our website was to create a resource for teachers who are unfamiliar with OER to educate themselves and understand how to use them in their classrooms. My specific responsibilities for the website were the Finding OER, Examples of OER Lesson Plans, and the video interview on the Teacher Librarians & You page. I also took charge of editing the website and double-checking APA citations. This website demonstrates my mastery of competency H because it shows I can identify an emerging technology (OER), I can show how to use it in an information environment (school), and I can evaluate it for potential issues (Concerns page).

Competency I

Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information

Fighting Fake News (Website)

I created this website for INFO 210 (Reference & Information Services). For this project, we were given free rein to create some type of resource that could be used as a reference tool for patrons. This could be an infographic, video tutorial, or something else that would be useful to patrons. I chose to build a website as this medium is the most accessible to high school students. The website was designed as something I could offer to my own students. It is entitled "Fighting Fake News." It covers how to spot fake news, the Stanford study (a study of students around the nation testing their ability to distinguish real from fake news), the CRAAP method, resources, and my references. This project really combines the two main parts of competency I: the service methods and the quality of information. This project shows my mastery of competency I because the website medium demonstrates that I know how to best connect with my patrons (teenagers) and the content of the website demonstrates that I both know how to evaluate information and how to teach others to do the same.

Competency J

Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors

Making Their Place: Better Serving Teens in the Library (Research Paper)

I wrote this paper for INFO 200 (Information Communities). This paper is the culminating piece of the work I completed for that course. Over the semester, my classmates and I focused on an information community of our individual choice to fully understand their information needs and behaviors. I chose teens as my information community because I worked in a high school library at the time. After much research, I synthesized the existing literature to come up with three recommendations for librarians who work with teens. This research paper demonstrates my mastery of competency J because it shows that I have a deep understanding of the information needs and behaviors of teens and can make recommendations about how to improve library services for them.

Competency K

Design instructional programs based on learning principles and theories

Cultural Exploration Text Set

I completed this text set for INFO 237 (School Library Media Materials). In this course, we learned how to effectively work as a teacher librarian. In this text set, I created a list of materials that could be used to explore a popular young adult novel. In this case, I chose The Hate U Give. To go along with the novel, I also selected an essential question (How does the cycle of poverty affect Black Americans?) as well as news articles, videos, poems, and more that support the themes in the novel. Each resource was matched with a principle in the Common Core. This paper demonstrates my mastery of competency K because creating a text set shows that I understand the learning principles in my place of work (high school) and can create a list of resources to meet those principles.

Competency L

Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the ability to design a research project, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize research literature

Final Proposal (Essay)

This final proposal was completed for INFO 285 (Applied Research Methods), where we designed a research project. My research question was: Are fines effective or are there better options for a library? My proposal called for three phases of data gathering that involved tracking the number of overdue books as well as days overdue and asking for student opinions during each phase. I chose to collect both quantitative and qualitative data so I would see both the numerical impact of each phase and how each affected patrons. My proposal also includes images of the surveys and example data collection sheets. My proposal includes all necessary information and is ready to be submitted for approval to begin data collection. This document demonstrates my mastery of competency L because it shows that I can design a complete research project and that I understand qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Competency M

Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentation

Grant Application -- Request to View

I wrote this grant application for my INFO 282 (Grant Writing) course. In this course, we worked with a library to write a complete grant application over the course of the semester. We also had to submit a list of references used to write the grant and a list of ten organizations where the application could be sent. My grant was for the school library where I work. I was requesting funding for online access to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. This grant application demonstrates my mastery of the "written communication skills" aspect of competency M because it shows my ability to write a thorough grant application that is ready for submission. A grant application must be written to meet the standards of the granting organization, effectively argue the reason for the grant, as well as have proper formatting and perfect grammar/spelling. My application provides all of these requirements.

Competency N

Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria

Kirkwood Library Evaluation (Essay)

I completed this assignment for INFO 261A (Programming & Services for Young Adults). In this course, we learned how to create, evaluate, and manage teen services at the library. I rated the Kirkwood Library against a popular professional model of an ideal library space. My evaluation of the programs and services at Kirkwood Library for teens revealed areas where offerings were lacking and teens are being underserved. Implementing my recommendations would provide a much-improved teen space. This essay demonstrates my mastery of competency N because it shows that I can evaluate existing programs and services against field standards and make recommendations for improvement.

Competency O

Identify ways in which information professionals can contribute to the cultural, economic, educational, and social well-being of our global communities

Open Educational Resources (Blog Post)

I wrote this blog post in my INFO 233 class (School Library Media Centers) to explore the global impact of Open Educational Resources (OER). I chose to focus on this topic because I was working on a website about OER as part of a group project but we were unable to cover global issues as part of the scope of our website. I recognized that OER would be extremely beneficial to other countries and did some exploring to see what the experts had to say on the subject. I noted that "Resource-rich countries like the United States are often the leaders in education. If we can create repositories of excellent material, it will be easier to share with the rest of the world that desperately needs educational resources." As librarians with many resources, we have an obligation to share what we can with those without many resources. If we are truly beacons of knowledge for all, it is the only path we can take. This blog post demonstrates my mastery of competency O because it shows that I am well-versed on an important resource that can have a major impact on the cultural, economic, educational, and social well-being of our global communities and I understand how librarians can play a part in it.