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campbell, paul
August 17, 2015 : OUL Instructional Librarian/Instructional Designer Published in ALAO Blog
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster Instructional Librarian/Instructional Designer Paul Clayton Campbell is giving his colleagues advice on how to face their fears and try new things in a recently published article called “The Dark German Forest of Library Instruction.”
“The Academic Library Association of Ohio has a subgroup specific to instructional librarians called the Instruction Interest Group (IIG).   Every spring they organize a conference for instructional librarians in Ohio to share ideas and learn from one another.  They also organize and maintain a blog in which they invite instructional librarians from across Ohio to send in proposals to write for it,” said Campbell. “Earlier this summer, I submitted my proposal and I was elated when I got it accepted.  Although this is called a ‘blog’, it is, in fact, peer-reviewed and would certainly count as scholarly communication for librarians who have faculty status.  Not only did I have to get my proposal accepted but after I wrote the article I had to submit it to the committee for final review.”
Campbell used a keynote address given by Public Radio Host Jad Abumrad at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) national conference in March as the inspiration for this blog.
“In his address, Abumrad said that we need to venture into the proverbial ‘Dark German Forest’ in order to find our intellectual and professional voices.  I identified with his message because I also find it scary to venture into the unknown and try new things for fear of failure,” said Campbell. “It was nice to hear that someone as successful as Jad Abumrad is dealing with some of the same fears I am.  Ironically, some of the best experiences I have ever had, both professional and personal, have been when I ventured outside of my box.”
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the larger American Library Association, is the professional association for academic librarians. ACRL has more than 12,000 members from all over the United States and Canada. The national conference is only held every-other year. Campbell received a scholarship to attend the 2015 conference in Portland, Oregon.
“Abumrad’s keynote was also about learning to draw strength from the gut-churn feeling that we get when we try new things in life.  In the article, I specifically write about instructional librarians; however, I think the same feelings carry over to my colleagues in other academic fields,” said Campbell. “In my article, I took Abumrad’s idea of going into the dark forest and related it to what I have experienced professionally as an academic librarian.  I wrote about how important it is for me to venture into the dark forest in order to further develop my skills and talents as a librarian.  Further, I made the connection of going into the unknown and using the principles of instructional design as a roadmap back to safety.   Utilizing instructional design principles also helps to raise the likelihood that the new things I try are successful.”