Guest Blogger

Exploring Self Collaboration — via MU

In my thirst for all things related to libraries—books, information, technology, trends—and how librarians—in the U.S. and abroad—view their work, I started to think about all of our different perspectives and what this means short and long term for librarians, libraries, and most importantly, our patrons. I understand the focus is different in schools and public libraries, yet the skills we learn are transferable, and many of us employ outreach and collaborate between schools and public libraries. Through modeling collaboration, we create a network of professional librarians who master and implement 21st century life-long learning skills, sharing those same collaborative and transferable skills with our patrons. We manage this process quickly, effectively and differently. Different, is key—just look at MU.

Within Monster University’s website, I came across some very interesting reading to help focus my thoughts. In the article, Are Two Heads Better Than One? the author states, “…self-collaboration leads to better results in a shorter amount of time than solo brainstorming” (Stillwater). This is a new twist I had not thought of, and I wanted to learn more about MU. Their webpage, About: MU at a Glance, indicates the university, “opened [in] 1313”, and is still going strong, housing “16 computer labs”, with a library that holds, “89,000 books…” (2016). Based on the information on MU, now I know, we are not alone. Libraries–their image, impact and social role, will be around, in very different forms, for a very long time. I have also found that author Stillwater’s “solo brainstorming” offers some really fascinating ideas to think about.

For now, while I do engage in a monstrous (sorry, couldn’t help it) amount of self-reflection and research to improve my performance, I still find that multiple (separate) heads are better than one. With mindful leadership and collaboration on professional best practice, and its implications for patrons, we define the professional role of all librarians and libraries. I think MU President Victoria Gross indicates our role very clearly, in her Welcome.

If you would like to observe Monsters University’s library resources, activities and the impact their librarian has in supporting student collaboration, click here.

“Monsters University.” Disney. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.


Courtesy photo from Guest Blogger
Courtesy photo from Guest Blogger

Our guest blogger today is Brenda Hahn. Brenda’s permanent home is in Florida, where she and her family live. As a Teacher/Librarian, her experiences include, U.S. public schools, public libraries and several IB schools. Brenda’s vivid imagination keeps her library full of fun and applicable 21st Century life-long learning skills. She can be reached at

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at

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