10/12/2013 § 1 Comment
We thought it would be fun to put together a gift guide for library students. In fact, it inspired us to create our own Hack Library School Pinterest account where you will find this entire guide plus more under the Librarian Gift Guide board. See anything you like? Have other recommendations? Let us know and have a wonderful holiday!
Giant bookworm microbe for your favorite bookworm
Out of Print is your one-stop shop for literary-themed shirts, sweaters, jewelry, tote bags, phone cases, notebooks, and more. They focus on classic book covers and I can attest to the quality of their products. Highly recommended and suitable for he, she, or kids!
The Love Your Librarian line from Etsy shop AlisonRose is amazing. You can purchase t-shirts for both men and women or a tote.
The Meet Me at the Library t-shirt from Etsy shop abjectbirth is another great option to show off your library pride. It’s available in heather gray or tan. (Ladies, fair warning, it does run small)
What could be more charming than an I Am Mr. Darcy t-shirt from Etsy shop Brookish? By the way – this shop has tons of Pride and Prejudice items.
Perhaps this Real Men Love Cats (yes, they do) t-shirt from Etsy shop RCTees?
Did anyone else decide to be a librarian when they were five after watching Beauty and the Beast? If so, Etsy shop GoFollowRabbits makes the perfect skirt for you.
Wannabe Miss Elizabeth Bennetts will fall for this lovely Pride and Prejudice scarf from the Smithsonian Institute.
Gents will rock this Dictionary Page bow tie from Etsy shop DPDomesticities.
The Great Gatsby cufflinks Etsy shop from Bookity will keep you looking sharp.
I’m not much of a cook but I know I would rock the kitchen if I had an apron from HauteMessThreads. Personally I love the Star Trek TNG apron, but if Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, or Disney is more of your thing, this shop has you covered.
I’m sure we all have a few reads on our holiday wish list, but here are a few options you may want to consider.
I’m making it a mission to collect Penguin hardcover classics and I’d love to start with Homer’s Odyssey. I admire the simple yet elegant design.
The Atlas of New Librarianship by R. David Lankes looks is a must read for library students and new professionals.
Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines is a perfect gift for bibliophiles who also love art.
I’ve heard great things about Career Q&A: A Librarian’s Real-Life, Practical Guide to Managing a Successful Career by Susanne Markgren and Tiffany Eatman Allen.
The Pride and Prejudice board game. Yes, it exists.
Mugs. There are so many cute library-themed mugs out there, but I am partial to this one by Etsy shop kadarut.
The Botticino Marble Coasters (in multi) at Anthropologie are swoon-worthy.
Ideal Bookshelf makes the best book prints. You can select a curated theme, like fantasy or young adult, or request your own custom design based on your favorite reads.
Make your house smell like your favorite author with the Paddywax Library candle series.
BookBook makes amazing vintage-inspired leather cases for Macs and iPads. They recently came out with the BookBook Travel Journal which has room for your iPad (though I’m sure you can fit other tablets), power adapter, cables, and more. The perfect conference accessory!
Notecards make wonderful gifts and, bonus!, work well for thank-you notes after interviews. The Penguin Book Cover set has an amazing variety while the Jane Austen set features sentiments from the author herself.
INALJ publishes an annual gift guide called For Librarians, Buy Librarians.
Gift Ideas for the Librarian in Your Life by Sarah Roark Schott.
06/12/2013 § 1 Comment
One of my courses this semester (Community Informatics) required a sizable amount of “service learning” (for those who don’t know, service learning is basically community service/volunteering activities that are incorporated into a course). When I mentioned the extensive, unpaid time commitment that the service learning represented to a friend of mine, he balked: “So they’re basically making you volunteer? That’s crazy. Plus it can’t really be considered volunteering if they make you do it…” This got me thinking about the various pro’s and con’s of service learning, a course component that seems to be more and more prevalent these days. For those who have a service learning component in an upcoming course or who are interested in designing their own service learning experience, here are some pros and cons (as I see it) of service learning:
- Con: Service learning is time-consuming. This semester I had to commit to 4 hours a week of volunteering at a library or computer lab. While this doesn’t seem like much, I also work 20 hours a week, take classes full time, am an officer for a student group, and contribute to this blog (love you guys!). Not to mention I live in the same town as my family, and am thus often committed outside of school/work. Therefore, I do not often initially relish seeing a service learning requirement on a syllabus. A service learning component can also require an initial time commitment to scout out a site, go through an orientation, and set up training (depending on what you’re doing). There’s also the transportation time, field notes time (as you often can’t jot down info until after your shift), and reflection time (as service learning usually involves reflection writing assignments).
- Con/Pro: Service learning is hard work. Whether it’s explaining to a senior citizen how to log in to a computer, open a browser, and log in to their email for the 100th time (ok, so it hasn’t happened 100 times, but sometimes it feels like it) or building custom-made wooden computer stations in your professor’s workshop (see below), service learning will challenge you in a variety of ways.
03/12/2013 § 3 Comments
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Tiffany Newton.
I just finished library school at Emporia State University (ESU) and since then I have discovered many courses I wish I would have taken. Some I learned about from my classmates, some I discovered from being a teaching assistant to one of my professors during my last semester, and other simply weren’t offered at ESU. My MLS required 36 hours and at about three hours per course, that’s 12 individual classes. Some of my classes were only two hours, so I did have more than 12 classes, but I still don’t think it was enough. Could I have learned everything I wanted to know about librarianship in 12 classes? I think it is possible, yes, but in retrospect I should have thought about how each class would help with my goals and bring meaning to my career.
So how do you identify which classes are most important to you? First, think about why you’re going to school. Do you currently have a library job that you’re happy with? Will you be looking for one upon graduation? What kind of librarian do you want to be? What do you want to get out of library school? I didn’t think about any of these things going into library school. I didn’t have a good idea of why I was there or what I wanted out of school. I didn’t think about my future or my career after school.
Look up job ads on sites like I Need a Library Job (INALJ) for jobs that you think you might want after school. What are the knowledge requirements, and do you have that knowledge? If not, take a class on it. Are there skills that you will need, and does your school offer a class to allow you to obtain those skills? Is experience required, and if so, can you take a practicum, internship, or volunteer position while in school to get this experience?
02/12/2013 § 7 Comments
It’s hard to believe, but the end of the fall semester is a good time to start thinking about next summer’s professional conferences. Though June, July and August might seem like ages away, many conferences use January as their deadline for submissions from students. So today is as good a time as any to talk about a type of submission that can seem foreign to a lot of library students- the poster session. Let’s dive in!
What is a poster session?
At conferences, poster sessions are an opportunity for students and/or established professionals to present their work in an informal context. It’s a great way to dip your toe into the conference presentation waters. Unlike a traditional session, all of the posters are set up at once, and each presenter is expected to stand with their poster for the entirety of the session (typically an hour or two) to answer questions from passers-by. The advantage of this format is that it can be a lot less intimidating to be a part of than a panel or paper presentation. Also, at most conferences more posters are accepted than papers, especially from students.
Where do I start?
If you keep an eye on your listservs, or check the website of a particular organization you’re interested in, you will notice a lot of calls for posters. Here are a couple of examples- one from ALA and the other from the Society of American Archivists. The timing might vary- you could have six months or six weeks. But you know how these things go- you’re most likely to find out about the deadline a week or so before it’s due. DON’T WORRY. One of the secrets of conference presenting is that you typically only need an abstract of around 250 words at this stage in the game. So now it’s time to set your idea down on paper.
28/11/2013 § 3 Comments
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Alison Peters.
I fully admit it: I was this close to dropping out.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m very happy with the 100% online LIS program at San Jose State University, which allows me to work full time and develop a freelance writing career, all while I’m in school. And the LIS degree is perfect for combining my love of books, public/customer service, and research. But after a semester ‘break’ I needed a jumpstart; something to put me back on a focused path and engage me again.
So when the call went out to join an independent study course devoted to the LIS Publications Wiki, I jumped at it. The wiki is, essentially, a database of LIS-centric publications and everything you ever wanted to know in order to write for them. Designed to be used by LIS professionals and students around the world – it’s a pretty amazing, extremely valuable research effort. Each entry details things like the publication’s submission guidelines, their audience makeup (so you’ll know who you’re tailoring your writing towards), what they’re looking for in submissions, and how to contact editors and send in your query. The goals are to encourage more LIS folks to write, to get published, and to inspire readers by showing how many publications and organizations are out there, just waiting for you. If your focus is metadata and you’re interested in writing a scholarly (i.e., research oriented and peer reviewed) piece for an acclaimed publication that might help you land a job or gain tenure, click on the Scholarly Journals section to narrow your search focus. If your library or school just developed a cool new program, the LIS professional and trade publications or LIS online forums (which is where I came across, and fell in love with, HLS in the first place) would most likely love to share your news with their readers. And if you’re like me and just want to gush over books with other aficionados, search for a Civilian publication like BookRiot, and try your luck.
26/11/2013 § 1 Comment
It’s nearly Thanksgiving in the US, and as we reflect on the things in life for which we’re most thankful, libraries are certainly high on the list. Here on Hack Library School, we’ve had plenty of posts dealing with reasons to get involved with professional organizations and conferences, from opportunities for training to networking and more! Even if you’re not prepared to join a committee, there are often other ways to give back to the profession. One of them in particular needs a signal-boost from the entire library community: The Declaration for the Right to Libraries. Here’s what you need to know:
The cornerstone of ALA president Barbara Stripling’s Libraries Change Lives presidential initiative, The Declaration for the Right to Libraries is “designed to build the public will and sustained support for America’s right to libraries of all types – academic, special, school and public.” Over the next year, libraries, library schools, and community groups are encouraged to hold signing events, which invite community members to publicly, unilaterally declare their right to vibrant, dynamic library access. These events are designed to spark conversation and raise awareness of libraries, as well as to help libraries nurture a network of community advocates. By bringing people into frank conversations on the challenges facing libraries, the declaration will also help to foster a sense of libraries as the hub for community dialogue.
In the spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that libraries are essential to a democratic society. Every day, in countless communities across our nation and the world, millions of children, students and adults use libraries to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to a vast array of books, computers and other resources, library users benefit from the expert teaching and guidance of librarians and library staff to help expand their minds and open new worlds. We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries -public, school, academic, and special – and urge you to show your support by signing your name to this Declaration for the Right to Libraries.
It’s your turn! First off, go sign the online declaration at http://www.ilovelibraries.org/declaration/sign . (The numbers will be used for advocacy in the future, so it’s really helpful to sign online!) Then, tell everyone you know to do the same. Work with your local libraries to plan a signing event, join the social media campaign to help spread the word, and go practice your library advocacy skills!
25/11/2013 § 5 Comments
As programmer and tech journalist Ciara Byrne noted in her op-ed “No–You Don’t Need to Learn To Code”, learning to code is not always fun, easy, or even useful for every career path. Nonetheless, programming can develop several soft skills that translate across a broad range of professions. In addition to increasing your digital literacy, learning to code teaches you to solve problems, to seek out collaborative solutions when you are stuck, and (in my experience) to endure lots of frustration for the sake of future rewards.
The benefits of learning to code are especially tangible for information science students. Programming knowledge equips you to customize content management systems, create sophisticated reports in an integrated library system, develop mobile apps, manage databases, implement open source software, navigate user experience design, customize or create a web presence for your institution, and collaborate more effectively with IT professionals.
You may be thinking, “But Sam, I am not a programmer. It just doesn’t come naturally for me.” Well, join the club. My undergraduate degrees are in history and political science! Although I grew up in a very tech-friendly home, I never had any ambition to be a programmer. After I started working in libraries, however, I found that some kind of coding knowledge is necessary for many of the jobs I want to pursue. It hasn’t always been fun and it has rarely been easy, but I have made it a priority to learn these skills. Over time, I have actually learned to enjoy coding.
Here are some guidelines that have helped me endure the tough times:
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