Tuscaloosa, and what you can do to help

29/04/2011 § Leave a comment

HLS readers:
I’m posting this on behalf of our lovely editor, Lauren Dodd, who is in Alabama for her MLS. Earlier today she posted an update on her own blog about the devastation there, and the HLS team wanted to share it here. Lauren is OK (yay!) as are the other folks in UA SLIS (double yay!), but they are asking for help to recover. I copied and pasted her original post below for you to read. A big thanks from Lauren and all the HLS folks for reading and for your help!

I wish I were updating this blog under better circumstances. It has truly been a great semester until now.

On Wednesday, April 27, the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama was struck by an EF-5 tornado. Much of the city is demolished. The university where I have finished my MLIS, University of Alabama, was spared, but classes and exams have been cancelled, and graduation ceremony postponed until August. As far as I can tell, everyone I know is safe, but I have many friends, as well as SLIS faculty members, who have lost their apartments or houses. The damage is widespread, and there have been many deaths.

Click here for photos of the devastation in Tuscaloosa and pictures and videos of the tornadoes and damage statewide.

Tuscaloosa was not the only city struck that day — statewide, Alabama has lost over 200 lives. President Obama has declared a state of emergency and is sending federal aid. If you would like to help out with the relief efforts, even just a small donation ($10 or so) would be greatly appreciated. Here are SEVERAL easy ways you can help, whether you are in Alabama or far far away. See also Donate to UA SLIS (a fund for UA SLISers who have suffered damage and loss).

A huge THANK YOU in advance for any assistance you can provide.

Best of Semester One

25/04/2011 § 1 Comment


Since we are all still students, or very VERY early career LIS pros, this time of year is especially full of things to do. That said, you’ll see new content slow down here, for at least the next week or two. We’ll be planning the summer semester’s worth of writing, recruiting new Editors/contributors, and generally resting after an amazing kick-off semester this Spring.

To keep you busy we’ve compiled some reading lists you can return to over the next few weeks and get caught up on. Think of it as HackLibSchool 101.

Our Top 10 Posts (by hits):

Top Post per Editor:

Best Comment Conversations:

Catch Up on Our Series’:

Experiencing LIS – Posts about getting experience and/or what the experience of Library School is like.

LIS Blogs to Follow – Self explanatory.

To-Read Tuesday – Our (and your) picks for things to read, that we’re reading, or would like to read someday!

Declassified – Comparing curriculum and courses between two schools

TMI – (Two Minute Insights). Shortcasts where we post one question to a leader in the field and they have two minutes to respond.

Most Tweeted Article:

You’re Invited to #libchat

Weirdest Search Terms That Led Someone to Our Blog:

  • “Fun things to mod or hack”
  • “how to hack in to a university library computer”
  • “katie long island library science masters -crook”
  • “middle aged white man needs to change careers”
  • “everything was better back when everything was worse cartoon”
  • “hack librayr school”
  • “what is a library”

Recommended by Your Humble Editors:



Barbakoff, Audrey , and Ferrari, Ahniwa (March 25th, 2011) – Filter This!






Book Review – “The New Graduate Experience: Post MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship.”

22/04/2011 § 3 Comments

I am very excited to introduce our first book review to HackLibSchool. The “residency program” is an interesting step to consider for students looking to make a smooth transition out of school and into a professional job.

Welcome Genevia Chamblee, our reviewer. Genevia is an Information Professional working at a Research Center in the Washington, DC area. As a 2010 ALA Emerging Leader and 2009 ARL Career Enhancement Fellow, Genevia’s curiosity, enthusiasm, and thirst for lifetime learning led her on the path of librarianship. In the Fall 2011, Genevia will resume her studies in Library and Information Sciences with a concentration in information organization and Health Informatics. Genevia is the creator of Variegated Stacks, a digital space created to highlight issues relevant to improving MLIS curriculum, career trends in librarianship, and research related to diversity initiatives.

Fight the Post-MLS Blues

Are you tired of reading about the hiring trends for academic libraries? Do you want to learn on-the-job and have the benefits of an academic librarian in an entry-level position after earning your MLS? Perez & Gruwell’s (2011) ground-breaking guide to ‘The New Graduate Experience: Post MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship‘ captures the missing literature gap in the area of Post-MLS Residency Programs, diversity initiatives, and assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of these programs. “The New Graduate Experience” (2011) is a powerful resource guide for current MLS contemplating the benefits for pursuing Post-MLS Residency Programs.
As someone who is very much interested in diversity recruitment and retention issues in the librarianship field, I was very excited and pleased with the overall composition of this book. In the first chapter, Brewer (2011) gives a powerful description of the purpose and goal of Residency Programs and the difference between ones that have a diversity focus. A historical overview of the strengths and challenges of Residency Programs at University of Louisville, Purdue University, University of Tennessee, NCSU Libraries, University of New Mexico, and Georgetown University Law Library are also included in separate chapters.
This book isn’t just for the Human Resource Manager, Library Dean, but very valuable for prospective Post-MLS graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in academic libraries. Several sample applications are used for examples from other institutions to provide a helpful model for prospective institutions interested in starting a Residency Program. Another unique chapter in this book is called “Nursing Preceptors and the Academic Library” written by Perez, M. (2011) who gives an excellent comparison of how nursing graduates are trained on-the-job by having senior level mentors “preceptors’ within the organization to guide them and get them accumulated to the workplace. The preceptor model that focuses on experiential learning to develop both the mentee (Resident Fellow) and mentor is very helpful. This is a great ‘must-read’ for students interested in working in academia as well as current library administrators who are looking for a fresh new way to develop library leadership within their institutions. This book gets five golden stars for its overall tone, pragmatism, reference sections, as well as being filled with personal reflections from previous Residency Fellows.References:

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Residency Interest Group Weblog Accessed on March 18, 2011 http://acrl.ala.org/residency/

Perez, Megan Z. and Cindy Ann Gruwell. The New Graduate Experience: Post-MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship. Santa Barbara, CA : Libraries Unlimited, 2010.

Julie Brewer. “Understanding the Organizational Value of Post-Master’s Degree Residency Programs.” Research Library Issues: A Bimonthly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 272 (October 2010): 23-27. http://publications.arl.org/rli272/

LIS Overload!

20/04/2011 § 23 Comments

Please welcome back to the HLS blog, Katie Westlake

Have you ever been afraid to turn on your computer? Until I started my online MLIS through the University of Washington last fall, my answer to that question would have been a resounding nope. My social media experience was limited to Facebook and a few short-lived accounts through some other outlets (i.e. Twitter, Flickr, deviantART, Myspace), and my admitted lack of enthusiasm for getting involved in campus events and professional organizations during undergrad made my online experience blissfully simple. Oh how I miss those days sometimes. « Read the rest of this entry »

Ways To Improve Your Soft Skills

18/04/2011 § 12 Comments

Andy Burkhardt is the Emerging Technologies Librarian at Champlain College. He enjoys playing with new tech, information literacy and generally helping students, faculty, and staff learn new things. He is also a dinosaur enthusiast from Minnesota. You can read about most of these things on his blog Information Tyrannosaur.

by-nc-nd | Flickr user Jason Schlachet

Some people are naturally great speakers. They are able to get in front of a large group of people and get their points across clearly, all while keeping the listener interested and engaged. I am not naturally one of those people. Luckily, I’m not alone. Speaking in public is regularly cited as one of the biggest fears that people have.

« Read the rest of this entry »

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