“Where do I even begin?” Or, A Newcomer’s Tour

17/02/2012 § Leave a comment

Credit: C.LawtonIt’s hard to describe the feelings that flashed through my head as I read through the email welcoming the new batch of HLS Hackers. Excitement, certainly, with a decent amount of giddiness in the mix, but also some apprehension. After all, this was a blog I’d been reading since my second day of #libraryschool, and I wasn’t alone–ask the professors, second-year students, and alumni here at Syracuse which library blogs they recommend for LIS students, and chances are good that Hack Library School will be on the list. I knew there would be some big shoes to fill, and that I didn’t know nearly enough about the blog, older posts, or the ethics and style of the founders.

So I took a deep breath, and dove in. What follows is a record of my wayfinding & sense-making as I puzzled my way through the first year of the HackLibSchool project.

Micah got things rolling over on In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Inspired by Hacking the Academy, a crowdsourced, digital book sharing resources, questions, and innovations on scholarship, Micah started Exhibit A: the Google Doc. It’s well worth perusing, and the conversations held there sparked…

Exhibit B: the Wiki. Another proverbial ghost-town, but even today that wiki holds valuable resources. I remain convinced that the hardest part of entering information science (or any other field) is finding out what people are talking about; the wiki can help with that. The conversations there, however, soon outgrew the wiki format, and needed a new home. Which brings me to…

Exhibit C: the Blog! Where to start? With over 200 posts, we have options. Some people would likely find a chronological approach the easiest to parse, starting with Micah’s welcome post & official kick-off (Big-Tent Library School), and moving upward from there. I found, as others might, that various resources are needed at various times, and went for tags and series like Library School Starter Kit. (LSSK -The First Term was one of the most helpful things I read last semester, and I’m still proud that I did everything on the list!) If all of that seems overwhelming, why not find an author you like, and start there? There are lists of Current Hackers and Alumni Hackers, and virtually all of us have writings beyond HLS.

I expect my relationship with Hack Library School will be an adventure. I’m still sifting through the archives, reading articles that jump out and demand it. For me, the most valuable part of HLS is knowing that I’m not alone–librarianship is indeed a big tent, and we’re all in this together.

So Happy Anniversary, Hack Library School–you’ve had quite a year. I look forward to helping you reach year 2, and many more beyond that!

What are your favorite #HackLibSchool posts? Let us know in the comments, or contact Topher on Twitter @hieanon.

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