[Series] Hack ALA: Our Recommended Sessions

11/06/2012 § 1 Comment

Editor’s Note: We are happy to kick off our second annual Hack ALA week! We’ll be dedicating posts this week to all things conference-y and professional. As students, it’s important to get your feet wet in the LIS professional world early, and as often as your budget allows. While these posts are ALA-themed, much of the advice can be applied to other professional networking situations.
These are just some sessions that we think are orientated towards library school students. We also encourage you to independently explore sessions that you are interested in. Also be sure to check out the exhibitors hall and the Networking Uncommons while you’re at the conference.

HLS Stuff

Conversation Starters: Hacking Library School

When: Saturday, June 23, 2012 – 10:30 am- 11:15am

This conversation starter seeks to bring together students and professionals to talk about issues pertaining to our education and our field. It will be a moderated conversation with guiding questions such as: What aspects of library school curriculum prepare you for the job? What emerging technologies enrich your education? How do you “hack” library school? Hack Library School is about being the change that you want to see. What would you change? We hope to see you there!

Hacklibschool / Library Boing Boing Meetup

When: Sunday, June 24, 2012 – 7:00pm-9:00pm

Come meet the #makeithappen crowd at the joint Hacklibschool / Library Boing Boing Meetup at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon (1025 E. Ball Rd.,www.theranch.com) on Sunday evening. We’ll be waiting for you in the Saloon.

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HackLibSchool Conversation Starter

06/06/2012 § 3 Comments

I am pleased to say that HackLibSchool will be holding two events at this years ALA Annual conference. Awhile back, I wrote about trying to bring HLS and the issues we care about to the conference level. Well, I’m happy to say that our Conversation Starter was accepted! To be honest, this is the first year that they have done the Conversation Starter series, so I’m not sure what to expect. However, our session is intended to be a moderated discussion – not like a traditional panelists just talk at you presentation. We want your input on what topics you want to discuss.

Potential guiding questions:

  • What aspects of library school curriculum prepare you for the job?
  • What emerging technologies helped you hack your education?
  • From a student’s perspective, what advice would you give to a veteran? or a potential boss?
  • What would you tell yourself going into library school, knowing what you know now?
  • Should every student be required to take at least one online class? Why?

Please add more potential questions in the comments! We want to talk about things that are relevant to you! Also, we only have 45 minutes to talk so I would like to invite everyone to come meet and talk with the Hackers at the HackLibSchool/ Library Boing Boing meetup! It’s going to be fun, and hope to see you there!

HLS Summer Reading Recommendations

08/05/2012 § 6 Comments


Who is ready for summer? Several of us are finishing up our schoolwork, dealing with stress, and ready for a quick breather. Here are a few summer reading recommendations from your dear HackLibSchool editors. We’ve broken the list down into Leisure and LIS reading. Please add your own recommendations in the comments!

Leisure Reading

    • Rose
      • The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson - Annie and Buster Fang have spent most of their adult lives trying to distance themselves from their famous artist parents, Caleb and Camille. But when a bad economy and a few bad personal decisions converge, the two siblings have nowhere to turn but their family home. Reunited under one roof for the first time in more than a decade and surrounded by the souvenirs of their unusual upbringing, Buster and Annie are forced to confront not only their creatively ambitious parents, but the chaos and confusion of their childhood.
      • The City and the City by China Mieville - Twin southern European cities Beszel and Ul Qoma coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens’ determination to see only one city at a time. Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad roams through the intertwined but separate cultures as he investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, who believed that a third city, Orciny, hides in the blind spots between Beszel and Ul Qoma. As Mahalia’s friends disappear and revolution brews, Tyador is forced to consider the idea that someone in unseen Orciny is manipulating the other cities.
    • Annie
      • The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus – A terrible epidemic has struck the country and the sound of children’s speech has become lethal. Radio transmissions from strange sources indicate that people are going into hiding. The Flame Alphabet invites the question: What is left of civilization when we lose the ability to communicate with those we love? Both morally engaged and wickedly entertaining, a gripping page-turner as strange as it is moving, this intellectual horror story ensures Ben Marcus’s position in the first rank of American novelists.
      • Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain - At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
    • Paul
      • Cat Girl’s Day Off by Kimberly Pauley - For the YA fiction readers, a fun sci-fi novel about Natalie Ng, a teenage girl whose superpower is the ability to talk to cats. Nat and her best friends tackle a mystery centering on a kidnapped celebrity gossip blogger when the blogger’s cat screams that the woman he is with is an imposter.
    • Chris
      • What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson - Bronson tells the inspirational true stories of people who have found the most meaningful answers to that great question. With humor, empathy, and insight, Bronson writes of remarkable individuals—from young to old, from those just starting out to those in a second career—who have overcome fear and confusion to find a larger truth about their lives and, in doing so, have been transformed by the experience.
      • Good, Better, Best Wines by Carolyn Evans Hammond - When it comes to wine, your “wants” are pretty simple: a good wine, at a price you can afford, that’s stocked at your local wine shop or supermarket. Good Better Best Wines gives you just that. It reveals in plain English, the good, better, and best wines available for the dollars you’re willing to spend–up to $15–along with photos of clearly labeled bottles to make wine shopping easier.
      • The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith - Ripley becomes enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal but grows enraged by Dickie’s ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante.
    • Julia
      • Re-reading We Heart Libraries by John Ira Thomas and Jeremy Smith (a library-friendly version of the Zoo Force comics) and all the other Candle Light Press books (I recently was gifted with a complete collection). Should be a good time!
      • The Essential Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal – Shows you how to do all sorts of exciting gardening/homesteading projects. I am reading it to review it for a journal, but I secretly wanted to read it anyways!
    • Joanna
      • Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore – If it follows the vein of previous Moore romps it will take a heavy dose of history and completely upend it to the suspension of all disbelief. “Oh lÀ lÀ, quelle surprise, and zut alors! A delectable confection of intrigue, passion, and art history—with cancan girls, baguettes, and fine French cognac thrown in for good measure—SacrÉ Bleu is another masterpiece of wit and wonder from the one, the only, Christopher Moore.”
      • Game of Thrones by George RR Martin – I’ve been holding off starting the series until I had time because I’ve been told by many that you will stay up all night reading through them. I haven’t seen any of the tv series and am greatly looking forward to a fun escape for a while.
    • Ashley
      • Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin – To borrow one of my recent blog posts… “Yelchin gives us a glimpse into Soviet Russia through the eyes of a child. In a flash a young Soviet boy loses everything…but it takes a day for this reality to sink in. Join Sasha on the eve of his communist Pioneer induction. Watch as he moves from total faith in his party and leader…to alienation. Don’t worry–the story is also peppered with humor and hope. The illustrations are works of art worthy of their own book. It’s in my top five favorite children’s books. A must read.”


LIS Reading

    • Joanna - I am going to read through the papers Rebecca linked to in her last article (gearing up for a fiction purchase battle) and then these writing/education/reading resources:
      • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott “Lamott’s ( Operating Instructions ) miscellany of guidance and reflection should appeal to writers struggling with demons large and slight.” She states that her goal is to not only make you a better writer, but a better reader and (marginalia pen in hand) I’m already finding that to be true.
      • Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin “School was invented to create a constant stream of compliant factory workers to the growing businesses of the 1900s. It continues to do an excellent job at achieving this goal, but it’s not a goal we need to achieve any longer. In this 30,000 word manifesto, I imagine a different set of goals and start (I hope) a discussion about how we can reach them. One thing is certain: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve been getting.”
      • You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins  Goins is a blogger and writer I admire and have gotten a great deal from already. I’m looking forward to delving into this and maybe even finally embracing that I am a writer. “In You Are a Writer, Jeff Goins shares the truth about writing. He provides the tools and insights you need to build your platform, develop an audience, and make meaningful connections. No writer should embark on his or her writing journey without reading this first!”

What are you planning to read over the break? Do you have any recommendations?

Everyone Needs a Personal Cheerleader

07/05/2012 § 4 Comments

Photo Credit to Flickr user jaynenddJob hunting is a tricky beast to master. The process is emotionally draining at times, there are so many things to be excited/anxious about. For some of us who have just finished our last semester of school, this is the prime time to start looking. Most people advise that you start your last semester, especially if you are interested in academic libraries, because the hiring process can take months. If you’re trying to juggle school, a job, an internship, and job hunting, this can all be really taxing. That’s why it’s important to have a support group, or someone who will be your personal cheerleader.

My first semester of library school, a new librarian told me that he wouldn’t have made it through his last semester without his good group of friends. Now that I am in that exact situation, I couldn’t agree more! A couple months ago, I tweeted about starting a “library school support group” and many people responded with joining the New Members Round Table group. While I agree with this advice and think there are several great services that the NMRT offers (like this mentoring program), I was thinking about having a group that was more personal. People who you actually feel comfortable saying how you really feel and know who you are on a personal level. You can’t always publicly voice everything you’re thinking because it might reflect badly on you. Constantly whining on Facebook or Twitter about your life is a real turn off for a lot of people. But when you’re job hunting and you’re constantly being rejected, it’s hard not to get emotional or down sometimes. We’re all human, and no one is perfect. I have my bad days and that’s when I rely on my friends.

Your cheerleaders should be a mix of people who have known you for a long time and people who can advise you professionally. I am fortunate to have a professional mentor, someone who isn’t afraid to tell me what I’m doing wrong with my cover letters or that a job just isn’t a good fit for me. My partner also does a wonderful job encouraging me when I feel depressed, or doesn’t mind looking at my stuff in case I missed something important. I’m also grateful for my friends and fellow hackers who share cute things with me or make me laugh, because sometimes you just need stress relief. It’s about having a balance between people who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth, people who can understand what you’re going though, and people who don’t quite understand, but want to get you out of the house anyway.

In this day and age, it’s becoming much easier to connect with like minded folks, or keep in touch with friends from out of state. Just being able to tell someone about your day can be just the relief that you need. Personal cheerleaders lift you up when you feel down, and cheer you on when you win! You don’t have to be at the end of your academic career to have a support group, it’s always good to have people you care about around. And don’t forget to pay it forward when someone else needs an ear!

Vote for HackLibSchool!

15/03/2012 § Leave a comment

Photo Credit to Flickr User Dean Terry

Photo Credit to Flickr User Dean Terry

Guess what everyone? We are pleased to announce that we have our first Conversation Starter Proposal for ALA Annual this year! Conversation Starters are 45 minute, discussions focused on emerging topics and trends. Ours will be a facilitated conversation focused on issues surrounding the library school experience. We hope it gets voted in and that those of you who are planning on attending Annual this year will join us.

This year, ALA is trying something new and is allowing members to vote on what proposals they want to see. This is from their website, “Your votes will count for 30% of the total, while ALA staff votes will also count for 30%. The ALA Conference Committee will weigh in with 40% of the votes, and we’ll announce the accepted proposals in early April.” Help us out, read more about our proposal and vote for us!

Going to conferences as a student is great for networking. Hope to see you there!

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