MOOCing up Librarianship

07/08/2013 § 5 Comments

During my final month of library school I decided to add one more item to my to do list: take the New Librarianship MOOC. The massive open online course (MOOC) was offered by Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies for graduate or continuing education credit, or just for fun. MOOCs can be a great way to supplement your library school education, so I enrolled just for fun as a final library school experience.

Previously Topher introduced the topic of new librarianship to Hack Library School readers, and Micah wrote an unbook unreview of Atlas to New Librarianship. The MOOC builds off of Atlas and primarily asks the question, What is librarianship when it is unmoored from cataloging, books, buildings, and committees? It explores the core of librarianship and seeks to generate discussion about the future of librarianship.

The mission of New Librarianship.
I’ve seen countless mission statements for libraries and information organizations, but not one for librarians. Do you agree with this mission statement? Do you have your own?

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Copyright 101

03/05/2013 § 20 Comments

The class I want to see in every MLS/MLIS program is Copyright 101. Want to be a Reference Librarian? Copyright will impact your job. Want to be an archivist and build digital collections? Copyright will impact your job. Want to be a School Library Media Specialist? Copyright will impact your job. Seeing a pattern here? Copyright touches all aspects of librarianship. It governs how we can share information. Whether it is for protecting the rights of the library or patrons, or determining how we can make our collections available, copyright knowledge can benefit all librarians.

I got a small glimpse of copyright law in my Introduction to Information Policy course and decided I needed to know more. This semester I enrolled in the Copyright Law through the FSU College of Law. Through this class I gained familiarity with both statutory law and legislative history, discussed the Georgia State case, and had class an hour after the Kirstsaeng decision dropped. No class in graduate school has better prepared me to be a librarian, and it wasn’t even a library school class!

CC BY NC SA, Erik J. Heels,

CC BY NC SA, Erik J. Heels,

The Basics
Copyright is a legal concept that grants authors exclusive rights over their works for defined periods of time. Copyright owners have the exclusive right to copy, distribute, make derivative works, and publicly perform or display their works.

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How to Survive and Prevent a Bad Internship

29/03/2013 § 8 Comments

There’s a good chance that you’ve had a bad internship or job experience. Maybe it was mundane tasks, unfriendly co-workers, or damaged expectations that did you in. Many MLS/MLIS programs require, or at least strongly recommend, an internship or practicum before graduation. Internships are great ways to taste-test a type of librarianship, network, and get practical experience. The unfortunate reality is that we don’t always know what we’re walking into when we begin an internship. So, how do we survive or prevent a bad internship?

Frustrated man at a desk (cropped)

Alternative title: How to avoid looking like this.

If you’re already going through a bad internship experience or find yourself in one later, you’ll need to know how to surive. Take a deep breath, remind yourself it is an opportunity to learn that will only last a few months, and use the following tips to better your internship experience.
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A FASTR Open Access

22/02/2013 § 6 Comments

Last week Nicole discussed getting political, and the very next day an opportunity came. On February 14, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced in both the House and Senate. As a library school student who is passionate about open access and interested in scholarly communications, this bill is exciting!

This bi-partisan bill has the potential to have a great impact for access. No matter what type of librarianship you pursue, this bill could significantly help your future patrons. Maybe it will be an adult patron wanting to read a study, a high schooler doing his first research paper, or a university student working on her honors thesis—all needing articles from a journal that your library cannot afford to subscribe to. Sometimes when I think of open access I hear Oprah’s voice shouting, “You get articles! And you get articles! Everybody gets articles!” All right, maybe that is a bit weird… but for librarians, information becoming more accessible is kind of like a dream come true.

Original image CC BY-SA Mack Male

Original image CC BY-SA Mack Male

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Dewey-It-Yourself: How to supplement your library school education

16/01/2013 § 12 Comments

No matter how great a MLS/MLIS program is there just isn’t enough time and courses to learn everything. HLS alum Annie Pho previously discussed the interpersonal skills we don’t learn in school and identifying what you want to know, and Lauren Bradley contributed a guest post on continuing education after library school. It can be very frustrating to look at job postings and think, “What does that even mean? They didn’t teach me that!” But with an optimistic and do-it-yourself attitude the gap between what you know and what you need to know can shorten.

Take advantage of free online courses
Video tutorials or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) take DIY to a whole new level.

Two great resources are the free Khan Academy and the subscription based lynda. Khan provides a library of high-quality instructional videos, and lynda offers software training through video courses. So far I’ve used lynda to learn more about Google Analytics and Drupal. Drupal is an open source software that I’ve seen listed among the “desirable skills” section in many job postings. If your university doesn’t subscribe to lynda, you can seek out videos on YouTube, consult open source software communities, or take a MOOC.

Even though it is called do-it-yourself sometimes you need help from a teacher. MOOCs are a great way to learn for free from prestigious institutions and great instructors. Some top MOOCs are offered through edX and Coursera. Harvard Law School even began experimenting with a MOOC Copyright Law course.

CC BY-SA Nina Paley, Mimi & Eunice

CC BY-SA Nina Paley, Mimi & Eunice

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