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!
28/10/2013 § 9 Comments
I started library school fairly confident that I had no interest in working in a library, and I wasn’t the only person in my cohort who felt that way. I chose a program that clearly stated a focus in library and information science, and spent my elective courses looking at data science, information visualization, and social information use, even as my peers were diving into collection development, cataloging, and more “traditional” library skills. My original reasons for entering library school were easy to lose when I was surrounded by so many people who were passionate about the work they wanted to do within libraries. Two years after I entered, I graduated, and started hunting for the library position that would launch my career.
I *loved* graduate school, and thinking about the challenges of the information world. The conversations I had with my fellow students helped me convince myself that libraries were the place to be, and I started to forget that librarians and libraries are likely best represented by a Venn diagram; related, but not always overlapping. « Read the rest of this entry »
16/08/2013 § 8 Comments
A sizable number of library students graduated in May or over the summer, and many of us were then faced with the prospect of finding that perfect job. Hack Library School has tackled other sides of this topic before, with Madeline’s post on the quick-turn after graduation, and Joanna’s post on eResumes, among others. I wanted to add my perspective after landing a number of all-day on-campus interviews for other jobs and collecting advice from many friends and colleagues I greatly respect. In true librarian fashion, I’ve synthesized their advice and built my own list:
1. Prepare to repeat yourself!
All-day interviews often run from early in the morning (sometimes even the evening beforehand) until mid-afternoon or later. You’ll meet with committees, colleagues, and constituents throughout the library community, who will often ask you variations on a few core questions, making it difficult to avoid repeating the same information. I’ve found it helpful to write a list of things I wanted to make sure I mentioned throughout the day. Then, as long as you’re covering something from the list, it’s okay to paraphrase things you’ve covered earlier in the day with a different group. More importantly, you won’t leave the interview thinking, “Oh no! I spent six hours and only told them about one facet of my interests!”
We’re librarians. We’ve gone to graduate school to develop excellent research skills, whether to answer tricky reference questions or sleuth out the information needed to catalog that pesky first edition. There is utterly no excuse for ignorance when it comes to the institution where we’re interviewing. « Read the rest of this entry »
25/06/2013 § 1 Comment
Conversation Starter: Hacking Transferable Skills!
This conversation starter will be held in room S102-d at the McCormick Place Convention Center, on Sunday, June 30th, at 1:30 pm! We’ll be talking about life AFTER hacking library school. Here’s the session description:
LIS education is designed to prepare students for many things beyond “library work”–how do we turn those skills into useful talents as we enter our chosen profession? This session will bring students and professionals together to get us talking about “big questions.”
HackLibrarySchool is all about self-determination, and we “hack” our programs and approaches to make our degrees exactly what we seek. How can similar attitudes be applied to library work?
Is there a “gap” between perceptions of recent graduates and library veterans? How can we bridge it?
Join the HLS bloggers to answer these questions and more!
The HLS meet-up!
Come join us for our second ALA Annual HLS meet-up! We’ve teamed up with LibraryLab for a get-together at The Green Door (http://www.greendoorchicago.com/) from 8pm to 10pm on Sunday. Meet like-minded librarians, and chat about the ways you hack your life. This event is informal and should be a blast! Come make some new friends, have a drink, and chat about the conference, librarianship, and general awesomeness. Hope to see you there!
Hope you’ll consider joining us! See you in Chicago!
17/06/2013 § 1 Comment
One of the things I most love about librarianship is the diversity of the field. People choosing library science come from any background you can think of, and once they have the degree their choices are manifold. As an amplifying degree, virtually anyone can find their options and skills expanded by graduate study in librarianship, and can enter and thrive in truly wide-ranging circumstances.
This is awesome. It does, however, create a small problem for new grads: How can we express our skills and interests to employers and networking connections when the field is so broad? How do those of us with a number of interests pick which one to focus on? More pertinently, when a combination of skills is our real strength, how do we explain the whole picture to listeners who may be more accustomed to specialists?