25/07/2012 § 3 Comments
Well! ALA Annual has come and gone, and with it, so has HackLibSchool’s Conversation Starter, and our 2012 Hack ALA series! I think I can speak for all of us who attended in saying that the conference was teeming with information, networking, drama, and pure fun!
Our conversation starter was just as good as we all hoped it might be! We used a modified fishbowl model, and tackled four key questions:
- What would you tell people just starting library school, knowing what you know now?
- From a student’s perspective, what advice would you give a library veteran, or a potential boss?
- Should every student be required to take at least one online class? Why?
- What is the best class you have taken?
The answers ran the gamut, and came from library students, librarians, administrators, and more–and they’re not over yet! Please, sound off in the comments and let us know what you think! You can also tweet us with the #HLSconvo hashtag. Keep talking!
But wait, there’s more!
« Read the rest of this entry »
17/05/2012 § 10 Comments
Congratulations to everyone who’s just finished the first year of an LIS degree! If you’re anything like me, you’re still occasionally having phantom-homework guilt, as it’s such a novel feeling to have a bit of spare time. That spare time can be put to good use, though!
In the spirit of Zach’s Library-School Starter Kit for the first semester, here’s a few ways to spend your summer:
11/04/2012 § 5 Comments
Good librarianship is an art. The distinct combination of talent, education, experience, and affinity that librarians possess must come together into a cohesive unit, guided by the librarian’s sensibilities, in order to provide the professional level of service expected and required of librarians today. Why, then, are our training models designed to produce indistinguishable workers, full of core competencies but unable to produce artful solutions? Educators in Library & Information Science must begin to focus on producing dynamic librarians capable of striding forth and revolutionizing their field. By recognizing that there is no “one true way,” and instead supporting the creation of artist-librarians, each with their own style, approach, and direction, Library & Information Science education becomes a sort of “conservatory model,” and begins to change the future of librarianship.
But what, exactly, is meant by “conservatory model”? « Read the rest of this entry »
07/03/2012 § 36 Comments
“New Librarianship” is a buzzword, especially here at Syracuse, but what does it mean? Here’s my take:
New Librarians and people-who-work-in-libraries are two very different things. The latter is a job; there’s nothing wrong with that, and I believe very strongly that libraries need passionate, good people to help fulfill their purpose.
On the other end of the spectrum, “Librarianship” isn’t a job—it’s a vocation. It’s not something you can put away at the end of the day, when you leave the building. Librarianship is an aggregation of personality, ethics, politics, education, worldview, and focus; there is a reason why librarianship requires graduate study to embark upon.
New Librarianship requires a mission. To borrow R. David Lankes’, “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.” (That quote, and much of the inspiration for this post, comes from his Atlas of New Librarianship.) There’s a lot in that mission worthy of exploration, but for now, let’s move on.
I’m firmly convinced that librarians can fulfill that mission outside of the building we call a library. In fact, those who hold information-science degrees are qualified for a host of careers, as I’m sure we all know.
Librarianship is an awareness — a hypervigilance to any needs of a community. Everything we see or come in contact with is collected and disseminated to those who seek that information. On another level, though, we also retain that idea, and can share it with someone else. In that way, librarians are libraries, indexes, databases; polymaths. “Jack of all trades; master of none” no longer applies–librarians are constantly educating themselves and mastering the next big thing. Good librarians are interdisciplinary, as challenging as it is to sustain.
This may not earn me any friends, but I believe that personality and focus is the only mark of “librarianship.” The MSLIS/MLS/MLIS/etc is (hopefully) proof of the skills needed to work in a library, but it says nothing about worldview. True librarians can walk into an empty room, and suddenly it becomes a library. They can embed themselves into project teams or classrooms, and suddenly their chosen communities perform more efficiently, more effectively. People who cannot be this sort of ever-learning, ever-sharing, always-on go-getter can still find roles that change lives–but they aren’t the people I’m trying to join by earning an MSLIS, or the ones I’m referring to when I talk about New Librarians.
To me, New Librarianship is a movement; a steadily-growing wave of people seeking to improve the world. Exactly how we’ll do that remains to be seen, but it’s the wanting-to-try that matters. Yes, it’s tiring–hypervigilance and the always-on nature of librarianship will take its toll. Between us all, though, we can take turns, and things will keep getting better.
So what’s your view? Am I crazy?
17/02/2012 § Leave a Comment
It’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.