07/07/2012 § 19 Comments
Editor Note: This is a guest post by Jarrett Drake.
“The Incunabula. I’d like to see them,” said a patron in a muffled tone. “Can you repeat that?” I responded unassumingly. “The Incunabula, the Incunabula!” she exclaimed, her voice rising with each repetition. After a brief hesitation of speech that left my mouth quite unable to repeat her enunciations, the patron interjects, “You’re not familiar with the Incunabula? Are you a librarian?”
And that’s where I’ll stop. For the record, I’m not a librarian (yet). But if there’s one takeaway from my attendance at the 2012 Spectrum Leadership Institute and the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, it’s that the future of libraries—and indeed, librarianship—is a changing face. As emerging professionals, we library and information students mustn’t simply notice that change, but champion it.
13/06/2012 § Leave a Comment
Hey hacklibschool team, JP here (you know, #partyhard #makeithappen guy). If there’s one regret I have from when I was in library school, it’s not getting involved in the ALA immediately. There’s no larger library community in the USA! My advice to everyone: if there’s one conference you attend every year (besides your state association conference), it should be ALA.
The reason ALA Annual is such an important event is because you get to meet people. Real , flesh-and-blood people. You meet them, build relationships with them, and party hard with them.
It’s not so hard to find new people to meet, because it’s such a gigantic conference, but there’s some events I am especially excited about that I’d love for you to attend! Add these all to your conference scheduler (and if you aren’t coming to the conference, there’s still time! in fact, I haven’t even booked my flight yet).
Almost every link is direct to the conference scheduler, so you can use this post to build your conference schedule via ALA Connect. Shouts to Jenny Levine, just in general, but also for the conference scheduler.
9am: Annual 2012 Unconference is always worth waking up for. You meet fabulous people from across the country, from all different types of libraries, with various world experiences and skill sets, and share ideas with them.
3pm: Emerging Leaders Poster Session and Reception is the best mix of the old-school of the ALA & the new-school of us young folks. Everybody gets along, trades business cards, chats…it’s one of the BEST events at ALA that is presented sans-alcohol.
7:30pm: ALAplay is the most fun event at Annual every year. It’s the most relaxed event for sure, and brings together folks from lots of different committees, divisions, etc. Also, there’s cosplay at it, which is a spectacle for those of us not dressed up. I did don a red wig for it last year which was killer.
10pm: ALA Dance Party III is the premier party at ALA and needs no introduction. Last year it was one of the top-twenty highest-attended events according to the conference scheduler!
10:30am: Games and Gaming Forum (GameRT). The reason I put this is because GameRT is the ALA’s newest round table and this is their first event as an official organization. Get involved with it as it rises from the ground-up. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that games are fun.
5pm: Happy Hour (RUSA MARS) has the word “happy hour” in it. Happy is good.
7:30pm: 6th ALA Annual 2012 Newbie & Veteran Librarian Tweet-up is just a laid-back great time to meet librarians who you might know digitally but not personally. I’ve attended every tweetup and have great memories of all of them.
10pm: #ala12 After Hours / LibrarianWardrobe Walkoff Contest! Other than Dance Party, this is THE social event to attend for 6 years running (maybe more?). With the additional fun of librarianwardrobe.com/ running their fashion show walkoff contest, it looks to be the best after-hours event yet.
5:30pm: LITA Happy Hour has moved to Sunday night, and I’m very pleased about that, because it is one of the events that you’ll see MOST of the twitter people at all in the same place! I am particularly thrilled that it’s moved so it doesn’t interfere with ALAPlay! No conflicts, double fun.
6:30pm: Student Reception (NMRT) is also Sunday night, so if you wanna do a “networking pub crawl”, add this to the list.
2:45pm: Librarian Wardrobe #ala12 Conversation Starter Session. Style and Stereotypes: Perceptions of Librarians – join a panel + discussion on style and stereotypes of librarians, perceptions inside and outside of the field.
5:30pm: Battledecks 2012! If you kick-off the conference with Think Tank, end it here! Another fun fun fun event that needs to be seen to be believed. I competed 2 years ago (won the bronze medal!), judged last year, and this year just wanna chill with all my hacklibschool ppl. Let’s #makeTHAThappen! And i’m sure we’ll all find some informal locations to share our library stories with after.
Recover. Sleep on your flight. Or find me & PC Sweeney and we’ll drink some mimosas before heading back to our libraries.
One last thing, Mango Languages always throws a killer party, and this year it’s at a bowling alley. You need an invite, though, so hit them up at their booth in the exhibit hall for the pass to the party!
To make things a lot easier, here is the ALA Annual #partyhard map. Use it well.
13/03/2012 § 7 Comments
This post was collaboratively written by Quasi-Con planners and School of Information Master’s candidates Kelly Davenport, Peter Timmons, Ilana Barnes (ALA chapter president), Kim Miller (vice president), Katy Mahraj (treasurer), Ryan Clement (webmaster), and Mariah Cherem (social media coordinator).
The DIY Library Conference: A Quasi-Guide
It was an experiment.
When Ilana Barnes pitched the idea of a student-led library conference at the University of Michigan School of Information (SI) during her tenure as ALA Chapter president, she chose the following theme: “The Future of Libraries?!”
Ultimately, we didn’t need the question mark. More than 70 students, professionals, and alumni gathered in January for the first Quasi-Con, a hybrid unconference and professional conference. We’re here to tell you how we organized it, and why we think you should plan your own Quasi-Con, in three easy steps.
18/01/2012 § 11 Comments
Today, while the SOPA/PIPA debate is very much in the forefront of people’s thoughts, we’re happy to welcome this guest post on SOPA. By way of introduction, you might also check out the “Black Wednesday” post from this morning on the internal Hack Library School debate to weigh in on this issue with links to other resources.
We are pleased to offer Alex’s well-researched and thoughtful article on the merits and problems with SOPA and hope that the discussion and information sharing continues here on Hack Library School.
SOPA and PIPA have been floating around the internet over the last few weeks. These two bills (SOPA for the House of Representatives [HoR] and PIPA for the Senate) are meant to combat online piracy and copyright infringement. These are laudable goals and should be applauded by any aspiring information professional. So what’s all the hubbub about? The issue that many opponents are raising is that, in their current forms, SOPA and PIPA effectively threaten to censor the internet.
23/12/2011 § 17 Comments
Jared Harmon is pursuing his MLS with a Technology Management Specialization at Indiana University Indianapolis. He also helps run an ILL consortium at the Indiana State Library and works the reference desk at the Indianapolis Public Library. Jared is interested in how technology is shaping our libraries, and he hopes to work with digital libraries and other library technologies to help evolve our profession.
It’s really hard to keep up with the overachievers. I know this because I used to be one. In college, I was constantly on the run. I was completing a double major while also participating in multiple extracurricular activities. A few months after graduating I was working a full-time job on the night shift at a TV station. All my side activities (and social life) basically ground to a halt (aside from my then-girlfriend, now-wife). Out in the real world it’s much harder to stay busy all the time, especially on a night shift. When you actually have to make money and maintain a livable dwelling, getting to a bunch of other things just becomes exhausting. A few years later I relocated with my wife, and, after some soul searching, existential couch-sitting, and an experiment with substitute babysitting teaching, I decided on the recommendation of a friend to check out library school. Now, I’ll be honest. Libraries never factored much into my life before I entered this Masters program. My aunt is a non-professional librarian at my small town’s library, but other than the occasional free movie rental or book loan, I never thought much of it. But I needed a purpose again, and the classes sounded interesting. So off I went, not really knowing what to expect.
Nearly two years later, I’m quickly reaching my spring 2012 graduation date, and I’m reflecting what I have learned and the decisions I have made. I’m starting to think about how I stack up against my peers. I know it’s not exactly a competition, but the job market sort of is, right? Anyway, my latent overachiever within is beating me over the head constantly with the successes and opportunities of my schoolmates and colleagues. Sure, I’m happy for those of us that make good. I’m seeing all these super-competent and successful librarians attending every single conference, giving presentations, and getting to do all kinds of generally cool librariany things. I’m wondering how I’m ever going to get there.
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t exactly been slacking. I started volunteering for the Digitial Initiatives Librarian at the Indiana State Library doing metadata work and also at the Indianapolis Public Library pulling items and processing holds before I even started library school. I eventually got actual jobs at both libraries, and to this day I work full time at the State Library doing ILL work and on a substitute basis in adult reference (formerly in circulation) for IPL. I decided to go for the 9 extra credit hours to get the Technology Management Specialization tacked on to my MLS. I got involved in my school’s student organization, and I now lead our book club and serve as an officer. I went to ALA last year, and I joined two NMRT committees. I almost got to speak at ILF. I have an interview for a technology fellowship next month. I know this is starting to sound like a cover letter, and I’m not bragging. This is all just to say that I’m still suffering from an inferiority complex. Despite all my experience, I worry it’s not the right kind of experience or that I’m not getting the professional opportunities I’d like to get.
I’m writing this for two reasons. First, I can’t be the only person that feels this way. I thought getting this out there might help us all have some kind of collective therapy experience and realize we’re all okay. Second, Christmas break has left me with little to do, and this has only amplified my unease about my school present and professional future. I feel like I should be doing something or I’ll fall behind. My newfound sense of peace with taking it easy once in a while that I gained after leaving college is at war with my inner overachiever. Also, I’m bored. Okay, so it’s three reasons.
So, what should you take from this post?
- I guess that you shouldn’t necessarily measure your own worth by comparing yourself to others. There will always be somebody more awesome than you. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggonit, the library world likes you.
- You shouldn’t feel like you have to always be doing something to advance your career. Stop and reflect on why you got into your library program. It’s probably because you care about the field or you love some aspect of it. Think about what you can do to make it better.
- Don’t take this to mean that I’m suggesting you settle or back off on your goals. Go for it, just don’t do it for the wrong reasons.