08/02/2013 § 25 Comments
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Sarah Alexander.
I like to think that most librarians are open-minded. We’re the protectors of the First Amendment! We believe in information for all! We help the patron in front of us no matter who they are. Like doctors, but with books instead of medicine. But then I think about all the awkward looks I got when I wore a rainbow tie at a library conference. I think about a long argument I had with a co-worker about the “appropriateness” of providing information on trans* issues in a small, public library where she claimed, “there were no gay people,” and I just get angry.
Did I mention I’m a big ol’ lesbian?
06/02/2013 § Leave a comment
This post is part of a new series called “So What Do You Do?” in which LIS students talk about their experiences as interns. We want to showcase the wide range of things people are doing in the world of library and information science.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Magdaleno Castaneda and I’m from Chicago. I’m a student at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. This is my final semester and I’m very excited to graduate! My interest is in academic libraries and I have been a Reference Intern at Northwestern University’s Schaffner Library since March 2012. My undergraduate degree is in communication and media studies from Northeastern Illinois University. Prior to entering the library world I worked in banking and not-for profit industries.
So what do you do?
This internship is a part-time position and my main responsibility is to assist students with their research needs, for example, finding a book, placing an interlibrary loan request and searching databases. In the afternoon I monitor the instant messaging account and answer questions submitted by students. The library is an integral part of Northwestern’s Chicago campus and even though we mainly serve students from the Kellogg Business School and the School of Continuing Studies, the library is in fact open to all students. The Schaffner Library is also open to the public and I provide any assistance needed to these patrons, which usually consists of computer/technical support. There are a variety of projects to work on and they range from recordkeeping to weeding. The library staff consists of three other Reference Interns, five student workers and three full-time employees (Reference Librarian, Facilities Manager and Patron Services Supervisor).
01/02/2013 § 11 Comments
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Sarah Brown.
As an LIS graduate student at the University of South Florida, I have had group projects for at least one of my courses each semester. At first, I feared the idea of group work because we were all distance learners. How 20th century, right?
I think of distance group work as important training for my future as a librarian. I imagine that much of my work will entail communicating with others via the Internet to retrieve information, share access to information, and archive in some capacity. Obviously, not being face to face can pose challenges, so learning to navigate the technology and maintain effective communication is a large part of modern librarianship.
Whether you were assigned your group or you were able to choose your members, here are some tips and personal advice to guide you through to the presentation and/or final paper.
17/01/2013 § 1 Comment
This is a guest post authored by Inga Haugen and the rest of the SciData cohort from the University of Tennessee, School of Information Sciences. This post introduces the innovative new program and how it brings people from various backgrounds together for a common goal — to educate scientific data curation professionals.
At University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a class of willing guinea pigs has started their first semester in the School of Information Sciences master’s program. The program’s goal is to push the limits of what library school is about and what it can be.
These 8 students are cohorts in an innovative program called SciData, are funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and will graduate May 2014. SciData was created by principal investigator Dr. Suzie Allard and co-PIs Dr. Carol Tenopir and Dr. Peiling Wang to address the lack of trained professionals who specialize in scientific data curation, but it’s looking to accomplish so much more!
Each student has their own focus and areas of interest – even different types of “science.” All are building specialties in digital data curation with an emphasis on scientific data publishing.
21/12/2012 § 4 Comments
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Kelly Minta.
The concept of librarians creating content and using grassroots promotional techniques to present libraries to the public isn’t a new idea, but it is happening in more innovative ways today. The creation of content, whether on interactive user-generated sites or through articles, charts, images, and other storytelling mediums, is no longer an alternative to conventional means of public outreach and collection development. Rather, it is a necessity as libraries build stronger web presences. Creating a digital space for people to visit the library is equally as important as creating a physical space for users.
As a graduate student who has studied and interned in public libraries, academic libraries, and archives, I have been able to see firsthand that the creation of content and dissemination of information in all types of library institutions is vital. Not only are library users educated about the collection of materials, this is also a way to garner attention from those who do not patronize the institution. The librarians who create this content are tech savvy writers and storytellers who understand the value of imparting narrative into a library or archive’s collection in order to add significance to people’s lives.
The concept of service is one that librarianship is founded on, and it can be very difficult to change the collective mindset of librarians away from conventional reference services to service via original web content. I recently interned for a public library and was able to see firsthand that the culture of public libraries is often so focused on in-person service that they may fail to see the entire audience of users who are at home on laptops, sitting in classes or meetings with tablets, or out shopping with smartphones. These are people that the library could be reaching – people who crave data and information that is useful, informative and accessible. These are people who care about their communities and libraries and, while they might not visit the physical location, still support the library’s mission. Digital spaces for libraries are more than an online representation of our physical ones – they are another wing of the library, a separate sphere for education and collaboration that draws users into the library via new and usable information.