“Going Old School” Part 1: Taking a Cataloging and Classification Course

01/04/2014 § 10 Comments

Cataloging Post

B/W Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

We all hear it nowadays. The LIS profession is becoming more and more tech-centric, therefore, curricula and resources have become more devoted to the evolving digital information age. Courses are being offered in networking administration, web design, and digital libraries and even mobile application development. Library students are conquering digital technology and harnessing some amazing skills, like learning to code. They’re also having to consider whether to jump wholeheartedly on the digital band wagon or be left behind in the prehistoric age of card catalogs and dusty book jackets.

But wait! Hold steady for just a moment before taking the dive. Think twice before completely avoiding library courses that have been fundamental to the library profession.

In Part 1 of the series, “Going Old School”, we invite you to take a moment and weigh the benefits of signing up for one of two well-known library courses: Cataloging and Classification*. Part 2 of this series will discuss the considerations of signing up for an Indexing and Abstracting class (available later this month).

For some of us these courses are still mandatory, for others, they are electives in the LIS curriculum. If it’s not a requirement and you’re debating whether or not to invest the time and money to take this course, consider the following before overlooking that Cataloging and Classification class being offered next semester…

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Language of Compassion: Multilingualism in the Library

17/02/2014 § 6 Comments

HeartbyhandPhoto credit: Wikimedia Commons

The month of February is most recognized as the time we celebrate our love. It’s a time when we speak the “language” of love as a means to show our devotion to that special someone. But what happens when the language we speak to express ourselves is not the same language expressed by others? How do we communicate to one another simple tasks that feel impossible when language becomes a barrier? What can we do as library professionals, to make expressing ourselves, not necessarily in the language of love, but of compassion for those whom English is their second language?

Quite simply, a lot. Let me share with you, my story…

English is my second language. When I was six-years-old my parents divorced and my mother decided to move our family – myself and my two younger sisters – to Florida from Puerto Rico. She believed that learning English would ensure our success as adults and decided that our new home would provide us with more linguistic opportunities than  in our home town of Fajardo, Puerto Rico. I had begun my elementary schooling there, but would continue the remainder of my schooling in Central Florida. When I was a first grade student, I had a hard time comprehending English. I pronounced words such as “chair” and “chicken” with a “sh” sound, rather than a “ch” sound. And I could not understand why it matter that the way I spoke was incorrect to others. I struggled a lot and did poorly in my school work. I would eventually be sent to a school for foreign language speakers, and after three days of horrific experiences (I didn’t know where my class was or how to get lunch, I was yelled at by a peer and a teacher when I couldn’t understand instruction, and I was physically pulled and tugged at when I failed to understand directions).

After many nights of crying and pleading with my mom, I was “dis-enrolled” from that school and the next best option was to return to my elementary school and take ESOL classes. It proved to be very successful and my teacher was extremely patient with me and my peers. By the latter half of elementary school, I struggled less and my grades significantly improved. It was a tough part of my early childhood, but I learned first-hand what it was like to speak a language not commonly expressed by others while trying to integrate into a new environment. I also learned what it was like to be bullied, talked down to, thought less of, and isolated from others.

So can you imagine, for a moment, when someone who does not speak or understand spoken English very well, be it due to primarily speaking a foreign language or an impairment such as being deaf, what they must feel when they need to communicate with you?

Now can you imagine what it must be like if you could understand them, their feelings, as well as, their language?

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Hack Library School Congratulates the LIS Class of 2013!

13/12/2013 § 6 Comments

Graduates Lifting Mortarboards

Hack Library School would like to take this time to congratulate all of our fellow LIS students who will be graduating this month. You’ve mastered the art of cataloging, curation, web design and story time and soon you will become the newest members of the MLS family. Though we can’t list every person who is or has walked across the stage, we’d like to offer a shout-out to all the programs and individuals who wished to be recognized for this highest of library school honors.

If you are graduating and would like to be recognized, add your name and the name of your program to the comments below or send a tweet to @hacklibschool with the hashtag “#hlslisgrad” and the name of your program and we’ll update the list.

Congratulations LIS Class of 2013:

Alabama, University of – School of Library and Information Studies
Gina K. Armstrong, MLIS

Albany, State University of New York – College of Computing and Information

Alberta, University of – School of Library and Information Studies

Arizona, University of – School of Information Resources and Library Science

British Columbia, University of – School of Library, Archival & Information Studies

Buffalo, State University of New York – Graduate School of Education (Library and Information Studies)

California – Los Angeles, University of – Graduate School of Information and Education Studies

Catholic University of America – Department of Library and Information Science

Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Library Science Department

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Wrapping Up #HLSDITL Round 2

14/11/2013 § Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, we asked fellow HLS readers to join us in providing a small glimpse of what it’s like to be a library student. Round 2 of this year’s Library Student Day in the Life, better known as #HLSDITL, began on Monday, October 27th and went through Friday, November 1st.

We’d like to give a big THANK YOU to all those who participated in this year’s event! You shared your experiences in blog posts, tweets, photos, and video, highlighting all the amazing things you do while attending classes both on campus and virtually: completing internships, volunteering, working, handling family commitments, and having an active library life!

Be sure to check out the Library Student Day in the Life wiki to see how others spent their week. You can also subscribe to our #HLSDITL tweeters list. There was a significant trend of integrating various forms of media into posts this year; check out the posts featuring GIFs (examples here, here, and here) and one on YouTube!

So, was round 2 of #HLSDITL as fun for you as it was for us? Did you learn about some new and interesting library students? Have recommendations on how we can make round 3 better? Let us know in the comments below!

Being Thankful… For Failing

01/11/2013 § 7 Comments


Tis the start of the season when we begin to list all the things we are thankful for: Tofurkey, pajama skinny jeans, NFL Sunday tickets, and failing a class in library school.

I know, you probably said, “pajama skinny jeans, really?” but they’ll come in handy on Turkey Day, trust me. More importantly, this post is about being thankful for some of the obstacles we might face during our graduate studies. In particular, it’s about what happens when a set-back like failing a class actually turns out to be the saving grace that motivates you through the remainder of library school.

Now, a quick disclaimer: this post is not meant to downplay library students who are able to successfully balance many responsibilities without having to fail a class, nor is it to excuse the act of failure. The purpose of this post is simply this: you and I will fail at some point in our lives and that’s okay, but how you choose to make that failure work for you is what counts. Failing and giving up are not one and the same.

Here is my story…

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