[Series] Experiencing LIS: Route to School

21/02/2011 § 14 Comments

One of the fascinating aspects of librarianship is the variety of backgrounds represented in the field. The paths that lead us from a childhood love of books, or a respect for sharing knowledge and supporting local communities, are from many disparate points of view, educational and political stances, and personal histories. Tracing those paths is a subject not unfamiliar to LIS folks on the web; in fact Ned Potter (@theREALwikiman) and Laura Woods’ Library Routes Project and the Library Origins Stories [found on @evagro 's blog] have already done much chronicling in this area. Inspired by such projects, the HackLibSchool teamsters decided to share our “Routes To School.” We encourage you to share your own in the comments, on our Facebook page, or on either of the linked projects above.

The stories that led us here are as integral to our professional growth as the stories we have yet to create.


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Twitter in Library School

15/02/2011 § 22 Comments

Last semester I took the class, User Instruction, as an elective.  For our final assignment we had to create a 15 minute tutorial on anything library-related for any type of audience.  Since over the last 6 months or so I have had a love affair with Twitter, especially since it is where I learned about Hack Lib School Project, I figured I would try to share my experiences with my fellow students; they would be my audience for the tutorial.

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But what classes should I take?

02/02/2011 § 22 Comments

As I’m sure many readers can attest to, it can be difficult to figure out the “right” path to take in library school in terms of courses.  Since I was fairly undecided as to what type of library I wanted to work in I was hoping to take a little bit of everything during my time in graduate school.  At Simmons, as part of the general course towards a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science, there are 5 required classes and then you can choose your other 7 electives.   You can see my final list of courses here.  As you may be able to tell, I was a little all over the board.  I think that’s because, often, this can be a bit of an organic process where you start seeing what you like and don’t like, based on classes, internships, other experiences, etc.

However, none of this probably helps, necessarily, to answer the question, ‘What Classes Should I Take?!’  And as you may have guessed, there is obviously not a clear answer to that.  I will, however, try to briefly describe my favorite classes and why they ended up on the short list.  I also cannot emphasize this enough.  I wish that I had spoken more with other students at the beginning of my program to find out more about certain professors and classes.  Your colleagues are your lifelines.  Use their expertise!!

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The Road to ALA ’11: Our Experiences Thus Far

26/01/2011 § 9 Comments

Typical conference experience - Photo from ALA on Flickr - click for Original

In preparation for ALA 2011 in New Orleans, we wanted to share some experiences we’ve had at previous conferences.  The whole professional development factor is an important one to be involved in early in one’s career, and we all believe that should start in school. To that end, we have compiled some short thoughts below, with links to previous posts discussing our adventures at conferences. Our range of experiences from a national conference, to regional, to sub-fields give a great overview for what one might expect. This will be an on-going post series leading up to ALA Annual, so if you’ve blogged, or plan on blogging, about a conference, let us know. We want to hear your story.

Have you attended a conference yet? What is most exciting or scary about them?

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Save Our Librar*

19/01/2011 § Leave a comment

{This is from a post on my personal blog but felt that it may apply here as well.  A small disclaimer – I’m now actually working in a corporate library despite my hopes of working a public one.  However, I believe that the involvement and advocacy that I discuss really applies to anyone in the field, no matter where they work. }

A year ago I left my job in banking to go back to school to be a librarian. Wow. It’s been quite a journey. And as soon as I think I’m getting the hang of the whole school thing I find that something knocks me off my perch and I find myself questioning if I’ve really made the right decision.

In my quest to become more a part of the profession I’ve gotten fairly involved in student organizations on campus. I do not entirely regret this but I had forgotten how thankless some of these activities can be at times. However, I think it has been a really good lesson in learning how to work with people and learning how to not say “yes” to everything, which I have a tendency to do. The really wonderful thing that came out of getting more involved on campus was being able to help, a bit, with what is going on with the Boston Public Library and its branches. There are 22 branches of the BPL and 4 of them are currently up for closure along with almost 100 job losses. As a future librarian, and hopefully a future public librarian, this was a fight that I felt absolutely compelled to become a part of, even though I don’t actually use the BPL (the Brookline libraries are part of a different system). A group called, People of Boston, was created by a library user to help get people active in the cause.

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