02/04/2013 § 28 Comments
With the recent publication of U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the “Best Library and Information Studies” programs, we at Hack Library School thought it might be a good time to revisit our Hack Your Program series. While the U.S. News and World Report rankings are certainly prestigious, we found their methodology a little lacking in usefulness for those who are considering applying to LIS programs. Incoming students, if we’re honest, aren’t all that interested in what programs think of each other. They’d like to know what programs do well, and what they don’t do so well. And that’s where we come in.
Our aim with this post is to start a conversation. Each of us is going to provide (in 140 characters or less, naturally) one thing that we feel our program does well, and one where we think it comes up a bit short. These are just our opinions, based on our experiences, so your mileage may vary. Then we want to hear from you! If you’ve got questions, or want to add your experience, feel free to fire away in the comments.
22/03/2013 § 1 Comment
As those of us at Maryland’s iSchool wrap up our Spring Break, I’ve been reminiscing a bit about the school year so far, and trying to figure out my favorite moments. You know, those things about studying this profession you cling to when you need to remember that this journey will all be worth it in the end?
For me, it was producing the Zombie Reference blog with some of my classmates as part of a project for our reference class. It was a great reminder that we are in fact all in this together, and that group work can actually be fun.
How about you? What’s been your favorite moment of the year so far? Let us know in the comments!
15/02/2013 § 8 Comments
Well into my second semester of library school, I find myself still recovering from a bit of metaphorical whiplash I picked up in the fall.
You see, I’m not sure how to feel about users.
I know it sounds like a no-brainer. Without users, after all, our workplaces would be nothing but big empty information warehouses.
But when it comes to users, it seems like there’s a contrast within MLS programs. In my library classes, there was a good amount of talk about user needs. Meanwhile, in my archive classes, users got little more than a passing mention. And fair enough- as any first year student will tell you, libraries aren’t archives and archives aren’t libraries. They’re two different types of places. But they both have users, and anyone working in the field needs to be able to understand them.
28/12/2012 § 3 Comments
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 Steve Ammidown, and I’m a student in the Archives, Records and Information Management specialization at the University of Maryland’s iSchool. My undergraduate background is in sociology and gender studies; prior to that I spent nine years working in the corporate sector as a paralegal and office administrator.
So what do you do?
I’m just finishing up as a Usability and User Experience intern at the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (and people wonder why acronyms are so popular in the federal government?) here in Washington, D.C.
16/11/2012 § 20 Comments
Your task is to develop a persona, and make up a research question that persona might ask. It can be anything you want. Once you have a question, take it to a reference desk at a library/archive/historical society of your choosing. Then write a paper about the experience.
Sound familiar? No, it’s not a rejected subplot from Skyfall. It’s an assignment I’ve encountered in two different classes this fall, which is my first semester of library school. And from talking with other LIS students, it seems like this is a common assignment regardless of your school. It’s the “secret shopper” theory of observation at work. An anthropologist might call it “extreme participant observation.” The theory says you’ll learn more about something if you immerse yourself in it, giving no impression that you’re REALLY doing research. That the other participant doesn’t know they’re part of an experiment should make their actions more truthful than if they knew they were being observed.