22/05/2013 § 1 Comment
Here at Hack Library School, we are pretty firm believers in the value of attending conferences. We’ve talked about why you should attend conferences, how to hack academic conferences, and presenting at conferences. Now that the academic year has ended for many of us, conferences are a great way to continue our library education during the summer months!
Conferences provide us with opportunities to network with other librarians and information professionals and learn about things that may not be covered in library school classes. As an added bonus, they are usually significantly less expensive for students, so now is a great time to take advantage of them! There are a variety of conferences taking place this summer, ranging from the all-encompassing (ALA Annual) to those that are much more specialized in terms of discipline and geographic location. Here are a few conferences you might want to think about attending this summer: « Read the rest of this entry »
20/05/2013 § 1 Comment
With my program finished and graduation looming, I have officially reached the end of my short but happy tenure as a Hack Library School contributor. It was a fabulous experience, and I’m grateful to have had it. It was a two-shot privilege – not only did I have the chance to collaborate with HLS’s talented writers and editorial staff, but I had the opportunity to engage in meaningful professional dialogue with other library students. That’s pretty hard to beat.
Before I go, I wanted to toss out a few bits of parting advice, (hindsight being 20/20, and all).
1. Career Research. Start researching potential career paths early in your program, in your first semester if possible. Choose your courses wisely and with the long view in mind. Keep a running list of important projects that can be used on your resume. Most of all, stay flexible and open to new opportunities, ideas and career possibilities. If your program has a career center, check in with it early and often.
2. Internships. Do one! Do at least one! If you can possibly do two, do two! If you don’t already have a library job, and don’t have one waiting for you, do an internship. Really. They are invaluable. I mean it. Invaluable.
3. Network, network, network. Believe me, I know. You’ve probably heard it a million times, but networking really is really important. Really. And I say this a networking-resistant, committed introvert. Connect with people in your classes, join listserves and comments on blogs. If you’re able to, go to conferences and talk to people. It all gets you out there, participating in the profession and making connections.
So, that’s it. The sum total of two and half years distilled into 3 heartfelt pieces of advice. Good luck to all of you as you rock through the rest of your programs, and thanks for letting me contribute to the academic and professional dialogue here at Hack for the past few months. I wish you all the best!
10/05/2013 § 2 Comments
Ever since the first day I entered library school, in a distant era I refer to as “2011,” I knew I would top off my MLS with a practicum. Even when I found a student job in a library; even after I’d completed a couple of volunteer gigs and an internship; even after making myself the kind of library student who probably doesn’t, strictly speaking, need a practicum, I still knew I’d do one. And I would advise you to do likewise. Why? Because more practical experience is always better than less. Library school is great, but classes are no substitute for spending time in the trenches at a working library. However much experience I got, I knew I wanted more.
A practicum is, in a nutshell, an opportunity for a student to get some experience working in a library for academic credit. Not every library school encourages them — not every library school even offers them — but to my mind, every library student should do one. At a fundamental level, the practicum is a chance for you to put into practice everything that you’ve learned throughout your LIS education. If you’ve not managed to find much library work during your school career so far, it’s a vital opportunity to accrue some early experience, while also performing necessary work and making a first contribution to your community. It’s a perfect win-win scenario: the library gets some much-needed trained help, and the student gets some fresh insight and knowledge, and probably a nice reference.
The possibilities are endless, and can be tailored to your professional interests and strengths. Here are a few examples from my own cohort:
06/05/2013 § 1 Comment
I recently went to my first conference for librarians, the Minnesota Library Association’s annual ARLD Day, and I greatly enjoyed hearing from librarians and interacting with some of my library school peers in that environment. In the keynote presentation, Jenica Rogers provided a wonderful reminder that librarians should stop accepting what people offer as the terms of foundational work relationships (with vendors, legislators, what have you). More importantly, she encouraged librarians to stop thinking of ourselves as helpless against the people we collaborate with in making libraries work. I look forward to attending many more conferences, unconferences, and other gatherings of librarians to learn and partake of the energy that circulates in such spaces and the validation of our shared values.
This conference reminded me of something that I think is crucial to a solid LIS education. As much as we worry over the specific content of an LIS education, librarians-in-training must constantly remember to reach out to people in other fields, whether they are faculty in academic disciplines (for academic librarians), vendors of information materials, information technology specialists in their institution, social services agencies in the community (for public librarians), or teachers in schools (for both school media specialists and public librarians). We must learn how to work with others with different skills and training, and we must learn how to think about our work not just as supplementary to other people’s work but as complementary and mutually beneficial.
03/05/2013 § 18 Comments
The class I want to see in every MLS/MLIS program is Copyright 101. Want to be a Reference Librarian? Copyright will impact your job. Want to be an archivist and build digital collections? Copyright will impact your job. Want to be a School Library Media Specialist? Copyright will impact your job. Seeing a pattern here? Copyright touches all aspects of librarianship. It governs how we can share information. Whether it is for protecting the rights of the library or patrons, or determining how we can make our collections available, copyright knowledge can benefit all librarians.
I got a small glimpse of copyright law in my Introduction to Information Policy course and decided I needed to know more. This semester I enrolled in the Copyright Law through the FSU College of Law. Through this class I gained familiarity with both statutory law and legislative history, discussed the Georgia State case, and had class an hour after the Kirstsaeng decision dropped. No class in graduate school has better prepared me to be a librarian, and it wasn’t even a library school class!
Copyright is a legal concept that grants authors exclusive rights over their works for defined periods of time. Copyright owners have the exclusive right to copy, distribute, make derivative works, and publicly perform or display their works.