31/05/2013 § 4 Comments
Two years ago, I had just graduated from my undergrad program and was eagerly awaiting moving to Indiana to start library school. I read Hack Library School and anything else I could get my hands on that might provide some glimpse of wisdom. What should I do? How should I feel? I wasn’t exactly sure, and that made me nervous.
If you’ll be starting library school in the fall, here are some ideas for how to spend your summer, in no particular order. (If you’re a year in, you may enjoy Topher’s post on how to hack your summer vacation.)
29/05/2013 § 3 Comments
The end of my first year of library school has been a welcome reminder to reflect: to remember that, not so long ago, MARC and FRBR were meaningless acronyms, I had never answered a reference question, and I didn’t even know what half of my course titles meant. I’ve been sorting through notes from classes, panel discussions, and workshops in an attempt to mentally index the year and to check in with myself. In doing so, I have remembered some of the moments in which I felt especially excited about what I was doing and learning—e.g. hand-coding my first website, planning instruction sessions, and talking to librarians about the work they love. Honestly, I had forgotten about quite a few of my favorite moments; losing track of inspiration is quite easy amidst the anxiety and self-doubt that can strike throughout the busyness and unknowns of graduate school. In the face of these worries and doubts, reminding ourselves of what continues to draw us forward on our chosen paths can be incredibly powerful.
Today my library school (and life) ‘hack’ is to keep track of the things that inspire and excite you—things that can then serve as motivation, as a guide when picking classes and developing projects, and even as content for resumes, cover letters, and interviews. I think we learn and work best when we’re excited about what we’re doing. Keeping a finger on the pulse of what poet William Butler Yeats describes as the “rag and bone shop of the heart”—the often disorderly yet foundational deep structure of ourselves—encourages that excitement.
28/05/2013 § 1 Comment
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Laura Damon-Moore.
The Library as Incubator Project was founded in spring 2011 and launched officially online in fall 2011. The LaIP began as an independent study by two students, myself (Laura Damon-Moore) and Christina Endres, at UW-Madison’s School of Library & Information Studies and grew to include a third classmate, Erinn Batykefer, over the summer of 2011.
The mission of the Library as Incubator Project is to promote and facilitate creative collaboration between libraries and artists of all types, and to advocate for libraries as incubators of the arts. We do this through artist interviews, feature articles about arts-incubating libraries, and essays about the librarian profession, the role of libraries in creative fields, and the shift toward libraries as places of community-created content and hands-on learning opportunities.
Since its conception in 2011, the LaIP has grown to include a lively website, with new posts about arts-incubating libraries 5 days/week; a robust social media presence; and several “offline” projects that include webinars, workshops for library systems, and a book that we have coming out in spring 2014 from Coffee House Press.
Even though the Library as Incubator Project is no longer associated directly with a specific university or institution, our development would not have been possible without the support and “incubation” on the part of UW-Madison SLIS. Based upon what we’ve learned through working on the LaIP, I’d like to share some ideas for using library school as an incubator for your own projects.
24/05/2013 § 3 Comments
One piece of advice that multiple people gave me around the time I started library school is: it is never too early to start reading library job ads (especially if you’ve already started library school). Of course the library hiring process is not so lengthy that you need to start actually seeking jobs if you aren’t within a few months of graduation. Rather, looking at job ads is a great way to discover a lot of things about yourself, your library school, your career goals, the job market, and the field that you have entered. While it can sometimes be disheartening (because you’re still far away from graduation) or strangely inspiring (because of the totally amazing opportunities and positions that are waiting for you) or even confusing (why would I need to know how to do that), reading library job ads will almost always prove to be an enlightening and worthwhile use of your time.
Here are some of the key reasons you should be reading library job ads now and how you can use them to shape your path:
22/05/2013 § 2 Comments
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 »