“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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[Series] So What Do You Do? Reference Internship in an Academic Library

06/02/2013 § Leave a comment

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 Magdaleno Castaneda and I’m from Chicago. I’m a student at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. This is my final semester and I’m very excited to graduate! My interest is in academic libraries and I have been a Reference Intern at Northwestern University’s Schaffner Library since March 2012. My undergraduate degree is in communication and media studies from Northeastern Illinois University. Prior to entering the library world I worked in banking and not-for profit industries.

So what do you do?

This internship is a part-time position and my main responsibility is to assist students with their research needs, for example, finding a book, placing an interlibrary loan request and searching databases. In the afternoon I monitor the instant messaging account and answer questions submitted by students. The library is an integral part of Northwestern’s Chicago campus and even though we mainly serve students from the Kellogg Business School and the School of Continuing Studies, the library is in fact open to all students. The Schaffner Library is also open to the public and I provide any assistance needed to these patrons, which usually consists of computer/technical support. There are a variety of projects to work on and they range from recordkeeping to weeding. The library staff consists of three other Reference Interns, five student workers and three full-time employees (Reference Librarian, Facilities Manager and Patron Services Supervisor).

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[Series] So What Do You Do? Historical Collection Evaluation

24/01/2013 § 6 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.


Books patiently awaiting evaluation.

I’m Madeleine Mitchell, and I’m lucky enough to be contributing to HLS during my last semester in library school. I’m earning my MLIS at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science, a program that’s conducted entirely online. While my experience with the online format has been quite good, I would say that the hands-on nature of my internships has been crucial to my professional preparation and training. I earned my BA in English Literature and an MA in Comparative Literature, so librarianship felt like a pretty natural step to me, and I’m also a writer – mostly short stories, but occasional articles make it past the gates, as do various blog posts and book reviews.

So what do you do?

I’ve done two internships during my time at SLIS, but the one I’m going to focus for this post was at San Jose State University Library in the Educational Resource Department. This internship ended in December but I’ll be continuing on with the project as a volunteer, which is why a lot of this is written in the present tense. The ERC department is meant to contain K -12 curricular materials and California’s state approved textbooks, but due to budget cuts, it’s grown to unofficially include the King Library’s large collection of historical textbooks, and even larger collection of historical children’s materials. These collections have been collecting dust, (literally), for years, mostly because the job of evaluating and re-cataloguing them is huge. Undaunted, my supervisor stepped up to the challenge and put out a call for interns, which is where I come in.

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[Series] So What Do You Do? Transportation Research Center Library Internship

22/01/2013 § 4 Comments

Road surfacing

Bergkamp M1 micro surfacing paver and mobile support unit

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 Paul Lai, and I am a second-year library science student with interests in scholarly communications and academic libraries. I applied for this internship at a transportation research center because I am interested in working as a librarian in a university research center or as an embedded librarian in another academic context. I have also previously interned at a small academic library doing general reference and circulation work as well as at a large public library’s preservation department helping research availability of older books and creating polyester sleeves for early twentieth-century American sheet music.

So what do you do?

I am the library intern at the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) at the University of Minnesota. CTS is an active research center that manages faculty and Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) research projects. CTS publishes technical reports for this research along with other transportation-related materials for both the research and practitioner communities. I work primarily with the publications team to make materials available and findable online as well as with ready reference questions and more in-depth literature search help. The center does not have a physical library space (aside from a couple of bookcases at the end of a hallway), but it does have an extensive list of resources on its Library Services page.
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Hack Library School/Hiring Librarians Career Center Interview Series

15/01/2013 § 2 Comments

At Hack Library School, one of the most exciting things we get to do is collaborate with other individuals and groups within the library community. We are lucky to be starting off 2013 with some great collaborations, the first of which is with Hiring Librarians creator Emily Weak. We partnered with Emily to develop an interview series focusing on the career services offered by LIS programs across the US. The series debuted last week on Hiring Librarians with an interview with the Indiana University-Bloomington School of Library and Information Science; the second post about the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences went live today. While some of the interviews will be completed by the Hack Library School writers, the majority are completed by representatives of the LIS program in question.  We wanted to give the programs a chance to discuss their services and philosophies in their own words, and often what they have to say and how they say it is quite telling.

Our hope is that these interviews will:

  1. Provide more information for current students (and alumni) about how they can best take advantage of their school’s career resources.
  2. Help people who are thinking about going to library school focus on their post-graduation employability, and how their choice of school might affect that
  3. Encourage library schools to provide high-quality career resources for graduates and alumni. Allow schools to share information about their strategies for providing career guidance.
  4. Engage library students in career-focused dialogue with their schools.

These interviews will be posted each Tuesday on Hiring Librarians, so make sure you visit frequently!

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