09/09/2013 § 8 Comments
We’ve been keeping a little secret. Over the summer, we began the process of compiling content for our very own Hack Library School ebook. We’ve recently finished and decided it’s time to share The HLS Guide to Library School with the world.
The ebook is a whopping 328 pages of content: both old and new posts, written by current and alumni hackers (and a few guest writers, too). To learn more about our motivation for compiling an ebook, you can read our introduction.
We’re so excited to share this with you. We can’t wait to hear what you think!
You can access the ebook here:
29/08/2013 § Leave a Comment
Well, this is it, kids: my time in library school is over, and so too ends my time writing for Hack Library School. This is so long, this is farewell, this is auf wiedersehen and adieu. This is also when I’m supposed to write a nice post summing up my time here, or my time as a library student, or something like that. But I’m finding that a bit difficult, because at least for me the end of library school has segued straight into professional librarianship. So while on the one hand it feels as though everything has changed, it also feels like the road I’m on is the same one I’ve been on since my grad school orientation.
Back in the summer ending my first year in library school, I made a plan to transition to Boston. I had no leads there; I knew precisely one person, who was not a librarian. I was giving up a decent amount of library cred back in Portland in exchange for what I hoped would be a wider array of opportunities, but there was no question it was a gamble. I figured I would find a nice practicum somewhere in Boston, head back east, and somehow that would lead to a job. To my own immense surprise, that’s exactly what happened… I found and landed the practicum, moved back east, and at the very end my practicum– just as things were starting to look a bit dire, as though perhaps I’d made a mistake — I got a job. The day I flew back to Portland for my final capstone presentation, not an hour after my plane had landed, I received the email offering me the position. I can’t begin to express the relief and gratitude I felt that day.
Here’s the thing, though: the job I’m doing is not a job I’d ever have guessed I would do. I’ve always hedged my bets by following the digital librarianship track, but in my heart of hearts I was most interested in how people use technology in the library, and in teaching them how to master all these amazing new tools that technology has given us. Actually getting to do that seemed like a distant dream, though, to be won only through years of part-time and contract gigs, fighting for my chance to teach, or being turned aside and into some other track entirely. Then one day I found a job posting for a Digital Literacy Librarian at a boarding school of all outlandish places, and figured I might as well give it a shot. A week later, I went to interview. A week after that, I got the job offer. This week — only a month after first spotting that ad — I’m on campus for faculty orientation. It has all been startling and thrilling and exhausting, but I have no doubt that this is the next right step on my road.
So here’s my advice to you, as a old hand at library school and a total rookie as a professional librarian:
27/08/2013 § 1 Comment
This post is part 1 of 2 from our EveryLibrary/Hack Library School intern Mallory Arents. Stay tuned for her second post in September!
Okay, so here’s the thing: working with EveryLibrary is a little scary. Scary not in the way of shark infested hurricanes or flesh-eating viruses, but rather because the organization is kind of a big deal. EveryLibrary works on building voter support for libraries. In its first six months, EveryLibrary worked with five campaigns and consulted with about a dozen libraries in planning ballot measures for next year. EveryLibrary is unique in the library advocacy world because it directly funds local voter education campaigns, provides campaign consultancy, and adds capacity to local ballot committees. Every dollar that EveryLibrary has given to campaign committees so far has equated to $370 in public funding for libraries. That is 1.85 million dollars in public funding in just 6 months: UNREAL. Libraries are prohibited from engaging in political fundraising and direct voter advocacy because they are public entities. When it’s those very institutions on the ballot, who will champion their cause? As the first national library Political Action Committee, EveryLibrary steps in where libraries themselves can’t. See what I mean about being a big deal?
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.
22/04/2013 § 1 Comment
The end of another academic year is upon us. Here at Syracuse, we have a little more than two weeks left in the semester, and, as usual, that means that things are coming together in a perfect storm of final projects, presentations, and other end-of-semester tasks. I’ve been running around like a crazy person, trying to finish projects, schedule webinars, attend campus events, and see classmates who will soon be graduating or leaving for the summer.
All of this end-of-semester craziness has sent me into a serious slump. I find myself lacking the motivation to work on projects, putting off routine schoolwork until the last minute, and avoiding anything that requires making a decision. Recently I’ve had to resist the urge to curl into a ball and cry because of the pressure to just do all the things.
Despite all of my wishful thinking, though, these things aren’t going to disappear. Projects need to be finished, classes require participation, and I still want to do what I can to become a great librarian, even in the midst of my slump. So how can we make it to the end of the semester without suffering a nervous breakdown? Here are some thoughts: « Read the rest of this entry »