29/03/2013 § 5 Comments
There’s a good chance that you’ve had a bad internship or job experience. Maybe it was mundane tasks, unfriendly co-workers, or damaged expectations that did you in. Many MLS/MLIS programs require, or at least strongly recommend, an internship or practicum before graduation. Internships are great ways to taste-test a type of librarianship, network, and get practical experience. The unfortunate reality is that we don’t always know what we’re walking into when we begin an internship. So, how do we survive or prevent a bad internship?
If you’re already going through a bad internship experience or find yourself in one later, you’ll need to know how to surive. Take a deep breath, remind yourself it is an opportunity to learn that will only last a few months, and use the following tips to better your internship experience.
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25/03/2013 § 5 Comments
Do you ever daydream about your future professional life? Do you imagine yourself as a high-powered librarian, answering thoughtful reference questions or maybe cataloging rare and beautiful documents? Initiating programs that bridge the digital divide or solve access and licensing issues? I know I do.
But here’s the thing: although I have big plans and aspirations, I recognize that life as an information professional isn’t always going to be the glamorous montage of my dreams. Example: I started working at the reference desk in an undergraduate library a few months ago and quickly discovered that I would spend much of my time assisting patrons with printing and scanning. Clearing jams, replacing toner and paper, explaining policies, walking patrons through the process…not the most exciting part of patron interactions, but a useful and necessary service. I’m sure there are plenty of ‘printing and scanning’ equivalents in other areas of librarianship, library school, and in all professions, for that matter. So, how do we deal? Can we ‘hack’ the mundane aspects of work and school?
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!
20/03/2013 § 6 Comments
Library school is full of presentations. Whether it’s a short, informal talk or a long, detailed speech, I’ve had to give some kind of presentation for almost every library school class I’ve taken. Partly just a given in academia, frequent presentations will also be a reality for many of us in our future careers. LIS professionals are often expected to speak eloquently and concisely to everyone from peers to administrators to the general public.
Over the last few semesters, I feel as though I’ve learned so much more about presenting and presentation styles from my LIS peers and professors than I ever did in undergrad. Thus, I thought I’d share a little of their collective wisdom; some of these things seem fairly obvious, but many have changed the way I present myself and my information to others.
Must it always be a PowerPoint?
When planning a presentation, you always have to decide what, if any, visual aids you will use. “Presentation” has almost become synonymous with “PowerPoint,” but it doesn’t have to be! PowerPoint is a very useful tool, and it can be great for a lot of situations, but it shouldn’t be the only weapon in your arsenal. When you find yourself slipping into the same old PowerPoint layout, consider mixing it up with something more dynamic like Prezi.
Cut the amount of text in half; better yet, throw it out altogether
Crazy, right? Except it’s not. I recently had to help craft a group presentation for a marketing course. I was ready to plug away with some standard Title/Picture/3-5 Bullet Point slides. But one of my group members (who, it comes as no surprise, is already working in a management position at an academic library) insisted on minimal text. And when I say minimal, I mean very lean. We ended up only using images, a wee bit o’ text, and a lot of Smart Art (PowerPoint’s infographics):
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15/03/2013 § 2 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 Jameson Rohrer and I am from Newburgh, Indiana. My undergraduate degree is a B.S. in History and Anthropology from the University of Southern Indiana. I have been working in the library world since I was a senior in high school and I am currently a student at San Jose State’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. This spring is my last semester in the program, and although I am exceptionally busy with many projects and assignments I am beyond excited that my graduation is nigh. My interest is in public libraries and I currently volunteer with My Info Quest, an SMS text messaging virtual reference service for 27 libraries, in addition to an internship with the Lubuto Library Project.
The Lubuto Library Project is an international organization that is headquartered in Washington D.C., however the majority of the work actually occurs in the country of Zambia. The Lubuto Library Project works with communities and the government of Zambia in establishing public libraries in the rural countryside for the at-risk children. (two libraries so far, with a third in the works) In constructing these public libraries, the organization provides historical preservation of culturally relevant materials, promotion of reading and education services to the children, and also provide a space for social services for their families as a gathering place and safe haven that cannot be underestimated.
13/03/2013 § 5 Comments
Here in Syracuse, we’re in the midst of spring break, and I’m exulting in a bit of unprogrammed time to relax and refocus on the things that matter. I’ve been trying to remind myself about the projects that really excited me around libraryland–projects that sometimes get lost in the jumble of classwork and job-hunting. In the last few months, I’ve found a number of projects that have active communities, and exciting goals. There’s something about being surrounded by vibrant, dynamic people, whether in person or virtually, that re-energizes me and inspires me to make cool things happen, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one! Librarians are a natural fit for all of these projects–rally ’round the cause, folks!
04/03/2013 § Leave a Comment
Don’t forget, there are just two weeks left to apply for the paid Hack Library School/EveryLibrary advocacy internship! In case you missed our last post on the internship, here are the details again!
Without further ado:
EveryLibrary / Hack Library School Internship
The EveryLibrary / Hack Library School internship will provide a current MLS/MLIS student with the opportunity to apply their specialized knowledge and skills to public policy and voter advocacy issues confronting independent library districts. One selected student will work over a 10 – 12 week period during summer 2013 to produce original research or a white-paper length policy brief for later publication. Work produced during this internship will be under a Creative Commons license and made available to the public via Hack Library School.
The intern will be supported with a $500.00 stipend and is encouraged to conduct self-guided, hands-on, research-oriented work at agencies, advocacy groups, corporations, and legislative and executive offices. The intern will work in close collaboration with EveryLibrary on the success of this project. No provision is made for other support.