Unbook Unreview: The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential

19/09/2011 § 1 Comment

Download the book or read it on Scribd.

Available in a multitude of formats (.mobi, .epub, .pdf, .rtf, and more!), this free ebook is written by Fast Company writer Anya Kamenetz with support from the Gates Foundation.  The book is based on the premise that the traditional process of attending college is expensive and exclusive — but more importantly, the way education is being delivered is changing.  The purpose of this book is to provide you with resources that give you control over your education.

Now I haven’t read the entire book from cover to cover, but I don’t think you’re supposed to!  The “How to use the Edupunks’ Guide” section helps you figure out what you want to learn from the book — do you want to learn about online programs?  Are you interested in alternative college programs that help you earn a degree faster?  Or do you just want to find free, open sources of educational content?

Personally, I’m most interested in the last section of the book — “Open World” — that lists where you can find open educational content, social learning websites, and reputation-based networks.  For example, I’ve known about MIT Open Courseware for a while but had no idea that there is an open courseware consortium.  I also didn’t know about the web development resources named in the book.

The Edupunks’ Guide is definitely worth checking out if you’re an independent self-learner or just interested in exploring the free online resources out there.

Are you an edupunk?  What open content resources do you use or know of?

Book Review: No Shelf Required

17/06/2011 § 2 Comments

Click for purchasing details

Polanka, Su, ed. No Shelf Required: E-Books in Libraries.  American Library Association, 2011.

I have to be up front with you guys: I don’t have a Kindle.  I’m certainly not a luddite and I’ve spent most of my life around computers.  I remember first getting dial-up AOL at my house in elementary school, I had an AIM screen name and Live Journal account in middle school, my first cell phone at 15, and my mother still blames all her computer problems on Napster.  You’d think someone like me who wants to be a librarian in the digital age would be fully seduced by the e-book.  Heck, I even work for a program that implements technology instruction for teenagers.  And yet, seduced I’m not.  Sure, I have the typical complaints about missing the essence of the book–the pages! the feel! the margin notes!–but I’m also concerned about the implications of e-books for the preservation and perpetuation of knowledge.  What does it mean for a library to no longer own a part of its collection but instead own licenses to it? What would it mean for OverDrive (or some other third-party vendor) to go out of business, or more likely consolidate with another vendor?  How are e-books in libraries serving the mission of increasing information and technology literacy?  It’s no joke the digital divide still exists, so how can e-books be used to serve this population?  So, when I asked the HLS team for suggestions for books and Polanka’s No Shelf Required came up, I was in.  “Convince me,” I dared it. « Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review – “The New Graduate Experience: Post MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship.”

22/04/2011 § 3 Comments

I am very excited to introduce our first book review to HackLibSchool. The “residency program” is an interesting step to consider for students looking to make a smooth transition out of school and into a professional job.

Welcome Genevia Chamblee, our reviewer. Genevia is an Information Professional working at a Research Center in the Washington, DC area. As a 2010 ALA Emerging Leader and 2009 ARL Career Enhancement Fellow, Genevia’s curiosity, enthusiasm, and thirst for lifetime learning led her on the path of librarianship. In the Fall 2011, Genevia will resume her studies in Library and Information Sciences with a concentration in information organization and Health Informatics. Genevia is the creator of Variegated Stacks, a digital space created to highlight issues relevant to improving MLIS curriculum, career trends in librarianship, and research related to diversity initiatives.

Fight the Post-MLS Blues

Are you tired of reading about the hiring trends for academic libraries? Do you want to learn on-the-job and have the benefits of an academic librarian in an entry-level position after earning your MLS? Perez & Gruwell’s (2011) ground-breaking guide to ‘The New Graduate Experience: Post MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship‘ captures the missing literature gap in the area of Post-MLS Residency Programs, diversity initiatives, and assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of these programs. “The New Graduate Experience” (2011) is a powerful resource guide for current MLS contemplating the benefits for pursuing Post-MLS Residency Programs.
As someone who is very much interested in diversity recruitment and retention issues in the librarianship field, I was very excited and pleased with the overall composition of this book. In the first chapter, Brewer (2011) gives a powerful description of the purpose and goal of Residency Programs and the difference between ones that have a diversity focus. A historical overview of the strengths and challenges of Residency Programs at University of Louisville, Purdue University, University of Tennessee, NCSU Libraries, University of New Mexico, and Georgetown University Law Library are also included in separate chapters.
This book isn’t just for the Human Resource Manager, Library Dean, but very valuable for prospective Post-MLS graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in academic libraries. Several sample applications are used for examples from other institutions to provide a helpful model for prospective institutions interested in starting a Residency Program. Another unique chapter in this book is called “Nursing Preceptors and the Academic Library” written by Perez, M. (2011) who gives an excellent comparison of how nursing graduates are trained on-the-job by having senior level mentors “preceptors’ within the organization to guide them and get them accumulated to the workplace. The preceptor model that focuses on experiential learning to develop both the mentee (Resident Fellow) and mentor is very helpful. This is a great ‘must-read’ for students interested in working in academia as well as current library administrators who are looking for a fresh new way to develop library leadership within their institutions. This book gets five golden stars for its overall tone, pragmatism, reference sections, as well as being filled with personal reflections from previous Residency Fellows.References:

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Residency Interest Group Weblog Accessed on March 18, 2011 http://acrl.ala.org/residency/

Perez, Megan Z. and Cindy Ann Gruwell. The New Graduate Experience: Post-MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship. Santa Barbara, CA : Libraries Unlimited, 2010.

Julie Brewer. “Understanding the Organizational Value of Post-Master’s Degree Residency Programs.” Research Library Issues: A Bimonthly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 272 (October 2010): 23-27. http://publications.arl.org/rli272/

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