Tech Tools for LIS Students {Starter Kit}

27/09/2012 § 13 Comments

My MLIS program has a strong commitment to encouraging students to use various online and computer-based presentation/communication tools in class projects. We use a number of different programs in addition to the course management system on campus (Desire2Learn, which is like Blackboard and Moodle). This immersion in the wide range of tech tools allows us to build our toolkits for future use and to familiarize us with the constant learning necessary for keeping up-to-date on technology. While sometimes suggest particular programs to use, a lot of the time, students share with each other the various tools they’ve found. As a result, I’ve been fortunate to hear about a lot of free, online programs to use for various reasons. I’d like to share these tools and encourage others to post in the comments about other cool tools they’ve used or heard about! I’d also love to hear how you’ve used more familiar tools in interesting ways for class projects or library-related tasks.

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The Skills You Don’t Learn In School

28/02/2012 § 29 Comments

Photo Credit: Flickr User Donna Cymek

Photo Credit: Flickr User Donna Cymek

Librarianship is a profession that’s all about helping people, which means we need to be able to work with them. Even if you don’t work with patrons, you’ll still have to work with coworkers that run the gamut. Cat lovers(ahem), gamers, tattooed drinkers, the sweet old lady who doesn’t know what email is(patron or coworker), you might run across them all. You can’t escape people in this profession! Whether you were drawn to this profession because you love books, or because you wanted to put off student loans, having people skills is a must. We’re expected to have some technology skills and maybe even more advanced programming skills. That’s all great! However, there are a lot of things library school can’t teach you. People skills being one of them. No one can teach you how to be in the world, that’s something that we all develop as we move forward in life. Employers are looking for folks who have these skills.

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Playing Nicely With Others: Doing Group Work

07/12/2011 § 13 Comments

Photo Credit to Flickr user MyTudet

No Bob, I don't want to stab you with these scissors. I LOVE group work.

How many of you have had to do group work in graduate school? What’s that? All of you? Okay, I thought so. Like it or not, group work is integral to library science curriculum. When I first started, I wondered why I had to do do so much group work. What’s the purpose of it? Is there a lesson to be learned? There are so many risks when you have to work with a group of people you don’t necessarily know that well. Coming from an undergraduate background in art history, where you sit in a dark room and stare at slides, you don’t even know who is in your class, let alone have to talk to anyone. It’s a solitary endeavor. However, library school is totally different. You’re expected to talk to your classmates, peer review their work and collaborate with them. That can be really off-putting for someone who is used to a) shy b) used to studying alone c) new to the program, thus not knowing anyone and d) a control freak. This semester, I’ve had to do a couple of large group projects and wondered how collaborating could be made easier.
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