[Series] Hack ALA: What’s a professional organization to do?

21/06/2011 § 30 Comments

The debate over the current role MLIS programs can play in the library industry keeps popping up. For a recent example, check out Will Manley’s blog, Will Unwound, which asks some important questions: Are too many graduates being spit out into the shrinking job pool? Are graduate programs, in their ivory towers, isolating themselves from current realities? Are online programs supporting or corroding the industry? Is an MLIS just a union-card, only necessary to further our careers? « Read the rest of this entry »

[Series] Hack ALA: Attending ALA Annual Without Attending ALA Annual

10/06/2011 § 9 Comments

UPDATE: John Chrastka, Director of Membership Development at ALA, commented and alerted us to The Conference Tracker from American Libraries Magazine. This is another great way to track the conference, and pulls in a lot of the avenues Nicole mentioned in her post. Thanks John and AmLib Magazine!

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Like some of us here at Hack Lib School, you may not be able to attend the ALA Conference this summer.  Or maybe, there are other conferences you are not able to actually attend.  Below are some ideas on how you can participate and follow a conference without actually being there in person.  Most are directed at this year’s Annual conference but you could definitely apply them to others.  Please feel free to post other suggestions in the comments!

« Read the rest of this entry »

[Series] Hack ALA: Get Your Network On!

09/06/2011 § 14 Comments

ALA is the largest library conference in the nation. It brings together different librarians from across the country, all in one place. It gives everyone the opportunity to meet new people and network. This is pretty fantastic if you think about it, but for a newbie student or librarian who has never been before, this can be an overwhelming experience. It brings to mind a number of questions about what to do and how to use this experience to network. Luckily, we have paired up a conference n00b, Annie, with conference veteran Lauren, with a question and answer session for some guidance on how to network. « Read the rest of this entry »

[Series] Hack ALA: The Librarian Wardrobe

08/06/2011 § 16 Comments

Hello, newly minted and soon-to-be librarians! I’m visiting today from Librarian Wardrobe to give you some ideas on how to dress like a successful librarian without having to spend the large amounts of money that librarians tend to make (joke, of course). I was in your shoes recently, wondering how librarians dress for interviews and a first professional position, so I started Librarian Wardrobe as a fun reference point for LIS students, early career librarians, and anyone else wanting to see examples and share what they wear to work.

Let’s look at a few different scenarios: « Read the rest of this entry »

[Series] Hack ALA: Our ALA ’11 Recommended Sessions

06/06/2011 § 20 Comments

Editors Note: Welcome to Hack ALA Week! We’ve been planning this for quite some time now, and although we’re titling this a “Week” you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll continue writing about ALA generally beyond this week. As the preeminent professional organization in our profession, whose mandates and bylaws permeate our classrooms as well as our future workplaces, the American Library Association deserves a critical eye as much as any other part of professional librarianship. Our goal herein is to examine this organization from the students’ perspective, weighing pros and cons and assessing the value of membership for the library school student. There are myriad opinions on ALA and we encourage readers to explore them all, and hope that our subsequent posts on the topic offer an insight to how the organization works, and particularly this week, on how to survive ALAs Annual Conference. Enjoy and as always, we welcome you to think critically about, challenge and respond to our writings.
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ALA Annual is lauded as “The Worlds Largest and Most Dynamic Library Conference and Exhibition,” and arguably it can be seen as a rite of passage for new LIS professionals. There is no easy way to say this – the conference is a gigundo-crazy-overwhelming-ridicoulo-book/people/knowledge fest. I’m pretty sure even the seasoned ALAer veteran is still like a kid in a candy shop when the conference kicks off. That said, I, your friendly neighborhood HackLibSchool blogger, took to the web and through some major investigative efforts (made supremely easy by ALA Connect’s Conference Scheduler) have compiled a list of the sessions and yes, even some informal meetups that LIS students might find interesting. Below is a short list; I deliberately avoided any career/interest sessions as I’d encourage you to investigate those options on your own. Check out the New ALA Members tag for a good overview of some other sessions to consider.

« Read the rest of this entry »

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